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#1 Dark Matter

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:48 PM

  • Title: String distortion example
  • Description: Add great effects to strings, by moving the letters around at will
  • GM Version: GM8.1 - The code should work on GM7 and probably GM6, but it's saved in GM8.1 The separate versions (by themselves) are GM8 files
  • Registered: Version 2 and 3 are, but Version 1 is not
  • File Type: .gmk and .exe (for those without gm8)
  • File Size: 32KB
  • File Link: .gmk .exe
Additional Info

Please reply if you download this!

This example shows an interesting effect that I've named "string distortion". Basically, it splits up a string into separate characters, which are then able to be manipulated individually. This allows for some weird and wonderful effects. Try them out!

I've compiled the three versions into one file, so you can see all the different effects without having to download each version separately. It's very simple to use. Click on which version you'd like to see and press Escape to go back to the menu. Each example tells you what controls you can use.

Menu Screen

Posted Image

Posted Image

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The posts related to each separate version are listed below:

String Distortion Version 3
String Distortion Version 2
String Distortion Version 1:
Spoiler

Edited by Dark Matter, 06 August 2011 - 11:56 AM.

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#2 mango ken

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:38 PM

that is a VERY nice idea B-) however it is quite basic..... but well done making this in your spare time.

you said it could be used for credits, could u make a credit schrolling function on it???

thanks mango
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#3 Dark Matter

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:41 PM

To make the text scroll down, you can simply put in something like
y+=2
in the step event. This will move all the text down, and you can distort it while it's scrolling.
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#4 Kolink

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 07:02 PM

I saw a similar feature on Pokémon Ranger B-)
It's very cool. It's pretty good if you've got long credits and want to give the user something to do :)
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#5 Newly Discovered

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 07:05 PM

wow this is very cool!
I'm glad to see you did it using arrays, not entirely out of objects like a majority of gmc members would...

congrats on a great example.
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#6 Dark Matter

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 09:59 PM

@Kolink - actually, that's just the game I was thinking of when I created this example B-) Although credits is probably the most obvious thing this can be used for, it could just as easily be used to do things like make the letters fly from all directions, spelling out the title or options or something. I have tried to make it very versitile, so it can be used in a wide range of ways.

@Newly discovered - thanks! Using objects would be a very slow an in-efficient way of doing it. I've tried to make it as efficient as I can, so it can be used in games without reducing the fps too much.
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#7 mrsmes

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 05:31 AM

love the example it's brilliant.
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Assuming I helped you out in a questions and answers topic won't you return the favour by helping me with one my coding problems, or recommend some one who can chat to me over pms about helping and how to overcome my obstacles, after all lets just say I did help you or them or many people with similar problems, in that topic.

Here i have a topic for those of you struggling with type writer text and mugshots in your games especially if it is a rpg see the link below for more info

http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=619103

almost no code needed, only uses two events.

click here for the l8est version of feed the alien pizza, it has some major polished up features.


#8 Dark Matter

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 04:48 PM

Thanks! Feel free to say anything you think should be added or adjusted to the example. Also, try out the smilies ( :) ::lmao:: :P :) =) =( =P =D <3 o_O O_o o.O O.o >.< >_< ) Just type those into the string, and they'll appear as smilies, which can be pushed around just like the letters.
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#9 Nocturne

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 05:10 PM

Hehehe!! I like this a lot! Itīs fun and has some nice features (like being able to drag letters with the mouse!) although I do feel that half the scripts are unnecessary and could have been included in the object instead (like the "Find" scripts and the "Setting Data") as each script called has a small overhead (in GM8 it is VERY small, but none the less itīs there!) and for one line it seems pointless... It also may be more confusing to those that are new to scripts or GML...

Iīm reminded of the "Instance Based Text" example that is on these forums (and that I used extensively in my game Minimal) and the moment I can, I will find a use for this too!!!

Good job!!

