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 RLFM Expanded: The Furniture System

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MoronSonOfBoron

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PostSubject: RLFM Expanded: The Furniture System   Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:41 am

This thread is for discussing the furniture system: a feature that adds furniture units to decorate player's homes. Please feel free to leave furniture-related suggestions and ideas here.



The furniture system would introduce special furniture units that would act primarily as decorations in a player's home. With models culled from the various race units and buildings, environmental doodads, and any available palette swaps, the selection of furniture would be massive such that players would be able to truly individualize their homes.

The Pathing Problem
Our first concern was how to get the pathing to work: furniture should be unobtrusive, allowing some measure of "model on model" interaction, but ought to behave like real units otherwise, with visible collision and mass. Giving them static tile-based pathing textures made them placeable only in grid formations, as well as locking their facing angle, which greatly reduced their decorative function. In order to have them able to turn, and have flexible pathing, they would have to be made into units.

Movement Mayhem
The issue with most units in WC3 is that they must move to some extent; we had to create a system to address this in order to keep furniture from wandering off whenever they were turned around or faced with situations that would force units to normally react (hostiles and such). From what I recall we had a slapdash "stop" order coupled with an insanely slow movement speed that would at least prevent a furniture unit from being noticeably displaced. We had yet to test the AI, however.

Portability and Placement
So now that we had that decided, there was another issue: how would players get these units, which moved at a glacial pace, from the stores into their homes? Simple enough: carry them as items. These special items, based on the "Pocket Castle" class of items, would let players carry the furniture anywhere they liked and place it exactly where they wanted; furniture units themselves were equipped with a special ability to revert back to their item form to be picked up by player characters (although theft is possible in such a state).

We prototyped this system in Warcraft III and ended up with over 300 individual furniture unit types, meaning we had just as many "Pocket Castle" items to correspond! And it all worked. In fact, I still have the prototype map somewhere around here... but that's for another day.
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GrandKaiser
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PostSubject: Re: RLFM Expanded: The Furniture System   Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:57 pm

Why not make it like a pocket castle, and give the furniture the ability to turn back into an item. A simple trigger. No movement needed as it would be a full on building. As for facing, buildings don't turn. With a little JASS you could make just a few triggers to make the whole thing self-sufficient so that when you add furniture it will "update" itself by using the unit type of the triggering unit into an item of the same name. (I don't think the GUI supports item-pick-naming, but I could be wrong...) If you WANT the buildings to turn, you could make it without movement then have an ability that runs a trigger that makes it face a certain way.
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MoronSonOfBoron

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PostSubject: Re: RLFM Expanded: The Furniture System   Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:34 pm

I believe that's the solution we ended up using.
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