GameLisp's documentation is split into three parts:

  • The Reference Manual, which you're currently reading, is a rough overview of the language. It's written in an accessible style, so it doubles as a tutorial when read from beginning to end.

  • The standard library documentation describes all of the special forms, functions and macros which are built into the language itself. It covers most of the same material as Section 1 of the Reference Manual, but it's more formal, comprehensive and precise.

  • The glsp crate documentation describes how to embed GameLisp into a Rust program. Section 2 of the Reference Manual will walk you through the basics.

Getting Started

If you haven't already, take a look at the Introduction for Rust Programmers and/or the Introduction for Lisp Programmers.

You can get a feel for the language by examining the source code for a few small games on the interactive playground.

To start setting up a GameLisp project of your own, check that you're running the latest version of nightly Rust, and then add this line to your Cargo.toml:

glsp = "0.2"

The following boilerplate code will load and run a single GameLisp source file named main.glsp in the working directory, printing a stack trace if any errors occur. (The working directory is usually the same directory which contains your project's Cargo.toml file.)

use glsp::prelude::*;

fn main() {
    let runtime = Runtime::new();
    runtime.run(|| {

Once that's up and running, I'd recommend working your way through the Reference Manual from start to finish. It's not too long - it can be completed in three hours or so. As you progress, you can use your skeleton project to experiment with the language, the standard library, and the Rust API.

Syntax-highlighting schemes for Visual Studio Code and Sublime Text 3 can be downloaded from the GitHub repository.

If you've never worked with Lisp before, you might find some parts of GameLisp difficult to understand. If you're struggling, consider looking through some beginner-level material for another Lisp dialect, such as the excellent Practical Common Lisp by Peter Seibel.

⚠️ Stability Warning ⚠️

Because GameLisp is brand new, it currently provides no stability guarantees. The language, standard library and Rust API can and will change without notice. It's also immature enough that you may come across the occasional bug - if so, a bug report would be appreciated.

GameLisp can still be used for serious game projects (I'm using it for one myself!), but you'll need to be prepared to refactor your codebase from time to time.