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Perfect Directory Structure for Game + Tools

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#1 ShyGuy92   Members   


Posted 01 August 2013 - 04:20 PM

Hello Guys,
I am an experienced C++ programmer and have been using several project structures, like simple src and obj folders and using the command line, default structures provided by IDEs such as the Code::Blocks, etc. With my experience the complexity of my projects grow and again I am thinking of an efficient directory structure for my projects... of course I have already searched the internet, but I didn't find any examples perfectly fitting my needs... so I think, I show you my beta structure to gather opinions, modification and improvment suggestions.

My structure is of course meant to be used for developing platform independent games (mostly basing on SDL, SFML etc.). In addition, most of my projects would also need tools (either command lines, or GUI using Qt) for level editing, file converting etc. Here is my current structure (EDITED):
    └ [the executable file (Windows, Linux, ...) including DLLs (Windows)]
    └ [project-title]/
      └ [all program data, like graphics, level files, etc.]
    └ [program or tool name]/ [for project specific libraries: lib*]
      └ forms/
        │ └ *.ui [QtDesigner files => ../../../build/[program-name]/ui/ui_*.h]
        ├ *.cpp [=> ../../build/[program-name]/deps/[debug/release]/*.d; ../../build/[program-name]/obj/[debug/release]/*.o]
        ├ *.h
        └ *.rc [Windows Resource script for version information => ../../build/[program-name]/obj/[debug/release]/*.o]
    └ lib*.a, lib*-d.a [second one for debugging]
    include/ [project specific libraries' includes]
    └ [library name]/
      └ *.h
    resource/ [Icons, ... for the tools; for the generation of the .rcc file]
    ├ appicon/ [application icon, e.g. for the desktop or window icon]
    │ └ *.png, *.ico [second one for Windows Resource file]
    ├ icons/ [UI icons, e.g. "open" or "paste" icon]
    └ *.qrc [an XML file listing all files for the .rcc output file => ../share/[project-title]/tools/*.rcc]
    doc/ [source documentation generated by doxygen]
    └ [program or tool name]/
      ├ obj/
      │ └ [debug / release]/
      │   └ *.o
      ├ deps/ [might have debug and release subdirs as well]
      │ └ *.d [Dependencies of the .cpp files from the .h files; for Makefile]
      ├ ui/
      │ └ ui_*.h [translated .ui files for including in the source code]
      └ moc/
        └ [debug/release]/
          └ moc_*.cpp [Qt MetaObject files => ../../obj/[debug/release]/moc_*.o]
    dist/ [distributable files]
    ├ source/
    ├ windows/
    │ ├ inno-installer/ [or nsis-installer, etc.]
    │ │ ├ [installer script, not distributed]
    │ │ └ [generated .exe file for distribution]
    │ └ [portable archive file]
    └ linux/

 - the windres tool (MinGW) can generate a .o file from a .rc file
 - the debug executable might have a suffix, such as -d or -debug (tool-name-debug.exe)
The end user shall receive the bin and share folders.
Maybe the structure is more than good enough and some of you might find it useful for himself.
I ask for feedback smile.png

Edited by ShyGuy92, 05 August 2013 - 09:35 AM.

#2 Matt-D   Members   


Posted 03 August 2013 - 04:15 PM

There's been a similar question here recently, perhaps you'll find the discussion, links, etc. useful:


Edited by Matt-D, 03 August 2013 - 04:16 PM.

#3 NightCreature83   Members   


Posted 05 August 2013 - 04:12 AM

I wouldn't split my headers from my cpp files but thats a personal preference, I would however structure the source directory along the systems the code files belong to. So user interface and flow source and header files go into the FE(front end) directory, source files to do with rendering go into the Graphics directory. This will make it far easier to find where a particular source file is located, especially when you don't have tools in the IDE to quick find files by name.

Worked on titles: CMR:DiRT2, DiRT 3, DiRT: Showdown, GRID 2, theHunter, theHunter: Primal, Mad Max

#4 ShyGuy92   Members   


Posted 05 August 2013 - 09:39 AM

I wouldn't split my headers from my cpp files

I haven't split up the headers and sources...?

I've edited the directory structure. All program and tool sources come into the same src-directory (with subdirectory). The src-directory might also have lib*-subdirs, which include the source files of project specific libraries. Such a library might be used for reading and writing custom file formats (e.g. level files), which might be used by both the final game and the level editor (a tool).
In addition the tree now have a certain place where to put the distributable files (in general copies of the bin and share folders, packed in archives, installers, etc.).

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