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00Kevin

best way to package DirectX Files?

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Hi, I have a few beginner questions regarding the use of Direct X files. Has anyone here ever tried to create a game that fully supports the xfile format? If so, did you package your .x files into one file? What i need is some kind of tool/API that will allow me to 1. convert various 3d formats into xfiles 2. compress / package various textures images and xfiles into one simple file. 3. .NET Library/code that will allow me to load XFile objects from the packaged files. I don't think I know of any commercial game that actually ships the .x files. What are they doing and what are the best practices regarding direct x resource management? I'm rather frustrated over all the searching I've done over this. Thanks

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As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong), the X file format shows up in few if any commercial releases because it is not designed to. The X file format gives developers a quick and easy way to get something on the screen for demos and proof-of-concept. Most big-budget games have very specific needs that are met by their custom formats.

That said, X files are great for homebrew projects, because the code for rendering is already written for you, and probably better than a single programmer will ever get it.

As far as converting files to X format, I know that Blender has an X-file exporter. I don't think it supports animation, though. You could try MilkShape, which is not quite free ($30 I think), but it will import most every game format and export X files for you. I bought MilkShape, and I think it works pretty well, but it's got a homemade feel to it, so don't be surprised if some things don't work quite as you expect.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Thanks for your comments.

I was also thinking of checking out MilkShape. From what I've read so far it looks good and it at least has a huge tutorial that I can go through. What is milkshakes native format like? Is it easy to parse and use? I have 3d studio max but it is just over whelming for me. :)

I'm actually considering using a database to store all my game data. Something simple like MS Access might work well on the client. Not sure if anyone has every tried that or not. I could create a table for each game resource and then stuff the files in as binary images. All I would have to do is just query what I needed for each
3D View

Using .NET Datasets (in memory) would also be rather interesting since I could simply write an statement to cull all the objects in memory or perform other processing. Furthermore if I could find an xml based 3d format I could simply call ds.ReadXML and manipulate the dataset to my hearts content. What would be even more useful is that I could then call ds.WriteXML and save the state of the objects in memory.


Thanks again

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