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[Feature request] Adding categories for global variables

edited March 2019 in Engine development

Adding categories for global variables in a similar fashion to categories for items. Combined with filtered searches, etc. It would be nice to categorize global variables, especially since we're considering with doing away with local variables altogether, because we're mixing AC with Ink.


  • Items can be categorised because it gives more control over how they're displayed to the player. You're suggesting categories for variables to aid the designer-side?

    I feel that would complicate the UI. Bear in mind that by using a slash in the name, you can sort variables into categories, e.g:


    Would give you two parent leafs in any drop-down selector: "Objects" and "Characters". Highlighting "Objects" would then give you "Door" and "Window".

  • Yes, categories were mainly for the designer side of things. Since without category filters in editor we're potentially faced with 200+ variables. We're currently discussing the approach. We'll probably also keep using /, since it's completely necessary when editing the actionlists. So yeah, it was more for designer-side use, similar to translation line categorization based on scene. But, yeah, I see why it's less critical for variables.

    And as for the main issues with "/", that's another topic entirely, we're currently exploring options with it as well.Mapping variables to script writing software (ink) needs some sort of intermediate look-up table, since "/" are not valid characters for variable names in most scripting languages. But that is largely unavoidable since it's on unity side. We were thinking about using unique labels instead of names for items and variables linking to ink, but once again "Label (if not name)" is also exclusive to items only.

    But as for now, it seems that parsing is inevitable anyway, so we'll probably keep the "/" categories in AC.

  • In that case, I'll look into optionally replacing the slash with e.g. a full-stop when exporting a variable CSV file.

  • Don't worry too much about that, unless you think that this feature is useful in general. For us the lookup table needs to be realtime (probably a dictionary) for live variable syncing. And since we'll be writing a bridge between ink and AC, we'll do that on our end anyway.

    On the other hand I had an idea about another minor design-wise feature. Since we split variables, items, etc. into acts, it would be nice if somewhere in the editor, when you're filtering with a category or/and searching it, apart from listing all the search results, it would also list how many items hit the search critera. For example now it writes that we have somewhere around 100 items in the game, but if we'd search by act, eg. Act 3, it would be good to see how many items it finds aka how many are in that act.

  • it would be good to see how many items it finds aka how many are in that act.

    This is when you're filtering by Name or Description in the Variables Manager? A quick mock-up screenshot would help clarify what exactly you're after.

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