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Jim Sachs 10-11-2008 12:30 PM

Developer Notes
I'm getting a lot of the same questions in different threads, so I thought that I'd try to save time by answering them here.

After a wait of 6 years, the Beta version of Marine Aqurium 3 is now available for download. This is a BETA version - it is NOT FINISHED. If you are the type of person who needs a totally bug-free program with everything working and a proper Windows Installer, come back in a few months.

But, if you are the type of person who would have enjoyed wandering through Disneyland while it was still under construction, you are welcome to download and try out this Beta test of MA3. Anyone can download the file. It will expire after 7 days, but new versions will be constantly available to take its place during the Beta test period. If you have a valid MA2.6 Key Code, the Beta will run without a "nag screen". Otherwise, you'll have to type in "Testfish" each time it runs.

From now on, anyone purchasing MA2.6 at will also get a permanent MA3 Key. For those who bought MA2.6 recently, there will be a grace period, which we are still working out.

Release Notes:
1. The fish models are still the old ones from MA1. After the bug reports stop pouring in, I'll be switching these to a new style model with much more realistic behavior, including schooling, darting, chasing, etc.

2. After the fish are done, I will start bringing the background to life, one object at a time. I have extensive plans for every part of the tank, and there is a reason behind virtually everything you see.

3. There is currently no Installer. Just like the Good Old Days, it's just a file, which can be placed anywhere you like on your computer. Uninstall by simply deleting the file. You can set it as your screensaver by right-clicking the icon and choosing "Install". If you want it to show up on your list of screensavers in Display Properties, you'll have to put in the proper drawer for your operating system. It used to be Windows/System32, but that has changed with Vista.

4. Use this Forum to report bugs. Try not to duplicate others' reports (within reason - I know it's a lot to read). Don't bother reporting pass-throughs of the fish between each other or background objects. That section still needs a lot of work.

5. While a few of the Keystroke commands and other features are the same as MA2.6, there are many changes. Just because something was working in previous versions, don't assume it will be working here. For example, the starfish does not yet go on the glass. The old program used DX6, and this one uses DX8/9, and virtually every line of code had to be rewritten.

So, if you'd like to be a part of the construction process, welcome. You can download the program here:

jroseone 10-11-2008 10:30 PM

Jim in Vista you can just copy the .SCR file to the windows/system32 file and it will show up in the sceensaver contol panel.

Jim Sachs 10-11-2008 10:47 PM

Yes, that seems to be right for 32-bit Vista. The folder for 64-bit Vista seems to be SysWOW64.

rctneil 10-12-2008 03:59 AM

I have Vista 64 and I placed the .scr in C:\Windows and it shows up in the screensaver list perfectly.

Rosalene Bradbury 10-12-2008 04:56 AM

Hi, And I just dragged the programme into C:\Windows and it showed up in Display properties. Cheers Rosalene Bradbury

Slinky 10-12-2008 07:56 AM

Hi Jim, it's such good news that MA3 is almost here. I can't tell you how exciting it is to finally see a beta version. I installed it yesterday and left it running overnight without a single glitch! Looking forward to the launch of the final release.

Good luck for the future


Bectile 10-13-2008 08:21 PM

I just gazed, spellbound, at my computer screen for several minutes while the Lord of the Rings theme for Pellenor fields played majestically in the background...


Never in my life have I wanted a mega-widescreen monitor so badly.


Thank you.


Tiny Turtle 10-14-2008 01:48 AM

I've tried MA3 on a triple screen setup (at work) and although it looks pretty massive like that I must say I prefer (at least right now) to have it scrolling (like on my regular widescreen monitor at home) - the 3D effect is so much better when scrolling. :)

smeagol23231 10-14-2008 10:56 PM

I just installed the Beta, everything OK. The program went right into the Screen Saver section with no assist. Running:
Vista Ultimate 64-Bit
Intel Core 2 Quad
112+ FPS! This is awesome.... I have it running all fish random and it is gorgeous.

kona001 10-16-2008 07:11 AM

Beta 2 impressions
Definately the beta 2 is working a lot better than the frsit one. The "Preview Window", "Empty tank" and "Random Fish" bugs have been fixed and so far so good on my laptop.

godsemporer 10-16-2008 10:52 PM

3 x 22" Screens Marine Aquarium 3
3x 22" LCD Screens -

This is sweet, works really well. Have 2 8800 gts and i am getting over 115 fps. I have even moved my screen settings around in a (L) shape sort of setup and it just knows and moves, will have to get three more screens now to test six monitors.

Have posted a print screen here

and a photo here


Jav400 10-17-2008 04:13 AM

Photo looks nice. Welcome to the forums. :)

feldon34 10-17-2008 08:24 AM

Great photos. Really demonstrates what Marine Aquarium 3 is about. I hope you don't mind I'd like to use that last screen shot on the Fan Site.

dboyd420 10-17-2008 10:00 AM

Wow!!! Nice setup. I know what I'm asking for christmas.

Jim Sachs 10-17-2008 11:04 AM

That's stretching it about as far as it could possibly go, but it still holds up fairly well. It gets a little strange toward the edges. Glad to see my auto-zoom theory works to keep the pixel/aspect correct. Now I don't have to put up with people postng shots of short, wide fish.

ukmarcus 10-17-2008 03:31 PM

I just purchased the 2.6 upgrade and got my key... when I try and use the key for the beta though, it tells me to insert my 2.6 CD - which I don't have since I upgraded online...

Jim Sachs 10-17-2008 09:05 PM

It sounds like you bought a 2.6 upgrade Key, which upgrades from 2.0 to 2.6. Contact Prolific Customer Service and they'll try to straighten it out.

The Free 3.0 Key is for people who go to during the MA3 Beta period, and buy a full MA2.6 Key for the normal price (which I had lowered to $14.95 about a year ago). Someday you will be able to learn all about this offer in a Wikipedia article titled "Most Unsuccessful Marketing Plan of All Time".

pvernam 10-19-2008 10:22 PM

Beta 2 has expired, and there's no Beta 3
My Beta 2 has expired and, as far as I can tell, Beta 3 has not been posted yet (I expect it will be later today, since Beta 2 is dated 10/13). Can the expiration for future betas be set for a bit more than a week (e.g., 9 or 10 days) so there's a little overlap? I wanted to test MA3 against the latest ATI drivers (Catalyst 8.10, which came out a few days ago), and now I can only do that by setting the date back on each of my systems (which I'd really prefer to not do).

Dale 10-20-2008 11:45 AM

I understand that "stuff happens".

However, the thread in which I should have posted a reply is LOCKED for some reason.

So, I started a new thread ("Which One"), and now that thread seems to be LOCKED, too. So, I couldn't post a follow-up indicating that I understand, etc. etc.

Free advice: don't piss off your Beta testers by causing them unnecessary work.

feldon34 10-20-2008 11:52 AM

The Marine Aquarium 3 Beta Announcement thread is locked because it is solely for me and Jim to post in.

I really do appreciate the effort people have put into posting bugs and participating in the Beta so that the final version is bug-free and people feel comfortable with it, knowing that it got the testing it deserved. Thanks!

Dale, I've unlocked your other topic. You may post here or there, up to you. :)

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