Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.  • Help
SMF Underground
+ SHMUP-DEV » SHMUP DEV FORUMS » Business and Marketing
|-+ Download size?

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Topic Tools  
Read December 30, 2005, 10:13:25 AM #0
Matt McFarland

Download size?

I would like to point out that I plan on having a very nice sound-track for my game.  lots of music, lots of songs, and I was wondering if you guys think that if the download is aroudn 60mb would it hurt your sales?  Is it really important to have a fastly downloaded game?


<a href="http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf" target="_blank">http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf</a>
Offline  
Read December 30, 2005, 10:18:11 AM #1
paladin

Re: Download size?

nowadays most everyone has high speed so I wouldn't worry about anything under 100 - 200 megs. You gotta draw the line somewhere.  if you're still concerned maybe you could offer the music as a downloadable addon.


needs more particles...
Offline  
Read December 30, 2005, 10:33:02 AM #2
TopHat Stuff

Re: Download size?

It can depend on your audience.

If (like me) you have an old PC and therefore can target people with really old PCs, then you may expect less people to have faster internet. Also, 200 megs even uncompressed is a lot of room on a 20GB hard drive.

If you have a faster PC and expect people with newer PCs to be the ones to download your game, then a big file size wouldn't matter because they'll have huge hard drives and fast broadband.

So, really, I'd analyse my audience first and decide. Research people's PC power and internet speed.


http://www.tophatstuff.co.uk
Omnircron - our 3D FPS WIP

Logo thingie in my avitar is copyright Wink
Offline  
Read December 30, 2005, 10:57:53 AM #3
paladin

Re: Download size?

good post.  i was thinking also you could offer two downloadable versions... one with high quality (44khz) music/sfx and one with 22kz?


needs more particles...
Offline  
Read December 30, 2005, 10:59:22 AM #4
Matt McFarland

Re: Download size?

My only concern with having seperate versinos is how that would work on portals.  I havent seen multiple versions of the same game on one portal. 


<a href="http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf" target="_blank">http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf</a>
Offline  
Read December 30, 2005, 01:02:03 PM #5
joe

Re: Download size?

What about fasttracker mods, so you can have a lot of music without a lot of space (for example you can make multiple songs with the same samples).


Jochen Heizmann, Germany
Absolute Blue - Side-Scrolling Shoot'em'up-Game
www.intermediaware.com
Offline  
Read December 30, 2005, 01:26:55 PM #6
Nexic

Re: Download size?

I wouldn't release anything over 20mb at the moment. I'm sure you could have a successful game with more than that, but the higher you go, the less downloads you will get. You can either have your music in MOD/XM format (though that will be hard with BlitzMax), or you could have lots of songs, but keep each one to a short loop.
Offline  
Read December 31, 2005, 05:47:40 PM #7
oddbob

Re: Download size?

I wouldn't release anything over 20mb at the moment. I'm sure you could have a successful game with more than that, but the higher you go, the less downloads you will get. You can either have your music in MOD/XM format (though that will be hard with BlitzMax), or you could have lots of songs, but keep each one to a short loop.

Yuppers, 20meg is a nice reasonable figure - if your games worth it then 56k'ers won't object too much to downloading it and Broadbanders will have it down in a snatch.

The important question I always find its best to ask is, if I pad my game out with all this stuff - is it really necessary?

I've got a pretty fast Broadband connection, but I still felt cheated after downloading Silver Wing because it was probably 5meg of game, if that, and the rest was nothing but timewasting bloat. And to top it all off with a not especially good game its a poor show and will make me wary of trying anything else they produce in case its just some more bloated rubbish.

If you're going to go over the 20meg mark, then there has to be a good reason for it IMO - and 40megs worth of mp3's for example isn't a good reason - especially when, as Nexic and Joe have pointed out there's always MOD files (or XM, IT whatever your favourite modtracker outputs) or .ogg files to drastically reduce your file size. Even 40meg worth of any other media it better be a damn fine game to justify the download time and (more importantly to me) the space it will take up on my hard drive. As Nexic rightly points out, the bigger your game gets, the more potential for losing downloads you'll have.

If you feel that you couldn't possibly manage your game without reaching 60meg (ie - lots of 3d media, *essential* soundfiles etc...) then you either a) haven't got much choice but to throw caution to the wind and pray your games good enough, or b) you haven't really thought it through properly.

