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FordPrefectA

Going from beginner to intermediate? (DirectX)

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I recently finished Frank Luna's book that covers the basics of DirectX and I'm looking for some direction about where to go next. I've been told developers usually write their own in-house format rather than use .x which is what I've been using.

-Why do developers write their own formats rather than use .x?
-Why would they use alternatives like Collada or FBX?
-Where can I find tutorials or books about making my own format for whatever purposes I need?
-Would I need to learn to make plugins for max/whatever content creator I use?

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It's simple: developers create their own formats because common existing formats don't meet their particular needs. The reasons a developer would reject a common format might include include some of the following:

1. Doesn't support storing some particular type of data that's needed
2. Takes up too much space on disk
3. Takes too long to load and parse
4. Requires a runtime library that you don't want to distribute, don't want to load, or isn't available on particular platform
5. They didn't create it (half-joking on that one)

If .x meets your needs then there's no need to make your own format. If it doesn't for some reason then you'd know what you want out of a custom format, and as such you probably wouldn't need a tutorial or a book. :P

Many games just use a format that exactly matches the memory layout of their runtime data structures. That way they can just suck in the file data and it's ready to go, no parsing necessary. Typically these files will be created by some sort of content pipeline, which will import and process files that aren't in a runtime-ready format. For instance it might load an FBX file, pull out relevant data, do some pre-processing, and save out the runtime format.

Formats like FBX and Collada are popular interchange formats. They're popular because they can be imported and exported by many content-creation applications, and because they have sufficient library support or documentation to be consumed by custom content pipelines.

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Quote:
Original post by FordPrefectA
I recently finished Frank Luna's book that covers the basics of DirectX and I'm looking for some direction about where to go next. I've been told developers usually write their own in-house format rather than use .x which is what I've been using.

-Why do developers write their own formats rather than use .x?
-Why would they use alternatives like Collada or FBX?
-Where can I find tutorials or books about making my own format for whatever purposes I need?
-Would I need to learn to make plugins for max/whatever content creator I use?


If you have to ask why you would do it, then you don't need to. Work on making games with DirectX and don't worry about what multi-million dollar companies are doing.

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