Add Objects To Levels.
Add Objects To Levels
NB: This document ONLY covers instructions for placing or changing OBJECTS. See the file
HOW2-Add_Aliens_to_levels for details on placing aliens.
To add an object, click on the small smiley face in the bottom left corner of the icon strip.
You will be presented with an extra set of options representing the object 'clipboard' from which
you can paste multiple copies of a single object into the level. Click on the 'Object Type'
line of the options until it reads 'Object'.
Adding objects to levels is quite simple, but there are a few things to bear in mind:
1. Any object can act as a 'key' for lifts and doors. To avoid difficulties, try to think
of keys as things that 'hold doors shut' and 'hold lifts still' until they are removed
from the map by collecting or destroying them, or until they are activated (e.g. a switch).
The doors and lifts held by an object are represented by two lists of letters, A-P. Click
on each letter to toggle it from dark to highlighted. Highlighted letters represent doors
or lifts which will be held by that object. Any number of doors and lifts can be held by
a single object, and similarly any number of objects can hold any one door or lift. The player
must remove or activate them ALL before the door/lift will operate.
2. Any object can trigger a text message when it is activated, collected or destroyed. This
is represented by the 'Text:' number. Click on this number and type the number of the text
string you wish it to trigger (See 'HOW2-Define-In-Game-Text' for details).
3. Clicking on the 'Type' line with the left and right buttons of the mouse scrolls forward and
backwards through the 30 possible objects you can define in the game linker. Objects MUST be
defined in the game linker before you can use them in levels.
4. The 'START FRAME' of an object is a very, very useful function indeed. If you read the
document 'HOW2-Define_New_Objects' you will know that it is possible to define loops of
animation within the animation data of each object. Using that, along with the START FRAME,
allows a single object to have many different graphical appearances in the game without
needing any more than ONE object defined in the game linker! For example, the keys in
AB3DII were defined as a single object with 13 frames of animation. Each frame of animation
was edited to display a DIFFERENT colour/number of key (e.g. red or green or blue or yellow etc.)
and also to point at ITSELF as the 'next frame' to be used. There are therefore 13 independent
animations within the animation definition for 'key'. The 'START FRAME' value was set before
pasting a key into the level. This value represents which frame of animation the object
will first be drawn using. Since in this case all frames pointed to themselves as 'NEXT' frames,
this also meant that the object would remain in that frame throughout its life! In effect
there were 13 different LOOKING keys in the game, but only one 'KEY' object was ever defined!
5. In the game, the computer keeps track of all objects and aliens which you can see or are near
to, and only moves and animates those. So that aliens can chase you, there is also a short
'timeout' so that an object or alien continues to be active for a few seconds after you move out
of range. The 'PERMANENT CALCULATION' toggle disables this feature for the object you paste,
and forces the computer to animate and control it constantly.
NB: The computer will never ignore the 'holding shut' of doors, no matter how far away objects
become, so don't worry about doors springing open as soon as you move out of range of the
key; it won't happen!
6. Because of the availability of gantries and the like, it is important to specify whether the
object is to be placed in the upper or lower part of a zone. The 'Start in Up/Lo rooms:'
toggle allows you to specify where to place the object.
7. Finally, to place an object somewhere, just click in a zone with the LEFT mouse button.
If you specified in the gamelinker that the object should be locked to the nearest wall,
the object will appear, stuck to the wall in the zone nearest where you clicked.
If, when you have the 'place object' icon selected, you move the cursor over an existing object
and press 'g', you will grab the settings of that object into the clipboard. You can then modify
them if necessary and paste them back into the same, or indeed any other object, by moving the
cursor over it and pressing 'p'.
The icon immediately to the right of 'place object' is 'move object'. If you wish to move an
object, select this icon then click on the object to move with the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON, then
on the position you wish it to move to with the LEFT mouse button.
The icon to the right of the 'move object' icon is 'delete object'. Clicking in the edit area
with this icon selected will delete the nearest object to your cursor.
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