September 18, 2006

[XNA] One More Content Pipeline Concern

I've got one last concern regarding the XNA Game Studio content pipeline that I forgot to bring up, and it relates to the F5 experience for the team.

The use case, as I understand it, is that a content creator does a get from source control, adds their content to the project solution, selects the correct importer/converter, and hits F5 to cause the content to be imported and converted, and then run the game.

I'm fine with that. My question is this: what happens when the content is checked in? Is only the source file going to be checked in, or will the resulting output be checked in as well? Will the pipeline be smart enough to check-out the converted file on a rebuild all?

I'll explain a bit further. Content pipelines are slow. Extremely slow. While exporting a character for "SiN Episodes: Emergence" may have only taken a minute or two, building levels took between one and three hours each level, and that's with the distributed level building network we have in place. It takes time to generate the BSP file, visibility data, lightmaps, navigation paths, etc.

If I do a "get" and hit F5, will I be able to take advantage of the fact that a lot of this content has already been built at least once by the asset creator?

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