0.8.0 Preview r1125

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
Nicholas
Posts: 12343

Post by Nicholas » 10-18-10 2:19 am

PREVIEW r1125
Download from the pink box above.
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Changes in r1125 since 0.7.5 (r1111):
  • Virtually every "play setting" has been moved to the play screen.
  • The play screen toolbar is more compact and less visually complex to handle all the new buttons.
  • Revamped the now-empty play settings screen. Now an informational screen describing each play mode.
  • If you don't have any "Played by You" tracks, the track settings continue button skips right to play.
  • Fixed a key/note label bug that could happen with a few specific (rare) pairs involving scale number.
  • Track settings screen tooltips are a little less verbose. (All those "Click to" prefixes are gone.)
This one is mostly to let you guys test out changing stuff during play that you couldn't before. Also to introduce you to the new play mode screen that replaces the play settings screen.

The next preview will have recital mode (and those couple bug fixes I've been promising Typhlosion for like 3 previews now)... but it won't have the online scoreboard yet. So recital will feel very much like a rhythm mode that doesn't save your scores and that you can't navigate around in. ;)


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Mgbu
Posts: 16
Location: Ucacha, Cordoba, Argentina

Post by Mgbu » 10-18-10 3:13 pm

If not too difficult, you could put a button to change the track selection, because sometimes I regret instrument in the middle of the song.
Also when using the keyboard on the keyboard to zoom mode is very bad, not for me, is for those who recently tested the game, and might not like. :?
Im Argentinean, so my lenguage its not the best...
And Google and Bing dont traduce perfectly...
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vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 10-18-10 4:11 pm

Nicholas wrote:
  • The play screen toolbar is more compact and less visually complex to handle all the new buttons.
Looks very good!

An other idea about this:
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a) With a button to go to the Song Library
b) With a permanent button for show/hide the Sheet Music: I'm thinking in midis with two tracks like Synthesia have with the download. With the options of enabled sheet for left hand, right hand or both and also change the way the sheet music progresses like now.

Edit:
and what about the option of enable sheet music for "You play tracks" with the button b) ?
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

Nicholas
Posts: 12343

Post by Nicholas » 10-18-10 4:57 pm

Adding buttons to change anything on the track settings screen will be the remainder of the "Changing Settings during Practice" item on the voting list.

As for jumping back to the song library in one button, that feels like the type of thing that will come with "User-assignable Input". There could be a set of (unbound by default) keybinds that will jump you directly to various screens.

kengorman
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 6

Post by kengorman » 10-19-10 9:55 am

Nicholas wrote: The next preview will have recital mode
I searched the forum, but couldn't find an answer. Is there a description of "recital mode" somewhere? Sounds interesting.

Thanks,

Ken

Nicholas
Posts: 12343

Post by Nicholas » 10-19-10 12:06 pm

There is a pretty good description right on the play settings screen in the preview.

A good analogy is that recital mode is a lot like the way most other rhythm games play all the time: straight-through at a fixed speed. The only control you really have is pause/resume. This is basically to level the playing field and make it a little more sane for me to try and find a way to score people uniformly so the results can go on the upcoming online scoreboard.

The existing modes: melody practice (formerly "practice") and rhythm practice (formerly "rhythm") keep scores locally on local scoreboards with no names or identifiers. This isn't changing at all.

The new one -- recital -- will exclusively use the online scoreboard. Like, it'll even do a check before the song begins to make sure it can communicate with the server. That way you're like a thousand times less likely to lose an awesome performance because of some firewall setting or because the server is down for maintenance or something. (The only thing it won't catch are momentary outages.)

Making the online scoreboard mandatory for that mode keeps things simple. (No "wait... is this getting posted online or not?" questions flying around, etc.) It also kind of fits with the name recital, where you're usually performing in front of other people.

I'm still working this part out, but I expect to be able to support anonymous scores in some form. Either nameless, initials-only, or just typing in whatever you want. I haven't decided yet. Though, the "real" way to submit scores is by using your Synthesia Talk (forum) account login.

All of this won't exist right out of the gate, but by using your account you'll be able to get cool statistics and other info on the website. Eventually there will be much tighter integration between the two that will make it an exciting proposition. At the very least, the sign-in info will be remembered and you won't have to type your name each time. ;)

I had been considering forum-account-only access to the online scoreboard, but it's something I really want to see used heavily. And with the forum being this email-required, password-required, authorization email clicking, multi-step process... that seems like it might be a deal-breaker for a lot of people that aren't as motivated as you existing forum-goers.

By making it a seamless experience for both anonymous and forum-login players, I'm hoping it will see a lot of use.

Alanzot
Posts: 1

Post by Alanzot » 10-19-10 12:22 pm

Does anyone know when the fingering update will be released.

Nicholas
Posts: 12343

Post by Nicholas » 10-19-10 1:00 pm

It won't be this year, but it should be near the beginning of 2011.

Pianotehead
Posts: 319

Post by Pianotehead » 10-19-10 1:19 pm

Thank you Nicholas, that's very good to hear. But till then I want to bring to everyone's attention that Gmajor music theory (the site with all the Synthesia built-in MIDIs) has the sheet music for most of the songs with fingering.

We can't learn the fingering techniques completely from sheets with written-in finger numbers, but it should give us some hints.

Nicholas
Posts: 12343

Post by Nicholas » 10-19-10 1:38 pm

Yeah, Gilbert made each of the sheets there himself. Most of them have some cool extra bit of flavor too, like a little picture or something.

He also releases new songs all the time with accompanying sheet music.

Some of my favorites from the set included with Synthesia including "Big Bad Goblin Blues" and "March on Android Moon" are actually composed by Gilbert!

