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TheGilb

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This evening I've spent most of my time developing the xml importers for 2d data and doing much of the routine maintenance tasks that I normally ignore for one reason or another.

So I've sorted out all of the compiler warnings, updated the project dependencies, sorted out the release build configuration and resolved a few other minor annoyances. It might sound like a lot but really each of these things has been quite trivial.

So I spent a bit of time on my xml importers, it's highlighted a significant issue of resource management. This whole block of code has really been neglected while I ran away with graphics development and now is really a good time to get a hold on it.

Resource management is quite an interesting topic in itself. Do you use handles or smart pointers? If you restart a particular subsystem do you need to destroy and recreate the associated resources? Some resources may be dependant on others also being present. Do you want to support compressed archives? Add into the mix multithreading and cross platform filesystems and you begin to see my pain as I can answer 'yes please' to most of the above.

To resolve the filesystem issue I'm going to write a virtual filesystem so I can think of my data folder as being pretty much the root of all evil. I've got a ton of research and some new ideas to throw in to the mix which is too much to document in this blog entry. I've been writing these updates on my pda phone so I'm deliberately not going in to too much detail otherwise my stylus might melt!

So i'm bringing the 2d engine graphics elements together. Specifically animated sprites and vectors. I've finalised my file formats for this data and it should be quite useful as many games make quite extensive use of 2d visuals. I'm trying to keep the playing field open for special effects as it's the little bits of visual polish which can really make a good game into an awesome game.
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