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MLLE - Playing catch-up with DJazz

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Jun 28, 2017, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Violet CLM View Post
It looks like something is probably wrong with one of the directories you specified that you keep games and tilesets in. Check the File>Paths and Filenames menu option, or if MLLE crashes before you get that far, edit MLLE.ini manually.
It works! Problem solved! Thanks!

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Jun 28, 2017, 01:30 PM
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This makes everything easier.
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Aug 11, 2017, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Violet CLM View Post
MLLE version 2.3 has been uploaded. Some bug fixes, some quality of life improvements, and a lot of new JJ2+ support.

The next major landmark, in theory, is the creation of levels with more than eight layers, but I suspect that'll be difficult to implement so I decided to leave it out of this release.
Now that happened. MLLE is up to 2.4 and you can add and reorder layers to your heart's content. And some other stuff, so check the changelog.txt.
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Surely there's a lot more to it, but for now maybe you could add UseLayer8Speeds to the JJ2+ Functions. I think lots of level makers use that now.
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jjUseLayer8Speeds has the feel of a property that'll eventually be deprecated in favor of jjLayers[8].useSpeeds or something similar. That and the various textured background properties are being avoided in MLLE until either they become layer properties in angelscript or I become convinced that will never happen.
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Looks like I didn't mention 2.5 in this thread, but we're up to 2.6 now. Mostly just bug fixes in the last two updates.
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Okay, so here goes my layout critique.

While the layout is workable, I think you should keep tileset, animated tiles, layer view and parallax view as separate, but dockable windows, so anyone can arrange them in whatever layout they prefer, including to emulate original JCS layout or put in the tabs if they want it that way.

For example, the way to add animated tiles is so obscure I couldn't really find it. In JCS it's easy: Find empty spot in the animated tiles window, click it and then ctrl+click the tiles for the animation. In MLLE? Hell if I know.

Anyway, that's just my critique. To sum it all up: You shouldn't force certain layout on people, but make it as flexible as it can be so they can customize it the way they prefer.

//edit: A suggestion: How about, for the events that have the associated graphic in it, like enemies, gems, etc., in parallax view the event could be shown as a graphic for that item, so you can see how the level would look like more or less with all items spawned without actually launching the game.

Another thing would be a built-in AngelScript editor with syntax highlighting so you can create and edit associated script for that level. A third-party editor for the Super Mario Bros X that is now bundled with SMBX (long story) does something similar.
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The parallax view style is not changing. Whenever I try JCS again nowadays it is just a severe downgrade in that regard.

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Originally Posted by Darkhog View Post
How about, for the events that have the associated graphic in it, like enemies, gems, etc., in parallax view the event could be shown as a graphic for that item, so you can see how the level would look like more or less with all items spawned without actually launching the game.
I think WebJCS implements this, or at least DJazz was talking about it... it's never been a high priority for me, though, because I've never found the text event names particularly uninformative. Also it would be an unnecessary, inaccurate distraction if the level someone was working on had a script that replaced an object with something else. Also it would be pretty tedious to assemble all the different sprite sheet images (and note down each individual sprite's coordinates) for the various different games MLLE supports.

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Another thing would be a built-in AngelScript editor with syntax highlighting so you can create and edit associated script for that level. A third-party editor for the Super Mario Bros X that is now bundled with SMBX (long story) does something similar.
I've thought about this, but Notepad++ is so much better than anything I could embed in MLLE, especially if you get SE's plugin to work. Also I think it's a lot better having the script in a separate window from the level editor, because that way you have maximum flexibility for editing script and layout at the same time. Even if somebody does come up with a much better AngelScript editor than Notepad++, it should be able to be run on its own.
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Then how about, regarding AS thing, ability to create an j2las file directly from the MLLE (if it doesn't exist when clicking "Edit level script" option that you could put under JJ2+ menu), then launching it in the default editor? Heck, you could even bundle np++ with the MLLE, along with SE's extension as it is an open-source software, and when "edit script" is clicked just launch bundled np++ instance so everyone would have same or close to the same environment.

