Titanfall's massive PC install explained

Titanfall is out now on PC. However, one required spec has raised a few eyebrows: why does the game require 48GB of space? Especially when the Xbox...

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Titanfall is out now on PC. However, one required spec has raised a few eyebrows: why does the game require 48GB of space? Especially when the Xbox One version is only 16GB?

The bloated file size on PC comes from developer Respawn's attempt at making the game compatible with as many machines as possible. Specifically, the game includes 35GB of uncompressed audio. Lead engineer Richard Baker told Eurogamer that "by having uncompressed audio, the game runs faster for those using slower systems." Xbox One includes an audio decoder built into the hardware, which does away with the need for uncompressed audio.

"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," he said.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 11, 2014 8:30 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Titanfall's massive PC install explained.

    Titanfall is out now on PC. However, one required spec has raised a few eyebrows: why does the game require 48GB of space? Especially when the Xbox...

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      March 11, 2014 8:33 AM

      Honestly, I would rather more devs did this. We all have giant amounts of drive space, let's use it.

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        March 11, 2014 8:46 AM

        Totally agree ^^

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        March 11, 2014 8:48 AM

        I don't know about anyone else, but although I do have lots of space, im always maxed out. I keep lots of games on the drive (for rainy day purposes)

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        March 11, 2014 8:56 AM

        eh my SSD space is limited. though for a game like this I'd probably throw it on a standard drive anyway.

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          March 11, 2014 8:39 PM

          I've installed on my SSD, no regrets. Everything else is on the Steam harddrive (1TB).

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        March 11, 2014 9:04 AM

        Ssd says no

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        March 11, 2014 9:08 AM

        as an IT pro making over $100k a year with a 1GB SSD, i agree.

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        March 11, 2014 9:23 AM

        Because I don't speak dozens of other languages and I don't need that audio on my SSD.

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          March 11, 2014 9:28 AM

          so they could compress it all, make your machine decompress it, instead of taking advantage of most machines hard drive capacity?

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            March 11, 2014 9:52 AM

            They problem is it includes files from multiple languages such as Italian, French, German, Russian, Polish, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese. They could save a bunch of space and let you pick what you want at either install or download and then remove the rest.

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        March 11, 2014 9:29 AM

        ^^doesnt own a ssd.

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          March 11, 2014 10:01 AM

          My 128 GB SSD would like to slap you talk to you.

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        March 11, 2014 9:46 AM

        Those saying well I have a SSD, just get one of these for your Steam games : http://www.amazon.com/Drive-Security-Local-Backup-WDBFJK0020HBK-NESN/dp/B00E3RH5W2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1394556029&sr=8-3&keywords=wd+external+hard+drive+2tb

        I use this now for Steam and it works great, would I love to have a 2TB SSD of course I would but really this is more than enough once you fill your SSDs.

        2TB for $99 bones USB3

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          March 11, 2014 10:01 AM

          Yep. I have enough HDD space to keep it all internal, but I regularly move stuff off and on the SSD if needed.

          Interestingly, Titanfall might be what finally pushes Skyrim off the SSD.

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        March 11, 2014 9:51 AM

        I wouldnt mind some option for this, specially for people with smaller SSD's. 48GB is pretty massive.

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        March 11, 2014 10:00 AM

        Not on SSDs.

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        March 11, 2014 11:08 AM

        Screw that

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        March 11, 2014 11:14 AM

        Not on my SSD.

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        March 11, 2014 12:26 PM

        But you don't use the French audio do you? Also we don't have a lot of space on our SSDs....

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          March 11, 2014 1:17 PM

          I have a 128 GB SSD in my rig, and about 2 TB of HDD storage. Most of my games play off of the HDD, with the occasional game of the moment on the SSD. I just move my shit around when needed.

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        March 11, 2014 1:40 PM

        It wouldn't be a big deal if you have a 1.5 TB SSD. Much less when you have four of them.

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      March 11, 2014 8:44 AM

      YIKES! Its this and nothing else in your PC.

