New AM4.4 Beta1: Create games for iPhone/iPodTouch! (+fixes)

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New AM4.4 Beta1: Create games for iPhone/iPodTouch! (+fixes)

Postby GM-Support » Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:47 am

Dear AM users and forum members,

I am happy to announce the release of AM 4.4 Beta1, which allows you to create online point-and-click (or should I say "point-and-tap" ;) ) games and applications optimized for the iPhone and the iPodTouch!


You can download it from the following URL (16MB):
EDIT: download no longer available because a newer build has been released.


The first attached screenshot shows the window that allows selecting the target platform. Notice that you can choose between the landscape horizontal orientation and the portrait vertical orientation of the device. In the second attached screenshot you can see the updated "Project Properties" window.


I must admit that I haven't tested the produced games directly on the iPhone / iPodTouch yet (I don't have one right now). However, I have tested it on Safari for Mac, and it is supposed to work the same way as on the portable device. I will test it on a real device as soon as possible.



The Beta1 update also features the following changes since the Alpha1 of last week:

  • New "Jump to Desktop" button in the "Load Project"/"New Project" windows.
  • Fixed the bug reported by cpkspikyhair concerning the Export to HTML command ("have the program filter out any unusable characters on the internet uploads that are in our filenames, mainly #'s, and replace them with underscores;). Simply replacing the characters with underscores would have been potentially dangerous because two different files could have ended up with the same name (ex: "my#file.jpg" and "my$file.jpg"). So, instead of replacing with underscores, the names of the files are now sequential (0001, 0002, etc.). In a future revision I will try to make the file names less obvious to guess.
  • Attempt to fix the VBScript bug reported by buxton. The script engine language is now reinitialized when the game starts. I hope the bug is fixed now, but we must wait for the confirmation.
  • New option under the Project Properties, called "Right-click opens the inventory" (see attached screenshot 3). When the option is selected, right-click controls the inventory instead of controlling the menu.

    In this case, unless you have checked "completely hide the menus" (formerly named "remove the drop-down menu at the top of the screen"), the menus are accessible from the inventory, by clicking on the tool icon (see attached screenshot 4). They are also accessible by pressing the Esc key.

    Of course this is an optional behavior. If you don't select the new option, the old behavior remains unchanged.



Please feel free to comment on the new features.


GM-Support
Attachments
screenshot1.png
Screenshot 1: the new platform selection window
screenshot1.png (64.18 KiB) Viewed 8537 times
screenshot2.png
Screenshot 2: the updated Project Properties
screenshot2.png (39.29 KiB) Viewed 8536 times
screenshot3.png
Screenshot 3: the new option for having the right mouse button control the inventory instead of the menu
screenshot3.png (45.42 KiB) Viewed 8535 times
screenshot4.png
Screenshot 4: the new optional icon for accessing the menu from the inventory (only when the option "right-click opens the inventory" is selected)
screenshot4.png (265.47 KiB) Viewed 8535 times
Last edited by GM-Support on Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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gdg

Postby Crazygamemaker » Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:48 am

WOW!!!
You keep on surprising us GM.Great job!
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Postby Shafayat » Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:09 am

WOW
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Postby Candle » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:22 am

Nice GM, I know a few with iphones and will build a test game so they can try it out .
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Postby buxton » Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:24 pm

:D Wow, thank you for a fantastic update, love the sound of the new inventory options and of course making the games accessible without errors to those in non-English speaking countries is a huge bonus, thank you so much :)

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Quick

Postby Harvester » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:23 pm

Quick updates make AM again a top engine :) Very nice, GM!

(However I can't try main new feature out as I don't have and iAnything..)
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Postby cpkspikyhair » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:11 am

Thank you SO MUCH for using my suggestion. I was about to think I'd have to remake the game!

Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!! :D :D :D
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Postby GM-Support » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:02 pm

Thanks for the comments!
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Postby Mystery » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:10 pm

Oh that was fast :shock:
Thank you GM :D

Although I don't have any i-devices either and will stick to windows and HTML games, I'm sure that the new features will be appreciated :)
And thanks for the fixes :)
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Postby Candle » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:37 am

Please don't PM me questions, ask here in the forums!
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Postby Mystery » Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:50 pm

Hehe, thanks Candle :D
However, when you play this game you have a mouse pointer...
How would it look like without it? Would the fields be highlighted when hovering over with the mouse? :?
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Postby Candle » Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:18 pm

would be when the finger moves over the spot.
Visual is everything with the iphone.
You have to think in a whole new way.
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Postby Mystery » Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:56 pm

@GM
I have experienced a bug with the feature that was mentioned as available in the thread for the Alpha version:
"Use timers to go to another frame after X seconds (from the Frame Properties window)."
This didn't work in my test, it gives me a "cannot find page" error message. It happens in the offline and online test. I've been able to reproduce it.

