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The Asset Library is a collection of many types of objects which are used by the Developers. The primary function is to provide access to the vast number of graphical assets that make up an area. For example, if an Area Designer wishes to add something to their Area, be it as large as a building or statue or as small as a book or candle, all of these graphics are available through the Asset Library.
The Library also contains other special-use objects. For example, skydomes to go over an Area, or Command Icons to provide some macro functionality.
Asset Library's place in the technical infrastructure
The Asset Library is a tool available in HeroBlade. WIth the Asset Library tool, it is possible to view items in the Local Repository Cache. If items are not yet in the LRC, the Asset Library requests them from HeroBlade, which sends a request along to the dynamic Repository Server process, which accesses the Repository database, and then sends the information back to the client, where the newly requested item is stored on local disk in the Local Repository Cache, and then displayed in the Asset Library view.
Using the Library
The Library dialog allows you to view various libraries (also called tile sets) of assets. Each library is a list of assets with an icon associated with it. This way you can “see” it before choosing to create an instance of it.
To place an asset in a room, simply double click an asset icon or select an asset icon and click "Add." This should add the selected asset near the position of your camera in the game world unless otherwise specified in the "At" dropdown box.
Next to the Add button is the “At” dropdown box. This has four options: Origin, Camera, Selection Position, and Selection Transform. Origin will place the instance at 0,0,0 coordinates in the world offset by whatever setting the artist gave it (usually, there’s no offset). Camera means the instance will be placed at the location of the camera (that’s you). Selection Position means the instance will be placed at the location of whichever asset you currently have selected in the world. It will also be offset by the amount set by the artist. Selection Transform will do the same as Selection Position but will also set the rotation and scale to be that of your selection.
Managing the Library
Creating tabs for Library asset organization
The Asset Library dialog is broken into three main sections: the list of available libraries, the icon view and the buttons at the bottom. The list of available libraries is logically broken down to similar groups of assets. The icon area is broken into a series of tabs that further define logical groupings of assets. The Default Tab is the default location for any new assets added to that library.
To add a new tab, rename or delete a tab, you simply right click on one of the tabs and select the appropriate menu item. Adding a tab will let you create a new group that can be populated with appropriate assets.
Adding a new tab
To populate the new tab, simply drag whichever icons are appropriate onto the tab itself where the icons should reside. This is often from the Default Tab, but you can drag the icon from any tab to any tab.
This will move the icons. If you only want to copy the icon, hold down the control (CTL) key while dragging. It’s possible to have icons appear in multiple tabs, but you cannot have the same icon appear twice in the same tab.
On the Icon view, there’s a special compatible tab. This tab’s purpose is to help define assets that are “compatible” with other assets. By compatibility, we mean, assets that can snap together correctly or were designed to work with each other.
When you click on an instance of an asset inside the game world, the compatible tab is named after the asset that instance is based on and the contents of the tab is filled with all the assets that were designed to work with the asset you have selected. This is very useful as you build new areas. When you add something into the game, you will be able to have the compatible tab open and it’ll show you all the pieces that will “fit” with the piece you’ve just placed.
There are a couple of caveats about this. First, compatible assets are manually defined by the artists and GMs. It’s certainly possible that assets not appearing in the compatible tab are, in fact, compatible with the selected asset. This could happen because someone forgot to add it to the compatible tab in the first place or a new asset was added recently but wasn’t added to the appropriate compatible list.
Populating the compatible tab is similar to the way icons are moved or copied into other tabs. However, you must first select the asset for which you plan to identify assets that are compatible with it. To do this, you select that asset inside the Hero’s Journey world.
This will “set” the asset and display its name on the compatible tab. Now, just drag over all the assets’ icons that are compatible with it into the Compatible tab. You can switch between tabs freely. The next time you select the icon for that asset or select an instance of that asset in the world, the compatible tab will be populated with those assets.
Creating new and Deleting Existing Libraries
Under the list of Available Libraries, are Create New and Delete buttons.
"Create New" will let you create a new library. A dialog box will appear asking for the name and Path of the Library. Type in the name of the library. The path is “grayed” out since normally you don’t have to set the path as it’s pre-set. Never change the path unless you know exactly what you’re doing. After hitting OK, it may take a minute to create the library and see it in the list.
"Delete" will remove a library. Once deleted, the library is unrecoverable. Don’t delete anything unless you’ve been given appropriate permission to do so.
Right-clicking on an Icon brings up a context menu popup.
Add Item (adding new assets to libraries)
To add an entirely new asset to a library/tab, right click on the icon area and select “add item”. This will bring up a browser. Locate the asset to add and click OK. This will add it to the library on the tab that’s currently open.
Note: Before you can add an asset to a library, the library must have at least one tab besides the “compatible” tab.
Grab Selected (grouping assets together)
This creates a grouping of assets based upon what’s selected in the game. Once a group is created, all the assets are instantiated when that group is added to the game.
