Development Interlude, Frustration Edition

Posted by Alex Jordan on

Shorter Thomas Edison: I'm learning a ton of new ways to not make an XNA game.

Sturm und drang, huffing and puffing aside, that's more or less true. I've been hung up for the past several hours about how to compress my plethora of unlockable Around The World wallpapers into a workable size for an XNA game. You see, I'm 75% positive right now that I want to sell Around The World on Xbox Live Indie Games for $1, and $1 games have a 50mb size limitation. Fortunately for me, I loaded the game up with only 30mb of wallpapers. Unfortunately for me, C#/XNA compiles those images into an uncompressed format that's optimized for being read by a graphics card.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that XNA was in the habit of compiling 30mb of wallpaper images into 150mb of game files. So much for my 50mb limit.

Or so I thought. I found a way of setting the compile settings on any image (or rather, any file period) that I add to my game. I changed the compile settings on the wallpaper from "Color" mode (which creates uncompressed images) to DXT1 mode, which compresses images and optimizes them for 3D models. 150mb of wallpaper images has thus reverted back to 30mb in size. Of course, I won't be using the wallpapers on 3D models, so it remains to be seen if this compression leads to really poor image quality.

Oh well, you live and learn. And grind your teeth.