First off, I will explain what exactly triggers are. Triggers can be thought of as switches, where 1 represents on and 0 represents off. They are used with trigger scenery, which is basically a 2-frame animation tile (some exceptions can be applied, more on that later) where the first frame is off, and the second frame is on. Triggers are in my opinion, the most useful thing in JCS, and with a good amount of knowledge in them, you can do many more things than it seems possible to do in JCS.
A trigger zone, for those of you that don’t know, is an invisible event that can either turn a trigger on OR off, depending on it’s settings. Remember that on is 1, and 0 is off, much like binary code. I recommend you to take in mind that the “switch” perimeter is very messed up and should be avoided. One useful thing about trigger zones is that they have the ability to animate trigger scenery the first time it is activated but only the first time. The tile will start at the first frame and animate itself at 10fps to the second to last frame (not the last). That means that the final frame of the animation will be completely avoided. Animated trigger zones can be EXTREMELY useful, and one good use will be covered later in this article.
A minor nuisance is the fact that trigger zones may not have the id of 0. Crates can, but not zones. Remember that, because a trigger zone with the id 0 will never work.
Another important thing to know is that triggers act differently in single player and multiplayer. In single player, all triggers that are on will be reset to off when you die. That does not apply to multiplayer. In multiplayer you will retain the status of the triggers activated when you die. The only way to lose them is to rejoin the server or for the game to end.
Finally, when a player joins, triggers will always be set to off for a half a second or so before the player adapts the triggers of the server. The cause of this is unknown, but it probably has something to do with the connection between the player and the server. Normally this “delay” in triggers when joining a server is no probelm at all, but it can confuse you into thinking you did something wrong if you do not know about this.
As I stated above, the player will adapt the status of all of the triggers the server has when he or she joins. Right now I will explain how to combat that, and how to do a few other nifty things. If you look at the picture below, you will see a system of sucker tubes and triggers.
It is pretty obvious, but I might as well say it. The sucker tubes all move RIGHT (that is X speed 20), and the trigger zone activates the trigger scenery. The trigger scenery tiles are not normal ones. They have a delay for about two seconds before they switch over. That means that the trigger scenery marked “Masked -> Unmasked” will STAY masked for two seconds after the player touches the trigger zone, AND THEN switch over to unmasked. This is done using animated trigger scenery. The same goes with the other trigger scenery tile.
Try and guess what this will do. If you get it right, good for you. It means that you actually understand this. This system will send a person to Room A when they join, and to Room B every time they die. So let’s pretend I joined a server hosting the level shown above. As soon as I enter the server, I will be plopped into Room A. Then all of a sudden somebody ambushes me and I am killed. I might as well say goodbye to Room A, because I am now in Room B. And every time I am killed I will be plopped into Room B as well. The only way for me to get to Room A is to rejoin the server.
So how does this relate to preventing the players from adapting the triggers of the server? It is quite simple. Let’s have Room A represent a sort of extension to the tube system, and have Room B represent the actual level. When the player travels through Room A, they can pass a series of trigger zones that deactivate or activate whatever is in the level. This will effectively negate the effects of the triggers that were passed on to the player when he or she joined. At the end of Room A, a warp should lead into Room B.
You can also use this concept for other, more complicated things, and a good example of that is in the level “Team Battle”, which can be downloaded from the downloads section of this site. Other uses for this are up to you to find out. This is where your creativity comes into play, and unfortunately, creativity is not something that you learn. It is something you simply have. Anyway, this pretty much finishes this article up. Hopefully you understood this. Thanks to Bobby for discovering the method of using triggers that I just explained.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.