react-game-engine

    1.0.0 • Public • Published

    React Game Engine

    React Game Engine · npm version mit license

    Some components that make it easier to construct dynamic and interactive scenes on the web using React.

    If you are looking for the React Native version of this library, go to react-native-game-engine.

    Differences between React Native Game Engine

    The core APIs are exactly the same. I've made some simplifications and improvements where it made sense. Please note that this library is still a bit more experimental than RNGE, but definitely in a usable state.

    The main changes are:

    Rx Dependency Removed

    I've removed the Rx dependency, and therefore the ability to pass in your own touch processor. For most developers, they won't even notice this change. The number and variety of events that you can receive from a DOM element is vastly bigger than on mobile. The burden of normalizing these events into streams that are consumable by the game developer in every possible way is quite daunting and would undoubtedly lead to developers pulling out their hair.

    Touches Replaced By Input

    Taking the above into account - the touches array has been replaced by a generic input. Every system will receive an input array that contain the name and payload of the following events: onClick onContextMenu onDoubleClick onDrag onDragEnd onDragEnter onDragExit onDragLeave onDragOver onDragStart onDrop onMouseDown onMouseEnter onMouseLeave onMouseMove onMouseOut onMouseOver onMouseUp onWheel onTouchCancel onTouchEnd onTouchMove onTouchStart onKeyDown onKeyPress onKeyUp

    Here's a system that would handle these events:

    const sys1 = (entities, { input }) => {
      const { payload } = input.find(x => x.name === "onMouseDown") || {};
     
      if (payload) {
        //-- Do something here
      }
     
      return entities;
    };

    Table of Contents

    Quick Start

    If you've used react-game-engine before and understand the core concepts, take a look at react-game-engine-template. It's a sort of game kickstarter project that allows you to prototype ideas quickly and comes preloaded with a bunch of stuff like:

    • A 3D renderer
    • Physics
    • Particle system
    • Crude sound API
    • Sprite support with animations
    • Etc

    Otherwise, continue reading the quick start guide below.


    Firstly, install the package to your project:

    npm install --save react-game-engine

    Then import the GameEngine component:

    import { GameEngine } from "react-game-engine";

    To start with, let's create some components that can be rendered by React. Create a file called renderers.js:

    import React, { PureComponent } from "react";
     
    class Box extends PureComponent {
      render() {
        const size = 100;
        const x = this.props.x - size / 2;
        const y = this.props.y - size / 2;
        return (
          <div style={{ position: "absolute", width: size, height: size, backgroundColor: "red", left: x, top: y }} />
        );
      }
    }
     
    export { Box };

    Next, let's code our logic in a file called systems.js:

    const MoveBox = (entities, { input }) => {
      //-- I'm choosing to update the game state (entities) directly for the sake of brevity and simplicity.
      //-- There's nothing stopping you from treating the game state as immutable and returning a copy..
      //-- Example: return { ...entities, t.id: { UPDATED COMPONENTS }};
      //-- That said, it's probably worth considering performance implications in either case.
     
      const { payload } = input.find(x => x.name === "onMouseDown") || {};
     
      if (payload) {
        const box1 = entities["box1"];
     
        box1.x = payload.pageX;
        box1.y = payload.pageY;
      }
     
      return entities;
    };
     
    export { MoveBox };

    Finally let's bring it all together in our index.js:

    import React, { PureComponent } from "react";
    import { GameEngine } from "react-game-engine";
    import { Box } from "./renderers";
    import { MoveBox } from "./systems"
     
    export default class SimpleGame extends PureComponent {
      render() {
        return (
          <GameEngine
            style={{ width: 800, height: 600, backgroundColor: "blue" }}
            systems={[MoveBox]}
            entities={{
              //-- Notice that each entity has a unique id (required)
              //-- and a renderer property (optional). If no renderer
              //-- is supplied with the entity - it won't get displayed.
              box1: { x: 200,  y: 200, renderer: <Box />}
            }}>
     
          </GameEngine>
        );
      }
    }

    Build and run. Each entity is a "box". Every time you click on the screen, the first entity will move to the clicked coordinate.

    If you're curious, our GameEngine component is a loose implementation of the Compenent-Entity-System pattern - we've written up a quick intro here.

    GameEngine Properties

    Prop Description Default
    systems An array of functions to be called on every tick. []
    entities An object containing your game's initial entities. This can also be a Promise that resolves to an object containing your entities. This is useful when you need to asynchronously load a texture or other assets during the creation of your entities or level. {} or Promise
    renderer A function that receives the entities and needs to render them on every tick. (entities,screen) => { /* DRAW ENTITIES */ } DefaultRenderer
    timer An object that can be used to override the default timer behavior new DefaultTimer()
    running A boolean that can be used to control whether the game loop is running or not true
    onEvent A callback for being notified when events are dispatched undefined
    style An object containing styles for the root container undefined
    className A className for applying styles for the root container undefined
    children React components that will be rendered after the entities undefined

    GameEngine Methods

    Method Description Arg1, Arg2, ArgN
    stop Stop the game loop NA
    start Start the game loop. NA
    swap A method that can be called to update your game with new entities. Can be useful for level switching etc. You can also pass a Promise that resolves to an entities object into this method. {} or Promise
    dispatch A method that can be called to fire events after the currenty frame completed. The event will be received by ALL the systems and any onEvent callbacks event

    FAQ

    Is React Game Engine suitable for production quality games?

