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AppGameKit Chat / New AppGameKit Visual Editor launched today

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RickV
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 16:47
We’ve launched today the AppGameKit Visual Editor, the new drag & drop tool which takes away the guess work when it comes to 2D object placement, scaling and rotation.

The Visual Editor imports your projects media files and allows you to drag & drop them into the main editor window, where you can then visually modify the media with controls to re-position, scale, rotate, set properties, duplicate and more. Apps can be designed easier and faster!

Key Features
• Easily design your app scenes
• Position, scale and rotate objects
• Supports Sprites, Text and Edit Boxes
• Set properties of objects (transparency, colour, physics, etc)
• Multiple resolution support
• Define up to 50 scenes per project
• Exports AppGameKit Tier 1 Source Code
• Integrates with the AppGameKit IDE

The Visual Editor provides an easy way for object properties to be set up. You simply click on an object and its current properties will be displayed; you're then able to easily change any of the starting values for that object.

The sprite properties you can configure are:
• Depth
• Visible
• Flip Vertical
• Flip Horizontal
• Active
• Colour
• Alpha
• Collision
• Physics
• Type

You can also add in Text and Edit Box objects.

As most apps will have more than one game scene (main menu, game play, game over, high score, etc) the Visual Editor scene manager helps you manage this. Simply choose a scene and design the items that need to appear within it.

With the multiple resolution support you can preview how your app will look on different devices that have varying resolutions and aspect ratios. Choose a base resolution and from that the Visual Editor will re-scale and re-position your sprites across the various, different resolutions. You can also make adjustments in any resolution to ensure your app looks the best on any device.

The AppGameKit Visual Editor integrates seamlessly with the Tier 1 IDE, allowing you to instantly test your visual projects. A project file is exported, which you can then modify with your own code to bring your game logic to life.

AppGameKit Visual Editor is available on Steam or on The Game Creators website
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CJB
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 16:57
Nice! I'll be ordering this on payday.

Kevin Cross
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 17:17 Edited at: 24th Aug 2017 17:18
Don't forget to add FixSpriteToScreen and FixTextToScreen for those that want to design a HUD that doesn't move around the scene with the player/character!

Can we get a cut down demo/trial version made available soon as well please? While £22 isn't much, based on the screenshots and the lack of features it has on launch it'll be good to see whether or not it's useful. It definitely looks an improvement on the Placement Editor.
pinete
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 17:19
Just purchased and celebrating!
After playing some time with it I want to say it's what a LOT of us was waiting for as it simplifies so much the creation of 2D scenes.
I've not faced any problem still and apparently it works like magic so it's a must to buy it, for sure.
Anyway, buttons, particles and more (as it stays an the end of the web) will be more than welcome (the sooner the better
Thanks a lot!
MikeMax
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 19:05
Just purchased too

Let's try ...
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pjsmith67
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 21:44
I would also like to see a demo/trial version of this before I consider buying it.

Phil
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 22:45
I bought this thing this morning without seeing the little warning at the bottom of the page that says it's for Windows only. That flushing sound you heard was my money.
pinete
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 23:39
What you mean? this doesn't work for Android/iOS? could you please tell a little more?
it's basically an advanced sprite placement tool.. I'm quite sure in case it doesn't work now, it will do soon
To be honest I've not noticed any advise about .. where did you see it?
jhanson
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 23:45
I mean the Visual Editor itself only runs on Windows. So if you develop on a Mac, like I do, you're out of luck at the moment. I'm sure whatever code it spits out works on whatever target platform you want.

And I'm about 95% sure that the warning that it was Windows only wasn't there when I placed my order this morning. The page itself looks completely different now than it did at that time.
pinete
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 00:06
Thanks jhanson. I understand, thanks so much for the explanation. I don't know really but If I could bet, I'd say that I'm quite sure it will work on MAC very soon. TGC uses to improve and evolve all their tools very fast
Have some patience jhanson, they will do it, sure.. ask them about this, maybe they can answer you with a roadmap for this or an expected release date
jlahtinen
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 07:55
Eh, this has to be bought separately? I was under impression that this will be included in AppGameKit price...
RickV
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 08:04
@jhanson - we can issue you with a full refund if you like. We will be adding Mac in about a months time.

