0.7.0 Preview r621, r627

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
Nicholas
Posts: 12390

Post by Nicholas » 07-05-09 2:09 am

At long last, the next preview is here!

PREVIEW r621
Download from the pink box above.

Changes in r621 since r598:
  • New "Keyboard Setup" screen.
  • Title screen re-work.
  • Duplicate files show as distinct songs in the library (with the correct folder).
  • Removed "device open test" code (obsoleting "Skip Device Open Test" setting). The MidiYoke incompatibility should be fixed now.
  • Removed "File Open" box at startup.
  • Fixed practice-mode "overage" time accounting when playing a song with dead-air at the beginning. (Reported here, thanks vicentefer.)
All the planets sort of aligned this weekend: all the moving stuff is done, my wife is out of town visiting family, I had Friday off, I have no other obligations... together, that means more than 10 hours of Synthesia work each day so far. I'm hoping for the same on Sunday.

The big change this time is the menu re-work. The new "Keyboard Setup" screen represents a *significant* improvement over the way things used to be done. It's kind of fun to play around with to boot! :)
keyboardSetup.png
keyboardSetup.png (85.06 KiB) Viewed 12973 times
Unless you guys find any show stoppers in the next day or so, I'll finally mark the Song library complete (now that the file-open box is officially dead).

Next up is command-line options, which by their very nature should be fast. After that is meta-data and then a tiny bit of cleanup before the final release!

soryy708
Posts: 57

Post by soryy708 » 07-05-09 3:04 am

I dont get it.
Will it be possible to select songs that arent coming by default, but not in the method we do it right now?
Or, will you make it so its locked - no way to add other MIDI's and play them...?

Nicholas
Posts: 12390

Post by Nicholas » 07-05-09 4:16 am

You're talking about dropping the "File Open" box? The song library that has been in the previews since April or so is a better (or will be, eventually) way to search and sort through the music on your hard drive than the "File Open" box. More than that, the box itself caused problems on certain computers (it can't pop up in front of a hardware-accelerated full-screen game in certain situations).

There aren't any new limitations... just a different way to get to your music.

vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-05-09 5:27 am

Nicholas wrote:The new "Keyboard Setup" screen represents a *significant* improvement over the way things used to be done. It's kind of fun to play around with to boot
I'm not so sure, and I'm going to try to say why:
I always have my piano as input device, but sometimes I open the game and the piano isn't ready, so then games changes the input device to "No input". Before I could see this in the main menu but now I can't see it until I'm in the "Choose Track to Play" and I see all the track with "Visible Only". So I say "oh, no ..." and then I have to close the game, start the game again and go after that to select again my keyboard, and the select the song and after that I change the tracks since "Visible Only" to "You play".
Others musical software if the Midi device setting have been changed since the last time you played, they have a "pop-up window" when you start the software to show this.
Two complementary solutions:
a)if the Midi device setting have have been changed since the last time you have been played from the game has saved, the game should show a pop-up window wiht a message like "The Midi In device setting have been changed since the last time you have played. Now the Input Device is ......." and then I can continue or I can close the game and start again after I'm sure my keyboard is ready.
b) By default: "Synthesia Software Keyboard" instead "No Input:follow along on your own"
Last edited by vicentefer31 on 07-05-09 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-05-09 5:46 am

Please don't forget that before you mark the Song Library as complete:
Vicenterfer31 wrote:Idea: Can Synthesia save how do you sort the files last time? When I use the SongLibrary I almost always sort the files by date from today to the last played.
Thanks
Nicholas wrote:Persisting the last sort is a pretty good idea.
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-05-09 8:24 am

soryy708 wrote:I dont get it.
Will it be possible to select songs that arent coming by default, but not in the method we do it right now?
Or, will you make it so its locked - no way to add other MIDI's and play them...?
No, you can't play a midi if they aren't in a folder you have in the Manage Watched Folder. So you have to put the new midis you want to play in a folder you have in the Manage Watched Folder. ok?
Nicholas wrote:If I include something that is difficult, confusing, non-intuitive or... well, anything less than totally-easy-to-use, I get to hear from those people in email. ;)
I think it´s not intuitive for grandmothers, even it isn't intuitive for me, but I'm not a grandmother :lol:
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

