``````

SDL::Tutorial::LunarLander - a small tutorial on Perl SDL

Tutorials

This is a quick introduction to Games, Perl, and  SDL (Simple
DirectMedia Layer, a cross-platform multimedia programming
library). We'll write a small game -- Lunar Lander -- in 100
lines of code, or less.

You can see the final version of the demo code by doing:

perl -MSDL::Tutorial::LunarLander=lander.pl -e1

this will create all three files used in the tutorial.

"What?", you may ask. "I thought it was a SDL tutorial".

Yes, it is -- thank you for reminding me. But we'll leave the SDL part for
later. We must build the game logic first!

One of the traps of game programming is focusing too much on the interface.
If we start with a simpler simulation, we can worry with the presentation
later.

So, here's the initial code:

#!/usr/bin/perl

use strict;
use warnings;

my \$height   = 1000; # m
my \$velocity = 0;    # m/s
my \$gravity  = 1;    # m/s^2

my \$t = 0;

while ( \$height > 0 ) {
print "at \$t s height = \$height m, velocity = \$velocity m/s\n";

\$height   = \$height - \$velocity;
\$velocity = \$velocity + \$gravity;
\$t        = \$t + 1;
}

if ( \$velocity > 10 ) {
print "CRASH!!!\n";
} else {
print "You landed on the surface safely! :-D\n";
}

Run the code and you'll see something like this:

at 0 s height = 1000 m, velocity = 0 m/s
at 1 s height = 1000 m, velocity = 1 m/s
at 2 s height = 999 m, velocity = 2 m/s
at 3 s height = 997 m, velocity = 3 m/s
at 4 s height = 994 m, velocity = 4 m/s
at 5 s height = 990 m, velocity = 5 m/s
...
at 43 s height = 97 m, velocity = 43 m/s
at 44 s height = 54 m, velocity = 44 m/s
at 45 s height = 10 m, velocity = 45 m/s

CRASH!!!

"What happened? How do I control the ship???"

The problem with our first spaceship is that it had no controls!

So, let's fix this problem, making the spaceship scriptable. (We
could write some code to handle keyboard and joysticks now, but
an scriptable spaceship will be easier to start. Remember, focus
on the game logic!)

So, create add this simple script to the end of your file:

__DATA__
at 41s, accelerate 10 m/s^2 up
at 43s, 10 m/s^2
at 45s, 10
at 47s, 10
at 49s, 10

The script is straightforward: it simply states a time when we
will push the spaceship up with a given acceleration. It accepts
free text: any two numbers you type will work.

We can parse the script using this regular expression:

my \$script_re = qr/(\d+) \D+ (\d+)/x;

And we can build a hash of ( time => acceleration ) with:

my %up = map { \$_ =~ \$script_re } <DATA>;

So the middle section of the program will become:

my \$script_re = qr/(\d+) \D+ (\d+)/x;
my %up = map { \$_ =~ \$script_re } <DATA>;

while ( \$height > 0 ) {
print "at \$t s height = \$height m, velocity = \$velocity m/s\n";

if ( \$up{\$t} ) {
my \$a = \$up{\$t};
print "(accelerating \$a m/s^2)\n";
\$velocity = \$velocity - \$a;
}

\$height   = \$height - \$velocity;
\$velocity = \$velocity + \$gravity;
\$t        = \$t + 1;
}

That's it!

Try to run the program, and the ship should land safely:

./lunar.pl autopilot.txt
at 0 s height = 1000 m, velocity = 0 m/s
at 1 s height = 1000 m, velocity = 1 m/s
at 2 s height = 999 m, velocity = 2 m/s
at 3 s height = 997 m, velocity = 3 m/s
at 4 s height = 994 m, velocity = 4 m/s
at 5 s height = 990 m, velocity = 5 m/s
...
at 54 s height = 19 m, velocity = 4 m/s
at 55 s height = 15 m, velocity = 5 m/s
at 56 s height = 10 m, velocity = 6 m/s
at 57 s height = 4 m, velocity = 7 m/s

You landed on the surface safely! :-D

Cool, but...

Okay, okay... now that we have a working prototype, we can work on
the graphics. But, first of all, we'll need...

Yes, the graphics.

We won't use anything fancy here, just two images: a large one, for
the background, and a smaller one for the spaceship.

Create the images using the Gimp, or use the images provided by
this tutorial; Save these images in a subdirectory called "images":
("C<images/background.jpg>" and "C<images/ship.png>").

First step: use the required libraries:

use SDL; #needed to get all constants
use SDL::Video;
use SDLx::App;
use SDL::Surface;
use SDL::Rect;
use SDL::Image;

Second step: initialize C<SDLx::App>:

my \$app = SDLx::App->new(
title  => "Lunar Lander",
width  => 800,
height => 600,
depth  => 32,
);

Third step: load the images and create the necessary "rectangles":

my \$background_rect = SDL::Rect->new(0,0,
\$background->w,
\$background->h,
);

my \$ship_rect = SDL::Rect->new(0,0,
\$ship->w,
\$ship->h,
);

Fourth step: create a sub to draw the spaceship and background:

sub draw {
my ( \$x, \$y ) = @_; # spaceship position

# fix \$y for screen resolution
\$y = 450 * ( 1000 - \$y ) / 1000;

# background
SDL::Video::blit_surface(\$background, \$background_rect, \$app, \$background_rect );

# ship
my \$ship_dest_rect = SDL::Rect->new(
\$x, \$y, \$ship->w, \$ship->h,
);

SDL::Video::blit_surface(\$ship, \$ship_rect, \$app, \$ship_dest_rect );

SDL::Video::update_rects(\$app, \$background_rect);
}

Note that this sub first combines all the bitmaps, using a blit
("Block Image Transfer") operation -- which is quite fast, but does
not update the display.

The combined image is displayed in the last line. This process of
combining first, and displaying later, avoids that annoying fading
between cycles ("flickering").

Finally, add the following lines to the end of the main loop, so that
we call the C<draw()> function with the correct spaceship
coordinates:

while ( \$height > 0 ) {

# ...

draw( 100, \$height );
\$app->delay(10);
}

That's it!

Run the program and watch the spaceship landing safely on the surface
of the moon.