What is generally the maximum acceptable gamebox size?

Does anybody have an opinion on the largest a module/gamebox can be before the size becomes prohibitively large?

Would you rather have crystal-clear game pieces, or a more acceptably sized download?

For example, at 50MB, a module is pretty large, but not prohibitively so (I don't think).
at 100MB, you're starting to challenge the largest modules I think I've seen made available.

How large is simply too large?

-- joshua
Personally, I am flexible when it comes to box size. Some games have a lot of stuff in them and require larger sizes. Combat Commander Europe is 440 Mb and this is acceptable to me because it has a lot of stuff and it looks good. When I make my boxes I keep the images as small as possible while keeping enough image quality to make for a nice experience. My personal builds range from 7 Mb to 32 Mb.
btrhoads wrote:
Personally, I am flexible when it comes to box size. Some games have a lot of stuff in them and require larger sizes. Combat Commander Europe is 440 Mb and this is acceptable to me because it has a lot of stuff and it looks good. When I make my boxes I keep the images as small as possible while keeping enough image quality to make for a nice experience. My personal builds range from 7 Mb to 32 Mb.


I missed that max size on CCE. That makes me feel a lot better about the "upper bound".

I happen to be working on a module with permission from the rights holder, and so have really high-resolution artwork available to me (better than you'd normally get for a ZT module), so I was torn about whether to actually use that power. In the end, the bloat wasn't terrible, and I should still be under 100MB.
btrhoads wrote:
Personally, I am flexible when it comes to box size. Some games have a lot of stuff in them and require larger sizes. Combat Commander Europe is 440 Mb and this is acceptable to me because it has a lot of stuff and it looks good. When I make my boxes I keep the images as small as possible while keeping enough image quality to make for a nice experience. My personal builds range from 7 Mb to 32 Mb.


Hey now THIS is interesting... Should have been obvious, but I was pretty surprised nonetheless.

By doubling the size (and resolution) of my counters, not only do I gain in visual fidelity, but the horrible stacking offsets are ameliorated (my stack offsets look much more reasonable now).

I'm thinking that I'm now working closer to the target resolution Jerome may have been designing for when he was building ZunTzu. I haven't checked yet, but I bet the line-of-sight distance will no longer be off by a factor of 2 for my module any longer, either.

-- joshua
What resolution are you using?
btrhoads wrote:
What resolution are you using?


300 dpi/ppi
dulcaoin wrote:
btrhoads wrote:
What resolution are you using?


300 dpi/ppi


I've verified that this makes the distance calculation via the "hidden" line of sight feature properly accurate now.

300dpi assets is brutal on memory, however. As expected, my module size has ballooned from about 50Mb to around 200Mb. :-/
I never go below 300dpi for maps, charts and cards, but I like to do counters at 1200dpi whenever possible Wink

Let's not forget that compression is only useful for reducing disk storage space and download speed - once the graphics files are unpacked into RAM it's simply the number of pixels used that counts.

And although that Combat Commander module is terrific, it's not optimally designed. With a bit more thought it could look even better - and be less wasteful of resources.
Bill Barrett wrote:
I never go below 300dpi for maps, charts and cards, but I like to do counters at 1200dpi whenever possible Wink

Let's not forget that compression is only useful for reducing disk storage space and download speed - once the graphics files are unpacked into RAM it's simply the number of pixels used that counts.

And although that Combat Commander module is terrific, it's not optimally designed. With a bit more thought it could look even better - and be less wasteful of resources.


My footprint is quickly approaching 200 Mb. Not your basic instantaneous download, and loading on my dev machine (which is admittedly a bit long in the tooth) was really slowing down.

But I tried loading on a newer machine, and it's far less cumbersome to load scenarios. I was going to cut my maps back to 150 dpi again to lessen the load, but I may not do that now. As for resolution, I'm using "camera ready" copy from the source. 300 dpi as provided. Can't do much to change (or improve) that. Smile

That said, it's pretty hard to think I'd need much more. The maps (either 300 dpi OR 150 dpi) are simply gorgeous, and the difference really comes down to whether it looks like you're seeing individual blades of grass or not.

