Why Do Some Games Take Up So Much Storage Space?

Megalith

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Digital Trends spoke with some developers on why games are becoming bigger and bigger: while the technical reasons are pretty obvious (4K textures, lossless audio), the mentality of developers also plays a big part. Some assume that all gamers, like them, live in big cities where broadband or fiber is ubiquitous, while others believe that a bigger game is simply more impressive than a smaller one.

While the lack of oversight is a major contributor to game install sizes, Harris suggests the current situation of monster games is partly a generational and locational problem. While older developers have a pedigree of working on systems which had to be constrained by the likes of compact physical media, younger developers don’t understand those limitations. “Even consoles have huge hard drives now,” he pointed out. “They have forgotten how to develop smaller assets.”
 

tetris42

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Textures, for the most part. These better looking games don't come out of nowhere.
 
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I know some of the textures can get to be pretty large but, texture compression, that was a big thing in the early days of DirectX with DXTC, why is that not a big thing now? Perhaps using something like the HEIF image compression that uses h.265 and is now gaining traction most everywhere, that's some pretty decent compression overall and can probably be modified to handle the more "art"-like texture stylings than typical or traditional imagery would require.

We know it's not the actual code of the games, and it's certainly not the audio either which is already heavily compressed so, it's got to be the textures and perhaps video cut scenes more than anything else.
 

XenIneX

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We know it's not the actual code of the games, and it's certainly not the audio either which is already heavily compressed so, it's got to be the textures and perhaps video cut scenes more than anything else.

RTFA...
TFA... said:
Titanfall for PC required 48 GB [to install], but 35 GB of that was just the game’s audio files.”

“[Respawn] made the choice to store them on disk uncompressed because low-end computers couldn’t decompress that audio on the fly without killing the framerate,” Barth explained. “This wasn’t a problem [on consoles] because they tend to have dedicated hardware for decompressing audio.”
 

necrosis

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I think it is more that the developers go: "People have high speed internet and huge HDD's! Why bother compressing stuff because we do not have to really fit it on space constrained media now!"

Even though for a lot of people this just is not the case.
 

Zepher

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BF1, BF4, and BFH with all expansions is 204GB :eek:
Takes up almost half of my SSD.

bf-games-200gb.jpg
 

Wolf_Tech

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Even though the human ear cannot hear what loseless audio provides the game devs still use it. Seriously UT used mods for there audio and it sounded awesome files were very small. Mp3's are enough no need for huge audio files.
 

maxius

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its past time for blu-ray to become the standard for physical gaming media hell id be happy with flash drives. unless we are getting asyc 1gbit lines into our houses with no cap and a completely neutral internet this is going to get messy really fast.
 

westrock2000

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“[Respawn] made the choice to store them on disk uncompressed because low-end computers couldn’t decompress that audio on the fly without killing the framerate,” Barth explained. “This wasn’t a problem [on consoles] because they tend to have dedicated hardware for decompressing audio.”

(this is not against you, this is against the claim by Respawn)

Now hold on. They went to such extremes to save some FPS on low end computers that would have be significantly impacted by decoding MP3's......but would still be able to Titanfall itself in an enjoyable state? A Raspberry PI has more then enough computational power to decode audio. Decoding audio is probably one of the least computational tasks.

And even on a side note, 35GB. Is that Redbook? That's 55 hours of unique stereo Redbook. I didn't play much of Titanfall. But does that sound right? Or are we putting multi-channel audio on a computer so shitty that it can't even dependably decode MP3?
 

djoye

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Multi-language dialogue included with the game. It might not be much, but that would alleviate some of the load. If a game was distributed through Steam, the developed could probably have the additional languages set aside as free DLC.
 

Dead Parrot

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One of the pre-release tests needs to be the lead manager for the game having to do a full install from scratch using a 10/1 connection while the CEO watches. 10/1 because that is what the US FCC imperious leader thinks is fast enough. On day 2, the new lead manager will be directing the size be radically slimmed down.
 

w4ffles

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its past time for blu-ray to become the standard for physical gaming media hell id be happy with flash drives. unless we are getting asyc 1gbit lines into our houses with no cap and a completely neutral internet this is going to get messy really fast.
Games on blu-ray won't really help when you have to download a 20GB patch on day 1.
 

Logan321

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I guess I'm fortunate that my area has fiber competition so my cable internet opened the valves. I have 150Mb/s w. no monthly data cap. I used to have 15Mb/s for $4 less.
 

XenIneX

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(this is not against you, this is against the claim by Respawn)
Is it okay if I take it personally anyway?

The hate must flow...
Now hold on. They went to such extremes to save some FPS on low end computers that would have be significantly impacted by decoding MP3's......but would still be able to Titanfall itself in an enjoyable state? A Raspberry PI has more then enough computational power to decode audio. Decoding audio is probably one of the least computational tasks.
Sure, decoding one stream is almost nothing, but when you've got up to 64 (or more?) simultaneous streams grinding away? A whole lot of "almost nothing" can add up to a little sumthin' sumthin'. Especially when "low end" means "dual core", which means that the audio engine has to share a core with AI, I/O, and everything else which would screw over frame pacing if it had to interrupt the main thread.
And even on a side note, 35GB. Is that Redbook? That's 55 hours of unique stereo Redbook. I didn't play much of Titanfall. But does that sound right? Or are we putting multi-channel audio on a computer so shitty that it can't even dependably decode MP3?
Environmental audio is gonna be your killer.

