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Raeldor

.X File Format... Good to Go?

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I have been reading a little about the .X file format, and it seems pretty flexible. I was wondering then, why commercial games all seem to use their own file format? I assume that you can write your own parser for the .X file format, so it could still be used cross-platform if needed. Is it because the developers want to make it hard for people to export their game models etc? Thanks

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AFAIK, .X is ascii (if there's a binary variant, that would be cool though :P). What I'm planning to do, and what I've heard other people do, is export everything to .X to save the hassle of writing an exporter and then having a tool parse the .X and write the relevant information out in a compact binary form that's ready for loading into the engine.

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Proprietary file formats are usually optimized for the internal workings of the game engine. To reduce loading times and optimizing rendering/collision detection/animation etc.
Optimally you have a file format that can be loaded directly into the data structures of your engine without additional processing.

Having your own file format also means that you can have all the functionality you want without having to add hacks for missing functionality in a generic file format. As well as avoiding the overhead of unused functionality.

It's all a tradeoff between available tools, needed functionality and performance requirements. (both content creation-, content handling-, and content usage-performance)

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The engine I build at work uses the .X binary format and the current engine I am working on at home also uses it. It's not a bad format and comes with a lot of free utility with D3DX. I am still thinking about supporting another format, a custom format, in the future for my engine but only for easier support of IK, morph targets, and storage optimizations.

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