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Managing huge amounts of game data

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Hi, I'm wondering how, generally , large amounts of game data such as enemy positions, level characteristics, AI parameters, etc. -- in fact every data that is fixed 'before the program runs' -- is edited during development, and stored in to the final package. Do most developers make seperate, dedicated database programs, or just use Notepad or equivalent and make a resource file, or do they make use of general database programs to edit and transfer this data to the final product. I hope I placed this into the right forum and was a bit clear. :P What's the difference between Indy and professional developers, if there is such. thanks, Marmin.

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Usually in some text file format that gets converted to an optimized binary file when the game ships. Most of the time the file is changed by some sort of editor tool. Some games may use some sort of database to store the data too, like sqlite. A teams productivity is often directly related to the quality of their tools they build the content with, this is why the Unreal engine is so popular. They have some of the best tools of any engine.

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depends entirely on the game. solutions we've used:

XML files (edited with notepad)
XML files (edited with a custom tool)
INI files (edited with notepad)
custom data files (edited with a custom editor)

what's important is that the data be able to be edited without having to touch or recompile code. the solution you use is based on what's available and what's easy for you to implement.

generally sometime before release we find a way to shove all the tuned data into a nice binary format so the game runs faster.

-me

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