[XP] Heretic's Caterpillar Rewrite - Extensive Addons and Features

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Last Updated: Thursday, September 27th, 2012
Current Version 1.99

This screenshot wont show you very much as it looks like most caterpillars do.  What separates this script from the rest has to be observed in the Demo.  Many of the features control HOW events can be moved and manipulated.  So things like Event Fade, Z-Index fixes, Walk Off Map, Turn Toward Event, Dead Actor Effects, Fixes that caused the game to hang (like Repeat and "Wait for Move's Completion) and pretty much all the rest are not given justice by a simple screenshot.



CURRENT VERSION DOWNLOAD
http://www.775.net/~heretic/downloads/rmxp/cat.php

(Script is contained within the Demo under Caterpillar)

This is based on Zeriab's Caterpillar as the base code.  It has been heavily changed, updated, and modified to include a slew of brand new features, options, and functionality.  There were things that I wanted to do with the original script that it never allowed for, and I felt that others may have run into similar issues.  I felt they needed a Caterpillar Script with Extended Functionality and Features to be used in their games.  This Script Revision is my effort to make every possible thing that I could think of with a Caterpillar Script to be available to everyone.

Legal:  Give Zeriab credit first, he is the Original Author.  Then give me credit too because I put a lot of effort into modifying and adding to it.  Permission for Commercial Use needs to be obtained from Zeriab, if you can get ahold of him.

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New in Version 1.99
 - Minor Bugfix for Ladders.  Transferring the Player to or from a Ladder to or from a Non Ladder spot was causing the Caterpillar Actors to get stuck facing up.  Fixed

- Changes to the included MMW script to allow for SOUNDS.  NPCs now get a Voice when the speak!  There are a ton of other changes to the MMW which could easily be its own script, but since its bundled, I decided to just leave them bundled.

New in Version 1.98
 - Alternate Sprites Per Character for Dead Actors
 - Unlimited Non Party Followers
 - Extensive Enhancements to Wachunga's Multiple Message Windows
 - Demo heavily expanded in order to provide working examples and explain features
 - Cutscene in Demo teaches you how to bring your Cutscenes to Life!

New in Version 1.97
 - Built In Framerate Optimizer
 - Ladder Effects
 - Enhanced Transparency and Movement Effects

*NOTE*
Version 1.96 has a BUG that Corrupts Savegames!  Dont use 1.96.  Unfortunately it means you'll need to start a new game.

New in Version 1.96
 - Zombie and Coffin Graphics for Dead Characters!
 - A few new commands for adjusting Z-Index have been implemented.
 - Fixed a big bug that may have caused Events with Adjusted Z-Indexes to "disappear"!


New in version 1.95:

- I came across a "bug" caused by CAT ACTORS changing Graphics due to Event Page Graphics.  I decided to keep the Event Graphics across Event Page Graphics, just for the ACTIVE PARTY ACTORS.

- Found a Critical Bug that caused Games to Crash!  Trying to use event.move_route.list.clear when the method did not exist caused a FULL CRASH.  That has been fixed.

- Demo has been Heavily Updated to explain many of the Features included in the script as well as explaining the Functionality of the Default Engine to people that may not be familiar with the smaller Nuances that catch many New Developers off guard.

- The Demo is becoming as COMPLEX as I can possibly make it in order to chech for every possible aspect that a Developer might consider using some functions.  It is unnecessarily complex, however this has allowed me to find a tremendous number of Bugs and correct them before releasing new versions of the script.  I am sure that even more bugs will be present, so if you find any, please let me know and I will do my best to maintain support for this script.  It is also one of the reasons that the version is not a Full 2.0 as of yet.  There are other features I want to include that have not been implemented at this time.  And of course, implementing new features means new bugs as well.

New in version 1.94:

- Party Members that are KO'd now become GHOSTS!

- Added new properties to allow ANY event to be EXCLUDED from the "Wait for EVERY Move's Completion"

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Caterpillar Related Features:

- New Ability to "Pause" the Caterpillar

- New Ability to change Actors Walk Animation when the Character is Dead

- New Feature DEVELOPER_ERRORS - Provides Developers with useful information on Duplicate or Missing Cat(erpillar) Actors.  Fixing Caterpillar Bugs, this is absolutely CRITICAL.  It is also informative by advising when one of the new Script Commands is called incorrectly.  IE fade_event('bob') comes back with an Error that says 'bob' needs to be a Number, not a Name, and expects TWO numbers.  DOES NOT SHOW ERRORS IN RELEASE GAMES.

