When you're making a video game you need a way to model things in the game world. In the past couple of decades Entity/Component systems have become popular:
There were a couple of ECS libraries for Common Lisp already:
Which were both superseded by net.axity.common-lisp.gamedev.ecs.
All of these favor composition over inheritance -- game objects (entities) contain various components, but they don't inherit from components.
Beast takes the opposite approach, favoring (restricted) inheritance over composition.
Components in Beast are called "aspects" to try to overload the word "component" a little bit less in this crazy world. Aspects are essentially mixins, with some sugar for defining them and running systems over them:
(define-aspect throwable accuracy damage) (define-aspect edible nutrition-value) (define-entity dart (throwable)) (define-entity cheese (edible)) (define-entity pie (throwable edible)) (define-system rot-food ((e edible)) (decf (edible/nutrition-value e)) (when (zerop (edible/nutrition-value e)) (destroy-entity e))) (defparameter *steel-dart* (create-entity 'dart :throwable/accuracy 0.9 :throwable/damage 10)) (defparameter *hunk-of-swiss* (create-entity 'cheese :edible/nutrition-value 50)) (defparameter *banana-cream-pie* (create-entity 'pie :throwable/accuracy 0.3 :throwable/damage 5 :edible/nutrition-value 30))
Beast tries to be just a very thin layer over CLOS, because CLOS is quite
powerful. You can use
typep, generic methods, before/after/around methods,
and everything else CLOS gives you.
Like every engineering decision this comes with tradeoffs. You can't (easily) add or remove aspects to/from a particular entity at runtime like you can with cl-ecs. And there's no way to give an entity multiple "copies" of a single aspect.
The author has found this approach to work well for his needs. You should take a look at both approaches and decide which is best for you. If you want to read more, check out the Usage document.