AGS 3.6.0 - Patch 8 and 9

Started by Crimson Wizard, Sat 06/01/2024 14:01:16

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Crimson Wizard

AGS 3.6.0 - Patch 9
Full release number:

For Editor

For Android
NOTE: the Editor now includes Android build component letting you prepare your own games for Android

For Engine/Editor developers

Released: 9th January 2024

Previous stable version: AGS 3.5.1 P20 forum thread

This release is brought to you by:

- Alan v. Drake (improvements, fixes)
- Cameron Cawley [ccawley2011] (fixes, improvements to SpriteFont plugin)
- Crimson Wizard (stuff :))
- Dominik Mierzejewski (fix)
- Donovan Watteau (fix)
- eri0o (updated Android port, Web port, Editor improvements, etc)
- fernewelten (new fonts outlining, improvements to script compiler, fixes)
- Francesco Ariis (fixes)
- Morgan Willcock (improving templates, help with CI)
- Pablo Navarro [panreyes] (fixes)
- ChamberOfFear (improvements)
- rofl0r (fixes, suggestions)
- sonneveld (porting engine to SDL2)
- Thierry Crozat (fixes, plugin update)
- vga256 (fixes)
- Walter Agazzi (fixes)


AGS 3.6.0 is another big change to AGS.
First of all, this release presents a SDL2-based engine. For about 2 decades AGS engine was based on Allegro 4 graphic library, which was discontinued somewhere in the early 2010-ies (only received few patches since). There was an intent to move to to Allegro 5 or SDL since, but for various reasons this task was continuously postponed. Now it's done.
Secondly the Editor and Engine now have full Unicode support. This means that you may use any language whatsoever in scripts, object descriptions and custom properties, as well as translations; so long as you also provide proper unicode fonts.
Third, we have finally expanded a list of platforms that the Editor can build for: now this includes Android and Web (Emscripten) port.

There are much more changes and improvements in this release, check out the full list of changes below.
Also, please be sure to read "Upgrading to AGS 3.6" topic in the manual:

Changes in the Patch 9:

 - Fixed engine incorrectly reporting a script loading error, which may occur if the total size of script's global variables is bigger than the size of the compiled bytecode.

Changes in the Patch 8:

 - Fixed command "Crop sprite edges" in the Sprite Manager would copy import settings from the completely unrelated sprite onto the cropped one.

 - Fixed `@GAMENAME@` label not updating if Game.Name property is changed at runtime.
 - Fixed System.ColorDepth was reporting a final display resolution, while it should report game's native resolution for historical reasons.

 - Fixed "upscale" mode not working for "default" game resolution in pre-3.1 games (the hidden meaning of "default" is 320x200 also).

 - Fixed a rare bug when the Windows engine could fail loading the game for no good reason.
   This error is related to a bug in Windows SDK 8.1.

Changes in the Patch 7:

 - For Android build target disabled compression of `.ags` and `.vox` assets, as that slows down engine streaming resources (sprites etc).
 - Fixed Editor failing to start if user preferences file is corrupted
   (this is a second fix, complementing one done in AGS 3.5.1).
 - Fixed RAM use spiking fast during batch sprite reimport from sources, which could randomly lead to program errors.
 - Fixed Dialog properties displaying internal values not meant to be seen by a user.
 - Fixed selecting parent GUI after its control did not display GUI's own properties in the Properties Grid.
 - Fixed Editor generating deprecated settings in the default config file.

 - Fixed GUI controls unexpectedly clipping parts of text even if "controls clip contents" setting is disabled, in case when their Font has VerticalOffset property set.

Changes in the Patch 6:

- Fixed GUI editor could display selection rectangle from a different GUI editor pane, if two or more are displayed on screen at the same time.
- Fixed Script editor not marking "autoptr" and "builtin" as keywords.
- Fixed Script editor not applying color theme to character literals.
- Made String.Chars and Length properties work faster in ASCII mode.
- Issue a warning when blocking Display or Say commands are called during fade-out.
- Fixed engine failing to startup sometimes if controller device subsystem failed to init (it should not init at all in this version, as we do not support joysticks yet).
- Fixed "Before fade-in" event could be called recursively under some peculiar conditions (regression since 3.6.0).
- Fixed buttons on a non-clickable GUI were still changing to "mouse over" graphic under cursor.
- Fixed button click not registered if it has been made not visible and visible again during a single game frame (regression since 3.6.0).
- Fixed TextWindow borders drawn behind the rightmost corner pieces, which may be seen if the edge sprites are half-transparent.
- Fixed a brief black screen flash occuring right after the video playback ends (regression since 3.6.0).
- Fixed engine refusing to load legacy saves if the audio clip count does not match (number of audio clips should not affect saves).
- Added an option to disable "smooth scaled sprites" setting.
- Added an option to disable language selection.
- Made filter names in "disabled" section treated in case insensitive way.

