Programmatically Loading Games

Loading a Game by Name

Ludii’s player.utils.loading.GameLoader class provides static helper methods that may be used to programmatically load games. The simplest such method only takes a single argument; a String representing the name of a game. This argument should always include a .lud extension, and at least the filename of the game to load. Note that this can only be used to load games that are built into the Ludii.jar file, and not for loading games from external .lud files. It may be called as follows:

final Game ticTacToe = GameLoader.loadGameFromName("Tic-Tac-Toe.lud");
final Game chess = GameLoader.loadGameFromName("/Chess.lud");

It is also allowed to prepend any part of the “folder structure” under which the .lud file is stored inside Ludii.jar, starting from the top-level /lud/ folder. Normally Ludii should be smart enough to know which game you wish to load as long as the full filename (without folders) is provided, so this should normally not be necessary. For example, it knows that Chess.lud refers to the game of Chess, even though that name could also be a match for other games such as Double Chess.lud. However, to avoid any risk of ambiguities, it can be useful to include a part of the folder structure (or even just a single /, as in the second line of the example code above) in the provided name.

Listing all Built-in Ludii Games

A list of names for all built-in games in your copy of Ludii.jar, all of which may be used in GameLoader.loadGameFromName(...) calls, can be obtained using the following code:

final String[] allGameNames = FileHandling.listGames();

This produces an array of Strings that looks as follows:

/lud/board/hunt/Cercar La Liebre.lud


On some operating systems, the very first symbol in every String in this array may be a backslash instead of a forward slash. They may be freely replaced by forward slashes in game loading calls, and they should still load correctly.

More advanced code to filter this list of games based on their properties is provided in

Loading a Game from File

The GameLoader.loadGameFromName() method can only be used to load built-in games that ship with Ludii. Programmatically loading games from other files (such as any games you may have implemented yourself!) can be loaded using a similar GameLoader.loadGameFromFile() method, which takes a File object as argument instead of a String. An example, which loads the .lud file that we created at the end of Writing Amazons in .lud Format, is provided by the following code:

final Game ourOwnAmazons = GameLoader.loadGameFromFile(new File("resources/luds/walkthrough_amazons/Step7.lud"));

Loading Games with Options

All of the examples discussed above load the default variants of the respective games. For each of the GameLoader methods described above, there is also a version that additionally takes a List<String> object as second argument. Whenever an empty list is provided, such a call will be identical to the calls without this argument, simply causing a game with its default Options to be loaded. If the list is not empty, Ludii will try to interpret each of the provided Strings as a description of an Option to be loaded (instead of the default option).


If you try to load a game with options that are not defined for that game, Ludii will throw an exception.

By default, Hex in Ludii is played on an 11x11 board. The following code shows how to load a different variant of Hex, by using two non-default options; we play on a 19x19 board, and we invert the winning condition by selecting the “Misere” end rule:

final List<String> options = Arrays.asList("Board Size/19x19", "End Rules/Misere");
final Game hex = GameLoader.loadGameFromName("Hex.lud", options);
System.out.println("Num sites on board = " + hex.board().numSites());

In this code, the last line is used to verify that we did indeed correctly load a board of size 19x19 instead of the default 11x11 board; it prints that we have 361 sites on the board, which is correct! The 11x11 board would only have 121 sites.


This tutorial uses example code from the following source files: