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Old 07-15-2005, 01:12 PM   #1
Coda
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Thumbs Down Praises and a bit of a review...

Hi guys/gals,
First let me say that I LOVE this screensaver. I bought v2 because I was a bit tired of the Marine and Goldfish aquariums. (I'd liketo see a Mandarin Goby in the marine aquarium, but that's another forum...)
The backgrounds are very nice and believable. Well done.
You might want to rename the "Fog" parameter "Murk" or "Murkiness" which might be more appropriate to the setting. Also the "Caustic" might be more appropriately termed "light Refraction" or something. Just a thought that occured to me while I type here...
The movement of the Blue, Hammerhead, Nurse, Angel, Leapord, Bull and BTReef sharks and of course the Manta are absolutely BRILLIANT! Next best are the Lemon and Tiger sharks. The movement of the tail is almost perfect for the animal. Note that the longer the tail fins, the greater the perceived movement. All of the previously mentioned animals move that way. (I don't call them fish. Sharks aren't exactly fish. They are fishlike but don't quite qualify among the bony fishes since they have a cartilaginous skeleton. Some species may also be able to regulate their body temperature to a certain extent which removes them from true fish a bit more.) Anyway, the Mako and the White need to be tweaked a bit. They move their tails WAY, WAY too much for their body shape. If a real one were to move their tails that much they would be moving at top speed, zooming across the screen in a blur. They look good when they are turning (in the screen saver) but when they are swimming towards or away from the viewer the motion is much too exaggerated. They do move their tails more than say, an Albacore or Bluefin Tuna who also have sickle shaped tails and kind of "Wiggle" when they swim but not as much as we are seeing on the screen. I think you might have meant to have the beasties sweep their sickle tails gracefully from side to side, moving silently through the water. If that's the case, perhaps you might slow the tail motion down a bit and leave the breadth of the sweep alone. I'm not sure how that would look. If you want them to look a bit more natural, ease off on the breadth and speed. They don't have much resistance to overcome even with skin covered with denticles so they don't need to move quite so much.
Those are my only complaints except for the fact that the "Surprise Visitor" shows up far too often.
I'd also like to see reef shark "Migration" like the hammerheads and perhaps some directional movement during the swarms. If you've ever been under a school of hammerheads when they are moving en masse like that, they often do it it great arcs or even circles. It depends on why they are schooling. Some sharks "herd" their prey into tighter and tighter circles and then rip them to pieces by swimming quickly through the huddling masses so to speak. The thresher uses it's tail to swat and slice it's prey so that it can feed on it in a liesurely manner by most accounts.
Sharks I'd like to see added?
Smalltooth Sawfish(Batoidea,Pristis pectinata), Thresher(Alopias vulpinus) although I think there might be enough Lamniformes in there already and maybe a white tipped reef shark(Triaenodon obesus).
I like the idea of the sea turtle too. That would be a very nice addition.
How about random swim patterns for all animals instead of the predetermined paths? Proximity detection for avoiding/colliding with each other would be a very nice feature and add to the reality. Also, how about the occasional burst of speed? Things that live underwater do that from time to time for no apparant reason. At least they do in my aquariums...
All in all WELL DONE!

Beautiful screensaver. I have shown it to several of my friends and co-workers. I hope I have enticed some of them to purchase your software.
Keep up the good work!
Sincerely,
Coda
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Old 07-15-2005, 05:19 PM   #2
Marian Nichols
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Hey, welcome to the forum and what a great post. There's a great deal of feedback there and I am sure the developers will gain much from what you have mention.
Write paranormal mysteries. Six books so far.
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Old 07-16-2005, 10:15 AM   #3
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Marian is right. And I too want to welcome you to the forums.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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Old 07-17-2005, 05:34 PM   #4
Coda
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Thanks to Marian and EShirey for the nice welcome. I hope to learn a lot and perhaps contribute a little while prowling around in here.

Coda
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Old 08-01-2005, 09:07 AM   #5
kona001
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In my opinion, I like the Sharks in the screensaver and how they swim but don't like the background because it is too dark most of the time. If you made a more fantasy style reef for at least one background choice that is bright and colorful with coral's and all the effects, I would enjoy the sharks a bit more. Overall, it is nice to hear from a shark expert that the movements are very true to the real life counterparts in sharks v2. I look foreward to the Goldfish update too when that is released .
"We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail"-W2
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Old 08-04-2005, 01:08 PM   #6
Schnaaps
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Coda: Thanks to the review and opinions... Many of your ideas are included in out list of improvements.

If you've ever been under a school of hammerheads when they are moving en masse like that, they often do it it great arcs or even circles.
Our migrating hammerheads are swimming in large cirlces, but only sometimes. The camera angle and composition just doesn't refelect that. This is our story and we are sticking to it.... :-)


How about random swim patterns for all animals instead of the predetermined paths?
The sharks are not on predetermined paths. They are however defined in regeons, and can move as they "wish" within that regeon.

Proximity detection for avoiding/colliding with each other would be a very nice feature and add to the reality.
Version 2 is a dramatic improvement over version 1 in this area. We are always talking of improving collision and motion.



Also, how about the occasional burst of speed?
Each animal does have a range of speed that it cruises within, but it doesn't burst. This would be a nice improvement and we will include it only if we can make it look natural... ie really good
"Jim, no not THAT Jim but another of the same name"

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Old 08-08-2005, 09:59 AM   #7
Coda
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Hiya,
It's my pleasure. I really do love this screensaver.
Kona001, turn down the fog factor and your background will be much clearer.
By predetermined paths I think I actually meant regions. It is obvious that the sharks swim only within predetermined boundaries. I have messed with the settings a bit and can pretty much guarantee that shark "A" will enter the screen swim to a specific point on the display and then turn left etc. To the casual observer it may not be noticeable, but then I'm a geek. Actually I'm an rpg programmer. The magic you graphics guys work just leaves me dumbfounded.
Keep up the good work!
Coda
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:36 AM   #8
Cipkilia
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Praises and a bit of a review

So whats the pay like, and did you do any other work in IT before getting your current job?
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