Back in the day when I was an 8-bit games coder, I used to play a game called Paradroid, and remember reading an interview with the author who described how he managed to create the impression of hundreds of robots in his game by simply removing them when they left the edge of the scrolling view and adding them when they entered the zone. Simple stuff, but life lessons like that stick when you are young and form the brain that later goes on to create programming languages for fun and profit.
"image copyright the respective owner(s)"
I can confess I spent many hours playing this game, and also confess that I never completed it. One of the reasons is that the ship was MASSIVE and you only had one life as I recall. No save game positions back then ;)
I can gladly report that this little pearl of wisdom is now added to my instance stamp system which only creates buffers when the instance in question is in view. Here is a shot of the prototype right now:
At the moment it creates the buffers, but does not delete them so you can see what it looks like as I wondered around. My next step is to delete buffers that are entirely outside the camera view zone, and place them in an inert state. No sense deleting the buffer from memory as I will only be creating one of the same size as I advance into new territory. The buffer count should even out after a few minutes of game play and we can finally see the memory usage for basic geometry.
Once again, if programmer art and uninspiring screen shots are giving you cause to doubt reality as you know it, please disregard, they are going to be replaced with new geometry, new textures and new shaders. It's all smoke and mirrors these days!
Had another conference call today to add to the Ultimate Coder Hangout call from yesterday so I can hopefully post a link to that hangout video soon. Not too many email distractions today which was welcome. Also had a steak dinner which was a nice treat for me and one of the reasons I look forward to every other Thursday ;) Should have this Paradroid System complete by Friday night!