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.
 

Albino Boo

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I have had time to think now and excise some google fu and come up with adjustments.

The Acorn electron/bbc b series had around 10000 games. The zx spectrum had 11k, the amstrad cpc had 1500 and the msx platform had around 1000. The call those extra 22k 8 bit games another 2 gig of data.

The 16 bit era with the amiga and atari st. Those machines came with 1.44 mb floppies allowing much bigger games, I remember heart of china being on 6 1.44mb disks. Lets the average size for both systems was 1 meg. The Amiga had 3658 and the Atari had 1500 so thats 4.5 gb. That however reduces the non commodore c64 figure to about 120 meg.

Adding that lot up gives a figure of about 6.6 gb of data to add to the commodore's c64 2gb. So as a rough estimate the early home computing comes in at 8.6gb
 

Shamus Young

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albino boo said:
I have time to think now and excise some google fu and come up with adjustments.

The Acorn electron/bbc b series had around 10000 games. The zx spectrum had 11k, the amstrad cpc had 1500 and the msx platform had around 1000. The call those extra 22k 8 bit games another 2 gig of data.

The 16 bit era with the amiga and atari st. Those machines came with 1.44 mb floppies allowing much bigger games, I remember heart of china being on 6 1.44mb disks. Lets the average size for both systems was 1 meg. The Amiga had 3658 and the Atari had 1500 so thats 4.5 gb. That however reduces the non commodore c64 figure to about 120 meg.

Adding that lot up gives a figure of about 6.6 gb of data to add to the commodore's c64 2gb. So as a rough estimate the early home computing comes in at 8.6gb
I think we could add to the calculations pretty well. Like has been said above some of the Arcade games in 1992 were already using some form of the PC engine. As we see from the Neo Geo's maximum rom size of 330 megabits arcade games from the dawn of the 90s were getting a lot bigger and utilizing technology that was just starting to filter down to the consumer level.

The figure for from home computer games both in terms of the DoS era and in terms of the MASSIVE home computer scene in Europe. I think i safe assumption to make as a baseline of those up to 1992 DoS games is that they proabaly average out filling a single floppy of the time, 360KB.

BUT even factoring in all those things i think reaching that 40GB without having an insane amount of duplicates, home-brew clones and ports would be pretty impossible. I think with some extra research though we might be able to come to a truer figure of the size of pre wolfenstein games. The challenge here finding the size of UNIQUE games, or at lease games that are not like for like ports, based on their definitive (usually arcade) version.

Does anyone have an insight into the high end of size of games appearing by mid 1992 either in the arcades or as early arcade board ports?
 

Albino Boo

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Scrumpmonkey said:
The figure for from home computer games both in terms of the DoS era and in terms of the MASSIVE home computer scene in Europe. I think i safe assumption to make as a baseline of those up to 1992 DoS games is that they probably average out filling a single floppy of the time, 360KB.
Going to have to disagree with you there. The 3.5 inch floppy became standard by about 1988 giving a 1.44 mb max size per disk. Even then, some games like Kings quest IV was 2 meg in size even in 1988. By the time Kings quest v came out in 1990 you are talking 6mb for the game. Non shooter games by the early 90s were getting big, most adventure games came on multiple 3.5 inch floppies. The size of those games pushed pcs in the direction of cdroms.
 

Shamus Young

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Kieve said:
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.
Ah 3.5mn discs, the memories, you could drill a hole in the low density ones and they'd format to high density, the only difference between low and high density discs was a small hole in the lower left hand corner, if a light shone through it you could format as high density - completely the same media.

Anyone remember 7th Guest? Was going to ship on 54 floppies but I think it was CD only in the end.
 

