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Okay, so I have a little bit of experience with Unreal Engine and Unity, but I am much more of a backend guy and C# is my language of choice. The difficulty I am having at the moment is that while it feels like there are 1000's of tutorials on how to render at the highest possible quality in these software's (or how to get the best balance on mid settings), I can't seem to find any videos on how to achieve the lowest quality render. The user interface is frustrating me because I am used to being able to start with a blank(ish) slate and then coding up (the last time I made a game for publication I was using XNA in VS10, passing render calls in code etc).

Could anyone give me a helping hand/pointer towards what the optimal lowest quality settings are for either software for a 'blank slate'? Ideally, for whichever of the two has the broadest range of compatibility. Are there any settings which have a much larger overhead for the processor/RAM?

The purpose here, for context, is not to achieve lowest graphical quality - but to achieve broadest legacy support. I want settings that a vampire could run on windows 1874BC if they wanted.

The project is 3D, I am not majorly concerned with having the best textures and lighting, all of my models are optimised very well, I am intending to make a large scale map which streams in. Object position and mechanics are the priority.

I'm not interested in all the bells and whistles (no raytracing etc), I'd just like to be able to render a cube in the middle of a screen with the lowest overhead on the most devices.

A simpler way to phrase my question would probably be: how do I turn everything off except the absolute essentials?

Any help here would be greatly appreciated, especially if you have any links to YouTube videos/channels which cover broad-compatibility games in Unity.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hello! That is a loaded question. Can you specify which engine, and some of the bottlenecks you are experiencing? The first step should be to profile your game, and determine where you need to cut the fat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Evorlor
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 2:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey @Evorlor! Essentially I attempted to start with UE5, and the goal is to produce a simple but large architectural project. I have been out of the game for a long time, and there's a ton of new features to get to grips with, but 90% of them are targeted at users who want smooth/photoreal games. I'm hoping that there's a broader and less targeted way than profiling my project - I'm struggling with a way to phrase this though. I guess my question could be worded as - "what settings do you turn off in UE5 the moment you open a new project?" if you know that your user is running on a potato. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 2:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I include UE and Unity in the question because I am happy to restart the project in either software, and while I would prefer to use C# in Unity, I keep hearing that UE5 is super optimised now - but its difficult to distinguish between whether this new optimisation in Lumen/Nanite is appropriate for slower/older machines, or if its more like "you can now fit 16 million poly into your scene if you're running a 3090, but your 1080 will catch fire on basic settings"... \$\endgroup\$
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 2:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ You know Unity has a "Universal Render Pipeline" specifically addressed to the use case you describe? It's one of the default options presented to you when you start a new project. What do you need that is not covered by this template? \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 3:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory yes, within Unity the choice would be for URP, however URP is still a sledgehammer when you first open a project - Unity is designed to be a very broad IDE, much like Visual Studio, it is capable of targeting many different platforms/environments. Unlike Visual Studio though, the templates available are much less intuitive, whereas something like ASP.Net Core Blazor I can pretty much guarantee that it will run where/how it says, I'm not familiar enough with URP to know if that's the case in all situations. I'm not sure if URP is at its lightest weight out of the box, or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 7:57

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I suspect Unity’s Project Tiny might be exactly what you are looking for. It tries to cram the most game into the smallest possible space and power.

https://forum.unity.com/forums/project-tiny.151/

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This does look like precisely what I need for my use case, thank you very much! \$\endgroup\$
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 7:41

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