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marty78

Existing formats vs custom (md2, etc.)

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I was wondering how many people bothered to implement their own model/map/bsp formats...Some say that you reinvent the wheel by doing so, others say that its the feeling of being independant from other programmers and development practices. I was wondering what you programmers/designers had to say about the matter, as for choice and reason. Please feel free to drop your two cents. thanks, marty78

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I use both for my mesh data

reasons:
* custom format is more efficient - faster to load/save, smaller file (generally) and easier to use (because its native to my engine)
* Existing format - existing models already exist, exportable to other engines

I don't get a feeling of independance and I don't consider it re-inventing the wheel because it IS beneficial from the point of view of efficieny.

Also look at other commercial engines, they use their own file formats for the same reasons.

[Edited by - dmatter on May 31, 2005 4:49:03 PM]

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For me, it comes down to personal preference. I do what I find interesting. I have no problem reinventing the wheel if i'm enjoying doing it (and the result will performance wise be comparable to other implementations).

For example, awhile back I was working on a SDL project and wanted to add text to my game. So, being a bit thick headed I decided to create my own font manager - which was interesting for a bit, but before I finished I came to the realization that I knew how to do it, but it wasn't worth the time it would take to finish the implementation - so I switched and have been using the SDL_ttf library. I have better things to do with my time than waste it on things that aren't interesting.

One exception is reinventing the wheel for educational purposes. For example, you should consider learning how to create and work with your own linked list implementation before using the c++ standard library's list. However, in the end it's unlikely you're going to be able to write code that is as bug free and matches the performance.

I look at the cost/benefit ratio. Since I only have a finite amount of time, I only create my own implementation of common tasks if I feel i'll get more out of it than I put in.

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