I'm new to game development and stuck on an issue . Question is : Considering the RAM usage , will it be better to use low - poly terrain ? (which i assume yes as it has lower level of details)

Which way should i opt for making terrain of low poly nature to make it efficient when RAM is being considered ??(godot specific , without blender)

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ RAM is just a matter of budgeting. Putting less stuff in RAM would indeed reduce RAM usage — that's just a tautology. The question you need to ask yourself is: what are you saving that RAM for? Do you have a pile of memory-intensive content in other features of your game that you're concerned won't fit unless you sacrifice terrain detail? If so, the way to find the best trade-offs is to budget. Choose a target hardware spec to set your upper limit. Count the bytes you're allocating to each feature. Run a synthetic test to check your bandwidth needs. This is in your power to determine. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    May 27, 2022 at 13:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ how would i be counting allocation for any feature...using debugger gives me details about complete program @DMGregory \$\endgroup\$
    – rudr
    May 27, 2022 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Count your vertices. Count the number of attributes you're storing with each vertex (position, normal, texture coordinate, etc). Count the bytes in each attribute (eg. 4 for a float, 12 for a normal...) Multiply by the number of vertices. Count the number of triangles, multiply by three, then multiply by the size of your index (often 2 bytes). Now you have the total bytes used by the terrain mesh. You can apply similar math to textures, etc. Or, you can always delete a feature and measure the difference in the complete program for a quick estimate/check. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    May 27, 2022 at 18:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory thanks \$\endgroup\$
    – rudr
    May 30, 2022 at 10:58

1 Answer 1


I'll chip in a bit; some other folks could provide even better answers.

Considering the RAM usage

Graphics generally impact the video RAM (the VRAM), not the system RAM as you seem to mention. Often, computers will have much more system RAM than video RAM. Also, VRAM will often be occupied more by textures than by actual vertices that compose the mesh. If you have a low-poly mesh and a hi-res texture, you could bust your (V)RAM.

will it be better to use low - poly terrain

We can't answer that.

What kind of game do you want to make? Would it make sense to have a low-poly terrain and a hi-poly main character(s)? Depending on the game, you can "cheat" and load dynamically only the terrain that is visible to the camera and what's immediately surrounding it; you unload what's not visible, freeing up the memory for what matters.

Keep in mind that using low-poly terrain can be an advantage w.r.t. physics. The less polygons there are, the simpler the collision checking (where a completely flat ground is the simplest).

It's a balancing act between all your needs.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I had some 3D low poly assets made on asset forge and blender . While making an open world game on godot i thought of using meshes to place below as the ground for every low poly asset but had very less idea on it's effects on system's resources . This ground-mesh was prepared using simplexnoise . @DMGregory , @ Vaillancourt \$\endgroup\$
    – rudr
    May 28, 2022 at 1:15

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