Thursday, March 18, 2010

Took me a while

In order to keep up the good tradition of this blog, famous for its quality content, I had to meditate for months.

Work, as usual, has not been forgiving with my spare time. Many things also happen outside the event horizon of a computer screen, and it eventually becomes increasingly hard to clear up thoughts and write down stuff.

Blabbering aside, I've managed to finally write a working prototype of the famous Entity System. Not only that, though. The Rainweaver Framework (guess I'll stick to this name for the time being) has been given lots of love as well, and despite my constant refactoring, I can say I'm 80% satisfied with the result. I made a post at but stirred no interest. Ah well. For fun and not for fame, right?

This Framework of mine is a hobby project. I'm giving myself the chance to learn new technologies such as WPF as well. It has a steep learning curve. It's true. If you want to learn WPF, you gotta have the time to. Time to sit down, open two Visual Studio instances, download Family.Show and get dissecting. Time to wade through thousands of tutorials looking for best practices with a dim light.

With this spirit, I decided to take up a WPF project related to the Entity System. It's called Prototyper. You can still see in the changelogs that the project was named ArchProto, then ProtoArch, it turned WPF from WinForms (just like growing adult), and got its final name.

Project conception aside, I'll explain briefly what it's supposed to do.

Every Entity System has a Schema and a Runtime. The first says how things work, the second makes them happen. Between them, there are Runtime Globals and Scripts. Runtime Globals are implementation-specific methods or properties exposed by the runtime to the schema. Scripts can be modified at runtime (atomically, i.e. no undefined state across modifications) and are generally kept in some kind of storage (files, db).

Prototyper is being written to allow designers to define components, messages and prototypes in a visual fashion; associate a Runtime Globals type for scripts; associate scripts from a typed script storage object to message handlers; compile a schema to CLR Objects.

The Entity System was a challenge and still is, as it's not 100% done. But a bigger challenge lies ahead with this Prototyper thing.

If you feel brave, head over at and download the latest code drop, play with it, examine the code.

Thanks for reading.


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