Data-Driven, Descriptor Based Generative C++

April 15 2022

Today I’d like to share with you an idiom I’ve been enjoying more and more. I doubt it is novel, but I haven’t heard about it before. It all started while authoring a new domain-specific scripting language and its compiler/data-generator. I was fighting with google flatbuffers limitations when a virus (aka idea) entered my mind. Why use a separate schema notation and schema compiler to generate C++ serialization code, when we can do it all in C++ directly?

C++ UI Libraries

March 13 2022

A list of free, cross-platform GUI solutions for C++. If you don’t like Qt, or other major GUI frameworks like wxWidgets or GTK, the choices available to you are a bit overwhelming.

Enforcing Signatures On Templated Callbacks

March 07 2021

A lot of times, I find myself using std::function to document APIs and prescribe specific callback signatures. The problem with std::function is its type-erasure, which makes it quite slow compared to other callback techniques. If you need ABI stability, say you are exporting a function for a DLL, you cannot use standard types anyways. They do not ascribe to any ABI standard. So in that case, you’d probably use a good old raw function pointer.

I Accidentaly Wrote A Compile-Time Executable State Machine

April 09 2020

Yes, you read that title right. While working on a new way to create finite state machines (fsm), I inadvertently designed a state machine you can execute at compile-time. With branching and everything. Today, allow me to pull you down my rabbit hole. It’s always nicer with company down here.

Let’s go, Alice!

Funky CMake

October 05 2019

A long long time ago, after years and years of fighting with software that doesn’t build, I made a life changing decision. Any and every software I write must download, install and setup its dependencies without requiring user interaction. All of them. Allways. When combined with other build best-practices, not pasting dependencies in your source tree and locally installing your dependencies, the rule has led to some interesting CMake usage.

Using SG14 Libraries - A Simple and Performant Event Stack

January 17 2019

There’s recently been some outcry from the gaming industry regarding C++’s direction. I share some of the views expressed, but since I mostly write functional code for my engine, my expectations are somewhat different. I have certainly drunk the Kool-Aid.

To me, if constexpr and aligned new are real demonstrations the standard committee understands our woes. Once we get static reflection, hopefully before I retire, the need for template metaprogramming should be greatly dimished. One way the committee wishes to improve the language for gaming is through SG14.

Chrono For Humans

December 02 2018

I’ll be honest with you right off the bat, I hold a particular grudge for std::chrono. In fact, it’s safe to say one of my favorite hobbies over the past few years has been ranting about std::chrono to whomever will listen. And so, assuming I was wrong about the library, I’ve forced myself to use it every single time I need to work with duration values for the past year or so.

Easy Defensive Programming - Up To Eleven

October 20 2018

I recently posted about defensive programming, and how you can create an easy to use, low friction library of high level defensive rules. These rules prevent “silent” modification of your class constructors and help enforce a class design by declaring compile-time validation rules. The idea was well received, but some astute readers correctly pointed out the rule of 5 implementation was lacking. Today, we fix that.

Easy Defensive Programming

September 22 2018

A few months back, I learned about defensive programming at a local C++ meetup. The idea took a little while to sink in. I now rarely write any code without using defensive programming in some way or another. However, it does become tedious to write, especially if you write good error messages. Before delving too deep into the subject, lets discuss the basics.

Declarative Functional APIs - A.K.A. Abusing Lambda Parameters

May 19 2018

Functional APIs are a joy to work with. Not only do they help eliminate certain bug categories, but they tend to be very flexible and reusable. Today I present a technique that has emerged while I was simplifying some lambda based APIs. C++17 makes template meta-programming much more palatable, I dare not imagine what this would look like in C++11.

Simplifying Compile-Time Options With if constexpr

November 20 2017

My latest little experiment relates to compile-time options and eliminating preprocessor checks in user code. I’m not a big fan of MACROs, especially when they are simply used to make compile-time branches. I am also not a fan of other techniques used to minimize this problem. With C++17, we now have a beautiful and simple tool that can help remove all these preprocessor checks, if constexpr.

Friendly Data-Oriented Entity-Component Managers

September 30 2017

In the past months, I’ve rewritten the entity-component system of my engine pet project about three times. Finally, something that ticks all the boxes has emerged. Today, I’d like to present this architecture. So far it has worked wonders for me, though I wouldn’t guarantee this to scale up to AAA sized projects. I still have much testing to do.

