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Mathias
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Old April 1st, 2013, 10:29 AM
Every pick in Hero Lab must be within a container (this isn't a container like a backpack - this "container" is purely a programming term) (the mechanism Hero Lab uses to track what items are within what packpack or pouch is referred to within the code as "gear holding").

In the vast majority of cases, that container is called "hero".

That's one of the two types of container in Hero Lab - the other type is called a gizmo. Unlike the hero container, where there's exactly one of them in each character, there can be as many or as few gizmos as you need to build your game system.

All gizmos are attached to picks, and their purpose is to allow complex customizations of that pick. For example, in Pathfinder, they're what allow you to customize weapons and armor with materials and item powers. They're also used to build metamagic-modified spells - adding the various metamagics to a base spell. In Shadowrun, where nearly every piece of gear is customizable, with a variety of options available, nearly every piece of gear has a gizmo, so that Hero Lab can support that customization.

The same sort of manipulations you're used to using on the hero container are also available within a gizmo. Just remember that you have to go to the pick that the gizmo is attached to first (most often, when dealing with gizmos, you'll be starting on that pick, or on one of the picks inside the gizmo, so that's normally not a problem).

The code used when dealing with a gizmo is slighly different if you're coming from the pick that contains the gizmo, or if you're coming from a pick within the gizmo.

From the overall pick, to get to the gizmo:

gizmo.child[XXXXX]
foreach pick in gizmo

From a pick within the gizmo - this would be used if you wanted to manipulate something else in the gizmo - a prereq, for example, where you have to add one item to the gizmo before you can add another:

container.child[XXXXX]
foreach pick in container

You can also go from a pick within the gizmo to the pick containing the gizmo:

parent

Even within a gizmo, the "hero" transition still works, and will take you to the hero context. So does herofield[XXXXX].
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Mathias
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Old April 1st, 2013, 11:02 AM
The first step in setting up a gizmo is to write the <entity>. Here's an example from Shadowrun:
Code:
 
<!-- An entity for the Possession adjustment -->
<entity
  id="adjPossess"
  form="poCustPoss">
  <bootstrap thing="PossHelper"/>
  </entity>
Here's the wiki page that gives more detail about the <entity> elements:
http://hlkitwiki.wolflair.com/index....Element_(Data)

Entities are placed in .str or .core files (wherever you're placing the component that will use them). They go after all the <component> and <compset> elements in that file, so they're usually going to be the very last thing in that file.

The next step is to add that entity you've just defined to a thing:

Code:
<child entity="adjPossess">
  <bootstrap thing="attrFor">
    <autotag group="Helper" tag="UserSpec"/>
    <autotag group="AttrSpec" tag="FreeFloat"/>
    </bootstrap>
  <bootstrap thing="resSpirPow"/>
  <bootstrap thing="cpImmNWeap"/>
  </child>
Note that you can add more bootstraps here, in addition to any you added to the <entity>. For example, in Shadowrun, almost all gear needs a selector for the user to decide whether that device has been built with wireless capability, so the pick that offers that choice is bootstrapped on the <entity>, but a particular weapon may have an integral mod - only this weapon has it, not every weapon, so only the <child> on that weapon gets that bootstrap. But, every weapon in Shadowrun still uses the same <entity>.

Here's the wiki page for the <thing> element, in case you want to look up the exact details of adding a <child> element to a <thing> element:
http://hlkitwiki.wolflair.com/index.php5/Thing_Element_(Data)

Since it's normal for everything in a compset to use the same entity, here's an example of an editor entry that offers a checkbox - if the user checks that box in the editor, that <child> will be added:


Code:
<inputthing
  name="Allows Modifications"
  helptext="Check this if this gear can be modified (unchecking this is rare)">
  <it_entitycheck entity="grCustom" default="yes" />
  </inputthing>
Note that in that case, default="yes" has been set, so that when the user creates a new item in the editor, that checkbox will start off checked.

If you don't even want to offer the editor user a choice of whether they're going to add a particular child, set that at the top:


Code:
<editthing
  compset="Melee"
  name="Weapon: Melee"
  prefix="wp"
  defchild="grCustWeap"
  description="Armor, vehicles, and simple equipment all have their own tabs for creating objects of those types."
  summary="Defines a melee weapon that can be selected on the Armory tab.">
With a defchild="" set, every new thing created on that editor tab will have that child.

