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When is a map TOO big? (file size)

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    When is a map TOO big? (file size)

    I have a Warfare map out WAR-Dune and it's just about 136 MB. I expect this to get a bit larger before it's finalized, since there are still emitters, sounds, and other things I have yet to add to it, as well as the finishing touches (Preview Pic and Core Explosions sequences and yada yada yada...)...

    Anyway... it's not getting much attention and rapidly falls to page 2 or 3 or sometimes 4 within a day or so.

    Are large-scale maps of such a large file size that much of a turn-off for players? I mean, I could probably omit a few static meshes (I'd prefer to keep my map somewhat pretty, well pretty as deserts go...), but I doubt that a few instances of a mesh will make a dramatic impact....

    Anyways, I thought I'd ask the community what the "acceptable" range for them is to try and get an 'average' size as a goal for future projects. No promise I won't go over it, but it'd be a nice guideline.

    I have another WAR map on the back burner.... Was VCTF-Infiris.... Should be an interesting map when it's done. Finishing up Dune has really given me some Great ideas for static meshes, as it will be nearly 90% or more custom content.

    #2
    Is there custom music in the map?
    I know that can increase the file size by a lot.
    Not sure how u managed 136mb!

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      #3
      I tried someone elses map that came to about 103mb yesterday, and looking at it i couldnt see where that 103mb went. I havent looked at this map yet, but 136mb+ i think is a ridiculous size for a map. The one i just mentioned took an age to load up, and was a very poor performer. Not that this one is, but over 136mb.. ****.

      Also, i would guess anywhere upto about 80mb final/complete size would be about the top end in my opinion. i think one of the stock maps comes to around this.

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        #4
        Be careful with lightmap resolutions. On such big map (filesize) I personally would go for very low light resolution on biggest surfaces (terrains etc). Also load your map open resources in use tab in general browser and try to fight biggest memory offenders. I am quite sure you can halve maps size this way without losing much of quality.

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          #5
          Nawrot is pretty much right. Lightmaps tend to be the killer in file size and the killer in performance. I'd reduce the resolutions down on as much as possible without compromising visual quality. You should be able to get a map down to around half what it is now, I'll bet.

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            #6
            There is no doubt that large file sizes will drive away some players. This is a fact. However, you have to decide what it is you want. If you only cater to those who refuse to accept large file sizes, you are going to limit yourself in your creativity.

            And as these guys have said, you have to make sure that your map files aren't bigger than they need to be. For your example, I would highly suggest that you review your map, and make sure that it really has to be that large.

            For me, it's usually a rough formula, that you just figure up in your head. If the map/mod size is huge, what's the payoff? Does it appear to be worth the large size? Is there plenty of neat custom stuff? Or is it bloated in size unnecessarily, and still sorta bland and average looking?

            You can also look at is as a challenge, and attempt to do both. Create maps with plenty of custom content and perhaps large file sizes, and also sometimes make maps specifically trying to have small file sizes, and yet that still manage to kick ***.

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              #7
              **** i just checked the unzipped size.. over 170mb for a map ??.. i think i need to grab this and check it out

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                #8
                You can try and bring the map file size down, but in the end if the map is great people will download and play it no matter what size it is. I know some people use the redirect server thing and may whine alittle, but if thay like your map they will install it.
                I guess its TOO BIG when its a poor map, 2kb is too large for a **** map.

                R.Flagg said it best imo.

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                  #9
                  that's 136 MB in a compressed .zip file....

                  No, not custom music, but some custom meshes and some high-res materials (about 4 materials with 3 texture samples on average that are 1024x1024 = 6MB each... 72MB total for texture samples) and the Materials for my meshes are even larger (2 custom meshes with hi-res textures > 3 texture samples @ 2048x2048 = 12MB each sample..... so 64MB from textures alone, they were important meshes that added more color, so I went all-out.)

                  So....136 MB in the uncompressed (167MB) map file is just really high res texture samples.