Textures shouldn't really be more than 256x256 to maximise compatibility with most video cards (and you can still be playful with stuff without fearing too much tearing if you're smart), mp3's can have their sizes reduced by compressing to .ogg files, same for sound effects and of course, MOD/IT/XM is ideal if you can track yourself or know a good tracker and I've yet to see an indie game that really needs video footage or is in anyway enhanced by the use of video footage. Smiley



Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.
Offline  
Read December 31, 2005, 09:40:19 PM #8
Nexic

Re: Download size?

Quote
mp3's can have their sizes reduced by compressing to .ogg files

I was under the impression that ogg was actually slightly larger than mp3? I thought the only reason people used it instead of mp3 was because you have the pay a huge license fee to use it where as ogg is free.
Offline  
Read December 31, 2005, 09:43:18 PM #9
Matt McFarland

Re: Download size?

ogg can be smaller than mp3 but not by much at all.  Honestly the way you have a small ogg file is you lower the bitrate to something like 96 or so.  Makes the sound quality worse but then you can have more songs. 


<a href="http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf" target="_blank">http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf</a>
Offline  
Read December 31, 2005, 10:38:31 PM #10
oddbob

Re: Download size?

The Ogg Vorbis compression is a lot better than an mp3's, meaning a per meg comparable file in Ogg Vorbis will surpass the quality of an mp3 - which of course, means you can afford to reduce the encoding rate further (and by default - the filesize) than you would an mp3 - obviously, you're never going to compete with a tracker file, but licensing issues aside - because you can afford to compress further and the quality loss will never be as great as that you'd suffer with an mp3 - .ogg makes more sense.

Or, to put it slightly less wordily - .ogg sounds much better at lower bitrates Cheesy







Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.
Offline  
Read December 31, 2005, 10:41:41 PM #11
Matt McFarland

Re: Download size?

Excellent.. I use ogg with my game.. I also ogg my wav files to save space..

I'll try to keep the size of my game very minimal.  I am not good with trackers and bmax does not come with xm support so I'll be using ogg music files.. I wanted to have 20 different songs, but I guess that isnt going to happen.. Sad  Oh well that's not a big deal is it..


<a href="http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf" target="_blank">http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf</a>
Offline  
Read December 31, 2005, 10:45:10 PM #12
oddbob

Re: Download size?

I'm up to 5 or 6 full length pieces in mine so far, and with the multitude of unpacked media and at the moment uncompressed sound effects (of which there's quite a lot) and I've just hit 14 meg. So, don't give up hope just yet Smiley

*edit* I expect that file size to drop drastically once the animations are packed properly and the sfx ogged also, giving me room to add more tunes Smiley


Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.
Offline  
Read January 01, 2006, 03:37:44 AM #13
Dakurv

Re: Download size?

What about fasttracker mods, so you can have a lot of music without a lot of space (for example you can make multiple songs with the same samples).

how about 320x240    256 dithered colors graphics ?   Smiley      Thats how it sounds to someone who does music.

Its time to go foward people. Only use the best stuff , but use it responsibly Wink  I have seen lots of games with ogg music that were kept under 10 megs. My own game Lumixed use .ogg tunes and internet radio feeds to keep the download minimal. We have 3 .ogg tracks that total about 12 minutes of music and we have the internet feeds for non stop ever changing music mix. The whole game is about 12 megs.
Offline  
Read January 02, 2006, 11:46:51 AM #14
joe

Re: Download size?

You can either have your music in MOD/XM format (though that will be hard with BlitzMax)

You should take a look at the BASS Lib from Un4Seen (www.un4seen.com). It's similar to FMOD and you can use it easily from within BlitzMax. For shareware authors the multiple product license only costs around 100$.


Jochen Heizmann, Germany
Absolute Blue - Side-Scrolling Shoot'em'up-Game
www.intermediaware.com
Offline  
Read January 02, 2006, 04:04:19 PM #15
Olofson

Re: Download size?

What about fasttracker mods, so you can have a lot of music without a lot of space (for example you can make multiple songs with the same samples).

how about 320x240    256 dithered colors graphics ?   Smiley      Thats how it sounds to someone who does music.
Cheesy
Well, you're right. Even though some modern trackers are rather advanced, it's still too much like using a sampler with little more than plain samples, no reverb or other FX and hard 16ths quantization of everything, IMHO. Besides, I prefer to play stuff on my master keyboard and just do some minor editing and copy/pasting - and have yet to see a tracker that supports that style of working in any useful way. After I switched to MIDI sequencers + synths, there was no going back.

