Description of FX System

Red Eclipse comes with an extensible FX system, which allows for scripted audio/visual events, such as particles and sounds. Its creation has been motivated by removal of hardcoded parts in the game source code, allowing for further creative customization of various audio/visual aspects of the game.

Current support and usage

FX system is currently only used to script effects for weapons and projectiles. It will soon be extended to further remove hardcoded effects, as well as allow for model embedding and creation of map FX.

The innerworkings

FX definitions

An FX definition consists of a unique name (identifier), type and a set of properties. This information describes exactly the behavior of an effect. It may also contain references to other effects (by name), as to allow for automatic instantiation of child effects and so on. Definitions can be overwritten by simple re-definition. A single definition can only define a single kind of effect: one kind of a particle, one kind of a sound, etc. If multiple effects are desired to be emitted from the same source (by the same emitter), be it of the same or various other types, they can be chained together by parent-child relationship.

FX emitters

An FX emitter is a singular entity responsible for emission of effects. It holds a list of FX instances to emit, as well as all unique states and parameters that modulate the behavior of those instances. There is a pool of pre-allocated emitters in the engine, which are reused as needed. This however means, that there is a limit to how many emitters can be used at once, at a given time (governed by the maxfxemitters variable).

FX instances

An FX instance is responsible for emission of a single effect. Instances are managed by and bound to emitters. An emitter can have a chain of different instances, each instance emitting a unique effect. There is a pool of pre-allocated instances in the engine, which are reused as needed. This however means, that there is a limit to how many instances can be used at once, at a given time (governed by the maxfxinstances variable).

Defining FX

Effects are defined by using registerfx command.

registerfx [name] [type] [body]



    fxpropi parttype $FX_PARTTYPE_SINGLE
    fxpropi part $PART_HINT_SOFT
    fxpropf partsize 32
    fxpropi colorized 1
    fxpropi fade 1
    fxpropf blend 0.1

FX types

The list of supported FX types is as follows:

FX type Value CubeScript handle Description
Particle 0 $FX_TYPE_PARTICLE Particle effect
Light 1 $FX_TYPE_LIGHT Light source
Sound 2 $FX_TYPE_SOUND Sound source
Wind 3 $FX_TYPE_WIND Wind source
Stain 4 $FX_TYPE_STAIN Residual stain

FX property types

FX properties have different types, in order to change/set them one must use appropriate functions:

Property type Function Arguments
Integer fxpropi [integer]
Floating point fxpropf [float]
Colour fxpropc [red 0-255] [green 0-255] [blue 0-255]
Integer vector fxpropiv [integer x] [integer y] [integer z]
Float vector fxpropfv [float x] [float y] [float z]
String fxprops [string]

NOTE: On top of the aforementioned arguments, each function accepts optional modifier type and modifier parameter blocks. Those will be explained later.

Scheduling and timing effects

Effects can be scheduled in various ways. To change how timing functions on an effect, one must make use of the appropriate properties. All properties listed here (except for emitmove) are integer type.

Example 1: single-shot emission for 1 second

    fxpropi emitlen 1000

Example 2: periodic emission switching on and off every 1 second during a period of 10 seconds

    fxpropi activelen 10000
    fxpropi emitlen 1000
    fxpropi emitinterval 2000
    fxpropi emittimeliness 1

Example 3: periodic emission, emitting for 100ms every 1 second during a period of 10 seconds

    fxpropi activelen 10000
    fxpropi emitlen 100
    fxpropi emitinterval 1000
    fxpropi emittimeliness 1

Various properties can also have modifiers applied such as interpolation or randomness. Using such modifiers one can alter the scheduling parameters randomly or even interpolate them over time.

Example 4: randomly occurring emission for 100ms during a period of 10 seconds

    fxpropi activelen 10000
    fxpropi emitlen 100
    fxpropi emitinterval 2
    fxpropi emitinterval 998 $FX_MOD_RAND
    fxpropi emittimeliness 1

NOTE: In the supplied example a minimum interval of 2 is used, to ensure the emission is treated as periodic. Remember, value of 1 implies standard emission! Emission will occur randomly from 2 to 1000 milliseconds (the random value is added to the base value).