Also I like how you dodged animated tiles thing, talking about parallax. And no, it isn't about what you, as the developer finds comfortable, it is what users find comfortable. You may have Parallax set up as a tab for yourself, I don't really care, but some people like to see changes side-by-side, in real time, so they are sure they're putting tiles in the right positions, especially for layers with different scroll speeds.
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Then how about, regarding AS thing, ability to create an j2las file directly from the MLLE (if it doesn't exist when clicking "Edit level script" option that you could put under JJ2+ menu), then launching it in the default editor?
This isn't a bad idea. ETA: Implemented in 2.7, now reuploaded to J2O.

Quote:
And no, it isn't about what you, as the developer finds comfortable, it is what users find comfortable. You may have Parallax set up as a tab for yourself, I don't really care, but some people like to see changes side-by-side, in real time, so they are sure they're putting tiles in the right positions, especially for layers with different scroll speeds.
I mean, I am a significant percentage of the use MLLE gets. And being able to see that things are in the right positions is, indeed, what being able to view the level in parallax is for. You may be misunderstanding; the Parallax button isn't a tab, it's just an alternate display mode. You can still edit the current layer when it's enabled.
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This isn't a bad idea. ETA: Implemented in 2.7, now reuploaded to J2O.
Thanks. One problem though. MLLE seems to be not able to load 1.24 j2t files, such as Easter99 (in GoG release), which JCS loads fine.


//edit: And I still don't know how to animate tiles in MLLE .
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So set the game version to 1.24. It's one of the menu options, click around a little bit and you'll find it.
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Ok, I'll lok for it. From the message it looked more like 1.24 support was overlooked (at least for tilesets), but I guess I was wrong.

//edit: Though, in my defense, I have only path to JJ2+ 1.24 set up as I simply don't have other supported games, so it should default to the version I have and completely disregard those I don't (indicated by empty paths). Guess it's something that should be improved.

//edit #2: Got it. I hope it's not something I will have to do for every level or each time I start the program.
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In your MLLE.ini, change the "DefaultGame" value from "JJ2" to "TSF"
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Yeah, figured that out myself, but it should autodetect and choose first game that has associated path if path wasn't set for the default game (i.e. is empty). Should be an easy fix though.

//edit: Before I forget, could you add a MRU (most recently used) list to the MLLE? So I won't need to click open and scroll through long list of levels to actually locate the level I want if I've opened it recently. A buffer of 4 recent levels would do just fine. I mean, even JCS has it:
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You're right. I'm guessing that's in the plans?
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Yeah, I suppose so. Mentioned both of these on the rare chance it isn't. Oh and I've also made a (crappy) mascot for the tool. Probably if I'd spent more time on shading it would've turned out better, but yeah, can't be arsed to do that.


The design was supposed to be something between Servbots (Capcom) and Balrog from Cave Story. I guess it's similar to neither.
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I like what you did with the second L lol
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A list of recently opened levels would not be too hard, no, I've just never gotten around to it. Thanks for the reminder.

btw, if you have a GitHub account, you can also make reports/suggestions here and they'll have the benefit of staring me in the face every time I visit the repository.
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Oh, thanks. Forgot it was open-source and didn't know it's on github. Yes, I do have a github account. Will open issues for my suggestions.
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A list of recently opened levels would not be too hard, no, I've just never gotten around to it.
This has been implemented in MLLE 2.8, available now on J2O. Plus a few more fixes for increased stability in certain contexts.
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Sweet, I don't know how it happened but MLLE now works normally on my system again! Now all I need is an equivalent of JCS's Animating Tiles window and I can stop using JCS forever
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But I thought people liked it the way it is in MLLE.
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For the love of sky daddy I can't figure out how to add animated tiles in MLLE and there is no site "HowToMLLE." So that should say something.
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Indeed, neither can I. Can somebody clarify how to open the animations tab?
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I haven't used MLLE much (yet), but it seems to me the way MLLE displays animated tiles makes more sense, as they're appended as new tiles in the tileset like they've always been. Sure, JCS makes them look more organized, but MLLE actually shows where they are in a setting where the tileset may no longer be a static image.
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Originally Posted by Slaz View Post
I haven't used MLLE much (yet), but it seems to me the way MLLE displays animated tiles makes more sense, as they're appended as new tiles in the tileset like they've always been. Sure, JCS makes them look more organized, but MLLE actually shows where they are in a setting where the tileset may no longer be a static image.
Care to elaborate on that?
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Care to elaborate on that?
To create an animation, double-click on the blank tile shown at the end of the tileset, then Ctrl+click on the tiles you want in the animation. Check the animation's settings, and click Save.
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You can also right-click instead of double-click, and that gives you some more options.
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MLLE v2.9 has been released, mostly focused on fixing crashes or other bugs, but also you can build tilesets now. Could be nice if you only own 1.23 but want to make a tileset with more than 1020 tiles, or if you've been dreaming of making a new episode for Battery Check, or whatever.
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"-By enabling the new "Zooming Above 100%" option in the Preferences
dropdown menu, you can view the level at 200% or 400% size. This is
primarily intended for people with very large resolutions, but might also
be helpful for finding tile bugs."

