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Who am I? That, my dear, is an excellent question. Though not one easily answered.

Darkholme is an entity-component system written in Ruby. It's still early days for it, but I think it's ready for most basic use cases.


Just add this line to your project's Gemfile

gem "darkholme"

Then, just require "darkholme" in your project and you're on your way!


First, you need to create an Engine to hold all the other parts of Darkholme.

@engine = Darkholme::Engine.new

All of your Systems and Entities will be added to your engine, which will update them once per frame. Make sure you put an Engine#update inside of your game's update loop, like so:

def update(delta)

Now, you can define an Entity and add Components to it, which hold data for your systems to use. In this case, let's assume you've made a component called Spatial that holds an entity's position along with its velocity. Something like this:

class Spatial < Darkholme::Component
  attr_accessor :position, :velocity

  def initialize
    @position = { x: 0, y: 0 }
    @velocity = { x: 0, y: 0 }

And adding it:

new_entity = Darkhole::Entity.new
new_entity.add_component Spatial.new

Next is adding your entity to the engine and adding a new system that'll use the Spatial component and move the entity according to its velocity.

Here's what the system could look like:

class PositionSystem < Darkholme::System
  has_family Spatial

  def update(delta)
    entities.each do |entity|
      spatial = entity.component_for Spatial

      spatial.position.x += spatial.velocity.x * delta
      spatial.position.y += spatial.velocity.y * delta

And adding it and the entity from before:

engine.add_system PositionSystem.new
engine.add_entity new_entity

Now, as another system modifies the entity's Spatial component velocity, the PositionSystem will position it according to its velocity, but properly using the delta between frames for smooth movement.

It's highly encouraged to read through the documentation for the gem, as it can answer most questions you might have about each individual method. Please file an issue if you think our documentation is lacking in some way. Thanks!

Key concepts


Generally, your game will have one Engine. It contains all the entities, systems, and components. Every frame of your game, you'll need to call #update on it. This will, in turn, update all its relevant systems.


This is the basic component-holding class. It also has some callbacks, but it generally just keeps a list of what it does. These get added to Engines.


These define data the Systems end up working with. Also, they get added to Entities.


These get called once per frame and they update all the entities with components they're interested in.


Systems have a Family, which defines exactly what components they're interested in. This means that systems won't loop through every single entity on update. They only loop through relevant entities. This is awesome. Maybe.

Contributing to darkholme

  • Check out the latest master to make sure the feature hasn't been implemented or the bug hasn't been fixed yet.
  • Check out the issue tracker to make sure someone already hasn't requested it and/or contributed it.
  • Fork the project.
  • Start a feature/bugfix branch.
  • Commit and push until you are happy with your contribution.
  • Make sure to add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Please try not to mess with the Rakefile, version, or history. If you want to have your own version, or is otherwise necessary, that is fine, but please isolate to its own commit so I can cherry-pick around it.

Copyright (c) 2014 Massive Danger. See LICENSE.txt for further details.