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Game Loop

The game loop in the JamJar engine is built following the article 'Fix Your Timestep!' by Glenn Fiedler. The article sets out nicely a progression in game loops before concluding with a recommended game loop. To understand the game loop better, read the article, but the key points of the approach JamJar uses are laid out here:

  • Rendering can occur as fast as possible.
  • Physics/Game calculations are uncoupled from this render/loop rate.
  • Physics/Game updates can catch up if running behind.
  • Physics/Game updates will slow down if ahead.

The basic algorithm that JamJar uses is:

timestep = 1/60
currentTime = 0
accumulator = 0
running = true

    timestamp = now()

    frameTime = timestamp - currentTime
    if frameTime > 0.25
        frameTime = 0.25

    currentTime = timestamp
    accumulator += frameTime

    while accumulator >= timestep
        accumulator -= timestep

    alpha = accumulator / timestep



The timestep of JamJar is for an update to occur every 1/60th of a second (60 FPS). When running with emscripten it will use the requestAnimationFrame browser function, which is limited to 60 FPS.


Because of the game loop used JamJar must interpolate as part of the rendering process, this means taking the last rendered position of an object and the current position of the object and rendering at the halfway between these two positions.

See the Transform component and InterpolationSystem to see how this previous position is tracked and updated.