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There are n main sections to OpenRA: UI, Rendering, unit behaviour, ...
All units/structures/most things in the map are Actors. Actors contain a collection of traits.
Traits consist of an info class and a class that does stuff. There is one instance of the infoclass shared across all actors of the same type. Each actor gets its own instance of the trait class itself. Infoclasses are responsible for instantiating their corresponding trait class -- see ITraitInfo, and TraitInfo<T> for the trivial implementation of this. In some cases the trait class's constructor needs some args, in which case TraitInfo<T> can't be used. This is a limitation of C# generics.
Actor assembly is done via the mod's yaml files. A section exists for each actor type,
and within that section we list the traits the actor should have.
These get looked up in the loaded mod DLLs. Each trait can contain properties,
which are automatically loaded into the corresponding fields on the trait's ITraitInfo.
- Traits: look at TraitInterfaces.cs
We've tried to make individual traits implement as self-contained a unit of functionality
as possible - all cross-trait references should be in terms of an interface from
- Things an actor can be *doing* are represented as Activity subclasses.
Actor has a queue of these. The standard set of activities are in OpenRA.Mods.RA/Activities. Ground vehicle movement is more complex, and has bits in OpenRA.Mods.RA/Move. Aircraft use different bits again, in OpenRA.Mods.RA/Air. There are some bits elsewhere for custom infantry behaviors, etc. In some cases, a trait or activity will maintain an internal subqueue of activities. This works exactly the same way as the actor's main activity queue -- its state is evolved by Util.RunActivity().
- Units offer orders they can perform (given context) through traits that implement IIssueOrder. There are two parts to this -- an Orders collection, which exposes IOrderTargeter objects, which describe orders that the actor *could* generate, and the rules for choosing which to perform when the "default action" button is pressed (RMB). The second part is IssueOrder() itself, which resolves an IOrderTargeter into an actual order object to be sent.
- For more complex things that require modal UI (like special abilities,
RA-style sell/repair buttons, etc) we have IOrderGenerator implementations. This can
completely replace the normal actors-provide-orders model temporarily. IOGs wiring is
provided through OpenRa.Game/Controller.cs (ToggleInputMode<T>, CancelInputMode)
- Things that don't affect gameplay, or (increasingly) are just transient are implemented as
IEffect, rather than real Actors. This is similar to the temp ents mechanism in many other
game engines.
- Most player-level or global-level game behavior is implemented as traits on special Player
and World actors. These are accessible via Player.PlayerActor and World.WorldActor. This
includes production queue support, ore/tiberium growth, various palette manipulation magic.
- Many traits can be modified by adding an appropriate IFooModifier implementation to the unit.
This includes rendering, where IRenderModifier allows you to define an arbitrary transform on
the Renderables emitted by the actor's IRender implementation(s). Examples are things like
cloaking, invisibility to certain players, flying units with shadows, etc. Other modifiers
can affect movement speed, damage taken, weapon firepower, etc.
Game code is collected into "Mod" units. Mods can be added prior to starting the game.
Currently there is no dependancy mechanism, but provided you are doing additions or overrides
you can add multiple mods without problem.
Everything is a mod (including RA - which is loaded by default).
The contents of the mod is defined in a manifest file mod.yaml. This lists the packages
containing art assets (typically .mix files), yaml files defining actor defintions,
and ini files containing legacy information that have yet to be ported over to
the (relatively new) yaml system.
The unit artwork itself must be defined in one or more sequences files. These are specified in the manifest. RA puts everything in mods/ra/sequences.yaml.
check mod.yaml for a list of what the mod uses); the format is self explanatory.
Chrome artwork is similarly defined in Chrome.xml. Chrome is already mod dependent. Sortof ;)
mod-dependent *behavior* would be nice too, not just skinning. This is a property of the traits
however; once we port UI into traits this will become a non-issue.
UserSettings stores the data loaded from settings.ini (or defaults). Eventually we need to be
able to save values changed in game into settings.ini (not yet implemented)
Bugs: There is a list of known bugs and features at .
We also have a website at .
Our IRC channel is #openra on .
As far as using git, get your own repository on github. Push your changes into your git repository, and it will/might :P be merged into .
See for working with GitHub and see for working
with Git.
Other things we probably want to put in here:
- A guide on how to add a generic unit via yaml using existing traits
- and then introduce some element that requires a simple trait change.
- how to set up a new mod (TC-style or mutator-style)
- VFS (OpenRa.FileFormats.FileSystem, Package, Folder classes)
- Trait inheritance (and the magicness of ^ActorType)
- Removing inherited traits (prepend `-` to the trait name)
- Multiple instances of a trait (`@` and all subsequent characters are ignored for
the purposes of looking up the trait.
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