Sunday, August 17, 2014

Quick Update for Mari0 +Portal #12

Hello, guys! I know it's been a while since my last "Quick Update for Mari0 +Portal" post, but it doesn't means that the mod is over, dead or in "hiatus". I've done a lot of updates for it, and I'm working on the next stable update for the mod, which will FINALLY be the long promised 1.0 update. In order to make it work, I had to decrease the amount of new features I wanted for this update. But the most important thing I'm working on the mod right now is something I should have done a long time ago: fixing bugs. Since I'm not gonna add many new features right now (not because I don't want, but because I chose to do so), I have more time to fix some bugs and make this update better for people who wanna use this mod without running the risk of having his work gone or interrupted by the game crashing, for example.
But that doesn't means that there won't be new cool things to look at in this update. Since it's been a while since the last post, there are many new features that weren't showcased here yet. So let's start our "GIFs tour" now!

One thing that I always wanted in Mari0 and was "impossible" at the time was language selecting. For a very long time, I thought I wouldn't be able to do it myself in this mod. However, I finally manage to make it in a way so any text can be translated to any installed language! I also set up so you can decide if your custom texts (from overlaydata, for example) should be translated whenever possible. You can even make your very own translations or even improve someone's translations! Currently I have Brazilian Portuguese (my first language), Netherlands and French, but if you know any other language and are willing to help, just contact me (in my "Contacts" page or by commenting here).

Of course, to make multiple languages work properly, I had to come up with a way to make the game support non-English-standard characters (also known as UTF-8). So, now, characters like "á", "ç", "ñ" or "ô" work just fine! Since I worked on them to make them work like they do now, and since I came up with a system to easily "apply" new custom characters, I thought: why not go ahead and also implement punctuation symbols and uppercase characters?

So yeah, multi-language settings and non-UTF-8 characters are cool, but let's get back to the gameplay-wise new features. I always wanted to let map makers have more control over boxes and their behavior. Although I still have many adjustments and improvements to them, I added several commands (for both Commander and Environmental Trigger) to change the behavior of boxes. For example, you can detect when a box is being held by a specific player, you can set it's texture, emancipate them, change their speeds and even force them to be grabbed/released by a player. This, along with other commands and triggers can lead up to new features like Portal 1's "click-to-throw" system!

But that's not the only thing I added to Commanders and Environmental Triggers! Now, to make it more user-friendly, I made a quick-consult system that displays commands based on what you've typed in so far. So, if you, for example, wants to fire a command related to a player but aren't sure of which commands to use, simply type "playerN" and press "tab". A list of player-related commands will show up and you'll be able to make your commands more easily! It also keeps track of data types, so if you write a text where it should be a number, this new system will let you know!

Of course, there are a lot of little adjustments to be done to make it even more user friendly for you guys and more coder-friendly for me. Still, it's a great feature so far! Still on the commands topic, something epic can be done with variables now! Remember those savable variables feature, where you could have a custom variable saved and you could load them later on the same mappack? So, now you can use those variables to unlock customizable menu buttons! These buttons will fire a command when pressed, and you can choose any command! The best one, in my opinion, is the world-changing one. It'll allow you to let players unlock DLC worlds by completing tasks in the default campaign of your mappack!

Now to the new entities and properties! So, some of you may know about the "mirror" tile property (present in Mari0:SE and Alesan99's Entities mod). It redirects portals shot towards it in the exact opposite direction (thus "mirror" property). Yes, they finally arrived here. It was only possible with Alesan99's help, so thank you so much, Alesan!

The "pointing-redirecting" is a new feature, though, that is only present in my mod. Personally, I found it easy to make, so I don't know why it's not present in SE and Alesan's mod yet. Anyway, I got really happy with the way mirror tiles worked, so I tried and successfully added a new gel, only to redirect you portals! It comes with a variable only for it as well, which toggles redirecting portals on portalable walls on and off, so you don't have to struggle with a mode that you don't like. You can set it either via custom variables or via Commanders!

Speaking of gels, I took some time to fix the way that the Adhesion gels changes the player's textures orientation. So now you can climb on walls without having your character looking the opposite way you're pointing at!

Another thing that will help map makers visualizing their mappacks better in the level editor is having different textures for each gel you set up. This feature was already present with Logic Gates, so why not with gels?

And yes, it surely includes the multi-gel entity. Speaking of it, I decided to stop being lazy and fix it's GUI so you can now FINALLY see the gels as they should!

Speaking of GUIs, I also decided to finish something that will help map makers a lot during their mappack development: pointers for faith plates. This way, you can set faith plates' forces without having to "guess" where the player will land!

But I have to say something about this: I lost the latest version of my mod which had this and some other features shown up here and, although I remade most of them, I still didn't finish this particular one, so faith plates pointers may or may not be in my next mod's update. But don't worry: still on the subject of faith plates, I added in something requested for me that is gonna be great for portal-themed mappacks: ceiling faith plates! Wall faith plates are going to be implemented soon, but, meanwhile, you can already have this:

Which works greatly with "gravity side" commands!

Last, but not least, I'm improving the entities categorization system. Not only that, but I've also added a new category to help you guys make portal-themed mappacks easier and faster to be done: the Portal category!

That's it for this update, guys. I know it was shorter than the usual, but this is for the fact that I'm working on fixing bugs more than adding new features. This also means that the next post about this mod will take a little while as well, so sorry in advance. As for the blog in general, I have some quick news.
The first one is that I'm working on a scientific report that I'm going to post in here as well. The report/article itself is done, I'm just polishing it and transferring from paper to computer. If you're not much into science, don't worry, it's gonna happen often, and I'll keep posting about games as well.
The other one is about games: I'm working on a new game project for a "minigame simulator", where anyone will be able to make a game just for it with a simple interface and a great pre-made base for people so they don't have to make too much effort to make a game for it. Of course, there will be pre-installed games as well, so anyone can play, even if they can't make a game. As soon as I have a good progress on it I'll post about here. So for now, thanks for reading and see you in my next post!

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