0.7.3 Preview r899

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
Nicholas
Posts: 12165

Post by Nicholas » 07-14-10 3:03 am

PREVIEW r899
Download from the pink box above.

Changes in r899 since r878:
  • Auto-loops no longer include the next practice note just past the end of the loop.
  • Fixed "Zoom to my Keyboard" button so now it appears on systems with only the software keyboard.
  • The command-line --loop-start and --loop-end options now accept (ones-based) bookmark indices too. (If you give it a number that is larger than the number of bookmarks, it'll use milliseconds like it used to.)
  • Lots of draw speed optimizations. Things should be quite a bit snappier.
  • Possible bug fix for some rare devices in OS X: resets should no longer leave notes hanging.
  • Added privacy policy to the distribution.
  • Removed Game Music Themes songs (including two of the six Learning Pack demo songs).
  • Periodic new-version check against the website.
So, the change list doesn't really emphasize what the bulk of the work was just now. This was a huge effort:
  • Lots of clean-up and optimization. The code feels really good right now.
  • All new infrastructure to support Internet-type-stuff on Windows and the Mac. Lots and lots of effort. The version check is just the beginning!
While I've got your attention:
Visit the new Wiki! Fill it in! Help out! It's in all of your hands. Use your username/password from the forum.

Also, while I've still got your attention:
Help me pick two new songs (from the G Major set) to replace the Game Music Themes tracks on the Learning Pack demo screen. (I discussed the reason they were removed a little more over here.)

aria1121
Posts: 1505

Post by aria1121 » 07-14-10 3:54 am

Hi, Nicholas
Nicholas wrote:Lots of draw speed optimizations. Things should be quite a bit snappier.
At high resolution (1600x1050) (at my pc here) (256 mb video) it goes a bit 'crunchy', well at least better than the previous version! :)
Nicholas wrote:Removed Game Music Themes songs (including two of the six Learning Pack demo songs)
Why?
Nicholas wrote:Periodic new-version check against the website
Yay! Can there be for newer versions also be a option for a "dev" version-checker?

Nicholas
Posts: 12165

Post by Nicholas » 07-14-10 4:02 am

aria1121 wrote:At high resolution (1600x1050) (at my pc here) (256 mb video) it goes a bit 'crunchy', well at least better than the previous version! :)
Is it a lot better? Like... with the older version how well did it run at that resolution? Wasn't that the one with the integrated graphics that ran terribly? It'd be cool to hear that I made some headway even in that extreme of a case... :)
aria1121 wrote:
Nicholas wrote:Removed Game Music Themes songs (including two of the six Learning Pack demo songs)
Why?
Short answer: because they were being used illegally. ;)

Longer answer: the "gray area" I've always referred to regarding the game music was that while I only had the permission from the arrangers -- not the original copyright holders -- I'd never heard of a case where game companies ever complained for a site to take music down because of copyright infringement. It seemed like the industry as a whole kind of looked the other way. However, I recently realized I was being too lax about it. Illegal is illegal. Things are better now.
aria1121 wrote:Yay! Can there be for newer versions also be a option for a "dev" version-checker?
I'm going to hold off on that for now. You guys visit the forums all the time and I like the conversations I'm able to hold here. Giving you an in-game notification would mean you wouldn't even have to show up anymore. :D

aria1121
Posts: 1505

Post by aria1121 » 07-14-10 4:17 am

YAY WOOHOO! celebrating my 300st post! :D
Nicholas wrote:Like... with the older version how well did it run at that resolution?
Yes :)
Nicholas wrote:Short answer: because they were being used illegally
Oww... :(
Nicholas wrote:I'm going to hold off on that for now. You guys visit the forums all the time and I like the conversations I'm able to hold here. Giving you an in-game notification would mean you wouldn't even have to show up anymore. :D
:D :D Ok

aria1121
Posts: 1505

Post by aria1121 » 07-14-10 11:22 am

Well... What you actually mean with '(not really)' from the update thing? (at the title screen) Do you it like that cause its a preview?

Wow! A LOT of improvement qua drawing! The whole game goes a bit faster, and the mouse goes now incredibly better then the previous one, and its delay from [mouse moves] --> [computer cursor responds]

EDIT: Ok, fine enough of helping with the wiki for me today *pffhuh*... - Well youve done it kinda wrong, because I (and probably a lot of other people) still have those MIDI files (illegal ones), so... Yes, kinda your fault (not really a fault but... yeah...) And If I keep the MIDI's its gonna be MY problem with the copyright, right?

