2010 Roadmap

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Nicholas
Posts: 12024

Post by Nicholas » 07-26-10 12:43 pm

I'm not sure the discussion about the recent accelerated development has really been centralized anywhere. Unless you follow the forums every day it was probably easy to miss.

I guess this topic probably has as much as any other about it, but the short explanation is that in about three months (October-26), Rock Band 3 is going to be released. It will have a small 25-key MIDI keyboard peripheral.

I'm kind of making a wager here, but my guess is that a lot of the people that buy Rock Band 3 are going to enjoy playing the piano parts. (Who wouldn't? ;) ) There is a good chance they'll be interested in playing more -- whether they keep using the same keyboard or upgrade to a full-size one.

Hopefully they'll find their way to Synthesia and I want to be ready for that surge of new players.

So, I started working much faster than I ever had on Synthesia. By making a handful of sacrifices in my personal life, I've been able to ramp up the amount of time I have to work on it. (I basically come home from work each day to work on Synthesia all night now.)

I'm not dramatically changing the direction of the project or anything, but these new players are going to be a little less forgiving than all of you in the forums. There are some major things that are still missing if I'm interested in "hooking" them. Unfortunately, not many of the missing things are Learning Pack features, so if you're interested in improvements to those (mostly sheet music) features, you might have to wait a little longer.

That's a trade-off that I feel pretty guilty about. But, I'm pretty sure most of the required stuff are items you'll enjoy too, so maybe it won't be so bad. The good news is, once this development push through December is over, I'll have basically nothing else to do except all those sheet music features. ;)

With all that said, here are the goals for the remainder of 2010. Some of these are things that aren't on the voting list and some I've never even mentioned before. Of course, all of these are subject to change...

Absolutely must make it in before 2010 is over!
  • A simplified way to choose track settings in the one or two piano track case.
  • 0.8.0: Online scoreboard.
  • Some specific visualization improvements and a couple new special effects.
  • 0.7.4: Video mode, resolution, and windowing options. These are standard with EVERY game except Synthesia at the moment. ;)
Some awesome stuff I'll be prioritizing after the "absolute" list
(This is actually a longer list, I only included the highlights...)
  • 0.7.3: Metronome
  • 0.7.4: Lighted keyboard support in Practice Mode
  • Performance Analysis
  • 0.7.5: Track settings screen revamp
  • Manual Track Split
  • Song Library Feeds
  • Live Video Feed (experimental)
  • Track Volume Control
  • UI "focus", user-assignable input, and keyboard-only navigation. (demoted from critical list)
Again, all of that is still pretty rough, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what the next 5 months are going to look like (...until I change my mind again. :D )

Also, at some point I'm thinking of doing a full UI re-skin to match the new website. (Seriously, white backgrounds!) The gray is starting to feel pretty drab. Not sure I'll get a chance to do that before 2011 though.


vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-27-10 4:07 am

Yes, good luck and I hope I can help you a little with my crazy ideas, mockups, ... and remember Synthesia is a funny thing.

After reading your new Roadmap I wonder what are you going to do with Manual Note Fingerings?
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

TonE
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1180

Post by TonE » 07-27-10 9:23 am

vicentefer31 wrote:After reading your new Roadmap I wonder what are you going to do with Manual Note Fingerings?
I like the solution we discussed in viewtopic.php?f=5&t=985&start=120#p11467 , see also my favourites in
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=985&p=11250#p11250 . Point two there is almost solved.

Ignoring any sheet music features for the beginning at least. :)

I we would have a manual fingering format support in Synthesia, we could try to build step by step our own AFP, until Frost comes with his golden solution in year 2030.

Nicholas
Posts: 12024

Post by Nicholas » 07-27-10 10:58 am

vicentefer31 wrote:After reading your new Roadmap I wonder what are you going to do with Manual Note Fingerings?
Nicholas wrote:Unfortunately, not many of the missing things are Learning Pack features, so if you're interested in improvements to those ... you might have to wait a little longer.

That's a trade-off that I feel pretty guilty about...
:(

Now with that said, out of all the Learning Pack features that might make it in during the next 5 months, manual fingering (which I've started calling "Note Annotations" more generally) or the Chord Library are the two most likely.

And, because I feel super-guilty about it -- especially Note Annotations because I know how long you've been campaigning for them -- they'll basically be the first thing I do after this push is finished at the end of the year if I haven't done it already.

TonE
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1180

Post by TonE » 07-30-10 12:00 am

vicentefer31 wrote:I wonder what are you going to do with Manual Note Fingerings?
I would like to give all my 10 stars to Manual Note Fingerings, but I am only allowed to use at maximum 3 stars per item, so the rest 7 stars are sitting there not knowing where to go.

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cairnz
Posts: 182

Post by cairnz » 07-30-10 1:25 am

You can put a couple in chord library too :)

I too have maxed stars in manual note fingering. It would be massively helpful to have fingering information - either from the source itself, or community contributed.

vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-30-10 4:37 am

TonE wrote:
vicentefer31 wrote:I wonder what are you going to do with Manual Note Fingerings?
I would like to give all my 10 stars to Manual Note Fingerings, but I am only allowed to use at maximum 3 stars per item, so the rest 7 stars are sitting there not knowing where to go.
cairnz wrote:I too have maxed stars in manual note fingering. It would be massively helpful to have fingering information - either from the source itself, or community contributed.
TonE and Cairnz, I think the same.

