react-entity-component-system

Entity Component System for React to make games or other interactive components.


License
MIT
Install
npm install react-entity-component-system@1.0.2

Documentation

React Entity Component System

An ECS hook for React to make games or other interactive components.

yarn add react-entity-component-system

Why

It's fun to build games with React, and people have become successful at it. The ECS pattern is well known and battle tested for game development. This library is a loose implementation for React. You can check out the Breakout storybook story to see a fairly complex example.

Usage

import React from 'react'
import useEntityComponentSystem from 'react-entity-component-system'

ECS has three basic concepts:

  1. Entities represent every "object" in a scene
  2. Components are data structures, composed to create entities.
  3. Systems are functions that operate on entities during every update

In this implementation, an entity is defined as a plain object with at least a Renderer property (a React component). Other properties are components that will be passed as props to the Renderer:

const counterEntity = {
  Renderer: props => <h4>{props.count}</h4>,
  count: 0,
}

A system is just a function and will receive the list of entities in the scene. Systems are allowed to mutate the entities' components (thanks to immer!):

function frameCounterSystem({ entities }) {
  entities.forEach(entity => entity.count++)
}

The useEntityComponentSystem hook takes a list of entities and systems and returns the renderable result and an updater function:

export default function BasicECS() {
  const [entities, updater] = useEntityComponentSystem(
    [counterEntity],
    [frameCounterSystem],
  )

  return (
    <div>
      <button onClick={() => updater()}>Next Frame</button>
      {entities}
    </div>
  )
}

When the updater is called, the systems are called. This triggers a re-render and any changes to the entities are reflected immediately. Combined with a loop like requestAnimationFrame or the provided useGameLoop hook, this can happen as much as 60 frames per second.

Additionally, you can pass an object to the updater so your systems can have access to other things:

const gameLoop = useGameLoop(elapsedTime => {
  updater({
    gameLoop,
    elapsedTime,
  })
})

See this example and more in the stories folder

Storybook

While react-entity-component-system is in development, you can check out the storybook to get a better sense of how things work.

git clone https://github.com/mattblackdev/react-entity-component-system.git
cd react-entity-component-system
yarn
yarn start

API

useEntityComponentSystem

useGameLoop

useGameEvents

useKeysDown

Contributing

I welcome any ideas and would really love some help with:

  1. Adding Typescript types
  2. Performance benchmarking and optimizations
  3. More game engine API like:
    • Keeping track of "entity filters" for systems
    • MatterJS or other physics lib integration