Book Image

SFML Game Development

By : Artur Moreira, Henrik Vogelius Hansson, Jan Haller, Henrik Valter Vogelius, SFML
Book Image

SFML Game Development

By: Artur Moreira, Henrik Vogelius Hansson, Jan Haller, Henrik Valter Vogelius, SFML

Overview of this book

Game development comprises the combination of many different aspects such as game logics, graphics, audio, user input, physics and much more. SFML is an Open Source C++ library designed to make game development more accessible, exposing multimedia components to the user through a simple, yet powerful interface. If you are a C++ programmer with a stack of ideas in your head and seeking a platform for implementation, your search ends here.Starting with nothing more than a blank screen, SFML Game Development will provide you with all the guidance you need to create your first fully featured 2D game using SFML 2.0. By the end, you'll have learned the basic principles of game development, including advanced topics such as how to network your game, how to utilize particle systems and much more.SFML Game Development starts with an overview of windows, graphics, and user inputs. After this brief introduction, you will start to get to grips with SFML by building up a world of different game objects, and implementing more and more gameplay features. Eventually, you'll be handling advanced visual effects, audio effects and network programming like an old pro. New concepts are discussed, while the code steadily develops.SFML Game Development will get you started with animations, particle effects and shaders. As well as these fundamental game aspects, we're also covering network programming to the extent where you'll be able to support the game running from two different machines. The most important part, the gameplay implementation with enemies and missiles, will make up the core of our top-scrolling airplane shoot' em-up game!You will learn everything you need in SFML Game Development in order to start with game development and come closer to creating your own game.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
SFML Game Development
About the Authors
About the Reviewers


Welcome to the pages of SFML Game Development!

Whether you are just grabbing our book in a store, previewing it in your e-book reader, or you have already bought it—you have taken your first step in becoming a game developer by picking up this book.

Game development is a very interesting topic, as it combines many different fields such as software development, graphical design, music composition, and storytelling. Nowadays, there is an enormous variety of games available, yet developers never cease to be creative and to come up with innovations. This book conveys the process of game development in a way that covers state-of-the-art techniques, leaving you ready to implement your own ideas.

It does not matter if you are already an experienced developer or an ambitious newcomer to the field of making games. Although the book requires no previous knowledge on game development, we also teach valuable concepts and techniques that will help you grow as a game developer.

Throughout the book, we develop a 2D game with SFML. We focus on a top-scrolling aircraft shooter, where the player acts as a pilot and is confronted with various challenges. We begin with the bare bones of each element and continuously add functionality as we progress in the book. In every chapter, new features are introduced, and the code is updated accordingly. Therefore, you will not only see the concepts in theory, but also will have a direct implementation at hand, which you can investigate and extend the way you like.

That said, we would like to wish you a great journey through the chapters of this book. May it be a good experience in all its extent! Please enjoy!

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Making a Game Tick, introduces the SFML library and shows you basic concepts such as the game loop and rendering.

Chapter 2, Keeping Track of Your Textures – Resource Management, covers the loading and management of external resources such as images, fonts, and sounds.

Chapter 3, Forge of the Gods – Shaping Our World, builds up the framework of the game world and addresses the concept of scene graphs and game entities.

Chapter 4, Command and Control – Input Handling, shows how to react to user input from the keyboard, mouse, and joystick.

Chapter 5, Diverting the Game Flow – State Stack, covers switching between application states such as different menus, or between menus and the game itself.

Chapter 6, Waiting and Maintenance Area – Menus, introduces a simple graphical user interface in the menus.

Chapter 7, Warfare Unleashed – Implementing Gameplay, approaches actual gameplay mechanisms. Enemies, bullets, missiles, power-ups and collision detection are implemented.

Chapter 8, Every Pixel Counts – Adding Visual Effects, enhances the graphical appearance of the game by adding animations, particle systems, and shaders.

Chapter 9, Cranking Up the Bass – Music and Sound Effects, explains a way to integrate audio into the game.

Chapter 10, Company Atop The Clouds – Co-op Multiplayer, covers networking basics and a multiplayer implementation over the network.

What you need for this book

Since this book is built around the SFML library, you need to download and install it. You can get SFML at; the first chapter gives a brief installation guide.

In case you decide to recompile SFML yourself, you will also require the cross-platform build tool CMake, which can be downloaded from

Who this book is for

SFML Game Development is aimed at audiences of all ages who already know how to program in C++, at least to an intermediate level. It is optimal if the reader already has some experience in programming and knows the language well.

The ideal reader for such a book would be a person who is experienced in C++ and would now like to enter the world of game development in a simple yet serious way. However, if the reader already knows a good deal of it and still wants to read through the pages to see different approaches, or if he simply wants to learn more about SFML in a bigger practical example, we strongly encourage to read on!


In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text are shown as follows: "To manage all these screens and transitions, we create the StateStack class."

A block of code is set as follows:

namespace GUI
    class Component : public sf::Drawable,public sf::Transformable
          typedef std::shared_ptr<Component> Ptr;


When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the relevant lines or items are set in bold:

: mChildren()
, mSelectedChild(-1)

void Container::pack(std::shared_ptr<GUI::Component> component)

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "It shows a background with a little information about the game, besides its title and then blinks a big old Press any key to continue message".


Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.


Tips and tricks appear like this.

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Downloading the example code

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