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  1. Quote:Original post by wild_pointer I've been thinking of moving to "outboard" component storage and find myself with a pretty much 1:1 ratio of subsystems to component types. I can see myself having many, many component types. How do you manage all these? Also, this seems to make it a lot more difficult to create new components, especially from a script. I see this too in a way. I'm currently sketching out an engine design based on what's been said in this thread and other places, and there does seem to become a 1:1 (or near) relation between components and subsystems. Of course you could allow a subsystem to add more components to an Entity (or just associate them with the Entity and store them in the system itself), depending on which behavior it should have. I guess this depends on how exactly you define your components. On the Engine-level (no game specific components here) I see few occasions where I would need more than one component at a time from each subsystem. It might be a different component depending on type of animation needed from the Animation subsystem and such, but I don't think one would need more than one component from that specific system. On this level subsystems seem to become very strongly associated with their own components. So if you want to add a new behavior to your Entity, you might need to write a new subsystem to take care of that specific task. (Especially since components here seem more like data containers as I've understood it.) #1 I'm going for a subsystem interface, so I can add new subsystems at any time and know that the engine knows how to pass it an Entity if told to (from script perhaps). This could also mean some game specific (above engine level to be clear) subsystems are implemented in script, utilizing script implemented components. The subsystem could of course also be dynamically linked if one so wishes. In "Dungeon Siege" they had a Component Database to manage the components. Each component had a unique id (Siege Component ID) and each Component "template" also had one if I'm not mistaken. When they needed a new component they just asked the DB for it using the template id. Since they had a continous world, they also had to load and unload a whole bunch of components all the time. They solved the problem with maintaining unloded components state using "SCIDBits", 32 bits stored together with the SCID even after the component was unloaded. That way a Chest Component could remember if it had been opened before etc even right at the moment it was loaded back into the world. EDIT: #1) Hmm, what if one would stretch the component "pattern" further and include "plug-and-play behavioral components" in say the animation system? If I want a different type of animation behaviour (skeleton instead of frame based), but would like to keep the framework of the animations subsystem, I could make a new behavior component for the subsystem, and a data component for the Entity. I'm not sure if this would be practical at all, it just hit me it might be worth a thought or two... it's probably more work than replacing the whole animations subsystem with one that does all you want to tho. [Edited by - TwoD on November 1, 2007 10:30:30 AM]
  2. Quote:Original post by Emmanuel Deloget Question: how do you manage 1) data duplication (the bounding box can be of interest to various components; should all components have an embedded bounding box)? 2) components requirements (because I have this component, I shall also have this other one)? Maybe these both questions could be answered by the same mechanism, when adding a component to an Entity? A subsystem which depends on/Observes a different subsystem will most likely know which component(s) the other/Subject subsystem has, say a bounding box. It would not be much point for a subsystem to depend on another one unless it knows what the other one has/does, right? Atleast to some degree... Thus, if subsystems try to intitialize or add its component to an Entity, before it has another component it depends on, it should know which component needs to be added by the missing component's owning subsystem. So it could simply (maybe recursively) tell that other subsystem to init the Entity before it does so itself. To avoid duplicated data, a subsystem could also obtain direct references to other components of that Entity, or perhaps even members in those components, during the add-component/init phase. The references would be relayed to (and stored in) the component which needs them to function by its owning subsystem. There should be little problem as long as subsystems which rely on components from other subsystems make sure they are added before their own. This hopefully also avoids having to "manually" update all members in a component which relies on other component's members, as they would automatically point to updated data at all times. To avoid making these "couplings" so hard that there'll be trouble when changing members of a component/subsystem which are relied upon by other subsystems/components, one could use ideas from Game Programming Gems 2, "A Property Class for Generic C++ Member Access" so exposed component or subsystem members could be referenced indirectly by a more descriptive name such as "Bounding Box" istead of m_aabb. Of course, this "property lookup" between components should all be done during Entity init to avoid performance drops due to having to go through a bunch of indirect couplingd. What do you all think?