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vfs versus normal filesystem

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- you don't clutter the real filesystem with thousands of small files (which could be the case for ie scriptfiles for RPGs)
- the average computer user won't be able to rip/change your files
- you can bundle things, which may be very handy for patches/mods and addons.

- you can't work directly with your files, but this is usually not really a problem: don't bundle the files up until release
- depending on how things are done, you may not be able to use normal file operations

that's what i could think up right now

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Another advantage is support for mods. You can make your VFS search through several archives in some order (e.g. look for archives in the mods folder first, then in the normal game data archive if the file isn't found), so a modder can create a new archive with only the files he modified. The advantage is that if someone wants to install/uninstall the mod they just add/delete the mod archive and never touch your game files.

As for the development period of the game: just make your VFS search for "real" files before looking in archives, and keep everything in "real" files at first for easy modification.

The real disadvantage might be the extra code you have to write, though it seems that these days every game programmer is reinventing every single API in the world (even something as basic as strings), so why not reinvent the file system too? Performance may also be an issue though there are probably smart ways to only load the data you need.

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