View Full Version : DS rez Imperial Walker and how important is the DS cache anyway?

12-14-2006, 05:44 PM
I decided to play around in the low poly sandbox and try making some DS spec scenes (under 2048 visible polys, tiny, low color textures)

Here are some renders with various options turned on/off. Only the first has any bearing on reality, though the DS might actually do anti aliasing (Mario Kart seems to...I think). The main goal here was to see how low I could hold the poly count and keep the textures down to sizes that would fit comfortably in the DS' cache. The lack of texture filtering really hurts, obviously, since anything with high contrast breaks up into noise. The background and the ground plane textures would break the DS cache , but since one or both would probably be handled using tiles and one of the DS' background planes anyway, I'm not going to sweat it. Speaking of the DS cache, does anyone have any practical experience with it, i.e. how badly does breaking it affect performance? Breaking the cache on the PSP is a big no-no, though you can get away with it a bit.



12-14-2006, 10:27 PM
You're remembering that 2048 visible tris is per frame or clock tick, right? And you're texture should probably be no larger than 128 x 128 pixels. It'll do alpha blending, but try to be frugal with it. And there are still some polys you could optimize out of the AT-AT...see if you can get it down to 500, to ensure that it would be functional. Remember, you'll have audio, "AI" scripts running, a user interface slapped over everything, special effects like laser blasts and stuff all going at the same time as well. Those clock ticks are delicate things, and from what I know of working on the DS, memory management is the trickiest part of DS development. Still, though, the model is definitely solid, looks like you had some good reference material.

12-14-2006, 10:31 PM
The DS does NOT do anti-aliasing. It's capable of a fair bit of post-processing FX, but anti-aliasing eats memory alive and remember that the architecture is actually just modified GBA.

12-15-2006, 12:44 PM
If there is one thing the net doesn't lack, it's star wars reference material. I stripped some polys out of the at-at since I put this up, about 68, so he currently stands at 530 polys (he was 598), with the snow speeder weighing in at 160. The speeder, assuming you don't get too close, could lose another 20+ polys by simply painting the guns on the wing, and if the walker never lifts its feet too high off the ground, you could kill the bottoms, saving another 8 polys, bringing the whole scene down to 662 or so. I imagine the horizon would be a tile based 2d background and distant walkers/ground troops would be sprites. I'm not sure about the ground plane. I believe the DS has support for 2 background planes that can handle rotation and scaling (but one is lost when you use 3d), so that might be one possibility. Still, even a 3d ground plane wouldn't be too bad since the DS can tile the living crap out of a texture (unlike the PSP, oddly enough), you could get away with a minimal number of polys (maybe even just 1 quad?).

I actually try to keep my textures at 64x64x4, with only the rare texture climbing to 128x128x4. The DS is so low rez and the lack of filtering so painful that it's hard to notice any benefit from going beyond 64x64. It seems that going the bright and colorful but low detail "Mario" route really suits the system best, so bravo to Nintendo for cranking out another system perfectly suited to their own franchises.

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12-15-2006, 12:44 PM
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