Using Info Windows
Whatever the game system, HL will be tracking a great deal of information. Portfolios contain multiple heroes and heroes can have child gizmos. Heroes and gizmos contain a large number of picks, and those picks will contain a healthy number of fields. Everything has a wide assortment tags. And don't forget the task list that tracks all of the different operations that are performed on all of these objects. Even if the game system is relatively simple, there will be lots of information, and the volume increases dramatically as the game system complexity goes up.
At any point in time during development, you'll be working on some subset of this information. After you make some changes to the data files, you'll be expecting everything to work. However, if it doesn't work, you'll want to understand why. This is usually achieved by looking at the appropriate subset of information within HL that you are manipulating to see what is happening, which can typically narrow down where the error is lurking.
To help out in these situations, HL provides a bunch of different ways to view the information that is being tracked internally. This is accomplished through "info windows". Each info window is a floating window that is separate from the main HL window and contains specific information about some facet of the current portfolio. Every time that a change is made to portfolio, the contents of each info window are updated, so you can see the direct effects of changes in real-time.
Info windows can be created at any time by going to the "Debug" menu, selecting the "Floating Info Windows" menu, and then choosing the appropriate option from the sub-menu that is presented. Once created, the info window persists until you close it. You can move the info window around and resize it as you deem appropriate.
Each type of info window contains different information that may prove useful in different situations. The table below offers a quick summary of the information provided by each info window.
Hero Tags Displays a list of all the tags assigned to the active hero. This list includes tags from three different sources. First, any tags dictated by the user's selection of sources and/or rule sets are included. Second, tags that are dynamically assigned to the actor by scripts are included. Lastly, tags that are automatically assigned to minions are included (only if the hero is a minion). Hero Fields Displays a list of all the fields assigned to the active hero. Heroes don't technically possess fields, but every hero automatically contains a single "actor" pick that does possess fields. Since the "actor" pick is considered synonymous with the actor in a variety of situations (e.g. the Tactical Console and Dashboard), the fields within the "actor" pick are considered to be "actor fields" (or hero fields). Task List (Active Hero) The complete set of all tasks for the active hero are listed. The task list includes all actions that are scheduled to occur during the evaluation cycle, such as Eval Scripts, Eval Rules, Bounding scripts, Condition tests, and a host of other operations. Anything that is scheduled to be performed at a specific phase and priority has a corresponding task that will appear in this list. Task List (Full) This option shows the complete task list for all heroes within the context of the current lead. When minions are used and those minions have timing inter-dependencies with their master, the interplay of all the tasks for all the actors can be critical. In those situations, the full list can be used to help diagnose timing errors between different actors. Selection List Displays a list of all of the picks that have been added to the active hero. There are a variety of mechanisms within the Kit that control whether picks are added to an actor, such as bootstraps, condition tests, and live tests. This info window can help you to diagnose whether things are behaving as you intend. Selection Tags When you select this option, a list of all of the picks for the active hero is presented. You can select as many picks as you want, after which separate info windows will be created for each pick you specified. The info windows will contain a complete list of all the tags that are assigned to the pick at the conclusion of evaluation. If a tag is deleted at some point during evaluation, it will not appear in this list. Selection Fields When you select this option, a list of all of the picks for the active hero is presented. You can select as many picks as you want, after which separate info windows will be created for each pick you specified. The info windows will contain a complete list of all the fields and their values for the pick at the conclusion of evaluation. Debug Output This option opens up a window into which debugging output is written during evaluation. This topic is discussed in detail in the following topics.