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Version 3 Roadmap - Updated:8/21/2017

**NOTE: World files created with the Beta client will not work at release.**

Version 3.0 Release Goals - Status

Known Issues with latest build - Some objects cannot be picked up at all.  Snow particles are nearly impossible to target.  Not all objects and particles have been tested.

Worlds and Links - The biggest change is the save file system.  Instead of saving each single scene as a separate file, the world system allows unlimited zones to be created in each file.  Moving between scenes is done using zone links.  For diorama viewing you can set up zone links that go from one diorama to the next.  For future projects this allows a playable character to move from zone to zone.

Play Test Mode Preview - I had always intended this to be an in-house tool for creating levels for my future game projects.  However I stumbled across a great solution that was easy to implement and pretty much turns Diorama Worlds into a simple "Build your own platformer" game.  The play test mode will allow you to drop a simple character into any scene and navigate them around with action and jump buttons.  Some basic actions are in place that can be added to a scene such as climbing and horse riding.  In a future update this will be expanded on with additional mechanics to create different types of gameplay possibilities.  Aka Mixed Reality Adventures.

New Layer and Lock System - One of the goals was to have the option to toggle layers on or off.  This portion of the goal is being differed to another release.
  • Layers and Position locks are now independent of each other.
  • Layer 0 will be the Unlocked Layer.  When this layer is selected, any object can be picked up and placed again without changing the layer.  New objects will be placed on Layer 0.
  • Layers 1-9 will be Locked Layers.  When these layers are selected, only objects that are on Layer 0 or the Currently selected layer can be picked up/dropped.  Picking up a Layer 0 object will convert it to the currently selected layer.  New objects will be placed on the currently selected layer.
  • Position Locks can be set at any time, regardless the layer.  The same position locks are in place.  Grid, Rotation Locked, and Unlocked.
Title Screen - Seriously, Version 2 didn't even have a title screen!  Not sure what I was thinking to skip out on that bit of polish.  Additionally the options mode will be moved to this scene and redesigned.  There are only going to be a few options, but the new system is modular for easier updates in the future.

New Menus -  There are now 4 menus attached to the left arm, that only show when they are being looked at.  Buttons can be activated while holding an object in addition to not holding an object as before.  And buttons highlight when they are in the activation range, so you will know what your about to press for sure.  The file manager top menu is slightly redesigned to only be used for selecting objects and is only visible when in selection mode.  All other menus are visible in all building modes.  Save/Exit/Layer Selection/Zone Tags/Start Play Test Mode/Start Lighting Mode will all be moved to these new menus.

Selection Mode Highlighting - The object your about to pick up is now highlighted so you know for sure what your about to pick up.  This helps a ton with difficult to pick up objects.  I was going to add a cycle mode to move through all objects in case you found one that was difficult to grab, however I don't currently feel this will be needed.

New Controls - Modified control layout that should make Vive users life easier.  Rift users will not see as much change.  Details on the new controls can be found in the tutorials link.

In-Game Keyboard - Right now this is going to be used to name your zones and files.  Additionally this will be used to input text for chat bubbles.  This feature is planned to be optional.  If you prefer to use a standard keyboard for input, that will be an option as well.

Favorites (Lite) - Favorites wasn't planned at all, and got worked in while I was half asleep and tinkering with ideas how to do it.  Right now there is one favorite folder and it works.  I want to expand this to allow for multiple folders that can be named.  And special folders such as "Current scene objects" and "Last used History".  Flushing out the details of all the possible features will take some design time.  But for now 3.0 will include the one simple folder.

Legacy File Viewing - I have converted all current diorama files into a single Legacy World file.  You will be able to load, view and edit these using the new version.  In a future update

*(Incomplete) Redesigned Lighting and Backgrounds - Instead of doing custom detailed lighting, I have opted to go with a simpler solution.  This is still in design and the main hold up for the release.  More on this soon.

*(Incomplete) Save File Optimization - Just before release I am going to clean up the save files to be as small as possible.  Currently there is an issue where every object gets pose data saved, and that causes the file sizes to be much bigger then they were before posing was implemented.  This will cause a break between beta world files and release world files.  I do not plan to salvage any world files from the beta.

Features Removed (For now)

Chat Bubbles - Coming back with update 3.1 (See below)

Tutorial - The currently tutorial doesn't work well and it will take far too long to rebuild it.  Instead I plan to record a series of tutorial videos after the 3.0 Release.

Diorama Publishing - I want sharing scenes to be done in game.  But the system I had in place for this needs some more design to work well with the new world files.  There are going to be a decent number of prior user created dioramas that will be converted to the new system and view able.  Once I implement User Accounts it will help a ton with sorting and organizing user created content and the new publishing design.  So viewers will be able to easily locate content by a specific artist or a specific type.  Until then if you create a world that you would like to share, I can include them with each patch.

Custom Lights - This one is the big change.  I decided to simplify the scene lighting process by removing this feature instead of rebuilding it.  I fully intend to go back and find a better way to do this, but for now I am removing lighting options and replacing it with a very simple lighting solution.

Background Selection - Currently in 2.X, you can choose the background you want, load any scene and view it with any background.  While this is neat, some scenes just don't look right unless you have the correct background.  Ideally I want to put background selection back in for the builder mode so you can build in whatever space you want.  But for the viewer mode, I want the artist to have control over how the scene looks.  For that reason backgrounds will make a comeback one day.  For now there will be a few backgrounds and they are part of the new lighting solution.


