Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jibe 1.5 and Unity 4

Over the past months we've been busy working on several development projects for clients, and in each project we have had the chance to expand on our Jibe platform. The upcoming release of Jibe 1.5 will incorporate many of the features we have developed, and we will be ensuring that the release will be 100% compatible with the newly released Unity 4 editor.

Planned features for Jibe 1.5 include:

  • Room variable support
  • Photon 3 & Photon Cloud support
  • Improved avatar pipeline to enable wider range of custom avatars
  • Reduced requirement for naming conventions for avatar outfits when customizing appearance options
  • Animations can have any name, and are mapped to known animation states via a simple script set up in the Inspector (makes it much easier to grab animations from places like the Mixamo store to add simple gestures to your avatars)
  • Appearance maps can support model, hair and outfit choices out of the box, the goal is to move towards a more extensible system
  • Storage and retrieval of avatar dressing choices for Jibe Mars customers for future implementation of immediate login of pre-dressed avatars.
  • Simplified networking scripts for position updates of objects
  • Recategorized Jibe scripts in Unity hierarchy for clearer organization
  • Increased flexibility on login process
  • Change from three scripts (ChooseAvatar, DressingRoom, SingleSceneConfiguration) for choosing avatars and logging in, to one single simplified script (JibeLogin)
  • Combine Loader and Dressing room concepts into a Login scene where you can choose all outfit choices on login. 
  • Or you can change which scene is the first in the build order and log in directly to the main scene where the activity will take place
  • Dedicated dressing room can be reached from any other scene in the build and should return you to the last known location
  • Extra sample scripts for more common functionality (such as taking screenshots from inworld)
  • Spatial audio support for Vivox voice on web player builds
  • Chat history plus ability to chat from the webpage (removing the need to have the chat textbox on screen all the time while inworld)
  • Single player mode for offline testing - extremely useful for debugging while not connected, or for doing a demo from behind a tight firewall
  • Improved event tracking scripts for capturing additional information about user interactions
  • Improved tracking of Account UUID (Unique Identifier for a logged in user) for use within websites where tracking by known ID is important. This feature enables both understanding of the current ID of the player from the multiplayer server perspective and from a user-maintained system.
  • 100% C# codebase with final scripts converted from Javascript.
  • Updated Jibe manual with full information on each of the new features in the platform!
We've also updated our Jibe Web Suite for our hosted and behind firewall server customers to include a rich administration site and support for groups and role based permissions to give you more control over access to your Jibe worlds. We're rolling this out to all our existing clients (it is compatible with 1.4.2 as well as 1.5) - let us know if you would like to apply for a priority upgrade by dropping us a note to our ticket system at

Jibe 1.5 will be coming out as soon as we finish our QA testing. In the meantime, customers who are eager to try out Unity 4 should do so with caution until we can isolate any potential issues with the new editor and have approved the use and support of the new editor, and any issues that the pioneers of you may find please contribute your findings to our Jibe-Unity Google Group! If there are any significant issues with Jibe 1.4.2 and Unity 4 we will provide updated project kits to customers as soon as we can.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Speaking at "Train for Success" Panel on the Future of Virtual Worlds - Nov 8 @ noon Eastern

The Gronstedt Group hosts a weekly "Train for Success" speaking series, and this week I'll be participating in a panel discussion on the State and Future of Virtual Worlds.

The panel will be held in Second Life and starts on Thursday November 8 at noon Eastern.  You can also watch and ask questions via the live stream on the web.  

For more details, please see Facebook.  Here's a summary:
"The landscape of virtual worlds is changing. Social and game mechanics make virtual worlds more engaging. Browser-based virtual worlds make them more accessible to a wider audience. The panel will discuss the state and future of virtual worlds. Join this conversation about the emerging platforms and applications of virtual worlds in learning and business." 
Hope to see you there, and special thanks to Anders Gronstedt for inviting me to participate.

-John "Pathfinder" Lester
Chief Learning Officer, ReactionGrid