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Suggestions for Archiving Game Assets

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Been searching for similar topics in this forum but I couldn't find anything very useful. I apologize in advance if this has been asked before. I am researching various file formats for storing game assets in an archive of some sort. I need a public domain and non-proprietary archiving format. It should be available as an multi-platform SDK (or library) to be used in my existing projects. Data compression is not that important (if necessary, I could use zlib for that anyway) and I don't care about encryption either. I suppose I could implement my own archiving format, but I do not want to write various support tools to allow packing and unpacking the archive. I would like to use third party tools for such tasks. The closest candidate so far is the .tar format. I had a look at the libtar project, but I'm having trouble building it under Windows (VC++ 8.0 or MinGW). It uses a ./configure shell script to create the necessary makefiles, which requires a *nix environment. If anyone has tips & tricks to get the lib to compile under Windows, I'd appreciate your help. The Quake II .pak format is also interesting, but I'm not 100% sure about the legal issues surrounding the use of this format in my applications. Nor am I aware of a .pak SDK/library. If you have suggestions of other archiving formats that meet the above criteria, I'd love to know about it - thanks. :)

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Why not just use ZIP? (That's what PAK is, actually; it's just renamed.) Plenty of cross-platform libraries are available.

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Quote:
 Original post by SneftelWhy not just use ZIP? (That's what PAK is, actually; it's just renamed.) Plenty of cross-platform libraries are available.

Only Q3/4 PAK files are renamed ZIPs, Quake and QuakeII PAK files are a custom format. I highly recommend ZIP files, as well, though, they are quite versatile and easy to author (what with all the free ZIP explorers you can find online).

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As far as I'm aware, only Quake III uses zip.(?) Q2 is something else.

xycsoscyx: Is the .zip non-proprietary format?

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To tell the truth, I'm not sure about the legality of the ZIP format. I believe it's all released under some type of public license, which means you can use it to your hearts content. For a commercial product, I'm sure you'd want to check it out, though. I do know that the official ZIP library is available online, in full code or precompiled versions.

ZLib.net

From their site:
A Massively Spiffy Yet Delicately Unobtrusive Compression Library(Also Free, Not to Mention Unencumbered by Patents) (Not Related to the Linux zlibc Compressing File-I/O Library)

:)

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Theres also PhysFS, which as far as I can tell works very similar to quake pak files with a priority mechanism and support for zip files.

As for the legality of .pak files, iD have in the past stated that they don't care about other people using/loading/saving from their own formats, just as long as they don't use the actual quake tools (qvis and all that malarky).

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ZIP does not have patent problems. It was actually invented to get around LZW patent problems, but LZW is actually fine now too because all the patents have expired.

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I just had a very quick look at libzip and seems like it's something I want. However, like just like libtar seems like it also requires a *nix platform to compile. I'll take a closer look when I get home.

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I'd recommend PhysFS as well.

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