Developing with Gamma

Gamma is a modular library that is split into many files. Whilst you can use a combined and minified version of the library, as shown in the getting started section, it’s a lot easier to develop and debug your game if you can view the full source code. This allows you to see the code where errors originate from and set breakpoints in the Gamma library.

To make the process even easier, you can also use the development server found in the support directory of the repository. However, for just executing your game, you can just create a html file as explained below. Either method still requires a copy of the source code, which can be gotten by running git clone git://

To make your own html boilerplate files :

  • Follow the getting started section.

  • Download RequireJS from here

  • Get the libs.js from the support/lib/compiled directory.

  • Inside game.html, replace the head element with the following:

        <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
        <title>My Awesome Game</title>
        <!-- Include any style sheets here -->
        <!-- Tell requirejs where to find your code -->
        <script type="text/javascript">
            var require = {
                baseUrl: "",
                waitSeconds: 15
        <!-- Include the necessary libraries -->
        <script type="text/javascript" src="require.js"></script>
        <script type="text/javascript" src="libs.js"></script>
  • Change baseUrl to point to the folder that contains the gma folder. So if you have the following folder structure, then baseUrl would be "GammaJS".

  • That's it!

Running the Tests

To Run the tests, you must first preprocess them to convert them from the JSpec dsl to normal javascript. For this to then work with RequireJS, we need to fetch the tests, run the JSpec preprocessor over them and change the usage of require to define a dependency name (we're lazy and don't think we should have to define the dependency for each tests manually). Unfortunately this means XMLHttpRequest errors unless everything is served using HTTP.

In turn, this means you need the development server to be able to run the tests. However, once you have it setup, running the tests is literally as simple as clicking a link.

Running the Development server

Different parts of the development server require some environment variables to be set that point to where you have different parts of the code. If you keep the same structure as found in the repository, then the following environment variables should work.

GMA = /path/to/GammaJS
GMA_SRC = $GMA/gma
GMA_SUPPORT = $GMA/support
GMA_MEDIA = $GMA/media
To be able to run tests and examples:
  • Install python-setuptools
  • Use setuptools and do easy_install werkzeug paste django
  • Execute found in the support folder and go to http://localhost:8000 in your webgl enabled web browser.
To be able to run js-coverage (linux and mac only):
  • install autoconf and g++
  • svn co jscoverage
  • cd jscoverage
  • ./
  • make
  • make install
  • Execute inside the support directory
  • Go to the development server and either click the coverage link next to the test you want to get coverage data from. Or click the Coverage button at the top of the page and choose your desired test from the drop down list.
To be able to make the documentation:
  • easy_install sphinx
  • Go into the docs directory and run make html
To build a minified, single file version of Gamma:
  • Install Java
  • Unzip the RequireJS Optimisation tool somewhere
  • Create an environment variable called REQUIRE that points to where you unzipped the optimisation tool
  • Run python inside the support directory
  • The result can be found in $GMA_SUPPORT/lib/compiled

For an explanation of how it all works and general notes about the code, read the readme files that exist inside the support folder.

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