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        March 11, 2014 8:44 AM

        48 GB is not a lot.

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          March 11, 2014 10:26 AM

          My 128gb SSD begs to differ. So does just about every game released up to this point in history. Max Payne 3 is only slightly impressed.

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            March 11, 2014 10:57 AM

            Put it on the physical drive. Load times are pretty short as is, and you have to wait for the match to start anyway.

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            March 11, 2014 1:16 PM

            SSD for boot/apps, RAID is still my primary game drive.

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        March 11, 2014 8:56 AM

        Are you only running 80GB SSDs?

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          March 11, 2014 9:00 AM

          No, no I have plenty of space, but I have hundreds of games installed from various companies, EA/Origin, Steam, Gamestop. Stardock, Gog, Indies. Guess its OCD but I like to keep my games handy and ready and not have to download them every time. I could make the space, I suppose.
          The strategy games take up the most space believe it or not.

          Oh and all the early access stuff. To many to mention there.

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          March 11, 2014 9:02 AM

          Sorry I ran off there, to answer your question properly I keep my strategy games running on my solid states, everything else on the standards. I have space but it full to cap.

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      March 11, 2014 8:49 AM

      It's like Ultima Online all over again!

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      March 11, 2014 8:57 AM

      Frankly, I'm more worried about the Origin bloat than any audio decoding problem. My last experience with Origin was so unpleasant, there's no way I'd play another game with that resource pig running.

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        March 11, 2014 9:03 AM

        u wot

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        March 11, 2014 9:15 AM

        please tell us where did origin touch you

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        March 11, 2014 10:49 AM

        How slow must ones computer be to care about Origin? I've never seen any issues on a 3 year old machine

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      March 11, 2014 9:06 AM

      wait i thought people were saying its only like 15 gigs once installed? or was that some other game?

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        March 11, 2014 9:15 AM

        No it's like 20GB to download or something, then it expands the audio files. The Origin client shows the final install of the game I guess not how much it will download.

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        March 11, 2014 9:16 AM

        15 spoken verbally can be mistaken for 50 a lot of times.

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      March 11, 2014 9:11 AM

      Why not download compressed and then decompress when you install

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      March 11, 2014 9:13 AM

      You know what I hate? These story previews being so darmn short. I can't visit the front page from work!

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      March 11, 2014 9:19 AM

      Eh, I don't quite buy it. I do music production on PC and it's common to use (lossless) compressed audio for samplers. I can play like 500 voices at the same time without the CPU breaking a sweat. However! The footprint of streaming all those distinct audio voices on either RAM or the HD is much larger than the work for the CPU. It's the IO bottleneck that gives in first. By not compressed audio the IO bottleneck gets worse much earlier.

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        March 11, 2014 11:09 AM

        It's not about how many can be played at one time, it's about the stutter that will happen when something is loaded into memory for the first time.

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          March 11, 2014 11:18 AM

          So that would still favor compressed audio since the stutter is typically from IO bottleneck, not CPU. I actually believe them, I just think it's a bad solution for even average hardware these days.

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      March 11, 2014 9:21 AM

      So, in other words, other devs have been doing it wrong for using compressed audio? Or, other devs can find ways to manage compressed audio better than Respawn did?

      Can a game dev Shacker explain?

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        March 11, 2014 11:05 AM

        No, it just means some people with crappy computers will get a stutter when certain audio plays for the first time.

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      March 11, 2014 9:21 AM

      Does it really take a core 2 duo a lot of processing power to decode an MP3? I've seen kid toys for 10 bucks that happen to have a real MP3 player on them.

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        March 11, 2014 10:11 AM

        I guess quite a bit of CPU power needs to be reserved for prioritizing sound effect processing when suddenly many sound effects need to be played at once, for example when large fights take place. Decompressing and playing a couple of sound files at once probably doesn't require much CPU power, but make it 100 and add sound mutation effects (distance, position, hallway echo, etc.) to each, then it might require a good chunk of spare CPU power to play that all immediately without stuttering or other noticeable delays.

