A repo designed to help you learn a bit about game dev and Babylon.js
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README.md

Making a game with Babylon.js! 🀘

I ❀️ javascript. A lot.

"Yeah, so do I..." I hear you saying. "But, I mean... can you really make a game with javascript?"

πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠABSOLUTELYπŸŽŠπŸŽ‰

"Whoa!" You say. "I want to do that! How do I do that?"

Read on 😎

Heads up

I'm learning most of this stuff as I go, so you will definitely see me implement something in a terrible way and then come back later and make it better.

If you have any input, suggestions, or better ways to do anything you see in this repo please let me know!

A new approach to teaching

This is kind of a new concept for tutorials. Instead of using blog posts or a series of videos to teach game development with Babylon.js, this repo teaches using code, commit comments, a GitHub Project with task cards, and inline commit diff comments (comments about specific lines in a commit - they're super awesome, you'll see πŸ‘).

The idea is that this repo teaches by showing.

  1. What are best practices for game development? Look at the repo
  2. How do I do ____ with lighting/physics/cameras in Babylon.js? Look at the repo
  3. What does the process of making a game look like? Look at the repo
why Babylon.js?

I've worked with Unity and dipped my toe into Unreal.

I wanted something I could use to quickly prototype ideas. Something with minimal setup requirements and the shortest path-to-output possible. After researching things quite a bit I settled on Babylon.js.

Babylon.js has a nice, consistent api, it's small enough to load into a browser quickly, and it's WebGL performance seems quite good.

I'm also much more comfortable in a code-based environment than a gui environment like Unreal or Unity.

Structure

With all this talk about the importance of the repo, how is the repo structured?

master branch

The master branch is the always-deployable version of the project. Before code from topic or special branches are merged to master it must be validated that merging will not cause instability on master.

NOTE As part of the learning process, all the initial work (the work in the Initial Push project) has been done on the master branch. All work moving forward will be done on topic/special branches.

Topic branches

The idea is to add branches for specific features/sections of Babylon.js. So, for example, a branch would be created for lighting or texturing etc. Each branch would go into detail on the topic and how it relates to the game being built. All topic branches will be merged back into master when work on them has been completed.

Special branches

Occasionally branches may be created for a special purpose. One example is the stl-ggj-2018 branch for the St Louis Global Game Jam 2018. Any such branch will contain only work for that event/occasion/need. Special branches may be merged back into master. That decision will will be made on a case-by-case basic.

Projects

Each branch will have an associated GitHub Project. Each Project will have one or more Tasks.

Projects are a good way to group work. All work related to physics, for example, would be completed under a project named "Physics", or something similar (we'll cross that bridge when we come to it 😜).

Tasks

Tasks represent things that needs to be done. Tasks have tags specifying how they add value to the Project. Looking through a Project's tasks can be a very helpful way to see what the process of development using Babylon.js (and game dev in general) looks like.

A task has three stages:

  1. To Do: This is the stage all tasks are added to. Tasks in this stage need to be worked on but have not been started.
  2. In Progress: This is the stage for all tasks that are currently being worked on, but are not yet complete.
  3. Done: This stage signifies that a task is complete and requires no additional work.

Commits

Every commit has valuable details regarding what was done and why in the commit message. Some commits are linked to Tasks as well (though not all - some commits are house cleaning/guality of life changes that don't belong to a task). Some commits also have commit diff comments. These comments go into much greater detail regarding specific lines of code; how they function, why they were added/removed/changed, etc.

Commits that close tasks or fix bugs are annotated as such.

Setup

Babbling On uses javascript ES6 modules (the link explains the benefits). While ES6 modules are awesome, they come with one caveat (it's actually a good thing security-wise, but can be a bit of a pain): they are fetched using CORS requests. This means a server needs to be installed, configured, and running locally.

Install, configure, and run nginx

install

On a Mac, using Homebrew

$ brew update
$ brew install nginx

On Ubuntu using apt-get (link contains more detailed instructions)

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install nginx
configure

Once the install completes, open nginx's root config file

$ vim /usr/local/etc/nginx/nginx.conf

NOTE If you're not familiar with vim, you can also open the nginx config file in your default text editor (on macOS) by using

$ open /usr/local/etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Once the file is open, update it look like this (this should be the only contents of the file):

user  nobody;
worker_processes  1;

events {
    worker_connections  1024;
}

http {
    include       mime.types;
    default_type  application/octet-stream;
    root          "/path/to/your/clone/of/Babbling On";

    charset utf-8;

    server {
        listen       4242; # Order 66 :-)
        server_name  localhost;

        location / {
            if ($request_method ~* "(GET|POST)") {
                add_header "Access-Control-Allow-Origin"  *;
            }

            if ($request_method = OPTIONS ) {
                add_header "Access-Control-Allow-Origin"  *;
                add_header "Access-Control-Allow-Methods" "GET, POST, OPTIONS, HEAD";
                add_header "Access-Control-Allow-Headers" "Authorization, Origin, X-Requested-With, Content-Type, Accept";
              
                return 200;
            }

            index  index.html;
        }
    }
}
run

On mac/linux:

$ sudo nginx
yay!

Now you can navigate to http://localhost:4242 in your browser (currently only Chrome and Safari are supported; thanks vendor prefixes) and see the project running!

Feedback/Contributions

I'd love to hear what you think - good or bad! Feel free to comment on open issues, open your own issues, fork the repo, make changes you'd like to see, and send pull requests!

Thanks, and I hope this repo helps you wrap your head around Babylon.js and game dev in general! 🀘