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matthornb

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A member registered 2 years ago · View creator page →

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Depends on what you are trying to do with your project. The demoscene has made some amazing projects fit into insanely small filesize using procedural methods, including a full FPS [kkrieger] with procedurally generated textures running out of a 96kb executable, a 4kb landscape flyover with motion blur [Elevated], and a beautiful space flythrough in 64kb [Mercury - Fermi Paradox].  There's also a UDK level made with just a single 512x512 texture map.

So extremely efficient use of assets is possible.



But what these people are doing, is it recommended? I'd argue that it's unnecessary - interesting, sure, with a certain novelty factor, but most AAA games on Windows are in the 1GB range for a reason, namely that recent generations of PCs can handle that sort of file size.  And if they can handle it nowadays, why not take advantage of that and push it for the best graphics quality possible?

The other argument, aside from hardware and download filesize limitations, that's been put forth in favor of procedural or highly minimalist graphics, is not needing to hire artists. That's questionable, however, as procedurally generated art rarely looks as good as intentional, artist-made art, and to generate procedural content isn't any cheaper given the extra time required in programming, that negates any efficiency gains made by less work for artists.

My take: this focus on efficiency in storage used is practical only up to a point; yes, it matters, and you certainly should aim for as low a filesize and as minimal hardware requirements as you can, unless that means severely compromising the quality of the finished project.  

if nice graphics and animation are important to the appeal of your project, and the platforms you're aiming for are desktop platforms, it may be worth allowing for some more file size.  I personally am an artist and not so much a programmer, so my projects will tend to emphasize the atmosphere and aesthetic style that are my strengths, and not so much complex interaction, especially early on without any other team members.  So if the visuals are key to my project's success, and a strong asset for me, then it makes sense not to slash filesize to the point where that appeal is compromised.  It's all about finding the right balance, and there are rarely real rules for this, mostly just guidelines.

Would I like to have my current project (Miniature Multiverse) under 10MB? Sure, there's an appeal to doing so, but IMO I'm more concerned about its quality than its efficiency, and it's important having some beautiful visuals to show on Itch.IO for promotional reasons if nothing else. If your project looks great, that absolutely gets you more attention, more views, clicks, downloads, sales.  That matters more to me, than keeping it extremely lean and extremely efficient.  Those sales could be vital to my ability to effectively expand not only that project but also a long list of others down the line.  It could make it possible to even someday hire musicians, programmers, etc, on short-term tasks, to solve specific, particularly tricky things I want to do later, which couldn't do as well myself.

So I would say that keeping filesize down to tiny levels is good only to some extent, under some conditions for some developers and some platforms.

I use, among other game development tools, Unity, Construct 2, Lightwave, 3ds max, Blacksmith 3d, Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere.

I'm making realtime 3d games in the Unity engine and 2d in Construct 2.

Lightwave and 3ds max are my main two 3d art tools, but I sometimes use Blacksmith 3d as a '3d paint' utility.

Photoshop I use for texture art and 2d graphics, sometimes I also use ShaderMap 2 to generate normal maps and such from photographed texture assets.

After Effects and Premiere are my go-to tools for compositing and video editing, respectively, but recently I've been using Resolve for color correction, and Fusion 8, sometimes, as it's a great video/VFX tool and it is available for free.

Currently I'm creating a little adventure game called Spiral Skies. It is days away from completion at this point.

Spiral Skies