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Version 1.66 - Timeline integration improvements, sprite directions, and voice asset bundles

edited January 9 in Official news

The first update of the new year is a bumper one. Noteworthy features:

Timeline integration

This'll be more significant for those working in 3D, but the Timeline integration is now much more robust - and should make it much more feasible to rely on Timeline for your cutscenes. This update provides improvements to AC's Timeline integration in three key ways:

  1. A new "AC MainCamera" track allows you to control which GameCamera that MainCamera is snapped to along a Timeline. Similar to the way the Cinemachine Brain track works, this also supports blending between clips and between the track itself - so you can transition smoothly to and from your regular gameplay camera.

  2. A new "AC Speech" track allows you to trigger character dialogue, which can be voiced and translated via the Speech Manager as normal.

  3. The Engine: Control Timeline Action now allows you to remap individual track bindings, without affecting all others at the same time.

To demonstrate these features, the 3D Demo has also been upgraded to rely on Timeline for its opening and closing cutscenes. It plays essentially the same (the jokes are still bad, I'm afraid), but the ActionLists controlling the cutscenes have been greatly simplified as a result. I've personally found it much easier to build and time cinematics using this tool, over using Actions to control everything. To check out the updated demo, download AC from the Asset Store in Unity 2018.3.

The Manual's new "Working with Timeline" chapter covers this all in more detail, but here's a brief video to show these features off as well:

Custom sprite directions

The Multiple directions? and Do diagonals? options for Sprites Unity-based 2D characters have been merged into the new Facing directions popup field. This allows for a new option.. "Custom"! With this mode, you can hand-pick exactly which directions such a character can face: limiting to just e.g. up-right and down-left, if you so desire.

Voice asset bundles

The "automatic" method of linking speech audio and lipsync files to dialogue lines has traditionally involved placing them in a Resources folder, which is quick to set up but not so great for memory efficiency. A new option allows you to place such files in a Unity asset bundle instead, which is more efficient and should improve startup times. A tutorial on getting up and running with this feature can be found here.

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Comments

  • edited January 8

    And the full changelog..

    Version 1.66.1:

    Upgrade notes

    • Sprite-based characters require upgrading to the new "Facing directions" field. This process should be automatic, by viewing their Inspectors
    • The "Multiple directions?" and "Do diagonals?" options for sprite-based characters have been merged into a single popup field for greater control
    • When remapping bindings with the "Engine: Control Timeline" Action, bindings are no longer cleared if the remap is empty
    • The deselection of inventory items when clicking on Unity UI elements is no longer automatic - the OnMenuElementClick custom event can be used to perform this manually
    • The third-person camera's "Collision offset" field has been replaced with "Collision radius"

    Timeline

    • Added: MainCamera timeline track - use to edit the MainCamera in Timeline
    • Added: Speech timeline track - use to play speech lines in Timeline
    • Added: OnCharacterEnterTimeline and OnCharacterExitTimeline custom events - called when a character is controlled by Timeline
    • Added: In Unity 2018.3 or later, the 3D Demo now relies on Timeline for its opening and closing cutscenes
    • Added: Ability to remap bindings in the "Engine: Control Timeline" Action to the active Player
    • Added: Improvements to the "Engine: Control Timeline" Action's UI
    • Changed: When remapping bindings with the "Engine: Control Timeline" Action, bindings are no longer cleared if the remap is empty

    Cameras

    • Added: Ability for the cursor to influence the position of 2D GameCameras, as it can with regular GameCameras
    • Added: Warning message when saving if the active camera is in a sub-scene, as this is disallowed
    • Changed: The third-person camera's "Collision offset" field has been replaced with "Collision radius"
    • Fixed: Positioning errors with the third-person camera at high speeds
    • Fixed: The third-person's "Minimum distance" field not affecting collisions

    Documents

    • Added: "Document: Check" Action - use to check if a specific Document is in the Player's collection
    • Fixed: Document menus not responding to turn on/off calls with the "Menu: Change state" Action

    Actions

    • Added: "Object: Check tag" Action - use to determine what a GameObject is tagged with
    • Added: Ability to automatically pan in the ActionList Editor when dragging the cursor close to the window's edge
    • Added: Improvements to the reporting of which Actions have comments displayed in the Console
    • Fixed: ActionLists sometimes running when they shouldn't be if they feature an Action that loops onto itself
    • Fixed: Rare issues with ActionList playback when skipping an ActionList that has been run before
    • Fixed: Occasional error when searching a project for all instances of a particular Action type
    • Fixed: Game suspending if the "Save: Save or load" Action is used to save the game when saving is not possible

