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Author Topic: Some requests - walk behinds and layers - pulling the editor to the 20th century  (Read 984 times)

There are a few things which have always bugged me about AGS, or made it 50 times harder to achieve a simple thing. They are:

-There is only 1 step of 'undo' in the walkable/walk behind editor window. This means that two bad clicks (ie. filling in the screen with 1 colour, then drawing a dot, then growning "oh god no..." after 3 hours of painstaking work which you now have to repeat) means it's all over. Like with CTRL+Z and CTRL+Y, I'm hoping someone could expand this to 50 or 100 clicks?

-Editor window a bit primitive? No problem - you can open a 'walk behind' masking image! Except this is actually harder than just drawing it on the main window. This is a major problem. I've been able to find two tutorials (none of the pictures in them work anymore - 'bandwidth exceeded'), and basically what works is:
   1. go to mspaint (not even in Windows as of 10, has to be added back the sneaky way, will be gone forever by 11)
   2. edit a mask, using colours that you get somehow (what are their codes?..)
   3. save it as an 8bit BMP (the only editor that does this easily, or doesn't change an 8bit to a 16bit bmp when you add a layer, etc.)
   4. try this one, find it's 2 pixels too wide; go back into mspaint and edit it - single layer, using primitive tools - so that it's size is corrected. Then discover it's now 2 pixels too wide... then tear out your hair.

All this could be solved by:
-allowing import of BMP's that are 8bit, 16bit, or 32bit colour
-allowing multiple layers (like in Photoshop) without breaking the image
-allowing colours that are not *exactly* #009900 etc., but instead using the first 15 colours, and then converting them to the ones used in the editor

The ONE problem in this situation is: in the editor you HAVE the background, in mspaint or Photoshop, you DON't have the background. Unless, you use a 2nd layer on an image, copy the first to an 8bit BMP, and then hopefully, it stays that way. Seriously, I have 2 files that are 8bit BMPs, and I don't even know how I created them.

Just make the file specifications more accepting.

-Allowing walk-behinds to be independently turned on and off, rather than just 'ignore all' or 'enable all'

-Multiple layers can't be seen in the editor. Rather than seeing just walkable areas, or JUST walk behinds, or JUST objects, why not allow ALL (or some) to be seen AT THE SAME TIME? I can't tell you how many hours I've spent getting one thing or the other to line up with something else, but can't because I can see only one layer at a time. Why not just have the layers as tickboxes, turning on or off depending on what you want to see? Objects, Edges, Characters, Hotspots independant; Walkable areas or Walk behinds or Regions visible also.
Once again, one simple change that would allow this editor to be useufl rather than a hinderence.

-Larger graphics in the Sprites window. If I look at 20 frames of animation, I find it hard to tell each one apart. But if I could use a slider to see them as small, large, larger, big, xbig? This would be a simple change that meant I wouldn't have to open (one at a goddamn time) image in the default image editor (which I have to set manually) just to see it.


Now, I do apologise if I've hurt anyone feelings during this 20min bitch-fest about the Editor. Truly, I do, and I expect to use it for no cost and with no license in return for features for free and instaneously. HOWEVER, these are problems which must have something done about them.
AND

I HAVE $$$ MONEY $$$

I'm happy to pay like AU$3,000 for these changes (or perhaps $1,500 *each*). Please contact me PM if you'd like.
Otherwise, please reply.

Crimson Wizard

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-Multiple layers can't be seen in the editor. Rather than seeing just walkable areas, or JUST walk behinds, or JUST objects, why not allow ALL (or some) to be seen AT THE SAME TIME? I can't tell you how many hours I've spent getting one thing or the other to line up with something else, but can't because I can see only one layer at a time. Why not just have the layers as tickboxes, turning on or off depending on what you want to see? Objects, Edges, Characters, Hotspots independant; Walkable areas or Walk behinds or Regions visible also.
Once again, one simple change that would allow this editor to be useufl rather than a hinderence.

There was an experimental change to the Editor made once: http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=51349.0

But it was made on top of a messy experimental engine version which was later cancelled, also testing kind of stalled (IDK if anyone actually tested it out). So the editor development stopped too.

The source code is still available in tzach's repository, as I can see, so in theory this could be recreated on top of current master branch.


