Breaking Out … Of Prison? Into Song?

As odd as it sounds, release testing is one of the most fun things we do. It’s a time when lots of new functionality comes together, so it’s exciting to see everyone’s hard work merged into a single build. But it’s also a time when unexpected, and sometimes very funny, things happen. Here are some tidbits from today’s test of the upcoming Wonderland v0.5 Dev3 release.

First, we searched around for a scene we could include as a default world since our new default world is still under construction and not ready for distribution yet. As you’ve seen in one of my previous posts (Wonderland 0.5 – The Prehistoric Age), we have been using a Stonehenge model for testing. This model is attractive, but the stones make it tricky to navigate. We eventually found a model in the Google 3D Warehouse with more open spaces and some nice arches. When you look at it facing the arches, it’s rather appealing:

3D model of arches

The problem is, the other walls in the model have windows with bars on them. Since the new avatar system integration is not yet complete, Dev3 only includes a single bald, gray-shirted avatar. While this look might appeal to our friend Ric who is doing important work with the prison system, it was not quite the look we were aiming for!

Wonderland inmates

We solved the problem by editing the model in Google SketchUp and removing all the walls other than the arches.

Moving on, we next tested the new move, rotate and scale controls. This went extremely well…even if one of us did take a bit of damage when impaled by the move tool :-)

Getting impaled by the move affordance

We were also able to see the SVG Whiteboard in world for the first time, complete with an elegant tool palette on the HUD or heads-up display. This refers to the glass pane that sits in front of the virtual world.

SVG Whiteboard

Too bad none of us can draw! The window frame looks clunky right now, but we should see move icons and a take-control button on the frame in Dev4. For now, you can right-click on the window, select "edit" from the context menu, and move the whiteboard using the move and rotate controls.

By far the best part of today’s session came when we tested the audio recorder. We were able to successfully select the audio recorder option from the cell palette and place it in world. We recorded some audio with it and saved it to a "tape." Then we were brave enough to try duplicating the recorder by right-clicking on it and selecting "duplicate" from the context menu. What do you know, we got a second recorder and both recorders worked! And how better to test playback but to sing some rounds. For your listening pleasure, I secretly recorded a snippet:

Wonderland v0.5 Audio Recorder Test from Nicole Yankelovich on Vimeo.

I’m running for cover now. Hopefully one day I’ll be forgiven for posting this video!

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One Response to Breaking Out … Of Prison? Into Song?

  1. A number of people have asked me for a pointer to the Google SketchUp model shown in these images. You can find it here:
    http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=2d703297d4cab1658f580af4a2f9f1ab&prevstart=0
    We removed all the villas as well as other parts of the model to make it load more quickly.

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