Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Resource management

It's already been a month since NaNoRenO, so that's enough time to recover and pick up our work on our latest project; Locus Magici. However, since we haven't done anything else yet save for writing more of the story (Anna is working hard on that one), today's post will instead be the return of the tips section! Brought to you by me, the ever mysterious K-chan.

First, let us move back to 2010, when I was putting Firefly together. Not planning ahead on how to handle my resources, I pretty much threw everything together in one image folder with a few exceptions for stuff like the title screen images. The result?


Yeah... I kind of regretted that one. Some problems that arose thanks to this:
  • Obviously, it was harder to find specific images.
  • It was harder to get an overview: How much sprites characters had, which background had handmade evening/night versions and which could go without, etc.
  • More descriptive names were needed to be able to find them, result in longer names to type out.
  • All of these problems were tenfold once I hadn't memorized the locations and character's names  anymore.
When it was time for Nanolife, I decided to turn things around:


There, much better. Characters, backgrounds, fades, and various parts of the system all get their own folder now, making it much easier to work for me. Also, the names used in Nanolife were rather short, but otherwise I could have also worked with three-letter abbreviations (like kee/smi.png for the image path, instead of keeffe/smile.png)

I talked mostly about images now, but the same goes for scripts. Instead of putting everything in one master document, I like to split it up in multiple scenes, sorted by number. For example, '1.lvn' or '1-description of scene.lvn'. Like images, it is easier to find and edit a specific scene, or see whether a scene is too long in comparison or not.

This seems like a pretty simple concept, but it saves quite a bit of time, at least in my case. At the very least, it's enjoyable to see oneself developing tricks like these. Well, until next time, where hopefully we'll have something to show related to Locus Magici :).

~K-chan

6 comments:

  1. Yeah, organization is pretty key. A good tip.

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  2. Hahaha, oh silly Kiki. A wise lesson learned indeed. Even I had no idea it was this bad until today~

    Aren't you happy now, that I'm a neat-freak when it comes to organization in our shared folders? Or perhaps I should act more like a 'true artist', and stuff all of the upcoming 200+ images for Locus Magici in one folder as well?

    Such tempting mischief :3...

    [s]Not-so-secret-goal: Make her use the comment section![/s]

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  3. Have you considered working with a shared-file-system like SVN? That way you store data on all computers, you can easily rollback to previous versions if mistakes are made and there's no need for putting a lot of work into synchronizing your folders.

    Of course, with only two people on the project that might be akin to using a bazooka to kill a wasp, but, whelp...

    - Roderick

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  4. @Anna: You bully ;_; I've learned my lessons by now, really. Really really.

    @Rodi: Well, planning ahead like this and using Dropbox pretty much solved all of our problems, so I don't think that will be necessary.

    Though now I remember I really should have said something about backups, since people tend to forget those :(. Oh well, maybe some other time.

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    Replies
    1. Awww, I'll give you a break then :3 (especially since you gave me your commentor's virginity). Good girl~

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    2. Good to hear you're backing up. They say necessity is the mother of invention, but no. It's backing up.

      ~ Roderick

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