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Game layout: view and template: yourgamename.view.php and yourgamename yourgamename.tpl

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These 2 files work together to provide the HTML layout of your game.

Using these 2 files, you specify what HTML is rendered in your game client interface.

In <yourgame.tpl>, you can directly write raw HTML that will be displayed by the browser.

Example: extract of "hearts_hearts.tpl":

  <div id="myhand_wrap" class="whiteblock">
    <div id="myhand">


Your view and your template are supposed to generate only the BASE layout of the game

You shouldn't try to setup the current game situation in the view: this is the role of your Javascript code. Why? Because you'll have to write Javascript code to put game elements in place anyway, and you don't want to write it twice :)

Example of things to generate in your view:

  • The overall layout of your game interface (what is displayed where).
  • The board and fixed elements on the board (ex: places for cards, squares, ...).

Example of things that shouldn't be generate by your view:

  • Game elements that come and go from the game area.
  • Game elements that are moving from one place to another.

phplib template system

BGA is using the phplib template system, used for example in PHPbb forums.

More details about how to use phplib template system here:


In your template ("tpl") file, you can use variables. Then in your view (".view.php") file, you fill these variables with value.

In the example above, "{MY_HAND}" is a variable. As you can see, a variable is uppercase characters border by "{" and "}".

To give a value to this variable in your view.php:


   // Display a translated version of "My hand" at the place of the variable in the template
   $this->tpl['MY_HAND'] = self::_("My hand");

   // Display some raw HTML material at the place of the variable
   $this->tpl['MY_HAND'] = self::raw( "<div class='myhand_icon'></div>" );


Using "blocks", you can repeat a piece of HTML from your template several time.

You should use "blocks" everytime you have a block of HTML that you have to repeat a big number of time. For example, for Reversi, we have to generate 64 (8x8) squares:

(in reversi_reversi.tpl)

<div id="board">
    <!-- BEGIN square -->
        <div id="square_{X}_{Y}" class="square" style="left: {LEFT}px; top: {TOP}px;"></div>
    <!-- END square -->
    <div id="discs">

(in reversi.view.php)

 $this->page->begin_block( "reversi_reversi", "square" );
 $hor_scale = 64.8;
 $ver_scale = 64.4;
 for( $x=1; $x<=8; $x++ )
    for( $y=1; $y<=8; $y++ )
       $this->page->insert_block( "square", array(
         'X' => $x,
         'Y' => $y,
         'LEFT' => round( ($x-1)*$hor_scale+10 ),
         'TOP' => round( ($y-1)*$ver_scale+7 )
        ) );


  • You specify a block in your template file, using "BEGIN" and "END" keywords. In the example above, we are creating a block named "square".
  • In your view, you declare your block using "begin_block" method.
  • Then, you can insert as many block as you want to, using "insert_block" method.

The insert_block method takes 2 parameters:

  • the name of the block to insert.
  • an associative array you can use to assign values to template variables of this block. In the example above, there are 4 parameters in the block (X, Y, LEFT and TOP).

Nested blocks

You can use nested blocks. In the example below, we are going to add a mini-board for each player of the game, with 4 card places on each of it:

(In template file)

<!-- BEGIN player -->
    <div class="miniboard" id="miniboard_{PLAYER_ID}">

        <div class="card_places">
            <!-- BEGIN card_place -->
            <div id="card_place_{PLAYER_ID}_{PLACE_ID}">
            <!-- END card_place -->

<!-- END player -->
(In view file)

$this->page->begin_block( "mygame_mygame.tpl", "card_place" ); // Nested block must be declared first
$this->page->begin_block( "mygame_mygame.tpl", "player" );

foreach( $players as $player_id => $player )
    // Important: nested block must be reset here, otherwise the second player miniboard will
    //  have 8 card_place, the third will have 12 card_place, and so one...
    $this->page->reset_subblocks( 'card_place' ); 

    for( $i=1; $i<=4; $i++ )
       $this->page->insert_block( "card_place", array( 
             'PLAYER_ID' => $player_id,
             'PLACE_ID' => $i

    $this->page->insert_block( 'player', array( 'PLAYER_ID' => $player_id );

Javascript templates

For game elements that come and go from the game area, we suggest you to define a Javascript template.

A Javascript template is defined in your template file like this:

(Reversi Token from Reversi example):

<script type="text/javascript">

// Templates

var jstpl_disc='<div class="disc disccolor_${color}" id="disc_${xy}"></div>';


Note: a section for javascript templates is already available at the end of your template skeleton file.

Then, you can use this javascript template to insert this piece of HTML in your game interface, like this: this.format_block( 'jstpl_disc', {
           xy: x+''+y,
           color: color
    } ) , 'discs' );

How to access game information from .view.php?

From your .view.php, you can access the following:

Access current player id

  global $g_user;
  $current_player_id = $g_user->get_id();

Access game object

In your view file, "$this->game" contains an instance of your main game class.


   // Access to some game elements description described in your "":
   $my_cards_types = $this->game->card_types;

   // Access to any (public) method defined in my .game.php file:
   $result = $this->game->myMethod();

Tips: displaying a nice button

From time to time, you need to display a standard button in your interface. BGA framework provides you a standard button that you can use directly in your interface:

    <a href="#" id="my_button_id" class="button"><span>My button label</span></a>

Note: To see it in action, check for example a Coloretto game