However, with the kind of CPU power any reasonably modern PC has, I don't get why it has to be like this. Studio quality DSP still burns humonguous amounts of CPU power, but most things that your average h/w studio synth does can be done pretty well on a modern general purpose CPU at minimal cost - and every instrument in a song doesn't have to be done with real time virtual analog modular synthesis! Sampleplayer voices with basic modulation capabilities are very cheap (they're memory bound unless you're using a rather advanced interpolator), and 12 dB/oct resonant filters are even cheaper.

So, I started hacking Audiality. Wink (Actually, Audiality "just happened", pretty much by accident. Needs some serious refactoring, but I intend to use it in this year's releases.)


//David
Offline  
Read January 05, 2006, 05:53:54 AM #16
joe

Re: Download size?

how about 320x240    256 dithered colors graphics ?   Smiley      Thats how it sounds to someone who does music.

I dont agree. Probably your right for a traditional musician but not for a computer games musician. The computer game musician is responsible to make the best expierence for the player he can do. And if he has only a few MBs space (too keep the download size low, some portals only acceppt games under 20 MB) he should decide if he goes for OGG/MP3 and have the most freedom to create his work but only can use a few minutes of music (which is getting boring and repetive) or to use MOD/XM/IT which is more difficult to create but he can also put more songs / more minutes in it or a lot of variants of the same song (for different parts of the game).

In a way of interactivity you can do a lot more with XM/IT/MOD than with OGG because you can mute tracks from within the game or you can easily jump to different patterns to create some kind of interactive music.

I think for every project you should carefully decide with which format you'll go.



Jochen Heizmann, Germany
Absolute Blue - Side-Scrolling Shoot'em'up-Game
www.intermediaware.com
Offline  
Read January 05, 2006, 08:54:15 AM #17
Indiepath

Re: Download size?

Personally, if something is over 10MB then you can forget it. I think I might be persuaded to download something around the 15MB size if it's sold to me really well. As a developer myself I can't help thinking that large files are a result of laziness. If the developer could not be bothered to compress and optimise stuff then what else did they not bother to do?





www.pjio.com - Upload, Tag, Share and Play.
Offline  
Read January 05, 2006, 03:35:58 PM #18
2dguy

Re: Download size?

"Yuppers, 20meg is a nice reasonable figure..."
"nowadays most everyone has high speed so I wouldn't worry about anything under 100 - 200 megs...."
"...if the download is around 60mb would it hurt your sales..."

er..uh...I...jeesh... wtf....I'm lost for words....

"Personally, if something is over 10MB then you can forget it." This statement is correct in so many ways.
Offline  
Read January 05, 2006, 05:36:08 PM #19
oddbob

Re: Download size?

Personally, if something is over 10MB then you can forget it. I think I might be persuaded to download something around the 15MB size if it's sold to me really well. As a developer myself I can't help thinking that large files are a result of laziness. If the developer could not be bothered to compress and optimise stuff then what else did they not bother to do?

Does anyone actually really honestly care aside from other developers? Really, does Mrs Smith at Number 10 think to herself - thats over 10 meg, it better be optimised and compressed or there'll be trouble?

I think not Wink

Someone on 56k or PAYG dialup might look at the file size first then b0rk if its too large, but providing the game justifies the size (and thats the crucial bit) is it really worth quibbling over a few meg? Personally, I think not. Evidently, judging by the number 1 game on Reflexive at the moment being 15meg, the public aren't that fascistic about it either.

Its very easy when developing things to get wrapped up in optimising things, compressing this, compressing that and setting yourself absurd limits *or* assuming that everyone writes games in languages without initial overheads. What really matters is the quality of your game as a package surely?

Given the fact that no matter how curmudgeonly you are or how fascistic you set your own file limits, 20 meg *isn't* a very large figure these days. Personally, I wouldn't go over it - but I have absolutely no qualms whatsoever with sitting somewhere between 10 and 20 - and why should I? I can optimise to the <n>th degree, I can pack all my media down, but if it means compromising my own artistic vision or effecting the final quality of the game to get it under 10 meg, it isn't going to happen. Sorry Cheesy


Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.
Offline  
Read January 05, 2006, 11:15:20 PM #20
2dguy

Re: Download size?

"but providing the game justifies the size..."