    This depends on your definition of production quality. You're not going to make a AAA title with RGE. You could however create some more basic games (doesn't mean they can't be fun games), or even jazz up your existing business applications with some interactive eye candy.

    How do I manage physics?

    RGE does not come with an out-of-the-box physics engine. We felt that this would be an area where the game designers should be given greater liberty. There are lots of JS-based physics engines out there, each with their pros and cons. Check out Matter JS if you're stuck.

    Do I have a choice of renderers?

    How you render your entities is up to you. You can use the stand web components (div, img, canvas) or using ThreeJS for 3D games.

    Introduction

    This package contains only two components:

    • GameLoop
    • GameEngine

    Both are standalone components. The GameLoop is a subset of the GameEngine and gives you access to an onUpdate callback that fires every 16ms (or roughly 60 fps). On top of this, the GameLoop will supply a reference to the screen (via Dimensions.get("window")), touch events for multiple fingers (start, end, press, long-press, move) and time + deltas. The GameLoop is useful for simple interactive scenes, and pretty much stays out of your way.

    The GameEngine is more opinionated and is a react-friendly implementation of the Component-Entity-Systems pattern. It provides the same features out of the box as the GameEngine but also includes a crude event/signaling pipeline for communication between your game and your other React components. You probably want to use the GameEngine to implement slightly more complex games and interactive scenes.

    Managing Complexity with Component Entity Systems

    Typically, game developers have used OOP to implement complex game objects and scenes. Each game object is instantiated from a class, and polymorphism allows code re-use and behaviors to be extended through inheritance. As class hierarchies grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to create new types of game entities without duplicating code or seriously re-thinking the entire class hierarchy.

                   [GameEntity]
                        |
                        |
                    [Vehicle]
                   /    |    \
                  /     |     \
                 /      |      \
                /       |       \
       [Terrestrial] [Marine] [Airborne]
               |        |        |
               |        |        |
             [Tank]   [Boat]   [Jet]
    

    How do we insert a new terrestrial and marine-based vehicle - say a Hovercraft - into the class hierarchy?

    One way to address these problems is to favor composition over inheritance. With this approach, we break out the attributes and behaviours of our various game entities into decoupled, encapsulated and atomic components. This allows us to be really imaginative with the sorts of game entities we create because we can easily compose them with components from disparate domains and concerns.

    Component entity systems are one way to organize your game entities in a composable manner. To start with, we take the common attributes (data) of our game entities and move them into siloed components. These don't have to be concrete classes, simple hash maps (or equivalent) and scalars will do - but this depends on the data you're storing.

    • Position: { x: 0, y: 0 }
    • Velocity: { x: 0, y: 0 }
    • Acceleration: { x: 0, y: 0 }
    • Mass: 1.0
    • Health: 100
    • Physics: Body b
    • Controls: { jump: 'w', left: 'a', crouch: 's', right: 'd' }

    Examples of different types of components in a hypothetical programming language.

    Your game entities will be reduced to lists/arrays of components and labeled with a unique identifier. An entity's components are by no means static - you're free to update components and even add or remove them on the fly. If our favourite Italian plumber ingests a mushroom, we simple double his velocity. If our character turns into a ghost - we remove his physics component and let him walk through walls.

    • Player#1: [Position, Velocity, Health, Sprite, Physics, Controls]
    • Enemy#1: [Position, Velocity, Health, Sprite, Physics, AI]
    • Platform#1: [Position, Sprite, Physics]
    • Platform#2: [Position, Sprite, Physics, Velocity] // <-- Moving platform!

    All entities are assigned a unique id.

    Since our entities are simple data holders now, we must move all our game logic into our systems. At its core, a system is a function that processes related groups of components and is called on each iteration of the game loop. The system will extract entities that contain the necessary components it requires to run, update those entities as necessary, and wait for the next cycle. For example, we could code a "Gravity" component that calculates the force of gravity and applies it to all entities that have an acceleration AND velocity AND mass component. Entities that do not contain these components will not be affected by gravity.

    • Gravity: (Acceleration, Velocity, Mass) => { // Update all matching entities // }
    • Render: (Sprite, Position) => { }
    • Movement: (Position, Velocity, Controls) => { }
    • Damage: (Health) => { }
    • Bot: (Position, Velocity, AI) => { }

    The logic in a system is inherently reusable because it can be applied to all entities that meet the system's criteria.

    How exactly you choose to define your components, entities and systems is up to you. You'll probably find that coming up with well-defined components and systems will take some practice - but the general pattern is conducive to refactoring and the long term benefits will outweigh the learning curve.

    Additional CES Reading Material

    Get in Touch

    We are Neap - a development and design team in Sydney. We love building stuff and meeting new people, so get in touch with us at https://neap.co.

    Some of our projects:

    React & React Native

    Web Framework & Deployment Tools

    • webfunc: Write code for serverless similar to Express once, deploy everywhere.
    • now-flow: Automate your Zeit Now Deployments.

    GraphQL

    • graphql-serverless: GraphQL (incl. a GraphiQL interface) middleware for webfunc.
    • schemaglue: Naturally breaks down your monolithic graphql schema into bits and pieces and then glue them back together.
    • graphql-s2s: Add GraphQL Schema support for type inheritance, generic typing, metadata decoration. Transpile the enriched GraphQL string schema into the standard string schema understood by graphql.js and the Apollo server client.

    Tools

    License

    MIT License

    Copyright (c) 2018 Boris Berak

    Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

    The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

    THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

    Neap Pty Ltd

    Install

    npm i react-game-engine

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    Version

    1.0.0

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