soryy708
Posts: 57

Post by soryy708 » 07-05-09 8:43 am

alright cool

vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-05-09 8:50 am

I have an idea to join the best of the "Synthesia 0.6.5" and the best of the new "Synthesia 0.7.0" in the main web.
Little explication how this idea should work:
1) You have two options to start the game:
a) Open Synthesia with the icon of "Synthesia.exe"
b) Open Synthesia with a midi (never mind if it´s or it isn´t in folder from the Song library) like in Synthesia 0.6.5
2) You are in the main page, and if you have open the game with option a) you see the last song you have played and if you have open the game with option b) you see the midi you want to play.
3) If you want to play it you only have to click the button "Play it" and then you go to the "Track Select Page " like always
4) If you want other midi file you have to click in "Song Library" and it works like now.

I know this idea means more work for Nicholas and we have to wait for the new features, but we have to think in the grandmothers!!! :lol: By the way, today I'm going to call to my grandmother (about a week I don't speak with her) ;)
Attachments
screenshot_title2.PNG
screenshot_title2.PNG (72.96 KiB) Viewed 12771 times
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

Rickeeey
Posts: 647

Post by Rickeeey » 07-05-09 10:46 am

Don't forget two importiant things for the song library:
1. Sorting songs by placing them into columns, ofc the columns should be saved in the song library page (so they won't disapear when closing Synthesia).
2. Song marking, it should be possible to mark a song for some reason, there could be some kind of flags and maybe sorting the songs by marked or unmarked.

How about a help button? Even if it's easy to use Synthesia sometimes newcomers wonder how to choose a lower speed for example.

vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-05-09 11:15 am

Rickeeey wrote: How about a help button? Even if it's easy to use Synthesia sometimes newcomers wonder how to choose a lower speed for example.
Something like that? You can see a picture.png to see what can you do in that part of the game?
Attachments
controls2.PNG
controls2.PNG (96.1 KiB) Viewed 12734 times
Last edited by vicentefer31 on 07-05-09 11:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

Rickeeey
Posts: 647

Post by Rickeeey » 07-05-09 11:18 am

vicentefer31 wrote:
Rickeeey wrote: How about a help button? Even if it's easy to use Synthesia sometimes newcomers wonder how to choose a lower speed for example.
Something like that? You can see a picture.png to see what can you do in that part of the game?
Sure, it looks nice and gives a good explanation to newcomers.

Nicholas
Posts: 12390

Post by Nicholas » 07-05-09 2:51 pm

So yeah, on my little sketch here, I still had the title screen listing which devices were being used. I was kind of rushing to put the preview up last night, so I didn't put those in. Still, it sounds like that is more important that I thought it was.

Having the names on the title screen should change your "I'm not so sure" to a yes, right vicentefer? Bunch of critical feedback this time... nobody mentioned the little rain-drop preview areas. Nobody likes my update! :lol:

I remember the column sorting thing... I made a note about it somewhere. I can't seem to find it now. That's strange. I don't usually misplace those things. It'll be in the next preview.

Regarding grandmothers, the song library can't be as simple to use as a "File Open" box -- and it's certainly not something they're used to seeing -- but, it's better than them clicking the song button and the game "freezing" because it opened in the background. So, easy or not, I'm pretty much stuck with it.

Opening the game with a MIDI (via the right-click association, just drag-dropping it onto the .exe or shortcut, or even using the command-line), will take you right to the track settings screen. (It doesn't right now. I'll be fixing that in the next preview where I add all the command-line stuff.) So, hopefully, if you launch the game a lot through those other entry points, it should be even faster.

About "song marking" -- which in Gmail they call "stars", even though they've recently added a handful of different icons you can associate with them -- I was going to tackle with the more general purpose tagging system later on. I don't expect marking or tagging in 0.7.0.

