Systematic Gaming

July 23, 2009

Asset Management Checklist

Filed under: asset management — Tags: , — systematicgaming @ 5:45 am

Now that we’ve looked at the layers of asset management, let’s reflect upon the key points and see how we can improve our existing engine and pipelines.

Each of these questions targets a specific part of the asset pipeline that deserve consideration.  By reflecting on these points you can see ways to improve your own asset pipeline and workflow.

Runtime

Are shared assets duplicated unnecessarily?

Are instanced assets handled efficiently?  With minimal overhead and waste?

Do you support generated (procedural) assets seamlessly?

Are you wasting memory on strings or filenames?

Do you avoid unnecessary loading or reloading between levels?

Processing

Are you processing data to make runtime asset management more efficient?

Do you pack referenced assets together for faster loading?

Do you optimize disc layout based on asset usage?  (Duplicate data, sort of dependency graph, etc)

Content & Workflow

Is your source data versioned?

Can you re-create a previous version of your data?

Can you identify who last changed an asset? And why?

Are your tools integrated with your asset management system?

How many steps are required by a user to add a new asset?  How many to update or tweak an asset?

How long does it take to view a data change in game?

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July 16, 2009

Asset Management – Content

Filed under: asset management, workflow — Tags: , , — systematicgaming @ 6:14 am

We’ve already looked at the runtime and processing layers of asset management, now we’re ready to look at the most involved and complex layer – the content layer.

This is the layer where the content producers – artists, level designers, sound artists,  anyone who creates game content truly interfaces with the game engine. At this level we’re not just dealing with runtime data – we need to manage digital content creation (DCC) tool data, such as PhotoShop PSD files, Maya files, etc.  In addition to custom data types produced from in-house tools or game engines.

This layer is all about how content creators use and interact with data and the game engine.  The key components of this layer are:

  • Asset tracking and versioning
  • Tool integration and workflow

(more…)

July 2, 2009

Asset Management – Processing

Filed under: asset management, game programming — Tags: , , — systematicgaming @ 4:21 am

Last time we looked into the lowest levels of asset management, which can be handled by referencing counting and intelligent loading.  With the next level, the processing layer, we look at how we prepare assets for our runtime.  This is an important step and where a lot of optimization occurs.  We can break the processing layer down into a few distinct stages:

  • Asset referencing
  • Building (or baking)
  • Packing

(more…)

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