Steam explained!

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Yapa, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. Yapa

    Yapa Guest

    Hi,

    Just recieved an email from Gabe about a question I had about Steam. Im not sure if this was already answered previously but its new to me, hope it puts light on the steam issue.

    Also, I think its ok for me to post what Gabe wrote, as there was no discalimer or privacy information in his email + I've seen others post information from Gabe's emails here too. If im wrong could the Admins delete my post :)

    Ok cut and past...

    =============================================

    From: Gabe Newell <[email protected]>
    To: 'Wojtek' <[email protected]>
    Subject: RE: Steam issues
    Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 18:18:53 -0700

    Steam has a distributed file system (DFS). Object in that file system have
    manifests. Manifests contain information about the order in which objects
    are needed. The DFS caches objects locally on your hard drive.

    You start up Steam, it starts downloading objects immediately (presumably
    Level 1 of the game). You are filling in registration information, setting
    up your video mode, setting up your keyboard, etc... Once everything you
    need for Level 1 is on your system in your cache, you can start playing. If
    you quit right then, everything is in your cache so the next time you play,
    your cache will already be filled. Whenever it is running Steam is always
    figuring out what you will need next, and downloading that. If you are
    connected to a multiplayer server, it uses the map rotation information to
    download whatever maps or other content you need for subsequent maps (it
    gets this from a content server, which is the name of the back-end of the
    DFS, rather than from the game server, which is bog slow).

    So Steam likes to run all the time, because it means it can be using your
    connection when you are off at work or asleep to grab new stuff (new maps,
    or models or updates or new games or whatever). You can manually control
    how much bandwidth Steam uses if for some reason your bandwidth is metered.
    You can manually configure your cache size as well. Eventually when you are
    playing on level 47, the cache is full and the DFS says "well, I can
    probably safely throw out Level 1 at this point, since we haven't played
    that in a couple of weeks". If your cache is large enough, it never
    discards anything.

    If you are on vacation in Korea, you can still have access to your game by
    signing into your Steam account (it's machine independent). You can have
    multiple accounts on one machine sharing the same physical cache (if you
    have more than one person using a machine, and you don't share an account,
    say at a cyber-cafe, where you don't want to download a bunch of stuff, but
    you don't want other people to grab your account either).

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Wojtek Borowik [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 6:07 PM
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: Steam issues


    Hello Gabe,

    Firstly thank you for the brisk reply to my previous question, I really
    didnt think I would get a reply at all! Thanks buddy!

    This question concerns the Steam part of the game. I'll get to the point....
    Steam will be required to play if you purchase the Steam version of the
    game, how much bandwidth will this take? Some say you have to download the
    game each time you play, others say its only a small connection check and
    updated while others say it will be running in the background all the time
    while playing.

    So how much bandwidth will this take? (Mb.. Gb???) The reason for my concern
    is that here in Australia many ISP's have fixed monthly traffic quotas. If
    steam downloads a lot of traffic users will either be capped at modem speeds
    or have to pay extra.

    Thanks for any info,

    Wojtek
     
  2. Letters

    Letters Tank

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    Cool, thanks for posting this.

    Sounds like those who purchase through Steam will be able to get goin' pretty quick!

    I hope it can continue downloading levels even when you aren't playing... that way you prolly wouldn't EVER have to wait
     
  3. trantjd

    trantjd Newbie

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    I'm assuming that "it can be using your connection when you are off at work or asleep to grab new stuff" means that it'll download while you aren't playing. :cheers:

    Unless you can play in your sleep!
     
  4. Space Cowboy

    Space Cowboy Newbie

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    I feel your pain Yapa, I too have a montly cap on d/ls. Damn Optus to hell (at least they are better than Telstra)
     
  5. Wesisapie

    Wesisapie Newbie

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    I just got off Optus and onto unlimited 512 dsl :)
     
  6. Sarazar

    Sarazar Guest

    did you get OzForces ADSL?


    oh yeh... is 512 ADSL as fast as Optus Cable?

    (ps. I'm on a 3gb Optus Cable plan)
     
  7. wormstrangler

    wormstrangler Newbie

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    Nowhere near as fast. You'll get download speeds of around 50 - 55 kbytes/s.

    With (optus) cable you can get upto 500kbytes/s and beyond. But cable is shared bandwidth (with othes on your block) so sometimes it can be slower.

    As for pings, adsl should get you anywhere from 30 to 100. Depending on the server and the distance between you and the server.

    So even though adsl is slower and has a higher ping, just think of the unlimited downloads...they make it much better. :)
     
  8. Skull

    Skull Newbie

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    thx Yapa for posting :) it was an interesting read
     
  9. Kuros

    Kuros Spy

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    Great work! :thumbs:
     
  10. Brain

    Brain Guest

    Good stuff.

    LOL, I have dreamed I was playing on many occasions. And just for the record, that HEV suit is not as light as it looks.
     
  11. .5c0ut-WHoR3.

    .5c0ut-WHoR3. Newbie

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    I wonder if you can make it only download like specific updates for the server you play on if you have metred bandwidth. So it doesnt just keep downloading stuff wasting usage?
     
  12. BloodyL

    BloodyL Newbie

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    The answer to that is in the email, re-read it and all will be revealed.
     
  13. .5c0ut-WHoR3.

    .5c0ut-WHoR3. Newbie

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  14. BloodyL

    BloodyL Newbie

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    Yes, you can limit the amount of bandwidth that steam uses, so bandwidth limited people will be safe.
     

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