My game's a simple 2D one, but this probably applies to many types of scenarios.
Suppose my player has a sword, or a gun that shoots a projectile that can pass through and hit multiple enemies.
While the sword is swinging, there is a duration where I am checking for the sword making contact with any enemy on every frame. But once an enemy is hit by that sword, I don't want him to continue getting hit over and over as the sword follows through. (I do want the sword to continue checking whether it is hitting other enemies.)
I've thought of a couple different approaches (below), but they don't seem like good ones to me. I'm looking for a way that doesn't force cross-referencing (I don't want the enemy to have to send a message back to the sword/projectile). And I'd like to avoid generating/resetting multiple array lists with every attack.
- Each time the sword swings it generates a unique id (maybe by just incrementing a global static long). Every enemy keeps a list of id's of swipes or projectiles that have already hit them, so the enemy knows not to get hurt by something multiple times. Downside is that every enemy may have a big list to compare to. So projectiles and sword swipes would have to broadcast their end-of-life to all enemies and cause a search and remove on every enemy's array list. Seems kind of slow.
- Each sword swipe or projectile keeps its own list of enemies that it has already hit so it knows not to apply damage. Downsides: Have to generate a new list (probably pull from a pool and clear one) every time a sword is swung or a projectile shot. Also, this breaks down modularity, because now the sword has to send a message to the enemy, and the enemy has to send a message back to the sword. Seems to me that two-way streets like this are a great way to create very difficult-to-find bugs.