New features for Tech Beta 6

(in no particular order)

  • Ball decals
    • Ball decals are little pictures that appear on the front and back of balls.  They show the ball spinning, which is the main attraction.  The picture can also be your own little logo or game symbol or anything which let's you tie the ball image into your game theme somehow.  The ball has two new properties, FrontDecal and BackDecal, which take the name of an image in the image manager.
  • Textures on the side of walls
    • Walls have a SideImage property, which takes the name of an image in the image manager.  Each control point on the wall has two extra options, AutoTextureCoordinate and TextireCoordinate.  The TextureCoordinate is usually a number between 0 and 1; 0 being the left side of the image, and 1 being the right side of the image.  Numbers larger than 1 can also be used to achieve tiled images.  AutoTextureCoordinate means that this control points gets it's texture information from surrounding control points.
  • Light sequencer
    • The light sequencer is an object that queues up patterns of light blinking to add flair to the table.  It takes a collection of lights/bumpers to operate on, and has many different patterns that can be built up.  For more info, see: Black's Help Page.
  • Most recently used file list
    • The file menu now has the last few files used, similar in use to many other applications.
  • Control points only on selected wall
    • A new option (on by default) that show control points only for the currently selected object.
  • Security Manager
    • The security manager allows you to set your security level for COM objects created through script.  The default right now is off.  The level are:
      • Off (behave just like past versions)
      • Warn on each type of unsafe control - this will bring up a dialog asking you if it is okay to create a control.  It will ask once for each type of control the script tries to create.  It will only ask about controls which are not marked as being safe.
      • Warn on each type of control - same as previous, except it also asks about each control that is marked as safe.
      • Warn on each control - same as previous, except warns on each control even if that type of control has been created before.
      • Never create controls - script will also fail creating controls.
  • GetTextFile
    • Related to the security manager, GetTextFile is a new script function that allows table scripts to access external scripts or other text files without security warnings.  The function will search several directories for the file, in this order:  The directory the table was in; the Scripts directory, the User directory, the Table directory.  (I think that order is right; let me know if I screwed it up).
  • Save as protected
    • This new file menu option saves the table as normal, except that it can restrict usage of the table for people loading it up.  Various things can be restricted.  The widest restriction is that people can only play the table, not view or modify it in the editor.  It requires a password to unlock the table later.  For more information, see: Protection - How to Use page
  • Options panel new look
    • The options panel has been given a new design in order to accommodate more options per object.  It now consists of several different panels, which can be opened and closed independantly.  If a panel is opened and there is not enough space to open it, the panel which was opened least recently will be closed.
  • Table info
    • Tables now have table name, author, and other information built into the table file.  The Table Info item under the Table menu will open this dialog.
  • 3-Wire and adjustable wall height ramps
    • New styles of ramps are available:  3-Wire Left and 3-Wire Right.  The side with the extra wire is designated in the editor with a thicker line.  For flat ramps, the height of each of the walls can be changed.  Not only that, but the height of the visible and physical walls can changed separately to achieve just the right look and gameplay.
  • Wheely mouse support
    • Rolling the mouse wheel moves the table up and down in the editor.
  • Pause, Unpause, and Exit events on the table
    • These new events allow you to perform pausing or cleanup of external resources.

Other smaller changes - mini-features people have asked for:

  • Object.HasShadows
    • Various objects can be set to not have shadows.  Walls, ramps, bumpers.
  • Object.Disabled
    • Various objects can be set to disabled so they will not fire events.  Walls (slingshots), bumpers.
  • Wall.Visible
    • Setting this to false on a wall makes it behave just like a normal wall, but it is transparent.
  • User value now in UI
    • Every object can have some user assigned data managed through the options panel.
  • Gate color
    • You can now select the color for a gate.
  • VPBuildVersion
    • Script function that gets the currently running version of VP.