PS: Would using data structures (ds_list, ds_grid) instead of arrays not add more functionality? Imagine the ds_list_shuffle command to scramble the letters, for example... Just a thought...
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#10 Dark Matter

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 05:30 PM

Thanks for the comment. The scripts were basically there because, in my opinion, they are easier to read in the code - I'm not sure if other people find this or not :) They can be deleted and as long as the code for the few times they are used is changed, it won't make any impact.

I hadn't seen the Instance Based Text before, but now having looked at it, yes - the idea is similar, but the way it's done it quite different.

I was thinking of using the ds functions, but I just like using the normal arrays more for some reason ::lmao:: It might add a bit more functionality, but nothing that can't be done with a little code. The main good reasons for using ds functions is they don't have a limit, or at least, more than 32000 - but then again, I doubt you're going to need a string that long - and even if you did, the fps would be so low it wouldn't be worth playing the game :)
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#11 js_123

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:58 PM

hey i liked it a lot...........
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#12 peter john

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 06:22 PM

Good idea and also nice implementation!!............

Liked it ...lol!
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#13 Dark Matter

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 06:34 PM

Great! I'm glad you enjoyed using it :D
I've tried to make it as easy as I can to understand. Feel free to ask me to explain anything though :GM074:
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#14 skulldragon

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 06:35 PM

This is very good. A means to blast the letters and send them bouncing around the screen would be great!
Should I give credit if I use this in one of my games?

Edited by skulldragon, 06 February 2010 - 02:41 PM.

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#15 skulldragon

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 06:49 PM

Oh, you said to. Sorry, missed it at first.
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#16 Dark Matter

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 06:51 PM

If you decide to use this in your own game, please credit Dark Matter.


Thank you! Creating your own effects shouldn't be too hard at all. Look in the step event of the test object and see how the explosion and implosion was done. You should pick it up very quickly :GM074:
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#17 ratchet22

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:22 PM

I like it very much Dark Matter especially the emotes :GM074:
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#18 supersniper

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 12:43 AM

woah i had an account here???

but what's the point of all this dm?
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#19 Dark Matter

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 07:39 AM

Really, it's just a fancy effect. You could maybe use it so the credits aren't so boring, or you could make words be created letter by letter. It just gives a nice touch to a game.
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#20 Nocturne

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 08:12 AM

@Supersniper: Itīs in the details... a great game has little details that round out the product, and this could be just one of them!!!!
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#21 Dark Matter

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 04:00 PM

I've just updated the example!
Now, there's 2 extra effects - and the option to restart everything.
When you press M, the letters get sent to random locations, and then move back towards their original places.
Pressing F will make letters fall out of the string, letter by letter.

I created both these effects in around 5 minutes, which shows just how quick and easy it is to make new effects.
If you want to create your own effects, but can't figure out how, just ask me :GM074:
Also, if there are any effects you'd like to see, tell me :D
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#22 TheMagician

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 11:37 PM

Great idea. Very nice effect. Thanks for your work! :)
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#23 Dark Matter

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 05:48 PM

Thank you, I'm glad you liked it :)
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#24 skulldragon

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 06:32 PM

This example contains the scripts for separating a string, as well as drawing it. It also contains scripts for getting and setting variables for each letter, so creating effects of your own is too difficult.

Shouldn't that say not too difficult?
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#25 Dark Matter

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 09:56 PM

This example contains the scripts for separating a string, as well as drawing it. It also contains scripts for getting and setting variables for each letter, so creating effects of your own is too difficult.

Shouldn't that say not too difficult?


