Dev Journals 5: Return of the Journal

I’ve been a bit under the weather, the past week or so, but I’ve been making progress on Adventure Kit, including an important milestone!

First, the milestone: I have a GUI process that uses Qt, which spawns a headless child process for the game engine. Using Python’s multiprocessing.Pipe tool, I’m sending frame data from the engine to the GUI, and I’m sending keypresses from the GUI to the engine.

This results in a picture, a character I can move with the arrow keys.

And it works! I can move the player, sending signals to a headless game engine and getting a picture back via IPC. This is more exciting than it sounds, especially since so much was involved in learning how to do IPC in Python, between Windows and *nix systems like macOS. This is really a new world to me.

The next step in building this program is to change something using a GUI widget – walking style (pixel vs. tile), walking speed, background color – and reflect that in the game preview when the changes are committed.

This brings up an interesting point in my GUI development: I have no idea what I’m doing with Qt, but I’m pretty sure I’m doing it wrong.

I say this because I have no definition of my GUI’s layout thus far. I have a simple window that loads one “central” widget that renders the engine results.

In other words, I have no “layout” to speak of, and it’s all done programatically, not using a .ui file created by Qt Designer or what have you.

I’m still learning about how to handle that bit. I want to use custom widgets, which apparently complicates things…but the main thing I need to do now is read the Qt documentation more carefully, and learn how this is done using Python and Pyside6 (the official Qt bindings for Python).

When I find out, I’ll report back. ‘Til then, we now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

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