April Dev Updates

6 minute read

It's been a few months since I've written something, so I'll just give a quick update on what I've been doing.

First, I'll mention that I'll be headed to PyCon  in Montreal next week. Ping me on Twitter if you'll be there too and we'll try to meet up.

Second, I've had a bug in my voxel iteration code for a few months now, and I just kind of shrugged it off and focused on other things. Yesterday I decided it was time to take care of it. What would happen is that sometimes if you click on part of a voxel you'd end up picking the voxel to the left instead. After playing around for a bit, I realized that it only happened when the player's position had a negative value. After digging through the iteration code for an hour or so, I realized the issue was with computing the initial voxel for iteration. What I needed to be doing was using the mathematical definition of floor (i.e., greatest integer smaller than the given value). Instead, I was using integer truncation to "floor" my value. This meant that, for example, -1.2 would end up being -1 instead of -2. I've updated my voxel iterator repository  with this change. Once I get around to writing some unit tests I'll definitely remember to capture this issue in a test. I know, I know. I should be writing tests from the get-go.

Other than that, there's been a few other changes:

  1. I decided to whip up an entity component system (ECS) and play with that idea. I wrote about these beasts a while back. At that time I was mostly trying to wrap my head around it all, but nowadays I have a pretty good idea what they're all about.

    It seems to get a pretty good reception for gamedev, but like any architectural / design pattern, it has its own set of issues. One issue is communication between systems. Right now I'm taking the easy way out and using libsigc++  for events. Hopefully this won't come back to haunt me in the future. So far though, I've enjoyed enjoyed thinking about things in a data-oriented way.

  2. I've moved a lot of initialization and configuration over to YAML files. This is great because it means I can do some things without having to recompile. Right now I have several things thrown into YAML files:

    • texture atlas definitions,
    • effect definitions (state / shaders for rendering), and
    • ECS configuration.

    I'm using the wonderful yaml-cpp  library to parse these files.

  3. Updated my build options to be quite strict with warnings, and treat them as errors. Sometimes this can be annoying, but I think we should all be doing this as it will likely save us a lot of pain in the future. If you're using clang, make sure you enable as much as possible. I currently have -Weverything, -Wno-c++98-compat, -Wno-c++98-compat-pedantic, -Wno-padded, and -Wno-exit-time-destructors enabled. I'm hoping to eventually get around to padded and exit-time-destructors.

    I really should have been doing this from the start.

Now if only I could have a game idea, or even just some kind of mechanic to build around...