Weekly Update – April 30, 2021

Good momentum again this week. Things are easier to add and fix after the recent refactoring.

  • Replicate actor action. This is a new action that allows actors to replicate themselves. The actor’s AI controller provides the replication parameters. This action was created primarily to enable effects to spread. For example, a fire will spread to adjacent cells that contain a flammable object.
  • Converted cell effects to actors. I originally created a class called CellEffect for objects that could cause status effects on actors and move independently. I realized that these objects were better implemented as actors so that they could take turns like other active actors and their unique behaviors could be defined in AI controllers. I call these Effect Actors. There are currently two Effect Actors: Fire and Poisonous Gas.
  • Items can now have status effects and be damaged. This allows items on the map and items in an actor’s inventory to be affected by status effects and damaged. For example, if an actor becomes engulfed in flames, the actor’s flammable items may be damaged or destroyed. This was previously implemented, but in a kludgy, hard-coded way.
  • Fire Arrow. It’s been months since any new items have been added to the game. The Fire Arrow starts a fire where it lands.
  • Arrows can create actors upon hitting a target. This was required to enable the Fire Arrow to create a fire when it strikes something flammable. This functionality can be used in many other ways, for instance a wand that summons a pet.
  • Replaced some enums with ScriptableObjects. I’ve used a lot of enums in because they are an easy way to define a range of values and they work in the Unity inspector (just don’t rearrange them because the inspector stores enum values by index). But, they have limitations. You can’t store any additional info on an enum. Also, new values have to be coded; they can’t be added in the editor. ScriptableObjects are a great alternative to enums because you can define additional attributes for each value and you can add new values in the editor. I’m in the process of moving the majority of enums to ScriptableObjects.
  • Materials. Objects now have a primary material, such as wood, stone, paper. These are defined as ScriptableObjects and have physical properties like hardness and flammability.
  • Basic material / element interactions. Implemented basic rules for interactions of different objects based on material. Examples: poisonous gas doesn’t affect a table, fire doesn’t affect a stone wall.
  • Message log improvements. Added messages for status effects and grammar fixes.

Next week, lots of miscellaneous improvements and fixes pertaining to combat animation, message log, fog of war, player detection, enum to ScriptableObject conversion, and object interactions. Roadmap-wise, I’m closing out open issues in the scope of Release 2.

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