And that's the key. Galaga, Asteroids clones, do not justify the download size if they are anywhere near the 10 meg download in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, some amazing 2D shooter that is truly AMAZING can afford to be a massive download, but for the other 99% of us writing casual shooters, the smaller download means more downloads, better profits, lower overhead, etc.
Offline  
Read January 06, 2006, 03:10:42 AM #21
oddbob

Re: Download size?

Well, quite - even I'd find it incredibly difficult to justify anything 5meg+ (allowing for package overheads) for a Galaga clone - although I did once do an Asteroids clone running in at around 15meg but in my defence, I was deliberately taking the mick.

But I do take issue with anyone who automatically assumes >10meg=bloat, yes, there's probably more Indie games out there that could trim the fat off, remove the excess (see my previous comments on video files, there's just no need, ever) and could be around the 8-10meg mark, maybe less, than there is that are as tight as can be - but its not something I'd automatically assume because some of us do put an exceptional amount of time and effort into cramming as much into as small a file size as possible. Sometimes, its just not possible to fit everything you want thats appropriate to the game into such a restriction.

I guess I just prefer to judge on the game, rather than the filesize and I don't like to assume anything automatically. I've downloaded 2 meg games which I've felt are a waste of bandwidth and space, and I've downloaded 60 meg games that have been pretty incredible. Sadly, it also works vice versa. However, a crap game is a crap game to me regardless of size Smiley

I also feel its probably necessary to point out at this point that I don't develop games for money, nor do I have any interest in doing so - so, to a degree - I'm part of the market not the problem. What I make, I make and issue for free - as does my compadre. Of course, the fact that we both give our games away doesn't automatically mean we don't put as much time and effort (and in many cases of some of the utter rubbish shareware I've downloaded the demo's of, evidently more) into making something that fits into a reasonable file size with as much goodness as we can cram in.

But then, having said all that, I am a bit odd by name, odd by nature. I refuse to download video's of games in action as I don't see the point in wasting my time on a rolling demo, especially when someones asking me to download a 12meg .avi of a 5meg game in action - I prefer screenshots or something I can play.

So, as you say, what it essentially boils down to is, if your game is going to be <x> megs, then make the game worth the time I've spent downloading it and I'll be a happy bunny - but don't bloat it out simply because you can because there's nothing more blatantly obviously amateur looking than an overly bloated package and that will hurt your sales - be it 1meg of game in 10meg of download or 10meg of game in 60meg of download Smiley


Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.
Offline  
Read January 06, 2006, 02:21:30 PM #22
Matt McFarland

Re: Download size?

I'm using a lot fo highly detailed backrounds that are in PNG format. and high quality WAV sound effects.  My game isn't nearly done and it already takes up 5 megs.  But nothing is compressed, so I think that once I compress everything I should be good. Do I need to turn WAV to OGG if I plan on compressing ALL media into a PAK file?


<a href="http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf" target="_blank">http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf</a>
Offline  
Read January 06, 2006, 04:40:19 PM #23
paladin

Re: Download size?

i'm with you oddbob - you have to draw the line somewhere.  trading off quality for file size is just wrong.  if devs keep trying to lower file sizes in order to please casual gamers, then sub-par games are going to continue to be released.

"hey I could convert this .bmp to a .jpg and save 2 megs!"

no.  please don't allow your desires for the bling bling affect the quality of your games.  leave that to the publishers.  stay focused and don't lose track of what you originally envisioned.


needs more particles...
Offline  
Read January 06, 2006, 06:35:29 PM #24
2dguy

Re: Download size?

Quite frankly speaking, is anyone here:

Selling a game....AND

The download size is over 8mb....AND

Selling more than 10-20 a month?

Just curious....
Offline  
Read January 06, 2006, 06:30:48 PM #25
Matt McFarland

Re: Download size?

Quite frankly speaking, is anyone here:

Selling a game....AND

The download size is over 8mb....AND

Selling more than 10-20 a month?

Just curious....

I would like to hear this too..


<a href="http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf" target="_blank">http://www.mattmcfarland.com/flash/myFlashSig.swf</a>
Offline  
Read January 07, 2006, 07:53:59 AM #26
Indiepath

Re: Download size?

Yes, it's 8.5Mb but it's not a Shmup!




www.pjio.com - Upload, Tag, Share and Play.
Offline  
Read January 07, 2006, 08:35:45 PM #27
Nexic

Re: Download size?

