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songalgeen

Entity component system designing

3 posts in this topic

Say I have, for example, a component InputMovement that describes an entity's movement speed in reaction to movement instructions from a player or AI. But now I want to add a removable, perhaps temporary, effect, like a status effect, which maybe slows down the movement speed or stops it entirely for a short time. Would it be better to put this effect data inside the InputMovement component, or have another component entirely to store the effect?

Also, I'm using Box2D in my ECS, where a component is reserved specifically to hold the Body information, and it performs well for Entities that have physical characteristics. But what about Entities that, say, don't need collision detection or kinematics, but still need position information to draw them? Is it better to create a separate Position component and have separate systems for handling rendering with Position and rendering with Box2D? Or should I use Box2D for all situations where I need position data, except that some data regarding fixtures and such is left out?

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Not sure about


handling rendering with Position and rendering with Box2D?

 

Everything thats drawn needs to know where it should be drawn, typically a physics engine feeds its transform (pos/rot/scale) data to the object being drawn (I imagine box2d is similar although i admit ive never used it). Assuming this, then an object that gets drawn has position/rot/scale data, and an optional "physics" component which would update that objects data each frame based on the simulation.

If it doesnt have physics component it may be animated in some way (animation component?) or simply driven by a player, or by animation and physics components which talk to each other, or by all.

Specific components would be maintained by the systems they logically belong to, rendering, physics, animation. The trick is getting components to talk.

With entity systems Ive read lots of different ways it can be done, so I wouldnt say there is a hard rule, but from what you said, this is how I see it.

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Also, I'm using Box2D in my ECS, where a component is reserved specifically to hold the Body information, and it performs well for Entities that have physical characteristics. But what about Entities that, say, don't need collision detection or kinematics, but still need position information to draw them? Is it better to create a separate Position component and have separate systems for handling rendering with Position and rendering with Box2D? Or should I use Box2D for all situations where I need position data, except that some data regarding fixtures and such is left out?

 

I would make your Components independent of your physics library for this reason. Just have a Position (or Transform) component. And then entities that are involved in physics calculations will also have a Physics component that describes how they behave wrt to physics (e.g. collision category, mass, collision shape, etc...). It should be the job of one of your systems to step your physics world, and then update the values in the Position components from the results of the physics simulation.

 

Rendering code should be completely ignorant of whether an entity has a Physics component.

Edited by phil_t
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