Why Titanfall's Install Requires 48 GB: Uncompressed Audio

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nonoitall

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Wow. Just wow. I remember going to my friend's house about 13 years ago and he had a crazy old computer with 233 MHz Pentium CPU in it. Easily handled MP3 playback with only a small portion of its CPU time. With any reasonable media player, it's rare to even see audio playback use up more than 1 or 2% of a modern CPU's processing time. I just listened to a three minute song, and Winamp used 1 second of CPU time doing so, and it's not even a particularly lightweight media player. Even if they were concerned with lossy compression artifacts, there's no reason not to at least use lossless compression.

I wouldn't touch this game with a 10-foot pole. The developers are either grossly incompetent or grossly dishonest.
 

Krasniye

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Like most of you guys I find this ridiculous as well. When you have a very hyped, very big budget AAA title like this, not including at least an option to download non compressed and compressed audio seems a bit stupid. How hard is it to make a little more advanced installer?
 

ipwn3r456

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I don't think think a regular person will notice a huge change from uncompressed and reasonable compressed audio. I mean, if you really want to enjoy the "uncompressed" audio, those people will need atleast a good sound card, and a good headset, there's no point for uncompressed audio. 35GBs is just way too ridiculous just for audio, and a waste of storage, I would rather have way lesser storage for decent compressed audio instead.
 

Fierce Guppy

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We have audio we either download or install from the disc, then we uncompress it," said Respawn lead engineer Richard Baker. "We probably could have had audio decompress off disc but we were a little worried about min spec and the fact that a two-core machine would dedicate a huge chunk of one core to just decompressing audio.
I'm not interested in TitanFall, just the mind-bogglingly insane rationale for leaving the audio uncompressed. There's nothing wrong with dedicating a core to decompressing audio during the game setup. NOTHING. It is FAR more preferable than having to wait for, potentially, 30GBs of redundant crap to download and take a big chunk out of the monthly data cap.
 

Halex77

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Its a lie.You can play MP3 on almost anything.(even a 66mhz pentiums too)Decompressing audio dont need big processor time,its a basic MMX instruction.And of course we have a dedicated hardvare for this,we call it soundcard...Streaming 38gb data from a slow harddrive,its not a smart decision lol.I hope you dont mind seriouss to everyone put 38gb audio to SSD - lol again.Shame on you dear Respawn Entertainment.
 

InvalidError

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My 90MHz Pentium could barely manage to play MP3s - it could do it only when I did nothing else with it.

As for MMX, MMX deals only with integer math which can be used for fixed-point math but not ideal for DSP stuff. MP3 encoding and decoding rely heavily on FFT and FFT is much better suited for SSE/AVX instructions.
 

Master467

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You guys do understand they are talking about playing hundreds of compressed audio files at the same time, right? Every sound you hear is another file. Every gun shot in the background needs to be uncompressed and played... it will use up quite a bit of an older PC's processing power.

I see the reason for it, but it should defiantly give us the option. Im sure there is some way to compress all the files and have TitanFall uncompressed it. Im sure that code is still in there.
 
I find it a problem that these guys are okay with their game being larger than the amount of free space on a 64GB SSD [probably the most common size in use] with nothing but Windows installed. Even on my 256GB SSD I can't say I'm fine with a single game taking up a 5th of that just for audio.
So don't install it on your SSD. That simple. Not every game can be made optimal for all of us.
 

gggplaya

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This game would pretty much eat up all my free space on my 120GB SSD with just one game. Sure i have another 2TB optical drive installed, but games should be loaded onto the SSD for loading speed. Some games actually write heavily onto the HD while playing, so again SSD has large advantages. The people without money for a higher end PC should just be playing on an Xbox anyways.
 

Nolonar

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As a console and PC gamer, I felt slightly offended by this, but it's actually quite true. If you can't afford a fast enough PC, you really should consider getting a console instead.
 

burkhartmj

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Junctions are doable most likely, I use them for putting cloud sync files on an SD card in my Surface Pro, but it's not going to be something your average or even above average Windows user will even know exists.

As far as the SSD obsession, I get your point, but I know I personally would rather not manage 2 separate hard drive locations just to accommodate an unnecessarily large install of one game. The usual configuration with SSD's is to have all system and application files there, and all user files on other drives, this complicates things for something it didn't need to [uncompressed audio]. It's not a foreign concept that higher performance machines tend to use smaller SSD's for primary and low performance machines tend to have large HDD's as primary. Making a not-dumb installer with just those 2 options could cut this number down exponentially for people who don't need it, assuming even the lowest performing computers would really be effected by decompressing audio [which is kind of a dubious claim].

It's not that there aren't alternatives, or that it's impossible to get this game on your computer, it's that it makes the whole process more annoying and frustrating for absolutely no reason, and does so specifically to the demographic that is most vocal about games and tends to get other people buying those games [PC gamers that usually use SSD's].
 

CraigN

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More frequent read/writes to your SSD actually decreases its lifespan, not improves it, so this is actually a reason why *not* to use an SSD for games that read/write heavily to the SSD and use it for applications instead. This is why in particular, RAMDisks are popular with MMOs over SSDs because of the large read/write amounts are unhealthy for the SSD.

