Recoil builds some extra binaries that behave differently to the primary ‘spring.exe’ one. This guide briefly describes what they do and when to use them.
The headless build only does the simulation and does not do any rendering. Widgets still work and are the main way to provide input, all rendering-related call-ins and call-outs just do nothing.
It is great for automated tasks such as:
- gathering data from replays, general analysis. Spectate a replay, use a widget to gather data.
- simulating AI vs AI games (either for AI development, or just to produce something analyzable in conjunction with the above).
- simulate games played on a dedicated binary, to verify results. See below.
- be a game server for a multiplayer game, though only on limited scale (perhaps for important games like tournaments). See below.
Simulating games can get fairly heavy, such that a game server would struggle to simulate more than a handful. However, players simulate the game anyway, so a server technically doesn’t need to - this is the idea behind the dedicated binary. It only collects and relays network traffic without running the simulation.
Typically, dedicated servers are used for automated hosting in large games since they are quite lightweight. In theory this leaves games without a single source of truth, but replays are still produced which can be ran for verification later, as needed.
Written by: sprunk