Auditor Nodes



Here’s my answer for not having true concurrent/parallel nodes for my behaviour tree plugin for Unity: Auditor nodes.

Actually Alex Champandard already explained before, if for some reason you can’t implement true multi-threaded traversals you can fake it by using the same concept that operating systems do: job schedulers.

Which I still didn’t do. At least for now. Auditor nodes merely make sure their assertion branch gets evaluated when you resume from a previously suspended (a.k.a. “Running”) state of the tree traversal.

It didn’t justify peppering a subtree with back-and-forth checking of assert nodes and normal traversal (as how a job scheduler might do), because traversal is fast, or at least, meant to be fast.

Actions never process their behaviour immediately upon being traversed. They merely request other parts of the game code to initiate an activity for them (please start moving to this location, please attack this enemy, etc.) and such Actions that rely on something to finish first before sending Success or Fail would suspend the traversal (a.k.a. “Running” state). Which is why the Auditor’s asserts are checked only when resuming from a traversal suspend.

For cases where the Action/Condition is doing something computationally heavy, it should spread that computation over several frames (a bit like coroutines), hence another use of the “Running” state.

The only reason why I can’t make real multi-threaded traversals is because Unity doesn’t play well with multi-threading. For example, checking line-of-sight, as in raycasting, cannot be done in new threads, it has to be done in the main thread, even though raycasts are a very read-only affair.

Of the 100 nobles watching, 100 were impressed.


Ah… Smell that? That is the smell of 0 unit tests failing on my non-recursive, brute-forced traversal of behaviour trees.

Thanks to Bjoern Knafla for the tutorials!

This is part of an effort to improve my behaviour tree plugin. Hopefully I can make a demo game out of it and sell it on the Unity Asset Store.

I lately haven’t been able to make any considerable progress with Tactics Ensemble as day job work is taking up a lot of my attention. I’m still working on it though.