                  I may be able to shave off about 32 MB from the meshes if I cut their texture sizes down by half.... Right now I am looking for play-testers and feedback. If people thing that those things could be cut back without a dramatically negative impact on the visuals, I may do it..... but that's the problem, no one will touch it most of the time.... Do I bite the bullet and make a scaled-down version or leave it as-is until all testing is done, then nit-pick back through?

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                    #10
                    Can You show pictures of those meshes? Maybe you can split them into pieces. (hourences has it covered in tutorial). Idea is just like that CSG lightmap. Make construction mesh with not so detailed texture, then several small meshes with detailed textures. If those custom meshes are not some trees or sculptures I bet you can cut texture resolution in half without much difference, just by optimizing UV mapping and way mesh is constructed. Maybe you can use multiple materials and use some of Epic textures for some details? I know its a lot more work, but 133MB (64+72) for some custom content is a bit extreme.

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                      #11
                      Well if you think about it like this....

                      Some of the maps released with the game are taking their meshes and textures out of separate packages. Not all of them have everything embedded into the levels.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by ShadeMistress View Post
                        No, not custom music, but some custom meshes and some high-res materials
                        Meshes add very little to the map file size once imported.

                        Hi-res textures and hi-res lightmaps are the largest offenders.

                        Originally posted by ShadeMistress View Post
                        ... about 4 materials ...
                        Materials themselves add very little to the map file size.
                        If multiple Materials reference the same Texture, that texture is only loaded once.

                        Originally posted by ShadeMistress View Post
                        1024x1024 = 6MB each
                        A 1024x1024 texture, once compressed as DXT1, adds only 1.33MB.

                        Originally posted by ShadeMistress View Post
                        3 texture samples @ 2048x2048 = 12MB each sample
                        2048 is pointless for standard World StaticMeshes. The LODGroup for World is limited to a maximum of 1024x1024. So your 2048 textures, if they are in the World LODGroup are still only showing as 1024 (mip #1), so you may as well reduce the size of these.

                        A 2048x2048 DXT1 texture is also only 5.33MB.


                        The main thing to do is watch the lightmap resolutions.
                        Any StaticMeshes that are not directly in the playfield and any StaticMeshes that are already triangulated well, should be set to a lightmap override of 0 (the default for inserted StaticMeshes) so that they use per-vertex lighting and thus no lightmap memory space.
                        StaticMeshes that are using lightmaps should be set to the minimum lightmap size that gives reasonable quality. This usually means taking educated guesses on the lightmap size and re-building multiple times to test it and tweak it. For stock Epic UT3 StaticMeshes, the defined lightmap resolution in the StaticMesh Editor may be higher than your requirements, in which case use the lightmap override for the mesh instance to specify a smaller lightmap size.


                        IMHO, people are going to have to get used to 50MB to 250MB map file sizes. This is not uncommon for a highly detailed map.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by DGUnreal View Post
                          (...)

                          IMHO, people are going to have to get used to 50MB to 250MB map file sizes. This is not uncommon for a highly detailed map.
                          Agreed with that. Tweak your map the best you could and upload the shizzle.

                          Don't see the problem. Most of the people have enough space on their harddisks and have a fast internet-connection too.

                          Only problem could be upload-space and speed.

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                            #14
                            for map munchers who are sick to death of standard content i dont think the size would be an issue shademistress but as youve done a zip id maybe reccomend a rar to further reduce the download size, im sure community would appreciate it. As Im not a warfare fan i cant really give a personal opinion sorry But to me a large map file just shows a lot of dedication on the part of the mapper. PS I looked at this thread coz mines about to blow out to 42MB guess i dont have much to worry about hahahaa [EDIT] People may find the file size offputting to download as a beta which they are going to have to re-download as a final later. Unfortunately in this case I cant see any other solution besides using your own judgement to get to a full release. Then people will d/l and complain and you will have to put out updated version 1.1 or something of the like. It seems as more and more full releases become available, less and less people are willing to beta test and save their feedback for the final. Its a sad state of affairs really.... but what can you do? You can only go on the feedback you have recieved. Fortunately in your case your very experienced and prob will make a better job of using your own gut instincts than most

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