@jlahtinen - yes this is an optional DLC add-on. Like the main AppGameKit core we will continue to develop and improve the Visual Editor so you'll receive free updates to it as we make it do more.
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jhanson
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 12:23
Thanks, but if it's only going to be like a month, I'll just keep it. I just moved over to AppGameKit from a place where "Mac version coming soon" roughly translated to "Mac version coming sometime between three years from now and eternity" so I was worried.
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 13:22 Edited at: 25th Aug 2017 15:02
Quote: "yes this is an optional DLC add-on. Like the main AppGameKit core we will continue to develop and improve the Visual Editor so you'll receive free updates to it as we make it do more."

Did I miss the road map of this product?
What features will be integrated in the future?
Could you please give us as much details as possible?

Edit: plus 1 for a demo
Duflap
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 14:59
Bought this today and it will help me, hopefully and i cannot wait to see how it developes long term.
Do not run before you can walk!
RickV
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 15:07 Edited at: 25th Aug 2017 15:07
@jhanson we'll be doing a day next Friday looking at Mac. After that the main programmer is taking a well deserved week off. Once he's back we'll focus on a Mac version.

Quote: "What features will be integrated in the future?"

Hi George++, We have a lot of ideas from the early Beta testers and some feedback from new users. For now we're still working out what will be the order of features. For the immediate future we want to ensure stability and then we'll start to add in new features. Mac & Linux versions also need to be created and I want us to do that sooner rather than later.

Quote: "Bought this today and it will help me"

Hi Duflap, thanks for buying and I hope you find it useful. If you purchased a Steam version please post a review.
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Phobos70
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 16:59
Purchased! I'm also waiting for the Linux and Mac versions!!!
george++
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 19:21
Thank you RickV
TGC has proven in the past that it is on the right way, and I am sure this editor will become a must add-on for AGK.
PartTimeCoder
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 20:26 Edited at: 25th Aug 2017 20:36
Not sure where to post bug reports for the VD so I'll post it here.

Using the new beta there is something wrong with sprite scaling, the moment you click the widget the scale goes wild, previous versions worked fine.
Bruce
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 23:29
Quick question guys...
If i order the Steam pack (there is an unlimited bundle that includes all DLC), am i tied to the steam versions of everything ? i would be able to get the linux and osx version of the Studio when they are available ?

I ask because i develop mainly on linux. So im thining on buying now to check and when it is available on linux just switch.

Thanks
MikeMax
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Posted: 26th Aug 2017 01:29 Edited at: 26th Aug 2017 01:32
I just tried the Visual Editor.

An important detail : it uses integrated and required AGC libraries to interpret what you've configured in the Visual Editor. So you can't really use the Visual Editor for an existing or older project in WIP (for example). But for a future new project, why not !

I would have hoped having -also- a mode to simply drag&drop images/sprites, customize them, and export the full basic Tier1 code without dependancies or framework commands ( VisualEditor_SetScene() ,VisualEditor_GetNameFromID() etc..... ) and customize the code after with my little hands (simply that but it's not the aim of the tool .. but i'm a purist lol).

I love the Visual Editor's "Save" function which re-export automatically even if the AppGameKit IDE is opened. i can switch easily between the two windows Modify the Scene, save it, "play" on the AppGameKit IDE, stop; remodifying the visual scene, save, re "play" on the AppGameKit IDE ...

