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Old 11-11-2002, 04:18 AM   #1
Highlander
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Cool How is the progress Jim

Jim ,

can you inform us when we get some updates for our screensaver pls.
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Old 11-11-2002, 10:35 AM   #2
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No idea. I'm sitting here staring at my empty (except for rocks and gravel) 25 gallon freshwater tank -- drawing a blank.
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Old 11-11-2002, 01:47 PM   #3
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Aren't there any cool and inspirational aquarium exhibitions close by? I love going to those kind of places and I always go home with a load of ideas. I would love to see a series of aquarium from you: like an Amazon style aquarium and a Tangyanika aquarium (although I can't spell it)... Go for the extreme! Skip the ordinairy and create an aquarium everybody loves and can't easily create themself.
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Old 11-12-2002, 12:12 AM   #4
Jim Sachs
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Can't think of any exhibits in the Southern California area, but I'm certainly open to suggestions. That has always been the problem -- freshwater just doesn't hold the fascination for me that saltwater does.
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Old 11-12-2002, 12:43 AM   #5
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I would create a saltwater creature pack and include 3 fish. Sell it for $15 at stores as a standalone product. It would be mostly other creatures like shrimp, crabs, eels, etc. plus a couple of fish to keep things interesting.

Either way, for another $15 ($10 for Aquarium owners), they can upgrade to the combined version of 20 fish and ~7 creatures.

It's not really an add-on pack if it runs separately.


This Freshwater roadblock can't go on forever. I'd farm out the creation of the fish and backdrop and just leave the fish animation engine either as it is now, or hand it off to Prolific.
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Old 11-12-2002, 01:16 AM   #6
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Embarassed

I agree with Morgan. You take too much time on freshwater aquarium and keep your fans waiting for a long long time without new product. Don't let your fan cool down.
Put the freshwater aquarium down with a moment, you may find a new idea or breakthrought on it when you return to it.
Anyway, most of your fans want to have a gift from you on or before X'mas.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-12-2002, 01:18 AM   #7
Jim Sachs
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Morgan - I'm not quite clear what you mean about the creature packs being stand-alone and running separately.

Steve - Dropping the Freshwater Aquarium is not an option, promises have been made.
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Old 11-12-2002, 03:10 AM   #8
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"Aren't there any cool and inspirational aquarium exhibitions close by? I love going to those kind of places and I always go home with a load of ideas. I would love to see a series of aquarium from you: like an Amazon style aquarium and a Tangyanika aquarium (although I can't spell it)... Go for the extreme! Skip the ordinairy and create an aquarium everybody loves and can't easily create themself."

If you live in southern california theres this pet store I use to go too until I moved that has the nicest fresh water tanks Ive seen its called rancho pet&feed in altaloma not sure of the addy but i can look it up.
and theres a place in ontario that i heard was nice but never been there called global aquatics
it's across from ontario international airport.
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Old 11-12-2002, 09:41 AM   #9
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Thanks, exo -- I'll try them both.
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Old 11-12-2002, 09:51 AM   #10
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Jim, thats a tough thing to have to deal with. I hate being stuck on something just sitting and staring at it day after day. THe longer you sit and stare, the more aggrevated you get and the slower progress gets. Steve might have a point, take just one or two days and make a new fish for the salt tank, or just do something that you have done before to give your brain a rest on fussing and figuring, sometimes the idea will pop into your head and solve your problem when you least expect it and take the pressure off.

It's kind of like in that movie "Finding Forrester" when Sean Connery told the young boy to just start typing, sometimes just the act of doing something will get you where you need to be on something else.

Last edited by Jav400; 11-12-2002 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 11-12-2002, 11:02 AM   #11
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Jim,

I meant that the creature pack could be made into a separate product to mollify the retailers who want 2 products.

For all the Aquarium users, we'd get a $10 upgrade pack from the website.