Raymond
Posts: 528
Location: United States, Washington

Post by Raymond » 10-19-10 1:43 pm

Nicholas wrote: ...
Either nameless, initials-only, or just typing in whatever you want. I haven't decided yet. Though, the "real" way to submit scores is by using your Synthesia Talk (forum) account login. ...
I play Synthesia with my sister a lot. (I would pick a song and play it. Then she would play the song I picked, then pick one and play it, then i'd play it etc..)
It would be nice if on some play screen( or the score screen) it would have a user selection. Wether it be forum login or w/e. It would be best though if we could add users from the main menu. Then we would just click on the user we wanted(so we wouldn't have to type our name/password).

Just incase that did not make any scene.
Put a button to open a create user window on the main menu.
Have a user selection on the scores screen. (So we can change users without going all the way back to the main menu.)

Nicholas
Posts: 12343

Post by Nicholas » 10-19-10 2:40 pm

Yeah, that's another consideration I've been trying to juggle. Your case is a common one and is also very similar to the classroom case where more than one student ends up using the same computer.

The goal is to find the right balance between having it "just work" with no up-front setup for all users, but allow enough flexibility to do things like switch users quickly.

Maybe a little up-front setup isn't terrible. Some little icon/name combination on the title screen (the way Windows does it) where the default is something like "Anonymous". Clicking that would take you to the list along with the "Add New..." option.

Specifying it up front would also let me add names to the other practice scoreboards... a long-time request.

That's not so bad. Leaving it the default "Anonymous" would still let you post scores online. Multi-user computers would work with profiles. And you'd still be able to associate it with a forum account.

Raymond
Posts: 528
Location: United States, Washington

Post by Raymond » 10-19-10 3:02 pm

Nicholas wrote:...
Some little icon/name combination on the title screen (the way Windows does it) where the default is something like "Anonymous".
...
I think a button on the title screen that just says "Users" would work best. Then a drop down list on the score page to select users.

Nicholas
Posts: 12343

Post by Nicholas » 10-19-10 3:45 pm

Raymond wrote:I think a button on the title screen that just says "Users" would work best.
I think we're on the same page here. (There is no way I'd have time for icons this time around anyway. ;) )
Raymond wrote:Then a drop down list on the score page to select users.
What would this drop-down do though? Is this like a filter to only show scores by that user?

Raymond
Posts: 528
Location: United States, Washington

Post by Raymond » 10-19-10 3:58 pm

No it would allow changing users without changing songs.

So lets say I just got done playing a song. So I am now on the scores page. Then I could change the score I just got, to my user.

It's hard to explain. Basically I would like to be able to change users after playing a song without changing any menus.

maccer
Posts: 222
Location: Sweden

Post by maccer » 10-22-10 3:08 pm

It's nice to be able to change settings during play!

A few comments:
- On the new "song mode" screen you need to indicate which of the three modes is selected so that you don't need to guess what will happen when you press enter to advance instead of click with the mouse. In the old screen one of the modes was always selected so it was easy to tell.

- When showing the sheet music, you currently dedicate only 50% of the screen to show what's coming next: in "smooth scrolling" the marker is in the middle, and in the page flip mode, 50% of the width is used for upcoming notes. I think you should dedicate 70-80% of the screen for upcoming notes, that's the important stuff! I mean, the falling notes don't show any "old" notes at all.

- In addition to "scrolling" and "page flip" there should also be an "off" setting for sheet music. It should be enabled as long as you don't have some kind of "sheet music-only" mode where looking at the falling notes would be cheating.
Songs learned using Synthesia:
CT: Wind Scene, The Trial | FF7: Prelude | SMB: Overworld, Underwater | Tetris: Theme A | Zelda: Lost Woods | Other: Für Elise

Nicholas
Posts: 12343

Post by Nicholas » 10-22-10 3:23 pm

maccer wrote:... on the new "song mode" screen you need to indicate which of the three modes is selected so that you know what will happen when you press enter.
Yeah, what's worse is it's even picking different modes if you're not eligible for one (e.g., no 'Played by You' tracks will always revert to rhythm practice as will your Learning Pack key suddenly disappearing).

I wasn't sure I wanted to leave the Enter shortcut in there because of the new ambiguity, but then I realized that was crazy-talk because that's the only way I ever enter the game. ;) Presumably TonE would be upset too with his AutoHotKey scripts.

It's tough to show which one is selected because that might make it seem like a 2-step process ("select then confirm") the way it used to be vs. the new "select is confirm" way I'm doing it now to speed things along.

I'll think over how best to do it...
maccer wrote:I think you should dedicate 70-80% of the screen for upcoming notes, that's the important stuff!
That's a pretty good point that actually hasn't ever hit me before. At least in the scrolling case it's an easy fix. It might take some tweaking to get the page-flip to work right. Hopefully when we get to multi-line sheet (which apparently every single person on the voting list is super excited about?) this will be alleviated by the extra real-estate available for showing upcoming notes.

(Also, I'll check out that bug you posted about. At this point, I think you're among the very few Mac users that actively tries out new development versions. Thanks for the report! Your efforts are increasing the quality of Synthesia for an entire class of players! ;) )

vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 10-22-10 4:12 pm

Nicholas wrote: Your efforts are increasing the quality of Synthesia for an entire class of players! ;)
...and what about me? :lol:
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

Raymond
Posts: 528
Location: United States, Washington

Post by Raymond » 10-22-10 5:15 pm

Nicholas wrote:... Hopefully when we get to multi-line sheet (which apparently every single person on the voting list is super excited about?) ...
I know I would like to learn sheet music. and it's kinda hard to just use sheet music when the falling notes are still displayed. (I am assuming multi-line sheet will not have any room left for the falling notes.)

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