October 4, 2015

Sorted Batch Rendering for LibGdx

This is a spin-off from the development of the game Biodrone Battle.
In the beginning, rendering was split up into multiple classes and as the code base grew, it was tedious to keep the right order for rendering layers of tiles and sprite components.

Furthermore, a lot of texture switches occurred. Whether that was a performance hit, was not analysed, but it was fixed easily after introducing sorted batch rendering. Taking the blend mode as sort criterium reduces the number of SpriteBatch flushes as well.

It is no longer necessary to provide an open SpriteBatch to each render class.

There are default implementations for rendering textures, particles and vertices. In case they don't meet your needs, just derive your own item classes from BatchRenderItem. The first sort criterium is always the layer (z-index) followed by individual criteria like texture handle or blend mode.

Run BatchQueueLauncher to get a first impression.

Create a render queue for texture items:
        renderQueue = new BatchRenderQueue(MAX_LAYERS);
        renderQueue.addItemClass(TextureBatchItem.class, new Pool() {
            protected TextureBatchItem newObject() {
                return new TextureBatchItem();
Queue a batch item:
            TextureBatchItem batchItem = renderQueue.obtainItem(TextureBatchItem.class);
            batchItem.setLocation(123, 456);

Draw all queued items:
private void render(BatchRenderQueue renderQueue, SpriteBatch batch) {
        long time = System.nanoTime();
        renderQueue.render(batch, time);

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