Plans for Version 3.1 (Comic Builder Scenes)

Chat bubbles - I am redesigning the way chat bubbles work and are created.  There will be 3 chat bubble types: Label, Talking and Thinking.  Each type will have the option to change the text and boarder color.  Ideally emotion will be conveyed to the user using color and story will be conveyed using the text.  But ultimately this will be up to the author how to use them.

Comic Scenes - Using world zones as background you will be able to create a new layer using posed characters and chat bubbles to tell a story.  Options to copy/insert/delete frames will allow for a faster workflow.  Ideally you will set up scene 1, copy it and repose the characters, redo the chat text, copy it repose, etc.


*Future Plans are highly likely to change
Plans for Version 3.2 (Platform Adventure Scenes)

The first type of playable scene type will be platformer which is already implemented as the play test preview.  Improvements on this will be more playable characters, invisible zone walls, collectible items, level unlocking and progression tracking/saving.

Plans for Version 3.3 (Exploration Adventure Scenes)

The next scene type will be exploration scenes.  Dialog events with idle animation npcs will be the main feature added.  Additionally this is where stories will start to have multiple scenes and scene types allowed.

8/12/2017


Got all the new controls worked in.  I was going to try and make everything a button menu, but its just too clunky.  Instead I found that keeping the controls grouped together well made it easier to remember what each control does.

Common Controls: (Controls that work in all Builder modes)

Camera - Right Controller Position and Right DPad
Up/Down - Zoom in or out
Left/Right - Rotate the scene
Right Hand Movement - Move the scene

*Right Grip Hold/Toggle -  From any builder mode you can swap to camera mode by holding the right hand grip button.  Additionally for vive users I added an option to make this a sticky grip (press to toggle on/off) since its uncomfortable to hold the grips for long periods of time.

File Manager - Left Controller DPad
While the file manager is active, left and right go forward/back pages.  Either up or down will return you to the last page.  The left DPad is not used for anything else in the builder tools.

Menus - Activated with Main Hand Button Presses when the 3D cursor is near the button.

Mode Controls: (Controls that are mode specific)
Right Button Press - Action - Vive Right Trigger / Oculus Touch Right Trigger or A Button.
*This button is used for some sort of primary action based on the mode.

Left Button Press - Back - Vive Left Trigger / Oculus Touch Left Trigger or X Button.
*This button has some undo type effect such as back or delete based on the mode

Hold Left Grip + Right Trigger Press - Shortcut - (Oculus Touch can press just B optionally)
*This button is a shortcut for common actions based on the mode.

Scaling - Up/Down
Cycling - Left/Right
*In most cases this is holding instead of pressing

(Additional Shortcuts could be possible and might come as user created options later.  But for now I feel it just complicates things to use more buttons.)


Mode Specific:

Select Object Mode: (The object nearest to your cursor is highlighted)
  • Action - Pickup (Go To Place Object Mode)
  • Back - Not Used
  • ShortCut
    • Pose-able object -> Go to Pose Detail Mode without picking up object
    • Event object -> Activate Event
  • Up/Down - Adjust Cursor Distance
  • Left/Right - Reserved - Coming Soon

Place Object Mode: 
  • Action 
    • Normal Object - Stamp Copy of Held Object
    • Pose-able Object - Drop Object (Go To Pose Detail Mode)
  • Back - Delete Held (Go To Select Object Mode)
  • ShortCut - Drop Object (Go To Select Object Mode)
  • Up/Down - Scale object
  • Left/Right
    • Normal Object - Rotate object in hand
    • Pose-able - Cycle Initial Pose (Can only be done once per new model)

Pose Detail Mode (Basic Version):
  • Action - Toggle Joint Rotation on/off (When on rotating controller, rotates the joint)
  • Back - Drop Object (if held) and Go To Select Object Mode
  • ShortCut* - Pickup Object in left hand
    • This is a slightly modified ShortCut key that only requires the left grip press
  • Up/Down - New Features Coming Soon (open/close selected hand/finger)
  • Left/Right - New Features Coming Soon (cycle selected hand/finger)

*Play Test mode controls are simply left stick for movement and Right hand presses for Action/Jump.  Custom Lighting modes have been removed for redesign.

Menu Commands: Menus that are activated with the 3D cursor will drive most everything else that is needed.
  • Layer Selecting
  • Layer Visibility
  • Position Locks
  • Save/Load/Exit
  • Grid Visibility Toggle
  • Start Play Test Mode
  • Choose Background/New Lighting System
  • Etc

8/7/2017


Just wanted to share a preview video of a few features I am working on for Version 3.0.  Should be ready in a few weeks!


3.0 Features:
World Building - Link multiple dioramas together to create worlds instead of single scenes.

In-game Keyboard - No more blind typing or generic file names

Object highlighting - So you know what your about to pick up for sure! =P

Title Screen - Yup... a real one! =P

Calibration on startup. So scenes don't load in your face.

New viewer mode with better organized player created scenes.

Player set viewpoints - See the world as the author intended!

New control setup - In-game menus will drive everything. Required controls will just be 1-3 buttons depending on the mode. Menus will activate when looked at and have controls used on the current mode.  (Looking into custom hotkeys)

3rd Person character sandbox mode. Move, Jump, Action. Simple controls, think "build your own platformer". More actions will be added later.  (Check out the preview video in the MR Adventures Page.)

And more!

-Levi

7/25/2017


New website launched!  More updates coming soon.