Factories

Factories are really fun. They can be used to create games where objects appear on the map only at specific intervals so that players need to run to get them before time runs out, or maybe even to beat other players there.

Factories can also be used to make a game playable through physical motion (as opposed to simply touching icons on the map), even when it is played at many locations. 

Factories can also be used to randomize the locations in a game.

Factories are an alternative to placing location-based triggers by hand in advance. Instead of one specific pointer to an ARIS object, they allow an author to create a general set of parameters under which an ARIS object will be automatically produced for players. Authors can specify what, where, how many, and how often objects come into being for either each player or all players of a game as a whole.

When you create a new factory, the actual names of the options you see in the window are:

  • What to Produce - Simple, choose an object to produce.
  • Maximum in game at any time - Choose a number and whether that number should be per player or for all players of the game as a whole (Total).
  • Success Rate and Speed - The probability of producing an object (%), and the interval of calculation (Seconds)
  • Locations on map between - Decide a minimum and maximum distance (creating a doughnut shaped field) from either a player or location in the world in which the objects may be produced.
  • Objects expire after - Choose the number of seconds before the produced objects disappear.
  • Expire when viewed - If a player views the object, it then disappears.

To the right of that window, you will also see all the usual options for a locations, like Availability Range.

The name and description of the Factory only appear to the author. Each produced object inherits its display qualities from the original.

The Method

1. Create the objects the factories will be pumping out (plaques, items, etc.)
2. Create factories for these objects and set the parameters.
3. Create a "start factory" trigger in an appropriate scene.
4. Put appropriate locks on the "start factory" trigger.

The combination of all the parameters in step 2 can be a bit confusing at first. Having a couple basics down will help parse the rest.

Where

For each factory, there is a doughnut (maybe moving) in which objects may be produced. 

How Often

Think of the Success Rate as a timer. Each time it comes up (while a player is in the game, or when a player rejoins the game and the timer length is longer than the time since the timer last went off for the player), the factory checks to see if the doughnut contains the max. number of objects. If so, it does nothing. If not, it adds one more.

The Factory never adds more than one object per cycle of the timer.

The timer runs per player when the max. number of objects is defined per player, and for “all players” otherwise.

Special Hint

Factories generate triggers for your objects. But you also need to create a trigger within a scene to start the factory itself. The factory trigger is always a sequence type trigger. In the long run, you will always use it to specify what the player needs to do (how to unlock the factory trigger) to start the factory.

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