The Machine Makes The Video (Tech, Travel Power 3)
In our last video, we kept with tradition, and performed the work using one of our two base-model systems. While these two computers are not speed demons, they do meet the minimum target specification we are aiming for. By using them for our videos, we hope to assure people that they will be able to play City of Titans when we ship.
On the other hand, we also tried to cram the entire city landscape into the map. This is something you’ll never see in the final game, because there is something called a Level of Detail system that fogs things out after a certain distance. This put a little more work on the video card than we really planned for. Also, if you look very close at the city, you’ll notice our old enemy, Doug Fir, managed to sneak back in. He’s been chopped down for good this time.
We were asked why we didn’t do what bigger studios do, and show off using top end machines.
We did the Unreal equivalent of Demorecord for the last bit of our previous video. That means we could repeat it on any machine we wanted, so we decided to do just that. Not only show it off on a few different machines, but also on a few different Operating Systems. No tricks - we’ll leave that for you guys to make videos with later.
First, we repeated the footage from our previous video. This was recorded on a 2010-series MacMini. That means Core2Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, and integrated graphics by Intel. This is about the lowest spec machine we are targeting. When we're not using the machine for videos, we use it as a lightweight server as well.
Our next machine is a machine we call “Victim 4.” The Victim systems are ones we rapidly set up, use for a task, then reformat with new operating systems on a regular basis. We have 4 of these systems, this particular one being a midranged laptop/tablet hybrid that's intended to be used for presentations and UI testing.
For this video, we used Windows 10 to show things off. This machine runs an i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a SSD, but still only an integrated graphics system. But with the i7, the integrated graphics are a step above those found in the older Macintosh.
Last week we got the full Unreal Engine 4 editor running on Linux, so it stepped up to be the third machine in our little video today. This also was our most powerful machine of the trio, named “Builder.” It sports not only a high end processor, but tons of memory and a workstation-grade GPU. The main job is to compile builds of the game. Using it to record a video hardly broke a sweat for it.
As you can see, the difference between the three systems is remarkable. The Linux machine demonstrated the beta-quality of the build, with reflections not quite working properly yet, but the higher-end GPU clearly shows more detail, particularly in shadows.
At no point did we optimize our map. The rough terrain map we loaded up is a bit over 64 square kilometers (about 25 square miles) in size. We used no tricks to improve our performance, so we know that this is the worst that the game world will ever perform.
And, to get a sense of scale, here's a screenshot of that map, with a single building added.
This is not a building from the game, but a stock model we have on hand which everyone should recognize.
And, knowing how tall it is, it should help give you an idea just how big this game is.
Brought to you by Doctor Tyche and the Map Team.
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