Shamus Young

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albino boo said:
Scrumpmonkey said:
The figure for from home computer games both in terms of the DoS era and in terms of the MASSIVE home computer scene in Europe. I think i safe assumption to make as a baseline of those up to 1992 DoS games is that they probably average out filling a single floppy of the time, 360KB.
Going to have to disagree with you there. The 3.5 inch floppy became standard by about 1988 giving a 1.44 mb max size per disk. Even then, some games like Kings quest IV was 2 meg in size even in 1988. By the time Kings quest v came out in 1990 you are talking 6mb for the game. Non shooter games by the early 90s were getting big, most adventure games came on multiple 3.5 inch floppies. The size of those games pushed pcs in the direction of cdroms.
Well yes, that would be the next step, but what i was alluding to is that 200k probably isn't even a conservative estimate for the bottom end. The ubiquity of games utilizing the 3.5" 1.44mb format in 1992 would be debatable. I know by 1989 we had an Acorn Archimedes (a pretty decent home computer in it's day) in our house and that used only 1.44MB floppy disks but actual file sizes? No idea. Games as large as 6MB could merely be outliers. If we could take a sample of games that came out in 1991 we might be better placed to get get a better DoS and home computing average.

My main concern is with arcade technology though. The relative power and advancement of arcade machines by 1991 compared to home computers showed a pretty big gap. There is also the issues of interactive video tech like "Dragon's Lair". These tended to have pretty hefty file sizes. The top 10 biggest games by file size in 1991/ early 1992 will probably make up most of the total amount. Wolfenstein 3D gets dangerously close in time scale to FMV games like Night Trap. The main problem with 1992 is that it stands at such a convergence of so many different game storage technologies that could lead to so many variables in file size.
 

Albino Boo

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Scrumpmonkey said:
albino boo said:
Scrumpmonkey said:
The figure for from home computer games both in terms of the DoS era and in terms of the MASSIVE home computer scene in Europe. I think i safe assumption to make as a baseline of those up to 1992 DoS games is that they probably average out filling a single floppy of the time, 360KB.
Going to have to disagree with you there. The 3.5 inch floppy became standard by about 1988 giving a 1.44 mb max size per disk. Even then, some games like Kings quest IV was 2 meg in size even in 1988. By the time Kings quest v came out in 1990 you are talking 6mb for the game. Non shooter games by the early 90s were getting big, most adventure games came on multiple 3.5 inch floppies. The size of those games pushed pcs in the direction of cdroms.
Well yes, that would be the next step, but what i was alluding to is that 200k probably isn't even a conservative estimate for the bottom end. The ubiquity of games utilizing the 3.5" 1.44mb format in 1992 would be debatable. I know by 1989 we had an Acorn Archimedes (a pretty decent home computer in it's day) in our house and that used only 1.44MB floppy disks but actual file sizes? No idea. Games as large as 6MB could merely be outliers. If we could take a sample of games that came out in 1991 we might be better placed to get get a better DoS and home computing average.

My main concern is with arcade technology though. The relative power and advancement of arcade machines by 1991 compared to home computers showed a pretty big gap. There is also the issues of interactive video tech like "Dragon's Lair". These tended to have pretty hefty file sizes. The top 10 biggest games by file size in 1991/ early 1992 will probably make up most of the total amount. Wolfenstein 3D gets dangerously close in time scale to FMV games like Night Trap. The main problem with 1992 is that it stands at such a convergence of so many different game storage technologies that could lead to so many variables in file size.
Put it like this the first game I bought was the greedy dwarf in 1984. I had boxes full of 3.5 inch floppies with games from the 80s, by 1990 they had stopped releasing games on 5.25 inch. I know the files sizes because I was running games of a 20mb mfm hard drive on a second hand IBM AT which I bought in 1988. I was always juggling what was on the hard drive.
 

BeerTent

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I'm reading this going insane thinking "POWERS OF TWO, FOOL!"
A Byte is 4 Bits.
A Kilobyte is 1024 Bytes.
A Megabyte is 1024 Kilobytes
A Gigabyte is 1024 Megabytes

A Megabyte is 1048576 Bytes
A Gigabyte is 1073741824 Bytes.

Mind you, this does nothing but support you, so by aggressively rounding things, you've made it more difficult on yourself to prove your theory. That being said, I didn't think the claim of all games before Wolf3D being smaller than Wolfenstien-NO was asinine or shocking. I really didn't think that all games, with their miniscule sizes would even get close to 3GB. So you got me there. With your math, all 4 generations would add up to...

3291408000 Bytes
3214265.625 Kilobytes
3138.931 Megabytes
3.065 Gigabytes

Now, I'm just curious what kind of value we'd have to add for Arcade games? Excluding pinball, mind you. You'd be lucky to break a KB on a pinball machine. Do we add remakes from arcages? A lot of them were games already established on home consoles, like Mortal Kombat.
 

