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Lumines implementation using modern JavaScript technologies, including React.js, Flux and Immutable.js

Check out this video showing the game play and also some of the neat Flux capabilities.


Have you ever tried to update the React UI 60 times per second?

What's making this game special is that it actually renders at 60 fps creating buttery smooth game play experience. And it's written completely in React! So what's under the hood?

  • The actual graphics is drawn in SVG. SVG in browsers is probably not as powerful or performant as WebGL but it's way easier to use and it's still strong (offering many cool features like advanced animations or filters). And you can style it with CSS!
  • The UI is built with React. React plus SVG is a killer combination (although the support is not 100%). As you would expect, the interface consists of many separated re-usable components, making the whole UI definition clean and understandable. Also don't forget what's the main point of React: you don't mutate the UI, you re-render it. So the game works very similarly to a typical OpenGL/WebGL application. But instead of painting with GL commands into a framebuffer, you can enjoy the comfort of React and SVG.
  • In the heart of the game is the Flux cycle, with the stores, the dispatcher and actions. The state of each game component (block, queue, scan line, score, time...) is represented by a separate store handling incoming actions. And the actions are usually just the keyboard input coming from the player.
  • Finally, what's making the game fast enough is the fact that the whole state is stored in a big global Immutable state. Thanks to the immutability we can easily check for changes in any part of the state and consequently update only those React components that need it. All components are implemented as pure.

That's the base game. But wait... there is more. This application architecture allows us to do pretty crazy stuff with minimal effort.

  • As the game state is just one immutable object, we can easily serialize it, unserialize it or even transfer it. Therefore implementing for example saving and reloading the game from Web Storage (so that the player can pause the game, close the browser and continue anytime later) is just a matter of few lines of code.
  • Or you can go even further and share the state using the Web Storage between the tabs. (The performance would probably be bad).
  • The stores (which are the game state) are updated through actions. Only through actions. That means, that the current state is completely determined by the sequence of previous actions. What is it good for? Well, you can for example record the actions as the user plays and when he is finished, you can replay it back to him. Once again, this can be achieved with only several lines of code.

You might have heard about these possibilities. But I have actually implemented them. Check out this separate repo with some demos based on Lumines.

Interested in more information about how Lumines is implemented?

I wrote an article summing up most of the challenges that I run into when writing this game. You can find it in this repo Wiki: Making of Lumines

Wanna try it out?

At this point, it's available online only on my personal webpage.

If you want to play it locally, just clone this repo and then run:

npm install
npm run dev

Node.js is required. You can access the game from the browser on http://localhost:9090/.

You can also include it in your own project. The game is not currently available in npm but you can just as easily add it as a GitHub dependency. Just add "flux-lumines": "tobice/flux-lumines" to your package.json.

The application needs to be built and currently webpack is the only supported bundler. Check out the demos repo for more information.


React.js, Flux and Immutable.js implementation of the legendary PSP game Lumines







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