Facilitating language-oriented game development by the help of language workbenches

Sonja Maier, Daniel Volk. Facilitating language-oriented game development by the help of language workbenches. In Bill Kapralos, Michael Katchabaw, Jay Rajnovich, editors, Proceedings of the 2008 Conference on Future Play: Research, Play, Share, Future Play 2008, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, November 3-5, 2008. pages 224-227, ACM, 2008. [doi]


In recent years, a strong tendency towards language-oriented engineering became visible within game development projects. This approach is typically based on data-driven game engines and scripting languages resp. editing tools alike and already provided a great deal of overall productivity improvements. However, in its current form, potential benefits are not able to fully unfold yet. This is due to a mostly manual tool development process, which provokes substantial costs and lacks flexibility -- especially during prototyping phases of development. Language workbenches seem to be a viable solution to this problem as they promise the ability of (visual) language (re-)generation by introducing a meta-level of development. This paper picks up that idea and evaluates its application in the area of game development. In this particular case, we discuss first findings of an ongoing case study, covering the development of level editors for several classic games, which have been built by the help of a language workbench.