Advanced DECORATE functions guide
This guide will go into some potentially confusing details about how to use some of the newer and/or advanced functions. It will also demonstrate some complex uses for the functions as well.
It is recommended to read more about Actor pointers first to help understand more about the vast majority of functions covered in this guide.
Be sure to also read up on the functions themselves before continuing with this guide.
- Laser-like effects (Real instant beams, NOT fast projectiles!)
- Attachment-like actors capable of sticking to other actors
- Satellite rotating abilities (can be combined effectively with A_Weave if done correctly)
- Can attach to just about anything
- Checking for empty space to see if it can perform a certain ability or not
- Self-moving ability
This is direct manipulation of pointers down to the core. This, along with A_RearrangePointers, it is possible to change relationships of any actor with other actors inside of it's "scope".
This function in particular can allow transferring code pointers from itself or from other actors to itself or to other actors. This can get the target of a target, or even set the target of another target. It may seem confusing at first, but once you understand just how Actor pointers work, it will usually open up a wide load of possibilities. With this function, for example, one could make a missile which drains health from a monster, and then returns to the shooter, giving it the health in return.
- Behavior modification
- Master/Target/Tracer manipulations
This function is limited to only modifying the calling actor's pointers, but allows for copying. Say a monster wants to remember another monster later, it could use A_RearrangePointers(AAPTR_DEFAULT,AAPTR_DEFAULT,AAPTR_TARGET). This stores the target in the tracer field, which is not used in monsters. This allows for easy retrieval later on, just by performing A_RearrangePointers(AAPTR_TRACER,AAPTR_DEFAULT,AAPTR_DEFAULT).
NOTE: It is important to keep in mind that when rearranging a pointer through copying such as the first function above, that target is now also the tracer. If the original monster changes course, the AAPTR_TRACER must be specified because that's where the monster is for retrieval. This is because the target field will change, so putting A_RearrangePointers(AAPTR_TARGET,AAPTR_DEFAULT,AAPTR_DEFAULT) will have absolutely no effect.
Bear in mind, AAPTR_DEFAULT means no change, and it will keep the same pointer, which allows for copying.
With this function it is now possible to check flags on other actors. This means we can use it to check if the target/master/tracer has a certain flag enabled on them. It performs a jump if they have the flag, and doesn't jump if they don't. By default, it checks the calling actor.
Since its introduction, user variables and arrays have been an extreme benefit to the community. This alone allows for reduction of bloat code (copy/pasted lines with many angle changes) except for weapons and players. Those two are the only things which cannot hold user variables or arrays due to their complex nature.
User variables and arrays are even capable of working side along with ACS scripts such as to retrieve a variable of a console setting.
Ultimately, they are capable of modifying and/or retrieving other user variables through CustomInventory actors. Bear in mind, the actor that is being manipulated also must have the same user_var, otherwise you will get a warning about an unknown variable attempting to be manipulated by the actor who receives the special CustomInventory actor.
- Storage and Calculation
- Tracking and Determination