GitHub source control is the best way to transfer code between your PC and the game server. In this tutorial, we’ll discuss how to use GitHub and take your code workflow to the next level.
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You can view the Using GitHub screencast for a full walkthrough of how to use GitHub to help you when editing Ares code. This article describes some additional details.
The transcript is available here.
Here is a basic summary of the workflow:
You can find the GitHub Desktop installer mentioned in the tutorial here.
The first step in using GitHub for your own game code is to create your own semi-independent version of Ares, called a ‘fork’ in GitHub lingo.
Click the “Fork” button (near the top right).
You are now the proud owner of your own version of AresMUSH. You can tell that you’re on your version by looking at the repository name near the upper left. The main Ares code is aresmush/aresmush. Yours will be something like YOURUSERNAME/aresmush.
GitHub will pull from whatever repository you cloned when you set the game up. By default this is the main Ares code, but you can specify your personal fork in the install options.
./install <game clone URL> <Web Portal clone URL>
If you need to add the fork after the game is installed, you’ll need to re-point the GitHub “origin” to your forked repository instead of the main one.
In GitHub desktop:
In the server shell:
git remote set-url origin <Your Clone URL>
Now your game will be set up to get code updates from your fork instead of from the main Ares repository.
By default, the AresMUSH repository does not contain configuration files. This prevents conflicts between the default configuration and your game’s configuration when you’re doing updates.
You may wish to add your game’s configuration files to source control, though, just to have a record of what changed and when. This is especially useful if you’re trying to synchronize changes between a test game and the real game.
To add your config files to source control, just modify the .gitignore file in your Ares fork. Remove the final line that excludes the entire game directory:
# Game directory # ----------------------------- /game/
The next time you add files to git, it will include your configuration changes.
Tip: Git will still ignore other parts of the game directory, including uploads, logs, and the secrets.yml config file (to keep your secret codes secret).
You can actually execute selected
git commands from within the game without needing to connect to the server shell. See
help git in-game. This is handy if you’re using GitHub to sync changes between a local PC and the server because you can push to GitHub from your PC and pull the code down from inside the game itself.
While you’re changing your own copy of the code, there’s also work going on in the main Ares repository. Whenever a new AresMUSH version is announced, you should update your fork.
Tip: It’s recommended that you keep up with updates as they happen. Not only does it ensure that you have the latest features and bugfixes at all times, but it’s easier to do updates one at a time. If you let them stack up and your code gets too far behind, the upgrade will be more difficult.
Follow the instructions in the Using GitHub tutorial to update your code.
Note: Always remember to update both aresmush and ares-webportal when getting the latest code.
There are a plethora of good tutorials on the internet about using GitHub, including Try Git and Learn Enough Git To Be Dangerous. There’s also detailed guides on GitHub’s own website, and the first couple chapters of the Pro Git ebook (later chapters go into gory details you won’t need).