Game Development with Vala and SDL


This is a series of articles which will describe in detail the creation of a game (a breakout clone in this case) from vala-gen-project to make dist. It is hoped that the game and the classes built for its use will prove a useful resource for prospective Vala game developers. The articles assume no prior knowledge of either Vala or SDL however this is not a programming primer and previous programming experience (especially with C or C#) will be useful.


The articles make several assumptions about the system on which the game is being developed. These assumptions are listed below and a successful completion of the series depends on their presence on the development system. Having a version greater than that listed below is fine, but less is not.

  • GCC 4
  • Autotools 1.9 (Automake 1.9, Autoconf 1.9, etc)
  • Vala 0.3.1
  • Glib 2.12
  • Libgee 1.3
  • SDL 1.2
  • SDL_Image
  • SDL_Gfx
  • SDL_Mixer
  • gnome-common build scripts


Let There Be Light

Article 1 - Setup

In this article we get the build environment setup for the project including details for additional autotools configuration. We also cover how to use autotools generated definitions in a Vala project.

Up on Screen

Article 2 - Sprites

In this article we will begin developing the framework for our game. We start by creating a Sprite class and a SpriteManager class to handle them. This article also covers building and installing the app. At the end of the article we will have built a simple sprite graphics demonstration.


This series of articles was initially created by Les Harris. Contact him at for any issues or article bugs. Utilizing the comments page on this article is also a good way.

Projects/Vala/GameDevelopmentSeries (last edited 2013-11-22 16:48:31 by WilliamJonMcCann)