Technological Quality Goals

From GameDevWiki | The video game design and development tutorial, resource, and inspiration wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Every game developer has a set of technological quality goals they should strive to meet. Technological quality for a game or piece of entertainment can span all the way from the unplayable, to the divine. Framerate caps, resolution, and APIs are only a few of the many things a game developer should consider when they're devoting effort toward perfecting the technical quality of their game. Although gamers across the platform spectrum generally desire the same thing, many of these features are only available on the PC platform and can't be changed by developers due to the nature of the console or other restricted devices they are developing for.

Bear in mind that technological quality isn't the same as gameplay quality. A game can be a rusty bucket crap and still be fun. Technological quality is just one of those things that meets together with good gameplay to make an ultimately great game.

Feature Unforgivable

Absolute zero. You become an instant meme.


PC gamers unhappy. Bad publicity!


Not bad! PC gamers are content!


PC gamers are very happy. Awesome!


PC gamers explode. Free advertising!


The future. Not possible yet.

Hard framerate cap

The maximum framerate the game is allowed to run at, as locked by the developer.

Importance: Very high

24 or less - The game feels unplayable at all times, even when a powerful GPU is present. Users become frustrated and angry, resulting in a curation from TotalBiscuit's Frame Rate Police curator on Steam, as well as many negative reviews. The internet will be on fire for at least 12 hours after the game is first available to the public. 30 - Not as bad as 24, but still bad. Negative reviews and ratings will be commonplace. The game will be returned or refunded at much higher rates. 60 - Considered the bare minimum of acceptability among PC gamers, as a large (but slowly shrinking) majority of PC gamers still have a 60Hz monitor and won't notice the difference unless they join the slowly growing 120Hz+ crowd. 120 to 144 - Beautifully smooth. Very minimal complaints, as almost no PC gamers have a monitor that's faster than 144Hz (yet). 240 or none - 240Hz monitors are almost nonexistent, and won't be commonly available until mid 2017. As such, there's not many PC gamers out there that even have the opportunity to have an unfulfilled 240Hz display.
Resolution and aspect ratio

The width and height of a game's window as well as its ratio, in pixels.

Importance: Very high

Windowed only. One resolution, one aspect ratio, and no way to change any of it. Looks terribly small on hi-res displays, and is unplayable without destroying display resolution down to a blurry non-native option. Fullscreen is available, but with very little resolution customization. No native resolution support for common market. Resolution properly supports most common modes, but UI and other essential elements appear buggy as a result of straying outside one aspect ratio. The game may have black bars or scaling issues. Resolution options provide well across several aspect ratios, and UI elements scale properly for all of them. Windowed and fullscreen modes with fully custom resolution. Full support for custom-typed resolutions allowing any aspect ratio desired. UI fits well at any custom resolution or aspect ratio.

Examples: Quake II clients, MOHAA with console commands, Deus Exe replacement executable.

Platform and API

The framework the game was developed within, which will ultimately constrain and define how the game will perform.

Importance: High

DX9, Flash, or OpenGL equivalent DirectX 10 or OpenGL equivalent. The game doesn't run nearly as well as it should on modern hardware. DirectX 11. The game runs okay on modern hardware, but not great. It doesn't have the API required to utilize modern hardware. As a result, CPUs are bottlenecked and game performance is permanently held back. DirectX 12, but not Vulkan. The game uses a modern but closed API. It is much more restricted to Windows and the Windows ecosystem. Vulkan, or additionally DirectX 12. The game scales very well across CPU cores and runs very efficiently on whatever hardware or OS it's released on.
Brand-specific hardware features

Features that intentionally only work for one brand of hardware, alienating the other half of the market. GameWorks and such.

Importance: High

The game uses an API or feature that only allows it to execute on one brand of CPU or GPU hardware, leaving the other half of the market to hack and mod the game just to play it, potentially resulting in terrible performance or instability. N/A N/A Minimal. The game uses a relatively open or standard feature that all hardware and software manufacturers have had the opportunity to optimize for. Example: CPU PhysX. None. The game uses open libraries like OpenCL and Bullet that are openly collaborated on and standardized by the entire industry. N/A
OS Support

The OS the game was released for. Examples being Microsoft Windows 10 or MacOS 10.9.

Importance: Medium

One of: Mac, Windows, Linux Two of: Mac, Windows, Linux Mac, Windows, and Linux

Scoring method[edit]

Games are generally scored by their minimum and average, as those scores are both very important when measuring a game's technological quality.

  • Example 1: A game gets a minimum of Bronze, but scores platinum and gold everywhere else. This would probably result in a Bronze-Gold score.
  • Example 2: A game gets platinum in everything. This would be Platinum-Platinum, or Double Platinum.