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Entity system for Haxe


edge works on the following principles:

  • an Entity is a collection of components with no additional logic.
  • a Component is an instance of any type of Class. You can use anything as a component except for anonymous objects and primitive types.
  • a Component is a data object with no logic. If you want to put some logic in them, do it at your own risk. You have been warned.
  • a System manages a portion of the application logic and it is responsible for reading and writing from and to the components as needed.
  • A System is required to have at least the update() method defined. Update can take zero or more arguments. Arguments types should only be components.
  • the Engine manages the entities, their pairing with the systems and the application phases.
  • a Phase is a collection of systems that need to be processed sometime in the future.
  • when a Phase is updated, Engine invokes the update() method of each System included in Phase. Only systems that are paired with at least one entity will be triggered, and once for each entity that matches update. A System whose update method has no arguments will be invoked on each update once.
  • World is a general case implementation to add a scheduler based on the concept of frame with the rendering and physics phases. If you plan to do sophisticated things with your loops/phases, you might consider writing an alternative implementation of World.


For the official release:

haxelib install edge

For the cutting-edge/dev-version:

haxelib git edge


In the example below we create a bunch of entities some with both Position and Velocity and some with only Position. The system UpdateMovement will only affect the entities with both components, while RenderingDots will be applied to all the entities in this context.

RenderingBackground will clear the canvas on every frame before any other rendering operation. Note that it will only be invoked once per frame and it doesn't rely on the presence of any entity (update() takes no argument).

See the example in action.

import edge.*;
import minicanvas.MiniCanvas;

class Game {
  public static var width(default, null) = 200;
  public static var height(default, null) = 200;

  public static function main() {
    var mini = MiniCanvas.create(width, height)
                 .display("basic example"),
        world = new World();

    for(i in 0...300)
          new Position(
            Math.random() * width,
            Math.random() * height),
          new Velocity(
            Math.random() * 2 - 1,
            Math.random() * 2 - 1)

    for(i in 0...20)
          new Position(
            Math.random() * width,
            Math.random() * height)

    world.physics.add(new UpdateMovement());

    world.render.add(new RenderDots(mini));


class Position implements IComponent {
  var x : Float;
  var y : Float;

class Velocity implements IComponent {
  var vx : Float;
  var vy : Float;

class RenderDots implements ISystem {
  var mini : MiniCanvas;
  public function new(mini : MiniCanvas) = mini;

  function before()

  function update(pos : Position), pos.y, 2, 0x000000FF);

class UpdateMovement implements ISystem {
  function update(pos : Position, vel : Velocity) {
    var dx = pos.x + vel.vx,
        dy = pos.y + vel.vy;
    if(dx <= 0 && vel.vx < 0 || dx >= Game.width && vel.vx > 0)
      vel.vx = -vel.vx;
      pos.x = dx;
    if(dy <= 0 && vel.vy < 0 || dy >= Game.height && vel.vy > 0)
      vel.vy = -vel.vy;
      pos.y = dy;


Systems must implement ISystem. System classes do not have to implement the required __process__ because this field is automatically built.

A system must at least define a method update(). The method can take 0 or more arguments. If arguments are defined, they must be components; a component is an instance of any Class<Dynamic>.

The update() method will be invoked when the corresponding phase is updated. update() will be called only once if it takes no arguments, or once for every entity that matches the function requirements. An entity matches the update requirements if it has a matching component for each of the function arguments.

Optionally a System can expose the following members:

  • function after() : Void

    Executes after each cycle of update(/*...*/). It only makes sense when update takes at least one argument.

  • function before() : Void

    Executes before each cycle of update(/*...*/). It only makes sense when update takes at least one argument.

  • var engine : Engine

    Gets a reference to engine. Useful to dynamically create more entities.

  • var entity : Entity

    To only be declared when update(/*...*/) takes at least one argument. entity will reference the container of the components that are currently processed by the update method.

  • var timeDelta : Float

    Brings a value (in millisecond) defining the time elapsed since the latest iteration.

If the System exposes any of these members, they will be automatically populated at the right time. So no initialization is required or desired. Also they will be automatically changed to public if they are not already.

Sometimes you want to be able to iterate over collections of entities that satisfy certain requirements. For example, it can be extremely useful for collisions. In that case you can define one (or more) fields of type edge.View(T). Where T is the type of an anonymous object where each field must be have the type of a component.

var targets : View<{ position : Position, life : Life }>;
var entity : Entity;

function update(position : Position, bullet : Bullet) {
  for(item in targets) {
    var target =; // stores the components
    // hit the target?
    if(areNear(position, target.position)) {
      // assign damage
      life.hitPoints -= bullet.damage;

      // remove bullet

      // life is zero remove target
      if(life <= 0)
        item.entity.destroy(); // item.entity references the target entity

System can also receive notifications when an entity has been added or removed from a View.

From the example above, if you want to perform a special operation when a new target is paired with your system you can define the following method:

function targetsAdded(entity : Entity, data { position : Position, life : Life }) {
  // do something with the newly added entity/components

The magic here is in the name of the method that needs to follow the format:


The same signature with Removed can be used to define a method that does some cleanup when an entity is unpaired from a view.

A special View is created for the method update called updateItems. For that you can define either, both or neither of updateAdded/updateRemoved methods.

For this update function:

function update(position : Position, bullet : Bullet)

The added/removed methods will look like:

function updateAdded(entity : Entity, data : { position : Position, bullet : Bullet }) {}

function updateRemoved(entity : Entity, data : { position : Position, bullet : Bullet }) {}


Even if not required, your components can implement IComponent. Doing so your components will gain the following super-powers for free:

  • you don't need to setup a constructor, if it doesn't exist, one will be created for you and it will take the same arguments as the variable fields declared in the component.
  • all variables are automatically made public.
  • a method toString is also created to simplify the debugging of your code.


Entity system for Haxe







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