I am SOOOO happy
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MLLE v2.10 has been released, mostly focused on making little improvements to existing windows or menus. For example, if you've been editing a level's palette inside MLLE and realize you need a more sophisticated tool to finish the job, now you can actually export the level's palette instead of having to recreate all your past edits from scratch.

Also, after six years of being grayed out, the "Package in ZIP file" menu option is now functional and has full AngelScript support. I stress-tested it on HH17, and MLLE automatically built a ZIP with 87 of HH17's 88 files, missing only the episode file, which it had no way of knowing about. (Actually, it found an extra file, Icicle.j2a, which I guess was a past filename for HH17_Icicle.j2a but was still being referenced in HH17_Guardian.j2as.)
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MLLE v2.11 has been released. It's not a substantial update, but if you've been annoyed at the bug with editing sucker tube parameters, that's fixed now. Also while editing tile images you can copy them to the clipboard, edit them in a different program, then copy them from there and paste them back into MLLE, so that's neat. Also you can find an event by typing its name instead of memorizing where it is in the event tree!
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MLLE v2.12 has been released, bringing three new features and two bug fixes. If you find yourself coding a lot of custom events and you'd like MLLE to know what they're called, or if you're tired of overwriting events while editing your layer 4 eyecandy, this is good news for you.
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MLLE v2.13 has been released, with the major new feature being a window that lets you use custom weapons (or reconfigure the default ones, e.g. replacing pepper spray with fireballs) without writing any code. This is by far one of MLLE's most ambitious features, with a huge number of moving pieces and a ridiculous assortment of edge cases that the angelscript files hide away from you, but hopefully everything will work fine?




To use any custom weapons, you'll need to download both the Standard Weapon Interface and the Custom Weapons (MLLE-compatible) pack. Together these two uploads rewrite numerous previously written custom weapons to use a single unified setup interface, which MLLE in turn handles for you.

See the next post for more details (forthcoming...)
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Instructions for using custom weapons and MLLE

Making a level

Editor interface
While editing a JJ2+ level with MLLE, click the "JJ2+ Properties" dropdown menu at the top of the window and select the "Weapons..." option. This will bring up a modal window with a 3×3 grid of the nine weapons used in this level. Each panel in the grid shows, by default: the weapon number, a preview icon of the weapon, and the weapon's name.

The weapon's name is actually a dropdown menu. By clicking on it, you open up the menu to see the rest of the weapons available to you, and selecting any one of them will cause your level to use that weapon instead. For example, if you click the dropdown box in panel 2 and change it from "Bouncer" to "Electro Blaster," then all bullets players shoot in this level with weapon 2 selected will be electro blaster bullets, and all ammo pickups, ammo crates, and powerups for weapon 2 will use electro blaster sprites as well.

If you have downloaded any custom weapons that are compatible with MLLE, they will also appear as options in each panel's main dropdown box, so for example you could change weapon 2 from "Bouncer" to "Laser Blaster" instead. Again, that is all you need to do. (Here are a bunch of custom weapons you can download to start off with.)