Changes in the Patch 5:

- Reimplemented multiple sprites properties editing in the Sprite Manager. This ability was dropped in 3.5.0 unintentionally.
- Fixed Autocomplete not treating certain struct members as "static" or "protected" if their declaration is too long.

- Fixed Character.WalkStraight() was resetting walking animation if called during walking.
- Fixed Character's idle animation getting reset to frame 0 when the speech is played without a valid speech view (idle animation should continue playing in such case).
- Fixed idle animation sometimes not starting immediately after Character finishes walking.
- Fixed a crash occuring if script tries to get or set a custom property for a non-existing Room Object (this seem possible to do by iterating over `object[]` array).

- Implemented "legacysave_assume_dataver" override option in config, which lets to instruct the engine which game data version to assume when restoring legacy (pre-3.5.0) saves. This "hack" appeared to be necessary because of a mistake done during development of the older engine versions, where the save format was changed, but engine was made to rely on the game data version instead of incrementing save format index.
- Implemented "legacysave_let_gui_diff" override option in config, which lets the engine to read less gui elements from restored save than the number registered by the game. This is to emulate a (possibly unintended) effect in pre-3.5.0 saves.
- Fixed engine could try to load game data from game.exe without checking whether data is actually appended to it when restoring a legacy save in a game with a different file structure.
- Fixed number of GUI elements were not tested when loading a legacy save, which could lead to GUI data getting overwritten incorrectly without a warning if number of controls changed since. If the test failed, engine will act according to "legacysave_let_gui_diff" config option: either quit with error or log a warning and continue.

- Fixed potential "index out of bounds" exceptions in the built-in PalRender plugin.

- In "Verb Coin" template fixed action label could be updated incorrectly if the cursor was moved over buttons on any other GUI.

Changes in the Patch 4:

- Export Game's Title into translations.
- Fixed Game.agf was not created after importing a 2.* game project (regression in 3.6.0).

- Character.AnimationVolume property is now applied to the portrait animation as well.
- Removed few of the less important game messages from logging, because they may quickly clutter the log under some circumstances.
- Fixed when animating a character portrait, the first frame's linked sound is not played.
- Fixed IsSpeechVoxAvailable() returning positive result if run from IDE and Speech folder is empty.
- Fixed speech and messages were skipped by modifiers and other special keys (Ctrl, Alt, etc).
- Fixed crash occuring when you resize DynamicSprite while it is displayed on screen.
- Fixed audio clip started right before a ChangeRoom would not play until after the room changes.
- Fixed in Software display mode the room Overlays may not be properly covered by a walk-behind under very specific conditions.
- Fixed System.Log() would cause engine crash if there are more format placeholders than args.
- Fixed some game options that are not allowed to be changed at runtime could still be overwritten when restoring an old save, leading to a weird game behavior.

Changes in the Patch 3:

- Don't error when loading a room file which has unsupported number of events, instead these will be cut out. This may let e.g. use room templates from newer versions of AGS.
- Sprite's default property is changed from deprecated Resolution setting to SourceFile.
- Fixed full spritefile recreation would write duplicate sprites into the spritefile, if game project (Game.agf file) contained multiple sprites with same ID for any reason (for example, if they were added by manually editing Game.agf).
- Fixed importing SCI fonts with >128 chars.
- Fixed font preview did not properly display characters with indexes 128-255.

- Fixed "noloopcheck" script function modifier was not handled correctly sometimes.
- Fixed a button with inventory placeholder did not update immediately when the active inventory is set.
- Fixed textual GUIs were not redrawn immediately after a call to SetGameOption(OPT_RIGHTTOLEFT).

Changes in the Patch 2:

- Fixed a TTF font could cause a crash in the Editor or the Engine if the font renderer tries to draw a letter with higher number than the highest glyph number in the font.

- Added "Restore all sprites..." command to the Sprite Manager's context menu (this duplicates the "File -> Recreate sprite file" menu command added previously).
- Refresh Sprite Manager after fully recreating a sprite file.
- Sprites will now hide their "Resolution" property if the game settings have "Allow relative asset resolutions" disabled. This is to avoid user's misuse of this property.
- Fixed a minor memory leak occuring when editing a tree item's label in Project Explorer.

- Engine will now find and load plugins in the game dir when run from a different location.
- Fixed crash occuring if Character was told to FaceLocation while "Turn to face" game setting is enabled, and character's View does not have enough loops.
- Fixed Character resetting current non-blocking animation if it was ordered to Move, as soon as it arrives at destination.
- Fixed crash occuring if a GUI button was somehow set a negative NormalImage number.
- Fixed "bad script stack" error could be sometimes displayed if the game was aborted in the middle of running a script.

Changes in the Patch 1:

- Fixed room's deprecated setting LegacyMusicVolumeAdjustment not applied correctly.

