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savail

How games are updated?

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Hey,
Recently I have been wondering how online games are being updated... My first thought would be to replace the exe file, but mostly the exe is too large to replace it everytime you want to add something(a skill, fix the bug etc). My second thought then would be that such games load data from for example txt file and those txt files are being replaced in update... but is that possible to make a game so smartly that you can create even new skills, fix bugs etc by changing something in your txt data files? I doubt it... Well, I have no idea ;p and would be extremaly grateful for any info in this case

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The answer is both.

Some things can be updated simply by changing data files but as you rightly point out code bugs generally can't be updated this way which either requires a new exe or dll to be delivered to the end user or, in some cases, a binary diff between two known versions can be used however this requires that the patches are applied in order. So you'd have to apply 1.0 to 1.5 then 1.5 to 1.6 in that order, you couldn't apply the 1.6 patch to the 1.0 version directly.

However exe size generally isn't going to be a huge problem; most game size is made up of assets not the exe so supplying a new one isn't a huge task.

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I see games updates nowadays taking over 1gb in place, so the executable size shouldn't be too troublesome.

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However exe size generally isn't going to be a huge problem; most game size is made up of assets not the exe so supplying a new one isn't a huge task.


Definitely seconded; the days of exe file size being anything of an issue are long long over. The only conceivable scenario where it would be a problem is if the devs embedded all of the game assets into the exe as resources (in which case you must ask - what on earth were they thinking!?!?)

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