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We have some minimum requirements set for the game, however, it's possible to play the game on much slower computers and we argue in the team how to approach the situation when the hardware is too slow to run the game the way it's meant to run.

We generally have three ideas:

  1. run benchmark in the beginning and if the computer won't pass it inform the player he can't play, he should update drivers etc,

  2. under certain framerate pause the game and ask the player to disable thing running in background or update drivers etc.

(1. and 2. can be combined)

  1. under certain framerate slow the game down - so let's say the game should run on 60 FPS and between 60 and 20 the speed will be normal and if it goes lower than 20 fps it will progressively slow down so the player sees the same amount of frames as it'd run at 20FPS

In our case, the game looks pretty bad when we simulate 10 FPS and less and it isn't nice under 20.

Is there any common approach to this?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you want to support a computer that's slower than your minimum requirement, then why are you specifying that minimum requirement at all? That's kind of the whole point of minimum requirements - don't support anything below them. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19 '17 at 8:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ actually, that's what I keep saying to the gamedesigners :D ... how can I forbid the game to run on the computer then? edit: game is made in unity \$\endgroup\$
    – jcx
    Jul 19 '17 at 16:05
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I think most would agree that it is (too) annoying to support lowest-end hardware.

Common or not, I cannot tell, but here is one set of principles that fits one of our products (a rather advanced 3D simulation, aimed at households and professional users) but not necessarily others:

1. Questions

We often get the question "what GPU should it be?". We give no specific answer, instead we give the guidelines below.

2. Type of hardware

There are consumer and professional products. For example the Nvidia "Quadro" series of 1/2-height GPU's are very durable and expensive - but slow. These are often used by authorities. We do not recommend these, instead we recommend consumer products.

3. GPU

  • (Very generic) We propose the graphics card costs at least 80 euros if bought today in the nerdy store.
  • (A bit more specific) We require a Passmark-score of at least 1000 per screen (up to 4 supported).

It's easy to check any GPU, just google for example

passmark GTX760

The first hit is usually the good one, tells us this GPU gets 4947 points - excellent for 4 screens.

https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+760&id=2561

4. Low-end support

We do absolutely not bother to support bad or outdated hardware.

5. Code/settings

Small team - we have pre-selected good, reasonable values for texture filtering etc., that make it look good. These are fixed in the code. Eg. Antialias multisampling is set to 4 samples, as 8 or 16 was a sufficient cost with no relevant impact. This depends very much on the visualisation.

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Nobody's going to keep playing if they're at ~15 FPS or less. I'd just ignore the problem. Down-scaling the game speed for low-fps players goes against the consistency principle; if I were to play your game and find out that the game plays differently, depending on the FPS, I'd just drop it.

You could implement different speeds that can be selected by the players, not forced upon them.

It might help if you'd tell us the minimum hardware requirements and a few FPS-related statistics for different hardware.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ there's no minimum HW specified yet but the game runs 50-60 fps on i5 / intel HD4000 ... the trouble is the game is hand drawn and hand animated and the animations look pretty bad when ran on low fps \$\endgroup\$
    – jcx
    Jul 18 '17 at 16:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, there you have it: Work on improving the animation system. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18 '17 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ /agree. Besides, the point of minimum specs is, well... they're the minimum for a good gameplay experience. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18 '17 at 17:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ curious student - the animation system is fine, it's timebased that means low framerate is still image show, there's nothing we can do about it \$\endgroup\$
    – jcx
    Jul 18 '17 at 18:27

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