OpenGL optimization for games

Greetings people!

I am wondering what kind of optimizations I should be making to my OpenGL game. It would be a third person fantasy role playing game with massive effects. What is the “standard” level of today’s computer equipment and how should I optimize my game apart from providing a config utility ?

You can implement efficient culling algorithms, to quickly remove objects that aren’t visible. Precalculation of data can help to some degree aswell.

Like Bob says, you want to minimize the amount of triangles you send to a card. There are lots of ways to do this - octrees, BSP’s, PVS, LOD to name a few. Depends on your game - indoors, outdoors, complexity and so on.

If you want to get into cool effects, you’ll find a lot of users here program using extensions. This isn’t very portable but it’s fun! I would say that if you want to maximize your user base, you’d have to program no lower than to the equivalent of a TNT2 these days. Most of us would program to the GeForce family though.