PS. Other than that -- it seems the community is currently looking for a hypothetical future AGS successor with more capabilities than AGS currently provides, which could solve these issues (as well as introduce new ones, heh).
« Last Edit: 23 Jan 2018, 21:40 by Crimson Wizard »

Could this editor change by Tzach be made currently? Like, by you? Like, for money?.... :3

Crimson Wizard

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Could this editor change by Tzach be made currently? Like, by you? Like, for money?.... :3

I could try, lol, but I will have to give most money to tzachs, because it's his code.

Hey, about the masks, I make them in Aseprite (which is open source and you can also buy on steam), just use indexed colors, first color is 0, second color is 1 and so on.

Crimson, would you? Would it be done quickly, like, a month?

eri0o, look's good, getting it now...

Crimson Wizard

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Crimson, would you? Would it be done quickly, like, a month?

I cannot be certain about that. As I said, these changes were almost untested.
I will look if I can get it working with the latest branch, probably on this week. By "working" I mean "starting the editor", for now.

Or someone else could try, if they think they can make it work.
« Last Edit: 24 Jan 2018, 01:56 by Crimson Wizard »

tzachs

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Could this editor change by Tzach be made currently? Like, by you? Like, for money?.... :3

I could try, lol, but I will have to give most money to tzachs, because it's his code.
Works for me 8-)

Seriously, though, I remember it had a lot of rough edges and I had concerns about usability (and like you said, it was mostly untested), so if you really want to take a go at it you'll probably need to invest a fair amount of time (so you should probably keep most of the money ;) ).

Crimson Wizard

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It's not really about money, I always thought it's a shame that version was cancelled.

Regarding money though, bx83, I am actually curious, if you are ready to spend that amount, why are you not trying something like Adventure Creator for Unity?
« Last Edit: 24 Jan 2018, 15:51 by Crimson Wizard »

Basically, I'm in too deep. I've already made 70% of the game with AGS, can't pull out now. It would mean a complete reconstruction of the script, graphics, waklable areas and walk behinds, integration into a different kind of system, many subtle differences between the two - etc etc etc.

Also, I *like* AGS - I can see it's "potential", so to speak (patronisingly). I want it to be good, and a few small changes would make it better and easier, and thus good competition for paid stuff like unity. If it costs $3,000 out of my budget to save 50hours development time, so be it.

Gilbert

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Sorry for a bit off-topic but the topic just bugged me, as it is already the 21st century now, so are we going backwards to retrofy (if there is such a word) the editor?

That's my point :P.......

cat

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Seriously, though, I remember it had a lot of rough edges and I had concerns about usability
I was wondering, maybe a GUI like the Photoshop layer management would be better? "Object" or "Hotspots" etc. could act like folders.

Crimson Wizard

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Seriously, though, I remember it had a lot of rough edges and I had concerns about usability
I was wondering, maybe a GUI like the Photoshop layer management would be better? "Object" or "Hotspots" etc. could act like folders.

Well it kind of acts like folders right now, although it does not have a single tree view, but a "breadcrumbs" thing.

But I've already built and posted a 3.4.1-compatible version of the suggested GUI in the aforementioned topic, so people could try and see whether it is convenient or not.
« Last Edit: 25 Jan 2018, 20:38 by Crimson Wizard »

Gilbert

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That's my point :P.......
Yeah. I get this now, it meant the masks dragged the editor back to 20th century old, but I originally thought the subject line meant to update the editor so that it fit the 20th21st century.
It's just like those newspaper headlines, where you often misread or couldn't make up what they actually meant until reading through the content (or not even after that).

So I mean.... money? Anyone interested? *Somebody* must be.

Crimson Wizard

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bx83, I posted a download link in the thread I linked above.
http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=51349.msg636580019#msg636580019

This is recreation of tzach's changes on top of new 3.4.1 version. It's just a test for now. But without any feeback we won't know whether users find it convenient.
« Last Edit: 28 Jan 2018, 13:02 by Crimson Wizard »

It's convenient. One minute with this in use was enough.
When is this being applied to the main branch, 3.4.1, 3.4.2,..?
Because if it still can be, I'm happy to pay for it rather than having it sit as a possible future arch for another 3 years.
ps. will need better mask control and also image editor tools in-screen (paint brush, erase tool, line-finding/'magnetic' point selection tool in future?)

