I happened to have installed three different games with basically the same car Saleen S7 modeled in them, so it was an opportunity not to miss to compare the models to each other. The games are SimBin’s GTR 2 (2006), Eden Games’ Test Drive Unlimited (2007) and Codemasters’ Race Driver: GRID (2008). It’s interesting to notice, how in span of three years polycount has dramatically increased, but also how different approaches developers have on modeling basically identical shapes. Polycount doesn’t include interior so that models would be more comparable in that way.
All this got me thinking if in the future, where there are no performance issues related to polygons any more, there will be a culture of sharing art assets used in games between the developers. In that way, developers could co-operate by licensing the same basic shapes (like S7 for instance) and there wouldn’t be a need to start every model from scratch. Understandably 3D models have to be currently designed from ground up into every particular context of use in order to optimize the performance. Obviously there are subcontractors easing developers’ workload already, but I’m talking about universal sharing and licensing system which isn’t, at least to my knowledge, there yet.
Notice the evolution of the tail lights, and different kind of ▸trianglization in the GTR 2 model.