- Fixed Room Objects whose dynamic sprite was deleted in "leave room" event becoming invisible during fade-out transition. Logically this has to happen, but historically they kept displaying until the transition end, so we restored this behavior for compatibility, and simply because there's no "after fade-out" event in the engine yet to delete these sprites.
- Fixed Game.StopAudio() fails to remove queued clips if no particular audio type id is requested.
- Fixed performance regression in the script related to long loops (regression in 3.6.0).
- Fixed memory leak occuring when printing text in Right-to-left mode (regression in 3.6.0).
- Fixed rare mistake during text wrapping which may occur if a Unicode text is cut in the middle of the word.
- Fixed playing certain WAVs caused game to freeze forever on exit.

- Fixed frame-linked sounds not playing in the games made before 3.6.0.
- Allow game to call DynamicSprite.Create() with negative size, clamping it to 1x1.

- In Sierra-style template fixed "mouse over" graphic for the "Load" icon.

What is new in 3.6.0

Common features:
- Full Unicode support for all game texts: game properties, scripts, translations, input.
  ASCII/ANSI mode is still working, for backwards compatibility. This may be configured in the game project.
- Extended sprite compression options: lossless storage optimization for 16- and 32-bit sprites; LZW compression option for sprites in addition to existing RLE compression.
- GUI controls may now be told to clip their contents, which means that nothing gets drawn outside of their borders (as defined by X, Y, Width, Height properties). The only exception is Sliders, which are more complicated.
- The historical TTF fonts' "fixup" that altered their height and vertical offset is now optional and works only if backwards compatible option is set.
- Max number of AudioChannels is now 16 (was 8).
- Removed game Cursors hard limit (was 20).
- Increased Room Objects limit to 256 (was 40).
- Discontinued "Windows Game Explorer" support in both Editor and Engine.

