I know it depends on the game, I said as much in the OP, it was a "basic" rule of thumb I was/am looking for, your short and shorter answer is exactly the info I wanted. Thank you I appreciate it Duion. I do know a bit about making models I have just never done it myself so I have "book" knowledge about the process but no experience. For example I know you make the high quality then go down to the game quality, this is a lot like pictures and graphics for webdev which I have done a bit of. Rarely does scaling up go well as far as quality goes. However I know it is possible, by adding more details to the model itself, then scaling back down. Not saying I am doing that or want to, just that if I needed to I could. My models I own are in the area of 10-15k though so I do not think I need to do anything like that.Well first it depends on the game, second with modern hardware it does not matter that much if your game is not that large scale, you can get away with lots of very poor optimization nowadays.
To make it short: 10k is good for an FPS model, 15k is high quality, above is high end, 5k is kind of low end now probably and below it is more for stylistic intentional minimal stuff.
To make it shorter I aim for 10k. The Torque soldier has 15k, but he also has lots of stuff on him like armor plats, holsters, grenades, pistol etc which adds a lot, so "naked" he would be around 10k.
But a good artist often makes always high quality and reduces later depending on the need, upscaling on the other hand is not recommended in most cases, since it does not add much "real" additional detail.
Thanks for the info Jason and the link to Steves post I will check out and read. I love Steves tutorials and info, always full of good stuff and usually interesting and fun to read. I have done a lot of his older tutorials. 1000-2000 seems low to me (from my research anyway), can you clarify? I will of course be checking the FPS counter and the console metrics, those will help a lot!Keep your eye on drawcalls.
Use metrics in the console to see.
metrics( "fps gfx" );
Try to keep models with single textures. I think adding normals and specular adds a draw call for each. Shadows eat performance a lot, even on decent hardware.
I think 1000 is high but others have said 2000 is good.
Read this post Steve, covers quite a bit
http://www.garagegames.com/community/fo ... ead/112477
This is good to know as well. I will attempt to keep the draw calls in check. I will also attempt to use your rule of thumb as it seems reasonable, I also have a mid grade machine right now, I will worry about optimizing for lower end machines after I have gotten the process down.Yes drawcalls is more important, think of it as in painting, polygons is like complexity of the painting, but a drawcall is where you need to change the color of the brush.
I heard of the myth, that 400 polygons are "free" due to the cost of one drawcall, so each model can have at least 400 polygons theoretically before it costs more. However my tests showed that less is always better, it is just not that relevant probably.
What I do when developing is I only start to worry about optimizing my scene, when my fps count gets below 60 fps on max settings, I have a mid range gaming PC and this is what I target for, so that anyone with a halfway up to date PC can play it flawlessly on max settings, I also have options for really low settings that can make it run on almost any PC.
A typical scene has around 3000 drawcalls and maybe 3 million polygons including shadows.