Edit2: Well it seems that I am so-what the *only* one working with the Wiki
Last edited by aria1121 on 07-14-10 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

Nicholas
Posts: 12165

Post by Nicholas » 07-14-10 12:27 pm

aria1121 wrote:... with '(not really)'
It's a fake update message just to show that it's working. It will go away when 0.7.3 is released and the first time a real one will actually appear (to people running any preview from now on or 0.7.3) is when 0.7.4 is released.


vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-14-10 5:17 pm

Hi Nicholas I have the same FPS than in the last Preview:
-Main Window -> 75 FPS
-Song Library-> 34 FPS
-Choose Tracks to Play->75 FPS
-Choose Additional Play Setting->75
-Play Window (in pause or running) ->34

No luck, but anyway I hope to buy a new computer soon so it's not too much important.

...And are you going to add Metronome in this release as you say in the new message of the main window of the game?

Edit: A message that flashes for example "Coming soon" at the bottom of the screen could be cool and if you have the mouse over this message a tool tip with the new feature that it's going to coming.
When a new release is ready the message could be "New Release" again at the bottom of the screen and if you have the mouse over this message a tool tip with the new features
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

Nicholas
Posts: 12165

Post by Nicholas » 07-14-10 5:55 pm

vicentefer31 wrote:Hi Nicholas I have the same FPS than in the last Preview...
Those frame rates sound suspiciously like v-sync is enabled. I used to force it all the time. Recently when I did all the DirectX updating in 0.7.2, I think it got disabled on the DirectX side. If you try it out there (I'm guessing you're running OpenGL), you may see something between 34 and 75 for any of them that were locked at 34 before.

So, I'm guessing the speed increased but not enough to double your frame rate. You might be running at something like 70 now... but because it's not quite 75, it must get divided by two down to 34.
vicentefer31 wrote:...And are you going to add Metronome in this release as you say in the new message of the main window of the game?
I'm thinking about it. Time is drawing short already and while I'm really excited to get big infrastructure chunks of work out of the way, no one else really cares. The metronome thing seemed like a crowd-pleaser that would take very little time to get up and running.
vicentefer31 wrote:...A message that flashes for example "Coming soon" at the bottom of the screen could be cool and if you have the mouse over this message a tool tip with the new feature that it's going to coming.
A tool-tip is a great idea. That gives me a lot more room to work with. Regarding "Coming Soon", there is a lot that can be done to spruce things up. I am trying as hard as I can to avoid making the screens look too advertisey. I already sort of feel bad for the "Try the Learning Pack!" stuff. But, it's certainly something I could try out.

vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-15-10 4:10 am

Nicholas wrote:I'm guessing you're running OpenGL
I use always DirectX because in OpenGL I have only 24 FPS in "Play Window" and no matter what release I use of Synthesia I have the same.
My graphic card: Intel(R) 82845G Graphics Controller (64 ram)
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

aria1121
Posts: 1505

Post by aria1121 » 07-15-10 4:37 am

In older releases/previews on Win, the FPS was always horrible in OpenGL, if your computer runs better in DirectX

Mos
Posts: 183
Location: Calgary, Canada

Post by Mos » 07-15-10 5:56 am

Good call about removing the game music. Anybody can go and download them and play them if they want and you don't have to be in the middle of it. this is especially true since Synthesia is getting more and more attention. you don't want anybody to use them against you to shut down the project.

PS. is there anytime frame for the display style editor? or even the option to include a custom background in the falling notes as a start. i think something like that would increase the downloads and popularity considerably.

TonE
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1180

Post by TonE » 07-15-10 9:08 am

Periodic new-version check against the website.
Is it possible to disable this feature as long as we do not want anything from the web in an automated way?

aria1121
Posts: 1505

Post by aria1121 » 07-15-10 9:11 am

TonE wrote:
Periodic new-version check against the website.
Is it possible to disable this feature as long as we do not want anything from the web in an automated way?
Are you getting those feelings too?

Nicholas
Posts: 12165

Post by Nicholas » 07-15-10 11:44 am

TonE wrote:
Periodic new-version check against the website.
Is it possible to disable this feature as long as we do not want anything from the web in an automated way?
Yeah, I put in a little registry hook to disable the version check (I'll look up what I called it when I get home), and I just added a note to my list a few minutes ago to allow a global disable for all online functionality that I'll probably put on the options screen.

Out of curiosity, why do you want to disable it?

Choul
Posts: 489

Post by Choul » 07-15-10 12:08 pm

Nicholas wrote: Yeah, I put in a little registry hook to disable the version check (I'll look up what I called it when I get home), and I just added a note to my list a few minutes ago to allow a global disable for all online functionality that I'll probably put on the options screen.
Is it possible to allow a global enable instead of disable? So you only set in to 'on' when you want this option?

