Animated scenery can serve a variety of purposes. It is most commonly used to add life to otherwise static level backgrounds. However, animated scenery can also be set up to move and interact to an extent with its surrounding environment.
A single type of animated scenery can appear in a game any number of times. Each animated scenery type consists of an animation sequence, plus accompanying sound effects and several additional properties governing its behavior.
Normally, the frames in an animated scenery type's animation sequence run sequentially in an endless loop, but it is possible for an animated scenery type to change the order in which its frames are displayed, with regard to the proximity of a nearby character. An animated scenery type can also be configured to cause projectiles that collide with it to detonate. Since the physical properties of animated scenery are limited, however, more complex scenery objects that require intelligent behavior may be more effectively implemented as characters, even if they are not supposed to be living creatures.
An animated scenery object can be "attached" to a character, so that it always moves with the character. Mechanical characters that usually maintain the same appearance can often benefit from animated scenery attachments; for example, a character that floats on water could have animated water rippling in the area where it makes contact with the surface of the sea.
Information on editing animated scenery types is available in the Animated Scenery Creation section. Animated Scenery may be added to levels and manipulated as described in the Adding Level Objects and Level Object Manipulation sections.