Want a forest soundscape? Can't build it out of individual branch shifting and grass rustling noises, because that'll eat into the number of things going bang you can hear. So, you'll need a 'forest noises' loop. But you don't want to break immersion by having it obviously repeating, so it needs to be a long-ish loop. And because different parts of the forest are going to sound different, you need several longish loops. And the brook that runs through the forest needs several long-ish loops of its own. Also, a separate 'bird noises' loop or three. And if there's weather variation, you need more audio loops for that.

By the time you've finished the level, you're looking at an hour or three of tree noises, easy. And then, you start the next level.
 

westrock2000

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^ maybe you are right, but that's a lot of catering. It obviously was 35GB, so they did do it. I mean it's not Skyrim where people might stop and listen to the birds chirping by the burbling stream for several minutes. But it's the thought that counts.
 

nutzo

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I just got an email from my cable provider (COX), that they are implementing a 1TB cap. Anything over and I will be charged extra.

They claim that only 2% of subscribers go over 1TB, so I shouldn't worry about it. Some how I don't believe them.
If only 2% of users are a problem, then why bother with a hard cap?
Why don't they give me credit (or charge me less) for the months I don't use 1TB ?

The main reason they are implementing the cap is so they can charge extra for people who drop cable TV and switch to a streaming plan.
My regular usage now is only 30-40% of the cap, but we don't do much movie steaming (only have amazon prime, and we only stream a few shows a week)
With the amount of TV my wife watches, if I went with a streaming plan, I'd likely be over that 1TB limit.
 

c_porter

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Even though the human ear cannot hear what loseless audio provides the game devs still use it. Seriously UT used mods for there audio and it sounded awesome files were very small. Mp3's are enough no need for huge audio files.

Oh God, what have you done? This is like "Bloody Mary" for the audiophiles.
 

westrock2000

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I just got an email from my cable provider (COX), that they are implementing a 1TB cap. Anything over and I will be charged extra.

They claim that only 2% of subscribers go over 1TB, so I shouldn't worry about it. Some how I don't believe them.

With the amount of TV my wife watches, if I went with a streaming plan, I'd likely be over that 1TB limit.

AT&T U-Verse did something similar last year. It was something like 250GB soft limit (but no one ever got called out unless they were repeat or gross offenders). They upped to 600GB. And then like 4 months later upped it to 1TB a month. We have been streaming for exclusively 5 years now and I have never received a warning of any kind. I even had to upgraded my Netflix account this year because we were hitting the number of streaming limits at the same time in our house. We can have 3-4 netflix streams going at the same time.
 

ZLoth

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Nous devons inclure les fichiers audio de langue étrangère même si la plupart d'entre nous ne parlent pas français et ce message a été transmis à un site Web de traduction.
 

rezerekted

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It's not just the games, some patches are getting massive too. Doom released a MP patch that was 34GB and I don't even play it MP. Yes, I was pissed. I have a 300GB cap and find I now have to constantly monitor my usage. I should just pay the extra for unlimited because this is no good. Either that or I stop buying big AAA games.
 

auntjemima

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I can see a game being a large install, but how in the fuck can a patch be 34gb lol
 

rezerekted

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And it was just for MP. SP is same as before. They gave us all the MP dlc for free and that is why it was so big.
 
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Including only the localized language files seems to be the low-hanging fruit then, based on the article.

The real problem here is the speed and data capping of internet connections and/or the state of some player's PCs. If some countries spent even a single percent of their military budgets on infrastructure development, this would go a long way. Data caps are simply the result of greedy companies, so good luck changing that and as for the poor state of many people's PCs, well, that's economic I suppose. While the price for a mid-level PC has never been cheaper, many still can't afford it.

I'm not sure laying all the blame at the feet of the devs is rational. It's the simplest reply, but not the right one.
 

Azphira

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I just delete the languages to save space, and the logos, and the installers, etc.

I'm ready for large games though. I have this hunch I like games....

SaluqZT.jpg
 

Exavior

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I just got an email from my cable provider (COX), that they are implementing a 1TB cap. Anything over and I will be charged extra.

They claim that only 2% of subscribers go over 1TB, so I shouldn't worry about it. Some how I don't believe them.
If only 2% of users are a problem, then why bother with a hard cap?
Why don't they give me credit (or charge me less) for the months I don't use 1TB ?

The main reason they are implementing the cap is so they can charge extra for people who drop cable TV and switch to a streaming plan.
My regular usage now is only 30-40% of the cap, but we don't do much movie steaming (only have amazon prime, and we only stream a few shows a week)
With the amount of TV my wife watches, if I went with a streaming plan, I'd likely be over that 1TB limit.

