Difference between revisions of "Windows Development"

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== Building a Self-Extracting Installer ==
== Building a Self-Extracting Installer ==
More stuff.
Right now, nobody knows how to build an installer from the trunk.  Z-man knew back in 0.3.0, and hopefully he'll chime in and tell us how he did it then.

Revision as of 05:41, 16 January 2007

Here's straightforward instructions on how to set up a complete windows environment for building a distribution. If you just want to hack on the game, you only need these instructions up to big step 3. These are here to help newcomers to get into hacking the trunk quickly, but their also here to document how releases are built for windows.

There are 4 big steps, each comprising of many little steps. Each step is for building the trunk. Building a release tarball based on the trunk should follow logically from here, but may not. Consult specific release documentation for more information on building a release tarball, if it's there.

Installing the IDE

We use Code::Blocks. The trunk should be built with the latest available nightly snapshot. We're somewhat dismayed at this situation as we made the switch to Code::Blocks when 1.0rc2 was the latest release and we thought the 1.0 release was impending. We are open to alternatives, but we need feedback from actual windows developers, unless you all want us to pick a linux-centric build system.

The original instructions can be found here.

To build and run the game, you will need Python and Code::Blocks. Code::Blocks itself requires MingW, and additional tools available from MingW will be needed to build the trunk. Here's a list, in no particular order.

  • Code::Blocks nightly
    • requires a mingw dll that we recommend you put in %WINDOWS%\system32 and a wxWidgets dll that we make the same recommendation for. Following this recommendation allows you to upgrade your Code::Blocks installation by just unzipping a new nightly snapshot.
  • Python. 2.4 is known to work, 2.5 is experimental for us at this time, but we'll be moving to 2.5 as various Linux distributions pick it up.
  • NSIS is needed to build a binary distribution
  • Subversion client
    • TortoiseSVN gives you a nice GUI around SVN, but is considered optional.
    • Subversion, from subversion.tigris.org is required for the automated build to work, and many of the scripts needed to make a regular build likely require it.
    • Neither of these clients are needed if you're building a source release.
  • MingW
    • Use the latest version of MingW available. It can be a real pain to install, we hope they'll take care of that sometime soon.
    • This has to be installed before Code::Blocks is run, ideally. The requirement may be imaginary, but it's good practice to install MingW first anyway.
    • You'll need gcc, g++, bison, and swig, at the very least to build the trunk. A release tarball may not need bison and swig.

Note: At the time of writing, the trunk doesn't build in windows. Hopefully we'll remember to update this page when it does.

Satisfying Dependencies

Satisfying dependencies in Windows is very easy. You just download the most recent release of the winlibs.zip file to build the trunk, generally. Sometimes that won't work, such as when the trunk requires new libraries that aren't required by the most recent release. If you're building from the trunk, you'll want to checkout the winlibs module.

This is early to talk about checking out the source, but it's needed. The directory structure you need looks like this:

  • Armagetron Project directory (you create it, you name it what you want)
    • armagetronad
    • winlibs

You'll create this directory structure by either unzipping a source release and a winlibs archive, or by using subversion to checkout the two modules listed. For reference, the url for the modules is:


That's all there is to it.

Building Armagetron Advanced

Building the game isn't as straightforward as the last step. Sorry. Here's what you do, assuming a fresh checkout:

  1. Run win32\update_version.bat
  2. Start Code::Blocks
  3. Open win32\code_blocks\ArmagetronAd.workspace
  4. Build
  5. Run win32\makedist.bat

Now you should be able to play the game.


  • update_version.bat and makedist.bat both need to know where python is installed. The easiest way to deal with this is to put python in your path. In Windows 2000, right-click My Computer, select Properties. Go to the Advanced tab, and in the middle you have Environment Variables. Open that. Find the Path variable and edit it, by putting ";C:\Python24" on the end (if you used the default installation location. If you didn't, put the right path to python.exe).
  • Not running the batch files will result in version.h not being found while building. If you see that error, it's because you didn't run update_version.bat.

Building a Self-Extracting Installer

Right now, nobody knows how to build an installer from the trunk. Z-man knew back in 0.3.0, and hopefully he'll chime in and tell us how he did it then.