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Version 1.42 - improved workflow, new conversations and custom saving

It's the first "proper" release of the year, and it's a very tech-y one.  The focus this time is on workflow improvements and customisation options, so there's a lot to read about below.  If you're just here for the bugfixes, just give the upgrade notes a once-over and download.

First, though, I'd like to draw your attention to the brand-new Adventure Creator trailer!  The old one was getting almost embarrassingly out-of-date, so this new video highlights many of the new features that AC has to offer (as well as some brief clips of some great-looking games being made with it).  If you have a moment, please consider sharing it on your social-networking site of choice - just a Retweet would be a great help.

Now, then..

Parallel Actions
The new "Engine: Run in parallel" Action allows you to run subsequent Actions in parallel.  This was already possible by limiting each "chain" of Actions to a separate Cutscene, but now you can run multiple chains within the same list.  Cutscene-skipping also works with this Action.

Node-based Conversations
Conversations have always required that the various responses be placed in separate Dialogue Option AcitonLists.  No more: while the old method of linking an option to an ActionList still exists, such lists are considered the "default", and can be overridden with the "Dialogue: Run conversation" Action.  This means you can trigger a Conversation, and handle all the responses, within the same ActionList.

Quick Time Events
QTEs were always a bit fiddly to make up until now, but the new "Input: QTE" Action makes it easy.  Single keypress, press-and-hold, and button-mashing QTEs are supported, and a Menu can be displayed for it's duration.  If the Menu is a Unity UI, it can play animations for the various states (win/lose/press etc).  The website's tutorials have been updated to go over the new workflow, and it's also featured briefly in the new trailer (did I mention the new trailer?).

ActionList workflow improvements
You can now opt to have multiple ActionList Editor windows open at once - each locked to a different ActionList - allowing you to view/edit multiple at the same time.  Enable this at the top of the Actions Manager.  The Editor window now has a "padlock" icon at the bottom, which will lock itself to the ActionList it currently displays.  The Hierarchy window also now has icons beside each ActionList, allowing you to quickly open an Editor window.

Active Inputs
You can now tie a keyboard (or controller) button press to an ActionList asset - via the new Active Inputs Editor available in the top toolbar, under Adventure Creator -> Editors.  You must specific under what condition (e.g. during gameplay, a cutsceene, etc) an input is accepted - if you need a certain input to be allowed during both gameplay and cutscenes, just create one for each.

Custom motion controllers
There's no end to the number of motion controller assets out there, so it's impossible to add official support to each of them.  So instead, AC now makes it much, much easier to link up your favourite controller with just a few lines of code.  A tutorial that adds support to the popular Motion Controller asset is available here.

Custom saving
It's now very simple to extend AC with custom saving - both global and local data.  Local data is handled by writing custom Remember scripts, while global data is handled by attaching custom implementation scripts onto the PersistentEngine prefab.  Saving local data is covered in this tutorial, and saving global data is covered in this one.

Texture-based lip-syncing
With the release of Grim Fandago Remastered bringing back old memories, AC now has the ability to perform lip-syncing by swapping out textures on a 3D model.

AlignToCamera script
Those making 2.5D games have a new script that should be a big help when laying down scene sprites.  AlignToCamera will automatically rotate a sprite so that it faces the camera, and provides a depth slider.  If you increase the depth, the sprite will move farther away - but will get larger as it does, making it appear the same size from the camera's perspective.
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Comments

  • Full changelog is below:

    Upgrade notes
    • Animated Unity UI-based Menus require an Animator with specific state names, rather than specific parameters - see the AnimatedMenu_Example controller
    • Custom animation engines now require the name of the script to be explicitly named in the Player / NPC inspectors
    • Custom Actions that override the End function must now return an ActionEnd class, rather than an integer
    Input
    • Added: “Active Inputs Editor” - use to define input buttons that, when pressed, trigger ActionList assets

