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My blog contains posts on various projects I'm working on, coding ideas, and pure random this-and-that.

 

Introducing: Content Cruncher

Shayne Helms

One of the key features we worked on integrating into Aeaea Engine is a content management system. We wanted to have a single place where a game's assets could be organized and packaged together, and make it easy to start building with your content. And of course, we wanted to make sure raw content is optimized for mobile platforms. Thus, Content Cruncher was born.

Content Cruncher

Content Cruncher can be used to create packages of content that integrate directly into your game project. Here's a look at our package for Konsui Fighter's character content:

Within each Content Set of a package, you can load assets. Today, Content Cruncher features three types of primary assets - Sprites, Sound Effects, and Music Tracks.

Overview of Isamu's Content Set

Content Cruncher includes metric tracking that shows how much storage and run-time memory each asset, or collection of assets is. 

The tool also takes care of packaging and optimizing each type of content. For Sprites, it has a built in Sprite Sheet packing system that gives the user several options to tweak the output.

One of Isamu's Sprite Sheets

But the real power of Aeaea's content system comes into play when using Content Cruncher's Publish feature. When content is published through Content Cruncher, all the raw content is compressed using a variety of optimization tools, and output directly into your local workspace. In addition, a Content Dictionary can be published, much like Android's generated resource dictionary.

A sample of Konsui Fighter's Splash Screen Content Dictionary

For any classes bound to a Content Set, the Content Dictionary is injected directly into your workspace code so that you can start working with it right away.

Content Cruncher is also great for teams. The Circean Studios team keeps most of our shared assets synced through services such as Dropbox and BitTorrent Sync. When you setup a project in Content Cruncher, you map your local synced folder, and the tool takes care of the rest. If someone else makes an adjustment to a piece of content, it will be automatically included in the next publish cycle of your local workspace.

There's also a .NET library that can be utilized to integrate any tool with the content system. We've used this to integrate our character content into our character building utility for Konsui Fighter

One of Isamu's Animations

This is just a taste of what we have for Content Cruncher today, but we've already planned several enhancements to the system for the initial SDK release of Aeaea Engine. Some of these include the ability to use our proprietary graphics format (Compact Game Graphics), customization of content types per Content Set, more content types, more direct team synchronization integration, and further optimized sprite packing, just to name a few.