Dear forum members,
After a development period of 2.5 years I’m glad to finally announce the release of KeyGuard Studio Professional and the accompanying plug-in KeyGuard 5.
1. History of KeyGuard
KeyGuard started as a small plug-in in 2005 allowing the use of certain keystrokes in AdventureMaker, in later releases right and double mouse clicks were added. It was however not until hotspot hovering added was added that it became a popular tool allowing the creation of commercial a-like adventure games.
The last update of KeyGuard dates from 2009 and offered designers the power of animated bitmap cursors and mouse scroll wheel support.
All these versions of KeyGuard relied very heavily on scripting, something that drove less experienced designers away…
2. What is added to KeyGuard 5?
KeyGuard 5 marks the dawn of a new era for AdventureMaker as it has grown to a tool capable of making commercial type games of all sorts without even a line of scripting. But no worries, the expert users can rely on an extended scripting set which unleashes the power of KeyGuard to its fullest.
One of the main new features of KeyGuard 5 is polygon hotspot support, meaning you can draw any shape of hotspot you like, finally you are no longer tied to the rectangular hotspots of AdventureMaker. You can use KeyGuard Studio Professional to draw polygonal hotspots.
KeyGuard promises it can be used without scripting, to accomplish this a technique to which I refer as SmartLinking is introduced. SmartLinking makes sure that the polygonal hotspots behave (cloned) like the hotspots in AdventureMaker. This means that you can set all the properties in AdventureMaker like sounds, going to another frame, scripting or adding an inventory item… next you draw a polygon hotspot in KeyGuard Studio Professional and link the polygon to the AdventureMaker hotspot. If you now click or hover that polygon, the actions defined in the AdventureMaker hotspot are executed, no coding needed at all.
Of course this is not a tutorial but a release announcement… let me continue by listing all major new features of KeyGuard 5:
1. Polygonal hotspots with Z-order: draw hotspots of any shape and stack them as you please
2. Hint icons: shows an icon on each polygon, kind of help for the player
3. Hover texts: show texts when moving over hotspots
4. Inventory items texts: show texts when dragging an item over a polygon, each item can have its on text per polygon
5. Support for all keystrokes including multimedia keys
6. Mouse scroll wheel direction detection: previous KeyGuard could only detected a scroll, now it detects up/down and how much the wheel travelled
7. Saving/loading hook: every polygon property is saved/loaded when the player saves/loads game even runtime scripted changes
8. Disabling of the ESC-key: if you want to prevent unwanted AdventureMaker menus when using an alternative game menu
9. Support for all keystrokes including multimedia keys
10. No coding required: due to SmartLinking you can work with KeyGuard 5 without writing a single line of code
11. Left,right and double click on inventory items
12. Compressed data files: all files generated by KeyGuard Studio Professional are compressed and cannot be read via a text editor
13. Hundreds of scripting methods, properties and triggers
14. Backwards compatible with older version of KeyGuard: All features of previous versions are available and KeyGuard 5 can replace all previous versions
KeyGuard Studio Professional offers you the graphical user interface to use all of the above features and offers plenty of design help tools, just to name a few:
1. Convert AdventureMaker hotspots to polygons
2. Create polygon hotspot grids (including grids made up of polygon shapes)
3. Copy, rotate, flip, edit polygon hotspots, split vertices, input vertex coordinates by hand, change color
4. Save design frames as JPG or BMP
5. Saving polygons to multiple frames
6. Magnifier, set background transparency for easy drawing
7. SmartLink Wizard
8. Polygon finder, ID swapper
9. Run a simulation
10. Managers for: hint cursors, keystrokes, polygon cursors, texts, polygon hotspot status
11. Detailed compiled help file
12. Automatic check for updates
14. Many built in check functions to avoid discrepancies between AdventureMaker and KeyGuard (like missing hotspots or inventory items)
3. What does KeyGuard Studio Professional and KeyGuard 5 cost?
Nothing, it is completely free to use and distribute. The only thing I ask in return is a free copy of your game and being mentioned, with a link to my website, in the credits.
4. Download your copy here
Well, that is it, I hope you will enjoy KeyGuard as much as I enjoyed making it and don’t hesitate to contact me in case you have any questions.
Download KeyGuard Studio Professional (6.09Mb)
With best regards,