What Can You Do with 4k?

Rob Williams

Staff member
From our front-page news:
Programming isn't easy, and when it comes to designing your code to be as efficient as possible, it's even harder. Some coders don't care as much about their code as others though, and that can result in applications or games ending up with a larger file size. That doesn't matter much nowadays, but it shows true skill when you have a large application with a small footprint. Take Google's Chrome browser for example. Small footprint, but huge functionality.

But, some people take things far more seriously, and where coders are concerned, serious is programming an application or game to fit inside of 4KB. Nope, that's not a typo... 4 kilobytes... 4096 bytes. How's that even possible, you ask? Great question, and though there are explanations around the web, I'm still confused. There's a lot of trickery involved, and off-loading and executing various techniques on the CPU or GPU. What matters though, is that some of the results are amazing.

Take this one that a friend linked me to the other day. This is a video of one such 4k project which shows a fly-through of a fully-rendered mountain region, complete with high-altitude cliffs, rivers and not to mention music. As if that wasn't enough, there are beams of light that pulse in the sky to the sound of the music. Not impressed? Did you skip the part where I said all of this is done in 4,096 bytes? That's the equivalent of typing out the entire alphabet 157.5 times. The raw text of this post is equivalent to 2,028 bytes by itself! Not too many more and you can create something like this? Truly impressive.


exactly one year ago i made an executable procedural graphic and video called ixaleno, which i liked. people asked when such imagery would be realtime, and i was answering "today", as i have already seen terragen quality landscapes, completely procedural, in opengl. the point really was how good i could do _in 4 kilobytes_. i experimented and concluded i could so something similar to ixaleno without much problem, and so i stoped playing with it.

Source: Pouet.net


Tech Junkie
i am doing my BS in Computer Science and its all bout programming and coding. i would Love to find out more bout this 4K stuff, its awesome. aah well, i always wanted to go in to the gaming industry. nothing like that happening for me if i stay here though!


The One, The Only...
Reminds me of a conversation I had one time with this guy over how robust video games were getting to be these days.

He claimed that it was due solely to textures, videos, and music.

Looking back at things over the years... we have more than exceeded the exponential jump in video game sizes in not just resources, but code as well. And I honestly think we have taken a step back.

Now apply those same statements to other types of software...


The Tech Wizard
I think the games we see in the market are high in code because, it could be that coders want the game to be high to over fill a CD, say 720 mb, or a DVD that is 4.7 gigs.
So as to keep pirates from copying. But now you have double layer disks.
So, coding to coders didn't care how much code was needed.
Does that make any sense....just woke :D


Tech Junkie
Farcry 2 is good example of excellent coding. 3.5Gigs for the whole game. it may be cause it has no videos wot so ever. Got boring later on!


The large size of modern games is, as far as I'm aware, not down to code. It's the huge amount of art assets, voice dialogue etc that take all the space.


The Tech Wizard
The large size of modern games is, as far as I'm aware, not down to code. It's the huge amount of art assets, voice dialogue etc that take all the space.
Actually, it is the graphics, boned vertices that move life-like, that ,with high textures and HDRI ( lighting ). You have a natural world to move around with shadows and light.
With ALL that code, it takes a machine that can render all those together in a good timeline. That's why machines have advanced this far and vendors have the backing to create new devices.
And the World turns again.
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