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Old 05-22-2007, 01:57 AM   #381
Jim Sachs
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Huh? Eric's Goldfish tank has been on the market for some time, now. It has nothing to do with MA3.
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Old 05-22-2007, 05:09 AM   #382
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What I should have said I guess, is...has the developement on the Goldfish run it's course?...There hasn't been any mention of or release of new goldfish, or updates to the tank or fish mentioned in over a year..I do love the Goldfish..I was hoping that Prolific would continue to improve upon it...
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:16 AM   #383
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Goldfish 2 was a monumental upgrade. Now I hate to say it, but at least for Prolific Publishing, their goal is to sell copies. More development is only needed if sales numbers start to slip or a competitor comes along.

This is not to say that Eric Daniels won't personally find a reason to upgrade the Goldfish Aquarium. Jim and Eric have a love for their respective projects and won't let them languish for too long.
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:54 AM   #384
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just my opinion...I wouldn't call the last upgrade "monumental"..they added a couple of rather boring fish bowls and a new rock and a limb to the tanks..they did nothing to improve the quality of the fish, the plantings, or the lighting....I understand that it was my mistake thinking that Prolific undertook this project with even a modicum of the passion that Jim has for the Marine Aquarium or that "spiralmonkey" has for Dream Aquarium...I understand now the motivation and goal of Prolific and accept the fact that "it is what it is"....I look forward to the continued progress of Marine Aquarium and Dream Aquarium...thank you
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:42 PM   #385
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Well put, Mark.
Thanks to Morgan, Tiny Snapshots is up and running again with "Tiny Järvafält" as the latest addition – Go have a look and tell me what you think.

"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent.
I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says,
'Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.'
I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
" /Robert Oppenheimer on witnessing the first thermonuclear detonation in history.
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Old 05-29-2007, 03:47 PM   #386
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Hi iMark, it's Goldfish Aquarium's artist/animator here...

I'm sorry you aren't happy with the upgrade to 2.0... I agree that in calling it "monumental" Feldon may have been overstating the case a little. I did double the number of tanks -- because what my tanks lack in Jim Sachs' quality, I try to make up for in quantity -- but I guess if you don't care for the newer tanks, that doubling would be rather pointless. And the fish do have some improvements, but perhaps they were too subtle. In both areas, I'm open to suggestions... what would you have preferred?

You're right that the development of new stuff for it hasn't been on the schedule we'd hoped, but it's really not Prolific's fault; it's mine. I've been too busy with the rest of my life -- raising teenagers, dealing with Southern California's weekly natural disasters, letting the studio system overwork me (or is that "work me over?") -- to be able to create any startlingly new varieties of goldfish lately.

And Prolific has been awesome in not pressuring me much. Nor have they brought in anyone to pry control of the program from my death-grip. What more could an artist/animator ask for?

Incidentally, if the program was selling so well that I could quit my day job, you'd be seeing new fish every week! So go tell a million of your friends...

In any case: I'm sorry that you feel we've dropped the ball. And I thank you for your well-worded critique! I hope to someday earn an equally well-worded positive review from you.

--Eric
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:41 AM   #387
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The Goldfish Aquarium is not something being "cranked out" by Prolific Publishing, it is the product of an Academy Award-winning artist, Eric Daniels.

I think it is the best Goldfish sim out there. Do I think it would be better if the fish had reflective scales? Absolutely.
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:57 AM   #388
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I second those scales.
Thanks to Morgan, Tiny Snapshots is up and running again with "Tiny Järvafält" as the latest addition – Go have a look and tell me what you think.

"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent.
I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says,
'Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.'
I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
" /Robert Oppenheimer on witnessing the first thermonuclear detonation in history.
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:01 AM   #389
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Agreed, - but it's the plants that let it down most of all, IMO.
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:00 AM   #390
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Realistically iridescent scales just don't seem to be possible with the version of Direct-X Prolific will let me use... but I'm keeping my eye on that prize, believe me. I may get there on the Mac's OpenGL version first.

As for the plants... I'd love to completely redo them. They were created at a time when I was being asked to make the artwork as small as possible, so I kept shrinking the art and compressing the colors and using duplicates instead of different plants. But that size issue seems not to come up as much these days... So it seems like a good time to attempt to improve them. (Also, they were plastic; I'd use real ones now.)