If you have set a defchild="", you can use the target="child" option on tag and bootstrap options to set up bootstraps that will be within the gizmo, as opposed to normal bootstraps that will go inside the same container as the pick itself, or tags that are assigned to the gizmo (the container)(setting up tags in the gizmo is useful for prereqs, the same way setting up hero tags is useful for prereqs for things in the hero container):

Code:
 
<inputthing
  name="Armor Specials"
  helptext="Specify any special notes about this armor.">
  <it_taglist group="ArmorNote" tag="?" target="child"/>
  </inputthing>
<inputthing
  name="Integral Mods"
  helptext="Choose any integral mods this armor always comes with.">
  <it_bootcustom compset="Mods" target="child">
    <match><![CDATA[
      ModCat.Armor & !thing.showonly
      ]]></match>
    <inputthing
      name="Fixed Rating?"
      helptext="If this gear uses ratings, specify the minimum rating it can be set to.">
      <it_tagcheck group="Equipment" tag="FixRating"/>
      </inputthing>
    <inputthing
      name="Rating"
      helptext="If this gear is only available at a single rating, specify that here.">
      <it_field field="grUser"/>
      </inputthing>
    </it_bootcustom>
  </inputthing>
P.S. if you've already added some of these things using the editor, and you're now adding it_entitycheck or defchild, remember that you'll still need to go back to the things of that compset that you've already created, and add the correct <child> elements to them. defchild="" will only work on new items created in the editor - it won't automatically find all the existing things in that compset and add that <child> to them.
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Mathias
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Old April 1st, 2013, 11:23 AM
Now, the visual elements - showing that gizmo to the end user.

Here's an example from the gear tab in Shadowrun - this is within a <template>, and that template is the picktemplate="" of a table_dynamic portal:

Code:
 
<portal
  id="edit"
  style="actEdit"
  tiptext="Edit this Gear">
  <action
    action="edit"
    buttontext="">
    </action>
  </portal>
That will give you a button - the actEdit style (which does exist in the skeleton files, too) looks like a hammer and wrench. Pressing that button will open a form.

Now, scroll back a little ways in this thread - find where the <entity> was defined. See how it has a form="" option? That's where you set which form gets opened when the user clicks that button.

Here's how to define a form:

Code:
<form
  id="poCustPoss"
  name="Possession Details"
  marginhorz="10"
  marginvert="5">
  <layoutref layout="poPossess"/>
  <position><![CDATA[
    layout[poPossess].width = 480
    perform layout[poPossess].render
    width = layout[poPossess].width
    height = layout[poPossess].height
    ]]></position>
  </form>
You'll see that this looks quite a lot like the <panel> elements you've seen at the bottom of every tab_XXXXX file - that's because it does the same thing, except that it's defining a form, and not a tab panel. You can put all the things on a form that you can put on a tab panel - tables, choosers, etc. But those tables and choosers will be showing what's in the gizmo, not what's in the hero, like tables and choosers on a panel would, and anything added to them will be added to the gizmo container, not the hero container.

700 (or smaller, if you don't need it very wide) is the widest I'd recommend making a form. There are some netbooks and old computers out there whose screens are only 800 pixels wide, and we want Hero Lab to be able to support those. Too much wider than 700, and some of your form can end up off-screen. If you need lots of space for your form, think downwards - make it taller, and use a scrollbar to let the user see everything.

Normally, forms go in files named form_XXXXX.dat
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Mathias
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Old April 1st, 2013, 12:50 PM
Using gizmos along with the purchasing mechanisms (if the gizmo represents a piece of gear that you can purchase modifications for, using cash).

If you want the things you add to your gizmo to cost money, you'll need to add the thingbuytemplate="" option to your entity:
Code:
<!-- The Customizable gear entity -->
<entity
  id="grCustom"
  form="gcCustom"
  thingbuytemplate="BuyCustom">
  <bootstrap thing="GearCustom"/>
  <bootstrap thing="mdRFID"/>
  <bootstrap thing="mdWireless"/>
  <bootstrap thing="mdGearSize"/>
  <bootstrap thing="mdCybGrade"/>
  <bootstrap thing="mdBioGrade"/>
  <bootstrap thing="mdAdapsin"/>
  <movetest><![CDATA[
    call MoveTest
    ]]></movetest>
  </entity>
(The movetest script is an advanced topic for gizmos - not something you need to worry about until your game system is finished, and you start polishing it).

