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How to achieve server/client sync for Entity data


Will Bradley

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I am extending a vanilla entity, and for reasons beyond the scope of this post I chose to use reflection instead of subclassing my mob (EnderDragon, if it matters). At any rate, I have one event listener in my main mod class structured as follows:

@SubscribeEvent
public void setColorOnDragonSpawn(EntityJoinWorldEvent event) {
    if (!event.getWorld().isClientSide() && event.getEntity() instanceof EnderDragon dragon) {
        // ... more logic

        doThingOnServerSide();
        DragonModPacketHandler.INSTANCE.send( // sync with client
            PacketDistributor.ALL.noArg(),
            new DoSameThingButOnClientSidePacket(dragon, otherArgs)
        );

    }
}

For DoSameThingButOnClientSidePacket#handle, I have

public void handle() {
    Minecraft minecraft = Minecraft.getInstance();

    EnderDragon dragon = (EnderDragon) minecraft.level.getEntity(this.dragonID); // null because the client level hasn't loaded yet
    doStuffWithDragon(dragon); // throws NPE
}

What's the best way to tell DoSameThingButOnClientSidePacket#handle to run doStuffWithDragon only once the dragon is spawned in on the client? I've thought of two approaches:

  1. A package-private static final ConcurrentMap<Integer, Foo> in my main mod class, where the keys are dragon IDs (see Entity#getId) and Foo is additional metadata I want to store (a name, or color, or something. Not relevant). DoSameThingButOnClientSidePacket#handle would write this.dragonID into the map and another EntityJoinWorldEvent listener in the mod class (configured to only run when event.getWorld().isClientSide()) would pop from it and execute at the appropriate time.
  2. Can I dynamically register and unregister events? Then I could have a helper @SubscribeEvent in DoSameThingButOnClientSidePacket that is pushed onto the event bus for each instance of the packet, executes on the client side (see option #1), and then removes itself from the event bus.
  3. A built-in approach?
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok @diesieben07 here's the issue. My entity has a random component, and if I have it join on the client and server, two different random numbers will be generated. This is a problem— how can I send a packet from the server to all clients that would load that entity, telling each client to spawn it with the proper random number?

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Here's my structure:

I have two event handlers for this stuff, one to add data to the dragon on the server side (called on EntityJoinWorldEvent with type casting and checks for Level::isClientSide(), and one to send message to the client using PlayerEvent.StartTracking, which looks like

@SubscribeEvent
public void setColorOnDragonSpawnClient(@NotNull PlayerEvent.StartTracking event) {
    if (event.getTarget() instanceof EnderDragon dragon
            && event.getPlayer() instanceof ServerPlayer player) {
        DragonModPacketHandler.INSTANCE.send( // sync with client
            PacketDistributor.ALL.noArg(),
            new ClientBoundDragonColorPacket(dragon, player.getId())
        );
    }
}

ClientBoundDragonColorPacket looks like

import ...

public class ClientBoundDragonColorPacket {
    private final Logger LOGGER = LogManager.getLogger();
    private final @Nullable
    String colorName;
    private final @Nonnull
    int playerID;
    private final int dragonID;
    private final Listeners listeners = new Listeners();

    public ClientBoundDragonColorPacket(@NotNull EnderDragon dragon, int playerID) {
        this.colorName = dragon.getCapability(MulticoloredDragonMod.COLOR_CAPABILITY).resolve().get()
            .getColorName();
        this.dragonID = dragon.getId();
        this.playerID = playerID;
    }

    public ClientBoundDragonColorPacket(@NotNull FriendlyByteBuf buffer) {
        boolean colorNameIsNull = buffer.readBoolean();
        if (colorNameIsNull)
            this.colorName = null;
        else
            this.colorName = new String(buffer.readByteArray());

        this.dragonID = buffer.readVarInt();
        this.playerID = buffer.readVarInt();
    }

    public void write(@NotNull FriendlyByteBuf buffer) {
        buffer.writeBoolean(this.colorName == null);
        if (this.colorName != null)
            buffer.writeByteArray(this.colorName.getBytes());

        buffer.writeVarInt(this.dragonID);
        buffer.writeVarInt(this.playerID);
    }

    public class Listeners {
        @SubscribeEvent
        public void changeDragonColorOnceLoadedOnClient(@NotNull EntityJoinWorldEvent event) {
            ClientBoundDragonColorPacket self = ClientBoundDragonColorPacket.this;
            if (event.getWorld().isClientSide()
                    && event.getEntity().getId() == self.dragonID) {

                EnderDragon dragon = (EnderDragon) event.getEntity();
                dragon.getCapability(MulticoloredDragonMod.COLOR_CAPABILITY).resolve().get()
                    .setColorName(self.colorName);

                MinecraftForge.EVENT_BUS.unregister(self.listeners);
            }
        }
    }

    public void handle() { // 495
        MinecraftForge.EVENT_BUS.register(this.listeners);
    }
}

 

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Oops, I should've been more vigilant with the PacketDistributor. My bad; that's fixed now.

As for the rest, it compiles and seems to work— instead of being rude, would you mind telling me how dynamically registering/unregistering callbacks is a problem, and alternatives?

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For example, how about this?

public class ClientBoundDragonColorPacket {
    private final Logger LOGGER = LogManager.getLogger();
    private final @Nullable
    String colorName;

    private final int dragonID;

    public ClientBoundDragonColorPacket(@NotNull EnderDragon dragon) {
        this.colorName = dragon.getCapability(MulticoloredDragonMod.COLOR_CAPABILITY).resolve().get()
            .getColorName();
        this.dragonID = dragon.getId();
    }

    public ClientBoundDragonColorPacket(@NotNull FriendlyByteBuf buffer) {
        boolean colorNameIsNull = buffer.readBoolean();
        if (colorNameIsNull)
            this.colorName = null;
        else
            this.colorName = new String(buffer.readByteArray());

        this.dragonID = buffer.readVarInt();
    }

    public void write(@NotNull FriendlyByteBuf buffer) {
        buffer.writeBoolean(this.colorName == null);
        if (this.colorName != null)
            buffer.writeByteArray(this.colorName.getBytes());

        buffer.writeVarInt(this.dragonID);
    }

    public void handle() {
        Minecraft minecraft = Minecraft.getInstance();
        EnderDragon dragon = (EnderDragon) minecraft.level.getEntity(this.dragonID);
        dragon.getCapability(MulticoloredDragonMod.COLOR_CAPABILITY).resolve().get()
            .setColorName(this.colorName);
    }
}
@SubscribeEvent
    public void setColorOnDragonSpawnClient(@NotNull PlayerEvent.StartTracking event) {
        if (event.getTarget() instanceof EnderDragon dragon
                && event.getPlayer() instanceof ServerPlayer player) {
            DragonModPacketHandler.INSTANCE.send( // sync with client
                PacketDistributor.PLAYER.with(() -> player),
                new ClientBoundDragonColorPacket(dragon)
            );
        }
    }

 

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