GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Export Schedule:

Multitasking with Coroutines

Snorri Sturluson  |  Senior Software Engineer, CCP Games


Location: Room 132, North Hall

Format: Session
Track: Programming
Vault Recording: Video


Tasklets, as a form of cooperative multitasking, are used in EVE Online to drastically simplify program flow in scripts that need to run over multiple frames. Multithreaded programming works well for many things, but sometimes, especially in scripting, cooperative multitasking still has its place. This presentation describes how tasklets are used in EVE, both in the client as well as on the server, showing examples of what tasklets are used for, with Python code samples. The program flow using tasklets is compared to some alternatives, such as using state machines or multiple OS threads. The implementation of tasklets in Stackless Python as used in EVE Online is discussed, as well as some alternatives, such as using regular CPython with greenlets, or Lua using coroutines.

Takeaway

Attendees should walk away with a clear understanding of the benefits of using tasklets to manage high-level, long-running tasks in a scripted game engine, as well as good insight into how to implement tasklets in their own environment.

Intended Audience

Game engine and gameplay programmers, as well as anyone involved in scripting. It helps if you have insight into how scripting is implemented in the engine, but it's not a prerequisite.