:) So it should!
Thanks for finding this, it said the exact opposite of what I was trying to say :P
It really is not difficult to make your own effects.
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#26 youknowwho

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 01:10 AM

Oh my gosh this is awsome. I'll have to see it I can fit this into a game of mine. Full credit to you of course :P
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#27 Dark Matter

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 04:34 PM

I'm glad you liked it so much :)
I'm looking forward to seeing games implementing this :P
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#28 Dark Matter

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 02:08 PM

If you download this, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear your feedback and I'd be happy to make any improvements you think this example would benefit from. It'd also be great if you came up with some effects of your own and shared them.
Thanks!
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#29 Dark Matter

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 04:20 PM

Is no-one going to reply? I'm getting downloads, but no replies. If you download this, please leave a reply! Thanks!
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#30 Dark Matter

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 10:40 PM

Posted Image
I've just added a new version! This includes individual letter colours. I've added an example that makes a rainbow flash through the text - try it out and tell me what you think!
Any other comments, effects you think would be good, or anything you've made with this would be great!
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#31 Dark Matter

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 01:36 PM

200+ downloads, but only a few replies...
Please leave a comment!!

EDIT: Over 250 downloads and counting...

Edited by Dark Matter, 13 May 2010 - 05:38 PM.

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#32 Dark Matter

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 05:03 PM

I re-wrote this a while back, using ds_lists instead of arrays. In the tests I did, it was 300% faster than the previous version.
It includes moving letters (like before) and also drawing a path for the letters to follow (a new feature, trying to copy the text on path tool in Adobe Illustrator).
Here's a quick screen shot:
Posted Image
Here's a link if you want to try it out:
String Distortion v2
Controls:
Push around letters: LMB (press 1 to activate)
Draw path for letters: LMB (press 2 to activate)
Change the words: Control-N
Restart the entire game: Control-R
Clear the current path: Control-P

Enjoy!
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#33 skulldragon

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 06:56 PM

Excellent! The new path feature is great. So is the superior efficiency.
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#34 Nocturne

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:20 PM

This is a great, innovative and pretty unique example. I love this effect and so it's been moved to Staff Pick.
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#35 Dark Matter

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:43 PM

I thought this was just gathering dust as no-one seemed to be noticing it :P
Glad you think it's cool too. I actually have a later version of this, which is even faster. If anyone wants to see if, I'd be happy to upload it, but I'll wait for more feedback before I do.
Please let me know if you're using this!
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#36 Nocturne

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:52 PM

Please, don't wait for feedback as people here are notorious for not providing any!!! An improved version would be much apreciated as I for one really like this effect...
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#37 TerraFriedSheep

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:56 PM

Yeah this is a cool example, I can see it being used to make text entering a room more interesting- the letters all flying back into place is nice for this!
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#38 Dark Matter

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 10:13 AM

Okay, so here's my improved version I said I would upload. It's slightly different and doesn't have quite as many features, but it has some rather cool ones.
String Distortion v3

Use the mouse to select a line of text. The line selector will scan the line and read what the line says (which is displayed in the top left). If you hover over a particular letter, it will display how many of those letters are in the current line. Click and drag on the letters to move them. Press space to create a circle of distortion which pushes the letters around. Right click to sort all the letters on the line into a clean, easy to read line. You can easily spell out new sentences in this way. It's pretty clever in my opinion :P
Press E to make the letters buzz. The further down your mouse is, the more they buzz. Put the mouse on the left to make them buzz with no rotation and on the right to have rotation.
Press F to make each letter fall one by one.
Press R to restart.

Please tell me what you think!
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#39 CoolGamrSms

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 10:18 AM

I don't see very many uses for this, but it certainly is fun to play around with. It's pretty cool!
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#40 Dark Matter

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 11:55 AM

I don't see very many uses for this, but it certainly is fun to play around with. It's pretty cool!

Yeah, use is the one thing I'm lacking. It can be used for cool effects for credits or "magic text" in cutscenes and things like that, but not much.
Feel free to offer suggestions!

I've updated the main post, which now contains a gmk and exe containing all 3 versions, which should make it easier to see the different effects each one contains. Each new version is faster than the last. I've also fixed a few glitches in them (such as images not appearing in the first example).

Please comment!
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#41 OMGCarlos

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 05:34 AM

Whoa very nicely done! It's one of those things you don't really look for, but once you find it you can't imagine why you didn't look for it earlier lol. I am definitely using this in my next project!