Crimson Wizard

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When is this being applied to the main branch, 3.4.1, 3.4.2,..?
Because if it still can be, I'm happy to pay for it rather than having it sit as a possible future arch for another 3 years.
I will clean it up a bit and merge to master branch. IDK when the next release will be, but I we can make a WIP release too. We would need one anyway to lure more people into testing this (and possibly some other stuff accumulated, like dark editor theme).
« Last Edit: 29 Jan 2018, 01:20 by Crimson Wizard »

Cool :)

What I meant by drawing tools was to have them in the actual editor; but I could use an external one.
'Better mask control' means 'having masks which are more than 256 colours'.

PS also could you included a more-than-1 undo events (ie. be bale to undo the last 200, rather than 1)
« Last Edit: 30 Jan 2018, 07:32 by bx83 »

Crimson Wizard

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'Better mask control' means 'having masks which are more than 256 colours'.

Do you mean being able to define RGB combination for mask instead of using palette index? I guess you don't really mean over 256 walkable areas and hotspots in your rooms.

I believe that might be theoretically possible to make Editor work with any random palette, and then convert it to 8-bit mask for the engine. Although I am not convinced that would be the most convenient way to work with masks in practice.
« Last Edit: 30 Jan 2018, 13:38 by Crimson Wizard »

I tested this for about 10 minutes and it seems to be working fine. This would indeed be a very convenient improvement to the editor!

Matty: great :) I wait anxiously for the next major release :)  (because installing 2 versions on one computer is... inadvisable)
Crimson: True true; you could include a test picture with the editor (mask_test.BMP), with the first 15 colours shown exactly (like a tv test image), and saved as an 8bit RGB .BMP image? This would be a much simpler solution and would save everyone the hassle of having to create and save an image of an exact specific type.

Actually... there are some things that get me about AGS, namely the regular no-backsies choices.

For example... everything in the Room Editor.
Change the position of the character? Wanna change it back? You can't.
Change border position of walk-behind cut-off position? Oh well, you're screwed.
Change the background of the room, then realised the original was the only copy because you changed it, deleted it, and forgot to export it? You're done.

This results in me keeping copious amounts of backups - could we have this with the undo list applying to the room editor, and not just the text script editor? And any other no-turning-back parts of the Editor?

Please remember: I'm fully willing to pay. One other thing that we could use a change with, that would lessen development time by a factor of 50.
« Last Edit: 01 Feb 2018, 11:33 by bx83 »

cat

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This results in me keeping copious amounts of backups - could we have this with the undo list applying to the room editor, and not just the text script editor? And any other no-turning-back parts of the Editor?
I agree that undo would come in handy, but until then, please use a proper source control (e.g. Git). That way you don't need so many backups because you can undo stuff yourself.

I don't use Git, I have windows, don't want to learn something after the whole of AGS just to keep a backup. This game is my life, made backup a while ago.
But anyway, yes I'll look into Git :P
BTW is it built in as the Source Control in General Settings (?) or do you just use it where you've saved the game?

Are the changes put in the main tree for a release? 3.4.1r1?
Do you know where/how to change the source control to Git, or is it manual?

Crimson Wizard

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Are the changes put in the main tree for a release? 3.4.1r1?
No, I just made a pull request, which I need to test a little first before the merging.

Do you know where/how to change the source control to Git, or is it manual?
Is this question related to first, or about having your game in source control? If latter, Git is not integrated in the AGS, you need to use it manually as an external tool.
« Last Edit: 11 Feb 2018, 22:48 by Crimson Wizard »

Any tutorials or articles on how to git working in Windows 10, for the game?

Crimson Wizard

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Any tutorials or articles on how to git working in Windows 10, for the game?

Git itself is run from the command line, which may be a bit extreme if you do not have much experience with command-line tools.
There is a good GUI "wrapper" for the Windows, called Git Extensions: http://git-extensions-documentation.readthedocs.io/en/latest/git_extensions.html
But even before using it, it is important to understand how Git works, and how the whole source control thing works, first. You may read about Git system here: https://git-scm.com/book/en/v2