lundi, août 22, 2016

revising build system

Once upon a commit, was runME, a tool to assist game development on NintendoDS by embedding a game engine, WiFi transfer functions and launch buttons to sprite, level and animation editors. Revising a level should have been as simple as click "LEDS", update the area that wasn't suited to the gameplay, "save and play" to return to runME that would allow you to run the game with its new layout. Editing monster's behaviour should have involved at most a similar trip to SEDS and uploading some revised scripts from a laptop PC.

Nothing like that still occur with SchoolRush. The code layout and the build system makes it extremely tedious to maintain identical feature set for the game's own binary and runME. Slight differences between the two means the game will not play as expected and even will even fail to run on runME because some 'plugin' controllers (the C++ toolkit to build game state machines) expect different arguments. RunME is almost exclusively used to beam .spr and .map files out of the DS to be tested in emulator on the integrated game binary and them beam back the .nds into the DS after some preliminary tests were made on emulator. That's likely the slowest development cycle you could think of :(


Un jeu est sorti. Je m'autorise donc à prendre un peu de temps pour faire de la maintenance dans du code qui en a bien besoin. En particulier le système de gestion des compilations. Ce ne sera pas aussi élégant que ce qu'on a construit au boulot avec mes collègues, mais je reprends quand-même quelques idées... J'élimine les VPATH, notamment. Je regroupe ce qui peut l'être dans un 'common.mk' inclus depuis le makefile de chaque projet, etc.

J'espère que ça me permettra de recommencer à faire de l'exécution dans runME quelque-chose de plus fiable, de façon à pouvoir tester un niveau gribouillé sur DS sans devoir le re-passer par le PC.

I'm on a quest to make it better, drawing experience from the buildroot-derivative project we're dealing with at work. I have hope it will also ease the task of writing unit-tests for LEDS and SEDS that will make them more reliable tools: I've got way too many instances of "data recovery" in the last edits of School Rush.

Maybe I'll have to push myself to avoid re-inventing a "dlod" systems for the plugins and accept that a static library and proper re-compiling statements is all I need: a first intermediate build of "plugins.a" allows me to look at all the things that the bunch of controllers need from the environment to do their job. If I was able to offer that via in-runME patching, I could just upload a new "ppplatformer.bin" to the NDS and have runme work with the update functions. Admittedly, beaming a new runme is simpler and does the job.

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