Objectable

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The question is, how massiver were THOSE games in their time. A while back, 200 megs was top shit.
 

Andrew_C

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Hmm you seriously underestimate the size of both DOS and Amiga floppies, and you forget the Sinclair ZX Spectrum (Timex in the US). That had a massive library in the thousands of games, although there was a lot of overlap with the Commodore 64/128 and BBC Micro.

EDIT: And massive overlap between the Amiga and BBC Micro libraries as well

Objectable said:
The question is, how massiver were THOSE games in their time. A while back, 200 megs was top shit.
And not long before that 20 MB, and before that 512kB. But the original Wolfenstein came on 1 Shareware 1.2 MB floppy and 1 or 2 floppies for the additional levels you paid for, about 3MB in total. Average for the time. Steam says it's 6 MB, but half of that is DOSBox.
 

MartyGoldberg

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1) PONG was not the first commercial video game, not sure where that came from. If we're talking about arcade games then 1971's Computer Space was the first. If we're talking about consoles, the Magnavox Odyssey also predates the PONG arcade game (the idea of PONG came from the Odyssey's Tennis game).

2) I'm also not sure where you got the idea the arcade games were more visible and culturally relevant. By the boon of the very late 70s certainly, but certainly not through most of the 70s. Home PONG consoles actually dominated in those aspects during the mid through late 70s. As Jeff Bell (an employee in Atari's coin-op division starting in 1973) stated: "In 1972-74, we had to explain to people what a video game was. By 1976 that had changed to explaining what a ?coin-op? video game was." What you're thinking of as coin domination didn't actually occur until '78-'79.

3) "By the late 70's there was a Space Invaders or an Asteroids tucked in the corner of just about every bar and Pizza joint in America." Certainly true of Space Invaders but not Asteroids. Asteroids wasn't released until November '79. It didn't hit critical mass until into 1980.

4) The first and second generation game size doesn't make a lot of sense. The first generation (Odyssey, the PONG consoles, other dedicated consoles) aren't microprocessor driven and have no game code. There is no "game size" involved. All the games are via dedicated circuitry.

5) Activision didn't "invent" bank switching for Atari 2600 games and by '81 the switch was being made to 8K ROMs at Atari. Asteroids, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET, Realsports Baseball, Realsports Football, Star Raiders and Swordquest Earthworld are all examples of 8K games. Pac-Man (developed during '81) was one of the last 4K games by them. Likewise the first 16K games were being done by Atari the following year (Dig Dug was in 1983 followed by Crystal Castles in '84 which was the same year Activision's 16K Pitfall II was done).
 

IndieForever

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I suspect the growth in the size of the average install for a game is simply due to the availability of affordable storage technology at any given time. Floppy drives used to be hideously expensive (I'm thinking of my Research Machines RML 380z as I type this) but as businesses needed more and more affordable storage, the prices came down to the point that they were affordable for the average consumer or hobbyist. Fast tape, CD-ROM, all followed suit.

Now, what followed was a complete paradigm change in how games were written precisely because of that storage being available.

The first machine I wrote games for commercially was the ZX Spectrum as mentioned many times above. Fitting a whole game into 16k or 48k is challenging, to say the least, so we would optimise for efficiency, much as the people on the Amiga/PC demo scene did in the late '90s. Games were written in assembly language, clever compression techniques were used but this came at the cost of performance. Compress your data/text/audio and somewhere along the line you have to decompress it which carries a performance overhead. It was always a balance between the two, but it generally fell into the 'smallest possible piece of code' camp more often than not.

We did horrible things like self-modifying code just to save a byte or two here and there, and there was no longer any need with the advent of massive, cheap storage.

When we had the luxury of not having to compress our data, we didn't do that either - extra performance.

That is, I suspect, why the Titanfall installation has uncompressed audio. It probably saves a frame or two by being in that format on machines with onboard sound. Maybe it doesn't, but if you don't *need* to compress it, there's no point imho.

What might be interesting is that with the now mature market for digital-only releases, some of this slightly wasteful use of space might have to start being reconsidered. We shall see!
 

Amir Kondori

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I consistently download games from Steam at over 6MB/s, so this stuff doesn't bother me too much. I have a 2TB RAID 1 volume that is pretty much just for my Steam library, so space isn't too much of a concern either.

