well to begin narrowing down, and to clarify
pixel shaders are separate from plasma, if the plasma doesn't have an effect on it, pixel shaders shouldn't be an issue.
the plasma doesn't have an effect added right?
Also, are you absolutely sure that you have the same version of Construct?
As for the second question, generally, if you have more than one unrelated question, it's probably best to just make two separate posts, as long as you're not flooding the board with 5 posts at a time. This will make it easier for anyone having the same question/problem as you to find your question, and also let's people who might have an answer see that you asked it.
There are two expressions that may be of interest.
TotalObjects - which give's you the total number of objects (of any type) currently in the layout,
and CountMatching(OID or ObjectName) gives you the number of a certain type of object, like CountMatching("BadGuySprite"), will tell you how many BadGuySprites match that event. If you use it with an Always condition, it will give you the total amount of BadGuySprites currently on the layout
CountMatching and TotalObjects are System Expressions, and you get a list to choose from if you doubleclick the system icon while setting the parameters in any new action, condition, or expression