Michael,

Glad to hear you escaped the tornados!
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Old 11-12-2002, 03:10 PM   #12
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I can't believe how hard it is to find good aquarium pictures online. I was looking for something Amazon, with lots of driftwood and plants, and few rocks. I think this would make the best-looking freshwater tank. It would also balance out the "rocky" look of the saltwater one.

My mental picture of the "ideal" tank has a large twisty driftwood stump dominating the background of one end, rising up up past the line of visibility at the top of the tank, with root/branches extending toward the foreground creating caves and arches for the fish to swim under. The wood would also have some green moss growing on it to soften some of the harsh lines, and evens some grass or long stemmed plants growing out of little nooks. The other end of the tank would be heavily planted and shady, and the middle more open. The plants would not be restricted to types living on the Amazon, but could include japanese lilys and such. At least, this is what I would do, if I were a genious that could meld nature with art with software.

I'm curious, how did Jim design the saltwater tank? Did he have to work from pictures he took himself, of real tanks? Did he actually see a tank that looked just like the one we see in the screensaver? Or did he take various pictures of coral and rock and gather them together into the existing formation?

Is there anything we can do to help?
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Old 11-12-2002, 04:13 PM   #13
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I can't believe how hard it is to find good aquarium pictures online. I was looking for something Amazon, with lots of driftwood and plants, and few rocks. I think this would make the best-looking freshwater tank. It would also balance out the "rocky" look of the saltwater one.
I noticed the same, CephaloP. I found this site with some nice photos of planted aquariums. Maybe this one comes close enough to an Amazon biotope aquarium. (Just in case anyone wonder what they look like.)

http://www.aquabotanic.com/gallery.htm
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Old 11-12-2002, 04:40 PM   #14
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The current SereneScreen Aquarium coral is a collage of photos Jim took at public aquariums.

Swede,

That's an EXCELLENT shot. If the freshwater looked like that, it would be perfect. And yes I know how hard it is to animate plants. Some of them could be scaled back a bit.
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Old 11-12-2002, 08:53 PM   #15
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Great shot, Swede - best I've seen and the closest to what I'm trying for.
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Old 11-13-2002, 08:38 AM   #16
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I was thinking last night that maybe Jim should work on the background for the saltwater saver. By doing this he could get some of the movements figured out and gain some ideas for the background of the Freshwater. Still keeping everything in motion. Who knows maybe he'd get some ideas on for the background for the Freshwater.
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Old 11-13-2002, 01:57 PM   #17
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As long as we're giving Jim more advice than he wants...

Jim, why not just settle for a 2D background (like we have in the salt water aquarium) for the fresh water aquarium for now. This would allow you to finish the fresh water version quicker and get back to the salt water version that you like sooner.

Or is there some reason that the fresh water aquarium has to have the 3D background before the salt water aquarium gets it?

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Old 11-13-2002, 02:33 PM   #18
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if you are having trouble thinking about how to do the aquarium backround, programming, etc., then you could start modeling and animating the freshwater fish. That way, once you start programming, youll have some models in place. Plus, this does not take very much inspiration...you just need to take pictures and look at some fish to figure out how they move (not that modeling them will be easy).
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Old 11-13-2002, 02:47 PM   #19
Jim Sachs
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Bob - the freshwater tank will initally have a 2D background. The saltwater program will still be first to go 3D.

AlphaEx32 - I did work on the fish for a while. Rather depressing -- they are such poor drab little guys compared to saltwater fish.
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Old 11-13-2002, 03:07 PM   #20
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As I suspected.

So when are you going to open up the Freshwater to outside development?

Release one of the fish models and textures as a Lightwave 5 file and we'll do the fish.

And please don't bring up the legal issues, etc. Outside development with a properly written contract (get an outside lawyer, not Prolific, to write it) would not only completely insulate you but is virtually commonplace now in the industry. Every major game development house is allowing outsiders to participate:

id Software
EA Sports/Maxis
etc. etc.

Anyway if they are going to sue anyone they have to go through Prolific first.
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