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Question Using static variables to keep track of progress in the game

Discussion in 'Scripting' started by AnahidE5, Nov 28, 2022.

  1. AnahidE5


    Jan 10, 2022
    I am building an educational "game". In this game, there is a scenario that includes multiple states. At each state, the players need to perform certain things to unlock the new state and make progress. I have a Game Manager (GM) script and a Scenario Manager (SM) script. My GM controls the interactions of user with the main UI so I created a separate script for managing scenario because I thought it will be cleaner and easier. However, I am having some trouble updating the states.
    First, SM looks something like this:
    Code (CSharp):
    1.     public static int ScenarioState = 0;
    2.     public static int[] RequiredToProgress;
    3.     public static int[] CurrentPoints;
    At Start, I initialize the number of states, the number of points required for each state to be completed, and set the current points for each state to be zero. And I have this function for giving points after each task is done:
    Code (CSharp):
    1.     public void UpdateScenarioProgress(int thisState)
    2.     {
    3.         CurrentPoints[thisState] += 1;
    4.         if (CurrentPoints[thisState] == RequiredToProgress[thisState])
    5.         {
    6.             ScenarioState +=1;
    7.         }
    8.         UpdateTMP();
    9.     }
    State 0 is simple and after they are done with the orientation part of the game and close it, I call UpdateScenarioProgress(0) directly and it moves on to state 1 (required points for state 0 is 1).

    GM looks like the following (many lines removed):
    Code (CSharp):
    1. public class GameManager : MonoBehaviour
    2. {
    3.     ScenarioManager scenarioManager = new ScenarioManager();
    4.     bool firstLabs, firstCXR, firstHPI = true;
    5.     public void Labs(GameObject g)
    6.     {
    7.         if(activitySwitcher.SwitchObjectActivity(g))
    8.         {
    9.             UpdateLog("Labs received.");
    10.         }
    11.         if (firstLabs)
    12.         {
    13.             scenarioManager.UpdateScenarioProgress(1);
    14.             firstLabs = false;
    15.         }
    16.    }
    18. }
    public void Labs(GameObject g) is just one of the three things players need to do to get enough points to finish state 1.

    I am using an in-game text to look at the current state and points for that state is on this in SM:

    Code (CSharp):
    1.     public void UpdateTMP()
    2.     {
    3.         StateTMP.text = "Scenario State: " + ScenarioState.ToString() +
    4. "\nCurrent Points: " + CurrentPoints[ScenarioState].ToString();
    5.     }
    But points for my state 1 never go up and remain zero, therefore I can't finish state 1. My understanding on static variables is that if I make an instance of the class and change the static variable, that variable should be updated everywhere. But it doesn't work that way in this case. I'd appreciate if anyone has an idea how to debug this. Thanks!

    (this project uses hand tracking on a VR headset so I'm not sure how to test on Unity editor)
  2. Kurt-Dekker


    Mar 16, 2013
    Making the instance or not doesn't matter. Static fields just exist.

    HOWEVER, you still must initialize reference types, such as those arrays. Otherwise they are null.

    Sounds like you have a bug! Here's how to start debugging:

    You must find a way to get the information you need in order to reason about what the problem is.

    Once you understand what the problem is, you may begin to reason about a solution to the problem.

    What is often happening in these cases is one of the following:

    - the code you think is executing is not actually executing at all
    - the code is executing far EARLIER or LATER than you think
    - the code is executing far LESS OFTEN than you think
    - the code is executing far MORE OFTEN than you think
    - the code is executing on another GameObject than you think it is
    - you're getting an error or warning and you haven't noticed it in the console window

    To help gain more insight into your problem, I recommend liberally sprinkling
    statements through your code to display information in realtime.

    Doing this should help you answer these types of questions:

    - is this code even running? which parts are running? how often does it run? what order does it run in?
    - what are the values of the variables involved? Are they initialized? Are the values reasonable?
    - are you meeting ALL the requirements to receive callbacks such as triggers / colliders (review the documentation)

    Knowing this information will help you reason about the behavior you are seeing.

    You can also supply a second argument to Debug.Log() and when you click the message, it will highlight the object in scene, such as

    If your problem would benefit from in-scene or in-game visualization, Debug.DrawRay() or Debug.DrawLine() can help you visualize things like rays (used in raycasting) or distances.

    You can also call Debug.Break() to pause the Editor when certain interesting pieces of code run, and then study the scene manually, looking for all the parts, where they are, what scripts are on them, etc.

    You can also call GameObject.CreatePrimitive() to emplace debug-marker-ish objects in the scene at runtime.

    You could also just display various important quantities in UI Text elements to watch them change as you play the game.

    If you are running a mobile device you can also view the console output. Google for how on your particular mobile target, such as this answer or iOS: or this answer for Android:

    Another useful approach is to temporarily strip out everything besides what is necessary to prove your issue. This can simplify and isolate compounding effects of other items in your scene or prefab.

    Here's an example of putting in a laser-focused Debug.Log() and how that can save you a TON of time wallowing around speculating what might be going wrong:

    When in doubt, print it out!(tm)

    Note: the
    function is an alias for Debug.Log() provided by the MonoBehaviour class.