How to Optimize Textures in Your Farming Simulator Mod for Gaming

By Jason van Gumster, Christian Ammann

Because you’re creating these 3D assets and textures in Farming Simulator for a video game mod, you should make sure you’re making the most efficient use of memory, hard drive space, and computer processing power. Specific to GIANTS Engine and Farming Simulator, two optimizations for textures go the furthest in terms of maintaining good gameplay performance:

  • Choose the right-sized texture for the job. This optimization doesn’t just pertain to obvious things, like avoiding the use of a 2,048×2,048 pixel texture on a stone that, in-game, is never larger than half a meter. But some texture types also don’t require as much detail.

    For instance, specular maps can often be large flat colors. You may be able to get away with an image that’s half the size of your diffuse texture for the same object.

  • Use DirectDraw Surface (DDS) as thedeliverablefile format when you release your mod. Although the DDS format uses a lossy compression algorithm that isn’t ideal for regular editing, it is optimized for computer video hardware, and DDS files are typically much smaller than PNGs.

Although programs like Blender, Maya, and 3ds Max have no problem working with DDS files, your typical 2D image editor doesn’t have native support for them. In fact, for Photoshop, you need to download a specialized plugin that allows Photoshop to read and write DDS files. Fortunately, it’s free. You can get this plugin from the Nvidia website. Go to the site and click on the link for Nvidia Gameworks.

When that page loads, look for a menu labeled Tools. Click on it and choose the Texture Tools for Adobe Photoshop link.

Download and install the plugin on your computer. It should work just fine with the latest Photoshop CC and as far back as Photoshop 5.0. After you have the plugin installed, you can use Photoshop to convert all of your project PNG textures to DDS format prior to releasing your mod. This also gets rid of a few annoying warnings when you load your mod in GIANTS Editor.

After you convert your textures to DDS, you don’t need to make sure your mod points to the DDS files instead of the PNGs. Both GIANTS Engine and GIANTS Editor automatically look in the same folder as your PNG and to see whether a corresponding DDS file exists as well.