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Need info on app/game where it downloaded rest of the game after install

08-09-2012, 11:06 PM
#1
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 74
Need info on app/game where it downloaded rest of the game after install

Hi All,

We're currently in soft-launch mode for our first game Harvest Lands in Canada, UK and Australia. Some feedback we've received is that people are enjoying the game but wish the game size had been smaller. Ideally they'd love for it to be below 50MB for cellular networks.

So we're investigating the possibility of bringing our game down to 50MB and then having the rest of the game download via "streaming in the background" while the user plays the game. Anyone have experience with this approach or know of any game/app that's done it this way? As I recall, the only game that downloaded the rest of it's content after the initial install was the recent "Simpsons" freemium simulation game, but it made you connect to their server and download right off the bat instead of doing it in the background.

Any input or thoughts on this approach would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
DP
08-10-2012, 05:09 AM
#2
Hi,

We do it in Cross Fingers, you can download wood skins in the store. The problem for us was the size of the textures to fit all the 4 screen sizes (iPhone 1, iPhone Retina, iPad, iPad Retina). So to spare a lot of space we put the files on our server and the game simply download them

You can have multiple downloads in parrallel and everything is done in background. We also use some mutex to handle the multithreading, otherwise some save files could get corrupted, but this depends on your approach, you probably don't need to care about this issue. But you still need to handle the case where the user need an asset that has not been downloaded yet. A simple popup is probably enough.

All in all, I would say try to keep the first levels in the .app file. Most of your player will play your game just once. Use downloadable assets for later levels only or optionnal stuffs if you can, and download them only when needed (or just a little earlier). Also be careful of scalability. If your game is successful one server will probably not be enough.

Cheers,

David
08-10-2012, 10:44 AM
#3
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 74
Thank you for the input and tips David. This is definitely in line with some of the considerations we've thinking about to support this, especially the tip about initially downloading only the basics and slowly filtering in the rest of the game.

I think the one thing that worries us the most is the scalability issue with regards to servers. It's a difficult thing to plan for as there are many moving pieces.

Cheers,
DP