How Massive is Wolfenstein: The New Order?

Shamus Young

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How Massive is Wolfenstein: The New Order?

40 gigabytes on your hard drive is big for a game. But just how big is that compared to games of old?

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Shamus Young

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After I turned this in, I re-read it and felt that the size I came up with for DOS games was just way too small. On the other hand, the number was a really wild guess and I don't know how to come up with a more solid number. I didn't want to submit a re-write with one arbitrary number replacing another simply because the new number seemed "better" in some ill-defined gut-sense of the word. What I really needed was a better way to extrapolate an answer, and I didn't have one. I'm content to leave the DOS stuff as a weak spot in the article and see if readers have any better answers. Even if I was off by a factor of ten, the main thrust of the article stands: Wolfenstein: The New Order is BIG.

Looking forward to what other numbers people come up with, if anyone wants to take a crack at it.
 

youji itami

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I honestly can't understand the complaints about games getting larger. If it's on console it's on a disk anyway.

If you download for PC a 1TB HDD is less than the normal $60 price of a game and even 2TB HDD's are available for only $85, that's about 45 40GB games or less than $2 added to the cost of each game if you filled the HDD and thanks to steam PC games are cheaper than ever.
 

Albino Boo

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Your estimate for early personal computers is way under. The BBC B platform had 200 games alone, the Atari ST had another 200 odd. The ZX Spectrum is in the 1000s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ZX_Spectrum_games


edit
Just remembered the:
Amstrad cpc, another 1500 odd games on that platform
Acorn Electron another 500 or so
Acorn Archimedes another 50-60
 

AdmiralCheez

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youji itami said:
I honestly can't understand the complaints about games getting larger. If it's on console it's on a disk anyway.

If you download for PC a 1TB HDD is less than the normal $60 price of a game and even 2TB HDD's are available for only $85, that's about 45 40GB games or less than $2 added to the cost of each game if you filled the HDD and thanks to steam PC games are cheaper than ever.
Well, for people who don't want to buy a bunch of different hard drives, or swap them out frequently, games like this are kind of annoying. The hard drive on my laptop (which I only just recently upgraded from) had a capacity of 150 GB. Wolfenstein would have used an entire quarter of that space and more. That's a lot for one game. Some people's Steam libraries are hundreds of games long, so if every one of them was 40GB in size, there would be no way to store them all. It's fine if a few games are super-huge, but developers should make an effort to at least try to keep sizes manageable.

Plus, there's the fact that games are typically not the only thing that needs to go on a drive. You've got the OS, pictures, music, videos, plus other documents and programs. Those all add up in size pretty quickly.
 

Kinitawowi

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albino boo said:
Your estimate for early personal computers is way under. The BBC B platform had 200 games alone, the Atari ST had another 200 odd. The ZX Spectrum is in the 1000s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ZX_Spectrum_games


edit
Just remembered the:
Amstrad cpc, another 1500 odd games on that platform
Acorn Electron another 500 or so
Acorn Archimedes another 50-60
I was hoping for somebody to mention the Speccy... except that it doesn't really amount to a hill of beans. The World Of Spectrum archive racks up about 11,000 games; but they're titchy. The dominant Spectrum model was the 48K; taking that as the size of a RAM dump - and thus an average game - you still haven't got a CD's worth (515Mb). Using the 128K model as the average (to allow for multiloaders and such) only gets you to 1375Mb. (For comparison, Your Sinclair's top game of all time, 3D Deathchase, amounted to 9K. Last week's Epic Oldie The Lords Of Midnight [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/goodoldreviews/11527-The-Lords-of-Midnight-Epic-Oldie] fit in the 48K model. What Mike Singleton did with that game was nothing short of astonishing, and one of the greatest technical achievements in the history of gaming.)

WoS claims that their entire archive is 90.9Gb, but that includes huge scans of every* issue of every* Speccy mag, and inlay scans, and instructions scans and and and and.
 

ScrabbitRabbit

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youji itami said:
I honestly can't understand the complaints about games getting larger. If it's on console it's on a disk anyway.

If you download for PC a 1TB HDD is less than the normal $60 price of a game and even 2TB HDD's are available for only $85, that's about 45 40GB games or less than $2 added to the cost of each game if you filled the HDD and thanks to steam PC games are cheaper than ever.
You tend to need to install larger games on console, which uses lots of space and takes an age. I'd rather just pop it in and play it.

