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Author Topic: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim  (Read 7767 times)

Girlinhat

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2011, 04:28:44 pm »

Compressions also increase the loading time during gameplay.  Compare Minecraft, which compresses pretty good, to SPAZ, which intentionally uncompresses everything on startup.  Minecraft has little hiccups when you walk into a newly loading/generating area, while SPAZ has exactly zero loading times anywhere.  After the initial load, there is literally zero delay when changing scenes or ships.  In an FPS, loading times translate into body counts, so I can imagine that they may try to streamline the loading times in-level as much as they can.

Viken

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2011, 07:01:08 pm »

It was actually something the Skyrim devs noted upon when they were talking about building their new engine, the Creation Engine.  They'd learned that during the creation of Oblivion that there was only so much they could afford to put into such a limited amount of space, especially for a console game limited only to a single disc, that they had to hand-craft a custom compression system.  Pretty neat. 

Also, Bethesda started working on Skyrim in 2006, while MW3 is basically a one-year re-make of MW2.  Given the amount of time and effort between the disparing projects, its no big stretch to note just what Skyrim has, and MW3 doesn't.
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Girlinhat

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2011, 07:04:08 pm »

I can remember when my dad wouldn't let me instal a 1GB game as it was too massive for him to be comfortable with...

KatalDT

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2011, 08:39:30 pm »

also, I think most of the assets of skyrim are generated on the fly from a small predefined set of components, while every branch of every three in modern warfare has it's own model

also, I think that most of the assets of skyrim are the same assets over and over, and every pubic hair of every terrorist in MW3 has its own 3d model (including realistic physics on said pube)
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qwertyuiopas

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2011, 11:18:44 pm »

Yeah, model reuse makes sense as a major factor here. Probably also texture reuse, though, as it would be rather hard to use the same texture on multiple models, while using the same model in multiple places, by definition, implies the same texture unless it is specifically set up otherwise.

One thing about the TES editor is that it makes it very easy to throw together a few premade pieces, and get a level that looks okay and plays well, perhaps within an hour. This, I would assume, makes quickly prototyping a level very easy, and making it look unique can be accomplished by going back later and dropping/rotating/scaling in a few rock models here and there, to give downwards cave slope #5 over there a unique layout as it restricts the usable path so something that winds through about six large rock formations which are actually just three models, one of them used more than once.

And all of that could theoretically fit in a few kilobytes for a small level(Would depend on how many bytes are used for each piece, and I'm going to guess that it is less than one hundred), plus the base cost of the models which are already used tens of thousands of times elsewhere anyway. Meanwhile, the custom-made corridor in the other game might use a unique variation of the wall textures, with some peeling wallpaper bits here and there to make it visually less repetitive, making just a few steps worth of level take up ten times the space.


For a quick bit of real facts, I just checked Portal 2, and it has 2.5 GB for maps alone. Now, Portal 2 (and, really, all Source games) uses a map format where the map is created from a combination of blocks that are chopped up, stretched, textured, and otherwise manipulated into looking like something, alongside numerous models and props included by reference and thus taking up very little space. Of course, Source also precalculates all of the lighting, collision, and visibility data and saves it alongside the map, another thing that takes up space.

For comparison, Morrowind. The main game (no expansions or mods) has two main files describing the levels: Morrowind.bsa, 300MB, contains all of the models and textures (and perhaps other things? Not audio or movies, those are stored separately, each taking about 250MB, including both expansions), while Morrowind.esm, just under 80MB, contains all of the descriptions of items, levels, NPCs; scripts, quests, and all of the gameplay data in general.

Now, the final numbers: Portal 2 has 5GB of music, sound, textures and models, and 2.5GB of actual level data. Morrowind, a significantly less detailed game, has a bit over 500MB of that stuff, and all of the levels share a mere 80MB with the damage values, game scripts, dialogue scripts, race definitions, and every other bit of gameplay description for the entire game.

Different styles that work best for different games, I suppose, as Portal 2, and clearly MW3 put more into unique environments where no two levels look very similar, while Morrowind, Skyrim, and Oblivion obviously take the route where the same hallway may be re-used many times, but the gameplay and clutter within it make it unique from all of the others in the world, merely providing the physical structure that contains the actual important parts, the story and gameplay.


(Disclaimer: 172% of the statistics and facts in this post have been made up or estimated based on a complete lack of meaningful evidence. Use at your own risk.)
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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2011, 12:51:44 am »

I can remember when my dad wouldn't let me instal a 1GB game as it was too massive for him to be comfortable with...

I can remember when my brother would throw a shit fit over me downloading a 10 MB file. Those were the days.

Anyways, back on topic. All I can say about this whole thing is "Holy crap, that's a lot of space." I couldn't imagine installing anything that was 13.5 GB in size that wasn't a game with tons of expansion packs, but that's just me. I would like to say though that I have too noticed that games by Bethesda do seem to reuse a lot of the same parts, but they do make up for it in the actual content.

I don't have too much to say about Activision, seeing as the last game of theirs I played was Pitfall for the Atari 2600. None of the games that they make interest me one bit. Really like Pitfall though.
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Girlinhat

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2011, 01:37:50 am »

I'd run DF at 30GB, but fortunately you can run the whole thing off a $2 flash drive.

justinlee999

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2011, 11:54:20 am »

Compression costs extra time and too aggressive compression has a risk of data loss. So unless they're short on space, most companies avoid excessive compression. That also makes the graphics bigger than they could be in theory, but I doubt the size of a game is a selling point in our multi-terrabite harddisk era.
Download speeds still present a problem, as not everyone has uber fast internet.
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Azkanan

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2011, 01:51:21 pm »

I remember back in the day, way back in the day. Holy crap, this is 100kb??! WOW!
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Akura

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2011, 02:04:30 pm »

I can remember when my dad wouldn't let me instal a 1GB game as it was too massive for him to be comfortable with...

I can remember when my brother would throw a shit fit over me downloading a 10 MB file. Those were the days.
As someone who once had dial-up and a 6GB hard drive, I can almost see why. Also, the severe rage when someone makes a phone call at 93% downloaded.

Then again, my dad once tried to get me to burn stuff to CDs with just a normal CD player, after me telling him why it wouldn't work(his response: "Just try it anyway").
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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2011, 02:55:02 pm »

I remember when I had to move a game from one pc to the next when I upgraded to 386, it took 28 floppy only for terminal velocity
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jester

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2011, 09:56:22 am »

interesting sidenote, on steam oblivion is only 200mg smaller than skyrim as well
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Raddish

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2011, 11:51:26 am »

I remember when I had to move a game from one pc to the next when I upgraded to 386, it took 28 floppy only for terminal velocity

I once installed Windows 95 from floppy disks.  It was a lot but not as many as you would expect for an entire operating system.
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Rilder

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2011, 04:22:29 am »

Game Sizes are definitely getting up there (which sucks for my connection).  So far my Largest game installed is Medieval 2:TW  with its 20 gigs (But thats with mods), and when I had Empire Total War installed (Steam bug deleted the entire install for no reason so its not installed anymore) that was a good 15 gigs.

Sucks a fair bit to download a game that size. Luckily there is still a good number of games out there that aren't horrendous. Paradox for example is really good about keeping sizes down, All my "Mainline Paradox" games installed right now (Eu: Rome, CK1, EU3, Vicky 2, HOI3) add up to about 5.6 gigs all said and done which is nice.
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LoSboccacc

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Re: Game size... what the hell is going on here? MW3 vs. Skyrim
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2011, 04:31:08 am »

Quote
Medieval 2:TW  with its 20 gigs
...
Paradox for example is really good about keeping sizes down

well, duh!
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