Well all my games are over 8  and are selling more per month than that. Though they arent much bigger than that.
Offline  
Read January 16, 2006, 01:06:26 PM #28
d000hg

Re: Download size?

I'd go with 10-20Mb as a nice maximum size. For a demo at least - once people have played a small download and liked it they're way more likley to spend a while downloading the 100Mb full product.
Music as a separate addon is also a good idea - just have 2 tracks initially and then they can download more.

Reducing bitrate for the demo is also a good idea as already discussed.
Offline  
Read January 16, 2006, 02:06:58 PM #29
Edge

Re: Download size?

For a early 80's clone game I would only download it at a maximum of 10 MB
And for shoot'em ups with more levels 20MB is the dead line for me...

Depending on how good the game seems to be, I could make an exception...

There may be lots of people who think different about size maximums, that depends on for whom you create this game.

Anyway, I just wanted to throw in my personal download limits.  Smiley
« Last Edit: January 16, 2006, 02:10:35 PM by Edge »
Offline  
Read January 17, 2006, 06:39:28 AM #30
d000hg

Re: Download size?

And hiogh-speed internet is definitely NOT so common as suggested. I'm on dialup and in the UK for instance so are lots of people. And the kind who want to play older/simpler game genres like shmups may well be kids whose parents don't have broadband, or a more casual market...
Offline  
Read January 17, 2006, 09:07:15 AM #31
princec

Re: Download size?

Er, why are you still on dialup in the UK? It costs more than broadband now.

Cas Smiley
Offline  
Read January 17, 2006, 11:06:31 AM #32
d000hg

Re: Download size?

How much is broadband then? I spent about 8 on internet calls last month.
Offline  
Read January 17, 2006, 01:19:54 PM #33
princec

Re: Download size?

About 14.99 a month. And so worth it compared to dialup. Besides - don't you have to pay an ISP subscription fee as well as the cost of the calls these days?

Cas Smiley
Offline  
Read January 17, 2006, 04:24:49 PM #34
oNyx

Re: Download size?

What about fasttracker mods, so you can have a lot of music without a lot of space (for example you can make multiple songs with the same samples).

how about 320x240    256 dithered colors graphics ?   Smiley      Thats how it sounds to someone who does music.
[...]

That comparison is somewhat odd. "How about procedural textures?" would fit better and there is nothing wrong with that except the lack of standarized formats (and tools) and increased loading time.

Tracker formats are somewhat inflexible, but its alright for pumping synthetic music, which is often used in video games (and imo it fits very well).

[...]
In a way of interactivity you can do a lot more with XM/IT/MOD than with OGG because you can mute tracks from within the game or you can easily jump to different patterns to create some kind of interactive music.
[...]

It also works the other way around. Like you can easily sync the game with the music.
Offline  
Read January 17, 2006, 08:50:01 PM #35
d000hg

Re: Download size?

No subscription no. 14.99 seems quite a bit more than 8!
Offline  
Read January 17, 2006, 09:31:44 PM #36
princec

Re: Download size?

Well, look - you must be so totally broke you can barely afford a computer let alone teh intarweb so you're not going to be buying any games are ya? Which would mean that you're probably not part of the target demographic and even a 20 byte demo isn't going to see you reach for the wallet, hehe  evil1

Cas Smiley
Offline  
Read January 18, 2006, 10:55:19 AM #37
d000hg

Re: Download size?

Good point! My games purchases are normally of older games for 5 - and interstingly idie games are normally more expensive than bargain-basement copies of 2-year-old DoomIII. For me , buying an indie game would be pretty expensive!
Offline  
Read January 18, 2006, 01:35:31 PM #38
princec

Re: Download size?

That's why we've got to ensure that our games give the punters something that the big studios will never produce, and that they're ultraconvenient to download. I can't see you downloading Doom3 on a modem, hehe! But then again, I can't see me getting off my sorry arse to drive all the way into Taunton to fish around the bargain bin in Gamestation either.

Cas Smiley
Offline  
Read January 27, 2006, 06:50:07 PM #39
gamesmad

Re: Download size?

Its a good idea to make a demo of the game, including ONE music track and TWO levels, so that people can get a taste of the game with a very small download, but on your site you make it clear that the full version has more music, and more levels.  Also, you can put it in a RAR, so people can download it quicker.  Although, even on dialup, I cant think that people would mind a 30MB download if they had seen screenshots first.

Will
Offline  
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
Jump to:  

Page created in 0.138 seconds with 18 queries.