OK. So Whirligig has been on Steam for over 5 weeks now and I've got the comments back and found more time and generally tried my best to work out the reasons behind the bad reviews and comments on the discussion forum. So what have I done?
The first port of call was mostly the Explorer. Something that I generally didn't think was that bad and was adequate enough until I had time to put into making a new one. It appears it was that bad and I needed to put time into it now, so I have. So what have I done with the Explorer. I've completely replaced it, that's what I've done. I've made something that I think will make a whole lot more sense to first time users and will will be considered a great improvement on the previous version.
So the next port of call was the main menu. Generally, although it looks basic and can do with a bit of tender loving care I thought the best thing to do with this is add the functions from the Vive controller on the main menu. By doing so it makes all of the quick access options onto the main menu for Oculus users. Although all these options are on the Gamepad it doesn't always seem to be obvious. So for example all the Stereo Options are easily visible on the menu.
Now there has been an ability to change all the gamepad options in Whirligig from the start but one thing that hasn't been possible is that you don't see the options window in the HMD. Well all this has changed. Partly as this was confusing a load of people and also when I implemented the explorer it broke the Gamepad Options. Because of this the gamepad options is a new button on both the main menu and Vive controller. Hopefully it feels more integrated into the main player now.
All of these new control systems are accessible with the HMD cross hair and Vive controller Laser. But there is a natural inclination to want to use the mouse to select the controls and buttons. This is especially apparent for the Explorer. So what I've done is add a mouse control system so that is, if the mouse is moved it will take control of the cross hair/laser and allow to navigate with that.
A word of warning regarding the mouse control. So one of the things that I have to do with the mouse control is to lock the mouse cursor to the centre of the display, otherwise you would keep moving outside of the bounds of the window and accidentally defocus the player. This means that unlike the previous version where you can go off and click on other windows you will not be able to do it with this version. I don't yet know if this is a big problem for people or actually will help as you won't accidentally loose focus on Whirligig. I am going to include in the next update a command line option to disable the mouse support for people who don't want this option. Feedback on this is very much appreciated.
So there has been a load of other changes including updates to the Unity version, SteamVR version and many bug fixes. I've tried hard to removed the ini file getting confused and breaking everything and I've also tried to fix the gamepad failing to be recognised so that people have no D-pad options. Some of these bug fixes are hard to test and as a result my attempts to fix them may well have failed. Please let me know if you find these issue continue and if they do I'll keep having a crack at them until they are squashed for good.
In this update I've tried to address a lot of the problems people were having and make the whole experience a much more enjoyable thing. Whirligig is not part of a big company or a throw away experiment, it is solely written and developed and continues to be developed by one person, me. I am going to continue to develop it for the foreseeable future and want to make it into a tool and player that people want to use. I hope you like the updates and I want to know what updates you want to see in the future. The more feedback I get the better Whirligig can be for everyone who uses it.
Now I've got a new UI system in there I want to continue to develop that so that you can easily select formats, rooms and custom formats. I've had a good amount of feedback on the discussion forum and a few of those ideas will soon be in there too, including stereo separation, Vive controller sleepy time (so you can hide them and they don't come on while watching a film) and many more hopefully. The big one I want to do is integrate the new Video plugin from Renderheads which will improve performance and add Media foundation support. This won't be in there until they have release full directshow support across all windows platforms though but they are hopefully releasing this this month so fingers crossed that will be in there soon and herald a new era of better performance and default support. Long term I'm also looking at another plugin called Popmovie which will allow for multiple audio channels, spacial sound and subtitle support.
So hopefully you'll stick with me and enjoy the new updates as they come.
Until next time
Over and out
Here's a link to the Steam page
---------------------Full release details----------------------
A big UI update.
-Unity3d Updated to 5.4.0b17
-SteamVR plugin updated to 1.1.0
-Brand new explorer replacing the old one completely.
-In HMD Gamepad Options.
-Bug fixes to confused ini files.
-Gamepad update to help with problem not detecting gamepad. The default gamepad is now Xbox one without Auto Detect. I removed this as it was causing problems. Hopefully this should help alleviate gamepad d-pad problems.
-Mouse support. The UI system now has mouse support. This means that all the options on the UI are now selectable with the mouse. This should hopefully really improve the usabilty of Whirligig. This does pose one big problem which is that I have lock the mouse in the view otherwise you end up clicking outside of the view. This may be a problem for some who are used to being able to select outside of the program. I am going to see what the feedback is and see what to do from there.
-Added Icons to the menu to allow people without the Vive controller to be able to select those options.
-Added Gamepad Edit as a new icon.
-Updated documentation to reflect changes.
-Updated the start screen with changes.
-Aspect ratios for 3D over under films should be auto detected properly now.
-Curved and flatscreen aspect ratio script has been re written and the models for these have been replaced. This means that they will appear bigger but that the size represents the height in meters of the screen. This will benefit updates in the future.
-A new custom format has been added 'Facebook Pyramid'. Thank you Andrew Hazelden http://www.andrewhazelden.com/blog/ :).
-The trailer has been updated.
-Gamepad and Explorer are going to be a bit wierd in the desktop mode as the mouse is stil controlling the movement while trying to select options. It will be fix in the next update hopefully.
-The explorer doesn't always select the correct drive. I don't know why yet. You can simple click a different drive and back again.
-Dropdowns in the Gamepad options will select the option if clicked to the left of the dropdown to close.
-If the wrong gamepad is selected the d-pad will access will be mixed around. Xbox one and 360 have different mapping so need to be selected correctly to get the dpad working properly.
Fixed Zoom and Volume cross over issue.
Updated Help screen.