I know that a lot of things will come on future versions but ... why doing a space by default in Entities names ? it's not easy to copy/paste from Visual Editor to IDE ( VisualEditor_GetID ( "sprite 1", 1 ) ... ) i would have prefered "sprite_1" for example) :p I'm a coder, i'm Lazy. :p. But it's cool to have the ability to put spaces in names though

Edit: When you click on the name property, it selects all the name (without taking spaces into account). But it's less readable for my coder's eyes with spaces inside entities names :p

It's a great tool ! congratulations for this first version
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VictorH
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Posted: 26th Aug 2017 19:45
HI All,

I wonder when the fontpacks will be useable in the editor . I also note that since a few versions ago, you can use OS fonts to some degree. I make an assumption that if you want to develop cross platform you should purchase and use the AppGameKit Font Packs yes?

It would be great to be able to use the fontpacks in the editor and perhaps consider bundling them with the editor in a future release?

I very much like where the editor is going, it certainly accomplishes it's mission to simplify sprite/text placement.

VIC
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MikeMax
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Posted: 27th Aug 2017 13:45
Yes, the Visual Editor should detect if there is OTF or TTF Files in media and propose them in the Font selector for Text en Editboxes
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xCept
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Posted: 28th Aug 2017 00:02
I think that users would benefit greatly if the included demos had accompanying AppGameKit source code that showed actual interaction with the scenes created in Visual Editor, such as a playable game. As it stands, all of the examples only output a few lines of AppGameKit code that statically display the scene with no interaction at all. The help guide only devotes a couple pages at the end toward communicating with the scene objects from AGK. This can lead to a great misunderstanding of the product's capabilities and inflated expectations of what it can achieve. For instance, the Jewel Game demo:



Looks great in the editor but consists of 64 individual sprites manually positioned in the grid, each with names such as "sprite 65" and "sprite 13". They are arranged in no particular order so the top row has eight sprites with IDs [15, 14, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 29] including duplicate IDs. I see no programmatic way to create an actual "jewel game" out of such a structure and would be fully impressed if anyone could do so, since the sprites have no UDT components and only a simple ID to reference in code. There are no associated properties of any of those sprites.

I think the editor works best for level-based games where each level includes a very defined set of elements, versus single-screen games that feature almost exclusively dynamic content.

BatVink
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Posted: 28th Aug 2017 10:36 Edited at: 28th Aug 2017 17:28
@xCept: In your scenario with the Jewel game I would consider a couple of options:

1. The Sprites can be renamed. Call them Token_0101 - Token_0808.

2. Design the main HUD in the editor. Put Placeholder sprites at positions 1,1 and 8,8. Use these to load Sprites as a separate function in your game code.

I prefer option 2 as you probably want to convert the game tokens to a 2-dimensional array for efficient processing.

Quote: "since the sprites have no UDT components and only a simple ID to reference in code"

I have suggested that V1.1 should have a place for user defined parameters, possibly held as a Key/Value construct. this allows you to add anything you need, including tween, physics, click responses etc that are not yet implemented as standard editor features.
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Posted: 28th Aug 2017 19:32
Just bought app game kit...feel robbed. Should have been an upgrade included in app game kit.
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Posted: 29th Aug 2017 00:48
Quote: "I have suggested that V1.1 should have a place for user defined parameters, possibly held as a Key/Value construct. this allows you to add anything you need, including tween, physics, click responses etc that are not yet implemented as standard editor features."


+1 for that but only for the things that can not be anticipated, I would still like to see direct access to tween and physics functions in the editor, for now though I'd be happy to see subimage support and after that a collision shape editor for tilesets, when the VD has tools like that it will be really useful, its pretty basic as it stands.

I know these things don't happen over night I'm almost 6 weeks in on my 3D editor and not even scratched the surface on what I need to get done! lol
pjsmith67
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Posted: 29th Aug 2017 16:45
Is there any way we can get a demo/trial version of the visual editor?

Thanks,

Phil
RickV
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Posted: 29th Aug 2017 21:54
We are working on a demo version.
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Orvillian
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Posted: 30th Aug 2017 15:37
A demo version is now available. You can download it from here - https://www.appgamekit.com/visual-editor. A number of example projects are included in the demo. You can open these and see how things work with the editor. You cannot create new projects nor save any changes to the example projects. There's also no Tier 1 source code included.
pjsmith67
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Posted: 30th Aug 2017 15:39
Excellent. Thank you!

