[casual_games] Procedural rendering - again

James C. Smith james at Reflexive.net
Mon Jan 9 14:18:51 EST 2006

>> How large portion of the average game's downloaded file is pixel data?

In the games I have worked on (such as Ricochet and Big Kahuna) we have what
I consider to be rich graphics in plentiful quantities. There is not a ton
of contents but we don't skimp on the content.  Most of the art is JPEG
compressed bitmaps and it ends up being about 35% to 50% of the overall
download size.  Occasionally we use AGG to do some vector based graphics at
run time but this is rare. You can see this in Big Kahuna Words with the art
in the background. Most of the art is pre-rendered bitmaps that are re-used
on every many levels. But each level has some unique "water mark" type
artwork that is done in vectors.  But like I said, the majority of the art
is pre-rendered bitmaps and it still only makes up less than one third of
the games distribution size which is less than 15 meg.  This is true of all
the Ricochet and Big Kahuna games. I think in the case of Wik & the Fable of
Souls the visual art was a little over 50% of the distribution size.

That begs the question of what fills up all the rest of the space.  Sounds
and music are usually about 25% and the executable code can take up 10%, and
then there are game specific things like level layouts, word lists
(dictionary), installer, DRM, and so on.

Some kinds of procedural rendering may be very helpful. But the size of the
pre-rendered bitmaps is not as prohibitive as you may think.  Most people
are surprised to find out that a game like Ricochet has less that 7 MB of
graphics and Big Kahuna Reef has less than 4 MB.  When used properly, JPEG
can be a wonderful thing.

James C. Smith
Producer: Ricochet xxx, Big Kahuna xxx
Reflexive Entertainment

-----Original Message-----
From: casual_games-bounces at igda.org [mailto:casual_games-bounces at igda.org]
On Behalf Of Jonas Beckeman
Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2006 11:07 AM
To: 'IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [casual_games] Procedural rendering - again

> 2MB...10MB...does it really matter?  My guess is the the vast
> majority of casual game buyers have broadband connections (am
> I wrong), so the download difference is going to be measured
> in seconds.

Between 2 and 10, I don't think it matters much - but probably when going
from 15 to 65. If a factor of 5 would be an average case, that's something
else that's interesting to discuss. For .kkrieger, it feels more like a
factor of 100, but that's a very special case.

How large portion of the average game's downloaded file is pixel data? Could
a good image synth generate a big part of them? Is there a significant risk
of textures looking too much alike? Could it be worth it if your 100 MB game
comes down to 5 MB?

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