- New Ability to Orient to Player's Direction (Manual and Automagical)

- New Feature to "Stack" the Caterpillar so the Player is always in Front (automatic)

- New Feature call the Caterpillar to the Player, for like Teleporting and stuff...

- New Feature to Pass Solid Actors (originally by Modern Algebra in the VX rewrite, but recoded from scratch for XP version).  Solid means Through is NOT enabled for the Event.  Other Events can not cross into the Caterpillar regardless of Cat Actors Through State.

- Removed MAX ACTORS due to incompatability with Pass Solid Actors XP Version.  Max Actors now just automatically scales to your party's size.

- New Ability to allow the Player, Cat Actors (and other events) to Walk Off the Map (not screen, map)

- New Feature to "delete_last_move" where you dont want the Caterpillar to step where the Player just stepped.  (See Demo)

- New Feature to "move_pop" - Causes the last move command to be removed - useful for preventing NPC Stacking when it is unwanted.

- New Feature to "force_walk" which makes ALL the Cat Actors have a Walk Animation, regardless of the Event's Original Walk Animation Setting (Use with Dead Dont Walk feature during Cutscenes where some Actors may be Dead)

- New Feature to cause Cat(erpillar) Actors to Repeat Turn toward or away from an Event or Player
-      turn_cat_toward_event(event_id, repeat=true) #Repeat is optional and may be ommited)
-      turn_cat_away_from_event(event_id, repeat=true) #Repeat is optional

- New Feature to Reset Cat Actors Repeating Forced Move Routes - Cat Actors dont follow the Player while repeating a forced move route.  This fixes that.  Unforutnately not Automatic...



Non Caterpillar Related Features and Additions:

- Event Fade - Events can now Fade in and Out like Fog can, gradually.  Works on Player too!

- Added the ability to allow an Event to go "Off Map" (not just off screen) by naming \off_map and enabling Through

- Added the ability for Events to Turn and Move Toward and Away From other Events

- Interpreter Bugfix - Fixed two issues in "update" that causes a Hang with Repeat and Wait

- Completely rewrote Z-Index to allow for FLAT SPRITES, Caterpillar Stacking, and Manual
adjustments to an Event's Z-Index based simply on naming an event

- Caterpillar is NOT SDK Dependant.  Other included scripts are however.

- Script includes ForeverZer0's Pathfinding Script 1.1 (version 1.1 includes a bug, but hopefully he can fix that...)

- Demo includes several scripts, such as Fade Event and Interpreter Bugfix, in the event
that someone may need those specific features but not the rest of the Caterpillar.

- Commands can be called from a Script Window without needing "extra garbage" before it.  For example, the Manual Commands you can just call by using "fade_event(128, 20)" instead of $game_system.caterpillar.some_other_junk.fade_event", just use "fade_event(128, 20)".  This was done to make it as easy as possible for non scripting people to have access to the functionality of the scripts.


Planned Additions:

- Ability to change Dead Characters Graphics to be Transparent, or Change to something like a Coffin.  Someone care to provide me with a Coffin Graphic?

- Ability to add a Non Party Caterpillar Actor, to mirror Modern Algebra's VX version.

- Ability to Die on Map Screen due to Slip Damage - In Progress (Not Complete)

- Separate Script - Realtime ATB with HP/SP Bars (not ready for release, not stable, laggy)

Untested Features:

- Script should hopefully be compatible with 8 directional movement scripts.  Havent tested this yet however.

Goal:  Reach Version 2.0 to include just about everything that I believe should have been part of the Default Engine.

Everything is thoroughly documented, and the Demo should provide features for MOST of the new Additions.  Im going back and forth between coding, and testing the code in the Demo so newer versions will have examples in the Updated Demo.  The Demo itself also contains Comments in the Events to explain some specific things related to that Event or Command being called in the Event.

There are several things that can be done by Eventing instead of calling one of the Commands in the Script.  The intention was to make it easier for anyone who uses this script to build their game.  For example, AUTO_ORIENT_TO_PLAYER.  It can be evented, but if Event ID's are different for the Cat Actors from Map to Map, Common Events wont work.  It is just intended to save Developers time.  Other Commands such as "turn_toward_event(event_id) has an additional option where if the Event ID is 0, the Player is targetted.  There is a Button for that built into the Engine already, however "turn_cat_toward_event(event_id)" uses turn_toward_event(event_id) so just the Active Party Members turn toward whoever they want, including the player.  Basically, one line of Script as opposed to upwards of several pages of events for the same thing.

