Size of desktop distribution

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  • Hi,

    the big downside of distributing desktop games/apps made with C2 is their size, which is quite big since it includes the player. My simple tetris clone is something like 60mb and no one will download it, for instance. And having it as a browser game is making me drop webgl and other stuff since I want it to play the same for everyone.

    So my idea was: what about adding another export option wich splits player and contents in two different packages? That way I could (for instance) put a link for downloading the games player and then many links for downloading the games. This could only work if the player stays the same for all ther games, of course, and it would also allow for updating the player only.

    I guess such an approach could have pros and cons and I would be interested on what Ashley has to say about this :)

    Thanks and have a nice game developing :)

  • I think a few of your assumptions are wrong. Large downloads are commonplace, especially for games, and lots of people have broadband so it's not a problem. Many Steam games run in to several gigabytes, for example. As a web game, WebGL renders identically to canvas2d, so there should be no need to turn it off. If you're talking about effect fallbacks, then C2 has some options to help you set up appropriate fallbacks, and you'd need to deal with that problem in node-webkit as well anyway, so no difference there.

    If the engine and the game data were split in to two downloads, I think you'd get even fewer players. A single download is simple to use: download and run. With two downloads, it's a little confusing (why not one download?), plus you need to know how to set up the runner and the game download so the runner knows how to find the game download. Some people will get that wrong, or just download the runner and wonder why it doesn't work, resulting in fewer plays for your game. (You'd be amazed how much people don't read instructions - it's a constant thing that comes up in support for Construct 2. You'll get lots of people clicking the first download they see without reading anything then sending you an email when it doesn't work immediately.)

    So just distribute it as a web game, or take the file size overhead which shouldn't matter for anyone with broadband!

  • Please Ashley don't split it into 2 - I agree completely in people don't like complicated. They want 1 click and play. Size doesn't matter if the experience is BETTER, than their expectation.

    I download a couple gigs in updates only on games I already own, every couple months.

    But these are games that are worth it to me, a simple tetris (who doesn't love tetris) should be played online - But, put a spin on it, give it an edge and no one will even blink at the 60mb.

    <img src="smileys/smiley2.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

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  • Having had a slow connexion for a long time, I understand the issue with the download size.

    As much as it true that since my access to a better bandwidth made me go and download bigger games (gigabytes yes) without a real issue, I understand how 60 megs for a tetris is a bit too much.

    Well, that's a technical obstacle there you have to cope with, and in the end you CAN'T please every one anyway.

    People with low bandwidth will pass on that Tetris. Be prepared to it, there's not much you can do about it, except maybe using another programming kit.

    And still you'll have some people having some other kind of issues.

  • You could build your own launcher relatively easily.

    Just wrap a launcher HTML page in Node-Webkit that's populated from a remote server. Host games remotely and store them in the application cache.

    Are there any current limitations in Node-Webkit that would prevent this?

  • Thanks for the answers guys :)

    I come from asm/C and so I find it somewhat disturbing that something as simple as Tetris requires 60MB :) ... and I know people that will pass on Tetris when seeing the download size (like Kyatric said) even if they do have a fast net. In the end, as you said, I'll live with it and just do my best to justify the download size :)

    Ashley: I was indeed talking about webgl effects, sorry for not being more precise. Are you saying that even using node-webkit and distributing as desktop app I can't be sure everything webgl won't play fine? I assumed that node-webkit was the top choice for webgl support, together with Chrome.

    Thanks again!

  • I think Tetris is an ideal candidate for web delivery anyway. Then you get a nice and small download - mainly just the images and sound - offline support, mobile support, much easier accessibility (just a URL away), and greater chance of viral marketing/sharing. Why would you want to weigh that down with a desktop app? Modern versions of Windows even stop you running a downloaded EXE if it's not run often, for security reasons.

    You cannot rely on WebGL being present in node-webkit either. Node-webkit basically is Chrome, and just like Chrome, WebGL support is subject to driver and hardware blacklists.

  • Thanks again for you answer Ashley. A last question: what do you think is at the moment the best platform to target if, let's say, I don't care about multi-platform and I just want to get the best C2 output (that is: being able of using everything it has to offer, webgl and audio included).

    Thanks again for yoru feedback and for C2 itself :)

  • You can't get everything to work for everyone, trying will lose more people than you gain.

    If you create for the guy with the cheapest worst video card, you are insulting all your players with a decent one. You have to exclude both the highest end, and the lowest, and create for the majority.

    C2 has the range to aim where ever you want that balance to fall.

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