Of course I have 50Mbps downstream with no caps, which I know a lot of people just don't have access to.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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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.
Titan used uncompressed audio because it was less intensive on hardware resources. A consideration they had to take in to account for the X360.
 

Kahani

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Kinitawowi said:
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.
You claim that doesn't amount to a "hill of beans", whatever one of those amounts to, but compare that with the numbers Shamus gives - under 2GB for C64, and under 500MB for "everything else" in the same period. But as you point out here, you easily get somewhere from 0.5-1.5GB from just one of the systems he missed out. Of course it's still not going to be as big as Wolfenstein, but even taking the lower end of that estimate it would still be the second biggest single contribution to the total. Given that the whole point of the article is to give an estimate of the total size of games, failing to even mention one of the biggest and best known contributors is a pretty massive failing.

Throw in the failure to take 3.5" floppies (from the mid-80s) and CDs (from around 1990) into account as well, plus other systems like the BBC Micro and Archimides (ever heard of ARM? That would be Acorn RISC Machine.) and the whole article is just a joke. What's the point in trying to estimate the size of games if you're going to completely ignore most of the factors involved?

008Zulu said:
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.
Titan used uncompressed audio because it was less intensive on hardware resources. A consideration they had to take in to account for the X360.
It's a consideration you need to take into account for everything. Processing power is almost always the biggest limiting factor for games, regardless of what system they're for. Decompressing files takes some of that power that could be used elsewhere. Since drive space is incredibly cheap in comparison, using uncompressed textures and audio can often be a very sensible choice. This is why I really don't understand why people keep complaining about large games. They're not large because the developers are no good at optimising things, but rather for the exact opposite reason - you get better performance by having everything uncompressed rather than forcing the computer to decompress it every time it needs something.
 

Kinitawowi

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Kahani said:
You claim that doesn't amount to a "hill of beans", whatever one of those amounts to, but compare that with the numbers Shamus gives - under 2GB for C64, and under 500MB for "everything else" in the same period. But as you point out here, you easily get somewhere from 0.5-1.5GB from just one of the systems he missed out. Of course it's still not going to be as big as Wolfenstein, but even taking the lower end of that estimate it would still be the second biggest single contribution to the total. Given that the whole point of the article is to give an estimate of the total size of games, failing to even mention one of the biggest and best known contributors is a pretty massive failing.

Throw in the failure to take 3.5" floppies (from the mid-80s) and CDs (from around 1990) into account as well, plus other systems like the BBC Micro and Archimides (ever heard of ARM? That would be Acorn RISC Machine.) and the whole article is just a joke. What's the point in trying to estimate the size of games if you're going to completely ignore most of the factors involved?
Ignoring the existence of the ZX Spectrum is a chronic failing that this site has suffered from for a very long time (yes, it drives me nuts too), and it all comes down to Americanitis - missing a whole system's worth is easy when that system barely made a dent in what we are constantly reminded is this site's target demographic. The C64 dwarfed the ZX Spectrum (and the Timex variants) in America by several orders of magnitude.

The reason it's a hill of beans is because as the article noted, all these numbers could be out by a factor of ten and we still wouldn't be close to Wolfenstein TNO's install. 1.5Gb is barely 4% of the 36Gb the article's numbers were short by.

As for the BBC machines... a little bit of searching around has told me it's very difficult to get actual numbers. Wikipedia cites an estimate of 1400 games for the Electron, the gamer-targeted variant of the BBC Micro (which were predominantly for schools); using top-end estimates for the capacity of a 5.25" disk (640Kb on a double-density double-sided 80 track disk) and allowing two disks per game, resulting in massive games considering that the system only had 32K of RAM, still only gets you about 1750Mb. I can't get figures for the number of Amstrad games, but I'll take a wildly optimistic guess that it was about three quarters of the number released for the Spectrum; again, highest end estimates - let's call it 360K for each of the 8000 games, the total capacity of both sides of a 3" CPC664/6128 disc - and again, I can't think of a game off the top of my head that used even close to that capacity - and we've got less than 3Gb.

Yes, tiny numbers add up, but the original point remains; compared to entire system libraries, Wolfenstein TNO is probably still bigger.
 