Property modifiers

As previously mentioned, various properties can have modifiers applied. The availability of modifiers depends on the property. Modifiers can also have their own properties, further allowing for fine-tuning their behavior. Currently, there are two different modifiers available, the list may be expanded in the future:

Modifier type Value CubeScript handle Description Has properties
Random 0 $FX_MOD_RAND Adds a random value of 0-n to the base value. No
Interpolation (lerp) 1 $FX_MOD_LERP Interpolates from the base value to n. Yes

NOTE: Random state is shared between all instances in an emitter’s chain. That way, the “randomness” can be synchronized between various effects within the same chain.

NOTE: Modifiers are applied in the following order:

  1. Lerp
  2. Random

Interpolation properties

Interpolation (lerp) modifier has the following properties (all are integer type):


Certain modifiers (such as interpolation) can use parameters, which are supplied from outside to modulate the behavior of an effect. The availability of parameters depends entirely on the context where an effect is used, therefore, parameters may share IDs if their usage context differs.

Parameter Context Value (ID) CubeScript handle Description
Weapon power Weapon FX 0 $W_FX_POWER_PARAM Cooked weapon power, 0-1.
Projectile lifetime Projectile life FX 0 $P_FX_LIFETIME_PARAM Lifetime of a projectile, 0-1, 1 being end of life.
Projectile bounce velocity Projectile bounce FX 0 $P_FX_BOUNCE_VEL_PARAM Bounce velocity of a projectile, 0-1.

Chaining effects

There two ways to chain effects together: parenting and end-of-life emission.

When an effect is parented to other, it will be instantiated along with its parent. In order to parent an effect one must use the fxparent function, passing the parent’s ID as the parameter.

Example 5: one effect parented to another


    fxparent FX_EXAMPLE5_PARENT

As mentioned, besides parenting one could define an end-of-life emission, which causes an effect to create a new FX emitter with a desired effect on its end of life (e.g. past activelen). In order to define such behavior, one must use fxend command, passing desired effect ID as the parameter.

NOTE: fxend is meant to be used on the caller, not the callee, which is the opposite of fxparent.

Example 6: one effect occurring after the end of another



Generic properties

These properties are available regardless of the effect type.

Property name Type Min Default Max Modifiers Description
activelen Integer 1 1 INT_MAX Random Instance active time (ms) (see “Scheduling and timing effects”)
emitlen Integer 1 1 INT_MAX Random, Lerp Emission time (ms) (see “Scheduling and timing effects”)
emitinterval Integer 1 1 INT_MAX Random, Lerp Emission interval (ms) (see “Scheduling and timing effects”)
emitdelay Integer 0 0 INT_MAX Random, Lerp Emission delay (ms) (see “Scheduling and timing effects”)
emitparent Integer 0 0 1   Parent scheduling (see “Scheduling and timing effects”)
emittimeliness Integer 0 0 1   Emission timeliness (see “Scheduling and timing effects”)
emitsingle Integer 0 0 1   Single emission (see “Scheduling and timing effects”)
emitrestart Integer 0 0 1   Reset emit state on prolong (see “Scheduling and timing effects”)
emitmove Float 0 0 FLT_MAX   Emission speed threshold (see “Scheduling and timing effects”)
fadein Integer 0 0 INT_MAX   Fade in (ms)
fadeout Integer 0 0 INT_MAX   Fade out (ms)
blend Float 0 1 1 Random, Lerp Blend
scale Float 0 1 1 Random, Lerp Scale
colorized Integer 0 0 1   If enabled, colour is taken from the supplied state.
reloffset Integer 0 1 1   If enabled, offsets are calculated in relation to the direction.
posoffset Float vector -FLT_MAX 0 FLT_MAX Random, Lerp Origin position offset
endoffset Float vector -FLT_MAX 0 FLT_MAX Random, Lerp Tip position offset
endfrompos Float vector -FLT_MAX 0 FLT_MAX Random, Lerp Calculate tip position by offset from origin
posfromend Float vector -FLT_MAX 0 FLT_MAX Random, Lerp Calculate origin position by offset from tip
posflip Integer 0 0 1   Flip origin and tip positions
endfromprev Integer 0 0 1   Treat previous origin position as the tip position