    Actions
    • Added: “Engine: Run in parallel” Action - use to run chains of Actions in the same list simultaneously
    • Added: “Input: QTE” Action - use to easily add Quick Time Events
    • Added: “Engine: Check ActionList” Action - use to determine if an ActionList or ActionList asset is running
    • Added: “Hotspot: Change interaction” Action can now make use of parameters
    • Changed: “Run in parallel” option in “Engine: RunActionList” Action has been removed
    • Fixed: “Object: Transform” Action not always being precise when moving an object over time
    ActionLists
    • Added: Option for scroll-wheel to pan ActionList Editor windows, not zoom
    • Added: Actions marked as disabled in the Inspector are now highlighted red in the ActionList Editor window
    • Added: Option to allow multiple ActionList Editor windows to be open simultaneously - found in the Settings Manager’s Debug settings
    • Added: An ActionList Editor window can be locked, so that it always shows the same ActionList
    • Added: Auto-create button to ActionList asset fields within Managers - creates an asset file within the current Project director
    • Added: Icons beside ActionLists in the Hierarchy window to quickly open an ActionList Editor window
    • Changed: The scroll-wheel now pans the ActionList Editor window by default
    • Fixed: Connections sometimes breaking in the ActionList Editor when an Action’s type is changed
    • Fixed: Various errors related to skipping complex chains of ActionLists
    Speech and language
    • Added: Option to “Dialogue: Run conversation” to override dialogue option interactions
    • Added: [continue] speech token - place in dialogue text to play in the background from that point onward
    • Added: Background speech can be played simultaneously with regular speech (though only the last-called will be displayed in subtitles)
    • Added: Subtitles can display at the same time as Conversation dialogue options (provided that the speech is set to play in the background)
    • Fixed: Translation importing not always recognising special characters
    • Fixed: Certain ActionList assets being overlooked by “Gather text” button in Speech Manager
    Saving and loading
    • Added: Ability to implement custom save and load hooks, for saving/restoring custom global and options data
    • Added: Ability to write custom Remember scripts, for saving custom scene data
    • Added: Ability to run an ActionList asset after loading a saved game
    • Added: Icons beside scene objects marked for saving in the Hierarchy window (can be disabled in Debug settings)
    • Fixed: Game pausing when loading a save file requires switching scene
    • Fixed: GameCameras not snapping to the intended Field Of View after loading a saved game
    Menus
    • Added: “Type” setting to Menu Timers - use to display QTE “progress” and “time remaining” bars
    • Added: Option to invert a Menu Timer’s value
    • Added: Variable selector GUI to Toggle menu elements
    • Fixed: Word-wrapping issues with InventoryBox menu elements
    • Fixed: Menus of position Aligned and size Automatic having incorrect positions if their size changes mid-game
    • Fixed: Animated transition issues with Unity UI-based Menus
    • Fixed: EventSystem being created upon starting a scene even if no Menus make use of Unity UI
    Characters
    • Added: New Player / NPC animation engine option: Custom
    • Added: Ability to hand over per-character motion control to a custom script
    • Added: Ability for Player prefabs to make use of Character Controller components
    • Added: Public functions to Player / NPC scripts to get desired motion
    • Added: “Edit-mode preview?” option to Follow Sorting Map components - check to update a Character’s sorting order and scale while in Edit mode
    • Fixed: Turn speed property for Sprites Unity characters having no effect
    • Fixed: Characters not taking the optimal path to return to a Polygon Collider-based NavMesh if they leave it
    Lip-syncing
    • Added: Ability to animate a 3D Character’s texture when lip-syncing (for e.g. Grim Fandago-like models)
    • Fixed: Lip-syncing not working for characters animated with 2D Toolkit

