Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jibe Roadmap Update

We’ve been busy bees working on several splendid projects with customers and we have produced some great features that we’re hoping to integrate into the next core Jibe release. For example:

  • Improving the pipeline for adding Jibe to an existing project, removing dependencies on Jibe-specific tags (since you can’t add tags via a Unity package!) – we’ve been experimenting with adding Jibe to a project instead of the opposite way round (adding existing builds and scenes to a Jibe project) and have discovered many angles that need to be refined to streamline the process. To be completed – Layers for cameras! Since layers are also something that can’t be updated from a package, the goal is to make the camera systems more controllable via scripts in the Inspector.
  • More flexibility on UI – making the GUI more controllable, perhaps you have a level where you don’t want users to be able to chat, or perhaps you want to remove the minimap completely.
  • Room variable support – as we’ve mentioned before this will be part of the next release, giving users a broadcast system for scene-wide events for all in a space to see.
  • Single player mode – perhaps you want avatar selection with the option to go multiplayer in future, or perhaps you want to demonstrate your Jibe build without a network connection, or perhaps you’re on a plane and would like to get some work done without an Internet connection (been there…) so we now have a non-network plugin that bypasses all requirements on having a network. You don’t get the multiplayer, but your Jibe code will still be there for testing and will run as normal.
  • Several bugfixes – little quirks that, thanks to tickets from customers and thanks to our own exploration, we have tackled that will improve things for you all.
  • Remove remaining requirements for a Dressing Room – while some folks like using the dressing room, those that use other non-Jibe avatars have asked to be able to remove the dressing room icon from the list.

There are a lot more pieces that we are pulling together, and we'll keep you informed as we get closer to release.

On top of this, with the recent upgrade to Unity 3.5 we will be working on making our bot scripts available to customers for tasks like tutorials (see our sySTEMic world's Tutorial scene for an example). The BIDI bot system uses pathfinding to navigate around as the bot helps you, and he can be programmed to follow you around. As such, we've previously had to rely on an external pathfinding library for the purpose. Now that pathfinding is built-in to Unity, we are hoping to integrate with that system, since we try to have minimal external requirements for our own tools.

If you have any feature requests or have something you really want to see in Jibe, either comment on this post or head to MetaverseHeroes for support.

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