Yesterday we conducted our second community test of the release candidate for Project Wonderland v0.5 User Preview 2. On the whole, the test went extremely well.
As you can see from the screenshots and video, the test script was based on a Halloween theme. The video should give you a sense of the interaction. During the session, we tested various HUD windows including the Users list, the FPS (Frames Per Second) Meter, and Gestures. The bulk of the test focused on Capabilities, including Audio, Placemarks, Cone of Silence, Clickable Link, and Portal. During the test we added spooky sounds to objects in the world, including creating a "tomb of silence," we piled into a coffin, and we stepped through a tombstone portal to the "great beyond." In the afterworld, we made good use of our time by creating sticky notes with things that went well during the test and things that went wrong. During this debriefing session we recorded and discussed the various problems that cropped up.
The good news is that most of the functionality worked for most of the people. Of course, as with any test, we did find a number of problems. If you’re interested in the details, the issues are listed in my recent forum post. The worst problem of the day happened near the end of the session when everyone’s sticky notes simultaneously vanished. Although vanishing was in keeping with our theme, the cause of this unintended vanishing was a real mystery. Fortunately, a few us were able to recreate the problem after the test. It had to do with some software cleaning up too vigorously when people teleported to a far-away place like the "great beyond." Once identified, the problem was easy to fix. The other serious issue that surfaced during the test was a shared application "deadlock" problem. The test helped to characterize the problem, which we had seen before. This one is a bit more complex to fix, but a fix is in the works.
Below are some still images from the test. One feature to point out is the Happy Halloween scary face one. This shows a PDF document on the HUD, which is a new feature in the Preview 2 release.