Project management

This time I want to talk about something different than cool new techniques or tools. I would like to discuss the way I prefer to manage my scenery projects.

I think you will all know that you can generate quite a few (source) files when creating a scenery. And when you can keep them well organized it makes your work a lot easier. This became especially important for me, when we started to work together on the same airport with different designers in the NL2000 team. We started to use a CVS system to synchronise the sources between those different designers and to work with CVS easily we came up with a common project structure we now all use.

The first step is obviously to create a folder for our new scenery project. This can either be a airport or an object library or something else. In this base folder we have three folder:

scenery
texture
source

The scenery folder is clear of course, here all the final BGL files will be placed. And in the texture folder the DXT mipmapped versions of all textures are placed. By adding this base folder to the scenery library in FS, it is also very easy to have a look at your work in progress.

The source folder contains different subfolders again, for all sort of sources that you get. A few examples are:

asm
xml
gmax
mdl
texture
sca

This are just a few common ones, but depending on the files I collect during a project there can be others of course. The ASM folder would for example contain the ASM source files that have been tweaked manually, while all normally exported objects go into the MDL folder. The XML folder contains the source files for the object library of this project and also for the XML file used to place the objects for example. The texture folder contains the sources of the textures. Usually we use the Photoshop PSD format for that, as that allows you to store layers and stuff like that. ImageTool can then process these files into DXT BMP files easily.

With the help of a few BAT files to easily convert textures and tool like Library Creator XML and ObPlacer XML, I find this a very efficient and organized way to work.

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