CppCon 2023 File I/O for Game Developers: Past, Present, and Future with C++ -- Guy Davidson

davisoncpp23.pngRegistration is now open for CppCon 2024! The conference starts on September 15 and will be held in person in Aurora, CO. To whet your appetite for this year’s conference, we’re posting videos of some of the top-rated talks from last year's conference. Here’s another CppCon talk video we hope you will enjoy – and why not register today for CppCon 2024!

File I/O for Game Developers: Past, Present, and Future with C++

by Guy Davidson

Summary of the talk:

If you have played a game on a computer in the last few decades, you will most likely have encountered a loading screen. This is used to advertise to the player that, among other things, data is being loaded from a storage device into the game. But why does this exist, why does it take so long, and how can we improve matters for the player?

In this talk we will discover the history of games and their development environments, the relationship between address space, RAM and storage hardware, how C++ abstracts file I/O and why it might not be the best fit for game developers, how a 64-bit address space changes everything, how #embed will change everything, and how C++29 (yes, 29) may upset the applecart yet again.

Although this talk is aimed at game developers who are often Windows programmers, it is relevant to anyone who has to read large amounts of data from local storage. Expect tales of woe, discovery and jubilation as I describe every surprising little thing I've learned about file I/O over the past 40 years and how C++ is heading for a great future in games.

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