|0.3.0||Nov 3, 2020|
|0.2.1||Sep 20, 2020|
|0.2.0||Sep 19, 2020|
|0.1.3||Aug 22, 2020|
|0.1.0||Aug 10, 2020|
#848 in Game dev
835 downloads per month
hecs provides a high-performance, minimalist entity-component-system (ECS)
world. It is a library, not a framework. In place of an explicit "System"
World's entities are easily queried from regular code. Organize
your application however you like!
Bevy Fork Information
This is the Bevy project's fork of hecs with changes that accommodate the needs of the Bevy game engine. Some notable changes:
- Entity indices are now queryable and are not returned in queries by default. This both improves ergonomics and significantly boosts performance in some cases.
- Expose more interfaces as public so that we can build higher-level apis on top of the core hecs codebase (multithreading, functions-as-systems, world builders, schedules, etc)
- Change Tracking
Entity-component-system architecture makes it easy to compose loosely-coupled state and behavior. An ECS world consists of:
- any number of entities, which represent distinct objects
- a collection of component data associated with each entity, where each entity has at most one component of any type, and two entities may have different components
That world is then manipulated by systems, each of which accesses all entities having a particular set of component types. Systems implement self-contained behavior like physics (e.g. by accessing "position", "velocity", and "collision" components) or rendering (e.g. by accessing "position" and "sprite" components).
New components and systems can be added to a complex application without interfering with existing logic, making the ECS paradigm well suited to applications where many layers of overlapping behavior will be defined on the same set of objects, particularly if new behaviors will be added in the future. This flexibility sets it apart from traditional approaches based on heterogeneous collections of explicitly defined object types, where implementing new combinations of behaviors (e.g. a vehicle which is also a questgiver) can require far-reaching changes.
In addition to having excellent composability, the ECS paradigm can also provide
exceptional speed and cache locality.
hecs internally tracks groups of
entities which all have the same components. Each group has a dense, contiguous
array for each type of component. When a system accesses all entities with a
certain set of components, a fast linear traversal can be made through each
group having a superset of those components. This is effectively a columnar
database, and has the same benefits: the CPU can accurately predict memory
accesses, bypassing unneeded data, maximizing cache use and minimizing latency.
Why Not ECS?
An ECS world is not a be-all end-all data structure. Most games will store significant amounts of state in other structures. For example, many games maintain a spatial index structure (e.g. a tile map or bounding volume hierarchy) used to find entities and obstacles near a certain location for efficient collision detection without searching the entire world.
If you need to search for specific entities using criteria other than the types
of their components, consider maintaining a specialized index beside your world,
Entity handles and whatever other data is necessary. Insert into the
index when spawning relevant entities, and include a component with that allows
efficiently removing them from the index when despawning.
hecs would not exist if not for the great work done by others to introduce and develop the ECS paradigm in the Rust ecosystem. In particular:
- specs played a key role in popularizing ECS in Rust
- legion reduced boilerplate and improved cache locality with sparse components
hecs builds on these successes by focusing on further simplification, boiling the paradigm down to a minimal, light-weight and ergonomic core, without compromising on performance or flexibility.
This is not an official Google product (experimental or otherwise), it is just code that happens to be owned by Google.