Interface of MMF 2
The general interface is roughly the same: there is still a project window (called Workspace window), the same editors (except for the time line editor that has been removed) and the toolbars are similar (although the vertical toolbar has been removed).
- The Workspace window works differently than the MMF1 Project window. In MMF1, there is one Project window per application (or project). In MMF2 there is only one Workspace window. This window contains all the opened applications. In MMF1 you close an application by closing the Project window. In MMF2 to close an application you have to select it in the Workspace window and click Close in the menu.
- How do projects work in MMF2: basically, a project is the content of the Workspace window, so you can open only one project in MMF2. If you do not use the New Project and Save Project commands, then you are in normal mode, i.e. no project is defined. As soon as you use the New / Load / Save Project commands, the project is defined, i.e. if you add or remove applications, MMF2 will ask you if you want to save the project. A project is basically only a list of applications, it doesn't contain the installer settings like in MMF1 (the installer settings are now stored in the applications - the first application of a project is the main application).
- Editors: they are almost the same as in MMF1. Just some new features (and a new editor, the Data editor, more a simple dialog box than a true editor). Also, important difference, there is now only one window per application, i.e. if you open the frame editor and then the event editor, the event editor will replace the frame editor in the window. You can press the SHIFT key when you open an editor, to open it in a new window. And there are now new Back / Forward commands that allow you to navigate through the editors you have opened.
- Library toolbar: it's different from the one in MMF1. It's more like the one in Jamagic. Unlike MMF1, you can now use any game or application from K&P to MMF1 as library, you do not need to convert them to the new MMF2 format. Also, like in TGF you can preview objects. New: you can drag & drop even frames and applications to the main window.
- Property window: one of the major changes. This new toolbar displays the properties of all the objects and allows you to modify them very quickly (and you can modify the properties of several objects at the same time in one shot). No need to explain how it works, I think it's quite obvious.
Frame editor, new features
- you can now organize objects into folders
- the Create New Object dialog is a little better, you can organize objects into categories (given by the exts.ini file in the Extensions folder, that you can modify as you wish)
- new Layer toolbar, allows you to have different layers in your frame. Each layer can contain any type of object (backdrop, active, etc.) and can scroll at a different speed. Basically, you define the scrolling coefficients of a layer in the Property window and when you use one of the scrolling actions (same as in MMF1), the layers scroll differently. Note: this doesn't work well yet.
- now 3 selection states: a simple selection box, a selection box with resize handles and a selection box with rotate handles. Much easier to use than in MMF1 (only 2 selection states in MMF1)
- when you select several objects, the alignment commands now apply relatively to the master object of the selection. You can change the master object with the CTRL key (+ click on the object).
- new "Make Same Size" commands
- you can now automatically order objects by X or Y, increasing or decreasing
- the index of the object in the frame is displayed by default in the selection frame (can be removed in the preferences)
Event Editor, new features
- Groups into groups
- Vertical remarks (= separators between objects)
- You can group objects into folders (and expand or collapse folders)
- You can protect groups by a password
- The event list editor has been redone from scratch, it should not be bugged anymore
It's the same, but you can now only add one type of frame (no video or application frame anymore).
Picture & Animation Editors
They are now simple dialog boxes like in Click & Create or TGF. The Animation editor now contains the Picture editor, it's much faster to use. Hopefully the dialog box is not too complicated... There are less commands than in MMF I think, but much more than in TGF.
Alpha channels are now supported and the transparent color works differently: any color can now be transparent (not only RGB(0,0,0)), so the transparent color that you change in the Picture editor is the real transparent color, not the appearance of the transparent color RGB(0,0,0) in the picture editor (hope I'm clear, lol). You can now also choose to display the transparent background like a chess board.
Allows you to Play, Replace or Extract sounds (you no longer have to replace all the events for that) and Add or Delete Binary files. Binary files are an important new feature of MMF2. Those files are embeded into the EXE file of the stand-alone application (hmm... and probably to the CCN files too, but I've to check, I don't remember) and can be read directly from the EXE file without the need to be extracted to the hard disk (note: only for the extensions that support this feature).
- You can add bitmaps to menu entries
- More modern About box
- Stand-alone applications can have a MDI interface (first frame used as client Window that opens other frames as sub-applications in MDI child windows)
- Sub-applications can be opened as docked toolbars (only fixed toolbars, can only be shown or hidden, not moved)
- New "no background surface" option (in the Frame properties) to save memory when you create frames than contain only Windows controls
Other new features
- Active objects can have several predefined movements, and you can select the movement you want.
- There is a Movement SDK to allow you to build your own movements (not yet available)
- The platform movement has been improved, you can have moveable platforms (note: still bugged...)
- Active objects can be resized and rotated at runtime
- You no longer need the Task priority object, as the CPU usage is reduced to the minimum
- You can change the maximum frame rate of the application (in the properties of the application)
- Unlimited number of global values
- Unlimited number of global strings
- The FLI object has been renamed to Animation object and can also play GIF and AVI files
- There is less image filters at edit time (can be improved later via an SDK), but more image filters at runtime: PNG and JPEG now supported by default.
- New sound actions, you can now play sounds on specific channels, etc.
- New sound filters, you can play OGG or MOD files with the standard sound actions
- The player controls now support up to 4 joysticks and each joystick supports up to 4 buttons
- New Debugger at runtime (allows to pause an application and watch and/or modify variables)
- MMF2 requires much less memory resources than MMF1: the applications in the editor now use up to 2 or 3 times less memory than in MMF 1 and are faster to load.
- DLL still present but automatically included in the stand-alone applications, no need to redistribute it with the application.
What has not been done yet but could be done either in a next beta version or in a patch after the release
- the ability to load animations at runtime in the active object
- Ink Effect SDK
- only a part of the optimisations in VRAM mode have been done. Some objects like the Active Picture or the System Box are now much faster in this mode, but the semi-transparency effect is still slow in this mode. We'll try to improve it in a next version.
What won't be done
- Object groups in the frame editor
- Frame templates
- Object Casts (suggested by Andy)