Eli5: Wtf is all the jargon in a games files



So if you go into some of the files for a game (or most applications I think) you find notepad files with endless pages of weird ass symbols. Wtf are they and why are they used?

In: Technology

It sounds like you are trying to open something that isn’t a text file (such as textures, audio/video files, models or the game code itself) in a text editor, and then trying to comment on the obvious fact that those files aren’t human readable text.

That’s just data that’s encoded in something besides a text encoding. It’s used for literally anything the programmer may want to store in a file. The data could be absolutely anything.

That’s Notepad desperately trying to make some sense of whatever you’re feeding it.

If I spoke to you in Japanese and told you to write down the English I was speaking, you’d get exactly the same garbled mess.

The programmer wrote a a programmer, the compiler/assembler took the stuff he wrote and re-wrote it so a machine could understand it.
So for example it might write.
JMP 0x2131 meaning go to the part of the code marked 0x2131.
All of this would be written in binary so it would be:

You then opened it with notepad.
Basically, you told notepad, here’s a bunch of text, read it like a text file.
So it looks up, what “11101001” is, then what “00100001”, then what”00110001″ is.
Which is “�!1”

Because you told it this was a text file, when it’s an instruction set.

every file on computer is stored in binary form. Notepad has an option to select the encoding (default is unicode, but you can select others, like ascii). What that means is that it will translate each group of 8 bits into a character. But if you open something that wasn’t supposed to be a text, for example, an executable file (.exe, or .elf) those bits aren’t characters, but instructions to the OS, so the result are random characters.