And, yeah, wow... I don't know why I was trying to be so terse with my original helper graphic right at game-play start. Your mock-up is way better than what I've got. That would stem the tide of quite a bit of email, too. (I still get questions about how to change the song speed.)

vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-05-09 3:14 pm

Nicholas wrote:the song library can't be as simple to use as a "File Open" box -- and it's certainly not something they're used to seeing -- but, it's better than them clicking the song button and the game "freezing" because it opened in the background. So, easy or not, I'm pretty much stuck with it.
I like the Song Library, you know even I had my own "Song Library", and your Song Library is thousands times better than mine. The point I don´t like it 's that we can't open the game with a MIDI if this midi is not in the Song Library. When you are in the game and you want to change to other songs, the SongLibrary is perfect.
By the way, now the "main page" looks sad.
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

Nicholas
Posts: 12390

Post by Nicholas » 07-05-09 3:20 pm

Did you see my bit above about how the next preview will let you open things not in the song library?

Otherwise, why is the title screen sad? It's minimal. Also, it fits at 800x600. :D

vicentefer31
Posts: 899
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by vicentefer31 » 07-05-09 3:27 pm

Nicholas wrote:Did you see my bit above about how the next preview will let you open things not in the song library?
Yes, I see, but I want you know I like your Song Library and how it works.
Nicholas wrote:Otherwise, why is the title screen sad? It's minimal. Also, it fits at 800x600. :D
Your game had had always very beauties screens, but now the title screen it´s cold, sad... I really dont like it.
Nicholas wrote:Bunch of critical feedback this time... Nobody likes my update! :lol:
True :oops: Very active and old members of the forum have seen the new preview but nobody has said something positive of this new preview. Maybe next time. ;)
Picasso: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

Nicholas
Posts: 12390

Post by Nicholas » 07-05-09 4:23 pm

I suppose I can't complain too much. After three months, I'd imagine expectations probably build up quite a bit. When all I have to show for it is a simpler title screen and some little ripples, that has to be a let-down.

mario
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 6
Location: Duisburg, Germany

Post by mario » 07-05-09 6:25 pm

Hi -

cool that there's a new preview, works fine.

Two notes:

If you turn on a MIDI device after starting synthesia it's not detected, you have to restart Synthesia (on 10.5) - not a real problem and probably is unavoidable when developing cross-platform software :=) (Since most other Mac software automatically recognizes).

Okay, I know the song library integration is not ready but here my opinion: Why not simply 2 buttons on the main screen - "Open file.." and "Song library.." ?.

regards.

Nicholas
Posts: 12390

Post by Nicholas » 07-05-09 6:46 pm

I could probably auto-detect newly plugged devices. I refuse to use "cross-platform" as an excuse for not being able to do something. :D

Otherwise, (and rather hilariously) I'm going to use that very excuse to describe why I won't have an "Open file..." box, and that's because of the Windows problem where the file box can't pop up above the game window.

Still, on OS X the game should register itself as a handler for MIDI files, so you should just be able to right-click a file and open with Synthesia. I think in the latest preview that will be broken (the game will open, but the file won't be loaded) but it will be fixed in the next preview.

Mos
Posts: 183
Location: Calgary, Canada

Post by Mos » 07-05-09 11:02 pm

Nice to see the new preview coming ;)

I got nothing really to say about it except that i really like the simple visual (circles) in the keybaord setup. i think they can be used more:
- when previewing the songs just to spice it up a little bit.
- in the free style mode (whenever it is implemented) as a first pass on it. I imagine a free style mode should have lots of effect :D
- in play mode right now (maybe at the bottom between quit button and other info on the left; or anywhere even overlayen the keyboard somehow...) and each circle has the same color as its track.

keep up the good work ;)

Nicholas
Posts: 12390

Post by Nicholas » 07-05-09 11:53 pm

Oh, ho, ho! You guessed my intent.

I wouldn't have made the ripple thing if I only planned to use it on that setup screen. ;)

Still, that's the only place 0.7.0 will see it.

Locked