DeadProxy

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Dont forget that 7-8 gig patch they released not long after the game came out. I have no idea what it was for, as I had already beaten the game and was working on the second timeline when the mandatory update became known to me and after all that, only experienced 1 game freeze pre-update on the Xbone version. I had hoped that the patch would make getting out of water look better, but it's janky as all hell. But that's really my only problem with the game.
 

DoubleAgent74

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I was under the impression that most of the 40GB that make up The New Order was padding deliberately added by Bethesda to annoy pirates.
 

4Aces

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It is not about the overall size, but if that size is warranted. Rage for example was not that great for the large texture sizes, but since I could not find a tool to decompress them I could not determine if they were badly optimized or just badly created. This game at 40GB just sounds *horribly* optimized. More likely the devs were trying to wow everyone with their ridiculous numbers, hoping that no one would ever get under the hood and find out what is driving it.

Now I am really interested in borrowing a copy just to see the textures, if we have access to tools that is.

EDIT

If it is padding, then Beth is open to internet users billing them for having to go over their internet cap to download more than they needed - as in class-action lawsuits (one per country). It would also be one of the first things that pirates strip out (once again - if tools exist).
 

IndieForever

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4Aces said:
It is not about the overall size, but if that size is warranted.
Totally agree with this. I actually like where this thread is going - it's moved from an (amusing but trivial) discussion about at what point in the games development timeline the total sum of historic code was less than the largest available single game into something very relevant; how large can download/install sizes keep inflating given, a) the predominance of the digital purchase and, b) the fact that, as several commentators have pointed out, even in Europe/USA most of us are on sub-par connections compared to what is actually possible.

I think there is some confusion about 'optimisation' though. When I think of that term, I think of the most efficient piece of code to perform a given task in clock cycles of the processor. Even when you are doing something simple like sorting a set of data into alphabetical or numerical order there are many different ways this can be accomplished. Some do this more efficiently in terms of speed (my definition of optimisation these days) and some do it more efficiently in terms of how many bytes those instructions takes up in memory (my old definition of optimisation back in the '80s and '90s!).

I think it is a bit disingenous to compare 'install size' to optimisation as the actual code that runs the game is a very small percentage of the total data on any install these days. I suppose if you are talking about something like using a 2048x2048 texture when a 256x256 would do then, yes, I'd agree to a certain extent but I still maintain there is no point in compressing data anymore, apart from at the download stage.

Back in the '80s I wrote a lot of those text-only adventure games for the Spectrum. We used quite a clever little system that scanned through all the text the writer had created looking for repeating patterns or common words: the, ing, you, look, walk, etc., etc. We then replaced those multi-character words or partial words with a one-character replacement so that when the game was reading through the text data and found a non-alphabetical code, it looked it up in an array and replaced that code with the letters. Clever use of this system could get more text into 48k than should actually have been possible, but damn, it was slow come time to throw it up onto the screen:

Because we didn't know how long a given line of text was going to be at any one time due to these characters, and the fact that we had a fixed width screen, we had to generate the line in memory and then figure out if the last word would wrap onto the next line. If it did, we saved it, backtracked, deleted that word and then added it into the buffer for the next line and so on. This is no big deal on your 2.5Ghz PC. It is a massive deal on a 2.5Mhz Spectrum!

I know that was a bit rambling, but I thought the more technically-minded (and perhaps older!) readers would appreciate an explanation of why 'TEH OPTIMIZINGS!' means different things, at different times to different people, and not necessarily why installs seem bloated sometimes.

Why go through all that hassle these days to display some words? Well, we don't now. We leave it 'unoptimised' in terms of space allocation, but very optimised in terms of speed.

As game worlds get larger, as graphics data becomes more complex, as voice and a huge variety of music, effects and soundtracks become de-rigeur for even small indie projects, it is inevitable that there is only one way installation sizes are going to go and it most certainly not downwards as I see it.

I wonder if there is a Moore's Law equivalent for this or if there is a critical point at which it all falls apart due to lack of infrastructure for all but the lucky few? If I hadn't had this half bottle of Merlot, I feel quite sure I would already have worked out the equation :)
 

direkiller

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Kieve said:
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.
I think because he realised how futile it is to add up the space usage of all the old games after he made his point with consoles.
even if they do add up to a lot I don't think it's 24,000 floppys worth of different games for DOS out there.
 

