In the back of my head was a growing concern that I was yet to test CC2 on a budget computer.
Having a Core i7 920 with 6GB of 1600MHz RAM and a 9600GT (ok, the latter isn’t that impressive but it still chews through any game no problem) sounds great, but when it comes to developing games it can actually be a burden. Reason being, it has absolutely no problem running Caveman Craig 2. No FPS drop at all. This makes it much harder to work out what slows it down most should I try it out on another machine and find it does not run very fast.
So, I decided to try it out on my mothers laptop. She has a 2.3GHZ Pentium Dual-Core (this is a chipset below the Core 2 Duo’s), with 2GB of RAM and an integrated Intel graphics chipset. This seems like the ideal ‘base’ spec for CC2. If you have anything lower than these specs, you have an old machine and you’re probably used to things not running brilliantly anyway.
Unfortunately, the game didn’t run completely to my satisfaction, although it certainly wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It ran at a steady 40fps (my target frame rate) when lighting and sun effects were switched off, with approx. 10-13 cavemen (shared between the players and the enemy tribe) active. But with the sun effects on the game quickly sunk to 35fps, and even dipping into 28 from time to time. Ok, time to optimise those sun effects.
Lighting wasn’t as slow as I’d thought either. With it turned on, the frame-rate would occasionaly drop to 39, suggesting it’s sitting just above 40. That might sound just fine, but keep in mind the game is hardly completed and a lot will be added very soon. Still, lighting is a luxury that is probably expected to only work nicely on dedicated graphics.