Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  


Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Skill Changes, Part 2 (07/15/21)

Author Topic: Are Ship Polygons being too detailed still considered an issue?  (Read 474 times)


  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 188
  • A man cannot put his shaft into the unknown.
    • View Profile
    • Email

I have seen many upon many mods use ridiculous amounts of polygon bounds and couldn't help but feel that it's why my Full vanilla DP battles slug with so many modded ships. Is this still a relative issue going forward, I do not want to over-optimize my mod's ship bounds.

My system in question is a Ryzen 7 2700x with 1080ti w/16GB of ram I play SS on an SSD even though I believe it does barely anything. RAM allocated is 8GB's as having anymore would be redundant I was told concerning the version of java used.

Irrelevant disclaimer: The example given reflects no such public mod in development by me! It is simply an example of this thread and removes spoilers of my mod by revealing a sprite I actually made. The ship seen is the work of Nia Tahl within the Sylphon mod.


I've noticed folks going overboard on their bounds polygons. What I mean by this is: "using more coordinates than absolutely necessary to evoke a convincing level of hit-detection in-game."

The question you should now be asking is: "gee Trylobot, if you're so smart, what the heck should I be doing instead? I haven't noticed any problems."

Good question modders, I'm glad you asked. The problems you haven't noticed are insidious. They don't really affect anything at small scales. But when your ships are used en-masse, say in a mod compilation like U.'s Corvus or similar, these super-complex bounds polygons will slow down the computers belonging to the "economy / mid-range" level. In other words, not hardcore gaming machines like you and I are so fond of. And you should be worried about this, because these folks are technically your audience. You're going to all this work, authoring this mod, ostensibly so that as many people as possible can play it. So you want to Optimize.

Best optimization: consider removing literally every bounds coordinate you currently have and making a new one from scratch. If you want to look at perfection, load up some of the vanilla ships and look at their level of detail. Then think to yourself, "self, if the bounds polygon looks like this, and in-game I didn't notice anything funny, then isn't this enough?" The answer is yes. Yes it is. Use as few bounds coordinates as possible to look right, and not a single one more. It's better for the game, better for performance, and better for the perceived quality of your mod.

EDIT: Here's an example from Ghoti:


This concludes a Public Service Announcement.

Update: April 19, 2013 - PRO TIP from Vinya
Use your image editor's "Pixelate" effect, and give a size of 5 (or higher). When setting up your ship's bounds, use this pixelated version of your ship. That way you won't be as inclined to include unnecessary details in the polygon.

Update: Addendum from Astro with illustrations
« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 12:48:01 AM by Flacman3000 »
Ryzen 7 2700x, 1080ti, 16GB DDR4 RAM and playing SS on a SSD - Always stay ahead because when you're ahead you're rear anatomy is open to interpretation.

Chairman Suryasari

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 363
  • The Deployer of John Lennon's.
    • View Profile
Re: Are Ship Polygons being too detailed still considered an issue?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2021, 03:44:28 AM »

I think it's more about the Starsector engine limitation, so yeah, maybe someday when this game release on Steam we will get an engine mod with injector like RimThreaded or total engine rework similar to OpenMW or Open Morrowind that replace the vanilla engine of TESIII with a new engine from scratch. But for now, you will have more chance to play Witcher 3 with 200+ mod that run at 60 fps.
"Kids under 13 shouldn't have access to the internet. if 10yo me were on tumblr and read about suicide and depression 5 hours a day, every day, god knows i would jump off a bridge if my parents ever yell at me."

-Some random Youtube comment on video about Sonic OC.


  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 3296
  • Toss a coin to your Modder, O' valley of plenty
    • View Profile
Re: Are Ship Polygons being too detailed still considered an issue?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2021, 09:03:54 AM »

There is a point where bounds can be an issue, but as a general rule it comes more from fighters and frigate spam rather than bigger ships. Having 20 extra bounds on a capital ships, particularly a unique one, won't make a dent in the game's performance compared to a fighter that has 3 extra bounds.