AssetManagement

dto edited this page Sep 13, 2013 · 1 revision
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See some general information on the topic on wikipedia.

I have some notes and code toward an Emacs-based solution borrowing ideas from literate programming practices.

Money quote:

In games development, especially solo or small-team scenarios, organizing assets becomes a significant problem. The "assets" of most programming projects are just code, and, if you're lucky, some documentation. Each object of the programmer's problem domain is associated with (probably) a chunk of code and a chunk of documentation.

The typical literate programming solution covers writing and transforming related chunks of documentation and code, but there is no general notion of asset management where related assets can be of different types: Lisp code, Emacs Lisp code, C code, PNG images, WAV sounds, OGG music, plain text, formatted text, and more.

In a video game, a game object (for example, an enemy spaceship) may be associated with any number of such resources. There will certainly be AI code (C, Lisp, etc), images, 3d models, textures, sounds, and so on. Creating, re-using, and re-mixing hundreds of game objects is hard when you have to maintain all these associations between files and code manually. So that when I want to edit "the image associated with that yellow alien over there", I often have to hunt down the actual PNG files to edit, because the name of the PNG file never appears in the Lisp code---there's a third file mapping resource names to files. The indirection makes the engine more flexible, but it's another file to maintain.

My experiments with Hypo are an attempt to apply Org mode organizational, publishing, and workflow tools to the problems of solo and small-group games development, with custom code and the unifying theme of literate programming.