EDIT
And I've finally found the cause of it and was able to fix it manually, I had to replace .a by .htm that was in the .htm source code of my 00021.htm page.

wrong:
Code: Select all
<body bgcolor='000000' onload='parent.initializeFrame(); parent.addFrameTimer("00022.a", 2500);'>


correct:
Code: Select all
<body bgcolor='000000' onload='parent.initializeFrame(); parent.addFrameTimer("00022.htm", 2500);'>
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Postby GM-Support » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:19 pm

Thanks a lot for your feedback, and thank you Mystery for the bug report. This is very useful. I am going to fix it asap.

Also, I realized that, while the screen resolution of the iPhone is 480x320, the actual size of the area that can be used to display the game is much smaller, because the Safari browser has its "Previous/Next" icons and the address bar, which take up a lot of space. Now, it's possible to use a larger size, but then the player would have to scroll down (scrolling down makes the address bar disappear, so there is more room to display the game).

But I guess having to scroll down at the beginning of the game is not an option, right?

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Postby GM-Support » Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:37 pm

Hi,

I found a way to avoid having to manually scroll down.

However, there are still several bugs running the created games on the iPhone/iPodTouch.

For this reason, I recommend you to not use the Beta1 in a production environment for creating real games for iPhone/iPodTouch, because I must admit that it is still quite buggy. Please use it for test purposes only. (This note concerns the iPhone/iPodTouch features only. Creating a game for Windows or PSP will work fine).

I hope that a new update will fix the bugs soon.

Thanks,

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Postby Mystery » Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:21 am

Hi GM,

I have a general question:
How flexible will this new version be - if you already are able to answer this question? As I've understood, you are going in one direction with HTML and iPhone/iPodTouch, which is quite understandable to avoid 2 different systems.
However, I'm wondering how much possibilities/freedom users will have to customize things. I think here e.g. about the inventory, or even to use different mouse pointers in HTML games. Will it be possible to add Javascript or even to create plugins in Javascript in order to have such custom features, or will it be rather fix like it is currently the case for the inventory of Windows games for example?
Thank you for your reply in advance :)
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Postby GM-Support » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:19 am

Hi Mystery,

Unfortunately I don't know how flexible the system is going to become. It would be nice to have a JavaScript plugins system, though nobody voted for it (see both "Javascript support for PSP games" and "Support for Javascript in addition to VBScript" when it concerned the PSP (of course this may be different as far as the HTML/iPhone/iPodTouch platforms are concerned, since few people have the PSP). Also, it would become difficult to test the game from within AM like we do today, because some Javascript features are available only on the browser (just like PNGs).

By the way, the 'Export to HTML' feature is currently released as an 'unsupported and experimental' feature (you have probably noticed the message in the Beta1). The reason is that it lacks too many important features to be considered ready for prime-time (audio, text, inventory, load/save games, dialogs, etc.). I am waiting for a more mature version before considering it a 'real' feature.

Altough the iPhone/iPodTouch feature lacks the exact same important features as the 'Export to HTML', it is still worth highlighting it because there is currently no other way for creating point-and-click games optimized for iPhone/iPodTouch. Furthermore, if you create a game for iPhone/iPodTouch today, it is likely to have much more exposure than if you create a generic HTML game, because of the current buzz around the iPhone, and because of the way Apple is advertising web applications and online games for iPhone/iPodTouch on its website.

The feedback that we will get when AM 4.4.0 is released and announced on the many Apple blogs worldwide will allow determining whether to continue in that direction or to focus more on the other features that people are requesting.

Things will be more clear in the next weeks, which will be very interesting for everyone.

Thanks,
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Postby Mystery » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:32 am

Thanks for your fast reply :)
I know of course that this version is currently under development, that's why I thought of asking this question already now, and not to wait and see (until it might be too late for inputs).

Well, personally I think that support for Javascript for the HTML games (in which I'm mostly interested apart from games for Windows) would be important. The question for Javascript is now very present for me because of the new HTML feature for which I've waited impatiently :)

I could also imagine that for a lot of new (especially young) game creators a flexible HTML feature would be a motivation to use AM. Online games are still "in", and other possibilities like creating Flash games are expensive. AM would be a very good alternative in my opinion to create small online games.

I'm looking forward to seeing how AM will be developed, and wait for the next news :)

Thanks again :)
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Postby Candle » Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:00 am

Javascript would be a + for sure.
I don't know how to program in Javascript but I'm pretty sure one could learn it .

An Introduction to Game Programming with JavaScript
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