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Thread: Steam 'Instant Play' patent filing hints at convenience to come

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    Steam 'Instant Play' patent filing hints at convenience to come

    Consoles and other PC games stores already have similar features.
    Read more.

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    Re: Steam 'Instant Play' patent filing hints at convenience to come

    I can see this existing and being possible/implementable by Steam 100%. You can quite easily map out the first few hours of a game in many varying ways to work out how to asset stream a game not designed for asset streaming.

    This will be really neat, especially for games that have 60GB+ installs, you really want to play it but it's only half downloaded, well with this you can start playing and it continues.

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    Re: Steam 'Instant Play' patent filing hints at convenience to come

    "However, it seems like FastStart was a false start, as I can't find any more official info about it after a blog post about FastStart test games for Insiders published in Oct 2018."

    I don't know if it is based on 'FastStart' but most Xbox games support 'Ready to Play'. Typically they can be played when around 30-40% of the game has been downloaded. I would not describe this as 'Instant Play' because it sounds like it would require the core game engine to be downloaded before you could play.

    As suggested in the article perhaps the downloading could be combined with cloud streaming whilst the download is taking place but I'm not convinced that would be an acceptable experience. I supposed it could be an option but I'd prefer to wait for the local install rather than the compromises you get with streaming.

    Another thought is that perhaps this is a system designed to pre download game data in the background based upon Steam's view of what you might be interested in. Then you just need the game .exe to play the game. That sounds a bit sneaky but I've seen similar things from the likes of Sky where they reserve space on their Sky+ boxes for them to push their own content onto it so you have access to it instantly. It is positioned as an added value but it really irritated me.

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    Re: Steam 'Instant Play' patent filing hints at convenience to come

    Good luck doing this with games that come in massive encrypted .pak files (looking at you, Unreal Engine).
    FastStart was doomed from the start for that very reason.
    For consoles it's a feature that has to be implemented by the developer.
    I like the system Guild Wars had. You downloaded some base data and when you played the game it kept loading in the background based on a certain asset priority and when you went somewhere, it loaded the assets for that area first.

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    Re: Steam 'Instant Play' patent filing hints at convenience to come

    How would this work with online games that check file integrity at start to try to prevent cheating?

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    Re: Steam 'Instant Play' patent filing hints at convenience to come

    If services like steam was excellent in regard to cheating in games, i would so be supporting it.
    But as it is i wish steam was not there, along with other similar services

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