This week I added scripting support to the Engine. I chose to go with Lua because of how easy it is to integrate into existing C/C++ codebases.
I’ve mentioned Lua several times before in this blog, but if you’re not familiar with it, it’s a great open source programming language developed at the Catholic University of Rio, Brazil (PUC Rio). It’s very easy to pick up.
Here’s a 10,000 feet view of the language, courtesy of Coffeeghost:
I’ve been interested in adding Lua scripting to the engine for a while now. I finally decided to take the step while I was revisiting serialization and a friend suggested going directly with Lua for the manifest file instead of JSON.
Moving from a “declarative” manifest to an “imperative” one might seem strange, however, it will give me the opportunity to start fleshing out the Lua-to-Engine interface that will later serve engine-wide scripting.
I am very happy with the way things turned out. In the image above you can see how I refactored the Vortex Editor console to now support a full Lua REPL.
Powered by the Lua Engine in Vortex, the console is no longer a place where the engine just prints messages, but rather a true editor shell with a direct interface to the engine. This is similar to what some popular 3D modeling software products do with Python.
I am excited about having Lua scripts as first class citizens in the engine. Expect to see much more Lua in this blog in the upcoming months!
Stay tuned for more!