Example: For instance, let’s say you have a lamppost and a light with a particle effect emitted by the lamp. Normally, you would have to instantiate the lamppost, particle effect and light separately. Then you’d have to position each one in the right spot. This is tedious. Fortunately, there’s a better solution. You can group the lamppost along with the particle effect and light and add them into the library as a group. Then when you add it into the game, the library will add the lamppost, particle effect, and the light automatically and position them correctly. To do this, you’d select the lamppost and light and then click on the Grab Selected menu item. This puts it into the library. Now, when you add that icon, the lamppost and light will be created.
If you select a parent and then “Grab Selected”, all its children will also be grabbed. This is very useful for objects you need to easily reposition after they’ve been inserted into the game. However, there are some caveats of which to be aware. If you select a parent node along with one of its children and click on Grab Selected, an error will occur. This will probably be fixed in a future release. Just remember not to have any children selected at the same time as their parent is selected. You should be able to select multiple parents and group them together. If you select a group of asset instances and one or more of them is a parent, all their children will become part of that group of objects as well.
This allows the Library to call a command in the game that has been registered in the Command Handler System using the command /REGISTER. The format is…</commandName> followed by any number of parameters, and the parsing of the command is handled by the script registered in the Command Handler System for the processing of a particular command. A dialog will come up and you can type in the name of the command and the parameters you want to pass into it (separated by spaces). You can also substitute certain command Tokens in place of parameters.
·$POSITION – This inserts the position of the object/s being added.
·$ROOM – This inserts the currently active room name.
·$GUIDS – This gives a list of GUIDs indicating each item being added. The order of this list is in the order of assets listed when you hover over the icon in the library.
Removes that icon from this library.
This brings up a file selection dialog that allows you to pick an image out of the Repository to be used as the thumbnail for the selected icon.
This brings up the “Edit Command” dialog that lets you change the command issued when this icon is instantiated. See New Command above for more information on what this is.
Gives a new name to the icon. This does not change the name of the asset itself. By hovering over the icon, you’ll get a Tool tip that will show the “real” name behind the icon which refers to the asset name in the game repository.
Brings up the Virtual Stage Icon maker dialog. This is used to create icons of all assets in the library except for lights, particles and dynamic details. The virtual Stage Icon maker is described in detail in the Managing Icons section.
Brings up the Screenshot Icon maker (see below). This is used to create icons for lights, particles and dynamic details since these will not show up on the Virtual Stage Icon maker. The Screenshot Icon Maker is described in detail following the Managing Icons section.
Changes the state of the object. Normal is the default state. The default state creates an instance of the asset in the game. Dynamic Details are added to the Dynamic Detail subpanel. Adding a skydome will replace any existing skydome.
Normal - Treat Asset as Normal (Default state).
Skydome - Treat Asset Like a Skydome
Dynamic Detail - Treat Asset Like a Dynamic Detail
Close Library after Add checkbox
This defaults to the “checked” state. If unchecked, when you add an asset, the library will remain open. Otherwise, it will close.
You can search the library. This brings up the search dialog, temporarily replacing the Library dialog. You can type in a search word and click the Find button and it will generate a list of icons. (Note: This search can take a long time the first time it’s done.)
- Double-clicking an icon will add that asset to your current area.
- Hovering the mouse over each icon, will display which library that that particular item is in.
- Right-clicking on an icon and choosing Go to item will open a view of the other items in that particular Library. Clicking on the Search button will then take you back to your original search results.
will save out any changes you’ve made to the libraries. This includes new icons, compatibility settings, tabs, etc.
Note: Don’t forget to save the Library before moving to a new tileset or closing the dialog. You will be warned if something needs to be saved, but don’t rely on this.
Managing icons for Library assets
Creating an icon for a Library asset
There are two methods for creating Library Asset icons. The Icon Maker is used for making icons of most things which are instantiated. Screenshot Icon Maker is used for making icons of lights, particle effects or dynamic details.
Icon Maker (virtual stage)When first added, if no icon exists for that asset, a “NO ICON” image will appear. To create an icon, right click on the icon and select “update icon.”
The meter on the left of the image is for controlling light levels. Drag the blue line up and down to change overall lighting. The multi-colored squares on the right control the background color. This is typically set to white. Use other colors only when white simply doesn’t work.
Below the multi colored boxes is another box. This places a grid pattern under the 3D object. This is rarely used and is currently only used to show up light sources properly.
There’s some help text near the bottom. The AutoZoom button tries to zoom the image to fit the display screen. The AutoCenter button centers the asset to the 0,0,0 coordinates on the display screen. Cancel, of course, cancels out without doing anything. “Oh Snap” takes the icon image. This will drop you back to the Asset Library dialog replacing the icon with the one you just “snapped”
Finally, the cyan-colored box is a highlighting feature. Any text typed in the box will be compared against the assets in the list. If the text matches any portion of an asset’s name, the asset will be highlighted in blue.
Screenshot Icon Maker
This allows you to take a screenshot of a section of the display area. To use this you position your camera correctly and move the the “frame” of the Screenshot Icon Maker over the section of the screen you want to make the icon from and click the “snapshot” button.
To get lighting and the background right, you will need to set those up correctly in the area first. There are no tools on the icon maker to control light or position.
Note: As of this writing, you can re-size the Screenshot Icon Maker window. Do NOT re-size it, however since all icons must be the same size.
The button on the lower left is for displaying additional options which are not currently being used. This button is disabled.