Machinations Version 2

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Machinations version 2.0 is now here. If you worked with the tool before you might be interested in the major changes. They are listed below:

  • The biggest change is the clickable elements. Because all elements can be made clickable, there is no longer the need for the many trigger links that were present in version 1 diagrams. This clears up the diagrams a lot and makes them a lot more intuitive. The gap between understanding the concepts and building interactive, dynamic diagrams shrunk considerably. It changes the logic of the diagrams subtly as now most elements are able to pull resources towards them instead of waiting for input and sending resources along.
  • Drains, sources, traders, knots and converters now can pull or produce multiple resources at the time. This effectively makes the old inhibitor connections obsolete. (An drain inhibited by a pool should simply have two inputs, whereas a source inhibited by a pool should be a converter).
  • The old state inhibitors are are gone, but their functionality is taken over by state connections that end in trigger modifiers. (See Inhibition)
  • The interaction concept of the editor is now closer to a typical drawing tool. This might take some getting used to if you were really used to the old version, but I feel that the new editor actually increases productivity. At least you can select and drag multiple elements and connections at once.
  • The new Charts allow you to gather data from a running diagram, combined with the option to automate a diagram using AI Boxes and performing multiple runs, transformed Machinations in a wonderful analytical tool capable of producing test data before a game is even build.
  • Many more standard editing tools are added. You now can select multiple elements, copy, paste, undo and redo changes.
  • Version 2.0 is written in Flash 10, this alows you to open and save files locally. There is no longer the need to submit diagrams or download Air version of the tool. If you do like to download the tool you can always grab the swf and create a projector out of it (Click file|create projector to save an executable)
  • The file saving capabilities also allow you to save a selection of a diagram to a seperate file, and it allows you to import diagrams from file or a library.
  • The diagrams can be saved in SVG vector format, this allows you to produce high quality images of the diagrams suitable for print.
  • The XML format changed, version 1 diagrams are not understood by the new tool. I might do something about the in the future, but it is not very high on my list of priorities. As far as I can tell there is not many people using it out there.