One of the things that’s always fascinated me is progress bars on loading screens. I’m sure we’ve all had that experience of watching a game load to 99% only to suspect it’s frozen as it stays at 99% for 10 seconds, or, watched in agony as it creeped up to 50%, then breathed a sigh of relief as it covers the second half in a tenth of the time.
I’ve never really had an opportunity to check how inaccurate the progress bar is… until I started playing a little-known game called Red Dead Redemption 2. RDR2 doesn’t have a progress bar on its loading screen, but it does pop up a “90%” notification. Perfect!
For the last two weeks, I’ve been timing the load screens and marking the appearance of the 90% icon, and now I’m sharing it here (after I excitedly explained it all to my wife who looked at me like I had two heads. Also, I’m a government statistician who hasn’t been allowed to work in a month and is going a little stircrazy).
All loads are from a clean start, usually with the console (PS4 Pro with a Seagate 2GB SSHD installed) powered off in between. My stopwatch goes to thousandths of a second, but my fingers don’t, so all observations (11 so far) were rounded to tenths.
Appearance of the 90% indicator:
Total load time :: When 90% should appear
Avg 77.8s :: 70.0s
Min 61.8s :: 55.6s
Max 98.5s :: 88.7s
Distribution of actual load % when 90% icon appeared:
< 75% 4
75% - 85% 5
85% - 95% 0
By far my favorite part is that not once has the 90% indicator appeared anywhere between 85 - 95%.
The “first 90%” always took 61.5s ± 1.5s. The “last 10%” took anywhere between 1.2s and 36.9s. It seems to me like they just have a trigger for the icon to appear once the load goes over a minute.
Anyway, like I said before - stircrazy. I should probably add a discussion topic or something, so…
Have you ever run your own game experiments? Calculated Xcom’s true hit chance? Tried to figure out the weight of all the Doom Guy’s weapons? (As a kid I once figured out Bo Jackson’s running speed in Tecmo Bowl. I remember it being not as fast as I thought it would be.)