Recently, I received an e-mail from someone who asked me several very interesting questions regarding Yandere Simulator. I tried my best to give them the most thorough and informative responses I could muster. I think it’s possible that many people would be interested in hearing my answers to those questions, so I’ve decided to share my answers in a blog post. But, before I do that, I’ll give you a quick update on the game’s development:
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All of the scripting work that needs to be done for the intro cutscene is finished; the only things that remain are the background music and a few animation adjustments. While waiting for those assets to be delivered, I’ve been working on the “Mysterious Obstacle” – a character who is integral to Osana’s week. This character involves a lot of scripted events with Osana, voiced lines, and traits/behaviors that no other character has possessed. It’s very fun to work on this character! Additionally, it feels great to finally be working on Osana again!
Some time ago, I created a checklist naming the features that I felt were necessary before I should shift my focus back to Osana. You’ll notice that “Stable Framerate” and “Save/Load system” haven’t been checked off the list yet, yet I’m working on Osana anyway. Why’s that?
In the case of saving/loading, it’s easy to explain. It’s smarter to implement a save/load system after the game contains all of the data that it’ll need to be saving/loading; in other words, I shouldn’t implement a save/load system until after Osana has already been implemented.
However, in the case of the “Stable Framerate” task, it’s a lot harder to determine exactly when to put a checkmark there. That’s actually one of the things I talked about with the person who e-mailed me. Click “Continue Reading” to hear what they asked, and how I responded:
Here’s what my YouTube analytics page says for my demographics in the year 2019:
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The 18~24 age group, 24~34 age group, and 35~44 age group are all larger than the 13~17 age group.
“One only needs to look towards your YouTube’s comment section to understand that your fanbase has a largely young following due to content creators that play[ed] Yandere Simulator.”
You’re right, certain content creators with young audiences have directed a lot of attention towards Yandere Simulator, which has had a noticeable influence on the comment sections of my videos. People in the 13~17 age group are probably over-represented in my comment sections, compared to people in the 18~44 age group. However, I don’t think that this is an accurate way to gauge the age of the fanbase as a whole.
“do you firmly believe Yandere Simulator should not be played/supported by those under the age of 18 due to the nature of the game?”
If Yandere Simulator was rated by the ESRB, it would doubtlessly receive an “M for Mature” rating for Blood/Gore and Intense Violence. It has always bothered me to see children under 18 playing M-rated games. It doesn’t feel right to me. Personally, I feel that Yandere Simulator shouldn’t be played by children.
“Regardless, it’s understandable that even with an age gate, children will still be able get around restrictions and play the game.”
True. It’s a fact of life.
“do you still plan on trying to improve the framerate to the best of your ability before checking it off from the demo checklist?”
This is a complex subject that deserves its own 10-minute video. I want to create an entire video communicating all of this information with motion graphics and character illustrations, but here’s the short version:
- There was a point in time, around 5 years ago, when I stated that my intention was to optimize Yandere Simulator so that it was capable of running at 60 FPS on low-end computers. Specifically, I used the word “toaster” as shorthand for “low-end computer”. As the years have passed, it has become increasingly apparent that this goal is incompatible with Yandere Sim’s design. It’s simply not feasible to build a graphically intensive and processor-heavy game that can be played at max settings on a toaster.
- You may look at Yandere Simulator and say, “This game doesn’t look graphically intensive at all!” but this judgement would be made in error. A significant number of Yandere Simulator’s aspects are actually very taxing for a graphics card. Creating an exhaustive list of all these aspects would be very time-consuming, so I’m not going to provide a list here, but you should not under-estimate how graphically intensive the game actually is.
- You may look at Yandere Simulator and say, “this game doesn’t look processor-heavy at all!” but this conclusion would most likely be born from a lack of awareness of Yandere Simulator’s true complexity. By running the Unity Profiler, I can see what aspects of the game are currently taking up the most processing time; those aspects are pathfinding, physics operations, character animations, updates to the game’s UI, and various checks that each student has to perform on a frequent basis. Despite its outwards appearance, Yandere Simulator is actually a deeply complex game, and is performing thousands of complicated operations on every frame.
