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Old 04-11-2006, 05:52 PM   #1
rcl66
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4 years later might be time to change...

I've been using the Marine Aquarium screen saver literally for at least 4 years - since the initial 9 fish release. There were updates for a while years ago, but then things have pretty much stopped.

Just looking for an update - a sign of hope - is the 3D background or anything significant coming SOON? Not to be disrespectful but at this point I've pretty much given up hope of anything new coming along. The greatest screen saver and background ever has just about run its course for me.
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:41 AM   #2
Jim Sachs
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I'm assuming you got the new 2.6 update.

Working on 3.0, but it will be a while.
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:53 AM   #3
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Got any tidbits on what you are currently planning or where you are in the 3.0 update Jim?
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:19 AM   #4
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I think it really comes down to, is Jim going to try to build the 3D background on top of the existing architecture and all of its limitations, or is he going to try to use some advanced tools out there for handling surfaces and textures. If it's the first option, then it could be a long time. If it's the second, then after the initial 3 month-long migraine headache of getting it all working, then you start dropping objects in and they just "work". Very rewarding but a steep starting curve that I think Jim has tried a couple of times and said "enough!" because of how un-artistic and un-creative that kind of development is. Prolific had at least one 'crash course' with Jim about this stuff, but I don't think that went so well. It's like trying to send Picasso to engineering school for 3 months before he can paint.

I'm still not sure why Jim can't hire someone from Newtek for a few months. Hell, they might do it for free. Not a "do it for me" way, which we all know Jim won't touch with a 10 foot pole, but a "tell me how the heck to use these tools in a way that's never been tried before and without me needing to study Calculus or Engineering."
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:24 PM   #5
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Prolific has a new 3D guy putting together some Shader demos for a tutorial. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 04-22-2006, 09:34 AM   #6
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The realization of the 3D Background will move this screensaver / simulation from a "That’s a pretty screensaver" to a “Wow, that’s simply gorgeous!” must have product for everyone.

The 3D background has been a major concern for me for a while now and after much heated debate on other threads we need to push this to the front of the queue.

You can add fish till the cows come home, but this screensaver needs fresh vitalising "something" to keep this product above everyone else which is slowly becoming stale with so many "clones" or indeed free ** COUGH warez COUGH ** becoming more available.
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:27 PM   #7
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Yep, that's why I don't plan to do any more fish until the 3D background is done. (Though all of the existing fish have to be re-done.)
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:37 AM   #8
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i, and some friends i asked don't agree totally with what ad and jim say. all those nice backgrounds in other savers look great, but after a short while THEY are just pretty pictures. i, and those i asked say after a short while eyes are mostly on the FISHES, not the background.... sooo, how about a new 2-d background to add as a choice, to keep it FRESH, as u say. take a poll and i bet people would be glad to pay for it........lmao....sure it would still be out of date BUT....
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Old 04-23-2006, 12:43 PM   #9
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Originally posted by handimannbob:
i, and some friends i asked don't agree totally with what ad and jim say. all those nice backgrounds in other savers look great, but after a short while THEY are just pretty pictures. i, and those i asked say after a short while eyes are mostly on the FISHES, not the background.... sooo, how about a new 2-d background to add as a choice, to keep it FRESH, as u say. take a poll and i bet people would be glad to pay for it........lmao....sure it would still be out of date BUT....  
I think Jim has mentioned many times that it took him a year to paint the existing background. So, even if he started now...

Meanwhile, I've been running mostly DreamAquarium lately.
Aesthetically, I like that background a bit less than the MarineAquarium background, but I really like how the DA fish are becoming so lifelike in their movements, and how they interact with the _moving_ DA background. Schooling, pecking and nibbling, darting among the weeds. Meanwhile, MA fish behavior is the equivelent of solitary pacing... they're wearing grooves in the water. Mind you, they look damn pretty doing it. :-)

With all the recent and ongoing improvements, DA is leaving MA in the dust.
However, that's the word from somebody who has been buying and fiddling with fishtank screensavers for a while.

The thing to consider, from the user perspective, is that the damn things are just screensavers, after all - something that you might idly watch when not doing something at the computer. Or, they are something for other people to watch when we are away from our desks. Beyond the natural ego-massage for the artist of having his work on a bunch of screens and appreciated, what the creators and marketers really care about is NEW purchases.

You and I have already paid our money, and aren't likely to pay again soon. The only affect we have on decisions by potential purchasers is if our comments are viewed by people shopping for an aquarium screensaver. To them, it's all new and fresh. To them it doesn't matter how old or static the product might appear in the eyes of someone who's seen it for months or years.... unless we seem to be badmouthing, and turn off some prospective buyers.

