Respawn says Titanfall‘s gargantuan file size is so they can dedicate more system resources to running the game.
PC gamers (especially those with SSDs) were puzzled to find out that Titanfall had a gargantuan 48 GB file size, despite the lack of a single player campaign and the fact that it was running on a modified source engine. Some digging around in the files revealed that a huge portion of that size was due to a whopping 35 GB of completely uncompressed audio. Respawn has now explained that the reason the audio was not compressed was so they could dedicate more system resources to running the game, and less to unpacking audio files.
Key to Respawn’s ethos is pursuit of low-latency controls, the best possible ‘handshake’ between the player and the game, something that having compressed audio and having the CPU uncompress it on-the-fly, could possibly interfere with, Respawn lead engineer Richard Baker explained to Eurogamer.
He did, however, admit that most PC gamers probably wouldn’t even notice the difference. “On a higher PC it wouldn’t be an issue. On a medium or moderate PC, it wouldn’t be an issue, it’s that on a two-core [machine] with where our min spec is, we couldn’t dedicate those resources to audio.”
Baker also talked about the game’s visuals, and how they were also toned down in order to accommodate the game’s low-latency ethos. “People tend to trade a little more visual quality for more latency. It seems like everyone wants to give up the gameplay for slightly better visuals – especially on the PS3 games, there’d be a really long rendering chain,” he mused.
For me, I’m loving Titanfall, but geeze does that 48 GB size make my 240 GB SSD cry. Since it apparently wouldn’t effect the performance on my high-level PC anyway, I don’t see why the uncompressed audio couldn’t have been an optional download…