Welcome to this informative tutorial on GDScript Typed Arrays. This is a powerful feature in the Godot engine, enabling streamlined and efficient coding practices, while providing valuable resources for game development. While the concept is beginner-friendly, it is also treasured by experienced coders for optimizing performance, making games faster, smoother, and more reliable.
Table of contents
What is a GDScript Typed Array?
Not to be confused with traditional dynamic arrays, a Typed Array in GDScript is a powerful tool that has a specified data type from the get-go. This essentially means that all elements within the array share the same defined type, be it integers, floats, or vectors.
This specificity not only ensures you avoid unwanted bugs due to incompatible data types but also allows the Godot engine to run your code significantly faster. As such, understanding and employing Typed Arrays can contribute greatly to making your game run smoothly.
Why Learn GDScript Typed Array?
So why should you learn about GDScript Typed Arrays? One of the biggest incentives is performance optimization. By indicating to the engine the precise type of the data being handled, Godot can execute code much more efficiently, leading to seamless gameplay.
Apart from improved performance, Typed Arrays are also a brilliant way to make your code more structured, understandable, and less prone to errors. The rigidity of sticking to a single data type aids in keeping your code organized. This is particularly useful in larger projects where code can quickly become complex.
Creating GDScript Typed Arrays
Let’s start by creating a basic typed array. As an example, we’ll create an empty integer array:
var myArray := Array[int]()
The “Array” keyword is used to define an array, followed by the square brackets containing the data type – “int” in this case. This tells Godot that this array will only hold integers. The final pair of parentheses indicate that we’re creating an instance of this array.
Next, we’ll look at an array containing predefined elements. If we need an array of integers with a starting set of elements, we would use the following:
var myArray := [1, 2, 3, 4] as Array[int]
Adding Elements to GDScript Typed Arrays
Adding elements to a typed array is straightforward. Let’s add an integer to the array we’ve just created:
Using the “push_back” function, you can add an element to the end of your array. The argument passed to this function (5 in our example) will be appended to the end of the array. Remember, this must match the data type of the array.
Removing Elements from GDScript Typed Arrays
Removing elements from a typed array is also quite simple. Let’s remove the last element we added:
This uses the “pop_back” function, which will remove the last element from the array. Note that this function doesn’t require an argument as it always removes the last element.
Alternatively, to remove a specific element by its index, we would use the “remove” function. To remove the second element in our array, the code would be:
Remember, array indexes are zero-based, so the second element is at index 1.
Accessing Elements in GDScript Typed Arrays
Accessing elements in your array is as simple as referring to the element’s index. Let’s retrieve the first element in our array:
var firstElement = myArray
The index of an array starts from 0. Therefore, to access the first element, we use an index of 0, the second element would be 1, and so on.
You can also modify an element directly by using its index. For example, to change the third element of our array to 7, we would use the following code:
myArray = 7
Iterating Over GDScript Typed Arrays
Often, we need to perform an operation on each element of an array – this is accomplished through a loop. Here’s how you can iterate over the elements with a ‘for’ loop:
for i in myArray: print(i)
In the above code, ‘i’ represents each element in the array, and we print it to the console.
Sorting GDScript Typed Arrays
There can also be a need to sort the elements in an array. Godot has built-in functionality to do this. Here’s how to sort your array:
This will sort the elements from lowest to highest. If you have an array of strings, it will sort them in alphabetical order.
Getting the Size of GDScript Typed Arrays
Finally, sometimes you need to know how many elements there are in an array. You can get the size of your array by using the ‘size’ function:
var arraySize = myArray.size()
This returns the number of elements that are currently in your array.
Mastering these operations and enhancements allows us to take full advantage of GDScript typed arrays, drastically improving our game’s performance and our code’s clarity.
Other Useful Operations on GDScript Typed Arrays
There are many more operations that can be applied on GDScript Typed Arrays. Let’s explore some more of them:
Checking if an Array is Empty
Before doing operations on an array, it is often useful to check if the array is empty to avoid errors. To do this, we can use the “empty” function. Here is an example:
if myArray.empty(): print("The array is empty.")
Finding the Maximum and Minimum Values
In numeric arrays, we can find the maximum or minimum value. Here’s how you can get the maximum and minimum values of an array:
var maxValue = myArray.max() var minValue = myArray.min()
If myArray is an array of integers or floats, “max” function will return the maximum value and “min” function will return the minimum value in that array.
Reversing an Array
Sometimes, we need to reverse the order of elements in an array. We can accomplish this using the “invert” method. Here’s how to do it:
Finding the Index of an Element
To find the index of a specific element, we can use the “find” method. Say we want to find the index of the number 2 in our array:
var index = myArray.find(2)
This will return the index of the first occurrence of the number 2 in the array. If the number is not found in the array, it will return -1.
Clearing an Array
If you want to remove all elements from an array, you can use the ‘clear’ function. Here is an example:
This operation is particularly useful when you want to quickly reset the state of an array.
As we delve deeper into the world of GDScript and Godot, the importance of understanding and effectively using the tools provided to us becomes evident. The multitude of operations available for GDScript Typed Arrays underpins their versatility, proving them an indispensable asset for any game developer.
Continue Your Game Development Journey with Zenva
Now that you’ve taken these vital first steps in learning about GDScript Typed Arrays, it’s time to take your game development journey further. Every journey begins with a single step, and mastering GDScript and the many features of the Godot engine is an exciting path packed with innovative game creation techniques and abilities.
We recommend our comprehensive Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. This extensive set of courses not only covers the basics of Godot, but provides a deep-dive into the development of cross-platform games including player combat, UI systems, platformer mechanics, and much more. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced developer, this Mini-Degree will boost your skills and knowledge in game development using the powerful and community-driven Godot 4 engine.
For a broader collection of various topics, see our complete range of Godot Courses. At Zenva, we offer the resources for anyone to go from beginner to professional, making us your ideal partner in upskilling and mastering the wonderful world of game development.
Embracing GDScript Typed Arrays is a valuable step forward on your game development journey. This tool’s capabilities to enhance speed, maintain a structure, and help avoid errors are all critical for creating polished and professional games. Remember, solid programming principles coupled with effective utilization of available tools can truly transform your game development process.
We encourage you to continue learning with us. Our team at Zenva is committed to helping you build a strong foundation in game creation, coding, and beyond. Let’s make your dream games a reality together!
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