InputMaster Primer

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Contents

InputMaster Primer

Relevant for version v7.1.1b

Initial Notes

  • This tutorial is NOT a Unity tutorial nor a primer to C# or programming in general. This tutorial assumes that you already have a good grasp of how Unity works and that you have intimate knowledge of programming concepts and the C# language.
  • BSGTools is C# ONLY. Unityscript and Boo are NOT supported.
  • InputMaster was designed for programmers, by a programmer. It has no configurable options in the Inspector, and should not be manually added to a GameObject for any reason. All configuration is done in code. However, if you'd like to make some variables editable in the Inspector, you can expose them through your InputManager.
  • It is worth mentioning that this tutorial uses a Singleton pattern to provide access to the InputManager script we will be creating. This pattern is easy and fast to implement, which is why I'm using it here. Some people argue that the Singleton pattern is bad design. Regardless, this is a beginner's tutorial, and I'll be treating it as such.

Setting Up The Scene

Our basic scene will be comprised of a few very basic objects:

  1. An orthographic camera
  2. A quad primitive (our basic "player")
  3. A directional light (to make things actually visible)

Creating The InputManager

Once the basic scene is set up, create a new C# script, name it InputManager. This InputManager script should inherit from the Singleton<T> class provided with InputMaster. Your script should look like this:

using UnityEngine;
using BSGTools.IO;
using BSGTools.Structure;
public class InputManager : Singleton<InputManager> {
 
}

The initial goal is to create a single control and an InputMaster object. Creating the Master object sets several things in motion:

  • It tells the system to create a new instance of InputMaster
  • To call DontDestroyOnLoad on InputMaster.
  • To provide the new master instance with the default controls for the game.


Note that you will never actually see your instance of InputMaster. It will be attached to a hidden GameObject.

First things first, creating a Master object. Creating a new master is as easy as calling CreateMaster:

public static InputMaster CreateMaster(object controlClass)

We pass in this as a parameter to CreateMaster(object) so that it can use some awesome reflection magic to get all of the Controls automatically from your InputManager instance. Note that this will cause a spike in performance if you have a lot of controls in your InputManager class and InputMaster gets created during gameplay. If this is the case, I recommend either explicitly adding an instance of your InputManager to a GameObject in a bootloader scene or to use this alternative method:

public static InputMaster CreateMaster(params Control[] controls)

Using this will require editing if you add additional controls later.

We want to make sure that this object is also not destroyed on a new scene load, so add DontDestroyOnLoad(this) to your Start method.

All in all, your starting point should look like this:

using UnityEngine;
using BSGTools.IO;
using BSGTools.Structure;
 
public class InputManager : Singleton<InputManager> {
	public InputMaster Master { get; private set; }
 
	void Start () {
		Master = InputMaster.CreateMaster(this);
		DontDestroyOnLoad(this);
	}
}

Creating The Controls

InputMaster has been tirelessly reworked to be as simple yet as powerful as possible. One major step of this change was to reduce the 3 original control types (DigitalControl, AxisControl, OneWayControl) to a single type, KeyControl. Controls for Xbox 360 controllers have their own types. This monolith control type:

  • Has two maps.
    • Positive - REQUIRED
    • Negative - Optional
  • Maintains three states:
    • Down - Was the control pressed this frame?
    • Up - Was the control released this frame?
    • Held - True as long as the control is pressed.
  • These states are no longer of type bool. They are now of type ControlState, which is an enumeration with the following values:
    • ControlState.Positive - Does the positive binding have this state?
    • ControlState.Negative - Does the negative binding have this state?
    • ControlState.Neither - Do neither the positive or the negative binding have this state?
    • ControlState.Either - Do either of the positive or negative bindings have this state?
    • ControlState.Both - Do both of the positive and negative bindings have this state?