- Editor requires .NET Framework 4.6 to run.
- Added Android build target support (requires "Android component" installed).
- Added Web/Emscripten build target support (requires "Web build component" installed).
- Expanded UI color theme format, support global color options and allow missing entries.
- Script editor works in unicode mode.
- Added "Text format" option in General Settings which lets switching between ASCII/ANSI and Unicode (UTF-8) modes. This defines which format the game texts will be written in, when saving the game project and compiling the game.
- Added "Use old-style keyboard handling" option to the General Settings, which lets select between classic key press handling and new one meant for unicode chars support in scripts.
- Supports compiling UTF-8 translations. TRS file now has "Encoding" setting that tells how to interpret this TRS text.
- Added support for building multiple speech voxes, by taking files from the Speech subfolders.
- Added support for adding custom files into the game package. This is done by assigning a list of directories to "Package custom data folder" option in General Settings.
- Editor now copies a acsetup.cfg file from the project's root folder (if one is provided by) as a base for generating default config file. Settings from Default Setup will be written over, but other found options won't be removed.
- Added "Sprite file compression" option in General Settings, replacing "Compress the sprite file" option. The new option allows a selection of compression algorithm used for sprites.
  Currently supported: None, RLE (old default compression) and LZW.
- Added "Enable sprite storage optimization" option to the General Settings, that permits the editor to repack sprites in a different storage format, reducing their disk size whenever possible. This option may be used alongside with the sprite compression. Note that this does not change how the sprites work in game.
- Added "GUI controls clip their contents" option to the General Settings.
- Added "TTF fonts height used in the game logic" option to the General Settings, that makes your game use real font's pixel height when arranging text and text-based UI elements, as opposed to the nominal font's size.
- Added "Touch to Mouse Emulation", "Touch to Mouse motion mode" and "Display FPS on Screen" to Default Setup. Removed few deprecated options.
- Added "TTF font adjustment" property to Fonts, as well as to General Settings where it serves as a project default for the new fonts. This property lets you choose between "no changes" and backward compatible TTF fixup meant to keep fonts made for AGS displayed as they were meant to.
- In the "Import TTF" dialog added a choice to import the size closest to the given pixel height.
- Fonts now have Auto Outline Style and Auto Outline Thickness properties.
- Fonts now have a readonly Family Name field, that lets user see the original name of a font they've imported (if available).
- Added IdleDelay property to Characters that lets you set time needed to pass before IdleView is activated. This is equivalent to the Character.SetIdleView script function.
- Added Character.IdleAnimationDelay property to let setup idle view's animation speed.
- Added Cursor.AnimationDelay property to let setup cursor's animation speed.
- The TextWindow edges now have distinct names in the dropdown list of the property grid.
- Rooms created from a Blank template will now have default background of a game's resolution.
- When creating new room objects they will now have their script names set to some default value.
- Added Room.BackgroundAnimationEnabled property to let have disabled animation on room load.
- Editor will now create an empty sprite file if one is missing in the game project. Any existing sprite descriptions in the project will be kept, letting user to reimport these from sources.
- Added "File -> Restore all sprites from sources" menu command.
- Added "Apply" button on editor's Preferences dialog.
- In Preferences replaced "Import Color Theme" with a "Open Theme Folder", as a temporary solution for managing theme files.
- Select script editor's font in the editor's Preferences.
- Added "Help" option to the editor pane's tab context menu.
- Upgraded script editor to Scintilla 3.21.1 and ScintillaNET 3.6.3.
- Cursor's position in script is now displayed on the status bar.
- Dialog scripts now too can open help topics for keywords or script functions under cursor on F1.
- Added zoom controls for the Sprite Manager, Character, Cursor, Inventory and View panes.
- Sprites may now be imported by drag'n'drop into the Sprite manager.
- In sprite manager's context menu added command "Create source files for all sprites with missing / external sources..."
- In sprite manager's context menu added (restored) command "Replace sprite using previous files".
  Also made "previous file" remembered consistently whenever a sprite is imported or replaced.
- In sprite manager's "export all" dialog added "skip if inside project's folder" option.
- In sprite manager's "export all" dialog added "reset tile settings" option.
- On the View pane the frames having set delay and linked sound will be now indicated with icons.
- Editor no longer errors and fails when opening a game project with some script files missing.
- Editor no longer errors on empty translations when compiling the game.
- Editor now exports values of the string type Custom Properties to translations.
- Editor no longer prevents exporting string arguments from Get/SetTextProperty calls to TRS file.
- Editor now cleanups spritefile on game load, identifying any data not referenced by the project and marking it for deletion.
- Fixed editor silently enabling all available Build Targets when upgrading a pre-3.4.0 project. This could be very inconvenient as there are several of them supported now.
- Fixed open folders in the Project Tree were collapsing whenever you create a new subfolder or change an object's name in properties.
- Fixed editor was not preventing from entering Character's and AudioClip's ScriptName too long for the engine to handle.
- Fixed Image and View properties in various objects were allowing negative values.
- Fixed some of the object previews (at least GUI) could crash if user entered a non-existing sprite's number as an Image property.
- Fixed editor displaying unhandled exception if the script which user is trying to open was missing. Instead it will now open a blank script.
- Fixed room editor was suggesting to save the modified room even if no changes were made.
- Fixed a recently imported sprite could be displayed incorrectly scaled up in the room editor for high-resolution games, if the "Allow relative asset resolutions" was enabled in General Settings, and the sprite 0 had "Resolution" property set to "Low".
- Fixed program crash occuring on sprite's import if failed to open a source file for any reason.
- Fixed View animation preview stopping at frame 100 (if loop contains over 100 frames).
- Fixed going to a "find all" result in dialog script did not highlight the found text, and sometimes did not scroll down to it.
- Fixed "Goto Definition" not working for Enums and Defines (macros).
- Fixed script autocomplete sometimes was not updated right after opening a script.
- Fixed script autocomplete for function calls was mistreating commas in strings and inline comments as if they were separating actual parameters.
- Fixed script autocomplete was not displaying members of extended structs if the parent struct was declared in another header.
- Fixed script autocomplete was not working for enum names.
- Fixed structs and enums were not highlighted if declared inside a script's body.
- Fixed in dialogs numbers inside names were incorrectly highlighted as numeric values.
- Fixed matching or mismatching braces were not highlighted consistently at all times in regular and dialog scripts.
- Fixed crash occuring when user was trying to set breakpoint on the very last line in script.
- Fixed few editor panes were not opening correct help topics in F1.
- (Possibly) fixed error message text in the runtime error popup could be drawn partially beyond the popup borders if the user's system has text scaling option enabled.

- Support unicode character literals.
- Support using float literals when defining default values for function arguments.
- Support hexadecimal number literals (e.g. "0xABCDEF").
- Removed 500-characters line limit.

