How Does Popcap Do It?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by dypaul, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. dypaul

    Original Member

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    Hi,
    As you know, Popcap's Zuma is loaded with graphics. In fact, unzipped, it's about 30 MB. Yet, their compressed version, the file that you download, is only about 5 MB. How are they able to compress the game so much?
     
  2. dima

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    most likely its other files that have good compression ratios. Text files and others compress really well, graphics/sounds tend to have small ratio. Check out the game folder for the big files and see what they are.
     
  3. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    I wouldn't say Zuma is "loaded" with graphics. The graphics are nice, smooth and polished, but there's not that many graphics overall. ToW is only like 2.3 MB download and expands to about 12MB when installed. Thats about the same ratio as you mentioned and I didn't really do any optimizations at all... thats just the size the installer compressed it to (InnoSetup).
     
  4. James C. Smith

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    As far as I know, nobody from Pop Cap is here. Certainly not anyone willing to post technical details. But there are many people here who have shipped similar quality games with similar file sizes. Big Kahuna Reef is a 6.2 MB download which installs to 10 MB of disk space but loads 70 MB into RAM.
     
  5. Raptisoft

    Indie Author

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    Hint: Look at the difference between the game's unzipped size when you've just installed it, and after you run it the first time.
     
  6. James C. Smith

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    Ricochet Lost Words is an 11.9 MB download that installs to 24 MB of disk space but the first time you run it the disk space used increases to 51 MB and when everything is loaded by the game it uses 76 MB of RAM.
     
  7. Andy

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    I can imagine 25 MB in text files. What would they deliver there? Bible in all editions? :)
     
  8. Chaster

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    Since we're working on a Zuma-like game ourselves right now, I was also impressed by the quality which they managed to fit into their <6 meg download. One thing I noticed is that the game is only running at 640x480 resolution (!). Talk about talented artists... =)

    Chaster
     
  9. Savant

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    Add to that the fact that most of their graphics are compressed JPG files and it becomes even more impressive. :)
     
  10. princec

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    Super Dudester has 41mb of graphics and 34mb of sound, and it includes an absolutely ridiculously huge Java virtual machine in it. Yet mysteriously it compresses down to 7.5mb. The trick is LZMA compression for the installer and OGG Vorbis for sound effects.

    Cas :)
     
  11. yanuart

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    seriously 76MB of RAM ?? so much for making games for old computer.. AFAIK ppl that still use PIII will have prolly 128MB of RAM (yup back then it was very expensive to have 512MB) and if they use Windows there rn't much left.
     
  12. oNyx

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    And?

    The game works perfectly fine with 128mb (win98se). If you have a somewhat heavy application running in the background it will be swapped, but that only slows down the loading process a bit (and doesn't effect the performance).

    A programm can take up to ~96 mb before it gets silly (win9x+128mb ram).
     
  13. princec

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    Try as I might I can't get my stuff to use under about 48mb at runtime. Doesn't seem to be a problem.

    Has anybody got a recent "RAM installed" stat for the average pooter?

    Cas :)
     
  14. oNyx

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    Not really, but I can give you some rule of thumb figures.

    At the begin of 2000 500mhz machines were mid-end. The usual configuration came with 128mb. Budget configurations (pre build) with 64mb and hi-end with 256mb.

    About 1-1.5 years later the buget systems also came with 128mb.

    Nowadays (for about 2 years I would say) even the cheapass budget systems have 256mb.

    Quake3 can run with 64mb installed (using the default com_hunkmegs 48) if the operating system is win9x (2k and the like need some more space). So... if you get <= 48mb, the game will work fine on 9x machines with 64mb. However, it's most likely not worth it because the percentage of these machines should be very low (because most of em got upgraded with "leftover" ram in the meantime).
     

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