We're going to have our player (read: quad) change color every time its pressed. There is only one required parameter, the KeyCode binding. However, if you'd like to give it a friendly name you can as well. This is a good idea, as doing a ToString() on a Control object returns this name. If the name is not defined, a name of this pattern is created for you: UNNAMED_[Random 12 Char String]. Defining this name now and not later makes debugging MUCH easier, as this name is used in exceptions and stack traces.

Your InputManager should look something like this at this point:

using UnityEngine;
using BSGTools.IO;
using BSGTools.Structure;
 
public class InputManager : Singleton<T> {
	public readonly KeyControl changeColor = new DigitalControl(KeyCode.Space){
		Name = "Change Color"
	};
 
	public InputMaster Master { get; private set; }
 
	void Start() {
		Master = InputMaster.CreateMaster(this);
		DontDestroyOnLoad(this);
	}
}


This doesn't add functionality to the control yet, but when the game is run the system will be updating the control's state.

The ManagerAccessor

We need a clean, safe way of getting the InputManager instance. My favourite way of doing this is through a Manager Accessor, a MonoBehaviour that creates instances of all of the game's managers and keeps them in one place.

Create a new C# script, name it ManagerAccessor and add it to the Immortal GameObject.

The ManagerAccessor is simple, and works like this:

  1. Managers are set up as public static properties with a private set, undefined.
  2. Start() is used to assign the manager's values through GetComponent().
  3. A null check is performed to make sure that all Manager instances have been assigned a value.


For advanced users, you can avoid having to check each Manager instance manually through reflection. However, for the sake of this primer tutorial, this is the most basic implementation:

using UnityEngine;
using System.Collections;
 
public class ManagerAccessor : MonoBehaviour {
	public static InputManager InputManager { get; private set; }
 
	void Start() {
		//redundant, because InputManager also does this and they are
		//both on the same GameObject, but be safe, not sorry!
		DontDestroyOnLoad(this);
 
		InputManager = GetComponent<InputManager>();
		if(InputManager == null)
			throw new System.NullReferenceException("Could not find InputManager, InputManager is null!");
	}
}


Control Functionality, or, The PlayerController

The InputManager is configured with a instance of InputMaster, the initial control is configured, and it can all be accessed through ManagerAccessor.

The last major step is to set up the PlayerController to turn the control's state into actual functionality.

Create a new C# script, name it PlayerController, and add it to the Quad primitive.

This script is really simple (for now). In our Update method, we're going to get an instance of the InputManager through ManagerAccessor and poll the state of the changeColor DigitalControl. If the Down state is true, we assign a random color to the renderer's material.

using UnityEngine;
using System.Collections;
 
public class PlayerController : MonoBehaviour {
	void Update() {
		InputManager io = ManagerAccessor.InputManager;
 
		if(io.changeColor.Down)
			renderer.material.color = new Color(Random.value, Random.value, Random.value);
	}
}


Go to the editor, press play, and test the control:

BSGTools InputMaster ColorChangeTest.gif


OneWayControl

Go back to the InputManager script, add a new OneWayControl, and finally, make sure to include the control as a parameter for CreateMaster():

using UnityEngine;
using System.Collections;
using BSGTools.IO;
 
public class InputManager : MonoBehaviour {
	public readonly DigitalControl changeColor = new DigitalControl(KeyCode.Space, "Change Color");
 
	public readonly OneWayControl scaleUp = new OneWayControl(KeyCode.R, "Scale Up");
 
	public InputMaster Master { get; private set; }
 
	void Start() {
		Master = InputMaster.CreateMaster(changeColor, scaleUp);
		DontDestroyOnLoad(this);
	}
}


Returning to the PlayerController, we need to add several items:

  1. A Vector3 that will define the addition we will make to the original scale of the transform.
  2. A Vector3 that will store the original scale.
  3. The functionality that will take the Value of the scaleUp Control and apply it so that it scales up the quad.


