Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, Everyone

Do Ut Des

Merry Christmas, everyone.  I hope the day has found you well and in good health.  I'm taking the time to rest up... currently a bit under the weather.

I should have some posts up in the following days. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Southern Highlands - Photo Blog

Did some work in the Southern Highlands tonight with Cactus Jack... also toggled on my visibility to 500m, so I decided to take some screenshots.  Some areas are new, some are old... check it out. :D

Teleport: Teleport to Southern Highlands

Overview of our work tonight. A new bridge spans a valley
to allow access to Cactus Jack's train that runs all through SW City
and the surrounding towns.

A close-up of the bridge.

A rocky outcrop.

A waterfall into Highridge Fjord, which outlets into the Irenic Ocean.

Ferruccio's Mobius House overlooks much of Rising Glen Retreat

The same area from a different perspective, this time looking
up to the high cliffs overlooking Rising Glen Retreat.

The Emerald Strand -- the area nearest to the Irenic Ocean.

Further to the right.

Overlooking the peninsula north of Obsidian Cove.
  Very secluded, almost entirely woodland.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

CAV Shop to be released next month

Stacee posted an update on the AW Forums today concerning the upcoming CAV Shop and the current state of 5.2:

I wanted to start a thread to help clear up some of the confusion and open up the stage for some constructive input.

First off, the release of 5.2 is in two parts. It was released this month, minus the CAV Shop Items buying system, so that we could test the new boost engine and all the other additions like global chat channels and various new settings and tweaks and clean up any bugs that have been missed in the initial beta testing. You have all been doing a tremendous job, already spotting several bugs that can be addressed and really breaking in the new AW release.

What about the CAV Shop Items buying system? That will begin next month. It's the reason many things you came to use and love were taken out in this initial CAVtemplate. We needed to make a simpler layout for testing purposes and we needed to have items for you to test buying that we know should work. This will all make it easier to test that the buying system is working correctly without having to work out bugs that the artists created (yes, we have our own bugs we create).

You've already noticed some changes in how the CAV window works. We realized how confusing the separation of clothing from their textures was in the older CAV window. The new system tries to group similar items together, so things like eyes, lips, cheeks, etc no longer are on their own, but are now grouped under the head with all their attached textures. Same for clothing. You'll no longer have to put on a shirt and then scroll down looking for the texture that applies to what you just put on. The options will appear right underneath (+/-). Hair has also been gloriously simplified in that fashion. You'll also notice that there are now two "type" categories: human and anime. Because of the buying system, it will be possible not only to buy clothing for these categories, but also to buy more "types" as they become available. It's going to open up alot of opportunity for individuality and style.

That being said, the older items that you loved will make a return appearance. In fact, you may even see some items that got lost from the first CAV system finally resurface. (This is actually the third CAV redo, for those keeping track)

The past few months I've gained alot of experience on creating CAV pieces and learning the new CAV layout and the Shop Item entry system. It's been an eye-opener for sure. This is where I want to open up the floor for ideas: what would you like to see that is new or different in the CAV system? I've already created new items that will hit the stores eventually, but I welcome more ideas. Pictures would be incredibly helpful to me, so if you have them, share. While I can't guarantee an idea will make it into the CAV system, it may inspire something similar. What would be cool for the future?

I've got some strong opinions on the micro-transactions (particularly how to make them successful) and our place concerning them... I may write up a bit of a rant on that later.  For now, let's just wait and see where this goes... glad to see they're going forward with it. :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

AW 5.2 Released Today

Hey everyone!  Activeworlds 5.2 was released today and comes with a few new, very noticable features.

The toolbars now exist as a HUD on the display. 
  • Several toolbars are now transparent and have moved to new locations in the browser.
  • Global chat has been integrated to the browser!  Each world has 5 channels.  Most public worlds currently have local and global enabled.
  • Gaming commands are now a preset as specified in Options > Configure Controls
  • CAV updates; existing cavs have been wiped and will need to be remade.
  • Bots will not need to be recompiled but their aw.dll files should be brought up to the latest SDK build.
  • View a full list of changes on the ActiveWiki
Overall I'm pretty content with many of the changes made... and there are, of course, bugs to be worked out on patch day.  As usual, though, my biggest complaint is that they haven't gone quite far enough.  Perhaps the most embarrassing example of this is the half-implementation of the browser HUDs. Though the toolbars are installed (as you can see in the screencap), the chat, tabs, and web windows are still in their familiar blocky formats.  I wouldn't disgrace your vision with a screenshot of those up together... it reminds me of a poorly formatted, 90's website.

It can't be helped, I guess.  As a bit of an aside, 5.2 has been completed by Chrispeg for about 6-7 weeks, and he's already begun work on 5.3.  Word of getting some more of these transparencies up is spreading.  An Ogre AW Viewer was also mentioned in a town hall meeting a few weeks ago... we'll see about that. :)  That would certainly be an exciting time, as I think Renderware has about had it.

Anyway, more later.  I've got finals stuff to be working on.