Phil
Kevin Cross
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Posted: 30th Aug 2017 16:47 Edited at: 30th Aug 2017 17:08
The Jumping Jack project probably shouldn't be included as it's confusing to someone using the demo. All we see is:
Scene 1 is black
Scene 2 is a title screen
Scene 3 contains one large character sprite
Scene 4 contains the same character sprite but smaller.

Also all of these projects seem to be games that run on a scene that's the size of the screen. You've not included any project that has a large level laid out. I can't see how you change the scene size at all. Scene Setting options only allow you to change the background colour. I get that objects dragged far right off of the background will still be in the scene but all of the projects seems to have a coloured box for the background with a pink border around it which might suggest to some users that this is the canvas you have to work with, and anything out of that won't be included in the game.

And one last thing. I can't see away to drag and select multiple items (in a way you would do if you wanted to group items in another editor or delete them in one go etc.)

EDIT: I've re-opened Jumping Jack and I can see for a split second graphics on scene 1 but then I just see the black background on scene 1. It's probably the one project that shows how a complete level would be laid out but it doesn't show anything, not for me anyway.

EDIT 2: I closed the visual editor and re-opened Jumping Jack and I can now see the graphics but unfortunately the level has 3 platforms with no level laid outside of the main area so it's not clear how you would use this build a nice full level and not one that's dynamically built which looks like what Jumping Jack might be.
Orvillian
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Posted: 30th Aug 2017 17:15
Kevin, you can change the scene size by clicking on the resolution drop down list on the toolbar. From here you can see how your game will look on different resolutions. In the future mulitiple selection will be coming and we can make some better demos showing levels that go outside the main viewing area. What graphics card do you have? If you try scrolling the scene window or zooming in or out does anything change with the display on scene 1 of Jumping Jack?

Kevin Cross
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Posted: 30th Aug 2017 17:48
@Orvillian,

Lets say I want to make a large level 10,000 pixels wide and 1,000 pixels high, place my platforms around and really build an amazing level. How would I go about doing that? Change the resolution at the top? Is that really clear to users? To me that is showing me what the level would look like on a particular resolution not the overall scene size. If you do change the resolution to that size you end up with a long and thin rectangle which you can't seem to zoom in on, making it impossible to build a scene. You also can't work at that resolution because soon as you try to place a sprite it says you can only place sprites on the BASE resolution 960 x 640. Try it yourself. It's confusing.

I've not used many visual editors but I have used GameSalad (a drag and drop game development tool) and that allows you to choose the scene size, and choose the camera size to show how much of the scene is in view at any one time. This is how I'd vision most editors being, the camera size changes when you change the resolution which would show more or less of the scene.

I'm merely giving feedback here. I don't intend to build a large level anytime soon as I'm not a fan of platform games but if I was to use an editor I'd want it to be clearer. Maybe if you did put together a project that has a large level laid out it would help show that it's not just for games that play within the screen resolution only (like SmackIt, Snake, and the JewelGame).
smallg
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Posted: 30th Aug 2017 18:05
Quote: "that allows you to choose the scene size, and choose the camera size to show how much of the scene is in view at any one time. This is how I'd vision most editors being, the camera size changes when you change the resolution which would show more or less of the scene."

that is basically how it works, the resolution is the desired screen size that your app is targeted for and is shown by a pink border - anything inside this pink rectangle is shown automatically and anything outside it is included in the scene but won't be visible unless you move the camera (or that entity).
you don't need to stick to the (pink) defined area if you want a large map but the editor doesn't have any control over what happens in the actual game mechanics, that's all coded by you in AppGameKit afterwards, so zooming or moving the camera with the player is all perfectly possible.
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Orvillian
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Posted: 30th Aug 2017 18:19
The current dimensions for scrolling are based on 8 times the size of your selected resolution. I'll add something to change this so you can have much larger areas.
pjsmith67
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Posted: 30th Aug 2017 22:59
Thanks for putting that demo out. After playing with it for 10 minutes, I've decided its something I want.