Please check out the Demo and tell me if there are any Bugs, or other Features you may like to see, or any general comments about my revision of the script.

Enjoy!
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 11:21:32 AM by Heretic86 »
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Updated to Version 1.94

I added the option to make Dead Characters in the Caterpillar become Ghosts!  The option to make Dead Characters stop walking is still built in.  I plan on continuing to add a few more features, such as Dead Actors become COFFINS, or to specify a new Character Graphic to change to, maybe for like a Zombie actor or something.  That is, if anyone has any real interest in this script.

There were some other things about the Interpreter that caused me some frustrations.  In order to open up the opportunity for designing more animated events, I made some more adjustments to the Engine for excluding specific events from "Wait for Move's Completion" allowing it to work a bit more like VX.

Please let me know if you come across any bugs or problems, or questions in general about this script!
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Looks pretty cool Heretic

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Hey, I even credited you in the Tech Demo, Modern Algebra!  You've helped out quite a bit with your VX version, and answering so many of my stupid questions!
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I'm happy to hear that :)

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Version updated to 1.95!

- Fixed several CRITICAL ERRORS that caused GAME CRASH!

- Fixed a Graphical Glitch across Cat Actors that have Multiple Event Pages.

- Demo Heavily Expanded to explain some already existing features that had not been explained yet.
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Updated to Version 1.96!

Version 1.96 Updates
 - Zombie and Coffin Graphics for Dead Characters!
 - A few new commands for adjusting Z-Index have been implemented.
 - Fixed a big bug that may have caused Events with Adjusted Z-Indexes to "disappear"!

Demo has been heavily updated to include better explanations of the features contained in this script.  Some of this information can be very useful for someone who is just getting to learn RMXP and understanding certain features.

Coffin Graphic needs an update, but the person working on that also has responsibilities in the Real World and needs to be allowed some time to finish up the Coffin Graphic.  Of course, if you'd rather make your own, you can do that too!

As always, if you find any bugs, or want new features, please let me know!
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Version 1.97 Released!

Newest features are a Built In Framerate Optimizer, Ladder Effects based on Terrain Tags, and Enhanced Caterpillar Movement and Transparency Effects!


*NOTE*
This version fixes several Savegame Bugs that were present in 1.96.  I recommend using this version over 1.96 because of the bugs that make loading a Savegame crash the Game!  Unfortunately, the old savegames are not compatible with this latest version.

*END NOTE*



I also heavily expanded the Demo to show off the new features and some seriously advanced mapping techniques that I think many could benefit from.  And yes, as usual, there is a bit of comedy in it as well, but not sure if I could call "funny" a feature!

I've tried testing the script as thoroughly as I could and believe this is a Stable Release.  Every bug should have been eliminated.  But Im not perfect.  If anyone cares to test this out and see if there are any bugs, I'd greatly appreciate it!
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Version 1.98 Released!

Latest Features: Unlimited Non Party Followers, Alternate Sprites Per Characters for Dead Actors, and extensive Multiple Message Windows Enhancements

This version contains my long promised Alternate Character Sprites!
- Dead Actors will now change into a Specified Sprite for Each Character

What this allows for is unique graphics for each and every one of your Characters in the game! Now, I'm not much of a Spriter myself, but someone with talent at making sprites could make some really creative stuff! Maybe you want your Lead Actor to have a Halo and Angel Wings, but another character to have Devil Horns and a Red Cape! Totally possible now!

Also included is Non Party Followers!
- NPC's that follow the Player around but are not actually a part of the Party.

This allows for things like "Escort Quests". I also set this up so you could have more than one Non Party Follower at the same time. Actually, I didn't put ANY limits on how many Non Party Followers you could have so you could actually have a Caterpillar that goes right off the edge of the screen! This was done because I dont think it is my call to impose artifical limitations on people that may decide to use this script. If there are going to be any limits, those limits on how many Non Party Followers should be implemented by the person that makes their game.

Also heavily updated and modified Multiple Message Windows!