The only issue I have is that you don't have the code stored in scripts. If you did that, users could call an explode script for example and set the explosion distance which would make a really cool "firecracker" effect, where different words explode in different sizes. This will give the user a lot more control, that way I could pass the mouse_x/mouse_y positions to mx/my OR the position of an object...this would allow you to have a ball bouncing around the screen pushing the letters on its own for instance.

Really though, this is an awesome set of examples!
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#42 Dark Matter

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 05:59 AM

Whoa very nicely done! It's one of those things you don't really look for, but once you find it you can't imagine why you didn't look for it earlier lol. I am definitely using this in my next project!

Thanks :P

The only issue I have is that you don't have the code stored in scripts. If you did that, users could call an explode script for example and set the explosion distance which would make a really cool "firecracker" effect, where different words explode in different sizes.

Yeah, that's a good idea. I may add it in if I get some free time.
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#43 max_r_61270

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 11:49 PM

This is VERY cool and I'd love it in my game. Too bad YoYoGames didn't have the foresight to develop GM Mac using Game Maker 8 instead of Game Maker 7
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#44 Dark Matter

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 07:15 AM

This is VERY cool and I'd love it in my game. Too bad YoYoGames didn't have the foresight to develop GM Mac using Game Maker 8 instead of Game Maker 7

I'm pretty sure that there aren't any GM8-only functions being used in this example. If you just copy and paste the functions, it should work...
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#45 Ruub

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:02 PM

I'm bringing this topic back to #1 yo B) B) B)
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#46 Dark Matter

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:05 PM

Well, it's nice to see it getting some attention, but what did you actually think of the system?
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#47 Ruub

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:06 AM

Well, I didn't do that because I thought nothing of it, did I? Though I guess I can give some critisism! :biggrin:/>/>/>

So, I love how you can for the first time ever in findable Gamemaker history, you can write in every angle on a line that is free of shape and distort it
while writing anything you want though, ofcourse there is room for improvement. Just some ideas I guess:

The angle distortion destroyes the quality of the writing, possibly having the user have to drop this way of having text angle. Though I didn't yet test it in Studio which has a new way of angle drawing.

Calculating the distance between letters so they won't 'touch' which might give a more attractive effect!

Do the same for sprites etc. For example a user may want to have a wave animation of self drawn non-font-able letters.

Just had this brilljant idea for maybe have the text move over the line: imagine it going from the left to the right over the line. Like a train.

Make some example uses for this system, there are users here who are interested in really learning how to code etc. and those who just want to make an awesome game (the bigger part I think) and don't really
care about the code itself (like me). Even an example needs to be a little atractive if most people want to appreciate it, for some did not develope enough imagination to see bigger potential.

Also I have no idea how bigger parts of the code works, that is fine because I might learn later on. It does mean though that me manipulating the code, will be really, really hard and I might have trouble if I'd want to
use this in my game in a slightly different way and can not reach that desired effect.

Edited by Ruub, 10 December 2012 - 11:09 AM.

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#48 Dark Matter

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:47 PM

1. Yes, that's entirely down to GM's rotated text rendering system. I haven't tried it in Studio either - I'm not sure how it fares.
2. That's a possibility, although automatic kerning adjustment may make it look a little odd. One would have to play around with it and see.
3. Yeah, that's definitely a feature that could be added in the future, if I was still working on it. I don't think it'd be too hard to add yourself if you wanted.
4. You mean like <marquee>? What functional use could that possible have?
5. I could definitely write a couple of examples, but I can't think of many other uses for it other than special effects. If you have any ideas, do suggest them.
6. Yes, this system was based quite heavily off the fact that to achieve other effects users could program them in themselves - once you understand GML quite well, it's quite simply written, but it is an issue for more intermediate users. If I ever feel like working on this again, I'll try to come up with a more simplified system for working with the characters.
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