Also, like I mentioned before, unless you join mid-match, Titanfall waits for everyone to load in before starting the match.. Load times aren't terribly important for this game because of that, so, SSD really doesn't have that large of an advantage.

burkhartmj - Don't get me wrong, like I said in my last post, I agree - a smarter installer is needed, because there are people who don't need all those uncompressed files, or should have options for how to deal with them. I agree that if this is the amount of space needed, some tailoring should have been necessary to target the smaller market. It is incredibly inconvenient, I'm not saying people shouldn't be mad, I'm just saying people should be tempering their expectations on games they can install to what drive based on the fact that most people aren't running around with 500GB/1TB SSDs to begin with.

However, I don't use my SSD for my games, because it doesn't improve my FPS. I use it for Windows, Office, and any of my other processing/work related applications. It improves load times for games, yes, but a 2TB drive with a 64MB cache at 7200RPM, is really not that slow at loading games to begin with either. Not as fast, yes, but not so slow you're losing some kind of competitive advantage by using it over the SSD, especially in a game *that waits for everyone to connect* at the start of every match.

Unless you have a large SSD, I just can't see why you'd *want* to install this game on your SSD unless your HDD is just really that old or slow, because there doesn't seem to be that much of a tangible benefit to it.
 

InvalidError

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A smart game developer would cache decompressed sounds in RAM to play them from memory instead of reloading them from disk and repeatedly re-decompress them. An even smarter developer would start preloading frequently used resources while the player is scrolling through game menus to reduce level load time when the player eventually selects an option that leads to in-game.

But you won't fill 35GB with sound effects. Most of it is soundtracks and games rarely have more than 2-3 of those playing at any given time.
 

CraigN

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It's also my understanding a good 11GB of it is the different language packs. I heard somewhere they can be deleted? Not sure, haven't tried on my home installation yet.
 

segio526

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More frequent read/writes to your SSD actually decreases its lifespan...
Reads do not affect an SSD's lifespan, only writes. The act of changing states is what causes it to break down, reading is essentially free. That being said, at least on Intel consumer drives, they say you can write an average of 21 GB a day for 10 years before you start losing sectors. I'm sure other manufactures aren't that good, but even the worst can't be that far off, so the SSD death fears are probably a little over hyped.
 

CSuth

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While it does suck that it's a 50GB file and a smart installer would be great the whole game was developed by 60 people on a relatively limited budget (for a AAA title). All the money seen going into advertising belongs to EA not respawn since as the publisher its EA's responsibility to market and distribute the game, while respawn's responsibility is to provide a product. So before you slam them for not providing a smart installer just think about the amount of work creating a game this big with only 60 people.
 

CraigN

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Thank you for correcting me on discluding reads from that. I appreciate the education :) (Not sarcasm, I genuinely appreciate the correction.)

I do definitely think the fears of "SSD death" are overhyped, but there are a few MMOs out there (SWTOR, to name one) that do excessive reads and even write back an unhealthy amount (compared to other applications) back to the SSD.

But I still maintain that I don't think an SSD is really going to benefit much in a game like TF.



Writing the installer is not only one of the last tasks that happens, it's also probably one of the least technically challenging parts of developing the game... There's really no excuse for it other than laziness.

Especially when 11 GB of the sound files are languages, they easily could have let you at least select to ONLY install the relevant sound files for your game, but no, all of the languages are present. In case, you know, you want to switch from English to Russian for a day, or to Chinese.

I get that you want to defend the team, because of their hard work, blood, sweat, and tears into making a great game (which, it is) and I respect that. But understand that this frustration boils from the fact that its contradictive to their reasoning (helping the "lower end PCs" that don't actually have that much space to spare) and it's entirely possible to have worked around it or provided an option.

Hell, games from the 1990s and early 2000s (With MUCH smaller dev teams than 60 or 70 people) gave you the option to Full Install the game from the Disk or do "Minimum Install" and let most of the game be read off the disk drive. This is 2014. Writing a decent installer is probably on a template in some developer's hard drive at this point.
 

CSuth

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Personally I believe that they should have had smart installers, even skyrim mods have them, I just felt the need to point out that the fact a small team has accomplished so much especially considering when they started the project all they had as an empty office.
 

CraigN

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Yeah but these were extremely talented developers who'd been doing this formula for awhile. There's a reason the game plays *so* very much like Modern Warfare (as far as the weapon handling and pacing goes), not to mention using a very well documented engine (Source), so they never had to create their own from the ground up.

You're exactly right. Even Skyrim *mods* have smart installers. So should a AAA title.
 

jasonpwns

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Did someone really say 7TB cost 500 dollars? Pathetic. 5Tb can be had for under 250. So 2TB can be done for around 350. A lot sure, but even 3TB which is 150 or less can get you enough space for more than a couple 50GB games. It isn't just audio that'll make games big. Wake up and smell the coffee. Larger and crisper textures, etc.
 

skit75

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Lack of capacity on older machines isn't really a valid reason to be upset about this either. Sure there are tons of 40GB and 80GB HDDs still in use out there but they are not likely "gaming machines". Even machines stuck on a PATA interface are capable of 160GB drives and I think I've seen a 200GB or 250GB WD PATA drive, that exists. Point is, the devs have a more valid argument for including everything in the installer if your counter argument is capacity on older machines.
 

InvalidError

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Maybe not but we are talking about 35GB out of a 48GB game here. That means uncompressed audio accounts for 73% of disk space used that could have easily been compressed to less than 8GB with practically no discernible quality loss.
 
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