Development Update - Real time mirrors, are they worth it?
So I've finally implemented a real time mirror that doesn't totally crash the game. I must say though, its a performance hog. I have a fairly high end PC and I consistency get around 60fps (frames per second) which I'm happy with. I'm targeting 30fps as this isn't exactly a twitch shooter. The problem is that this mirror, the one you can see in the screen shot. Causes my machine to dip to around 40FPS while in front of it. While that is somewhat acceptable the frame dip is noticeable. I'm also not sure what to expect out of other machines but I'm fairly sure it's going to be under the targeted 30fps.
The reason this happens is that it essentially has to render everything twice. Combine that with the dynamic lights in the game and you're not going to have a good time.
This is where I ask myself, is the mirror worth it? Are you kidding? Totally, right? I mean what's horror without some kind of mirror jump scare happening? There is so much I can do with a real time mirror or 2 around the house. But I've come to the realisation that a few additional scares involving a mirror isn't worth sacrificing the over all experience. After all, whats a jump scare if it dips to 15fps and takes you out of the experience anyway. I will have unwittingly done that opposite of what I set out to achieve.
With that said, it's not worth it. Not even a little. Sure I could have an option to turn it on for high end PCs but then those users will get extra content. It's wrong to punish someone because they don't have the best PC going with quad GFX cards running in SLI. Ultimately, I'll need to optimise further (see how blocky the mirror already is) or simply replace it with a mirror that uses a static reflection. Ill update the Dev Diary again later if there are any further break through in this quandary.