using UnityEngine;
using System.Collections;
 
public class PlayerController : MonoBehaviour {
	[SerializeField] //serialized so that it is editable in the Inspector
	private Vector3 scaleAdditive = new Vector3(5f, 5f, 0f);
 
	Vector3 originalScale;
 
	void Start() {
		originalScale = transform.localScale;
	}
 
	void Update() {
		InputManager io = ManagerAccessor.InputManager;
 
		if(io.changeColor.Down)
			renderer.material.color = new Color(Random.value, Random.value, Random.value);
 
		//When scaleUp.Value == 0, we're adding nothing to the original scale.
		//When scaleUp.Value == 1, we're adding the full value of scaleAdditive to the original scale.
		transform.localScale = originalScale + (scaleAdditive * io.scaleUp.Value);
	}
}


Go to the editor, press play, and test the control:

BSGTools InputMaster ScaleUpTest.gif


AxisControl

Add two new AxisControls to PlayerController and add them as parameters for CreateMaster().

You can configure the Sensitivity, Gravity, Dead and Snap parameters. These have the same effect here as they do in Unity's Input system. Note that while it isn't configured here, these settings can also be configured for a OneWayControl. DigitalControl does not use these settings.

using UnityEngine;
using System.Collections;
using BSGTools.IO;
 
public class InputManager : MonoBehaviour {
	public readonly DigitalControl changeColor = new DigitalControl(KeyCode.Space, "Change Color");
 
	public readonly OneWayControl scaleUp = new OneWayControl(KeyCode.R, "Scale Up");
 
	//Sensitivity = 2f, Gravity = 1.5f
	public readonly AxisControl horizontal = new AxisControl(KeyCode.D, KeyCode.A, "Horizontal Movement", 3f, 1.5f);
 
	//Depending on personal taste, this may look cleaner.
	public readonly AxisControl vertical = new AxisControl(KeyCode.W, KeyCode.S, "Vertical Movement") {
		Sensitivity = 3f,
		Gravity = 1.5f,
		Dead = 0.1f,
		Snap = true
	};
 
	public InputMaster Master { get; private set; }
 
	void Start() {
		Master = InputMaster.CreateMaster(changeColor, scaleUp, horizontal, vertical);
		DontDestroyOnLoad(this);
	}
}


Finally, configure the PlayerController to use the values of these new inputs to adjust the transform position:


using UnityEngine;
using System.Collections;
 
public class PlayerController : MonoBehaviour {
	[SerializeField] //serialized so that it is editable in the Inspector
	private Vector3 scaleAdditive = new Vector3(5f, 5f, 0f);
	Vector3 originalScale;
 
	[SerializeField]
	private float moveSpeed = 3f;
	[SerializeField]
	private Vector3 maxPosition = new Vector3(5f, 5f, 0f);
	Vector3 originalPosition;
 
	void Start() {
		originalScale = transform.localScale;
		originalPosition = transform.position;
	}
 
	void Update() {
		InputManager io = ManagerAccessor.InputManager;
 
		if(io.changeColor.Down)
			renderer.material.color = new Color(Random.value, Random.value, Random.value);
 
		//When scaleUp.Value == 0, we're adding nothing to the original scale.
		//When scaleUp.Value == 1, we're adding the full value of scaleAdditive to the original scale.
		transform.localScale = originalScale + (scaleAdditive * io.scaleUp.Value);
 
		Vector3 position = transform.position;
 
		//While InputMaster uses Time.deltaTime to smooth values, not including it here
		//makes controlling values like this overly sensitive.
		position.x += io.horizontal.Value * Time.deltaTime * moveSpeed;
		position.y += io.vertical.Value * Time.deltaTime * moveSpeed;
 
		position.x = Mathf.Clamp(position.x, -maxPosition.x, maxPosition.x);
		position.y = Mathf.Clamp(position.y, -maxPosition.y, maxPosition.y);
 
		transform.position = position;
	}
}


Go to the editor, press play, and test the controls:

BSGTools InputMaster MovementTest.gif

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