- I’ve heard from numerous people that Yandere Simulator’s framerate is only “bad” at the very beginning of the day, when 90+ characters are onscreen simultaneously, and the entire school is in view. In that situation, I’m personally getting 30 FPS. When the player actually walks into the school, much less is being rendered, and the framerate improves drastically. For me, the framerate jumps up to around 50~60 FPS when I’m inside of the school. This is an extremely clear indication that rendering characters/environments is one of the most significant factors that is making a dent on the framerate, and that the framerate is actually only “bad” in one hyper-specific scenario (viewing 90 characters and the entire school simultaneously).
- If you are playing any game and getting a low framerate, the solution is to lower the graphical settings. This has been an aspect of PC gaming for decades. It’s something I had to do personally when I was a child, and it’s something that the current generation has to do, too.
- If someone says that the game has a “low framerate”, my question is – for who? And by whose standard? The framerate definitely isn’t low for all the YouTubers who play it at a smooth, consistent 60 FPS. For me, the framerate is 30 FPS at the absolute lowest (in one hyper-specific scenario) and is 50~60 the majority of the time. Also, my computer isn’t even very good; it’s actually a pretty old and outdated computer. The only times I’ve ever heard someone complain that Yandere Sim has a low framerate, the complaints were coming from a young child who was attempting to play the game on a $200 laptop they got for Christmas. I cannot devote myself to catering towards that demographic.
- Yandere Simulator’s reputation as a game with a low framerate was probably earned during 2016, when my average framerate was 12 FPS. The game hasn’t had that low of a framerate in an extremely long time, so the reputation of a low framerate is no longer justified.
- Over the past 12 months, I have gradually been making minor optimizations to the game. Saving 1 FPS here, 1 FPS there. These small improvements have built up over time. Although the differences are imperceptible from one build to the next, you should see a significant improvement if you compare the Yandere Sim of 2019 to the Yandere Sim of 2018.
- I already know of a few further ways to further optimize the game and improve the framerate, and I am planning to implement those improvements in the near future, before the Osana demo.
- In summary: Yandere Simulator’s current framerate is significantly better than it was in the past, it runs fine on a true gaming rig, it currently meets my personal standards on my crappy computer, and I still plan to optimize the game even further. However, if anyone is experiencing a severely low framerate, this is a clear indication that they are playing the game on a toaster that can’t run any modern game with a comparable level of complexity. The solution is to either lower the graphical settings or upgrade the computer, which all PC gamers have had to do for decades.
“Lastly, could you elaborate on the indirect comparison you made between Yandere Simulator being as graphically intensive as a modern game like Far Cry 5.”
I wasn’t stating that Yandere Simulator is directly equivalent to Far Cry 5. I was stating that some games have a level of graphical intensity and complexity that are incompatible with toaster-level computers, and used Far Cry 5 as an example.
“And is it still too early to provide a minimum system requirements list for Yandere Simulator?”
I’m sorry, it’s still too early for that.
Because I wrote my response in a question-and-answer format, it kinda looks like an interview, doesn’t it?
One thing I forgot to mention is that Yandere Simulator’s school isn’t one complete model; it’s actually hundreds of individual models. (Each floor/wall/ceiling/window/door is a separate model.) This is because I’m still re-sizing hallways and re-arranging rooms. One of the reasons why it’s graphically intensive to render the school is because your graphics card is rendering hundreds of models instead of one. Once the school’s layout is complete, it will be converted into one complete model, and then the framerate will improve. So, attempting to judge the game’s framerate at this point in time is actually kind of foolish, since the framerate you’re seeing now is not at all indicative of what the final framerate is going to be like.
This e-mail provided me with an opportunity to put a lot of thoughts into writing; thoughts that I’ve wanted to express for a long time, but never really had an occasion to do so. It’s likely that most of the above text about the game’s framerate is going to make it into a video sometime in the near future, either in July or August. Consider this post to be a sneak-preview of an upcoming video!
On a side note…by pure coincidence, while I was writing this blog post, a Unity developer contacted me and offered me words of advice that could improve the game’s framerate. I took his advice, and sure enough, the game’s framerate went up! Doubtlessly, it won’t be the last optimization I make before the Osana demo is released!
Thanks for your time, and thank you for following the development of Yandere Simulator!