For digital downloads, lots of people have data caps or slow internet. I have no caps but 40GB is a solid few days worth of downloading for me. Some people's data caps are around 40GB, which means downloading the game uses their whole internet for a month.

Getting it on disc on the PC (currently cheaper, as is often the case with games that aren't on sale) still takes an age to install and probably still requires a fairly sizeable download on top of that. And 40GB is still a lot of space. I mean, I have two fairly big hard-drives but I'm rocking 60GB free right now because my music software is so huge.
 

Rad Party God

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I remember reading on the manual of Doom 3 that the game's architecture was comparable to that of an operating system, now comes The New Order and it's basically twice the size of Windows 7 itself.

id Tech 4 was a marvellous engine, still one of the most efficient ones I've ever seen and in goods hands, it still can look incredibly nice (Prey and Dark Mod), but id Tech 5... I just don't like it's incredibly high dependance on streaming huge textures all the time, not only does it bring massive pop-in issues (can be fixed, but only if you use a fast disk, preferable an SSD), but the graphics don't look that good in the first place, also massive installation sizes.

Sure, it runs as smooth as butter (on consoles, on PC, AMD users are banging their heads on their desks with bad perfomance issues), but the payoff isn't that great to justify it's massive installation size.
 

DonTsetsi

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youji itami said:
I honestly can't understand the complaints about games getting larger. If it's on console it's on a disk anyway.

If you download for PC a 1TB HDD is less than the normal $60 price of a game and even 2TB HDD's are available for only $85, that's about 45 40GB games or less than $2 added to the cost of each game if you filled the HDD and thanks to steam PC games are cheaper than ever.
In some towns you would have to download this game over several months due to bandwidth caps.
 

Cerebrawl

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Your estimate for average game for amiga is WAAAAAAAAAAY too small.

I'd estimate those would average out around a megabyte each(the floppies were 880k capacity, most games using a substantial amount of that, and many games were multi floppy. In fact I got a second floppydrive for my amiga so I wouldn't have to swip floppies so much). My biggest game was Beneath a Steel Sky, which was a whooping 16 floppies. But even games like Moonstone or Cannon Fodder 2 was on 3 floppies each, Wizardry 5: Bane of the Cosmic Forge was 6 floppies IIRC. Games in the 2-4 floppy range were almost as common as single floppy games.

Call it around 4 gigabytes for the entire Amiga library would probably be about right.
 

rofltehcat

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How much of Wolfenstein New Order is actually in the textures? Titanfall was also massive but a lot of it was in (for whatever reason) uncompressed audio.
 

LazerFX

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Shamus Young said:
After I turned this in, I re-read it and felt that the size I came up with for DOS games was just way too small. On the other hand, the number was a really wild guess and I don't know how to come up with a more solid number. I didn't want to submit a re-write with one arbitrary number replacing another simply because the new number seemed "better" in some ill-defined gut-sense of the word. What I really needed was a better way to extrapolate an answer, and I didn't have one. I'm content to leave the DOS stuff as a weak spot in the article and see if readers have any better answers. Even if I was off by a factor of ten, the main thrust of the article stands: Wolfenstein: The New Order is BIG.

Looking forward to what other numbers people come up with, if anyone wants to take a crack at it.
I bought my first PC in 1991, which was a Phillips with a CD Rom drive. It came with Wing Commander, Ultima 5 or 6 and The Manhole (Cyan's first major foray into CD-based gaming), which all fit onto one CD Drive (I believe the total size was about 300MB... I've probably still got the CD at my Dad's somewhere). The reason the size was so big was they were all fully voiced (Apparently, that disc is quite rare - it was only sold with those 286's back in late '91, and the voices were not OEM, but put in by Phillips (Probably in association with the original developers, I would think).

So - there were some games on CD earlier than the '93 time... but yeah, that was the time of Myst and the big explosion ;)
 

oldtaku

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The craziest large C64 era game was Time Zone, which took 12 floppies (okay, six double sided). It was freaking huge in every way at the time. 1500 locations. 40 scenarios! I never finished it.

That works out to 125 locations per 140k disk. Achievable because it loaded drawing commands instead of images. Very common back then.
 

