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Data Driven Item component system?

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I am trying to figure out a good component design for my item classes since otherwise it probably ends up in a hierarchy disaster. I will just be just using this to define my items in a data driven way. My items do not have a position or interact with the map, they are either on a character or on a tile in the map and that is where they are stored. So I created a blank interface and a couple implementations, nothing is set in stone but I think my concept is pretty solid and I'm looking for feedback from people with more experience on the topic since it would not be the first time I burry myself into something I cannot climb out of :).

public interface ItemComponent {

public class WeaponComponent implements ItemComponent{
    int damage;
    int range;
    float attackSpeed;
    String damageType;
public class ArmorComponent implements ItemComponent {
    int defense;
    String armorType;
    String bodyPart;

Easy enough, like most component systems they only add data the system in my case are the characters using the items, I could add functionality but that will probably complicate things once more components are added. When the character uses any item with the corresponding component I have access to the data, and that is all I currently need. A shield that could also be used as a weapon should be easy to model in. To know and find a specific type of item I implemented a Map that maps a String to a ItemComponent.

public class Item {
    private String name;
    private int weight;

    private Map<String, ItemComponent> itemComponents = new HashMap<>();

    public Item() {

    public void addComponent(ItemComponent component) {
        itemComponents.put(component.getClass().toString(), component);

A basic item that is used for crafting only would not have any components. For easy lookup I added a couple methods.

public boolean hasComponent(Class c) {
    return itemComponents.containsKey(c.toString());

public boolean isWeapon() {
    return hasComponent(WeaponComponent.class);

public boolean isArmor() {
    return hasComponent(ArmorComponent.class);

To instantiate items I will import all JSON data in a Factory pattern and clone the items. Since crafting is a thing I will add another Map to this that maps the items name to the recipe.

public Item clone() {
    return new Item(name, weight, itemComponents);
public class ItemPrototype {
    private Item item;
    private Recipe recipe;

    public Item cloneItem(){
        return item.clone();

    public Item createItem(List<Item> ingredients) {
        // Todo: Check ingredients.
        // Todo: Remove ingredients.
        return cloneItem();
public class ItemFactory {
    private static Map<String, ItemPrototype> itemPrototypes = new HashMap<>();

    static {
        // Todo: Import items from JSON

    public static Item createItem(String name, List<Item> ingredients) {
        // TODO: Error handling
        return itemPrototypes.get(name).createItem(ingredients);

    public static Item createItem(String name) {
        // TODO: Error handling
        return itemPrototypes.get(name).cloneItem();

Here is how an item would look inside a JSON file. A simple rock would truncate everything except for it's name and weight unless it I decide it can be used as a weapon too.

"Rifle" : {
  "item" : {
    "name" : "Rifle",
    "weight" : 3500,
    "itemComponents" : {
      "WeaponComponent" : {
        "damage" : 18,
        "range" : 20,
        "attackSpeed" : 10.0,
        "damageType" : "Piercing"
  "recipe" : {
    "ingredients" : {
      "Wood" : 1,
      "lense" : 1,
      "Steel Plate" : 4

I love to hear what more experienced people have to say about this. There are not much examples to look at on internet except for a couple that go all the way down to engine level where basically everything is a entity. If I have success with this structure I definitely write a article about it.

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It looks good to me. My own minimal ECS is very similar. Just a few small notes:

- You can directly use your Component object's type as the key for the HashMap, there is no need to go the detour over stringifying it. Just use a HashMap<Class, ItemComponent>.

- Why store name and weight as direct members of the Item class? Put them in components, too, and you'll have a completely "pure" and generic ECS.

- You could think about whether you need the Item class at all. In my implementation, an entity is just an integer (actually a "Long") ID, so the whole data structure of the ECS is a HashMap<Long, HashMap<Class, AbstractComponent>>. All code to manage entities, which is in your implementation partly located in Item and partly in ItemFactory, lies in a single "EntityManager" class.

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Another thing:

Also don't put methods like isWeapon() or isArmor() into your Item class. This goes towards the "god class" anti-pattern which is exactly what you want to avoid by using a component system. An item/entity should not make any fixed assumptions about what it is (or might be). Any actual "use case"- or "semantics"-related code belongs into separate classes/functions (the "systems" in ECS terminology). As already mentioned, best get rid of the Item class completely - in a good ECS design, it has no purpose. 

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