Stupid question... if I buy the windows version, I will be able to use the upcoming Mac version as well without having to pay for that, correct? I have a Mac but can run the windows version in a virtual machine until then.

Thanks,

Phil
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Posted: 31st Aug 2017 00:39
using current beta

with snap to grid enabled, when scaling sprites it would be helpful if it also snapped to grid when scaling width or height.

when adding a ttf font to the media folder and clicking menu>>media>>refresh the font drop down is not updated, have to reload the project to update

there is still a bit of a notchy issue when scaling text with the mouse.
Alien Menace
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Posted: 31st Aug 2017 03:06
Does this not support loading animated sprites?
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Orvillian
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Posted: 31st Aug 2017 06:17
If you buy the Windows version you'll also get to download the Mac and Linux versions without having to pay anything else.

I'll put in an option with the grid to snap to width and height when scaling.

Will check the TTF issue and the text scaling.

The plan is to add animated sprites and many other features very soon.
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Posted: 31st Aug 2017 15:03
Try rotating the mouse middle wheel, it screws the visible area size and position. The only way back really is to re-load it.
Orvillian
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Posted: 31st Aug 2017 15:22
Battoad, please can you post a screen shot of what you see and also let me know what type of graphics card you have. Thanks.
Battoad
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Posted: 31st Aug 2017 16:22
Quote: "what type of graphics card you have"

Nvidia GeForce GTX660




I think it just needs a re-centreing and sizing button option to move your images back to how they should be.

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PartTimeCoder
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Posted: 31st Aug 2017 16:56
@Battoad, when you zoom back in it will centre on the mouse position, if your pointer is offset your scene it will appear to vanish when you zoom back in.

@Orvillian, when zooming out (mouse wheel back), when at maximum zoom the mouse wheel instead moves the scrollbar positions, is this by design?

and regarding the scrollbars, can you add middle mouse panning, and maybe change the zoom offset to a relative centre so it operates more like other common software of its type and avoids future confusion.
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Posted: 31st Aug 2017 17:23
any chance of adding a hotkey to temporarily ignore snap to grid, like hold CTRL or ALT while in snap mode will allow free placement, I'm adding a shadowed text slightly offset from a grid aligned text and would have found a quick way to ignore snap to grid very useful.

smallg
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Posted: 1st Sep 2017 18:19
Quote: " - can you add middle mouse button panning, and maybe change the zoom offset to a relative centre so it operates more like other common software of its type and avoids future confusion?
- any chance of adding a hotkey to temporarily ignore snap to grid, like hold CTRL or ALT while in snap mode will allow free placement?"

both great suggestions, +1 from me

- a copy and paste for entire scenes would be great.
- also can we get the scene selection at the bottom (something like the pic attached)? i often find myself going back and forth to copy and paste my sprites and this would make it a lot easier to navigate.
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spaceName
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2017 07:37
Is it possible to get the longggggg plan/roadmap for what you guys plan without creating a stick ur foot in mouth scenario ?
RickV
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2017 08:23
@smallg - I have noted your wish list items
@spaceName - currently Mike is taking a well earned break and then we plan to get Mac & Linux versions up and running. Feature wise we still need to plan what's next from the big list of ideas. We don't publish what we are doing because people then hold us to this and it's then difficult to change mid term. The aim now is to do an update at least every 2 months so you see new features added on a regular basis.
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smallg
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2017 10:57 Edited at: 2nd Sep 2017 10:58
enjoy your break Mike.
sorry but here's a quick bug report for when you get back
(after the first scene - which works correctly) the last entity placed in the visual editor doesn't return it's name property correctly when using VisualEditor_GetNameFromID()


it's an easy fix though, the function just needs to check the entire length of entities (currently has -1)
i.e.
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mash
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2017 11:05
Waiting for the Linux demo/full release. Any ETA?

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