Kieve

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Shamus Young said:
After I turned this in, I re-read it and felt that the size I came up with for DOS games was just way too small. On the other hand, the number was a really wild guess and I don't know how to come up with a more solid number. I didn't want to submit a re-write with one arbitrary number replacing another simply because the new number seemed "better" in some ill-defined gut-sense of the word. What I really needed was a better way to extrapolate an answer, and I didn't have one. I'm content to leave the DOS stuff as a weak spot in the article and see if readers have any better answers. Even if I was off by a factor of ten, the main thrust of the article stands: Wolfenstein: The New Order is BIG.

Looking forward to what other numbers people come up with, if anyone wants to take a crack at it.
From a technical standpoint, I find it interesting that you account for 5.25" floppies, then jump right to CD-ROM, forgetting completely about the 3.5" [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floppy_disk#3.C2.BD-inch_floppy_disk] disks. Most of the DOS/PC games I ever knew came on the 1.44mb disks, up until CDs replaced them.
 

Shamus Young

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I remember back in mid-2000's after Doom 3 came out, but before Quake Enemy Territory, on a Doom 3 tech forum we were talking about how much space will games using MegaTexture use.

IIRC I calculated that a single level using uncompressed textures would have 80 gigs. If we have a game with 20 levels, that's 1.6TB. With already strong 1:20 compression that would make 80 gigs for a game. Since in mid-2000 I didn't anticipate such complicate levels as we get today (albeit often short and extremely linear), Wolf is actually not that large. It has to use very strong compression, no wonder the texture quality seems quite crappy from what I see in reviews.

But if you think about it, MegaTexture is amazing - basically ever single pixel in the whole game can be individually crafted; no tiles, no repeating textures, no repeating anything. For such a game, that's really major. The only games we could have that before Rage/QET are 2D games with pre-rendered backgrounds. So I think it's worth it. In fact I hope someone using MegaTexture (or alternative) will make a really massive game which doesn't compress the textures so much. And of course in a game which has some art style that is worth it.

What I'd like to see though is to simply make multiple versions of a game available with different texture sizes. Got only 20 gigs of free space or slow internet? Download the small version. Lots of space? Download the large version. PC game demos used to have smaller textures than the full game so it's definitely doable.
 

Barbas

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rofltehcat said:
How much of Wolfenstein New Order is actually in the textures? Titanfall was also massive but a lot of it was in (for whatever reason) uncompressed audio.
Not much, I'd imagine. It seems to have the some of the problems Rage did - stuttering and texture popping being the most noticeable. There's also the ugly, often green hue to walls and other objects. A lot of the textures look terrible for a modern game and it's not all that rare to come across an ugly piece of the scenery (often a body) that looks like an object from Darwinia.

Having said all that, the gunplay is fantastic and, loading screens and sometimes sluggish rendering aside, it was a blast.

I cannot for the life of me think of what needs to be taking up all that space, though. Surely that sort of mammoth requirement puts people off buying it, a shame.
 

maururun

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Regardless of what extra information we throw at you, I'm pretty sure your premise holds up fairly well.

I do want to point out that the PC Engine had some 50 - 60 games out on CD by mid-1992, so that definitely changes the numbers a bit. Sure, many of them didn't use all the space available, and most of them used very little space for the game itself, but music and voices as red book audio tracks are still game data and count. If the average CD-ROM title on the PC Engine up to that point used maybe 300 MB of CD space total for game and audio, that's still about 15-18 GB of data across those titles. 18 gigs of CD games plus however many MB of various cartridge and disk releases existed in Japan on PC Engine, MSX, early Genesis/Mega Drive, and PC-88 does start to actually show how close your premise might cut it.

If you move that date cut-off from May, 1992 (the release of Wolf 3D) out by even a year, to mid-1993, I'm pretty sure the CD titles on the PC Engine alone would eclipse that 40 GB.
 

Branindain

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This article was worth the read just to see "crazy indie guys at Activision" written unironically.
 

VonBrewskie

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Cool little slice of history boss. Nice job. I'm looking forward to the onslaught of corrections and additions to the article from the community. I do get the main point of the article though. I actually uninstalled Titanfall because while fun, the fun didn't justify a 50 gig file sitting on my computer for a game I only sort of liked.