    Sound
    • Added: RememberSound script - add to Sound objects to save and restore their audio clip states
    • Added: If a Sound is set to survive scene changes, it now retains its playback time
    • Added: Option for “Engine: Play sound” Actions to be ignored if the affected Sound object is already playing the intended audio clip
    • Added: Option for Sound objects to survive scene changes is no longer limited to just those that play music
    • Added: Sound objects now respond to “TurnOn” and “TurnOff” commands from the “Engine: Send message” Action
    • Fixed: Duplication error if a Sound that’s set to survive scene changes returns to the original scene
    Hotspots and Interactions
    • Added: Ability to re-order “Use” and “Inventory” Hotspot interactions
    • Added: Per-item unhandled interactions to Inventory items if Inventory items can be selected in the normal way
    • Fixed: Errors when deleting a Hotspot mid-game
  • First person
    • Fixed: Cursor lock not being set correctly when switching to First Person movement mid-game
    • Fixed: First Person head-bobbing effect continuing while game is paused
    Cursors
    • Added: Ability to exclude Icons from Cursor cycling in Choose Interaction Then Choose Hotspot mode
    • Fixed: Mouse cursor being able to leave the game window when free-aiming in First Person / Ultimate FPS
    • Fixed: Alternative Inventory labels not always overriding the item name
    • Fixed: Misleading error message when the main cursor has no texture assigned
    • Fixed:
      “Cycling Cursor And Clicking Hotspot” option showing wrong cursor if
      the first Interaction is disabled when the game begins
    Other
    • Added: Option to “Third-Party: Cinema Director” Action to override AC’s camera for the duration of a Cinema Director Cutscene
    • Added:
      AlignToCamera script - attach to sprites in 2.5D games to automatically
      align themselves to a camera and easily adjust their depth
    • Added:
      When a game is run for the first time on a new system, the Options data
      set in the Settings Manager are used as the default values
    • Added: Static functions to GlobalVariables and LocalVariables scripts to read and write popup variable types
    • Added: Static functions to KickStarter script that change the active Managers mid-game - see Manual’s section 12.7
    • Changed: NavMesh and Player prefab warnings now only display if appropriate when a scene begins
    • Fixed: Settings Manager sometimes throwing errors when working in Windows 7
    • Fixed: Objects with the Parallax2D script component having a “stuttering” effect
    New tutorials Trailer!
  • Great!

    Thanks a lot!
  • Brilliant work!  Are the tutorials online or on Youtube ever going to be redone to accommodate the new UI and Naming that Adventure Creator has?  Most of the time I find myself hunting things down because the tutorials reference sections and items with names that have been changed.
  • Wow, some real gems in there, with the conversation and actionlist improvements being particular highlights for me! The parallel action is another super cool improvement!

    Many thanks for all the awesome work Chris!
  • Forgot to say: The new trailer is super swanky too, excellent work on that also!
  • Great update, Chris

    Wow... the conversation and QTE improvements were big items on my wish list.

    Would love to know a bit more about your recommended 2.5D workflow now since there isn't a demo project (is there?). Would love to see a quick tutorial for laying out a 2.5D scene with a 3D char (like the old video demo - but using the later features).

    Definitely the best asset purchase I've ever made.
  • Brilliant update and the trailer looks great!

    Will share it far and wide.

  • Have people been able to update successfully to 1.42? I've tried 3 times and I seem to only ever get 1.41b (at least that's what the footer of the various manager inspectors reports - and the manual and the changelog)

    I see that the asset store reports the current version is 1.42 so must be a problem on my end (again!) but I can't figure out what I could be doing wrong...
  • Hmm.. so it seems to have worked on my 5th or so attempt. The only thing (I think) I did differently this time was I thought I'd import everything as previously I was leaving out the References file based on previous advice from Chris in order to avoid having to set up my custom managers again. I was also leaving out the ProjectSettings file. Maybe one of these (or both) was causing the issue? Anyway if anyone else is having a similar problem I thought you might find this useful.
  • edited February 2015
    Thanks for another great update, Chris!

    @oxyscythe, yeah I always tend to import everything just to be safe, and then re-assign back with my own managers. The updates to AC aren't that frequent that the extra steps are too much, I think :)
  • Wow, great and huge update! 
    I also tried to import 3 times with no success, still 1.41b. I wait for 1.42a. ^_^

    Only one question: 
    • Changed: “Run in parallel” option in “Engine: RunActionList” Action has been removed
    I used a lot this function, if has been removed I have to modify all with the new Engine: Run in parallel” Action ?

    Tx great Chris! ;)
  • Can anyone confirm they've successfully imported the update?  Unity recently changed the way Asset Store packages are updated, and it took a few attempts to get this one out there.

    The "Package Contents" box on the asset store page lists the new files that come with this update (e.g. Scripts/Actions/ActionParallel.cs), but I'd feel better to hear it's working.

