I'm starting to think about how I'm going to go about loading models, images, sounds, etc for my game. I have two competing lines of thought to deal with:
If possible, it would be nice to make use of existing libraries to load things like PNGs, etc.
I would like to pack all of my game data into a single archive, and it would be great to use an existing library here also.
Is it possible to do this? I've heard that I could use something like zlib for (2), but I've never used it before so I'm not sure how it would work. Is it possible to yank a file out of a zlib archive in memory, and then pass it to some compatible library for the actual loading? How would these two systems interface with each other? Would using zlib slow down the loading process?
I've not had much experience with I/O in my career, so I'm not really sure where to start.