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[web] Reasonable size for a browser game?

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Hey, I was wondering about file sizes of browser games and how big would still be reasonable? From few megabytes to tens of MBs? What are the things that should be taken into account here? I can think that ofcourse there would be more bandwidth usage but that would probably be about the same as distributing the game as downloadable package. The reason that got me wondering is that I'm developing isometric 2D game in shockwave and it uses bitmap graphics. I am currently making character animations and realized that the file size could easily go to several MBs for each character. They will be compressed but they certainly will have effect on the total file size. How big browser applications you have seen? Any opinions about the subject? Thanks.

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Quote:
Original post by Wrath
I was wondering about file sizes of browser games and how big would still be reasonable? From few megabytes to tens of MBs?

I personally couldn't care less what the size is. What I care about is how long I have to wait to play the game. So I'd be fine with intermediate loading times between levels for instance if that would speed up the initial loading of the game.

Secondly, it depends on the game. I am not prepared to wait too long for just a casual game I want to check out during a lunch break. If it doesn't load in say twenty seconds, you lost me. If it is a game that I plan to play frequently, say a turn based multiplayer game where I will log in a couple of times a day to check my progress, I would be prepared to wait a little longer as I assume the next time I visit the site most of the application will be fetched from my browser cache. So let's say ninety seconds should do it.

Obviously it depends also on the server response time and my bandwidth. Let's say the former is fairly optimal and not a concern at the moment. What's left is the performance on my side of the fence. I'm used to some sort of fast broadband connection, as will most people I assume. If you don't want to exclude the 56K users, your severely limited in terms of file size and consequent load times unless you serve them a different downgraded version compared to the high bandwidth visitors. The Flash IDE it comes with a tool to simulate different download speeds, I'm not sure about Shockwave (I think it being used less and less these days).

Quote:
The reason that got me wondering is that I'm developing isometric 2D game in shockwave and it uses bitmap graphics. I am currently making character animations and realized that the file size could easily go to several MBs for each character. They will be compressed but they certainly will have effect on the total file size.

Well, any asset will have effect on the resulting file size, but compression and different formats (PNG, JPG or even GIF) can make quite the difference. Bitmaps are infamous for their size. Again, I'm not sure about Shockwave, but in Flash you can choose to draw things procedurally when appropriate, and perhaps shave off some of the total file size. And like I said above, the user experience can also be improved by loading data only when it's needed.

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Firstly I want to thank you for the reply.

Quote:
Original post by WanMaster
I personally couldn't care less what the size is. What I care about is how long I have to wait to play the game. So I'd be fine with intermediate loading times between levels for instance if that would speed up the initial loading of the game.

I guess this is mostly a hosting issue then, so the bigger file I want, the more I would have to spend on faster connections etc. to keep the loading times reasonable.

Quote:
Original post by WanMasterIf you don't want to exclude the 56K users, your severely limited in terms of file size and consequent load times unless you serve them a different downgraded version compared to the high bandwidth visitors.

I think 56K users can consider themselves pretty much excluded from the internet anyway. [grin]

Quote:
Original post by WanMaster
The Flash IDE it comes with a tool to simulate different download speeds, I'm not sure about Shockwave (I think it being used less and less these days).

Yea I've noticed that is the trend, though Director 11 is going to be released soon so maybe it will liven things up for shockwave.

Quote:
Original post by WanMaster
Well, any asset will have effect on the resulting file size, but compression and different formats (PNG, JPG or even GIF) can make quite the difference. Bitmaps are infamous for their size. Again, I'm not sure about Shockwave, but in Flash you can choose to draw things procedurally when appropriate, and perhaps shave off some of the total file size. And like I said above, the user experience can also be improved by loading data only when it's needed.

When I said I was using bitmap graphics I meant as opposed to vector graphics, there is possibility for automatic JPG compression in Director and it really does help. The sprites I'm using are rendered from 3D models so I think procedural methods arent an option here. I havent though of loading data only when needed, I might have to look in to that.

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