Creating awesome GUI for you game dev tools with ImGui and SFML. Part 1.

This is the first part of tutorial about Dear ImGui (AKA ImGui) and it’ll show you how to set it up with SFML. The second part will be library agnostic and will talk about common ways of doing stuff in ImGui, some awesome widgets and some useful STL overloads.

examples_01

Different ImGui widgets (taken from ImGui’s github page)

Introduction

Having good content creation (level editor, resource editor, etc.) and debugging tools for your game is very important and can lead to productivity and creativity boost.

Here are some examples of tools I managed to make with ImGui for my game:

Level editor:

Animation editor:

(It was possible to add ability to change members of C++ objects with ImGui by doing some template magic, maybe I’ll write an article about that later!)

As you can see there’s a wide range of widgets that ImGui can provide and there are lots of other great examples of how other people use it here. Continue reading

Using Lua with C++ in Practice. Getting data from scripts and why globals are evil.

This part doesn’t depend on the others, so you can read it even if you haven’t read previous parts. (I suggest to check them out, though. You may find some interesting stuff!)

This part will mostly use Lua C API only. LuaBridge is used for a small part to show some cool stuff. (Though you’ll be able to follow with most other bindings)

This part contains one of the most important practices in Lua programming which I discovered pretty recently and felt dumb afterwards because for the last two years I’ve been doing stuff wrong.

Today I’m going to talk about storing Lua tables and variables in scripts.

Storing data in Lua is great. You can easily store stuff in neat way and you can also store functions which you can later call from C++. You can store tables (or other variables) in scripts in two ways: as global variables and as local variables. Let’s talk about each one.

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Using Lua with C++ in Practice. Part3. Controlling entities in Lua by calling C++ functions.

If you haven’t read the first part of the tutorial, I suggest you to read it, so you have a clear idea what’s going on. See the second part for the implementation details.

This article uses LuaBridge and if you’re not familiar with it, I suggest you to check out my tutorials about it. (Pt1, Pt2). If you’re using another Lua/C++ binding: that’s fine, you can totally implement everything I’m talking about with other bindings.

Intro

One of the coolest things in Lua is that you can call C++ functions from it. You can even register your own classes and call their member functions!

Suppose you have an entity class which contains a list of components:

class Entity {
    ...
private:
    std::vector<std::unique_ptr<Component>> components;
};

Suppose that you have a function which lets you get a component by its name.
What if you want to change animations in some Lua script? You can do it like this:

function someLuaFunction(entity)
  ...
    local graphics = entity:getComponent("Graphics")
    if(graphics) then
        graphics:setAnimation("someAnimation")
    end
  ...
end

I believe that this is not a greatest way to do things, because exposing components to Lua is not really necessary. Woudn’t it be nice to hide all the implementation details in C++? Here’s how the code above may look:

function someLuaFunction(entity)
  ...
    entity:setAnimation("someAnimation")
  ...
end

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Using Lua with C++ in practice. Part 2. Implementing the basics

Source code for this article

Hello, this is a second part of “Using Lua with C++ in Practice” series. I recommend to read the first part to know what’s going on and why using Lua with C++ is awesome! (You’ll see it in this arcticle too, of course).

This tutorial will implement a simple ECS model which I’ll improve and use in other parts of tutorials. Note that this is not the best way to implement ECS. I’m making the most basic ECS which can be used to show the main principles of how things work in my game and how you can use them in general. This is not a tutorial about C++, so I won’t spend too much time discussing C++ parts and I’ll mostly focus on Lua/C++ interaction and binding. Let’s start!

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Using Lua with C++ in practice. Part 1. Intro to ECS and basic principles

There are many reasons to use Lua with C++. One of them is that you can put some of the logic from C++ code into scripts, so you can easily change them without the need or recompilation. You can also write some good interfaces, so the scripts are easy enough for even non-coders to write them. Lua is free, Lua is fast, Lua is used in game development quite often.

While there are plenty of good articles about using Lua with C++, I think there are not enough articles about how to use Lua in real projects.

This article is one of the many articles I plan to write. Here are some topics which my articles will cover:

  •  Entity creation and other basic stuff (you’re reading this now)
  •  How to implement entity creation
  •  Managing Lua state and cleaning up
  •  Scriptable state machines
  •  Events and callbacks

The stuff described in the articles was mostly discovered during the development of my game called Re:creation.
I don’t think the methods here are perfect, but they’re good enough, fast and work well for me. So, your feedback is welcome. Feel free to leave comments and write e-mails to me about the stuff I can do better. I’m interested in hearing about your Lua/C++ usage!

While this is a C++ article, I think you can implement most of the things mentioned here in your favourite language. I’ll use Lua C API and LuaBridge for examples, so I recommend to read the following articles if you’re not familiar with them:

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Using Lua with C++. Using Lua scripts with C++ classes.

Read the first part about LuaBridge here to see how to install it and use it for basic things.

You can find the complete source code of this article here

This part will show you how to register C++ classes in Lua, call member functions and how to apply scripts to something practical like putting object behaviour code in scripts.
I’m a game developer, so I’ve used examples related to gamedev but you can use Lua almost everywhere, so take a look even if you’re not interested in gamedev.
The code used in this article is as simple as possible while also remaining a complete example which you can run and compile.
I leave out the details which are irrelevant to focus on the main topic: scripts.

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re:Creation week #5. Improved level format and saving system.

Previous weeks:

Foreword

Last week I’ve posted this screenshot of re:Creation to /r/IndieGaming to know what people think about new graphics. I expected 2 or 3 people tell me something like: “it’s good, keep working” or “that’s bad, keep working”. The thread got lots of upvotes and comments and there was lots of constructive critique which I didn’t expect. Some people said the game looks really great. This was really awesome and now I know in which direction art style should be moving.

And here’s what I’ve been doing this week.

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