Hello ladies and gentlemen. First post here. Thanks to an inheritance, I've recently shed the shackles of 9-to-5 work, and I'm ready to devote all my time for the next couple years to my dream of being an independent game developer. I'm pretty fortunate to have the opportunity. Though I am a software engineer by trade, I was doing .NET business stuff. Boring, easy, no imagination required. Anyhow, my first project is a 4x strategy game. I'll either be creating it in .NET using DX bindings, or brushing up on my C++. But that's really neither here nor there. Right now I'm in the larger design stage.
My first issue that I want to get some input on is structuring the data for the game in such a way that it is extremely modular and friendly to modders. In my work, it was pretty simple. I dealt mostly with SQL databases. But games store a richer variety of data, and need to load the data in a more dynamic fashion. I want them to be able to modify the game as much as possible, and I don't want to make it unnecessarily difficult for them. I envision total conversions that have people playing my game years after the vanilla game has worn thin.
Certain things are trivial. Exposing strings for localization and modding for example. Other things like save-game structure have me a bit out of my element.
Right now I'm looking for broader suggestions about data handling in a way that isn't bass-ackwards. Structuring save-games and game assets (everything from the first splash screen to the credits), mostly. As I get deeper into it I'm sure I'll have more specific questions.
Edited by Sentrus, 27 February 2013 - 08:16 PM.