For the past few days I've been on OverClock.net, and I have to say it's the most mature and intelligent forum I've ever been to. Anyway, more to the point, I got into a sort of debate with a member named nathris about a comment I made. I said that I was designing Entropy's engine for the Intel GMA line of graphics cards. I would like to further elaborate on what I meant by that.
In the world of game design, you want to make sure your game works for as many people as possible. When I say "designing for the GMA line", I mean that I want the engine to run flawlessly on the chipset - ideally on my laptop. By designing for this "low end" I ensure maximum compatibility. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still going to up-scale. I'll do everything I can to push your 8800 to the limits. There will be the option for amazing parallax bump maps and other taxing effects, but I'm not designing for these. I'll enable options for larger textures, but I'm not designing for them. It's about designing for the low and moving up, rather than designing for the best and trying to take things away until you get a working product. Most PC game designers don't do this. They're trying to get the absolute best game possible and they'll alienate any number of users to get it. We don't want that. We want a great game almost anyone can play. A great example is Halo and Halo 2. Halo ran perfectly with amazing graphics on a GMA 945. Halo 2 won't even start. And Halo 2 adds nothing special to the Halo engine. They didn't even bother to get it to run. This is not what we want at all.