Loading and Streaming Concepts
Streaming is the process of playing long samples from relatively slow devices without first loading everything into memory. Despite growing memory capacity and codec improvements, it is still commonly used to make titles which are bigger and more varied than otherwise would be possible.
This chapter explains how to implement streaming and arrange uninterrupted replay from optical and magnetic discs, flash memory and remote networks. It cites and compares the streaming behaviour of games like Dance Factory, Grand Theft Auto, Operation Flashpoint, Sea of Thieves, Showdown, Vib Ribbon and Worms.
- When and why to stream or not
- Buffer sizes and double buffering
- Optical drive hardware components
- CD, DVD and Blu-ray differences
- Angular and linear velocities
- Short and long seek delays
- Disc layout and layers
- Combinatorial considerations
- Asset duplication
- Block alignment and structure
- Optional and standard hard drives
- Writing streams to Flash memory
- How many streams per spindle?
- Are streams sucking or blowing?
- Which glitches are most obvious?
Case studies in the following chapter
collate additional practical advice.
Audio Resource Management - previous chapter abstract.
Streaming Case Studies - next chapter abstract.
Return to the index of chapters.
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Copyright © 2019 Simon N Goodwin