        At first I thought it's trivial, but considering a lot of modern games still have audio stuttering bugs (Forza 5, Battlefield 4), I guess it isn't after all.

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      March 11, 2014 9:23 AM

      I thought this was because they included every localization option in the install.

      Weird.

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      March 11, 2014 9:28 AM

      They could have just gone with a low grade compression, like a low compression quality FLAC file, which is basically just the .zip file algorithm. I really doubt a processor would have to work hard to uncompress that.

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        March 11, 2014 10:01 AM

        Yes. So what format is the audio in? .wav? flac or even a high bitrate mp3 wouldn't stress computers very much but would save a lot of room.

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      March 11, 2014 9:59 AM

      Sounds like a fishy excuse. How much % of a modern CPU core is required to decompress a typical audio steam? 0.004%?

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        March 11, 2014 10:06 AM

        Well im glad you got to the bottom of that hobknobbery.

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        March 11, 2014 10:07 AM

        It's a big deal on really slow computers. But honestly it's next to nothing on any current gen machine. Sounds like they wanted to get the requirements as low as possible for marketing reasons.

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      March 11, 2014 10:01 AM

      huge storage requirements + server trouble = gonna be a rough re-re-review score! lol

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      March 11, 2014 10:01 AM

      Uncompressed audio FTW.

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      March 11, 2014 10:29 AM

      I didn't give even one damn about the size of the game until I heard this reason.

      I thought audio decompression was super fast now?

      They could have at least had it come compressed by default and had some kind of system that would just decompress it all if you're trying to run the game on a 486.

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        March 11, 2014 10:34 AM

        Run time decompression isn't cheap. DX used to support hardware decompression, but they ditched it a few versions back. Still supports it on Xbox, but not PC. The reason they gave was that CPUs were fast enough. Sadly, like what often happens in the gaming world, they were working off a premise of audio resources staying about the same. These days games often have a lot of DSP going on (see BF4) and add on to that all the streams needed for explosions, guns, UI, voice, etc and it can be a fair chunk of CPU.

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      March 11, 2014 10:40 AM

      Does this game has an epic story, Kojima-style long conversations and 50-track soundtrack or something? Even for uncompressed wav files it's a LOT of sound files for an online shooter with just 15 maps.

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      March 11, 2014 10:43 AM

      The real reason is that Origin has no good game language management option like Steam has. It's incredibly sloppy and, like GfWL, often ignores user input and goes by IP or OS region settings. So Titanfall has to download all languages just to make sure. And since they went crazy with uncompressed audio, it's exacerbating the problem.

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        March 11, 2014 10:45 AM

        Wouldn't that be a game side issue and the distribution method? Steam doesn't handle internal game localization.

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          March 11, 2014 11:23 AM

          Good to see you back Fred.

          I don't follow you and it's likely we're talking about the same thing. It's definitely an issue within Origin and I would say is what causes Titanfall to be this bloated.

          On Steam, developers have the option to handle languages themselves, and most do. So all files are downloaded and languages can be switched on the fly. But they can also let Steam manage it through the language tab under game properties. With this method, only the selected language is downloaded.

          This is Origin's biggest flaw for me, it was a nightmare to get all games to speak English. It somehow manages to be worse than Xbox Lice in this regard.

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            March 11, 2014 11:34 AM

            You mean in game? Is that part of Steamworks because I don't ever remember reading that. You might be confusing passing an option through the Steam GUI with Steam actually handling the localization. I am talking about in game, not launcher stuff.

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              March 11, 2014 12:27 PM

              You're right that it's an option in the Steam GUI under properties. Look at Left 4 Dead 2, there's a lot of languages in that list and they only download the one your Steam client is set to. If you manually change it, Steam will download the additional language.

              Other games let you choose the language in-game or in a launcher because they already downloaded the lot of them.

              If Titanfall went with the former, it would've been a lot smaller. Apparently Origin has gotten better with this, but I'm not buying games on there every month to see of they finally fixed it.

