Content Management

Nez includes it’s own content management system that builds on the MonoGame ContentManager class. All content management goes through the NezContentManager which is a subclass of ContentManager. The debug console has a ‘assets’ command that will log all scene or global assets so you will always know what is still in memory.

Nez provides containers for global and per-scene content. You can also create your own NezContentManager at any time if you need to manage some short-lived assets. You can also unload assets at any time via the unloadAsset<T> method. Note that Effects should be unloaded with unloadEffect since they are a special case.

Global Content

There is a global NezContentManager available via Core.content. You can use this to load up assets that will survive the life of your application. Things like your fonts, shared atlases, shared sound effects, etc.

Scene Content

Each scene has it’s own NezContentManager (scene.contentManager) that you can use to load per-scene assets. When a new scene is set all of the assets from the previous scene will automatically be unloaded for you.

Loading Effects

There are several ways to load Effects with Nez that are not present in MonoGame. These were added to make Effect management easier, especially when dealing with Effects that are subclasses of Effect (such as AlphaTestEffect and BasicEffect). All of the built in Nez Effects can also be loaded easily. The available methods are:

  • **loadMonoGameEffect:** loads and manages any Effect that is built-in to MonoGame such as BasicEffect, AlphaTestEffect, etc
  • **loadEffect/loadEffect:** loads an ogl effect directly from file and handles disposing of it when the ContentManager is disposed
  • **loadEffect( string name, byte[] effectCode ):** loads an ogl effect directly from its bytes and handles disposing of it when the ContentManager is disposed
  • loadNezEffect: loads a built-in Nez effect. These are any of the Effect subclasses in the Nez/Graphics/Effects folder.

Auto Generating Content Paths

Nez includes a T4 template that will generate a static Content class for you that contains the names of all of the files processed by the Pipeline Tool. This lets you change code like the following:

// before using the ContentPathGenerator you have strings to represent your content
var tex = content.Load<Texture2D>( "Textures/Scene1/blueBird" );

// after using the ContentPathGenerator you will have compile-tile safety for your content
var tex = content.Load<Texture2D>( Content.Textures.Scene1.blueBird" );

The big advantage to using it is that you will never have a reference to content that doesnt actually exist in your project. You get compile-time checking of all your content. Setup is as follows:

  • copy the ContentPathGenerator.tt file into the root of your project (you could place it elsewhere and then modify the sourceFolder variable in the file. For example, if using only precompiled xnb files in an FNA project you would set sourceFolder = "Content/")
  • in the properites pane for the file set the “Custom Tool” to “TextTemplatingFileGenerator”
  • right click the file and choose Tools -> Process T4 Template to generate the Content class

Async Loading

NezContentManager provides asynchronous loading of assets as well. You can load a single asset or an array of assets via the loadAsync<T> method. It takes a callback Action that will be called once the assets are loaded.