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    Request: UDKLite

    One of the key factors in the indie game scene that can significantly reduce your conversion rate is download size.

    Generally speaking the smaller the download and install the more likely somebody is to purchase your game. Ideally you want the download to be under 50 megabytes in size.

    UDK currently fails horribly at this.

    A large amount of this is caused by the shipping of UTGame and all the related content with UDK. Even if you haven't used any code or assets from UTGame you will still end up packaging an overly large shader cache as well as any content that is referenced by UTGame (such as the UI).

    if you strip it all down then you can get a UDK game to be very small indeed (yet still not under 50 meg due to teh UE3REdist and ShaderCache). The problem is that you cannot remove UTGame or UTEditor completely from your project because the executable expects these script packages to exist due to native C++ bindings.

    I would very much like a version of UDK that consisted of only the contents of the Engine folder and had no UTGame at all. A UDKLite if you will for those of us whose intent is to make games that have no relationship at all with the UTGame folder.

    I've managed to get cutdown version of UDK to work but recognise that this may not be allowed under the terms of the commercial license for redistribution and that also there are many developers who would also like to see such a product available.

    I would also like to see the ability to not support SM4 and as such not have to cook and package up the large SM4 shader cache. The SM4 Shader cache in my test build is 10x the size of the SM2 cache and 7x the size of the SM3 cache. It is the single largest file in my CookedPC folder.

    EDIT: For the record I managed to get a UDK created Install down to 64 meg. That consists of only the Entry.udk map and nothing else. This version will launch but you can't use the editor.

    #2
    I've been stripping UDK since it was first released and just kept upgrading that build with each new update. A bare installation where both the editor and the game runs standalone is 90MB, you can go down to 80MB if you selectively remove some DLL's in Win32 (in an already stripped Binaries), but you may lose compability with some systems not having installed all required packages (like OpenAL). Together with my game files, it's now at 290MB total, but a High RAR compression brings that down to 52MB.

    So yea, it's possible to go completely UT3-less, you just need to find the time and will to modify your INI's (which cause a lot of dependencies, too).

    BTW. You can remove ALL scripts in UTGame and UTEditor and leave a placeholder file instead to please the game. Besides some Kismet dependencies, the latest version got rid of the UTFamilyInfo.uc dependency, which means your game will run fine if UTGame only contains a UTGamePlaceholder.uc

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      #3
      I have just noticed that all the Package builder in the frontend does is compress up some files from binaries and all of the CookedPC folder.

      I just tried deleting the SM4 reference cache and packaging up the installer and it came out at 60 meg rather than 64 so aside from the lengthy cook time for shaders you can at least keep it out of the distributed package.

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        #4
        I don't even use the UnSetup thingie, neither any of the other provided tools. IF you want to redistribute your game and look professional at the same time, you make a real installer for it. Not some thing also advertising UDK while it's installing your game.

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          #5
          I need to check but you may find that advertising UDK while installing your game is actually part of the commercial license.

          EDIT: No it isn't but we still aren't allowed to change the games splash screen yet.

          Additionally the Epic provided setup program can be trusted to create an end user installation that has all the files you need to distribute without worrying about whether some people will need certain dll files that you deleted.

          EDIT2: To compare to your version I just used WinRar to pack up the End User install the setup program created and it came to 51.5meg so it would appear that Epics install package at least has some room for more aggressive compression to reduce download size.

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            #6
            Originally posted by schizoslayer View Post
            EDIT: No it isn't but we still aren't allowed to change the games splash screen yet.
            Actually, according to the FAQ you are allowed to change the splash screen now:

            Originally posted by DevelopmentKitFAQ
            Q: Can we change the static UDK splash screen in our UDK apps?

            A: Yes, you may alter the static splash screen as you see fit. The UDK movie, on the other hand, must not be changed.

            Comment


              #7
              I wish they would keep all of this in one place. There are 3 different FAQs now I think and each one has a different answer to this question ranging from: "No", through "We're thinking about it" to "Yes".

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                #8
                I think what can be done to reduce the download file size would be to not include the games, textures, meshes and materials, so you are literally left with a bareboned development kit. and should someone want the extra bits, to download it seperatley.

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                  #9
                  would also like a simple wizard to create a new game, just makes some ini file changes, sets up soem directories, and maybe even adds basic classes for gametype, player controller, etc

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by schizoslayer View Post
                    One of the key factors in the indie game scene that can significantly reduce your conversion rate is download size.

