Polycode Visual Studio setup

Setting up a Polycode project in Visual Studio is a royal pain in the ass. The fact that you have to use a Win32 project is the main reason. We can resume this in two dreaded words : HUNGARIAN NOTATION. God I hate this.

Of course, this is just for the entry point and fortunately, once this is done, you won’t have to face those horrible names in your code (unless you like this, which should be considered scary). Anyways, here’s a step by step on how to setup a basic Visual Studio project and get you running on trully interesting code in no time:

  1. First of all, we’re going to need a VC++ Win32 project. We’re going to make it empty (screw you, precompiled headers) so that we don’t get a load of files that we won’t need later
  2. We’ve got our neat empty project and I’m going to assume that you’ve got a release build of Polycode. The path for this example will be “C:\Polycode\Framework”. We’re going to go into project properties for our project and set your configuration to “All Configurations”
  3. Go to C/C++ > General and Edit on “Additional Include Directories”. Add the following folders
    • C:\Polycode\Framework\Core\include
    • C:\Polycode\Framework\Core\Dependencies\include
    • C:\Polycode\Framework\Core\Dependencies\include\AL
  4. Go to Linker > General and Edit on “Additional Library Directories”. Add the following folders
    • C:\Polycode\Framework\Core\lib
    • C:\Polycode\Framework\Core\Dependencies\lib
  5. Go to Linker > Input, Edit on “Additional Dependencies” and add the following after setting the Configuration to the correct value
    • For Debug Configuration :
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      Polycore_d.lib
      zlibd.lib
      freetype_d.lib
      liboggd.lib
      libvorbisd.lib
      libvorbisfiled.lib
      OpenAL32d.lib
      physfsd.lib
      libpng15_staticd.lib
      opengl32.lib
      glu32.lib
      winmm.lib
      ws2_32.lib
    • For Release Configuration :
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      Polycore.lib
      zlib.lib
      freetype.lib
      libogg.lib
      libvorbis.lib
      libvorbisfile.lib
      OpenAL32.lib
      physfs.lib
      libpng15_static.lib
      opengl32.lib
      glu32.lib
      winmm.lib
      ws2_32.lib
  6. Back in “All Configurations”, go to Build Events > Post-Build Event and Edit “Command Line” to add following command
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    if not exist "$(ProjectDir)default.pak" copy "C:\Polycode\Framework\Core\Assets\default.pak" "$(ProjectDir)"

    if "$(ConfigurationName)" == "Debug" (
      if not exist "$(TargetDir)OpenAL32d.dll" copy "C:\Polycode\Framework\Core\Dependencies\bin\OpenAL32d.dll" "$(TargetDir)"
    ) else (
        if not exist "$(TargetDir)OpenAL32.dll" copy "C:\Polycode\Framework\Core\Dependencies\bin\OpenAL32.dll" "$(TargetDir)"
    )

    What this does is it copies to build directory the OpenAL dlls so that the sound module runs correctly. Polycode author Ivan Safrin recently spoke about removing it for a more low level sound API, so keep that in mind for the future. This also adds the default.pak file to the project, which is not an obligation, but it contains starter resources to get you up and running a Polycode app directly, like fonts, default shaders, textures, stuff like that.

  7. We’re normally ready to code! Let’s add a file. I’ll name it main.cpp, because I like simple stuff, and if we could keep this file simple, it would be great. Anyways, let’s fill it with our entry point, that is, ugly Win32 code :
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    #include <PolycodeView.h>
    #include "windows.h"
    #include "PolyApp.h"

    int APIENTRY WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance, HINSTANCE hPrevInstance, LPSTR lpCmdLine, int nCmdShow)
    {
        PolycodeView *view = new PolycodeView(hInstance, nCmdShow, L"My polycode app");
        PolyApp *app = new PolyApp(view);

        MSG Msg;
        do {
            if (PeekMessage(&Msg, NULL, 0, 0, PM_REMOVE)) {
                TranslateMessage(&Msg);
                DispatchMessage(&Msg);
            }
        } while (app->Update());

        delete app;
        delete view;

        return Msg.wParam;
    }

    So this is where your creativity comes in. Following the main wiki, you’re going to create an entry class (here, it’s called PolyApp) that is polled by the Win32 API for events (the do/while part) until you decide to shut it down. Protip : if you plan on doing something cross-platform, use the POLYCODE_CORE define that is defined at build depending on OS. You’re better off that way.

  8. Have fun with Polycode

So that’s it, don’t forget to change your Polycode build path, and you should have a project running. Hit me up on twitter if something’s wrong!

Tuxic