Table of Contents

ECS Usage


The three parts of Entity Component System map to the following classes:

Minimal Setup

A component can be defined by deriving a class from EntityComponent. By adding the attribute DefaultEntityComponentProcessor to an EntityComponent, an EntityProcessor can be assigned to it. This will automatically set up and run the EntityProcessor if the EntityComponent is in the scene. An EntityComponent also needs to indicate that it can be serialized by adding the attribute DataContract to it. A system can be defined by deriving a class from EntityProcessor.



public class MyComponent : EntityComponent
    public int MyValue { get; set; }


public class MyProcessor : EntityProcessor<MyComponent>
    public override void Update(GameTime time)
        foreach (var myComponent in ComponentDatas.Values)
            Console.WriteLine($"myComponent with value {myComponent.MyValue} at {time.Total.TotalSeconds}");

Additional Note

An EntityComponent can currently not be drag-dropped onto an entity in Game Studio. It has to be added by selecting an entity, and then clicking the Add component button
in the Property grid. Alternatively, this can also be done in code via entity.Add(entityComponent).

Advanced Features

More Component Attributes


By adding the Display attribute, a nicer name can be shown in Game Studio.

[Display("My better name")]


By default, your components will be listed in the category "Miscellaneous". By adding the ComponentCategory attribute, a different category can be chosen. If the chosen name does not exist yet, it will be added to the list in Game Studio.

[ComponentCategory("My own components")]


By adding the ComponentOrder attribute, the order in which components are listed in Game Studio can be changed.


Component Combinations

By passing the types of other components to the EntityProcessor constructor, it will only include entities that also have those other components. For example, the following EntityProcessor is for MyComponent, but will skip any entity that does not also have both TransformComponent and AnimationComponent on it.

public class MyProcessor : EntityProcessor<MyComponent>
    public MyProcessor() : base(typeof(TransformComponent), typeof(AnimationComponent))

Non-default Processors

Adding processors for a type of component via the attribute DefaultEntityComponentProcessor has been explained above. However, as the name implies, this is for the default processor. Non-default processors can also be added via


Separation of EntityComponent and Data

EntityProcessor<TComponent> is a shortcut for EntityProcessor<TComponent, TComponent>. By explicitly using EntityProcessor<TComponent, TData> instead, a different type can be chosen for the actual data. This way, the EntityComponent can e.g. have "heavier" startup data and references, while the data object that needs to be processed every frame can be kept small. This will require overriding a method GenerateComponentData, which produces a TData instance from a TComponent instance.


EntityProcessor also provides several methods which can be overridden in order to react to certain events. They are not overly complicated, so that their usage should be clear from their doc comments.