News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules

Author Topic: What will force developers to get game sizes under control?  (Read 2853 times)

POWCo-op

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I hope it's possible, that something will actually make this happen. It's not unheard of for PS4 games to be 60 GB. I just pulled this number out of thin air, as any one of you might have guessed  :), but it seems like they're not even trying to rein in the huge file sizes the newest games have. Hard drive sizes are getting larger, but for the time being the size of the games themselves is a problem for people who keep a large library in the current generation.
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Bonesy

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Re: What will force developers to get game sizes under control?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2019, 06:34:28 pm »
Nothing will make it happen. I've had to hold off from maybe buying Elder Scrolls Online because of insane filesizes and having an internet data cap.

POWCo-op

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Re: What will force developers to get game sizes under control?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2019, 07:00:46 pm »
Data caps are an additional thing to take into consideration. In the South where I live, it's normal to have them, even if not every region in United States has a data cap.
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Disch

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Re: What will force developers to get game sizes under control?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2019, 07:46:25 pm »
The answer to the titular question is simple:  "When people stop buying them"

Jorpho

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Re: What will force developers to get game sizes under control?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2019, 11:39:59 pm »
Hard drive sizes are getting larger, but for the time being the size of the games themselves is a problem for people who keep a large library in the current generation.
Big hard drives are cheap these days, and people are more likely to store things "in the cloud" than they are to keep a large library on hand, I suspect.
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FCandChill

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Re: What will force developers to get game sizes under control?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2019, 12:30:48 pm »
This has been going on since the dawn of computing. When hardware makes advances in size, software devs get lazier with their programming practices or make larger programs. Therefore, the software devs put pressure of the hardware devs to make advances with hardware size. Basically, it's a positive feedback loop...

A lot contributes to the large file sizes of games...
* Streamed over sequenced music. Breath of the Wild's soundtrack is 1 GB (Wii U).
* Higher resolution textures, models ect.
* Little to no compression. In other words ... laziness. This is especially prevalent for games that are digital or come on an optical
* Games insist on FMV instead of real time cutscenes. FFVII can fit on entire disk without its FMV. With it, it's split up into three discs.
* Software encryption to prevent cracking. This is important when storing your games on an SD card.

Jorpho

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Re: What will force developers to get game sizes under control?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2019, 02:03:06 pm »
* Little to no compression. In other words ... laziness.
I'd hardy call a lack of compression "lazy".  Less compression often means higher fidelity, i.e. by avoiding lossy algorithms.  It can also mean more graceful recovery in the event that some of the data becomes corrupted, but that seems unlikely.

But I certainly will agree that space constraints have in the past led developers to find creative solutions that in turn led to original design choices they never would have made if they had practically unlimited space to begin with.
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FAST6191

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Re: What will force developers to get game sizes under control?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2019, 02:21:16 pm »
I don't know that I am seeing devs spunk space away like it is nothing because it is nothing on their dev machines, at least not enough to properly complain.

We have long since departed the "every byte matters" approaches occasionally seen on the NES and such. I am not clamouring for those days though for while housing a few unrelated concepts in the same byte and doing a bit of masking magic every time I want to use it is amusing at first it loses its charm very quickly.

Earlier in the PS3 lifetime we saw a bit of a fad for uncompressed music. Similarly software patents *spits* mean some formats that might do better are not favoured by a given dev; there is a reason you might fish out patent free/royalty free formats like ogg vorbis which may not be as shiny rather than the even easier to make mpeg4/aac/mp3/... formats. As far as streaming vs sequenced then they are two rather different art styles with their own quirks**, the latter despite being smaller can also be a nightmare to implement.

**think I can do 3d models all day long, get me to do 2d sprite work... cold sweat time -- I have seen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lemming_animation.gif and can explain why the second is better to a degree but implementing it for my own work is a whole other game.

Procedurally generated/mathematically generated textures is a fascinating concept ( http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=12036 ) but we are quite far from hitting a limit where it becomes truly useful. I would not mind seeing some people explore it a bit more, or use it to "boost detail" as it were but eh.

Textures themselves... if you double the resolution you quadruple the space required. Some of the optional texture pack things from a few years back got a bit silly but they were optional. Wind in some of the shader stuff and ? mapping techniques popular nowadays and it is even more fun. If everything wants a texture nowadays rather than simple material colours and a few light effects then that could also get fun.

Re:"Software encryption to prevent cracking."
Some of the PC stuff maybe ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gcG3HPIlj4 ) but most stuff is in place and thus sizes remain identical as far as games go. Unless you want to get particularly technical with the Wii scrubbing, xbox padding, some aspects of xbox 360 GOD/JTAG/RGH vs disc stuff or 3ds XORpad stuff, none of which really matter if you expect you will have a properly hacked machine to play with (we are on a ROM hacking forum)

Cutscenes rather than FMV. A stylistic choice from where I sit. Continuing from the software patents *spits again* thing from above I am told it is also why a lot of Japanese text adventure/visual novels use the ancient MPG video format, to the point of taking up possibly more than all the other assets, when far better choices are available.

On compression. Almost always a trade off between storage space and time needed to decode it, the exceptions tending to be for massive but repetitive files, especially where they are on slow media, most of which doesn't happen these days. With a trend towards continuous levels as well... if we are talking lossy compression then I will skip that one for the sake of civility.


Future predictions. With current trends towards machine learning and streaming of content into memory then it might become a fight between texture artists, level designers and AI designers needing massive lookup tables. Animations might increase a bit but at the same time more procedural or evolutions of rag doll into something more usable or physics based will probably kneecap that before it gets too far.
Audio and video I don't see being a problem -- an hour long 7.1 uncompressed flac encoded symphony is still next to nothing in the grand scheme of things these days. Even if we insist on going to 4k or, worse, 8k video then a vaguely sensible codec and rate should be available for anything that can consider playing it back in real time. Then again software patents...

Chronosplit

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Re: What will force developers to get game sizes under control?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2019, 03:38:24 pm »
Game download size is one of the reasons why streaming is being proposed nowadays, so... they'll probably get bigger.  Space gets ever cheaper nowadays, so the main issue is internet speed.

Which is why I haven't closely looked at a new AAA game for a long time, honestly.  60GB is a little less than 3 days straight of hogging everyone's internet to the point of near-unusability for me.