Friday, November 4, 2011

AI Blocks not so static....

So this just occurred to me. The pointers to AI scripts are just pointers to a script that gets run until it hits the 73h byte, right? Well it seems to me that this is a grossly underused system. What it does right now is have pointers to the pointers per enemy per script with the actual scripts in between:

[Enemy 0's AI][Enemy 1's AI][Enemy 2's AI][Enemy 0's Sections][Enemy 0's Scripts][Enemy 1's Sections][Enemy 1's Scripts][Enemy 2's Sections][Enemy 2's Scripts]

That seems pretty wasteful. You could do it this way as it is without modification or worry that it'll blow up:

[Enemy 0's AI][Enemy 1's AI][Enemy 2's AI][Enemy 0's Sections][Enemy 1's Sections][Enemy 2's Sections][All Scripts]

What's the advantage? SHARED AI SCRIPTS!! Let's say that we want Enemy 0 and Enemy 1 to behave the same way. They have a 40% chance of not attacking every other turn or so. Why not let their main scripts point to the same script? Oh, but now you say "but their attacks will be different. Unless they're using the same attack that will be useless!" No it won't. Consider this as a script:

0x000: 12 00A0
0x003: 61 0131
0x006: 72 000F
0x009: 12 00A0
0x00C: 61 0146
0x00F: 90
0x010: 60 20
0x013: 02 00A0
0x015: 92

Starting from the beginning we're loading attack ID 0131h and executing it, but starting at 009 we're loading attack 0146h and executing it! This can pose a problem for jumps, but if you pre-load attack variables in the init scripts then you can easily share a more complicated Main between two actors!

This can also be used to share counter-attack behaviors (like running) and a few other things.

Man, I'm awesome. B)

Whoops. I forgot to finish this thought.
One thing I can think of right now that can be changed is that stupid "A Chocobo!!" init script that's shared by EVERY enemy that is in a formation with a Chocobo. They're all the same script so they could all share it and free up space for more complicated script behaviors.

As a result, I was thinking of adding another category to the list of things this handles. Adding AI as a section would be great. That requires naming each one and comparing them one-by-one. That takes time. There are some easy ways to shave off this time like comparing lengths first. There can never be more than 28,672 unique AI scripts contained in the scene.bin and they can have wildly different lengths. The ones with different lengths are obviously not a match.

Also, this would be super difficult and confusing to have to load the scene.bin each time and parse through it like this. I could have PrCMDI create it's own database save with everything already parsed out that it could load much faster than the scene.bin could. You could save as this database (which could be legally freely distributed) and just export to a scene.bin that could be used by the game.

Yep, still awesome! B)

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