Hello and welcome to the first in the A-Z of Click series. This inaugural article focuses on Click-related material starting with the letter ‘A’.
The Active Object’s Awesome Adventure
K&P: Time to get active!
In 1994 we got our first of Clickteam’s game creation tools, Klik & Play, which gave us eight types of objects with which to create our very own games. However, the Klik & Play demo only gave developers less than half that. Demo-ers had just two backdrop objects and the active object to play with. The other objects in the demo were greyed out - you just don’t need them if you have the active object on your team! The object’s icon of a running person showed us that this active object had the energy to do the tasks of virtually all the other objects if needed.
The K&P manual showed how proud the team were of their active objects, telling us that: “...They allow you to create anything from a player character to a giant alien monster. Any active object can be assigned to attractive animation sequences. So they can change shape in front of your eyes. The Klik & Play Animation Editor is something really special. It lets you reverse, rotate or expand entire animation sequences at a time. You can also move your objects around the screen using a range of powerful movement options...So don’t forget. If you want an object to move, animate, or interact with the game, make it active.“
TGF: Here come the flags!
In 1996 the Games Factory gave the Active Object icon a slight makeover, and the engine gave it more power. The object still only had three alterable values, but it now also supported up to 32 toggleable flags which, according to the TGF manual, “can be very useful indeed”. You could also draw your active object using any of the 16 million colours, a big improvement on K&P’s 256-colour palette.
Is the active object leaping over the high score table?
TGF also introduced us to the wonderful world of morphing. As the TGF manual humbly put it: “The Morphing function allows you to change one frame into another, allowing for stunning transformations. You can use this function to smoothly upgrade your spaceships, rather than clumsily have them change appearance, or have creature transformations in adventure games. You may well have seen advanced versions of this technique in Hollywood movies. Now you can do it on your PC!”.
TGF gives you mighty morphin’ power!
The morphing editor survived into MMF1.5, but wastn’t retained for MMF2. Clickteam’s Yves explained its fall from grace in a 2019 post to the Clickteam forum, stating: “IIRC the morphing function was not very well programmed and was causing memory corruption and crashes. That's the main reason why we removed it I think, we had to remove non essential functions that couldn't be easily maintained.
MMF: The diamond age!
In 1998 we got Multimedia Fusion, which expanded the selection of four user animations into an almost limitless capacity for custom animations. Handily, MMF also increased the number of alterable values to 26 (A-Z) which developers could now rename. We also got another re-design of our active object avatar who is now running in the other direction. Did they see something scary and want to run away, or are they just on their triumphant return trip after having saved the world? We can but speculate!
Running away from the Active System Box object, perhaps?
MMF also brought us a new mainstay of the object and an instantly recognisable symbol: The teal diamond. It started out pretty basic, but by Clickteam Fusion it got a shaded upgrade. K&P and TGF didn't need a default graphic because if you were adding a new object (rather than something from the graphics library) you would be brought to the picture editor and forced to draw something before it put the object onto the frame. As MMF changed its workflow to allow you to create an object before editing its graphics the default diamond was born.
The original diamond, the MMF2 diamond, and the default diamond from the CF2.5 b294 beta
(NaitorStudios extracted the b294 diamond from a .mfa from Simon's preview Discord stream)
MMF also brought us fade-in transitions for objects, which I totally didn’t overuse on my early games…
One can’t have a ‘multimedia fusion’ without PowerPoint-style transitions, right?
MMF2: Things get shady
MMF2 brought hardware acceleration, which allowed for both more objects at once to be displayed and for funky things like shaders. I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of this feature because I attended the 2007 Click Convention, but I shared the love by posting a demo for people to test out at The Daily Click and gaining myself my first Game of The week: https://www.create-games.com/download.asp?id=6851
CF2.5 build update 294: The adventure continues…
This object remains under active development. The next big improvement is just around the corner, with build 294 of Clickteam Fusion 2.5 being billed as giving people the ability to reorder values and specify instance values. We might just see another tweak to the icon and diamond design as well... What will the active object get up to next? The possibilities are endless!
The ‘A’ Games
A Game With a Kitty by Bernie[FA]
When Bernie posted this game to The Daily Click in 2005, he noted that “The game is a simple platformer, in the style of SNES/Genesis games. It's sort of small, only took 2 weeks to make. An average player may need an hour at most to finish it…Even if it is just a shortie, I still hope you'll enjoy it”.
In 2005 Renkin gave it an 8 out of 10, commenting that: “It's a great game whose core gameplay is close to perfection, but could win a lot on being more extensive”. The numerous sequels which were also well received proved Renkin correct, and the series has frequently appeared on lists of top Click games.
Fishhead’s Hayo van Reek said in 2006 that “It's not my habit to write reviews here, but this game just grabbed me. It's one of the few games in the klik community that was actually fun to play…. this game was one of the best Klik games I have seen”, giving it an 9 out of 10.
Released in 2002 and added to the Click Museum in 2009, this scary but abandoned Contra clone was praised for its “COOL graphics , COOL gameplay , GOOD AI and GOOD music” by Sami. Just don’t forget that you need to press K or J to toggle between keyboard and joystick mode at the start.
Rikus added this platformer to the Click museum as a “great first generation click game” in 2002. Circy said he “liked the game a lot” in a review that gave it 8 out of 10 but warned that it was a hard game. Ashman called it both fun and funny. However, back in 2009 Phykyloman was less keen and only gave it 4 out of 10. The original Atom Boy 1 was posted to Silky’s and archived by RehaSoft , meaning it is now available at Kliktopia.
* ANOA Production, the French game studio who made the commercial Space Games collection in c. 1996 with Click & Create which came bundled with some releases of Klik & Play and The Games Factory. They made Atomic Chill, Attraction, Twin, and Virus Protection. See: https://kliktopia.org/details/Space%20Games.html
* Many of The Daily Click's submission categories begin with an A: Action, Adventure, Arcade, Application, Abandonware and Abandoned. I have no idea why we have TWO categories for abandonware, but I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.
...Have any Click A's which you think are worthy of note? Let us know in the comments below! (Also, feel free to suggest some B's to feed forward into the next article.)
I love this article. I started with KnP, moved to TGF, then MMF1.5 and on. The different create new object dialogs and the diamond graphic getting shading added are very nostalgic for me. Great article!