                    Generally speaking the smaller the download and install the more likely somebody is to purchase your game. Ideally you want the download to be under 50 megabytes in size.

                    UDK currently fails horribly at this.
                    An absolutely ludicrous observation!

                    Where did you come up with those figures? ...is this just your opinion or do you have a source that proves this?

                    Whether it's indie or AAA... customers are quite willing to purchase/download large files to play a game....that's evident if you have ever been on the internet... Why do you presume an Indie game has to be under 50mbs?

                    Most of the online game-buying public are sitting on hi-speed internet...they are quite willing to download large files.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      There's a huge quantity of people that are still on dialup.

                      As an aside, the minimum size I was able to get the unrealfrontend packaged installer down to was a hair under 200 megabytes, which is, imo, absolutely unacceptable for a game with absolutely nothing in it but an empty 3-d square. Deleting the shader caches prior to making my own zip file knocked it down around 120mb, but then it took over 30 minutes to rebuild the shader cache after installing the game.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Here is how how i package my Games made in UDK or not UDK.

                        Firstly ill make the game - then produce a prototype for others to demo

                        For UDK i would go with the UDK Installer to start with. so it packs everything up with me not having to manually add or do anything.

                        Next i will just REPACK the final Installed Directory UDK Creates with http://www.clickteam.com/eng/installcreator.php

                        Now i will download OpenAL installers and variouse DX Redist add + other needed drivers people may not have installed such as .net frameworks - ill Pack it with the installer mentioned above as it can install and run those installers during setup.

                        Make my own Images and my own anything script c++ u name it u can run and pack what ever u want with this thing and have it get user input or run setup auto.

                        Currently u can not modify the Splash for UDK yet - (It is confirmed however that a revised version of the terms of use is under way to change this)

                        so i make up for it buy including my splash during Setup and custom ui

                        the Final product produced- is then a Repacked version of the installed game- complete with Manual - Reademe files - version info logs - that can be installed wherever the user wants it to be installed to. and it can include extras. the installer is that simple to use that even supports basic Unlock passwords to unlock parts of the installer u simply would not get if u just used trial. but this is only for projects i make from scratch and made using my own engines. other then that the end product is fully Distributable and and can leave as much or as little control over how it installs to the user as u see fit.

                        Personally i actually make it create a new folder with my games name and have it exract the UDK standalone extracted content there.

                        hopefully its legal i don't see why it would not be. secondly it works around the whole OMG why cant i control what it spits out threads - thirdly have fun and good luck

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by PuckerFactor View Post
                          An absolutely ludicrous observation!

                          Where did you come up with those figures? ...is this just your opinion or do you have a source that proves this?

                          Whether it's indie or AAA... customers are quite willing to purchase/download large files to play a game....that's evident if you have ever been on the internet... Why do you presume an Indie game has to be under 50mbs?

                          Most of the online game-buying public are sitting on hi-speed internet...they are quite willing to download large files.
                          There are two reasons:
                          • Remove any barriers to impulse purchase.
                          • Reduce bandwidth costs associated with serving the download.


                          The first point is something that you pick up on if you hang around indie dev forums long enough: if you want people to buy your game on a whim then you need to remove any reason they might have to not download it. Large filesizes can make your game appear risky and increase the perceived effort involved in the purchase. There is absolutely no harm in reducing the download size while having a larger size can put some customers off. Nobody is saying you won't sell any copies if you have a large download but I am saying that you will sell more if you can get under 50 meg compared to being over 300.

                          The second point is just plain good business. If your game is a 300 meg download then your hosting costs will be higher which will eat into your profit margin. This is made even worse if you happen to have a free demo to download.

                          If your game is completely kickass and gets huge amounts of hype then filesize probably won't deter people from downloading it but the unfortunate truth is that the vast majority of indie games developed are not kick *** or generate huge amounts of hype and struggle to make any money at all.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Ledhead900 View Post
                            Now i will download OpenAL installers and variouse DX Redist add + other needed drivers people may not have installed such as .net frameworks - ill Pack it with the installer mentioned above as it can install and run those installers during setup.
                            Ledhead900 would you be so kind to make a list of all the files (other then udk) we should include in installation with the installer you mentioned.

                            And thanks for the link. Very nice program.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              my thoughts for any who care: the engine does take up a fair bit of space but thats because of all the high tech lighting/ai/etc stuff packed into it. Its not designed to make 50mb minigames, if thats what you want go for xna. Its like using flash to make a crysis quality game.

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