TheXTech

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TheXTech

Thextech 128.png

TheXTech-gameplay.png
Game window

Platforms: Windows, Linux,
macOS, Haiku,
Emscripten
Latest version: 1.3.2.3 (released 2020-07-30)
Coded in: C++
License: MIT
State: Actual
Download: TheXTech
Source code: GitHub
Official site:

TheXTech - it's a platform game engine written in C++, is a full port of source code of SMBX 1.3 which was originally written in Visual Basic 6. Created by Wohlstand after one month since original SMBX source code was been released for two purposes: providing a free and open-source, cross-platform and accurate implementation of the SMBX Engine to allow playing of old levels and episodes, created for an original game, with the same behavior as the original game had; get a more convenient research model for a PGE Engine development.

Version history

Development of TheXTech was started after a week after releasing of SMBX' source code into the public. The versioning starts at 1.3 to continue the history of original SMBX game in a new form.

1.3

A first working thing which was developed in 2 weeks after SMBX's source code was opened and researched. It was a working but buggy build which was polished later to prepare it for 1.3.1. It was developed in hide with a purpose to make a sudden surprise for a community.

1.3.1

A first public release out in March 14, 2020.

1.3.2

An update released in April 26, 2020. This version fixes some bugs and introduces minor improvements. A level testing integration with PGE Editor since now is supported natively.

1.3.2.1

An update released in July 12, 2020. This version fixes some bugs like software render support, extends the support for joysticks, and adds the workaround for case-sensitive file systems to resolve glitches with some episodes.

1.3.2.2

An update released in July 18, 2020. This update fixes an incorrect sizes of customized effects: effects should be able to have any GFX size, but in a condition that it has the same count of frames as original.

1.3.2.3

An update released in July 30, 2020. This update fixes a crash, caused by some custom effects, and fixes the inability to properly catch any vegetables on the fly.

Differences with an original game

While game is an accurate port of an original game, it has several differences and enhancements:

  • First off, it's written in C++ while original (as we already know) is written in VB6.
  • Doesn't have an Editor. Instead, since 1.3.2 it have a deep integration with PGE Editor that allows to use it with the same functionality as in original editor (the "magic hand" functionality was kept to allow real-time editing of the level while testing, it's needed to use IPC communication with PGE Editor to get the ability to use it better).
  • Full support of UTF-8 in filename paths and internal text data (original game had the only 8bit ANSI support).
  • For graphics and controlling, it uses an SDL2 library while original game have used WinAPI calls and GDI library.
  • It uses PGE-FL that has better file formats support.
  • A support for WLDX world maps are allowing unlimited credits lines and custom music without it being necessary to use a music.ini for music replacements.
  • Some LVLX exclusive features now working: vertical section wrap, two-way warps, custom "star needed" message, warp enter event, ability to disable stars printing in HUB episodes for specific doors, ability to disable interscene showing when going to another level through a warp.
  • Built-in support for episode and level wide music.ini and sounds.ini to override default music and sounds assets.
  • World maps now supports a custom directory to store any specific resources like custom tiles/scenes/paths/levels and not spam the episode root folder with world map resources anymore.
  • Default config format is INI, old config.dat format is no longer supported, mainly because of incompatible key code values (SDL_Scancode versus VirtualKeys enum of Windows API).
  • Game saves now using the SAVX format instead of a classic SAV. However, if you already have an old gamesave, you still can resume your game by using a new engine now (next gamesave attempt will result a SAVX file, old gamesave in SAV format will be kept untouched).
  • Built-in PNG support for custom and default graphics. Masked GIFs are still supported for backward compatibility, however, without making an unexpected auto-conversion like SMBX-38A does.
  • Checkpoints now have multi-points! You can use them in your levels multiple times without limits!
  • It does use of lazy-decompress algorithm to speed-up the loading of a game and reduce the memory usage.
  • For music and SFX, the MixerX library is used to give a support for a wide amount of sound and music formats!
  • It doesn't embeds any graphics: there are NO trurely hardcoded graphics, everything is now represented by external graphics!
  • Some internal limits have been expanded.
  • Built-in GIF recorder by F11 key (F10 on macOS, F11 is reserved by system UI for a "show desktop" action).
  • Since 1.3.2 a maximum sections limit has been extended up to 201.
  • Since 1.3.2 a 20 entries limit for layers lists to show/hide/toggle has been removed.

Building the Game

To build the game, follow one of the following guides from the GitHub page:

For a build intended to be shared, install the ninja-build dependency, and replace the following line:

cmake -G Ninja -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug ..

With:

cmake -G Ninja -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=MinSizeRel -DUSE_SYSTEM_SDL2=OFF -DUSE_SYSTEM_LIBS=OFF -DUSE_STATIC_LIBC=ON -DPGE_SHARED_SDLMIXER=OFF ..

After following the final steps of the guide, create a thextech.ini with the following content:

[Main]
force-portable = true

And place it along with the executable in the same folder as the assets.

Custom Default Sets

Currently, TheXTech doesn't support individual "graphics" folders for episodes like SMBX2 does. In order to make episodes with their own SMBX sets like "Yoshi's Archipelago" or "Super Talking Time Bros." work, they need to be patched by taking the following steps[1]:

  • Copy the graphics/ui folder from SMBX 1.3 assets (or A2XT-PTTS assets).
  • Download sounds.ini and music.ini and place them in the set's root folder.
  • Copy a TheXTech executable as well as thextech.ini from above and place them in the set's root folder.
  • Use the PGE Maintainer from the newest PGE Laboratory build to convert the GIFs in the graphics folder to PNGs.

Alternatively, the contents of the graphics subfolders may all be placed in the episode's folder. However, this will increase loading times, so it is only worthwhile on a fast PC with a SSD. If you choose this method, the set's music folder, the sounds folder, music.ini and sounds.ini need to be moved to the episode's folder as well. A conversion of the GIFs is not necessary.

Planned Features

  • Improving Controller Support and allowing multiple key bindings.[2] Until then, antimicro or xboxdrv can be used as workarounds.
  • Making the Purple Yoshi's Ground Pound be triggered by AltRun instead of Down and usable by other Yoshis with a yellow shell.[3] The former may already be accomplished by a minor change in the source-code.
  • Copying and erasing savefiles within the title screen.[4]

See also

References

Links

Super Mario Bros. X