- You can now show a New Window at any time using \*

- Introduced Auto Orienting Text Options: \$ and \% will try to automatically position Message Windows based on the Speaker's Direction

- MMW included a feature that allowed you to move around while a Message was displaying. It also included a feature that would close those message windows if the Speaking NPC moved off the screen. However, this caused some problems in that those Events would not pick up their Move Routes if it was a Repeating Move Route. That has been fixed. Basically, it allows for more "Chrono Trigger" style conversations where you can "Walk Away" from a conversation if you get bored with it instead of speed clicking through all of the text.

- Included some features to Automatically Pause on specific characters. Namely commas, exclamation points, periods, and question marks. They just put in a brief delay in an effort to make the way the text appears in the window as if it were a person speaking it.

- Included more features that I call "Foot Forward". It allows Actors to show a bit more animation rather than just standing there with their proverbial thumbs in their asses. It actually allows for more than that. If you set a Move Route to an Actor and have them move around, and use the "wait" command in the Move Route, the Actor will have a "Foot Forward" stance that will stay there until the Move Route has completed. "Foot Forward" allows for a quick reset of that pose without jumping into and out of Set Move Route

- MMW also used to have a nasty bug that prevented Choice Windows from functioning correctly when more than one Window was present on the screen. That has been fixed.

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Demo has been heavily expanded yet again in order to try to teach you about the new features, and provide examples of how to use those features. The demo also contains a ton of General Information on common criticisms that I have about so many peoples games. There is a Cutscene in the Demo where I build a Cutscene from scratch and evolve it into something that actually comes across as fairly decent. I have a heavy background in Film Making and Broadcast Entertainment, so you should know I have a good idea of what I am talking about. A lot of the information that I put into the Demo is stuff that come from the Pros. And I mean the Real Pros.

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I also have a feeling that this version might be my Last Version. Honestly, I cant see anything else that I can possibly do with this Script. I've implemented every possible feature I could think of. I believe I have eliminated every bug in it, and there were some nasty ones in previous releases. I feel like this script is finished. And it has taken me quite a while and honestly, I couldnt count the number of hours I've pumped into making this thing shine as best as I could. I know that there are so many features, that you'll probably never have a use for all of them. But that isnt the point. The point was to make them available to you in case you need them instead of you needing them and not having them. Also, it isnt just about showing off a Script. Its about making YOUR game shine. And having that game be different from someone elses game, even if it uses the Same Script. So you dont have to use ALL of the features if you dont like them, but hopefully, there are enough to suit your needs. I'd probably call this Version 2.0 finally, but Im going to leave the last two slots of 1.99 and 2.0 open for Bug Fixes and Feature Requests, just in case there are any out there.

Let me know what you think! Either Feature Requests or if you find any Bugs, please post and let me know!
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Version 1.99 Released

Minor update to Caterpillar.  Ladder Effects were not disabling properly when the player was transferred from a Ladder to a Non Ladder.  Fixed

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I've been doing a lot of work on the Multiple Message Windows script that is bundled with the Caterpillar.  When I first got to see Zeriab's caterpillar, it was already bundled with the MMW script, so I decided to just leave it that way and improve what I can.


Current MMW Change List

- MMW can now play SOUNDS while a character is speaking!  Think Banjo Kazooie!  Sounds are all customizable.  The DEMO was updated to include a new map to show off this feature.  So be advised that only ONE MAP in the DEMO will provide examples of sound.  This is kind of a work in progress, but it is stable and functional enough to release.

- Choice Windows function correctly when two messages are being displayed

- Choice Windows can also Default to the 2nd or 3rd or 4th items in the List

- Message Windows can now go completely off the screen.  Older versions of the MMW script would automatically "Flip" the Message Window if it went off the screen.  This is OPTIONAL and can be turned on and off.

- Message Windows can now "Flip" when a Speaking Character turns.  This allows for better visibility for your Players so that the text that is on the screen does not prevent the player from seeing what they want to see.

- Message Windows can be "Sticky".  When a message "Flips", it will "Flip" to the Top or Bottom. 

Sticky means that the following messages "Stick" to that location.  Top or Bottom was implemented to maintain the visibility of the message itself.  Since messages can also be allowed to go Off Screen, messages that appeared to the Left or Right were not always fully visible to the player which prevents players from being able to read them.  You'll have to position your NPC's and / or set up your scripts accordingly to make sure that the player can read them.

- Gold Window positions can now be specified.  I had some trouble with the Automatic Positioning of the Gold Window interfering with Message Windows, so I thought providing more specific control would be a nice feature that everyone should have.

