The Scene Graph

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The SceneGraph is an optional tool that can be used to build our games. It handles creation, updates, adding and removing nodes, and even has an optional UI portion. This can be very useful if we are familiar with how the tree structure works in game engines such as Godot or Unity. This particular implementation is heavily influenced by the scene tree in Godot.


The scene graph itself is quite simple. It contains a single root Node that it manages and invokes it’s update() method. Whenever we add a new node to the tree, it will get added directly to this root Node. The root Node will then invoke the update() method unto it’s children and so on and so forth.

The scene graph also contains a root Viewport and Camera which is then used subsequently by any of the nodes on the tree. When a Node is part of the SceneGraph the instance of the graph can be obtained by accessing the node.scene property.

Scene graph

When a node is connected directly or indirectly to the root Node, it becomes part of the scene graph. The Node will have certain lifecycle callbacks invoked upon entering (and upon leaving).

Order of lifecycle methods of a Node when added to a SceneGraph:

  • onAddedToScene(): Called when this Node is added to a SceneGraph after all pending Node changes are committed.

  • ready():Called when this Node and all of it’s children are added to the scene and active
  • onPostEnterScene(): Called when this Node and all of it’s children are added to the scene and have themselves called onPostEnterScene()

Tree Order

Most Node operations are done in tree order, meaning parents and siblinings with a lower rank in the tree will get notified before the current node.

“Becoming active” when entering the SceneGraph:

  1. A SceneGraph is created.
  2. The root of the scene is created and initialized.
  3. Every node of the newly added scene will recevie that onAddedToScene() callback in top-to-bottom order.
  4. A second callback onPostEnterScene() is also invoked once all of its children inside the scene and active, from bottom-to-top order.
  5. An extra callback ready() is invoked when a node all of its children are inside the scene.