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Overview

A FlowGraph Module is a way to encapsulate nodes as its own graph that can then be fetched from other graphs at runtime.

Making a New Module

Using FLow Graph Editor, you can create a new Module by selecting File->New FG Module-> Global/Level.

You can also create a new Module by right-clicking on the FG Modules entry.

Existing logic can be converted to a module by selecting and copying the desired nodes, and then right-click to select Paste With Links (Ctrl + Shift + V) option in a new module.

 

Module Types

There are two supported module types:

  • Global: Modules which are used in multiple levels should be created as Global modules.

Saved in: ../GameSDK/Libs/FlowgraphModules

  • Level: Modules only used in a specific level should be created as Level modules.

 Saved in: ../GameSDK/Levels/<levelfolder>/FlowgraphModules

Adding Custom Input/Output Ports

Custom Ports for Input and Output can be added via Tools > Edit Module when the module's graph is open in the main view:

The Module Ports dialog can also be accessed by right-clicking on the module in the graphs list or by right-clicking its related nodes.

Using Modules

Modules are called from other graphs by using Call Nodes. Every module has its own call node named Module:Call_<Module Name>.

Modules can be called independently by distinct Call Nodes and from different graphs. Every call to the module will generate a separate Instance that runs independently from previous calls.

Instance IDs

The specific Instance associated to the Call node can be controlled with the 'InstanceID' port. This is useful to update the inputs or listen for outputs of a specific instance.

When you set the value as '-1', it will generate a new instance with an automatic ID. The Call Node will output for that instance until it is called again.

Subsequent triggers in a Call node with a specific instance ID will update the inputs of that instance and not generate a new one. The instance ID numbers are independent from module to module. 

Running Modules on Entities

A Module Instance can run associated with an Entity by setting it in the Choose Entity port. The Entity ID is available from within the module in the Start node's EntityID port.
The Entity ID can be used to reference the same module instance to update its inputs and listen to outputs. The Instance ID should be kept at -1.

Another way to run modules on entities is by using the node GameEntity:Containers:Actions:

This node runs a module on all entities of an entity container where all instances will automatically have the correct Entity ID.
There is no way to pass in inputs with this method.

Continuous Input/Output options

Without the Continuous Input option (default), a module instance will only receive updated inputs when the Call port is triggered, which activates all the start node's ports even if the input values were not updated.
With the Continuous Input option, single inputs will be passed into the start node as soon as they are triggered, which will also activate the start node's Update port. If the Call node does not have a running Instance and an input is triggered, nothing happens.

For Continuous Output, the Call Node will update its output ports as soon as they are activated from the return node.
Without Continuous Output the Call Node's outputs will only activate when the Instance is successfully finished. 

Global Controllers

The Call node can be set to Global Controller mode. This is useful for either sending inputs to all instances of the module at once or for listening if any of the instances has triggered an output.

  • If multiple instances trigger outputs, the external outputs of the global node will trigger multiple times.
  • The OnCalled port triggers with the InstanceIDs when an instance of the module is created.
  • In this mode, the node ignores both the InstanceID and EntityID port.
  • If the node is called and no instance exists, it will create a new one.

Module Utility Nodes

The following nodes are used as Module Utility Nodes:

  • Module:Utils:InstanceCountListener
  • Module:Utils:UserIDToModuleID


Module:Utils:InstanceCountListener

Based on the name (or partial name) of a module, displays the module's Instances that are running.

Module:Utils:UserIDToModuleID

This node is used to make a registry of Instance IDs of a module. Instance IDs for a Module can be stored (Set) along with an UserID which can be anything that is useful and logical to associate. These connections can then be retrieved (Get) using that User ID. The node does not store any information by itself, all the associations are to be created and maintained by the designer.

Debugging Modules

It is possible to get an overview of actively running module instances in game with the CVar  fg_debugmodules.


  • fg_debugmodules 0/1/2:
    • 0: Debug info disabled.
    • 1: Shows the list of modules with the number of instances running per module.
    • 2: Shows the list of modules also with detailed instance information.
  • fg_debugmodules_filter "filterstring" 
    • Filter the list to display only modules which name matches the 'filterstring'.

Advanced

It is possible to call a module from within itself and also to listen for the module's own outputs inside its graph. While there are uses for this, beware that simply calling new instances of a module infinitely will eventually crash the engine.

Entities can also run multiple instances of the same module by specifying an Instance ID other than -1. Details on Instance IDs:

  • A Module runs a set of instances with unique IDs (IIDs) that are associated with an entity (or with invalid_entityid for no entity).
  • If a call node has a manually specified instance ID different from '-1', it will be used.
  • The first of the same specific IID to be called will create the instance which in turn will output all call nodes with that IID.
  • IIDs specified at runtime may refer to the manually specified IIDs.
  • An IID generated at runtime will not collide with one manually specified (the ID generator starts from the biggest manual ID found before the game starts).
  • An IID '-1' generates new instances on every call if there is no entity associated.
  • The call node will hold the outputs of the last generated instance until it is called again.
  • If there is an entity ID specified, the IID will refer within that entity, meaning entities can have their own separate instance 1,2,3.. of the same module.
  • An IID -1 with a specified entity ID will not generate new IID ('-1' is the instance ID).
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