Skip to content

Raw Data

To facilitate deploying the game, or just working in a team, it would be pleasant to have a good file system structure in place.

This isn’t really a tutorial, but rather a reminder to myself. For now, we simply store the raw data files into the My Documents folder. There are different folders for the different data files, i.e. Artwork/Buttons, Artwork/Cursors, Artwork/Logos, …

To correctly load in the data, we use an enum storing all data folders:

#include "stringifiedEnum.h"
namespace fileSystem
// define the game commands
ENUM_WITH_STRING(DataFolders, (Data)\

The main DirectXApp class has a method to load data files from those folders. At the start of the game, we get and store the paths to the My Documents folder and then all we have to do is specify a file name and the file type each time we want to open a file:

const std::wstring DirectXApp::openFile(const fileSystem::DataFolders dataFolder, const std::wstring& filename) const
std::wstringstream file;
if (dataFolder == fileSystem::DataFolders::Data)
// the file is in the main data folder
file << pathToDataFolder << L"\\" << filename;
return file.str();
if (dataFolder < fileSystem::DataFolders::EndFolders)
// the file is in a main folder
file << pathToDataFolder << L"\\" << enumToString(dataFolder) << L"\\" << filename;
return file.str();
if (dataFolder > fileSystem::DataFolders::EndFolders && dataFolder < fileSystem::DataFolders::EndArtworkSubFolders)
// the file is in an artwork subfolder
file << pathToArtworkFolder << L"\\" << enumToString(dataFolder) << L"\\" << filename;
return file.str();
return L"Unable to locate file!";

As an example, let us load in a logo:

util::Expected<void> IntroState::initializeLogoSprites()
// the boost logo
logos.push_back(new graphics::Sprite(d2d, dxApp->openFile(fileSystem::DataFolders::Logos, L"logoBoost.png").c_str()));
// the DirectX 11 logo
logos.push_back(new graphics::Sprite(d2d, dxApp->openFile(fileSystem::DataFolders::Logos, L"logoDX11.png").c_str()));
// the Lua logo
logos.push_back(new graphics::Sprite(d2d, dxApp->openFile(fileSystem::DataFolders::Logos, L"logoLua.png").c_str()));
catch (std::exception&e) { return e; }
// return success
return { };

This is straightforward and good enough for now. Later on, we will want to be able to read files from a compressed archive, but for now, we will get back to the input handler and add joystick and gamepad support.

You can download the source code from here.



(in alphabetic order)

  • Game Programming Algorithms, by Sanjay Madhav
  • Game Programming Patterns, by Robert Nystrom
  • Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN)
  • Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus, by André LaMothe
  • Wikipedia