Legacy:Making Mods/Asset Management
The word 'asset' is being in this instance as a script, model, texture, sound, etc.
In making a mod, you will often have many assets created. This is especially true for a total conversion, which contains little, if any, assets from the original game. Analyze, for a moment, the assets that can go into a single map. The list is not that long, but remember that you'll have many of each.
- The map file itself
- Static meshes
- Scripted events
Assets are what make up you mod. Wouldn't you like to keep them safe from hard drive failure? Don't you want to be organized for maximum efficiency? Read on.
Imagine that you are deep into the development of a mod. You've created tons of custom content, you've solved interpersonal conflicts in your team, you've pulled together for a common goal. You're mere weeks from a release! And then...
Your hard drive fails. Not just any hard drive. The hard drive. The hard drive storing all your finished creations. The agony! Now forget that ghastly image. It's an extreme one, even an improbable one. But you'd still like to take all precautions against it, wouldn't you? That's why you need to back up your assets. Have multiple people on you team store the complete library of the current versions of your assets. Don't have a team? Put the assets on your web server. Don't have a web server? Email the packages to yourself.
Another sound piece of advice is to use a CVS. This will help keep track of versions and make the latest version of every asset available to all team members.
If you're a mapper, you've futilely attempted to traverse the horrible catacombs of Epic and Digital Extreme's assets, both texture and static mesh. Not fun. Of course you'd like your team to work efficiently. Even without a team, it can be depressing looking through your carefully crafted assets and seeing them scattered throughout cryptically named packages. Don't let it happen to you.
- Consolidate. Put all your assets into a main package.
- Use groups in you packages. If you've got large collection of static mesh assets, organize them by theme, such as Industrial, Outdoor, etc.
- Don't put in anything you're not proud of. No one wants to wade through sixteen unusable unfinished or unprofessional assets to get to two good ones.
In short, back up, use a CVS, and be organized. A well managed asset is a happy asset. Or something like that.
GRAF1K: More later on organization. It's a very important topic, and I've barely scratched the surface. Anyone else, feel free to beat me to it. :)
TSOShadow: I think it's pretty well done. Although you may want some advice for the slow ended internet connection. Like how to transfer files Or ways of transfering files to another computer with a better connection with out the internet. Another thing is what if you get a brand new computer? How do you get your files from one HD to another? (If anyone would like to add this...)