General Counts and Budgets
The following is a basic guide to preparing and balancing polygons and textures for HeroEngine. This is not meant to be definitive numbers for your product. What this is meant for is a good starting point to then branch off from and balance your own product.
- Note General rule of thumb for texturing. Author your texture twice as large as you really want. That way you have room to to re-res the image when and if needed. Then down-res the textures until you get past a certain quality threshold that your team has deemed the goal for your project. This is a good way to arrive at a good texture size. It's also very wise to share materials and textures as much as possible. By minimizing the amount of unique textures, this allows HeroEngine to work faster with the video card.
- Are there any polygon limitations per model inherent in the engine?
Poly budgets are a balancing act between what you want content-wise, and what your demographic and target machine are going to be. As a licensee, you have full access to HJ Reference to see what poly budgets we used to achieve our areas.
A typical Hero's Journey player character is about 6000-8000 triangles, and most creatures fall between 2000-3000 triangles. You definitely do not want to build things which uses tens of thousands of polygons.
- How does the engine handle collision detection, or what kind of collision detection options are there?
Collision is polygon-accurate in HeroEngine. However you can mark materials as "ignore", and you can build separate low density collision objects if you wish.
- What is the max texture size?
Our common texture size is a 512 with dds dxt3 compression. 1024 textures can be justified for characters and other circumstances, but a 512 is a good starting point, then go smaller if you can get away with it. HeroEngine itself will let you use larger textures, it's just a matter of whether or not it is wise, balanced and justified to use a bigger texture 1024+. Most of these restrictions fall to graphics card limitations.
- How many Terrain Textures can we use?
A typical area can be well dressed with 12 or fewer heightmap textures. This is about average for Hero's Journey areas.
- What size textures do we use for particles?
Particle textures can be built in full texture, vertical half texture, or quadrants for effectiveness. The smaller the better. Usually a 64x64 to a 256x256 is ideal.
- What size textures should we use for dynamic detail?
Dynamic details are generally 512 textures and built on quadrants for effective randomization.
- What sort of weather and environmental effects are supported by the engine?
HeroEngine supports a static or dynamic sky. Fx effects such as thunder, lightning, and whatever else you can dream with the Fx System can be triggered with the environment and script. Rain, wind, and bloom are built in as well.