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        March 11, 2014 11:13 AM

        I have gotten games from Origin before that prompts me to select a language prior to downloading. I don't think this is an issue with Origin, but rather with being a bit lazy on either Respawn's side or some oversight from EA this time (or both).

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          March 11, 2014 11:28 AM

          It only prompted me with this the first time I installed a bought game, or registered a retail game. I also had such nice options as DE/FR/IT/ES or CZ/PL/DE. Guess which of those gave me English? Neither.

          Solution: I stopped buying games on Origin.

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      March 11, 2014 10:47 AM

      Why not just compress the audio from not in use languages or something

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      March 11, 2014 10:47 AM

      A lot of fucking armchair game devs in this thread. Glad to know that everyone's random assumptions and guesses trump what Respawn has given as their statement. You guys keep on showing the man!

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      March 11, 2014 10:49 AM

      Can't you delete the languages you don't need?

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      March 11, 2014 12:43 PM

      Haha. Because it's so hard to make a checkbox that asks if you want to uncompress another 35 gb of files. Nope we only know how to make an installer that forces you to.

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      March 11, 2014 1:45 PM

      Yeah i noticed this when installing lol ... 37 gigs was unpacking audio.

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      March 11, 2014 2:38 PM

      Uncompressed audio is just dumb. I'm sure all of the min spec gamers will be really happy about a 48GB install.

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        March 11, 2014 2:47 PM

        the min spec gamers also would have been pissed off about a low framerate game, so you can't really win, can you.

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        March 11, 2014 3:00 PM

        Damned near everyone has at least 1TB is harddrive space now.

      • gmd
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        March 11, 2014 3:49 PM

        storage is cheap, non issue

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        March 11, 2014 3:54 PM

        They are also more likely to be the people with low amounts of RAM. You know, the place where these huge uncompressed files need to be saved to avoid stuttering when accessing them from the HDD.

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          March 11, 2014 4:24 PM

          Uncompressed audio can sometimes come at a higher performance penalty than compressed for the reason you state and others too. Even if RAM isn't an issue, you increase load times, buffer sizes, I/O bus utilization, etc. I suppose that they may have tested it out and proved that CPU was the limiting factor for min spec machines. But if so, why is this the first time in a decade that I've heard about games storing so much audio uncompressed?

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      March 11, 2014 4:10 PM

      10 years ago, Doom 3 released with most of its sounds as Ogg Vorbis. http://www.iddevnet.com/doom3/sounds.php

      ...and back in 2004, the majority of low-spec gaming PCs had ONE CPU, total.

      Half-Life 2, by comparison, supported MP3 as well as WAV. I'm not that versed in the sound directory contents of HL2, but I think it's primarily MP3 for music, and WAV for voiceover. Whereas Doom 3 is mostly Ogg, with WAV for sound effects.

      Seriously, WTF, Respawn? PC game developers 10 years ago didn't have excuses like this, and their low-spec target was far slower than yours.

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        March 11, 2014 4:22 PM

        I should mention that Doom 3 is WAV for some sound effects; mostly small repeating ones (and ones where the sound shader features marked with "Please don't use with OGG" are noted on that iddevnet page).

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        March 11, 2014 5:08 PM

        I wonder how much better Doom 3's performance could have been if all its audio was uncompressed?

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          March 11, 2014 6:52 PM

          Being that it was gpu limited at the time, zero.

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        March 11, 2014 6:53 PM

        I have 4 TB of HD space.... this just isn't an issue.

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      March 11, 2014 5:09 PM

      Someone get razor 1911 on the line and ask them how to decompress after downloading.

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      March 12, 2014 3:28 AM

      This compressed audio has always been a pain in the ass for especially Telltale games, they compress their audio so much that the quality is quite low, and it's insane considering especially on pc the space on hard drives is not an issue and also the same low quality compressed audio is also in the disc releases which especially should have uncompressed best quality audio in those.