Go back 2020-12-04

Implementing a chat command in DDraceNetwork

This is the part 3 of my series of articles about coding in DDraceNetwork, you can find the first article here.

We will implement a command that shows info about our player: /aboutme <times>

Times will be how many times we print this info.

Go to src/game/server/ddracechat.h

Here you can see all the chat commands, they are created using a macro.

The chat command macro

The macro looks like this:

#define CHAT_COMMAND(name, params, flags, callback, userdata, help)

The first field is the name of the command, we will create a command called “aboutme”.

The second field is the command parameters, it uses a special syntax:

Add a ? if it’s optional.

A i for integers, s for a string, r for “everything else”.

You can give a hint by using [], like r[player name] or possible values ?i['0'|'1'|'2'].

The next field are the flags, for server-side chat commands they are always:


Then comes the name of our method, usually prefixed by Con: ConRules.

Next field is userdata, always pass this.

Then comes the help text, put whathever you see fit.

We will use this command definition:

        ConAboutMe, this, "Show info about yourself");

Adding the static method

We added ConAboutMe on the CHAT_COMMAND macro, now we need to implement it.

First go to src/game/server/gamecontext.h and under the last static Con command you see add it:

// ...
static void ConFreezeHammer(IConsole::IResult *pResult, void *pUserData);
static void ConUnFreezeHammer(IConsole::IResult *pResult, void *pUserData);

// Here!
static void ConAboutMe(IConsole::IResult *pResult, void *pUserData);

Implementing the chat command

Then to implement it we go to src/game/server/ddracechat.cpp and add it to the end:

void CGameContext::ConAboutMe(IConsole::IResult *pResult, void *pUserData)
    /// The following code will be added here.

As you have seen, ConAboutMe is a static method, so in order to get hold of a CGameContext instance which lets us access all the information, we need to get it from pUserData.

CGameContext *pSelf = (CGameContext *)pUserData;

Here pResult holds information about the caller client id, the number of arguments and how to get them.

Just to be on the safe side, we check that the ClientID we got is actually valid:


When you are new to the ddnet codebase, a really useful thing to do is to check how similar things you are doing are implemented, in our case there are a lot of other chat commands and just by looking at their implementations we can learn lot of things, like checking the client id, how to print to the console, chat, etc…

Now we will handle our optional argument “times”, which tells us how many times we will print this information.

int Times = 1;

if(pResult->NumArguments() > 0)
    Times = pResult->GetInteger(0);

if(Times < 1)
    Times = 1;

As you can see pResult has some handy methods, aside from those 2 seen in the snippet, you can also get a float, string and a color. You can find out more here.

In our command we want to get the following information: name, client version, team and position.

The player is always present while the character is only present if the player has a physical body (the tee).

const char *pName = pSelf->Server()->ClientName(pResult->m_ClientID);
int ClientVersion = pSelf->GetClientVersion(pResult->m_ClientID);
int Team = pSelf->GetDDRaceTeam(pResult->m_ClientID);
CPlayer *pPlayer = pSelf->m_apPlayers[pResult->m_ClientID];

// Check if it's null
    dbg_msg("chat-about-me", "Player not found!");
CCharacter *pChar = pPlayer->GetCharacter();

// Check if it's null
    dbg_msg("chat-about-me", "Character not found! Player may be dead or spectating.");

You can see we use dbg_msg to print debug messages, an alternative is to print to console, but I recommend using dbg_msg.

Some methods to get information may not be on the class CGameContext, for example with the player name, we had to access the IServer class with the method Server().

That said, now we send the chat message:

char aBuf[256];
str_format(aBuf, sizeof(aBuf),
        "Name: %s | "
        "ID: %d | "
        "Version: %d | "
        "Team: %d | "
        "Current position: %f, %f",
        pChar->m_Pos.x, pChar->m_Pos.y);

for(int i = 0; i < Times; i++)
    pSelf->SendChatTarget(pResult->m_ClientID, aBuf);

We format our message with str_format and send it with the method SendChatTarget and the client id we get from pResult.

And we can test it in the game:

The result

More to come