    Menus

    • Added: If a Graphic menu element is assigned a MovieTexture, it will play automatically (Unity 2018.1 or earlier)
    • Added: Ability to remove the first page from a Journal menu element
    • Added: Option to not hide a Menu when taking a save-game screenshot
    • Added: Option for SavesList elements to display empty save slots
    • Added: Ability to prevent InventoryBox elements from limiting the maximum scroll amount
    • Changed: Subtitle menus created with the New Game Wizard now have "Duplicate for each line?" checked by default
    • Fixed: Selection issue with Input menu elements that accept special characters
    • Fixed: Duplicate and custom Menus not being hidden while taking save-game screenshots
    • Fixed: Position issues with Unity UI-based Subtitle menus that have "Duplicate for each line?" checked
    • Fixed: Positioning issues for Unity UI-based Menus that render in Screen Space Camera and also rely on Canvas Scaler components
    • Fixed: Control issue with AC-based Slider menu elements when using Keyboard Or Controller input
    • Fixed: Unity UI-based save menus appearing in save game screenshots
    • Fixed: Minor issue with save-game labels

    Inventory

    • Added: Ability to give inventory items and documents to the Player at runtime via the "cog" menu beside them
    • Added: List of a Player's current Inventory to their Inspector at runtime
    • Changed: The deselection of inventory items when clicking on Unity UI elements is no longer automatic - the OnMenuElementClick custom event can be used to perform this manually
    • Fixed: Inventory items deselecting inappropriately when clicking on Unity UI-based menu elements

    Characters

    • Added: Ability to customise exactly which directions a "Sprites Unity"-animated character can face
    • Added: Ability to tweak a Tint Map's color with a modifier
    • Changed: The "Multiple directions?" and "Do diagonals?" options for sprite-based characters have been merged into a single popup field for greater control
    • Fixed: Issue with Sprites Unity character animation playback when “Crossfade animation?” is checked
    • Fixed: 3D characters that rely on Root Motion sometimes speeding up as they reach their destination
    • Fixed: The Remember NPC component not properly handling the enabled state of the Hotspot it's attached to

    Navigation

    • Added: Functions to the Char script to access a character's next and previous nodes along their current Path
    • Added: Warning message if a 2D NavMesh's PolygonCollider2D component has a non-zero Offset, as this can cause pathfinding errors
    • Fixed: Issue with the removal of holes from a 2D NavMesh

    Editor

    • Added: Ability to use the alternative pan/zoom mode in the ActionList Editor window by holding down the Alt/Option key while scrolling
    • Added: Error logs can now be clicked to ping the related GameObject, if appropriate
    • Added: Ability to filter Variables by type in the Variables Manager

    Speech

    • Added: Ability to load automatically-named speech files via AssetBundles, as opposed to Resources folders
    • Added: Ability to define custom rich-text tags on the GameEngine's Dialog component, to automatically process when scrolling speech
    • Added: Memory improvements when manually-assigning translatable speech audio
    • Fixed: Errors with the playback of dialogue text that contains custom speech tags
    • Fixed: Speech text sometimes surviving scene changes and not disappearing
    • Fixed: Minor issues with the updating of DialogList elements when manually linked to a Conversation

    Scripting

    • Added: OnChangeCursorMode custom event - use to handle cursor behaviour when the active mode is changed
    • Added: OnPointAndClick custom event - triggers whenever the Player is commanded to move via pointing-and-clicking
    • Added: Function to the GVar class to determine whether or not a Variable is Global
    • Added: IsPaused() function to StateHandler script

    Cursor

    • Added: Ability to choose whether the cursor speed is independent of the screen resolution when using "Keyboard Or Controller" input
    • Fixed: Issues with the movement speed calculation of the cursor when using "Keyboard Or Controller" input
    • Fixed: Warning messages when animating Hardware cursor textures

    Misc

    • Added: Ability to specify whether or not the user can switch interaction icon through specific input buttons in Choose Interaction Then Hotspot mode
    • Added: Ability to set the new timeSamples value of music and ambience track when played via script
    • Fixed: Scene-based Constant ID values sometimes re-setting if the associated prefab's Inspector is viewed in the Inspector
    • Fixed: PlayerInput's SetSimulatedCursorPosition function not updating cursor position instantly
    • Fixed: Compilation errors on Switch due to lack of VideoPlayer API
    • Fixed: Triggers activating during the load of a save game
  • Awesome, can't wait to try this!
    'The deselection of inventory items when clicking on Unity UI elements is no longer automatic - the OnMenuElementClick custom event can be used to perform this manually'
    is this related to having an inventory item selected and left-clicking anywhere that isn't another inventory item or a hotspot to deselect it?
  • is this related to having an inventory item selected and left-clicking anywhere that isn't another inventory item or a hotspot to deselect it?

    Only so far as clicking on Unity UI components is concerned.

