Checking Object performance in Trove
Lots of people have the general misconception that voxel games are simple and should be able to run on any system. The truth however is that there are major calculations being done behind the scenes for games of this type. Keeping track of hundreds of thousands of voxels, their position in the world, and how they are manipulated can get hefty.
The more voxels you have, the more you need to keep track of and the slower the game gets. As a result, Trove has a system that basically combines voxels into a single block if they share the same color to cut down on cost.
Here, we are going to learn to apply some of this basic knowledge to our Trove creations.
If you are making a cornerstone prop that is a single cube like this, the way you use color matters a lot.
If you take this knowledge into consideration, you can see rather quickly how making any object with noise or lots of random color variation can become expensive. This doesn't mean never do it, but it does mean that color variation should be used in a smart way keeping to solid colors and light gradients.
The shading on the chains on the right would still be accepted but it is important to know that they will cost more in game. Imagine connecting hundreds of these together until you could notice the game slowing down. The chains on the right would cause a slowdown much faster than the chains on the left and the difference visually is negligible. The chains on the left may even read better once a metal material is applied.
Materials and Lighting in game
Keep in mind that there isn't much need to "fake" highlights and shadow on an object because Trove has various material types and lighting that take care of those once the object is in game. This is why it's important to preview your object in the metaforge. You may find that using the right materials will give a much cleaner look above trying to fake it on the model itself.
Performance in Meta Forge
When you bring an object/lair/dungeon into the MF you can easily check it's performance using the Elements label in the upper left corner
This is how you are going to check if your object works well performance wise. Your goal is to keep the number green, but remember that this doesn't include what the vertex count of the world around it in game will be so keep it as low as possible!
What to take away
The major things that have been stressed in Trove Creations is that solid colors are used the most and light gradients are acceptable when needed but try to keep away from using noise as a way to "fill up space" honestly, most solid colors come across very will in game once they have materials and lighting applied. Try to take advantage of all the rendering abilities Trove has to offer before adding more variation to a dungeon wall or a cornerstone asset.
Try not to go too far in the other direction though either. We want things to stay interesting! Gradients are fine, noise used in the right context and small amounts is fine too but the key things for both Trove visual direction AND performance are solid colors and use of the material maps we create.