This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
[In this Intel-sponsored feature, the company explains the benefits of the Intel Software Partner Program, a free program for game companies which includes development help, tools, and computer discounts.]
What kind of machines do you envision customers using to play your games? Regardless of the tricked-out custom box that comes to mind, you know that most people have off-the-shelf laptop or desktop machines, and most of those have integrated graphics.
Rather than thinking about what people should or shouldn't buy, consider this fact: optimizing for Intel Graphics lets you reach a larger audience.
In fact, the graphics engine that is built into laptops based on Intel Centrino 2 processor technology is better than you may realize. Quite simply, Intel Graphics have become a viable target for your games' minimum system requirements.
Because Intel has an obvious interest in encouraging game developers to target these systems, the company provides very extensive planning, development, and marketing help through the Intel Software Partner Program. Companies of any size can join at no cost, and the benefits are undeniable.
Integrated graphics already dominate over discrete graphics at a ratio of nearly 2:1 in terms of market segment share, and that ratio is expected to grow substantially over the next several years.
Discrete graphics will continue to be widely used as well, of course, so enabling games to scale across the spectrum from mainstream graphics to high-end discrete solutions is just good business sense.
A growing number of game companies are debunking the myth that 3D-based mainstream games require discrete graphics solutions, and as of second quarter 2008, Intel had more than a 47 percent market segment share for graphics hardware, with year-to-year growth of 46 percent.1
Scott Brown, president of NetDevil Ltd., a game-development company in Louisville Colorado, sums it up: "People with high-end machines need to see their investment pay off with our games, but at the same time, we'd be crazy not to target mainstream graphics hardware as well."
By tuning the scalable aspects of gameplay to the resources available, game companies can effectively expand their target user base, while still providing an optimal visual experience for everyone.
A number of challenges arise around targeting multiple levels of graphics hardware, and the Intel Software Partner Program is tooled up to help you meet all of them.