Static Duck Typing in C++

May 09 2017

Update : Walter Brown has come up with a much much more elegant way to do this. You can find the updated technique at the bottom of this post, or read more about it on cppreference.

A little while ago, I watched Jason Turner’s great cppcon talk, where he uses C++17 to write a commodore game. At that point, I decided it was quite time I confirm my (now proven false) beliefs on templates. If you ever want to convince a game programmer that templates are fine, show him that talk, and some assembly ;)

GLSL Quicktip: Stringify Macro

February 05 2017

I’ve seen a lot of examples, tutorials and open-source code that use quotes to assign their shader programs to a const char*. Fully fledged engines would have a way to parse text-files, but if you are doing quick and dirty tests like me, you can use this macro to make editing easier.

Game Design Memory Lane - Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

October 10 2016

I’ve recently started playing old gems, classics, in an effort to further my game design knowledge, ideas and culture. The games I have chosen are completely new to me. It is truly interesting to delve into very old titles, especially when you remove the nostalgia factor. Here I write my thoughts, impressions and lessons learned from some of these games.

Eve Online - Dual monitor window on OS X

April 17 2016

This simple guide doesn’t require any third-party tools or apps.

A quick guide to help you get the most out of your monitors and Eve. Once you’ve played the game in all its dual screen glory, you will never go back. Lets get started!

Downloading Twitch replays is easy

March 10 2016

Somehow, due to either miss-information or a change it twitch’s apis, the web is filled with false information about livestreamer and downloading twitch replays. Lets fix that.

Crispy text in Unity3D

December 05 2015

We’ve all been there; you import a font into Unity3D, write some UI text and… its blurry [sadface]. Here is a quick reference on how to get buutiful crispy text in the engine.

Capturing Desktop Audio on El Capitan

November 29 2015

N.B. This solution is completely free and only requires iShowU Audio Capture.

So I recently upgraded to El Capitan and I need desktop audio capture for Open Broadcaster Software. The new OS X release only authorizes signed kext, which is a good thing. Unfortunately that breaks Soundflower or WavTap.

Eve Online isn't hard, it is annoying

September 26 2015

I’ve recently subscribed for another month of Eve Online. I played a long time ago, and quit after space life got extremely boring and lonely. Last time I logged in, I did so with 4 friends during a discount period. What I write here are my personal thoughts, and some echoes of these long gone pilots. Once my gaming friends left Eve, everything changed. Why the game didn’t appeal to them could fuel a discussion on its’ own.

Fun with std::threads!

August 21 2015

I’ve recently gotten more and more involved with the Wine project. I am a gamer, after all, and having only a Mac laptop and OS X makes it somewhat hard to play games. While debugging wine logs, I’ve encountered a problem many face when using +relay. You can’t just ignore those 4 GB logs, as they often contain the exact reason, or more precisely, the exact location your game/software crashed. I use Sublime Text to read those, it is so far the most performant editor when handling huge text files, quickly and easily dealing with gigabytes of logs. Consider me impressed.

Adding a huge image gallery to

July 23 2015

I am hitting many of the imposed limits on my free blog. I recently wanted to share a ton of textures, but since they were to big for the free space allowed, I resorted to a little “trick” if you will. I ended up creating a script to generate a huge html thumbnail gallery, using a table. It seemed like the best of the available options.

LibAV, libAO and QT5 audio player tutorial.

April 11 2015

A while back I was working on some audio prototyping. I made a simple audio player prototype and was experiencing with different audio plugin APIs. I decided to use libAV (not libavcodec from ffmpeg) for the simple reason that its’ documentation is much much better than ffmpeg. I highly recommend to take advantage of that. There are many examples, code snippets and explanations here. Of course, API documentation is a bit dry when you first start using a library, so here is a tutorial and a good base you can use to build upon.

Thoughts on releasing music under CC licenses.

March 20 2015

A few years back, I released 2 tracks on OpenGameArt. I hadn’t composed any musical pieces in many years, and I took the opportunity to try something new. Not only dip my toes into musical composition again, but also share my work with the world. All my previous songs had never been heard by anyone other than close friends. The experience was nerve-racking but very satisfying.