    @2finger: It will automatically update.
  • edited February 2015
    hello Chris,
    i have 1.41b after upgrading with the 1.42 from the store. (download yesterday)
    no ActionParallel.cs too.
    thanks

    edit : a new update is available today..
  • @ChrisIceBox, my AC seems to have updated just fine from 1.41b to 1.42 yesterday, doing what I normally do: update and import everything into my existing project. I'm using Unity 5.0.0b18, if that matters at all..
  • Now it works! Tx man!
  • I'm having problems. Keeps sticking to 1.41b for me as well... I'll try a few things, but I'm still on Unity 4.6. Notice that maybe it's working for people who've made the jump to 5? Anyone on 4.6 got it through yet?

    I've tried importing all of it / some of it, doing it in a fresh project etc. 

    It's strange. Everytime I close and re-open the asset store, it rolls back to saying it is on 1.41b.

    And when I import, it only shows three folders? Is that right? See image link...


    I guess I could make the jump to 5 now, but this isn't what I would have expected to be the impetus. Water warm over there?! ;)

  • Just to chime in as well: I'm on 4.6 too (and I too had trouble originally). And yes I also was seeing only some of the package contents at first upon import. Very strange...

    How are people on Unity 5 btw? Some sort of secret beta going on?
  • edited February 2015
    Yep, 4.6.2f1 too and it install correctly at 3rd or 4th attempt on a fresh scene.
    Same problem of yours, I saw only some folders... and when I close and reopen Unity, the asset store show me 1.41b...
  • edited February 2015
    EDIT: Problem solved


    I have some problems with update ...  My game stop work ... I get a erros like :

    NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object
    AC.StateHandler.Update () (at Assets/AdventureCreator/Scripts/Game engine/StateHandler.cs:123)

    I don't any idea whats that mean ...


  • edited February 2015

  • edited February 2015
    Same issue here: After downloading and installing Version 1.42 from the Asset Store, the version number in the Game Editor shows still "Adventure Creator - Versio 1.41b", but in the Store it says "1.42". BUT when you quit and start Unity again, it says "1.41b" in the Asset Store again. I retested the "Fixed: Menus of position Aligned and size Automatic having incorrect positions if their size changes mid-game" bugfix and it seems to be fixed - So it's definitely Version 1.42. I assume it's just a minor issue with wrong version details entered somewhere.

    The bad news: Some cutscenes of my current game seem to make problems after the update, I hope it's just easy fixes *fingers crossed* :)
  • I think I've solved the mystery..  The package you get (1.41a vs 1.42) is apparently based on what version of Unity you're using.  Apparently the new asset store tools allow for multiple versions online at once.

    To download 1.42, you must upgrade to Unity 4.6.2 or later.
  • Hmm, are you sure it's not just a display-issue? Why do i have the Menu bugfix in my version then? I'm using Unity 4.6.1f1. 

    Anyway, apparently the very first cutscene of my game has been destroyed by the update. It was a very long cutscene, and now there's only the first action in there :( The other cutscenes seem to work.
  • edited February 2015
    Of course you were right - I installed Unity 4.6.2 and then re-downloaded and installed the AC 1.4.2 again. I didn't have the "Show icon ins hierarchy window" option before, so it definitely wasn't 1.4.2 (strange the menu bugfix was in there though). 

    But something else occurred: When "Face after Moving" is enabled in an hotspot's "Examine Interaction" field, the waiting cursor appears and the game stops forever. Is this a bug or did i do anything wrong? 

    Edit: I tried to add "Character - Face Direction/FaceObject" Actions to the Interactions and discovered something else: When "Wait until finish" is selected, it also stops, BUT when "Is instant" is selected, it works. I changed this now for all my interactions and everything is fine again :)
  • edited February 2015
    I just found another thing :( I have music which is played across scenes. Every time I change the scenes, the music stutters a bit at the start of the next scene.
    edit: sorry for the 1.4.2 above, of course I meant 1.42. Everything is so confusing today :)
  • Hey Chris. These are some fantastic additions and many thanks for adding up several features which i was waiting for. The parallel actionlist (i was waiting for this the moment ActionList Editor was inlcuded to the AC) as well as global saving features are PERFECT! I cant wait to continue further with these features.


  • And the video is RAD! Really underlines the features with perfect ingame videos.
  • I'm on Unity 4.6.1f1 and AC 1.41a and it updated just fine.  Great update, Chris.  I retweeted on both of my twitter accounts!  :D

  • edited February 2015
    Awesome work, Chris! :) Thanks so much.
    Already RT. Will let you know how update goes. 
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