So let splurge out my massive opinion, be warned, lot of reading ahead:
I have been here for nearly 3 Years, and I have done quite a deep dive into Rabbit hole of High Fidelity’s inner workings. I wouldn’t have stuck along for so long, but there are no alternatives that match the freedom, and the possibility of creativity as much as High Fidelity does in a met averse environment. Only SL comes close, but in comparison, its a jail compared to here. JanusVR also takes my fancy, but I also like my Avatars, which High fidelity shows promise to beyond any other Metaverse i’ve been to.
I love this aspect of it, and with a Jack of Trades Ability I can channel quite a bit of energy into creating things for High Fidelity, jumping from thing to thing like a Magpie chasing the next shiny thing, which keeps me very much distracted and not get as annoyed as others who may be stuck with one thing or another. And there are quite a few quirks that are no so great.
Of course, I could channel all that energy it to creating games, but I am bit of a show off, and standalone games is not something you can do that in.
But I do have my gripes: Occasionally enough to force me to take a weekend or week or two week long breaks from High Fidelity.
There are many things I absolutely love, but there are many things I loathe about it.
I don’t like the Unification of VR mode and Desktop mode for the web UI. I can work with it, but we need some way to have transparent background for web overlays.
Specifically, when in Desktop mode I’d like to have multiple apps open. like having a chat window and edit window is impossible to do at the same time.
But the specific thing I don’t like is the fact is that everything is restrained to windows and within the window it self, instead of allowing us to add / remove overlays as if it was web page elements.
It should be seamless, like what @humbletim was working on, before he dropped it due to the dev heading the thing dropping off. There was a lot of potential there.
Regardless however, the main issue with the Web UI, is the fact that it can take quite a bit of time to load the UI
And moving onwards from there:
Edit / Create Widgets are a pain in the Tail bone.
I have yet to air my complaint about this in written format. I’ve heard it mentioned in many Friday community meetings and probably also have personally reiterated on it many times in my fuzzy soap box moments in the meetings.
This is the most SOREST thing I’ve to deal with in High Fidelity, and probably the largest complaint I have about it. Its also the most tiresome subject to talk about because everyone bloody agrees, but nothing has been done for now nearly the 3 years I’ve been in here.
I can guess that this has alienated many who come here to create world content, but come to a patchwork metaverse, where you need to know X and Y and Q to do Z, when all they want to do is to create worlds. Removing some Letters to “I need to get familiar with modeling” is better than “I need to get familiar with modeling and this arcane editor”.
I bet many have left because HiFi has done nothing about it. It is not a friend of content creators that just want to put down buildings or play around with entities.
In its Core Edit should allow us to effortlessly place down Entities, and adjust their properties regardless of the Mode we are in.
Desktop Mode should be catered for editing the world and Creating Content, with experience being laid to a secondary position: HMD mode should be for socialising, experiencing that content and working on detail and scale.
Right now there seems to be a very big focus on nailing down HMD. This is fine, however they should not forget the Desktop Users, who would be the very core Content Creators in the first place. And to keep HMD users happy, we need content which we lack. Places to Explore, to Wonder, to Socialize. Janus VR and VR chat nail these the best.
A creator is not gonna be spending their entire time in HMD: alot of fine tuning is required, to change textures, to update the models, etc. This is simply not doable while in the HMD, nor does any creator’s stamina in an HMD go beyond a few hours. If one wants to get large scale work done, it is still going to be done outside of the HMD.
HMD mode is better for plopping down details, and get a sense of scale and experience, than anything. Its fantastic for organic stuff, but it is not good at all for when you need to put down things in line, patterns or various other things that have to be done with a ruler.
I think this is actually something Sansar is getting quite right, but I absolutely hate their Sharded, and limited “Experiences” you can just as well get from making a game in Unity and their Lack of anyone able to create Avatars. Even VRChat does this sharing of experiences and avatars, as the edit mode then is in Unity.
While as of the moment we can place down Entities, just fine, its any fine tuning is forced to be done in the Edit window, instead of instead of the world. While some HMD based edit tools that are coming up will address this to some degree, Desktop users, who would do most of the big world building before hitting the HMD, would honestly need a large improvement.
Instead you should be creating many large to small entities which all get brought together, to create a world
It is also my main issue why I still haven’t finished working on my own domain, as this is a pain to do as of the moment.
So the complaints have died down due to people just getting tired of waiting, or just not bothered anymore to complain because nothing has been done about it. If High Fidelity is too busy to do it, at least create a work list item so that someone else can do it for you with greater speed.
It will suck as long as they keep the same damn widgets from an obscure 3D Print Slicer. It should, instead be using the standard widgets most are already used to from Maya, Blender, Unity, Unreal, among others. Especially now that we have outlines. A REWORK is in order.
The edit tool should also have
- Snap to Other Entity
- Widget at pivot point ( registrationPoint of the Entity, which exists already)
- Better Property juggling. intead of what we recently got.
- Cloning should be done via hotkeys instead or a mode with the HMD controls
Desktop and HMD Edit need UX separation
Conversely, we shouldn’t think of having Edit in a shared mode at all. Because conventions that we are familiar with in Desktop mode, do not work in HMD and vice versa.