Edit:
Nicholas you should use the roadmap I did for you: ;)
Image
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

TonE
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1180

Post by TonE » 07-30-10 6:40 am

The first thing I would do would be creating all the fingering .txt files for all Hanon and Czerny exercises, and alone those would be more than enough for a few years for all beginners for learning basic fingering principles on the piano. If manual note fingerings would be available. :D
It would be even enough for the beginning only to import those .txt manual note fingering information, without any Synthesia fingering editing and export yet, just to give Nicholas more time for other Learning Pack Only features. For that only two steps are required:

1. Auto-import of manual note fingering .txt files
2. Display of the fingering numbers on the falling notes, (even on the score would be not necessary for the beginning, just keeping everything very simple).

aria1121
Posts: 1502

Post by aria1121 » 07-30-10 12:24 pm

Haha... I had some spare time and (using again all my Paint skills) I taught about how it will look like... So I tried to make something and wanted to show it to you guys...
Spoiler:
HowItCanLookLike.png
With Metronome button and volume control slide bar
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vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-30-10 4:20 pm

TonE wrote:The first thing I would do would be creating all the fingering .txt files for
Why a txt file if it's easy to add the fingerings into to the midi?
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

TonE
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1180

Post by TonE » 07-30-10 4:43 pm

vicentefer31 wrote:Why a txt file if it's easy to add the fingerings into to the midi?
See viewtopic.php?f=5&t=985&start=120#p11467 . Writing a .txt file is easier than writing into the midi.

Nicholas
Posts: 12024

Post by Nicholas » 07-30-10 5:18 pm

vicentefer31 wrote:Why a txt file if it's easy to add the fingerings into to the midi?
Also, are you talking about the way Piano Cheater does it?

So far (and very, very likely going into the future), I intend to keep treating MIDI files as absolutely untouchable. MIDI files are your data. I never, ever want to do anything to your data that would harm it in any way. You made/found/created the file yourself, you like it just the way it is, I'm not going to mess with that.

I'll build an entire sprawling metropolis of meta-data around that MIDI file... but I won't change it. ;)

Also, from a more practical point of view, if you change even a single byte in the file, it's not the same song any more. Someone who updated a(n in-MIDI) fingering to suit their style would no longer be able to compete with others in the online scoreboard for that song. If you let any MIDI event changes be allowed to be counted as the same song, the attack surface for exploits and cheating blow up pretty quickly into something that can't really be controlled.

JanusXX
Posts: 1

Post by JanusXX » 07-30-10 9:03 pm

I did not know about the rock band game with keyboards.
Synthesia is a really great program and it is being really usefull for me to start playing keyboard again and knowing Nicholas is going to make an extra effort on development is awesome.
I want to know if there are plans to add mp3 or another audio file format track to play with the game MIDI file the way other similar programs use. It would be good in many ways, specially for the rock band game fans (they love the feel of playing live with the whole band).

Nicholas
Posts: 12024

Post by Nicholas » 07-30-10 9:44 pm

JanusXX wrote:I want to know if there are plans to add mp3 or another audio file format track to play with the game MIDI file the way other similar programs use...
It's there on the voting list ("MP3 Background Track"), though there are a lot of challenges to solve both technical and legal. I guess the legal challenges are really the same as the MIDI files themselves. But, if it's already tough finding high quality MIDI with an appropriate license, it's going to be even more difficult to find a nicely synchronized recording of the song to go along with it.

You're right that it would be something the new players would enjoy though.

And, even though I'm not planning it for this development push, the good news is that after December everything that didn't make it will be a lot closer to the top of the voting list. :D

ranlee
Posts: 2

Post by ranlee » 07-31-10 9:03 am

I'm more for improving my reading notes skill , i'm still not yet good with reading notation , but i'm finding this software somewhat helping me with it , so far i've learned so much with this than a software i bought couple years ago
now my question , is there a way for you to come up with a random notes horizontally appear from right to left randomly without actually uploading a particular song ?? with maybe an optional 2 notes at once , 3 notes at once or random notes , or maybe with also setting on how many octave the notes will appear randomly , so that maybe we don't actually have to necessarily download a new song every time we finish with one .. we could just use this as a training besides just playing a song ..

thanks ..

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cairnz
Posts: 182

Post by cairnz » 07-31-10 9:10 am

if you look in the forum for learning how to play piano you should see a post with hanon stuff for synthesia. these exercises should keep you occupied fpr quite some time

aria1121
Posts: 1502

Post by aria1121 » 07-31-10 2:14 pm

Nicholas wrote: [*]Track selection screen revamp
Its a little obvious to click that sheet-button, are you going to place the button to this screen somewhere?
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Nicholas
Posts: 12024

Post by Nicholas » 07-31-10 8:11 pm

aria1121 wrote:Its a little obvious to click that sheet-button, are you going to place the button to this screen somewhere?
The track settings revamp is going to be a major change to that section of the menus. Most-likely both "Track Settings" and "Play Settings" will (somehow) get collapsed into a single screen. There will be very little that will be recognizable from the way it is now.

vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 08-23-10 4:34 pm

gps.png
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What about a new gps for 2010 Roadmap?
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

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