- Maximum Distances from Speaking NPC's can be imposed.  Windows used to close automatically if the speaking NPC was moved off the screen.  I thought that to be a bit too far.  This allows Players to walk away from a Speaking NPC and have that message window close at a much shorter distance.  This is very useful for Optional Dialogue that a Player may not be interested in seeing.  message.move_during needs to be true in order for this feature to work.

- Maximum Distance for Non Floating Windows can be imposed.  A "Non Floating Window" means it isnt a Message Bubble.  For example, a Sign.  A Sign could display a message in a Non Floating Window.  This feature allows a Player to move away from that sign and for that Non Floating Window to be closed automatically.

- Maximum Distance will Save your Settings in the event of an Automated Closure.  This should save you extra work from trying to set up messages for each and every NPC.  If a message window was closed automatically because a player walked away, those settings are restored.  It is a little tough to explain.  Say a Player reads a Sign (non floating window), then walks away and talks to an NPC.  The Sign would need message.floating = false to display in the Default Window, but when they walk over to talk to the NPC, you dont need to put in message.floating = true for that message window.

- NPCs and Move Routes now continue properly if interrupted.  If you trigger a conversation with an NPC, then move away prematurely, if the NPC was moving around, they will continue moving correctly instead of starting their move route anew, which would have caused NPC's to end up in unwanted positions.

--- Other New MMW Features --- (from previously released Caterpillar Revisions)

- Auto Comma Pause - This feature will automatically insert pauses based on punctuation, assuming proper punctuation is used.  It was implemented with the intent of making the text appear in the way that a person would speak, by pausing after commas and at the end of sentences.

- Number Window Input Cancellation - RMXP allows developers to cancel choice windows, but nothing was implemented for cancelling a Number Window.  You can now allow your Players to cancel their Number Input Windows, and you can Detect if a Number Input Window was cancelled, making its functionality similar to the Cancel Branch Condition.

- MMW stands for Multiple Message Windows.  The focus being on "Multiple" because Multiple Messaegs can be displayed.  In previous versions, displaying Multiple Windows simultaneously required that the next messages be tagged with \+ at the start of the text, but, would only fire up both windows at the same time.  I made a change so you can use \* to display the next message at ANY time, once those two characters are processed.  This means you can have a message start to display some text, then display another window half way through.  It eliminates the artificial requirement to display more than one message at the exact same time.

- Auto Window Positioning with \$ and \% - In previous versions, you could reposition a window to be on Top (Default), Left, Right, or Down from the Speaking NPC by using \^, \<, \>, and \v respectively.  I found that it was more useful to Auto Position the windows based on the Speakers Direction.  The \$ option will place the message window on Top of the Speaking NPC unless the Speaking NPC is facing UP, in which case, the message window will appear on the Bottom.  The \% position will place the Message Window BEHIND the Speaking NPC.  Thus, if the Speaking NPC is facing Left, it will position the Message Bubble to the Right of that NPC.  I found this to be incredibly useful if you did not know what direction the Speaking NPC was facing.  It prevents covering the Speaking NPC's and / or obstructing the Players view.  Basically, it provides a greater range of Freedom to the Player to move around while NPC's are speaking.

- Caterpillar Positioning - Requires both the Caterpillar and my revision of Wachungas MMW Script.  In order to cause a speech bubble to appear for another NPC or Player, \P[Event_Id] is used.  \P[0] is used to make the Player speak.  But to make a speech bubble for an NPC, \P[24] would be used, provided, of course the Event ID of that event is 24.  The Caterpillar Positioning allows your party to be more dynamic.  If you wanted your first Caterpillar Actor to say something, you would use \P[C2], C standing for Caterpillar.  The Caterpillar is heavily event based, and each Cat Actor uses a different event, thus, in a more dynamic game, the Event ID of your 2nd Party Member may be very different, which makes eventing dialogue difficult.  This is intended to make it much easier for you.  Instead of using Conditional Branches, you just need to add one more letter to the dialogue.

--- Future Versions ---

At some point in the future, I still intend on removing the SDK dependancy.  I also intend on at least attempting to make the Bubbles translucent, but because of the Message Tail, it doesnt look right.  If I can figure out how to do that, MMW will probably get another release.  There are a few other versions of MMW out there that at some point I want to tie together.  One did get rid of the SDK dependancy, another is compatible with BlizzABS, which required some further tweaking, but has some features I havent built into this rewrite.  I do hope to tie as many of these together, but these are things on my to do list and much further down the road.  For now, I think this version should keep everyone happy.
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