Towns for open world games: Modular vs. Premodeled

Hey there,

I am about to build a town for my game. Now I was thinking about the best approach (performance-wise) to build the houses for this town. Modular or Premodeled (in a 3d app)?

The advantage of premodeled houses is that you can really optimize the LODs. There are no hidden faces (e.g. wall-intersections) and the whole interior of the house can be deleted in higher LODs. Also there are probably fewer draw calls.

The advantage of the modular approach is that maybe the precomputed visibility sets in and culls the back walls of the house? Also this approach is more flexible. But probably has a higher triangle count.

Does anybody have experience with that sort of thing? What do you think is the best approach?

Thanks in advance.

Modular will give you the most options as far as the look and layout of your towns, even if you split the buildings into large chunks to create multiple looks the same build (like splitting a building into 4 chunks per floor). With premade models you are set in the look and layout, The poly and triangle counts can be identical with modular and premade and the draw calls will be close as well if they use the same materials. In my opinion the best approach would be to go modular so that you can alter the looks and layouts from one town to the next instead of having to model say 10 buildings you could model 10-15 different modular pieces that could be combined in many different ways to create dozens of unique looking buildings.

These should help you, they are a little old but they still apply and are informative:

Thank you, Black Phoenyx!

Yeah I think I will go for the modular approach as it seems to have much more advantages (espiacially variety) then the pre-modeled approach. Cheers