Wednesday, May 6, 2015

resource file management

It can be tricky to keep files organized when creating games that use resources.  Ideally, one would want to keep resource files in their own folder, whether it be a "resources" folder in the game source's directory or a folder within the designated resource fold (the HUGO_RESOURCE environment variable path).

Unfortunately, the DOS/Windows compiler sometimes has trouble recognizing these paths.  I've found that something like:

resource "testres"

Will work if "test" is a directory in the same folder as the file being compiled, but it won't work if "test" is a folder in the resource directory (this behavior might not be the same across all platforms, of course).

I think there are two workable methods for nice file management.  One is to do the thing just mentioned- put your resource files in a folder in your game directory.  Hopefully the above resource path works across all platforms.

The other method is compile your resource file completely separate from your game (using the same method reserved for precompiled headers).  To do this, you'd create a .hug file in your game resource directory and only have your resource definition (like the one above).

Then, compile that file with the -h switch, which should make both a precompiled header file (with the *.hlb extension)- which you can just ignore- and your resource file(s).  Then, have your game code call stuff from that resource file like it'd normally would.

Really, both methods should work.  I guess I figure one of the perks of the second option is that it forces you to not re-compile your resources any more than you need to so in the long run, it should save you some time.

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