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Kickstarter: How many megs of animated gifs?

Posted: Mon May 18, 2015 1:07 pm
by matt
I'm starting to put together the kickstarter page, and a recent trend is to use a lot of animated gifs. Because of our new art style with lots of intricate details, they compress rather poorly. I've been experimenting with chopping their length and framerate, but I'm wondering if there is a limit for a page I should try to keep under.

I did a wget on Little Devil Inside that includes all the dependencies, and their page is 20 meg because they have some cool animated gifs. Neverending Nightmares was 4 meg for reference. However, our animated gifs don't compress as well, since they are on a white background, but we want to show our cool lighting effects. Should I just go for it and hope browsers don't choke?

I am not a web dev expert, so opinions would be appreciated! :)

Re: Kickstarter: How many megs of animated gifs?

Posted: Mon May 18, 2015 5:33 pm
by evilkinggumby
I can't say from a technical standpoint but "in theory" holding to about 20MB or less would be good. Consider how long 20mb takes to download in a browser on a variety of broadband, from DSL (1.5 speeds) which would take about 2:35 (thats 2 min 35 sec) to low level cable internet at 10Mb/sec ( 24 sec) vs high end broadband where it'll take 4-7 seconds. Then consider those using their smart phone and trying to view it on a data plan or on a less than ideal connection.

I found this handy calculator that may help you decide:

If compressing animated gif's is an issue, have you considered cropping them much tighter to show only what you intend to highlight for a specific image? I'm not sure if you're calculating based on "whole screen" capture or a vignette.

I'm not crazy about TONS of animated gifs personally, it gets very busy after a while and unless the examples are starkly different they tend to run together and my eye glazes over them.

Are you limiting the palette at all? possibly do a 256 greyscale with dithering? if the game is going to be a black white and grey affair it might be worth stripping the color coding off to cut down on overall image size.

Re: Kickstarter: How many megs of animated gifs?

Posted: Tue May 19, 2015 6:16 pm
by matt
Technically all gifs are limited to a 256 color palette. Since our game is mostly grayscale, that isn't an issue. I tried reducing the palette further to like 128 colors, but it didn't get us very much space. I am trying to crop it just to the interesting things and down-rez the videos first.

While I thought animated gifs were the secret to new kickstarter pages, I don't think we are going to go CRAZY with the animated gifs. However, they are helpful to show some cool aspects of our lighting effects and other neat things.

Thanks for the feedback!