Script API:
- Expanded `on_key_press` callback, now supports two parameters: key code and key modifier flags.
- In the new key handling mode `on_key_press` is called for each actual key press;
  e.g. combinations like Ctrl+Z will result in two `on_key_press` calls, one with eKeyCtrlLeft and second with eKeyZ; added support for "NEW_KEYINPUT_API" macro in scripts.
- Implemented new `on_text_input(int ch)` callback which is called when the engine receives a printable character. This callback is essential for handling unicode chars in script.
- Similarily, expanded `dialog_options_key_press` with the third `mod` argument, and implemented `dialog_options_text_input` callback for receiving unicode chars during the custom dialog options state.
- Implemented `dialog_options_close` callback which is called when custom dialog options are removed from the screen. This allows to perform any required cleanup.
- Added eEventEnterRoomAfterFadein event for `on_event` callback, which corresponds to "enter after fade-in" room event.
- Added eKey constants for Shift, Control and Alt keys.
- Added eKeyMod enum for key modifiers constants.
- String.AppendChar(), ReplaceChar() functions and String.Chars[] property are now working with the unicode characters.
- String.Format("%c") specifier will now be able to print unicode characters.
- Extended Button.Animate() to have blocking style, direction and starting frame parameters, thus matching other Animate commands (of Character and Object).
- Extended all Animate() commands by adding "volume" parameter, that defines volume of the frame-linked sounds for the duration of this animation.
- Added Character.AnimationVolume, defining volume of the frame-linked sounds.
- Added Character.IdleAnimationDelay to let control idle view's animation speed.
- Character.Scaling is no longer limited by a range of 5-200 (now supports 1-32767).
- Hotspot.Name and Object.Name may now be set in script.
- Added Object.ManualScaling and Object.Scaling.
- Deprecated Object.IgnoreScaling (use Object.ManualScaling instead).
- Object.SetView default loop & frame values are now 0 (was -1 which retained loop and frame indexes from the previous view, often unexpected to the user).
- DrawingSurface.DrawImage() and DrawSurface() now support optional source rect coordinates.
- Added functions for getting DrawingSurface of room masks: GetDrawingSurfaceForWalkableArea(), GetDrawingSurfaceForWalkbehind(), Hotspot.GetDrawingSurface(), Region.GetDrawingSurface().
- Added new delay parameter to Mouse.ChangeModeView() to let control cursor's animation speed.
- Added Game.ChangeSpeechVox() and Game.SpeechVoxFilename, support switching the voice-over pack.
- Added Mouse.AutoLock property that toggles automatic mouse lock inside the game window.
- Added Room.Exists().
- Added System.Log().
- Added SkipWait() that skips any active Wait() function.
- Added WaitMouse() to complement existing Wait functions.
- Added InputType enum which defines input devices and lets create their sets as flags.
- Added WaitInput(), a more generic and extendable function that accepts a combination of flags telling which input types to wait for.
- All Wait* functions now may have infinite timeout if you pass a negative timeout parameter.
- All Wait* functions now return the reason they were skipped: a combination of InputType flag and a respective key or button code.
- Added GUIControl.Transparency property.
- Added Overlay.CreateRoomGraphical and CreateRoomTextual. Use these two functions to create "room overlays": that is - overlays that display a sprite inside the room, sorted among other room objects, characters and walk-behinds.
- Added readonly Overlay.InRoom property that tells if this is a room or screen overlay.
- Extended Overlay.CreateGraphical() with a new "clone" parameter that tells whether to assign a sprite index, or make a sprite's copy owned exclusively by this overlay. The former will save program memory but make overlay update if the sprite is edited later. The latter is meant primarily for backwards compatibility.
  Overlay.CreateRoomGraphical has the same param.
- Added Overlay.Graphic property that lets you change overlay's sprite after it's created.
- Added Overlay.Width and Height properties, that let you freely scale existing Overlay.
- Added readonly Overlay.GraphicWidth and GraphicHeight properties that let read original overlay's graphic size, as not all overlays hold a sprite reference (e.g. textual overlays).
- Added Overlay.Transparency property.
- Added Overlay.ZOrder property that lets you sort Overlays among themselves and other objects in the same "game layer": screen overlays are sorted among GUI, while room overlays are sorted among room objects, characters and walk-behinds.
- Added Speech.TextOverlay and Speech.PortraitOverlay for accessing blocking speech overlay and portrait overlay respectively.
- Added Game.BlockingWaitSkipped which tells the result of the last blocking wait skipping, also including result of the blocking speech skipping.
- SkipSpeechStyle now supports eSkipNone mode; when used it will disable any kind of skipping, such speech can be only skipped by a direct command from script.
- Extended Screen.ScreenToRoomPoint() with an optional "restrictToViewport" argument, which lets to choose whether tests over empty place result in conversion through the default viewport or a null pointer.
- Added AudioClip.PlayOnChannel().
- Added AudioChannel.Pause() and Resume() functions, and IsPaused property.
- Added AudioChannel.SeekMs(), complementing PositionMs (as the Seek() function interprets position differently depending on the audio format).
- PlayVideo() now supports an option to play both game's and video's audio track simultaneously.
- Added File.WriteRawInt() to complement ReadRawInt().
- File paths in script now support $DATA$ token, which tells to read files from the game package. This only works for read operations. Functions that support this token currently are:
  File.Open(), DynamicSprite.CreateFromFile(), ListBox.FillDirList().
- Debug(2, 0) command that displayed walkable areas is superceded by Debug(2, n), where "n" is a mask type: 0 - none, 1 - hotspots, 2 - walkbehinds, 3 - walkable areas, 4 - regions. This command also works as a toggle switch, calling it with the same mask index will turn it off.
- Debug(5, n) command that displayed character's walk paths now also works as a toggle switch.

