August Update

Announcements from the Lavish Software team
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Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:08 pm

August Update

Post by Lax » Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:19 pm

So what's up? Why havent we gotten Inner Space out the door as a release product? What's this WinEQ 3 we keep blathering about? What's going on with Fury? What will happen to WinEQ 2? What's this new stuff on the web site? Good questions!

Web Site
We're working on cleaning up the web site a little bit, making it easier for you to do what you need to do here. Usually that involves registering with us, downloading our software and maybe even subscribing. We've therefore streamlined registration and subscription by adding a new "My Account" area. It still needs some work, but we are improving it :)

We've also recently added a 3-day notification prior to your purchased subscription expiring. As is explained on the subscription page, all subscriptions are paid for in advance and are not automatically recurring. Without the notification, many people have been confused when their subscription simply ran out and they didnt realize it. Now, a notification is sent to the email address you registered with, 3 days before your subscription runs out.

Inner Space
For the past month or two, we've been working mainly on the Inner Space User Interface (ISUI) system. Since its inception, it has been such a key feature and makes things so much more convenient that we simply wouldn't be doing ourselves justice if we brought Inner Space to release without having this system relatively complete.

What's so great about it? Well, as some of you know, Inner Space is controlled mostly by "commands", and not all of them are extremely simple. This might sound scary, but remember that you use commands in many games anyway (such as sending a "whisper" or "tell" to another player, or entering cheat codes in single player games). Regardless, simply sounding scary drives many people bonkers, but having a nice, clear-cut interface window to work with is much more friendly. There will still be commands used, but this system will allow our users to take advantage of easier and cooler-looking ways of doing things :)

So we've established that it makes things easier, but how customizable is it? ISUI is XML-based, much like pretty much every customizable interface these days. It lets you put anything you want, anywhere -- so you dont need a "window" to put things in; you can just put that button right out in the middle of nowhere! You can change any part of the color scheme, images (textures) used, and so on. We use a "template" system, which allows you to reuse parts of XML for any element or texture, or even another template -- this helps you do what is known as skinning. So if you're editing by hand, you dont need to type out every last property of every last element -- the default template for that element applies, or you can tell it to use your own template. Here's a link with some snapshots using a customized UI and custom controls.

WinEQ 2
WinEQ 2 has been getting updates recently to solve reported problems. This should be a lesson to all of you that dont report your problems, they wont get solved! ;) In fact, just today I finally got some answers as far as the "sticky keys" go in EQ1. This issue gets reported maybe once a month, and I don't usually get information about how it happens (e.g. what did you do right before it happened?). Anyway, I found out that it still happens if you use a global activation hotkey while zoning. This may or may not get fixed immediately, but I will see what I can do. Regardless, this should not be an issue at all in WinEQ 3 (see below).

WinEQ 2 will still exist with the development of WinEQ 3, just like WinEQ 1.38 still exists today. However, WinEQ 2 will probably eventually be removed, because there would ideally be no reason to use it over 3. WinEQ 1.38 is around simply to accomodate users of Windows 98 and ME. As our newer products including WinEQ 2 do not and will not support these versions of Windows, there will be no reason to keep WinEQ 2 once it is obsolete :)

Fury has also been getting maintenance updates, and other things people ask for. Once we hit release with Inner Space, Fury should be getting more attention with the possibility of new features.

WinEQ 3
WinEQ 3 is even more exciting to us than WinEQ 2 was when we were deciding what to do about the problems in the original WinEQ. WinEQ 3 is going to be built on the Inner Space core. Inner Space is actually our next step up from WinEQ 2, and everything that will be done in WinEQ 3 can be done right this moment in Inner Space, but most WinEQ users would be far more comfortable with WinEQ 3.

WinEQ 3 will provide numerous benefits from being built on the Inner Space core. For example, most of the features you currently know with WinEQ 2 will be done with "scripts" instead of built right in. WinEQ 3 will hide them unless you want to mess with them, but this removes most of the limitations that WinEQ 2 had. Picture-in-Picture in WinEQ 1 and 2 is limited to a single picture window. WinEQ 3, on the other hand, will handle any number of picture windows. WinEQ 3 will also be able to take advantage of the Inner Space User Interface system. This means you will have the ability to pull up WinEQ interface windows right in your game! This has endless possibilities, but you'll just have to wait and see :)

Another fun fact is that Inner Space solved the input-related problems that still exist in WinEQ 2. WinEQ 3 won't be suffering from "sticky keys!" WinEQ 3 will also support numerous games, instead of just a select few. In fact, you may be able to use it with games we've never heard of or the absolute newest games, just by clicking on "Add Game", like is currently done with Inner Space!

And finally, to appease some minds. Although WinEQ 3 will be built on the Inner Space core, it will not be Inner Space. Many features of Inner Space will simply be removed. For example, the ability to load custom extensions or to record and playback mouse and keyboard will probably not be available in WinEQ 3. This will mean that using WinEQ 3 will be no more taboo than using WinEQ 2. It will just be a lot cooler. :)

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