Take the 2-minute tour ×
Game Development Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional and independent game developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I saw it mentioned on this question, but no one explained what it is.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

ROAM stands for "Real-time Optimally Adapting Meshes." It is a level of detail algorithm for rendering large terrains. It's somewhat complicated so I'll link to some more in depth explanations:

Here is the paper: https://graphics.llnl.gov/ROAM/roam.pdf

The following is a slightly less academic explanation: http://www.yaldex.com/game-programming/0131020099_ch14lev1sec4.html

share|improve this answer
+1 Gamasutra also has a very nice and easy to understand explanation of ROAM: gamasutra.com/view/feature/3188/… –  Dave O. Jul 18 '10 at 23:42
It should be noted that many developers are now shying away from complicated LOD systems because of their tendency to hog CPU. GPU's are at the point where often just throwing a bit more geometry is preferable to stealing valuable CPU. –  Ron Warholic Jul 19 '10 at 22:21
Move along to other algorithms, ROAM was relevant when the fill cost of triangles on screen was high, and it was worth the CPU time to cut them down as much as possible. –  Vincent Scheib Jul 20 '10 at 4:21
Have a look at gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/9/…. Never use ROAM, there are better alternatives available. –  Jonathan Dickinson Aug 16 '10 at 10:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.