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MVC in Game Development

An article that describes why game developers should use MVC.

So you already have an idea for a new game? Great! But be sure to read this before you start coding away. When you have a new game in mind, you decide on the main aspects of your game such as the game theory, the audience you’re aiming for, the design, and more. Once all of that is set you can, and should(!), think about your game’s code architecture. You need a way to maintain your code, be able to easily add more features, and have the option of making changes in a fast and easy way. A great way to do this is to use the MVC architecture pattern.  

What is MVC?

MVC stands for Model View Controller. If mvc3-300x138you don’t know what MVC is or you want to learn more about it, check out this video. MVC is one of the most notable code architecture patterns available today. It has been around for a long time now, and is used by many applications. MVC describes how to organize your code in such a way that is easy to maintain, and helps in improving code readability. 

The Problem that MVC Solves

Without structure, your code can get messy very easily and look like “spaghetti code”. To avoid this, developers should separate the game logic from the display code. If this step in development is skipped, you will find that once your game becomes more complicated you’ll have a hard time updating your code. Tangled code will cause bug-finding to be more difficult, adding new features will become exhausting, and changing existing features will be almost impossible. Not persuaded yet that MVC is the answer to all your problems?   

The Pros of MVC:

  • If you use MVC, when you’ll want to add a new feature to your game, your code will be modular and organized. All you’ll have to do is create another controller, model, or view, depending on the requirements of your new feature. Then you’ll easily integrate it with your existing code.
  • With MVC, your code will be adjustable like never before! For example, if you’re dying to change your game’s look-and-feel, you’ll be able to easily update its View. If you want to change the behavior of a button in your game, all you’ll need to do is update one of the controllers.
  • If you use MVC, you won’t need to write a ton of code because of the way the code is organized.
  • MVC will cause your code to be both more readable and easier to write.

The (very few) Cons of MVC:

Ok, so nothing is ever perfect in this world, and neither is MVC.

  • MVC requires a bit of thinking and organizing beforehand. This means you’ll spend a little time, before you actually start to code, on planning the structure of your app.

If you decide not to use MVC, it is probably because of either of two reasons:

  1. Your game might be very straightforward, with a small amount of code, and then you don’t really have any use in design patterns.
  2. This second option is because you made a mistake when you began coding - you didn’t realize how MVC can help you. Later, you’ll be cursing yourself as to why you didn’t start with  MVC in the first place.

To conclude, we can say that MVC is an architectural structure to make our code clearer, simpler to update, and easier to maintain. Whether or not you’re going to use MVC in your next game, you can always use SOOMLA to maintain your game’s in-app purchasing needs. The original article about Why MVC should be used in Game Development can be found here.  

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