Notice that each of the nine weapon panels has a vertical scrollbar on its far right. By scrolling down, you can look at and edit a list of options. All weapons share the following six options:
  1. Maximum: How much ammo of this weapon a player can carry. The cheat codes JJAMMO, JJGUNS, and JJGOD all instantly set each weapon's ammo to this number, and when a player has maximum ammo for a weapon, ammo pickups for that weapon can no longer be collected. The default value of "-1" is special and is interpreted as either 99 or 50 depending on whether you are playing single player, but other values are also accepted. Some weapons are so powerful that you might want to lower their maximum value to maybe 25 or even 1.
  2. Birds: If your level contains any bird cage objects (or if the player uses the JJBIRD cheat code), this property affects whether the birds will be able to fire this bullet type (if the player has it selected) or whether they'll default to weapon 1 instead.
  3. Appears in gun crates: By default, only ammo pickups for weapons 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 can appear in Gun Crate and Gun Barrel events. This property lets you change that. (No effect for weapon 1, which has no ammo pickup objects.)
  4. Gems lost (normal): This option is only useful in Treasure Hunt levels, where it specifies how many gems a player loses after being hit by a normal bullet of this weapon. If this is not a Treasure Hunt level, you can ignore this option completely.
  5. Gems lost (powerup): Same, but for powered-up bullets.
  6. Availability: Whether players should start with the maximum amount of ammo for this weapon, and whether ammo pickups are necessary. These options are changed very rarely but might be useful for a high-concept level.

Besides those six options, some weapons have additional options that are specific to them only: these appear below the six common options and can also be found by using the panel's scrollbar. Of the nine default weapons, four have weapon-specific options: Bouncer, Ice, TNT, and Gun8. Some custom weapons have weapon-specific options and most do not; the only way to check is to use the scrollbar.

Interacting with MLLE code
Using almost any of MLLE's JJ2+ tools in a level will cause MLLE to write some code to the level's .j2as file, and the Weapons window is no exception to this. As ever, though, the rule is basically this: leave it alone and nothing will go wrong.

The most important of MLLE's interaction with your .j2as file are the following two lines (or similar):
Code:
#include "MLLE-Include-1.5.asc" ///@MLLE-Generated
const bool MLLESetupSuccessful = MLLE::Setup(); ///@MLLE-Generated
MLLE-Include-1.5.asc is a special angelscript library generated by MLLE that interprets all the various JJ2+ properties that MLLE embeds in your .j2l file, and MLLE::Setup() is the function call to run the library. 99% of the time you can (and should) ignore these two lines and let MLLE worry about them. If for whatever reason you want some code to run before the function call, you can use the following pattern instead and nothing should go wrong:
Code:
#include "MLLE-Include-1.5.asc" ///@MLLE-Generated
void onLevelLoad() {
	//do something important
	MLLE::Setup();
}
This changes slightly if you use the Weapons window to use any custom weapons in your level, or even to make significant enough modifications to the default weapons. In that case, those two lines will look more like this:
Code:
#include "MLLE-Include-1.5w.asc" ///@MLLE-Generated
const bool MLLESetupSuccessful = MLLE::Setup(array = {SzmolWeaponPack::MeleeSword::Weapon(), null, SzmolWeaponPack::DischargeGun::Weapon(), SzmolWeaponPack::LockOnMissile::Weapon(), SzmolWeaponPack::AutoTurret::Weapon(), null, SzmolWeaponPack::PetrolBomb::Weapon(), null, null}); ///@MLLE-Generated
Note that the MLLE::Setup function call now takes a single argument: an array initializing each of the nine weapons used in your level. (Or null if you're leaving the default weapon for that slot unchanged.) The angelscript library filename is also changed slightly: MLLE-Include-1.5w.asc is a special version of MLLE-Include-1.5.asc that has a lot of additional code specifically for dealing with custom weapons.

To be continued... documentation currently unfinished at this point.
Making a level: advanced

Making a weapon

Minimum requirements
MLLEWeapons::WeaponInterface
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Last edited by Violet CLM; Aug 23, 2019 at 07:43 PM.
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