Then, in visual.dat, add a new template - this will automatically be placed along the bottom of your form, so that users can say OK when they're done purchasing all the stuff, and they won't actually be charged cash until they're done:

Code:
 
 
<template
id="BuyCustom"
name="Buy - Customize Form"
compset="Transact"
istransaction="yes"
marginvert="3">
 
<portal
id="lblpaid"
style="lblNormal">
<label
text="Amount to Pay: ¥">
</label>
</portal>
 
<portal
id="edtpaid"
style="editCenter">
<edit
field="xactCash"
maxlength="6"
format="integer">
</edit>
</portal>
 
<portal
id="zero"
style="lblNormal">
<label>
<labeltext><![CDATA[
~get the cost of the items - if we're in the middle of a buy
~transaction, the total value is held in the 'accumulated cost' field
~instead.
var moneyvalue as number
moneyvalue = gearpick.field[grCost].value * field[xactQty].value
if (state.iscreate = 0) then
if (gearpick.isbuying + gearpick.isbuychild <> 0) then
moneyvalue = gearpick.field[grPaidTran].value
endif
endif
 
~now get the total cost string
var money as string
call Money
@text = "(" & money & " if zero)"
]]></labeltext>
</label>
</portal>
 
<portal
id="free"
style="chkFree"
tiptext="Check this box to obtain the item for free (e.g. looted, stolen, found, etc.)">
<checkbox
field="xactIsFree"
message="Obtain for Free">
</checkbox>
</portal>
 
<portal
id="funds"
style="lblDisable">
<label>
<labeltext><![CDATA[
var moneyvalue as number
var money as string
 
~during creation, we're using the starting resources
if (state.iscreate <> 0) then
moneyvalue = #resleft[resResourc]
~during advancement, we'll show the character's current cash
else
moneyvalue = herofield[acCashNet].value
endif
 
call Money
@text = "{text clrgrey}(Funds: " & money & ")"
]]></labeltext>
</label>
</portal>
 
<position><![CDATA[
~setup appropriate widths for our edit portals
portal[edtpaid].width = 40
 
~our width is the rightmost extent of the portals
width = portal[lblpaid].width + 3 + portal[edtpaid].width + 10 + portal[zero].width
 
var nexttop as number
~position the amount paid portals at the top
portal[edtpaid].top = 0
perform portal[lblpaid].centeron[vert,edtpaid]
perform portal[zero].centeron[vert,edtpaid]
 
~position the free checkbox and funds portal beneath the payment portals
perform portal[free].alignrel[ttob,edtpaid,10]
perform portal[funds].centeron[vert,free]
 
~position the paid portals horizontally, centered within the span
portal[lblpaid].left = 0
perform portal[edtpaid].alignrel[ltor,lblpaid,3]
perform portal[zero].alignrel[ltor,edtpaid,10]
 
~left- and right-align the free and funds portals within the span
portal[free].left = 0
perform portal[funds].alignedge[right,0]
 
~if we're in creation mode, we don't need to show the amount to pay and free checkboxes
if (state.iscreate <> 0) then
portal[lblpaid].visible = 0
portal[edtpaid].visible = 0
portal[zero].visible = 0
portal[free].visible = 0
 
~move the fund left up a line
portal[funds].top = 0
perform portal[funds].centerhorz
endif
 
~if we don't purchase gear, we only find or are given it, our free checkox
~if locked ON
if (hero.tagis[Hero.Transitory] <> 0) then
portal[free].enable = 0
endif
 
 
~our height is the bottommost extent of the portals
height = portal[funds].bottom
]]></position>
 
</template>
Be careful using that template - some of it is Shadowrun specific, so it includes handling for the fact that in Shadowrun, the way you obtain gear differs between character creation mode and during play.

Last edited by Mathias; April 1st, 2013 at 01:37 PM.
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Mathias
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Old April 1st, 2013, 12:50 PM
By default, when the user adds a thing that has an entity added to it, the form will automatically pop up.

You can change this behavior by setting a flag on the main component you are using for the picks that contain these gizmos. Note that the component you add it to must be the same component listed as

component=""

In the table where you're adding the items that have the gizmos.

The options are:

addbehavior="default"
addbehavior="customize"
addbehavior="never"

Not setting this flag is the same as addbehavior="default". Under this setting, the customization form always opens when you add this type of item.

customize means that when users are adding or purchasing these customizable items, they'll see an extra button at the bottom, instead of just "Add", "Add and Close", and "Close" - they'll also see "Customize". If they choose customize, the form will show, but "Add" and "Add and Close" will not show the customize form.

never means that the user won't have the option to customize it immediately after purchasing it. They'll have to edit the item later.

Last edited by Mathias; April 10th, 2013 at 03:10 PM.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 12:50 PM
(#3 Reserved in case I think of anything more I want to add)
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Mathias
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 08:58 AM
A detail I forgot to note:

Note how all my gizmo examples had a helper pick?

That's because of a change that needs to be made to tables within a gizmo.

Normally, you can leave the addpick="" part of a table_dynamic blank, because it defaults to addpick="actor". But in a gizmo, there is no default available, so you must have an addpick="". So, I always add a helper pick, and set the addpick="" to that helper pick.

Without an addpick, the additem text will always be ??????

The helper pick doesn't need to be complex - you can use the Simple compset that's defined in miscellaneous.str for that pick, because it doesn't need to have any behaviors of its own - it just needs to be present.
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