- New SDL2-based backend for graphics, audio and input.
- Hqx graphic filters discontinued (could be temporary).
- Windows-only DirectMedia video playback discontinued (could be temporary).
  Only OGG/OGV videos are kept supported at this point.
- Support resizing game window on desktop systems.
- Support "borderless full-screen window" mode in addition to the real (exclusive) fullscreen.
- Support for switching vertical sync at runtime with Direct3D/OpenGL renderers. Also enable vsync in windowed mode too.
- Unicode (UTF-8) text support: engine can now switch between ASCII and UTF-8 text mode. This is controlled by both game's OPT_GAMETEXTENCODING setting and translation's "Encoding" setting: they tells whether to interpret game texts as UTF-8 or ASCII/ANSI.
- Support optional translation's "GameEncoding" setting: it hints the original game's codepage to help with their conversion. This is mostly meant for translating existing older (ANSI) games.
- Engine now supports using real pixel height of the TTF fonts when arranging text and UI elements on screen; using nominal import size of the font is used as a compatible mode for the old games.
- Also supports separate "normal" and backward compatible "fixup" modes when initializing TTF fonts, letting to display both common TTFs and ones made specifically for AGS in the past to display as they were meant to be.
- Supports scripts using functions and variables from any other scripts, regardless of the script module order in the project.
- Removed limit of simultaneous Button animations.
- Removed limit of Character followers.
- Removed Overlay limit.
- Character.SetWalkSpeed() is no longer restricted by an arbitrary limit of 50.
- Process character's idle view based on real game speed, not hardcoded 40 fps.
- Improved file writing times (e.g. when doing a game save) by using buffered file stream. Initial tests showed 50% faster file writing.
- Engine now renders GUI controls as separate textures when using hardware accelerated renderers. This may significantly improve performance in the high-resolution games and games with large number of GUI elements on screen.
- Engine now shares the video texture data for all game objects on screen sharing same sprite. This improves performance in case there are multiple objects which use same image.
- Various performance optimizations for both raw drawing and texture updates (Direct3D/OpenGL).
- Engine now ensures that in threaded audio mode the AudioChannel's state only changes once the game is updated, and not while the game script is running. This prevents situations when the clip could begin playing before all properties are set in script, or when AudioChannel's properties' values (such as Position) could change while running a game script.
- 24-bit wav PCM support, comes with the new sound library.
- File.ReadRawLineBack() now always reads full line, and not limited to 200 characters anymore.
- Debug displays, such as showing room mask and character walk paths, are now implemented as non-blocking translucent overlays, allowing you to keep playing the game while they are on.
- Implemented debug key controls for calling a built-in save and restore game dialogs. These controls have to be set in user config as "save_game_key" and "restore_game_key" in "[override]" category. These may be used by testers if the game is missing a save function or one is bugged.
- Engine now supports loading compiled scripts as separate files packed along with the game, along with those embedded into the main game data or inside room files.
- Engine no longer bails out with error if the chosen translation cannot be loaded on startup.
- When reporting script errors, engine will print callstack for all the active script "threads": for example, if there's Wait() function called and error happened in repeatedly_execute_always, then it will print both actual error's location, and Wait() call's location.
- Engine config now has graphic modes defined as a simplier string options: "[graphics] fullscreen" for the fullscreen mode setup, and "[graphics] window" for the windowed.
  Fullscreen option can explicitly define a "borderless full-screen window" mode.
- Added "emul_mouse_mode" and "emul_mouse_relative" options to config in "[touch]" category.
- Added "cache_size" and "stream_threshold" options to config in "[sound]" category, they setup the rules for sound caching and choosing whether to load a clip fully into mem or stream one.
- Added "load_latest_save" and "show_fps" options to config in "[misc]" category.
- Added "background" option to config in "[misc]" category, that defines the starting run-in-background (aka multitasking) mode (may later be changed by SetMultitaskingMode()).
  Added "--background" command line option for the same purpose.
- Added "--sdl-log" command line option for setting up SDL2 library output verbosity. The engine log config now has a new "sdl" group meant for SDL2 messages.
- Support "--user-conf-dir" command-line arg (and "user_conf_dir" config option) superceding "--localuserconf"; the new option directly tells the location of user config file.
- Path related command-line and config options, - such as "shared_data_dir", "user_data_dir" and "user_conf_dir", now support $GAMENAME$ token in path which is resolved to the game's title.
- Added "--clear-cache-on-room-change" command-line arg (and similar config option).
- Don't error when DrawingSurface.DrawImage has bad transparency parameter (warning instead).
- Don't error when detecting bad format in File.Read* functions (warning instead).
- Added stubs for agsshell plugin (a contemporary cross-platform variant of ags_shell).
- Added stubs for agsappopenurl plugin.
- Fixed potential crashes if a room-related API function has been called in "game_start"; this is achieved by having a dummy room placeholder object. Still results of such calls are undefined and should not be relied upon.
- Fixed potential crash on room load if the walkable area mask contained color values above the supported range.
- Fixed dialog script's "goto-previous" command not working if used from the first sub-topic run using "goto-dialog" (a very-very old bug).
- Fixed AGS_EngineInitGfx plugin callback was not called during OpenGL renderer initialization.
- Fixed Direct3D/OpenGL renderers were displaying plugin's raw drawings in a wrong position in the scrolling rooms, if the drawing was done on AGSE_PRESCREENDRAW or AGSE_POSTROOMDRAW events.
- Fixed overlay may fail to be created sometimes, if previously another overlay had been forcefully removed when changing rooms (this is an ancient bug which existed for many years).
- Fixed ListBox.RowCount reporting 0 if called before the control was displayed once.
- Fixed GetTextWidth would still return a size of an outline for an empty text string.
- Fixed text may be misaligned in gui controls, as its outline thickness is not counted.
- Fixed some TTF fonts could be cut at the bottom when the speech is displayed.
- Fixed scheduled sound fadeout effect was not cancelled by skipping a cutscene.
- Fixed OGV Theora videos positioned incorrectly if they have certain sizes or aspect ratios.
- Fixed game fps sped up if SetGameSpeed() is called repeatedly in game script.
- Fixed game not reacting to system close commands when stuck in script, which made it impossible
  to close the "hanging" game by usual means (other than terminating the process).

