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Minimum Requirements Targets for Survival Ascension

This is a bit early to be giving hard-line recommendations on what you will need to play Survival Ascension, but I have been asked the question quite a bit. So, I thought I would outline my approach to building the game and how it impacts minimum system requirements.

The system requirements are determined primarily by a few specific items: rendering features required by the graphics processing system in order to render the content, the geometric complexity of the on-screen game elements, the texture resolution and number of textures used to render the content, the shader functionality required by the game, and the lighting requirements. These are the determining factors when it comes to what graphics processing unit (GPU) would be required in order to play the game, both in terms of being able to render a single frame of content and also in terms of how many frames per second you can render.

There are additional deciding factors in terms of CPU, RAM, and hard drive space. The primary factor which determines CPU requirements is the complexity and quantity of AI systems in the game. The amount of pre-buffered data for the world and the objects you are using or viewing on screen determines the RAM requirements. Hard drive space is determined primarily by the texture resolution of the objects, followed by the animation sets for the objects, then by the quantity and quality of in-game audio.

My goal with the game is to deliver a very high fidelity in-game experience. Ideally, you would be able to put on a headset and full-body VR suit and enter the game and feel like you are in a real world. That type of interface isn't quite perfected yet, so we all have to make do with what we have right now. However, what we have right now scales from the low-end of phones we carry in our pockets to wall-sized 8k displays. I'd like the game to render correctly and with the highest fidelity possible across the full spectrum of resolutions and devices. I'd like you to be able to play your game on your own terms, whether it's at home sharing the experience on a console with your friends and family or whether it's in your gaming den on your epic gaming system or whether it's on the train on the way home from a long day at work.

To achieve this type of vision, I am working very hard to build the ability into the game to allow you to scale up or down the visual fidelity depending on your device requirements. I do not plan to ship the game with anything larger than 4k textures as very few textures would ever fill your entire display. That being said, I do plan to provide (at some future point) a full 8k texture set you can download as additional content so you can enjoy highly detailed texturing on the largest displays you might have access to. Mobile variants of the game, if and when they eventually ship, would likely only include 2k texture sets (with both 4k and 8k texture sets being DLCs). By choosing not to ship the larger texture sets, it saves considerably on distribution size. A single 8k texture can consume over 300MB of disk space, and the game has hundreds of textures. So, any 8k texture DLC would likely be in the hundreds of gigabytes in size. Using smaller texture sizes also saves on the system RAM requirements, as well as the GPU RAM requirements. Where possible, I also try to pack multiple textures into texture atlases to save on space and to more efficiently use multiple textures across multiple objects.

I intend to offer sliders in the graphics settings to control display resolution options, aspect ratio, texture quality, etc. I have been performing extensive testing of each different rendering option to determine whether it's something worthwhile to offer in the graphics settings. Some settings simply don't make much difference with the way they are implemented in the game. For example, the game uses a special shadow rendering engine which performs so well that there is no detectable difference in frame rate regardless of whether it's enabled or disabled. Disabling the shadowing dramatically alters some of the game play dynamics and also severely impacts visual fidelity. As such, I don't currently have any plans to allow anyone to disable the shadows.

I cannot currently guarantee that the game will run on Intel integrated graphics systems. However, I would very much like to enable it to run there. Just don't expect it to look totally awesome on such a barely functional graphics chip. The idea here is that you might have your laptop with you on your train or bus ride home and I'd like to enable you to be able to pop into the game and take care of some tasks to kill some time on your ride. Then, you would presumably switch to a more performant gaming system at home, like a next-gen console or gaming desktop system.

Check back in the future for updates on system requirements and targeted platforms.

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