|OVERVIEW OF THE PLUGINS
1. What is a plugin?
2. Where can I find them?
3. How to install a plugin?
4. How to use a plugin?
5. How to uninstall a plugin?
6. How to create a plugin?
7. How to distribute a plugin?
8. I want to distribute a plugin, but I want
to prevent people from being able to view its source code. How can I do that?
What is a plugin?
A plugin is a group of files that allow expanding the
possibilities offered by Adventure Maker.
Some of the things that the plugins can do include:
1. Add more options to the "Hotspot Properties" window
2. Add more options to the "Frame Properties" window
3. Create new global variables
4. Make something happen when the project is launched
5. Make something happen when the end-user moves from one frame to another
6. Add ActiveX controls to the project window (like Flash movies, animations,
interactive components, and much more)
7. Interact with external executables to implement new functions
8. Include OCX components in the distribution package of a project
Where can I find them?
You can download plugins for Adventure Maker from the
How to install a plugin?
To install a plugin, just follow these steps:
|1. Copy the plugin files
into the "Plugins" sub-folder that is inside the Adventure Maker folder (if the
plugin files are compressed, you must extract them),
2. Go to the "Project Properties" window and enable
the plugin from the "Plugins" tab.
How to use a plugin?
The instructions for using a plugin will vary depending on
the plugin. The author of the plugin has probably included the instructions in the
"Plugin Description" text. To view the "Plugin Description" text,
simply go to the "Project Properties", select the plugin under the
"Plugins" tab, and then click "View the
description of the selected plugin..." (or double-click on the plugin
Some plugins do also have a configuration utility that allows
changing some general settings. To lauch the configuration utility, simply go to the
"Project Properties", select the plugin under the "Plugins" tab, and
then click "Configure the selected plugin...".
How to uninstall a plugin?
To uninstall a plugin, simply go to the "Project
Properties" and uncheck the plugin from the "Plugins" tab.
If you wish to COMPLETELY and PERMANENTLY remove the plugin
from your computer, you can also delete the files that correspond to the plugin and that
are located inside the "Plugins" sub-folder of the Adventure Maker.
How to create a plugin?
To create a new plugin, launch Adventure Maker, click
"Create/Modify Plugins...", and then click "Create New Plugin". The
Plugin Properties window will appear. Go to the "Plugin
Properties window Help" page for a description of each field. When you have
finished filling the Plugin Properties window, click OK to confirm. A new file with the
"PL1" extension (or "PL2" or "PL3" depending on the Plugins
System version) is created inside the "Plugins" sub-folder of the Adventure
One of the best ways to learn how to
create plugins is to edit the plugins that are created by other people. Most of the
plugins that are available from the Adventure Maker website (click here) are open-source, meaning that you can view
and modify the source code.
You will notice that some plugins do only
contain files with the PL1 extension, while others do also include files with the .OCX
The plugins that only contain files with the PL1 extension are plugins that only contain
native code for the VBScript engine of Adventure Maker. They are the easiest to create.
They mainly allow executing some VBScript code when the project starts, when a frame is
loaded, when a hotspot is clicked, or when an inventory item is used.
The second kind of plugins (the kind that also includes OCX files) makes use of custom
ActiveX components (OCX), which are basically executables that can run inside other
executables. In our case they will run inside the Adventure Maker window. For example, the
Flash plugin makes use of the Flash.OCX component, which allows running the Flash Player
inside the Adventure Maker window.
To create plugins that include OCX files, in addition to following the steps described in
the first paragraph of this section, you also need to create the OCX files. Most
object-oriented programming languages for the Windows environment allow doing so (Borland
C++ Builder, Microsoft Visual C++, Microsoft Visual Basic, Borland Delphi...). We
particularly recommend using Visual Basic 6, which is very easy to learn and to use, and
which is particularly suited for use in conjunction with the scripting engine of Adventure
Once you have created the OCX
files, you must use the appropriate instructions to load them into the Adventure Maker
window. For help, please refer to the "Using
ActiveX components (ocx)" page of this help document.
How to distribute a plugin?
Once you have filled all the fields of the Plugin Properties
window and you have clicked OK, a file is created inside the "Plugins" folder of
the Adventure Maker folder. The extension of the file is ".PL1",
".PL2" or ".PL3"... depending on the version of the plugin system.
To distribute the plugin, simply distribute the file with the
".PL1" extension. If you make use of custom ActiveX components (ocx), make sure
to also distribute them with your plugin. If you have created a configuration utility for
your plugin, make sure to also distribute it. You may pack all these files into a single
ZIP archive, so that the user can easily download it and extract it into the
"Plugins" sub-folder that is inside the Adventure Maker folder.
If you want your plugin to appear on the Adventure Maker Plugins web page,
send a copy of your plugin to the authors of Adventure Maker (click here to contact them).
I want to distribute a plugin, but I want to prevent people from being able to view its
source code. How can I do that?
To do that, simply create an "encrypted" plugin,
which is a plugin that can be used in a project but cannot be edited. Here are the steps
to do that:
1. Launch Adventure Maker
2. Click "Create/Modify Plugins..."
3. Select the plugin in question
4. Click "Create Encrypted Copy..."
5. Click OK to continue
6. Give a name to the encrypted version of the plugin and select the location where
you want to save it. Then click Save.
Warning! Do not replace the original non-encrypted copy of
the plugin, otherwise you may be permanently unable to edit your own plugin!
Note(1): Unless you want to create commercial plugins, it is
recommended that you keep the plugins open-source, so that everybody can improve them or
slightly modify them to make them work better with their particular projects.
Note(2): Encrypting a plugin does not encrypt the associated
ActiveX components (ocx). However, the ActiveX components are compiled files, and
therefore people cannot view their source code anyway.