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A different way

gone CScript

Posted by , 10 September 2013 - - - - - - · 896 views

Well, i've done it.

I've gone CScript.

After having a C++ macro processing language at my disposal for about 15 years now, i've finanlly made the big move and fully integrated CScipt into my code development workflow. now if there was just a way to add a solution specific external tool button to the standard menu bar in VC 2012 express.....

See this journal entry from Project Z for more info on CScript....


So far, i couldn't be happier. With translation times on the order of 100,000 lines per second, the CScript macro processor stage of the new build pipeline is just a blink of an eye!.

and now i can write new code as well as modifiy existing code using CScript syntax, which is quick and easy.

Here's an example of some of the new new CScript code i'm writing now. This is an implementation of a GUI button system i added to the Z library. Granted, its only a statically allocated array with a hard coded size. but it can easily be converted to a class that gets passed a size on creation. an app will generally know how many buttons they need in a given list of buttons. in cases where they don't, a vector would do nicely in place of an array. I created it with updating the UI of the rigid body modeler/animator in mind. the modeler/animator is a linkable module with just two screens of maybe 20 hotspots each. so a single list of 100 buttons was fine for a start. in the long run, this api would evolve to have the ability to load land save lists of buttons, and store an array of button lists (or perhaps a tree for a menu hierarchy). one might even implement a callback driven event handler for it.

this CScript code is a full implementation of a buttonlist data structure with init, new, release, get, set, draw, and pick functions:

' ####################### buttons list ##############################

#d Zmaxbtns 100

st Zbtnrec
i x y w h texID active
s text

Zbtnrec Zbtn[Zmaxbtns];

fn v Zinit_btns
c ZeroMemory &Zbtn sizeof(Zbtnrec)*Zmaxbtns

fn i Znewbtn
i a
4 a Zmaxbtns
== Zbtn[a].active 0
ret a
ret -1

fn v Zreleasebtn i a
= Zbtn[a].active 0

fn v Zsetbtn i index i x i y i w i h i texID c *text
= Zbtn[index].x x
= Zbtn[index].y y
= Zbtn[index].w w
= Zbtn[index].h h
= Zbtn[index].texID texID
ss Zbtn[index].text text

fn v Zgetbtn i index i *x i *y i *w i *h i *texID c *text
= *x Zbtn[index].x
= *y Zbtn[index].y
= *w Zbtn[index].w
= *h Zbtn[index].h
= *texID Zbtn[index].texID
ss text Zbtn[index].text

fn v Zdrawbtn i index
!= Zbtn[index].texID -1
c Zdrawsprite Zbtn[index].texID Zbtn[index].x Zbtn[index].y (float)Zbtn[index].w/256.0f (float)Zbtn[index].h/256.0f
!= strcmp(Zbtn[index].text,"") 0
c Ztext Zbtn[index].x+10 Zbtn[index].y+10 Zbtn[index].text

fn i Zisinbtn i x i y i index
i a
cr a isin x y Zbtn[index].x Zbtn[index].y Zbtn[index].x+Zbtn[index].w Zbtn[index].y+Zbtn[index].h
ret a

So many topics! So little time!

Posted by , 10 September 2013 - - - - - - · 630 views

As i work away here, i keep thinking of topics for this journal.

I'll start listing them here so i don't forget

i'll also try to say a few words, then cover it in more depth in a separate journal entry.

game state managers
state transitions are already implicitly defined by the natural flow control of a game. the one place i use a state manager "pattern" is in my rigid body modeler/animator. it has 2 states -- model editor, and animation editor. drawscreen calls one of two routines to draw either the model editor screen or the animation editor screen - depending on the "game state" of the modeler/animator module. it then calls one of two routines to process input as either modeler or animation editor input. this is a true "state system" design. and only natural, since you can jump back and forth between model and animation editor with a single mouse click. you see its really two programs in one, a modeler, and an animation editor. the state determines which one is active - sort of non-preemptive multi tasking - ie task switching. as you can see, it doesn't seem to make much sense to slice up a game into separate "programs" (states) each with its own input and draw routines. well actually it does.! <BG>. but a state manager isn't needed unless the relationship between "mini programs" (states) is a flip flop back and forth kind of thing. or jump around between a few. but game states are usually a combo of linear, hierarchy, and loops, not peerless network type things. so the state can usually be handled automatically by call hierarchy and normal flow control methods. Whew! more than a few words! Anyway, more on how you can usually get away without a state manger in a separate post.

writing bug free code.
there are lots of tricks that can help write bug free code. at some point, i'll do an entry on all the ones i know. in a typical large title i do, i've been blessed to average just one non-show stopping code type bug in the release versions. typos in displayed text are another thing however... <g>.

game state managers
there was a recent thread on using game states for menus and such. can't find the post. in it, i said that the natural call hierarchy of games made state driven games overkill. in a later post, i mentioned an application of state driven that i do use: the modeler/animator module. its two programs in one, a modeler, and an animation editor, and you can switch between the two at any time. just now, i realized that caveman is also state driven! its two games in one: rpg, and person sim. so it has two states it runs in: fps/rpg mode, and "The sims" doing an a action mode. each has its own render and input methods. but most games aren't like this, and therefore are not true hybrid multi-state applications. it appears the timeto use state management is when your app is actually two or more apps of equal importance, IE they have a peer 2 peer type relationship, vs a main app and sub/mini app relationship. menus and such are sub-apps of the app that calls them. the main menu is a sub app of main. the game loop is a sub app or the main menu. the in-game menu is a sub-app of the game loop.

main menu
game loop
in-game menu
sub menus, stats screens, maps, etc.

- not -

main menu <---> game loop <----> in-game menu <---> world map <---> etc <----> etc (for every screen/menu in the game!)

natural call hierarchy handles it all for you. no need to manage states. granted, it can be done that way, but encoding the natural call hierarchy as state transitions can get ugly.

here's examples of state systems that seem to make more sense to me:

model <-----> animate

fps/rpg mode <----> person sim mode