View Full Version : Attack on the custom gamesys

26th Jul 2002, 10:40
When I make a custom gamesys (nothing wrong with that), is there any reason not to cut it down until it contains only the stuff used in the mission?

My gamesys is 1.4 megs big (!), and I am sure I could make it smaller by kicking out all the stuff that I do not use at all. Stuff like, say, these mechbots. Yes, I know (or I think that I know) that the stuff in the obj hierarchy are only links, easily compressed, etc. But 1.4 megs?!

I've already taken the scissors and killed half of the entries in the /strings/objnames.str, but the gamesys looks even more inviting for space management.

Is there any reason why this might be a seriously <i><b>*bad*</b></i> idea? The gamesys is only needed for one mission, not needed to be able to play the entire game, for heaven's sake.

*stares grimly at the /strings/objdescr.str*

26th Jul 2002, 14:45
You can probably safely trim from the branches to some extent. But there are some ways that things get hooked togther with links -- such as flinders that result from things falling apart. If, for example, the flinders are gone, then you may have killed the beast in your attempt to put it on a diet.

IMO you could remove one AI at a time and other high-level items, but I'd be slow to remove the roots at the head of the branches. Perhaps with a few weeks of effort you could take out 10% of the heirarchy without reaching the point where you would need to study it in great detail to go much farther.

Personally, I would only houseclean as part of tuning it for my own needs, rather than any justification based on saving download times, and here's why...

When zipped into an FM file, the gamesys compresses by nearly 80% (my latest gamesys is 1.65 meg uncompressed, but only 335KB when released). So even if you could spend a few weeks and remove 200Kb from your heirarchy, this would only remove 40KB from your final FM zip file -- which is not a whole lot even with a 56bps modem -- it's basically equal to one custom AI skin.

Besides reorganizing a gamesys for the custom elements of your own mission, I would say that your efforts at saving space could be more more fruitful and far less risky elsewhere -- for example, properly compressing a 60 second audio file (at the audo design level) might save several megabytes in the final zip file size.

The big killer for FM size are movies and custom aidio -- they are always big files, and they do not compress very much when zipped. Custom textures can also add up since they do not compress well either, but there has to be several dozen new full-sized textures before this adds more then 1MB to download size.

In general, housecleaning is good thing as we move along in a project -- but trimming all by itself can get to be a distraction if it does not add up to anything the players would notice.

27th Jul 2002, 20:34
Thank you, frobber. :)