How to set up a Debug Development Build

Josh Engebretson edited this page Jan 11, 2017 · 27 revisions

Introduction

Atomic development builds can be used to work on the Atomic Game Engine itself as well as debug Atomic C++ projects.

If you're primarily interested in trying out or testing the latest features, please see Building Atomic The Quick and Easy Way for a simpler method to compiling the engine.

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Clone the repository (for all platforms)

Before we can build the engine, we need to clone the repository recursively. To do this, you must have git installed. To clone the repository, use this command:

git clone --recursive https://github.com/AtomicGameEngine/AtomicGameEngine

Setting up a development build with Visual Studio

Install Visual Studio

You may either install Visual Studio 2015 or 2017 - they can both be downloaded from https://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/.

  • Make sure to install the C++ compiler and optionally the C# tools and Xamarin for mobile development

  • For VS2015, you also need CMake installed which can be downloaded from https://cmake.org/download/. In the installer, make sure you allow it to add itself to PATH

Configure the project

Open cmd and change directory to the root of the repository you just pulled down:

cd C:\Users\User\path_to_repository

Now, type in CMake_VS2015.bat or CMake_VS2017.bat depending on the version of Visual Studio you have.

When it's finished, it'll have created a new folder for you in the same location as the root repository folder. From here, open Atomic.sln with Visual Studio.

Once the solution is prepared for you, set AtomicEditor as the startup project.

Build the solution by navigating to Build > Build Solution or using F6.

Start debugging
Once the build is complete, open the source file you want to debug and set a breakpoint by clicking on a line of code in the left gutter.

Now, you can start debugging the project by navigating to Debug > Start Debugging or using F5.

Visual Studio should now start debugging the engine. Once the breakpoint has been hit, you'll be able to inspect variables and view the callstack.

Debugging a C++ Atomic Project

You can also debug an Atomic project by launching the editor in player mode. To do so, navigate to the project properties and add the --player and --project flag followed by the absolute path to your project. Ensure that you have loaded the project at least once into the editor first, to generate the cache.


Setting up a development build with QtCreator

These instructions can be used to setup a development build on macOS and Linux.

Install QtCreator
First, install QtCreator, which can be downloaded from https://www.qt.io/download/. (You may install it without a runtime, since it won't be necessary in this case)

Configure the project

Open QtCreator and select File > Open File or Project.

Navigate to the root of the repository you just pulled down, and open CMakeLists.txt.

At this point, leave everything as-is and click Configure Project.
Wait until QtCreator is finished setting up the project for you. Now, in order to speed up compilation time, navigate to Project > Build Steps and add the -j4 argument.

Start debugging
Select Debug and choose Atomic Editor in the lower left of QtCreator.

Build the project by navigating to Build > Build All or using CMD/CTRL + SHIFT + B.
Navigate to whatever file you'd like to debug and create a breakpoint by clicking a line of code in the left gutter.
Finally, you can start debugging the engine by navigating to Debug > Start Debugging or using F5.

QTCreator should start debugging for you, and once the breakpoint has been hit, you will be able to inspect variables and view the callstack.

Debugging a C++ Atomic Project

You can also debug an Atomic project by launching the editor in player mode. To do so, select the Project tab on the left and under the Run settings, add the --player and --project flag followed by the absolute path to your project. Ensure that you have loaded the project at least once into the editor first, to generate the cache.