These are the docs for 11.0, an old version of SpatialOS. The docs for this version are frozen: we do not correct, update or republish them. 14.5 is the newest →

MonoBehaviour lifecycle

This page covers:

Lifecycle of Unity SDK-managed MonoBehaviours

Prefabs are used to instantiate the GameObjects associated with an entity.

MonoBehaviours placed on these prefabs are subject to injection. Any MonoBehaviour present on a prefab used to represent a SpatialOS entity will have its lifecycle managed by the Unity SDK. The Unity SDK will make sure that any component readers and writers are available for use before enabling the MonoBehaviour.

This is to ensure that whenever the MonoBehaviour is activated, all of its readers and writers have their requirements satisfied and are injected into the MonoBehaviour. In particular:

  • The component for a particular reader or writer is present on the entity and visible to the worker.
  • The worker has write access to the component, if a Writer is required. Note that only one worker will have write access to a particular component on a particular entity at any given time.

The Unity SDK will keep a MonoBehaviour disabled until all of the required fields can be injected. Once all the requirements are satisfied, the script is enabled. If, at any point, one of the requirements is no longer true (for example because the worker lost write access) the script will be disabled and the required fields set to null. Note that a particular script can be disabled and re-enabled this way many times on a single GameObject.

It is recommended to keep readers and writers private to the MonoBehaviour into which they are injected to. A single MonoBehaviour can have multiple readers and writers and a single reader or writer might be used in multiple MonoBehaviours enabled on the same GameObject.

Best practices for Unity Event Functions

  • Awake should be used for one-time Unity-specific logic such as getting Unity components. However, any components which are added or removed dynamically should be added or removed in OnEnable or OnDisable respectively.
  • OnEnable should be used for accessing data or initialising logic related to SpatialOS component readers and writers. It will be called multiple times over the lifetime of a GameObject after authority changes for example.
  • OnEnable and OnDisable should be mirrored. All event and command handlers registered in OnEnable should be removed or deregistered in OnDisable. In addition, you might consider reseting mutable fields to their default values in OnDisable based on your game logic.
  • Start should be used rarely in very specific cases. Prefer OnEnable or Awake based on the details above.

Enabling and disabling MonoBehaviours

In order to manage the lifecycle of MonoBehaviours, the Unity SDK uses Unity’s .enabled flag. You should therefore avoid using this flag to manage which scripts are run.

If you want to manually disable or enable a MonoBehaviour, you should use the Unity SDK to do so:

gameObject.GetEntityObject().DisableVisualizers(new []{myBehaviourToBeDisabled, myOtherBehaviourToBeDisabled});
gameObject.GetEntityObject().TryEnableVisualizers(new []{myVisualizer, myOtherVisualiser});

This former will mark a MonoBehaviour as manually disabled and the Unity SDK will not enable it even if all requirements for readers and writers have been satisfied. The latter will remove this mark. Note that this won’t cause the MonoBehaviour to be enabled if it doesn’t have all of its component requirements met.

MonoBehaviours are initially configured to become enabled as soon as their requirements become satisfied. If you want a MonoBehaviour to be marked as disabled by default, you can annotate the class with [DontAutoEnable].

public class MyMonoBehaviour : MonoBehaviour
    private ExampleComponentReader exampleComponentReader;

    // ...

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