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The guys over at itch.io are doing some truly interesting work. The itch store is open to all developers, they have an open source client and they talk openly about their work. A developer of their games client has written up about how they compress data for downloads.

They use the 'brotli' compression format from google and it seems to be working out pretty well for them!

They show a real-world example of a game they sell called Overland:
QuoteThe uncompressed game is 748MiB
Compressed at quality level 1, it’s 340MiB (took 17 seconds on my machine)
Compressed at quality level 4, it’s 327MiB (took 25 seconds)
Compressed at quality level 6, it’s 316MiB (took 51 seconds)
Compressed at quality level 9, it’s 311MiB (took almost 4 minutes)

While the additional levels aren't too impressive, going from no compression to the first level is really quite good.

They do even more on top of this to ensure that game uploads and downloads are as small as possible for developers and the actual people purchasing and playing games from itch.io.

See the full blog post here. It's well worth a read.

On top of that they also implemented a change I personally requested recently. I asked the itch developers to stop showing non-Linux games on the home-page (even if it was just by a user-picked setting). It was met with the expected bit of hostility from other random (likely Windows only) users, but the itch staff were fully open to doing it. They have now made it so the itch.io games client (but not the website) will only show Linux-compatible games on the store homepage. This is really great and continues to make me love them.

Massive fan of these guys. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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18 comments
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Aryvandaar 21 Jan, 2017
So, you asked for the option to only show Linux games on your own homepage in the store?

I don't understand why anyone would argue that. It's like denying someone the option to buy apples just cause you don't like apples.

edit: I saw the setting clarification when I scrolled down on the page.


Last edited by Aryvandaar on 21 January 2017 at 10:42 pm UTC
Liam Dawe 21 Jan, 2017
Quoting: AryvandaarSo, you asked for the option to only show Linux games on your homepage in the store?
You can see exactly what I asked in the link, here it is again in case you missed it in the text: https://github.com/itchio/itch.io/issues/564
GustyGhost 21 Jan, 2017
^^^
Quotehave a user defined setting that allows filtering the entire home-page to be Linux-only titles.

Maybe you should mention this part so that readers don't get confused.
barotto 22 Jan, 2017
The itch.io home page is ridiculous though. It's so chock-full of gifs that it saturates my bandwidth taking almost a minute to fully load. And after it's loaded it uses 100% of a CPU core doing nothing. This is piss poor web design. In comparison steampowered.com takes 3 secs to load and 0% CPU.
Aryvandaar 22 Jan, 2017
Quoting: AnxiousInfusion^^^
Quotehave a user defined setting that allows filtering the entire home-page to be Linux-only titles.

Maybe you should mention this part so that readers don't get confused.

I should have been able to easily connect the dots. I should have been able to assume that he meant user setting. I was just really tired.
Leeo97one 22 Jan, 2017
On Steam, we can already choose what platforms we want to show:
https://store.steampowered.com/account/preferences/ (at the bottom)
MayeulC 22 Jan, 2017
Quoting: Leeo97oneOn Steam, we can already choose what platforms we want to show:
https://store.steampowered.com/account/preferences/ (at the bottom)

To be fair, it's supposed to work, but the steam client doesn't always respect this setting, especially in big picture mode. Plus, some client updates randomly break it quite often, in my experience (though it seems to be OK right now).
scaine 22 Jan, 2017
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Quoting: M@yeulC
Quoting: Leeo97oneOn Steam, we can already choose what platforms we want to show:
https://store.steampowered.com/account/preferences/ (at the bottom)

To be fair, it's supposed to work, but the steam client doesn't always respect this setting, especially in big picture mode. Plus, some client updates randomly break it quite often, in my experience (though it seems to be OK right now).

Yeah, sadly this setting only appears to work (mostly) on your primary queue - the one that shows at the top of the page. All the others show Windows games. It's still infuriating enough that I rarely visit steampowered these days. My purchase decisions come from articles on here, or reddit.

If I decide to visit steampowered directly, it's usually through this bookmark:
http://store.steampowered.com/search/?sort_by=Released_DESC&category1=998&os=linux

If only I could get that (and the rest of Steam) to filter out Early Access titles...


Last edited by scaine on 22 January 2017 at 12:58 pm UTC
Doc Angelo 22 Jan, 2017
Quoting: barottoThe itch.io home page is ridiculous though. It's so chock-full of gifs that it saturates my bandwidth taking almost a minute to fully load. And after it's loaded it uses 100% of a CPU core doing nothing. This is piss poor web design. In comparison steampowered.com takes 3 secs to load and 0% CPU.

I don't understand why they don't use HTML5 video. It's not a new thing by far. Shitty looking dither, ~90% waste of bandwidth... why?
fasterthanlime 22 Jan, 2017
Quoting: Doc AngeloI don't understand why they don't use HTML5 video. It's not a new thing by far. Shitty looking dither, ~90% waste of bandwidth... why?

We've been playing around with HTML5 video for the homepage - first results are, yep, it saves a lot of bandwidth, but it does make Chrome & FF crash under the sheer amount of videos playing simultaneously. So, more work is needed: either play videos on hover, or something scroll-based that loads them/unloads them on-demand, or something based on MPEG-DASH that would be lighter on the browsers.

This thread is full of colorful words so I'll just add this disclaimer: we're a small team building a company with no external funding. Usually the answer to the question "why in the world aren't they doing that yet" is "we were busy working on something else". Everything is always planned, there's just so many hours in a day. Thanks for your patience!
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