  • Awesome update, as always. One thing I've always liked about AC is how it continually keeps moving forwards while still maintining its tight focus

    I'm particularly grateful for the change to the way character direction facing is now handled, as it answers a half-request I made a while back (even if the change wasn't actually implemented in response to that particular request)

    I had some problems implementing the change for one of my projects which uses a Custom Animation Engine, because the new fields weren't appearing on the actor prefabs, but I surprised myself by working out that I needed to override CharSettingsGUI in the Custom Engine, and after that everything was fine...

  • Chris did u manage to fix the flickering of menus when autosaving on cutscenes? As per:

    ‘Menus are hidden while saving, to prevent them from showing in the screenshot. I'll add the ability for individual menus to opt out of this, so that you can pick and choose which menus get hidden.’
  • Thank you for another great update! So finally it is time for me to switch from Unity 2017.4 to 2018.3 which I didn't want to do until there is a feature that I really need. But now as timeline gets integrated so well into AC I can do my cutscenes with AC and Unity. I used Slate for the cutscenes until now but am happy to get them done in Unity and AC directly. Slate gave me some headaches here and there.
    The possibility to give inventory items to the player at runtime is a big time saver while testing scenes, by the way!

  • did u manage to fix the flickering of menus when autosaving on cutscenes?

    See the Hide in screenshots? Menu property.

    The possibility to give inventory items to the player at runtime is a big time saver while testing scenes, by the way!

    A simple addition, but I thought it'd be useful :)

  • Thanks Chris! I'm less than a month away from release and I'm a bit doubtful if I should update, but seeing as I'm currently running the beta version I think making a back up and updating would be the best option!

  • Re: OnMenuElementClick I'll try this out first but I'll assume it will be required for deselecting inventory items when clicking on verbs. This would be a scene custom hook script and I'll pass a deselect inventory function on detecting an element click?
  • edited January 9
    Re See the Hide in screenshots? Menu property

    Awesome!
  • edited January 9
    An amazing update! I love this tool!
  • edited January 9
    :)
  • Wow! Even if i'm on very older version, this is a great update on the beginning of the year. Thanks Chris :smiley:

  • I'll assume it will be required for deselecting inventory items when clicking on verbs

    It shouldn't be - clicking on verbs deselects the inventory anyway. This is more for e.g. buttons.

  • Ahh, so if you bring up a menu and have an item selected? Should it be a hook in a scene script to deselect it? Basically, with the upgrade, would every UI have to be manually scripted to substitute how it worked before, or is there a catch all method like a scene object script that could make it work as pre-upgrade?
  • Can you give a specific example?

    If you bring up a menu while an item is selected, you can just use the Inventory: Deselect Action to de-select the item in the menu's ActionList when turn on field - but that's unrelated.

    As the upgrade notes say, you can hook into the OnMenuElementClick event to deselect through script. How you use that event is up to you - you can have it deselect any time it's run, or just when e.g. a Button element is clicked on.

  • Wow, great update!

    I'm very happy with fixing the custom speech tags bug, which I rely heavily on. It's a great tool for controling the cutscenes. Timeline seems like even better.

    Moving speech files to AssetBundles is also pretty important.

    This update makes so many valuable changes, it's worth to update even in the mid-project, I think.

    Well, AdventureCreator is definitely moving in the right direction. So far the best tool for adventure type games, and getting better with each update.

  • "Added: Ability to tweak a Tint Map's color with a modifier".
    This is a great addition. Would also be nice if you added an actionlist command to change the tint at runtime, even better if that had a gradual timer so you could do sunset/sunrise effects in 2D.

  • edited January 14

    @ZcheK: Since the color is now exposed as a property, you can do all that using an Animator or Timeline.

  • Version 1.66.2:

    Upgrade note

    • As part of a bugfix, Remember components on Player prefabs no longer have their data loaded when changing scene through natural gameplay

    Changelog

    • Added: Ability to set the MainCamera shake intensity in AC MainCamera clips in Timeline
    • Added: Ability for Draggable and PickUp objects to rely on an Interactive Boundary that the Player must be within for them to be interactive
    • Added: If a Follow Sorting Map component is added to a character's root object, it is automatically disabled to prevent movement locking
    • Added: When searching scenes for global Variable references, the Console now includes the scene file in which references were found
    • Added: Minor improvements to the behaviour of PickUp objects when let go
    • Fixed: Script compilation issue on mobile platforms in v1.66.1
    • Fixed: Save data on Player prefabs being loaded when changing scene through natural gameplay
    • Fixed: The scene's default PlayerStart sometimes taking precedence over other PlayerStarts configured for the correct previous scene
    • Fixed: PlayerInteraction script's GetLabelPrefix function returning an empty string if the game relies on Interaction menus
    • Fixed: The default option of a timed Conversation not running if the timer expires
    • Fixed: Erroneous logs related to NPC following when switching the Player prefab in v1.66.1
    • Fixed: Display issues with the "Action to skip to" field in some Actions
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