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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Tereth

Save State and Loading Advice

7 posts in this topic

In my game I am essentially finished with the engine (curse you A*!!!) and I have introduced enough functionality that it's worth having save state and load save options.

The only problem I am having is that my game is very large in scope and has a whole lot of information. For example, in my small test area that I pre-render, the grid of play is 300x300 ->90,000 tile objects each with many attributes that can not be "figured out" when loaded (i.e. whenever I make the map, I make sure every tile has a pointer to every adjacent tile, this is something that could be "figured out" out when loaded, but soil fertility and irrigation states cannot be "figured out" and must be known.) As well, I have creatures, items, trees, buildings which all have trait values that are not exactly the same as a member of their same class.

I know how to store this information in a text file, but retrieval seems inefficient and I'm unsure how it will scale when I start trying out actual game sized maps. I've done bioinformatic programs that read out of FASTA files (comparable to .txt) and I know how slow that can be with only a few million data points.

I've come to the mountain. Is there a better alternative to text file data storage? If so, what's available?
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Text file are generally more inefficient in speed and memory footprint. The simple reason is that you are storing extra (unneeded) data. It then needs to be parsed when deserialized. The only benefit to text files is that they are human-readable.

So, if you do not need the files to be human readable, what you are looking for is binary storage. Depending on the language/framework/libraries you are using, the specific implementation will vary. If memory footprint of the file is a concern, you can also use compression, but you will generally trade some speed in the process.
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Which language/framework/libraries are you using? Many languages include libraries to simplify binary input/output (which, at the lower level, is implemented by the operating system).
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I am programming in Java-Eclipse and included libraries. Everything else is my code.
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I haven't done much with Java, so I am only guessing here, but I'd look through the standard lib docs for things such as "binary serialization", "binary IO", "binary streams" or "binary files". I'd be suprised if Java didn't include some high-level methods for simplifying this. Maybe someone here with more Java experience can comment.
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Alright, I'll check it out.

Thank you for the responses, I appreciate it.
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Use FileOutputStream and DataOutputStream.

[CODE]
try {
File file = new File("test.bin");
FileOutputStream fos = new FileOutputStream(file);
DataOutputStream dos = new DataOutputStream(fos);
try {
dos.writeInt(100);
dos.writeByte(20);
dos.writeUTF("Hello World");
} finally {
dos.close();
}
} catch (IOException e) {
System.out.println("Exception thrown.");
}
[/CODE]

Output:

[CODE]
00 00 00 64 14 00 0b 48 65 6c 6c 6f 20 57 6f 72 6c 64
[/CODE] Edited by alnite
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