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Author Topic: October Update Now Available  (Read 3821 times)

Dan Dixon

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October Update Now Available
« on: October 25, 2008, 04:40:50 AM »
The October update to Universe Sandbox is now available!

Just run your installed copy to update.

If you have problems updating you can download the full setup file here:
http://universesandbox.com/download/

What's New?
http://universesandbox.com/about/whatsnew.htm

What's Next?
I will probably release a minor update in the next week to address minor issues with this release. The next major update (in late November) will involve a user interface overhaul to make the program easier to learn and use. If you have ideas or comments about how I can improve the user interface please share them here:
http://universesandbox.com/forum/index.php/topic,66.0.html

Please let me know if you run into any problems or discover any problems. Thanks again for your patience.

And as always... Please share your comments, ideas, and suggestions.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 04:59:11 AM by Dan Dixon »

xts44

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Re: October Update Now Available
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2008, 09:42:22 AM »
When selecting objects to add, I notice when you reload the system it also resets the object you had selected... say if I load the poolballs, and select "poolball" fire a couple of them, and then reload the system, it also resets my selection and the velocity values, there should be a way to keep user settings between "sessions" (i.e. when you're loading different systems)

Also you might want to render the object that has been chosen as a transparent silhouette in front of the cursor, just so the user knows what object is selected.

It's the little visual feedback for user that leads them to infer/intuit, etc, how things work.

Dan Dixon

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Re: October Update Now Available
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2008, 03:45:14 PM »
Excellent suggestion.

Sometimes when I come across something that is unnecessarily difficult or repetitious I wonder if the software developers use the software they create (because if they did they wouldn't have made it like that).

Regarding your comment about how the new body selection and velocity reset when you reload a system I imagine you may have thought that about me. :)

I'll be releasing an update to fix this and other small issue early next week.

The transparent silhouette idea is also very good, but a fix to address this issue will probably have to wait until the next major update in late November.

xts44

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Re: October Update Now Available
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2008, 05:29:10 PM »
Excellent suggestion.

Sometimes when I come across something that is unnecessarily difficult or repetitious I wonder if the software developers use the software they create (because if they did they wouldn't have made it like that).

Regarding your comment about how the new body selection and velocity reset when you reload a system I imagine you may have thought that about me. :)

LOL no worries,  that one was an easy one to catch.  Since when you're playing pool you fire and the balls go off into space, so you have to reset and quickly you get annoyed by having to repeatedly input the numbers. 

Although you've probably noticed I'm a little different then the average user.  I have a knack for design and usability when it comes to "how a thing should be done".  It's something I've grown to discover over the years, my mind will automagically solve some problem giving me a general framework, and presents it to me as a series of images/animations.  It basically gives me the overall plan, framework and 'map'.  And it doesn't just apply to software either, right now I've got a design for a new mouse with some borrowed items from other hardware peripherals lol .... going to try to make a prototype and maybe get it made if I can find the right people, I've never done it before though. :)

Plus many "gotcha's" are merely a matter of not having enough time, one human being can't possibly know every possible combination by themselves, hence the necessity of feedback.  A lot of dev's I notice don't like "criticism", when it is actually not criticism they should be afraid of, but software no one wants to use! :)

I have tremendous respect for software developers, I thought about writing an essay about software development to distill the wisdom I've picked up over the years just because I've dabbled in it and I have a lot of insight from both the user and developer perspective - just because many things in programming require SOO much time and work, just to get small things working.  People have no idea just how much work is involved in some of the features, major or minor they suggest.

But there's another thing too - some features require a lot of effort for little financial gain (i.e. enormous money pit), therefore they have disproportionate ROI, even though the feature is something good and adds to the functionality.  One thing I've learned is that --> good design goes against economic efficiency, the two are at odds, and hence a lot of bad engineering happens.  All that is required for good design is time + skills, since overall good development is a function of time and feedback (i.e. blizzard entertainment and their games)

That's one thing the pointy haired bosses don't fully grasp, I've also told game developers that too --> That game development rubs right up agains the economic model we use as a society, just because the project is such a massive undertaking, and "figure out as you go".  It's getting better but a lot of it just has to do with the enormous amount of work that has to go into creating tools and whatnot and unforseen obstacles.  Hopefully as tools get better, and automatic content creation gets good enough, that game devs can focus more on the game, instead of the shiny new graphics with shader version x.0

I'll try to find the awesome video I saw a while back where blizzard was speaking to other game devs about software development, a lot of the wisdom in that video applies across the board to software development and engineering in general.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 06:11:41 PM by xts44 »

BlackBolt

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Re: October Update Now Available
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2008, 09:10:05 AM »
Awesome, thanks.

Dan Dixon

  • Creator of Universe Sandbox
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Re: October Update Now Available
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2008, 01:23:28 AM »
A lot of dev's I notice don't like "criticism", when it is actually not criticism they should be afraid of, but software no one wants to use! :)

Those developers are missing out; I thrive on criticism. The only problem, as you also elude to, is having the time to implement it all. :)

People have no idea just how much work is involved in some of the features, major or minor they suggest.

True, but I'd hate for someone to censor their potentially amazing idea because they thought it would be hard to implement.

But there's another thing too - some features require a lot of effort for little financial gain

And that's certainly true. I've spent many hours on features that I suspect few people know about or have ever used. I expect the user interface overhaul to help expose some of these. :)

Thanks again for your input and keep the criticism coming.