Engine Plugin API:
- Added IAGSEngine::GetGameInfo() function which returns information about the game, such as its title and GUID.
- Added new render callback AGSE_POSTROOMDRAW, for handling drawing inside the room above all room objects.
- Added IAGSFontRenderer2 interface, expanding the original font renderer interface, improving font plugins support.
- Added ReplaceFontRenderer2() and NotifyFontUpdated() functions.

- Fallback to the first loop with frames if current character's loop does not have any.
- Use the dummy frame if current character's speech view loop does not have any.
- Ignore character having view/loop with no frames while it's not in the current room.
- Legacy behavior of MoveCharacterBlocking's return value.
- Fixed walkable area's continuous scaling was broken for high-res rooms in old games.
- In pre-3.* games force player to walkable area after changing rooms, this is to emulate an unintentional effect created by the old engines.
- Fixed pre-3.4.1 anti-aliased TTF fonts display (their vertical position was broken).
- For pre-3.5.0 games support old behavior of coincidental dynamic sprite replacement on GUI backgrounds (and few other places) without explicit assignment; that is - when the new DynamicSprite is created right after deleting an old one.
- Support Label.TextAlignment with legacy alignment constants for pre-3.5.0 games made with the custom engine from "Clifftop Games".
- Support native resolution hack for games made with "Clifftop Games" custom engine, where 640x400 games are run as 640x360.

- Rewrote universal AGS game launcher/player using up-to-date Google guidelines. The former "launcher" is now called "AGS Player".
- Implemented single game project template meant for building your own signed APK.
- Implemented two touch-to-mouse control scheme (selectable in config), for one finger emulating LMB only, and for two fingers emulating LMB and RMB.
- Support relative motion speed setting for touch-to-mouse emulation.
- In AGS Player added "Browse" button to the game folder selection, which opens default system file picker.
- AGS Player now searches for games recursively, in all the subfolders.
- AGS Player now has preference button per each game, which opens individual game's settings.

- OpenGL renderer is now supported on MacOS.

Web / Emscripten:
- Initial port release.

- Installer will create program links with three-digit version in the name.

- Added SpriteFont plugin to the list of builtins, for ports that use ones.
  SpriteFont plugin is updated to support custom "Clifftop Games" font variants.

- Added "Fullscreen as borderless window" checkbox.
- Remade sound options to reflect the move to the new audio system in the engine.

Known issues

* Although Unicode text is supported overall, some languages may still not be printed correctly automatically. Firstly, those that require "letter linking", such as Arabic or Persian, do not have the proper linking on its own. This may be worked around using special text converters and fonts. Another issue is that texts printed right-to-left in the source (where print direction is done using Unicode's control characters) are not wrapped correctly and may require manual placement of line breaks, or scripting their split in game.
* MIDI no longer plays on its own on Windows. For MIDI you (and your players) must install "sound banks" (also known as "sound font"). Please refer to this article:
* AudioChannel.Position and AudioChannel.Seek do not work for MIDI and MOD sounds. Try sticking to PositionMs and SeekMs for now.
* There are reports about Direct3D not being able to restore the fullscreen mode after alt+tabbing occasionaly.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to and tested this version!

