Sarah Smith has kindly agreed to share her knowledge of Lua with us next meetup. I'm a long time fan of Lua having worked with it several times for various companies. It is easy to integrate and has good performance. Lua is fun and simple, yet it is a surprisingly powerful language. And if you are into compiler development I highly recommend tracing through the Lua source code for a real world understanding of parsers and interpreters.
Scripting your Game with Lua
Lua is the scripting language of choice for lightweight & high-performance integration of scripting capability into otherwise compiled binary apps, especially games. It's great for adding complex or customisable behaviour to your game objects, and for a host of other uses. But how do you get started with making your game scriptable? This talk will start with a basic iOS game written in Objective-C, and do scripting both ways - exposing objects in the game as scriptable elements, and having your game call out to scripts to perform customisable functionality. The talk will be mostly absent of slideware and will comprise in large part a live coding demonstration. Although the demonstration will be done using Objective-C, the techniques are directly portable to any C or C++ based environment. Similar techniques work with C# (for Unity) and Java, although I won't cover the integration part here. Note that although Corona and other toolkits have promoted Lua to a full development environment for your game, I won't be covering developing your game in Lua, beyond what is needed for this demonstration. I'll make the source code and graphics used in the demonstration available.
Sarah Smith has been developing software for well over a decade, mostly in C++ on mobile devices. Places she has worked include Nokia & Trolltech on the Qt framework, and Google. She has spoken at Qt Dev Days in Munich and San Francisco; at Linux.conf.au & OSDC in Australia. Currently Sarah and her partner Raymond run Smithsoft Pty Ltd based in Brisbane. For 2013 she is devoting all her energies to iOS game development. Check her blog http://indiegamecodingconfessions.blogspot.com for some of her latest work.