Let me start by saying that I don't agree with caps and think the idea of them is bull shit. I manage a network for an ISP and the logic behind that really makes little sense to me. You get charged by Mbps not by total data used. Many years ago back when DSL first started to become a thing, we had a 200Mbps connection, they billed based on a 95% basis so if we had a small spike to 250 for a little bit per month that was fine. Over time we increased that more and more as we offered faster and faster speeds to our customers, but it has always been based on the amount of traffic being sent at a point in time. The only thing that a cap does is helps limit the amount of time a single person could eat up most of your backbone. Which partly could be fixed by upgrading your backbone more to begin with. This really only becomes an issue if you have somebody that has a fairly high speed that is none stop maxing it out. Say a 1Gbps customer that is able to use 1Gbps 24x7. That said if you are going to create a limit for any reason, you are going to need to set a value somewhere. Maybe it is true that only 2% hit 1Tbps. I did that a few times when watching Netflix about 50+ hours a week and was downloading multiple games a month. Right now with me keeping all my steam and xbox one games up to data, steaming content about 40+ hours a week and downloading 3 - 5 games a month I am only using around 500 MB a month. A little more when I watch a lot of 4K content. So maybe they are correct in their values and maybe as more people get closer to that they will raise that value. Like somebody else stated AT&T started with one value then later changed it. So it could actually be that these companies that decide to put this shit in place might actually look at trends and try to keep it set to only include the top x%.
 

Olle P

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One of the pre-release tests needs to be the lead manager for the game having to do a full install from scratch using a 10/1 connection...
Why not just have the entire development team be restricted to 1Mbit/s network speed?
If they can't stand using it to transfer the data neither won't their customers.
Just write the software in Assembler or other low level code from the start and it will be lean.

Games on blu-ray won't really help when you have to download a 20GB patch on day 1.
As a customer you just have to provide name and adress and they'll send a disc with every sizeable patch as well...
 

MrBonk

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I don't mind big sizes. I am thankful Charter isn't stingy on the caps. I live in a small town.

Plus, I hate compression when it results in loss of quality and artifacts (visible on textures all the time, and audible in audio.).
 

4884

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And even on a side note, 35GB. Is that Redbook? That's 55 hours of unique stereo Redbook. I didn't play much of Titanfall. But does that sound right? Or are we putting multi-channel audio on a computer so shitty that it can't even dependably decode MP3?

Perhaps the developers were so proud of their music and decided to use DSD files.:sneaky:
Personally I think it's just dumb.

Language files should be selected before download. Games with large voiced content would certainly slim down somewhat by this.

I think games on steam are doing this?
I have games which I forgot to opt to my preferred language. After it's installed when I switched the language it had to download a few GBs of data.
 

w4ffles

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Why not just have the entire development team be restricted to 1Mbit/s network speed?
If they can't stand using it to transfer the data neither won't their customers.
Just write the software in Assembler or other low level code from the start and it will be lean.

As a customer you just have to provide name and adress and they'll send a disc with every sizeable patch as well...
I wasn't aware of that, but I wouldn't want to wait.
 

kju1

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I just delete the languages to save space, and the logos, and the installers, etc.

I'm ready for large games though. I have this hunch I like games....

SaluqZT.jpg

But your not using an SSD so maybe not ;)

Seriously though...do you really have that many installed all at once? I have maybe two or three. I think the most I have ever had was five...

Also I dont really care about how big the game is unless I have to download it. Then even though I have high speed I get annoyed as f**k when I have to wait 2 hours to play a game. I get super annoyed as f**k when I have a disc for said game that only includes a steam installer....
 

dark_reign

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Also I dont really care about how big the game is unless I have to download it. Then even though I have high speed I get annoyed as f**k when I have to wait 2 hours to play a game. I get super annoyed as f**k when I have a disc for said game that only includes a steam installer....
Changing the Steam server location closest to you can make a big difference in download time. It should auto detect the nearest server, but might be way off. For me, a 60GB game usually takes 1-2 hours on a 80 Mbps connection. I can find other things to do while it downloads, but I agree that it sucks.
 

kju1

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Changing the Steam server location closest to you can make a big difference in download time. It should auto detect the nearest server, but might be way off. For me, a 60GB game usually takes 1-2 hours on a 80 Mbps connection. I can find other things to do while it downloads, but I agree that it sucks.


Yup and the worst part is you dont know which game you want to play so you cant predownload it. Somedays I just have a random desire to play one of the many in my library...and by the time it gets done downloading I am off onto something else and not interested anymore.
 

LigTasm

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They should implement a system where you decide the quality of audio/video and it gets installed/downloaded that way...

Indeed. Like most F2P games have because they are expected to run on very low end hardware and have "lite" versions that are usually half the size or less.
 

sfsuphysics

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I remember back in the good ol' days when pirates released games they did stuff to squeeze them down to size like converting wavs to mp3s, and then when you install it it converts back, sure the sound isn't the exactly the same but beggers can't be choosers and it's nicer to download 100MB of game instead of 500MB of game.... or so I've been told.
 

NeghVar

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I remember back in the early 90’s I was browsing through Incredible Universe PC games section. Saw a game of interest. ( I don’t recall the name) I looked at the system requirements and it required 20MB of HDD space and I thought. Damn!
 
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