One thing that irks me is that even with such high resolution files, I get the appearance of compression artifacting when I really zoom in. That's not present in the Photoshop originals, or when I view countersheets outside of ZT. I'm basically overcranking on resolution so issues lessen. I'm getting more like 150 dpi (or maybe 200, to be fair) worth of view on a 300 dpi source. Sad

-- joshua
Quote:
My footprint is quickly approaching 200 Mb. Not your basic instantaneous download, and loading on my dev machine (which is admittedly a bit long in the tooth) was really slowing down.

200MB doesn't sound right to me, I'm sure something could be done about that...

Quote:
As for resolution, I'm using "camera ready" copy from the source. 300 dpi as provided. Can't do much to change (or improve) that.

That said, it's pretty hard to think I'd need much more. The maps (either 300 dpi OR 150 dpi) are simply gorgeous, and the difference really comes down to whether it looks like you're seeing individual blades of grass or not.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Wink

If your "camera ready" copy is not in vector format then you can't get the "best" results. If you only have bitmaps (even at 300dpi) then any compression will result in a less than optimal image.

Quote:
One thing that irks me is that even with such high resolution files, I get the appearance of compression artifacting when I really zoom in. That's not present in the Photoshop originals, or when I view countersheets outside of ZT. I'm basically overcranking on resolution so issues lessen. I'm getting more like 150 dpi (or maybe 200, to be fair) worth of view on a 300 dpi source.

That "compression artifacting" (or "fuzziness" as I like to call it) is a necessary compromise to enable ZunTzu's incomparably smooth (and speedy) zoom and pan, which is why it's advisable to go to higher resolutions whenever possible Wink

Regards, Bill.
Bill Barrett wrote:
200MB doesn't sound right to me, I'm sure something could be done about that...


I'm open to suggestions. I AM using .PNG, since I didn't realize that the conversion to DXT introduces compression (and therefore, compression artifacts), and I was trying to get so-called "pixel perfect" output.
Other than a switch to high-quality .JPG to see how that helps, what else would you do to improve this. Note that I have a lot of "flavor graphics" involved, this is more than "mere" maps, cards, and counters included.

I've hit 177Mb with 5 maps, 3 countersheets front and back, 16 cards (fully legible). The box front and back are included at 300dpi, plus the flavor graphics (7 tab backgrounds). Plus a couple more miscellanous images. Other than introducing compressed input, I don't think there's much I can do. But again, please do provide any pointers you may have.

Bill Barrett wrote:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Wink


If I was too subtle while communicating that it was my subjective opinion that the difference between 150dpi and 300dpi was personally acceptable, I apologize.

I've so far kept 300dpi very much because it's a subjective call. Downgrading because I personally think "that's good enough" doesn't sit well with me.

Bill Barrett wrote:
If your "camera ready" copy is not in vector format then you can't get the "best" results. If you only have bitmaps (even at 300dpi) then any compression will result in a less than optimal image.

As I said, it's the best available -- it's what they print from. I can't get any better.

Joshua Delahunty wrote:
One thing that irks me is that even with such high resolution files, I get the appearance of compression artifacting when I really zoom in.

I've since discussed the internal compression step with Jerome and have realized the "why" of the artifacting. We ran into the shortcomings using Unity on my last job. It *is* somewhat unavoidable. Sad

-- joshua
I can't really judge whether or not your gamebox could be optimised without actually seeing how you've put it together, but if you're stuffing in a whole lot of "flavor" pixels then I can certainly understand how it could get that large.

And if the graphics you are using are what "they print from" (and they're raster, not vector) then sure, you probably "can't get any better" - and I at least, would find that very disappointing Wink

Regards, Bill.
Bill Barrett wrote:
I can't really judge whether or not your gamebox could be optimised without actually seeing how you've put it together, but if you're stuffing in a whole lot of "flavor" pixels then I can certainly understand how it could get that large.

And if the graphics you are using are what "they print from" (and they're raster, not vector) then sure, you probably "can't get any better" - and I at least, would find that very disappointing Wink

Regards, Bill.


The question then revolves around whether I can lower the size without SIGNIFICANTLY lowering the quality.

I'll probably try JPG and leave it at that.

-- joshua
OK, but why are you so concerned about how much disk space (or is it download time?) your gamebox takes up?
Bill Barrett wrote:
OK, but why are you so concerned about how much disk space (or is it download time?) your gamebox takes up?


I had kinda written it off, until you expressed doubt that it should be taking that much space. You made me concerned! Wink