On the third hand, the very fact that the product seems to have generated a cult-ish following might be attractive to some.

Kevin
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:43 AM   #10
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Kevin (Inspector Dryfish) has proved my point in terms of other screensavers catching up with Jim's creation.

Dream Aquarium is a great fresh water 3D aquarium with an interactive 3d background. OK, most of the screen is green! which to be honest is its biggest flaw.

But its overall build quality and look is equally as good as Jim's if not slightly better.

The Marine Aquarium is something of beauty and once the new 3D background is complete and Jim has the fish interacting with it, it will put Sachs Marine Aquarium back at the top again.

I don’t want another background, I'm very happy with the current design and look. To add another design won't take Jim's creation any further than it is now other than adding a new background to look at.

The current one if recreated in 3D will simply be stunning. It has enough variation and colour to keep it bright and detailed.

Dream Aquarium is one step ahead currently and more importantly how easy is it to create a Marine version and surpass Jim's within months based on their current 3D engine?
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Old 04-24-2006, 10:16 AM   #11
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The idea for the 3D background is that in the "centered" position it will look almost exactly like the current background, but as soon as it starts to scroll right or left, the difference would be obvious. Being 2.5 times as wide as before, there's a huge about of material to build in 3D.

Everything is conspiring to slow things down. One unpleasant item is the huge number of complaints I'm getting from irate customers who have received bogus emails (presumably containing a virus) from my fish-byte.com site. That site does not actually send or receive any email, but some hacker idiots have used it as a return address for malware.
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Old 04-24-2006, 10:54 AM   #12
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I would remove your e-mail address from fish-byte.com and change it to a formmail type form that includes a hidden variable.

Then, any e-mail that you receive at fish-byte that does NOT include that hidden variable is suspect.
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:58 AM   #13
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Fish-byte.com doesn't send or recieve email. People find my regular email address.
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Old 04-24-2006, 08:07 PM   #14
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Shutdown fish-byte.com? I get email all of the time stating that it's from Paypal. I do have a paypal account, but I know how scams can masquerade as an email from another site. Maybe Prolific can send out a mass email warning people of this scam?
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Old 04-24-2006, 10:15 PM   #15
Jim Sachs
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No, that would just add to the spam problem. Also, you'd be amazed at how many people threaten to sue us just for sending update notices after they checked the "Notify Me" box when registering.
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:28 AM   #16
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Thanks for putting me onto Dream Aquarium. I just purchased it too.

It's cool! Shame there's no sound yet, feels a bit lifeless without some bubbling. It runs fast though, I added about 30 tetras and the framerate was still 85FPS - I wonder if it's using Geometry instancing for the fish? That would be cool indeed.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:33 AM   #17
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DA models are good but the textures are pretty low-res. The GA/MA2 textures are high res, but there's no "zoom" function to be able to appreciate them up closer, and it does make some of them "shimmery".

Realistic fish behaviour and interaction adds so much to this aquarium! They cease looking just like cardboard pieces being moved back and forth. This is what I dreamed about when I first saw MA in action.
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Old 04-27-2006, 11:18 AM   #18
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Originally posted by Falz:
DA models are good but the textures are pretty low-res. The GA/MA2 textures are high res, but there's no "zoom" function to be able to appreciate them up closer, and it does make some of them "shimmery".

Realistic fish behaviour and interaction adds so much to this aquarium! They cease looking just like cardboard pieces being moved back and forth. This is what I dreamed about when I first saw MA in action.  
The biggest flaw for me is the very basic colour scheme! It’s practically 80-90% GREEN! Jim's original mock-up of his freshwater tank puts this screensaver to shame.

I wouldn’t use it as my main screensaver for this very reason. DA must come up with a more interesting and vibrant 3d environment for this really to take off like Jim's has.

I guess using the green / black colour scheme really shows off the fish better, but its a bit insipid.
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Old 04-28-2006, 01:20 AM   #19
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New backgrounds are coming soon, the author posted a screenshot of "Moss Angeles" but with a sand floor. Looks much better.
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Old 04-29-2006, 08:12 AM   #20
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Originally posted by Falz:
New backgrounds are coming soon, the author posted a screenshot of "Moss Angeles" but with a sand floor. Looks much better.  
What this one? Its certainly an improvement, still not much variety. As I said earlier, Jim's Freshwater Tank was more vibrant and detailed than this.
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