When making a PC game one of the trickier tasks is to determine the minimum and recommended system requirements for it. Not only the absurd amount of possible combinations of GPUs, CPUs, memory amount and OSs make this complicated, but also the developer needs to ask themselves: “What is the game supposed to look by default?”.
Even for indie games this is a relevant consideration. Too many games made by smaller teams, are developed on extremely powerful PCs without the time or budget to test and optimise for weaker platforms. This resulting in end users often finding themselves having quite an unpleasant experience.
On the other hand limiting oneself in regards to platform requires spending precious time on optimisations, or worse dropping more interesting features like more complicated AI, cool graphical effects or density of objects on screen.
For Elemental Enigma the goal, from the very beginning, was to run at a stable, locked 60 FPS even on integrated GPUs while never using no more than 3Gb of RAM+VRAM.
For a long time this was easily reached. However once more assets were being added, that target started to move away. After more recent set of optimisations mentioned in Update #9 the framerate of 60 FPS has been regained. Video Memory, however, still remained a problem.
Not anymore. After various experiments with texture compression and memory allocation optimisations, currently the game runs within 820 Mb in RAM and 530 Mb in VRAM. This will of course increase as more content is added, but currently is well within the target of combined 3 Gb. More work and optimisations are needed, and indeed planned, but at this point any changes should not be dramatic.