TieDyeGuy
Posts: 68

Post by TieDyeGuy » 07-15-10 12:39 pm

Nicholas wrote:Out of curiosity, why do you want to disable it?
I think that a lot of the paranoia, or at least mine, comes from not knowing exactly what information is being transmitted and how much band width and other resources are being used by update checkers, et. al.. Honestly, I will trust Synthesia, but as a general rule as the IT manager for a medium sized company (600-ish computers), I usually disable as much update checking as I can find. As a user, you just do not know if a program is installing something that only runs occasionally when that specific program is called. Or, as is too often the case, you may be installing a whole slew of mini-support utilities that run any time that your computer is running, even though the functionality that they are designed to support may only be used once a month or never.

I am not suggesting that Synthesia will do that. I know that you are extremely sensitive to your user’s preferences. Your sincere concern is obvious in your attention to this forum, responsiveness to email, and the whole flippin’ project, actually. :D But it is no surprise that many computer users are more than a little gun-shy when there is so much abuse by the major ‘trusted’ players. (ITunes, MS Updates, HP anything, Adobe, Compaq, Dell, etc. to name but a few.)

This doesn’t even take into account poorly written code or conflicts between theoretically well written programs. I know that I used to spend uncounted hours disabling 75% of the garbage in the Windows Run keys in the registry editors to get some performance back for my users. And I have an assistant now that is still chasing an intermittent HP/Adobe conflict that has had me stumped for years. :evil:

So I, for one, will be pleased with the new Internet capabilities. But I would prefer to know that Synthesia is only using my resources when I choose to run it, and not necessarily every time that I turn on my computer. You know, just because I am paranoid, doesn’t mean that THEY are not out to get me. :o
Thanks - tdg
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best. - FRANK ZAPPA

Nicholas
Posts: 12165

Post by Nicholas » 07-15-10 1:41 pm

Choul wrote:Is it possible to allow a global enable instead of disable? So you only set in to 'on' when you want this option?
I prefer opt-out. I don't know the statistic off the top of my head but the idea is that if a feature is off by default, it might as well not exist to some huge percentage of the user base. Basically only you forum people would know to turn it on. And judging by the five or ten people that post here each day vs. the 3000 downloads each day, I'm guessing it'd be a pretty large percentage that wouldn't know it existed.

There are way fewer paranoid people (and they'll know to look for it) than people who are going to enjoy the extra functionality. A version check is pretty trivial. I'm guessing people will be a lot more excited about online scoreboards.
TieDyeGuy wrote:Honestly, I will trust Synthesia...
:D

Yeah, I know the concern with software in general is a very real one. That's why I was already planning a disable. You guys hopefully know me well enough to know that (outside of wacky bugs that will probably happen in some development version ;) ) I won't be doing anything egregious with your bandwidth or whatever.

Regarding the type of data that is sent, I don't really have anything of yours that is valuable. When forum passwords start going across the wire, they'll be encrypted. I guess I'm not like, scanning your drive and collecting identifying information. I did just start including a privacy policy with the distribution (the installer will have you click past that in addition to the license), but it doesn't say anything different than any other privacy policy.

My question was more specific to TonE: "Why would you want to disable [Synthesia's] online abilities?" given that I'd imagine he (hopefully) has a trust level similar to your own.

To be a little more specific about what "periodically checks for new versions" means, Synthesia will fire off a request to the site (total size of the request/response including http headers should be less than 1kB) once at program start... only if it has been at least 3 days since the last check.

I actually have to be way more sensitive about bandwidth because of the website's load than I do because of you guys. :D If I'm not extremely careful about how much stuff is sent back and forth, I'll hit my bandwidth cap almost immediately. The site+forum+downloads right now reaches about 25% of my limit each month. Offloading the front-page video to YouTube helped that quite a bit (I was around 40%).

Now, the good news is, the type of requests the game will be making are all incredibly small and result in simple text responses. It will take something like 100 scoreboard page requests to equal the bandwidth cost of loading this forum page. ;)

aria1121
Posts: 1505

Post by aria1121 » 07-15-10 2:12 pm

Comes in the future the updater with a installer? I mean it downloads and installs (or updates) the whole thing

Nicholas
Posts: 12165

Post by Nicholas » 07-15-10 2:16 pm

I'm not planning any sort of automatic updater at this time.

That walks a little too close to the annoying line for my tastes. It feels like half the time I open any program these days I get a "whoops, you have to wait an extra 20 seconds before you can do what you actually wanted to do... auto-update time!" That's frustrating.

If you were talking about the privacy policy thing I mentioned, that will just be in the usual installer. You'll click "I Agree" or whatever past the license and then you'll have to do it again with the privacy policy.

Locked