It should be different for both Desktop and HMD users:
Desktop Mode Edit should follow existing conventions made by many, many other systems.
While we cannot do Mesh editing in VR directly, like in blocks, we can still place down models.
We should be able to determine a pallet of models and place them into the world with ease. Ideally, if we could make a determined “palette” in desktop mode and then those models in HMD mode, would also be nice.
HMD Editing should be an entirely different beast, based on picking up objects and placing them, instead of using Widgets.
Scaling should be just a switch of a mode to stretch a model by grabbing an object from the sides and just moving your hands.
Right now, High Fidelity is stuck in the middle.
Ideally, using shortcuts to go between different modes. Instead of everything combined. as well as Axis Modes.
Related, having been looking into the above with my own time: overlays Lack any listener methods by default like Entity methods do:
This mitigates the use of Overlays, as we have to create our own raytraces for our scripts instead of redoing what Entity methods already do. I do have fortunately a plan to implement this my self as I have grown tired of waiting for Hifi Devs to implement anything of the sort, But not into the edit script they provide. I put up worklist items to solve this but they never got approved yet even checked out.
Now lets hit a Doozy:
Processes in High Fidelity and Community Involvement
Some changes that are being of done to High Fidelity go through no Feedback process and just get implemented. There is no Community input, and if there is, its brief and does not get reiterated, and most of the time it is just Ignored. Like Tablets. They went ahead an implemented those before we gave so much complaint that they fixed it for desktop mode.
Another example is this attrocious change:
Where reshuffling properties in create window were shuffled… To not be so great. Thanks to this worklist item. I find more priority in knowing:
A. What does my Entity identify as
C. Additional Info
Fthan the mess caused by the above worklist:
A. What does my Entity identify as
B. Additional Info (Entity Color)
C. Physical Properties (Checkboxes)
D. Physics (with entity colors?)
F. Additional info
UX wise it takes a whole bunch of more scrolling to get directly to the meat of edit, which is actually positioning the Entity. With already the horrible widget, this is not ideal at all. We Community members have to deal with this daily.
Fix one Bug, two more bug appear
This leads to another question: Do any of the developers actually use High Fidelity like we the community do? Sure we see @Jazmin and @caitlyn around and occasional other dev pop in, but it has generally been the feeling that barely anyone actually works creating the tools need or have used to extensively; since there seems to be so many usability issues.
This is compounded by the fact that as of recent, the QA tests that have been done on Release Candidates have all been external… by people who wouldn’t really have so much use knowledge of High Fidelity that they seem to don’t spot issues that we would instantly bump into:
For-example, latest RC that got into stable has issues when switching from HMD mode to Desktop mode, and
Reloading a single Script deleting the script from running scripts
Or issues with Oculus Rift Touch getting the tablet up and running like what @draxtor bumped into last weekend, live.
I mean come on. There is a lot of promise here, but the silence aside from community meetings is baffling.
We should have more involvement from the forums other than just “Hey look at this next event, this up Comming competition or this upcoming meeting”. Where are all the asking for feedback, or discussions we used to have? We used to have Notes from what was talked during the community meetings, among other things which also died down. Where are the calls to test something major?
or has @Judas just trolled everyone away.
Lack of Forum Communication and Activity from Hifi
There also is the general feeling unless you are heavily active in modifying the code, have access to fogbugz. in the worklist, or otherwise in direct contact with the developers via email, I’ve have a feeling that from anyone just trying out things, getting familair with hifi or similar feel like any feedback thats thrown at a greeter, just turns them who into bobbleheads, and unless a critical issue, barely get addressed or noted down.
Sure critical issues do get solved, but other issues, UI issues, concerns do feel like they get sidelined and eventually fade into the ether. I can’t count the number of times I’ve mentioned a bug, but I haven’t seen them on Fogbugz. As of late I’ve taken a more direct approach of just reporting them directly to fogbugz instead if I don’t find them. But not everyone can do this.
Tere is the fact that many come to ask questions from here, but only the active forum sharks will answer their questions instead of an official representatives.
Worklist as a Contractor board instead of feature request
Then there is the worklist. It hurts my brain. Why have a system where anyone with a github account can make suggestions, but only items created by devs get approved and the rest are ignored?
There are a whole bunch of tickets there that just sit in Suggestions. If you are going to approve something approve it, but don’t leave it in the suggestions sitting there for many, years. Granted, a few of them should just be passed, but generally, why leave them there in any place and not communicate that Yes, or No, or Later.
Why have a bounty board “open for suggestions” which still get ignored? When only things that get to move to bidding are things that are commissioned. It just feels like any suggestions made by anyone else is ignored.
This just results that nothing gets done focus goes on things that actually can be bidded on.
Now. with all that negativity. lets talk about Positivity.
The Freedom and Potential.
I have yet seen any other metaverse like the one as free to experiment as High Fidelity.
Which is why I keep coming back.
Where one can create a Voice activated and Hand Gesture script and use a few entities with shaders to create a magical spell for changing ones Clothes, to create a custom Avatar customizer from Scratch … Or even completely create a new edit tool.
These are things one could, prior only do when actually developing in a game engine. And thats what makes it a different, and something that has boundless Potential.