Crimson Wizard

I had to release a hotfix to Patch 8 as a Patch 9. Did this in the same thread for simplicity, because Patch 8 was made only 3 days ago, and it contained a critical issue that could affect many games.

Updated description and links above. Please download and reinstall.


Hi  I recently made a game using this version. I was informed that there is a bug in AGS. UseInv on hotspot function issue was found. Player can use any inventory item on a hotspot which should not happen. I only made one invent item to be used on that hotspot. The script is clear. Can this be fixed?Thanks for you efforts.

Crimson Wizard

Quote from: Eon_Star on Sat 20/01/2024 11:24:22Hi  I recently made a game using this version. I was informed that there is a bug in AGS. UseInv on hotspot function issue was found. Player can use any inventory item on a hotspot which should not happen. I only made one invent item to be used on that hotspot. The script is clear. Can this be fixed?Thanks for you efforts.

When you have problems with a script, please always post a relevant part of the script and explain your intent for it, otherwise we cannot help you.


Actually a member of the community mention the issue (heltenjon). He played the short game that I made (Bob's Quest) and found the issue.

The script is fine. This is the third game that I made with AGS and I can say that I am familiar to the main scripting of AGS.

The issuse is that without any script, the player can use any inventory item on the specified hotspot (wardrobe) for the one specified item (flashlight).
I tried this with a game that was made with AGS 3.5.1  and the issuse was not there. I assumed the problem was only in the 3.6.0 version.

Maybe you can download the game "Bob's Quest" and check the issue.

Thank you for the hard work.

Crimson Wizard

@Eon_Star please post the actual script from your game, the part where an item is used on this hotspot (wardrobe, as you say) and the keys found. I need it to determine whether this is a script mistake, or a engine's mistake, and also to be able to reproduce the issue myself in a test game.

I must see the real script, because it's not always clear what is happening from simple explanation, and small details may also matter.
"Using inventory item on hotspot" may be done in many different ways, and I do not know which one you're doing.
If it's an engine's mistake, then I still must know which exactly script is causing it.

Playing game for this test is very inconvenient for many reasons. First, I will not see actual commands that you are using, so I will have to run it step by step under debugger, which will take alot of my time. Second, even if I'll find out what is happening, I will not necessarily know what is intended and what is not intended.



I am sharing the code I used for the mentioned hotpsot and the full AGS game file for inspection:

The code:

function hWardrobe_UseInv()
  if (player.ActiveInventory==iFlashlight)
player.Walk (390, 578, eBlock);
player.FaceDirection (eDirectionUp, eBlock);
player.ChangeView (3);
player.Animate (3, 40, eOnce);
player.ChangeView (2);
player.Say (" Hey, I can see the car keys! I cannot reach them though.");
CarKeysSeen = true;

The AGS game file (Google Drive link):

PS: I tried this with the early alpha version of AGS 4.0 and the same issue is here too. This is the test game:

Thank you for for interest and efforts.  ;-D


It looks like you don't have {} brackets inside the if statement.

Shouldn't it look like this?

function hWardrobe_UseInv()
  if (player.ActiveInventory==iFlashlight)
  player.Walk (390, 578, eBlock);
  player.FaceDirection (eDirectionUp, eBlock);
  player.ChangeView (3);
  player.Animate (3, 40, eOnce);
  player.ChangeView (2);
  player.Say (" Hey, I can see the car keys! I cannot reach them though.");
  CarKeysSeen = true;
They/them. Here are some of my games:


Thanks for the info.

This could solve the problem. But I do not understand. Should AGS not warn me about the missing code parts, if the brackets are missing?

Have a nice day and thanks for the help.



The code is correct in the sense it makes grammatical sense but it is incorrect in the sense it doesn't do what you expect

Code: ags
bool isOdd(int n)
  if(n & 1)
    return true;
  return false;

The curly braces are not obligatory with if.

(example code, please never use it)

Crimson Wizard

Frankly, I was expecting missing brackets or something similar.

Quote from: Eon_Star on Sun 21/01/2024 13:51:17This could solve the problem. But I do not understand. Should AGS not warn me about the missing code parts, if the brackets are missing?

AGS cannot know which part of the code was supposed to be under condition. It can only check the script syntax, but not the meaning.

For example:
Code: ags
if (condition)

Here only action1 is under condition, and action2 will be run always.

Code: ags
if (condition)

Here action1 and action2 will be run under the same condition.

Both variants here are syntactically correct, but they are logically different. Neither of them is "forbidden" though, because you may have a situation where variant 1 is fine, and another situation where variant 2 is fine. Yet only you know which one is correct for your case, AGS cannot detect this.



I fixed the problem. There were brackets missing. But the thing is, there is another hotspot (Grandfather Clock) where the player uses an inventory item. The brackets are all in place. So no issues here.

Means: Problem solved.

Took your time. Sorry for that.

Keep up the good work @Crimson Wizard;-D

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