Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to become an Expert at Jibe and Unity3d

It's exciting to start developing your own multiuser virtual world with Jibe and Unity3d. And when learning anything new, it's always useful to have a list of online resources to help you hit the ground running.

Here are a few:

  1. Jibe-Unity3d Google Group
    A great place to start meeting other people who are exploring Jibe and Unity3d. Introduce yourself and start asking questions!

  2. Unity Official Forum and Q/A
    Helpful community resources from Unity Technologies.

  3. ReactionGrid Wiki
    Lots of educational articles about Jibe and Unity3d.

  4. ReactionGrid Classes
    We've started offering formal classes on how to learn key skills. More coming soon!

  5. Jibe Tutorials on Be Cunning and Full of Tricks
    My personal blog where I frequently publish detailed tutorials.

If you investigate these helpful resources, you'll quickly be on your way to becoming a Unity3d and Jibe expert!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jibe Roadmap

Our Jibe platform is currently at release version 1.3.1, and version 1.4 is about to arrive. We have many features and tools currently in development, so here's an overview of where we are, and what's coming up next!

Available now in Jibe 1.3.1
  • Simple multiplayer project kit for Unity editor, turn your 3D scenes into virtual worlds and invite your friends!
  • Chat, walk, run, fly, sit, private chat, teleport, Vivox voice chat (web platform only)
  • 14 avatars with several clothing options - a total of 91 different outfits to choose from, plus some of the ladies have hair you can re-color!
  • Presentation system
  • Drag & Drop data visualization kit

Coming in July - Jibe 1.4
  • Improved voice integration - mute controls in the GUI (web builds)
  • Sit on the ground
  • Avatar attachments
  • JiWay System: Jump onto the JiWay and easily visit a network of publically available jibe worlds.
  • Platform improvements - minor bug fixes and functionality tweaks behind the scenes

  • Improved networking with HTTP tunneling for traffic - much more firewall friendly!
  • Jibe Mobile - launch your world on Android or iOS!
  • Jibe on the Unity Asset Store - grab the core pieces needed for simple multiplayer environments and hit the ground running!

  • Live building tools and object persistence
  • Create on the fly with your colleagues and save your current progress to resume later!

The future
  • Live object import and persistence, enabling users to create external models, import into a scene that is currently live, and save the changes
  • Shared inventory of common building components

Expect to see these advancements in future releases of Jibe
  • JiWay System web interface: Community members can add their own jibe worlds to the public list, enabling people to access their world through the Jiways. Users will be able to comment on, rate, and visit the worlds.
  • JiDraw: A whiteboard for your Jibe world, allowing users to freehand draw.

This roadmap is subject to change - notably, we have heard some very exciting plans from Unity about their own upcoming releases that may give us some new features that we can work on, so we're staying on our toes and will keep you posted.

Chris Hart
CTO, ReactionGrid Inc.

Monday, June 27, 2011

ReactionGrid Inc. Virtual World Poll.

This week our CTO & Co-Founder Chris Hart will deliver a roadmap for Jibe, our in-house developed virtual world, for the next few point releases.  In order to prepare for this initial roadmap we have begun polling our community.

Poll #1 asked which of 4 basic features are most important to you.  See below for the results of this poll which 69 people participated in.

Note-Option 1 (green bar) was "Easy to login to & use"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

SCADA Demo for Jibe

For those of you who are looking into data visualization in Jibe, we have produced a sample package that you may find useful! Now available to download from our Jibe Downloads site for our Jibe customers, log in and scroll down to get hold of your copy!

To install the package, just unpack the zip file into a folder and read the instructions. In Unity, you need to open your Jibe project and select Assets - Import Package - Custom Package...

Import all the assets in the bundle - there are three prefabs and one script to add to your project. Once you have imported them, from your Project tab in Unity, go to the Objects folder and drag a Machine Controller prefab into your scene. It's an invisible object, so position it in the scene where you want to start your data visuals:

And now you're ready to run with the simple demo! If you hit the Play button in the editor, you will see five cubes appear, likely with different colors, each showing a random value between 0 and 10, and some of them potentially on fire! These five values are randomly produced from a little web page that can have a couple of parameters to modify the quantity (n) and maximum (max) values produced, for example

The demo script has a number of properties on it that you can edit to change how the visuals work, and you have all the full source code from the script itself that you are free to edit and change as you like to fit your purposes! If you want to make simple changes, head to the Machine Controller game object in your Scene hierarchy and make changes to the properties. These represent the following:

  • Poll Interval: how often to refresh data
  • Number of values: how many machines to show, up to a max of 10
  • Maximum value: if you want to simulate larger or smaller numbers, change this number
  • Particle threshold: for particles to display, set this number to be lower than maximum value, at some value that makes sense for an overload visualization
  • Low / Medium / High / Critical Condition Values: set these numbers in order from lowest to highest up to a number that is less than the max to show full range of states
  • Machine Prefab: replace this with any object of your choice that has a mesh renderer component - the standard one supplied with the demo is a simple cube object with no special attributes
  • Data Vis Particles: replace this with any prefab of your choice that has a particle emitter
  • Skin: for the GUI numbers over the boxes
  • Heat colors: set up a minimum of five colors for each condition to visualise to change the color of your machines according to the values

This demo is provided as is for evaluation purposes and contains only pretend data... but the idea here is to give you an idea of how you could make a cool space and visualize machine values, or perhaps a live rendered scene of how many emails you have received that you haven't yet read, etc. The data you pull from your web service could be passed in as simple csv values, it could be JSON, it could be XML, and the fun of working with C# for your scripting is that you can use standard code techniques to unravel that data. Then combine that with some Unity concepts and you have a 3D scene that you can walk through with your peers and see what is currently happening together.

We use this technique for our own purposes to provide us with real-time monitoring of server activity of all the servers, physical and virtual, that we host for our clients. We gather metrics on server uptime, processor utilization, hard drive space and more, and we view it all together in our server room. Together, in the virtual space, we can see at a glance if a server needs some attention, or we can see whether a server is currently being worked on by a member of the team. Check out the video overview or head inworld to see a live demo!

Comments or questions, ping me any time via

Chris Hart
CTO, ReactionGrid Inc.