Kinitawowi

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IndieForever said:
Back in the '80s I wrote a lot of those text-only adventure games for the Spectrum. We used quite a clever little system that scanned through all the text the writer had created looking for repeating patterns or common words: the, ing, you, look, walk, etc., etc. We then replaced those multi-character words or partial words with a one-character replacement so that when the game was reading through the text data and found a non-alphabetical code, it looked it up in an array and replaced that code with the letters. Clever use of this system could get more text into 48k than should actually have been possible, but damn, it was slow come time to throw it up onto the screen:

Because we didn't know how long a given line of text was going to be at any one time due to these characters, and the fact that we had a fixed width screen, we had to generate the line in memory and then figure out if the last word would wrap onto the next line. If it did, we saved it, backtracked, deleted that word and then added it into the buffer for the next line and so on. This is no big deal on your 2.5Ghz PC. It is a massive deal on a 2.5Mhz Spectrum!

I know that was a bit rambling, but I thought the more technically-minded (and perhaps older!) readers would appreciate an explanation of why 'TEH OPTIMIZINGS!' means different things, at different times to different people, and not necessarily why installs seem bloated sometimes.
It's always a speed vs memory tradeoff, and the Spectrum illustrated that like no other machine (even within the ROM itself - witness the infamous seven byte square root routine). Obviously certain more plodding games (strategy, text adventures, etc) relied less on speed and more on size, hence Speccy programmers being able to see a joke in this XKCD [http://www.xkcd.com/1275] that I'm pretty sure wasn't intended (short version: "int PI" was tokenised and expressible in two bytes, while the number 3 would have needed five bytes of floating point to store). More action-oriented games couldn't have used those sorts of optimisations, because "int PI" is after all a calculation and every calculation adds more time.

Talking of time, I don't know if you've seen the disassembly of the Spectrum classic Knight Tyme [http://community.dur.ac.uk/philip.anderson/disassemblies/knight-tyme-48k/maps/all.html]; there's two sections (here [http://community.dur.ac.uk/philip.anderson/disassemblies/knight-tyme-48k/asm/43196.html] and here [http://community.dur.ac.uk/philip.anderson/disassemblies/knight-tyme-48k/asm/44061.html]) that illustrate your word encoding idea perfectly.
 

Kahani

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Kinitawowi said:
Yes, tiny numbers add up, but the original point remains; compared to entire system libraries, Wolfenstein TNO is probably still bigger.
Sure, I'm not arguing that there is necessarily enough stuff that he missed to make it bigger than Wolfenstein, just that it's a pretty poor effort when he misses out several very significant factors in trying to make that point. BBC, Acorn, Spectrum, 3.5" floppies, CD, Windows - there are multiple, hugely significant platforms, storage media and OSes that he completely failed to mention at all, despite apparently thinking it necessary to take into account tiny niche systems that had less than 30 games in total. It may not be enough to catch up to Wolfenstein, but the things he missed out are almost certainly much more significant than the things he included.
 

MrBaskerville

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Considering how smalle the difference between ps3 and ps4 (Same goes for pc and everything else) is, it seems ridiculous that we went from 6 GB games to 40.
 

Optimus6128

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I remember an Amstrad CPC collection of almost all games. I think the zipped archive was 100MB.
I think one way to estimate is to search for packages like all SNES ROMs, C64 game collection, etc.
Sometimes these collections, even before 1992 can be bigger, like Amiga/Atari stuff where you have the same roms 5 times from different pirated versions. And they could be few GBs for each of the 16bit machines.
Still, I think if we get all these collections it would hardly reach the 40GB size but maybe it would be 10-20.

p.s. Now I find a 250MB archive but it's also demos, applications and other stuff and maybe many different pirated versions of the same game.
https://archive.org/details/Amstrad_CPC_TOSEC_2012_04_23
p.p.s. Actually this archive would help to estimate size. Even divide by theortical half or more because it's also applications and other stuff https://archive.org/details/tosec
p.p.p.s. And yes, 40GB is too much. And the problem here is gameplay. While Wolfenstein seems fun for a while, I read it's quite short and it's not anymore like in the past with lot's of exploration and interesting gameplay. Too much size for too little gameplay.