Strategic Primer: Simultaneous Motion and related problems

The Strategic Primer map format changes I talked about in the last assistive programs development report are proceeding slowly but surely (more about that next week—God willing I might even be done by then), but today I’d like to talk about a problem I’m expecting to run into soon after I finish this task.

Soon after I finish changing the map resolution and converting arbitrary-text-based, truly (and too) random “encounters” to elements (“fixtures”) on the map, I intend to add unit motion, so that I don’t have to go in and move units by hand in a text editor.

But, more than simply being able to move units from one tile to another, I have two additional features that I want motion to include, that I don’t even begin to understand how to implement:

First, planned motion. I, or a player, should be able to mark a unit’s route using the viewer, and then execute that route later, and even over and over again if it ends where it began. If the viewer had the more general feature of changesets, I could implement this using those, but I have even less idea where to begin designing that feature.

And second, simultaneous motion and real encounters. As part of the map conversion, I’ll be adding a lot of animals and independent units to the map. If I can get planned motion working, I’ll be able to model their actions a lot more easily, including determining when animals are caught in traps. But to be truly useful for encounters, I need to be able to model multiple actors’ motion at once, instead of (as I do now) moving one, then another. I need to be able to see whether a hunter moving out from a fortress encounters a rabbit moving out from its den, or not. I have a few ideas for how to go about this, but nothing concrete.

Any ideas?

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