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How to tell what the system requirements for my game are?

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:47 am
by Aviala
Hey all!

I'm preparing for a Steam release and it seems that Steam wants me to include pretty detailed system requirements. Is there any way to find out, other than trying to test the game on as many setups as possible? The game does run on my extremely cheap laptop so I imagine it'll run on most modern computers, but I need to input a lot of detailed specs and to be honest I'm totally clueless when it comes to hardware. :/ I guess I could just input the specs of my shitty laptop if I can't figure this out, but I'd rather find out the actual minimum requirements if possible.

Also, is there any information on what operating systems Renpy games run on? I know it supports mac, linux and PC but which versions - for example, would a modern renpy game run on an old Windows XP system?

Re: How to tell what the system requirements for my game are?

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:35 pm
by LateWhiteRabbit
I don't know of any good way other than what you said - testing your game on as many different setups as possible.

And there is some disagreement on the definition of what constitutes miminum and recommended system requirements for a game. This varies by developer and publisher, (and gamer) but 'minimum' can be either what it takes to get the game running, or 'minimum' that the developer considers for an acceptable experience.

Miminum can ALSO be the oldest hardware the developer wants to deal with. For instance, maybe your game DOES work on an older OS like Windows XP, but you don't want to have to troubleshoot any problems that may arise with an operating system that old, (like old drivers, etc.) so you list something like "Windows 7" and newer for the operation system, and Windows XP and Vista become 'unsupported'.

But yeah, don't know how you can avoid plain old testing on multiple systems.

Re: How to tell what the system requirements for my game are?

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:07 am
by Aviala
Hmm, it's a shame if there isn't a better way! But thanks for your input - it really is interesting that there isn't a sort of "industry standard" way to do this other than trying to play the game on grandmas computer (or, for bigger companies, paying a professional testing company). I would have thought someone had made some kind of software for testing how heavy the game is to run, but I guess computer setups can be so different that it isn't so easy to make an all-encompassing solution.

I guess for me the only option is to test the game at my parent's place and see if any of my friends have old laptops or something. Otherwise, I might just input the specs of my laptop and Windows 7 or newer. As for Mac and Linux, I have no idea and no way to test it, really... I can't think of a friend who owns a mac or linux operating system and the macs at my school don't allow anything to be installed without admin rights. Hopefully I can find at least one or two testers online to test the game on mac and linux...

I guess the "minimum" for me would be to be able to run the game without it crashing or lagging too much. But honestly, it seems like it'd take a pretty bad computer to not be able to run Renpy games.

Re: How to tell what the system requirements for my game are?

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:55 am
by LateWhiteRabbit
Aviala wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:07 am
Hmm, it's a shame if there isn't a better way! But thanks for your input - it really is interesting that there isn't a sort of "industry standard" way to do this other than trying to play the game on grandmas computer (or, for bigger companies, paying a professional testing company). I would have thought someone had made some kind of software for testing how heavy the game is to run, but I guess computer setups can be so different that it isn't so easy to make an all-encompassing solution.
Running emulation software of different hardware set-ups wouldn't really catch all the weirdness that can arise from hardware combinations or driver conflicts.

I think as an indie developer, the best you can do is as you say, get friends and family to test on their machines, bump up the minimum requirements you list a little more than you think is the actual minimum, and be ready to offer refunds if the game just won't work right on someone's system.

Re: How to tell what the system requirements for my game are?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:35 am
by Helyees
Our team can test on mac. Lets be in touch! :)