Difference between revisions of "Creating a schedule"

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{{npc tut}}
#redirect [[schedule]]
A '''schedule''' is a list of [[task]]s for an NPC to perform. A new schedule is chosen '''only''' when there is no active one; this might be because the NPC has only just spawned or because the last schedule just completed, failed, or encountered an interrupt [[condition]].
== Creating a new schedule ==
=== Enumeration ===
Schedules are identified with a number. Naturally, enums are employed for human readability.
<source lang=cpp>
The "last schedule" values are used to prevent collisions between enums when inheriting from existing classes. <code>LAST_SHARED_SCHEDULE</code> is the end of the standard list of schedules that are shared by all NPCs; if you are inheriting from something other than <code>[[CAI_BaseNPC]]</code> you will probably want to check your baseclass and get its own "last schedule" value.
=== Definition ===
Once the schedule is enumerated we can start defining it within the <code>AI_BEGIN_CUSTOM_NPC</code> block. All schedules use the same structure:
<source lang=cpp>
AI_BEGIN_CUSTOM_NPC( npc_custom, CNPC_Custom )
" Tasks"
" Interrupts"
{{warning|The first character of each string (except for the 'gap') must be a space or a tab. Your schedule will otherwise be invalid!}}
There are two parts to the definition:
; <code>Tasks</code>
: The list of sequential [[task]]s an NPC must perform in order to complete the schedule. See [[Shared tasks]] for the engine's basic set. {{note|Every task requires a numeric argument. If the task doesn't actually make use of one, just pass <code>0</code>.}}
; <code>Interrupts</code>
: A list of [[conditions]] that will cause the schedule to be abandoned, and a new one chosen, if any are ever detected.
In the example above the NPC will attempt to find a suitable direction to dodge in (checking in a maximum of three directions, judging by the parameter) before using the output of that task, stored somewhere in the class, to perform the movement itself. But if it encounters <code>COND_LIGHT_DAMAGE</code> (any damage greater than zero) during the process, it will abandon the schedule and select another.
The behavioural code which decides what the NPC actually ''does'' is defined in the component [[task]]s.
== SelectSchedule() ==
<code>int SelectSchedule(void)</code> is called whenever an NPC finds itself without a schedule, and contains the logic that decides which should be selected to fill the gap. The NPC's current [[state]] and [[condition]]s usually play a large part in the decision.
A schedule is selected if the function returns it's name - e.g. <code>return SCHED_DODGE_ENEMY_FIRE;</code>.
{{tip|If you expect to write a lot of schedule selection logic, you may find it useful to split it into sub-functions of your own making. <code>CAI_BaseNPC</code> for instance has <code>SelectIdleSchedule()</code>, <code>SelectCombatSchedule()</code>, etc. which are called depending on the NPC's state.}}
=== Useful functions ===
; <code>HasCondition([[int]] condition)</code>
: True if the specified [[condition]] has been set for the current think. Of course, you'd use your enumerated names instead of passing an integer directly!
; <code>GetState()</code>
: Returns the NPC's state. You can also access m_NPCState directly, but GetState() is read-only and therefore safer.
; <code>return BaseClass<nowiki>::</nowiki>SelectSchedule()</code>
: If none of your own schedules were picked, there are very few situations where you won't want to pass through to the base class.
== TranslateSchedule() ==
<code>TranslateSchedule()</code> is called immediately after <code>SelectSchedule()</code>. It is designed to allow child classes to replace their parent's or parents' schedules with those of their own without having to duplicate selection logic.
<source lang=cpp>
int CNPC_Custom::TranslateSchedule( int scheduleType )
switch( scheduleType )
return BaseClass::TranslateSchedule( scheduleType );
{{navbar|Creating a condition|Creating an NPC|Creating a task}}

Latest revision as of 02:03, 16 September 2011

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