Could I trouble you all to articulate what you dislike most about the plants? Just so I don't fix the wrong things...
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:44 AM   #391
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I had a fresh-water aquarium for many years, so I feel justified in saying that if my Elodea Densa, (I think it is), looked like that, I might have considered throwing it out, thinking it was dead. - And if as you say, those pants are modeled on plastic ones, then that will account for the Sagittaria, (or is it Vallisaria?), looking like plastic green Tagliatelle! - Please don't take these criticisms too seriously, - you did ask! - I think your fish in Goldfish Aquarium are fantastic! And I love the driftwood. But that original 'rock', and the plants, are the weak link, IMO.
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:11 PM   #392
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Interesting input on DX capabilities after having a similar discussion with Jim a week ago. Why would they limit you to DX 8? 7?

Was size an issue to keep weight off servers when downloading or something?

/Tiny Seeger
Thanks to Morgan, Tiny Snapshots is up and running again with "Tiny Järvafält" as the latest addition – Go have a look and tell me what you think.

"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent.
I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says,
'Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.'
I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
" /Robert Oppenheimer on witnessing the first thermonuclear detonation in history.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:28 PM   #393
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Size was an issue because Jim Sachs' original screen saver was a miracle of efficiency; it looked better than anything anyone had ever created, and yet was small enough to fit on a single floppy (as I recall). And since mine wasn't as nice-looking, the thinking was that it should be even smaller. When I sheepishly pointed out that nobody uses floppies anymore, the response was something about server bandwidth, but I was too embarrassed to really hear the specifics.

As for limiting us to an earlier version of DX, that was mainly just to maximize our compatibility among the non-gamer crowd, who are probably our main customer base.
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Old 05-31-2007, 01:36 PM   #394
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I guess I have always thought that reflections could be done the way they have been done on Playstation 1, Dreamcast, and other systems that do not have Shaders: Software emulation.

Gran Turismo was the first driving game for the Playstation that had reflections. They were reflection textures that were mapped onto each car.

If two more textures were added to each fish, one which responded to an invisible orange light to the LEFT of camera, and one which responded to an invisible blue light to the RIGHT of camera, I wonder if that would come close to looking as good as DirectX 9 shaders?
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Old 06-01-2007, 07:13 PM   #395
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Iridescence is a peculiar thing... it's a distant cousin of specular highlights and of reflections, but it's not quite the same thing. It's what happens when light bounces off a surface with thousands of perfectly even, evenly spaced microscopic ridges, so small that the light of different wavelengths (colors) flies off in radically different directions. This has the effect of sorting light into a spectrum, and/or radically changing the object's color depending on which angle you view it from.

I intend to figure out a good way to fake it someday... and maybe something along the lines you've suggested will be the answer... Meantime, if you see a good example of an iridescent surface in a real-time game, please let me know. You'll know it's iridescent if it reminds you more of a peacock's feather or a hummingbird's throat than a chrome bumper.
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:24 PM   #396
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I don't see why it can't be done with simple specular, like I do with the Copperband Butterflyfish. It seems like that's about all the shine that most goldfish have. Setting different light colors from different directions as Morgan suggests is a good idea. That's how I do the various colors of the Cardinal Tetras in my Freshwater Tank.
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Old 06-02-2007, 03:16 AM   #397
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A good many goldfish aren't reflective at all, having a matte surface. But those are the ones, calicos usually, whose scales seemed to be translucent. This often makes black appear as blue.
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Old 06-02-2007, 10:02 PM   #398
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Interesting, Jim... I'd like to see your Cardinal Tetras!
Everything I've tried looks distinctly unlike iridescent goldfish scales, which go from yellow to red depending on the angle of the light and and the surface's angle to the camera. HOWEVER... all the Direct-X calls were set up by Will (and then Edgar), so I never went in and tweaked them directly. I've been relying on their wrapper code. Maybe there's something in there at the DX level which I should learn how to manipulate better...?
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Old 06-02-2007, 11:11 PM   #399
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I'll send you a Qtask message with the settings I've been using.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:52 PM   #400
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In the Zen bowl and Desktop toy tanks, how about, instead of the single flower in a vase, a small picture frame that can display pictures from a folder on the users hard drive?
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