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sundial inscription at Wellesley College, Mass.

The shadow by my finger cast

Divides the future from the past.

Behind its unreturning line

The vanished hour, no longer thine.

Before it lies the unknown hour

In darkness and beyond thine power.

One hour alone is in thine hands

The now on which the shadow stands.

We will use this theme on time for a sundial inscription at the Observatory (level 2), but we also use it as motivation for the moment - whatever your endeavor - make it happen!

 

  3 Level Plan
  Intro
 

if you are unfamiliar with the Genesis3D engine then you have to check it out - please see the G3D Resource page

Open development is having incredible success.   It is is changing the face of software development and distribution.  Open development of a virtual world program takes advantage of this and is not ahead of its time. The time is just right.

All development of Nemo’s Mind will be in 3 level cycles. This is manageable, motivating, and gives milestones that are the right time period. Having goals that are a year out or a half year out are team killers. The open design document, development strategy, and the make up of the team/public support, will be a strong package ensuring a relatively easy launch of an evolving product, evolving infinitely through the years.   Of course by being openly broadcasted - Nemo’s Mind is already on stage and increasing its chances of success through word of mouth.

Once the first - nominal fee shareware - is released then this will bring further word of mouth.  The plan at this moment is to release shareware with 2 chat levels free with the option to pay 5 to 7 US$ for a password access to an additional level, plus an alternate gray-scale level of one of the 2 free levels.  The public will do this because it is not a game and provides voice communication free over their ISP.   Its a new genre and the shell interface of the shareware (see details below) will promote the open design document and social consciousness of Nemo's Mind.  The front end will also push supporting this grass roots start-up, to help us do further development.  If the user doesn't wish to buy the additional levels then we still have success if the program is used and that user will likely pay for one of the future nominal fee versions.  The overall strategy is to release new levels every 6 months for another nominal fee.   All of this as a development strategy will be up front and promotion of this business model can be an additional source of word of mouth.  With public and financial backing and detailed cycles like this first one - and once we are into the 2nd cycle, using an established team system, then we may progress at a much more comfortable rate.  Do not want to become a team of stress cases - I am committed to keeping this one fun.  The only scheme we will have to integrate over the coming years is updating the base versions of Genesis3D.  The number one attraction of this programmer to those that wish to make a lively hood is that this is not a one shot deal - it will not be like a boxed product published once and then a year later the graphics and game play standard is outmoded.  Any work that is done will be the basis for an evolving product for many years.  Nemo's Mind will be an interactive application - meaning it will be used as one of several favorite voice chat terrains through the years.

The difference between this program and a game is in simplicity. This program does not compare to the intricacies of the modern computer game and wont even be pitched to publishers within the game industry (unless I am outvoted by the team).  Our biggest challenge will be in producing the best art possible.  In this new genre there will be many possible financial backers outside of the typical game arena. The Genesis3D community already far exceeds the simple requirements of this program, and we will avoid the complications of outside investors.  Development time and cost will be minimal compared to the standards of today's interactive games.

If you are unfamiliar with Gensis3D - it is a Windows only development at this time - as an open development project it will undoubtedly be ported over to other OS’s.  All coding including interface will go back into the Genesis3D community.  Even if a possible publisher has a problem with this - we will release any code.  In the spirit of open development and the motivation of the Genesis3D community, everyone deserves a platform they can plug their own chat levels into for sharing, giving, dedicating, at least to friends and family. And hopefully this creativity can be used by ours or other companies virtual chat projects.  Level makers should reserve rights on the levels they make so there isn’t a conflict on what project they wish to add to later on, if they wish. Once we have financial backing we will be looking for some of these user levels to adapt to Nemo’s Mind.  See the page explaining why we will use Genesis3D.

Want some motivation? Watch the Genesis demo this - is
THE MOTIVATION

 

   First Cycle/Shareware #1   -   The Spiral Levels

  CoreTeam
 

The requirement is one level designer per level, one programmer, one modeler - if any are multi-talented then the team may be only 3 people - "its a mystery" (Shakespeare in Love) - human quality of team members will be as important as the experience - in later 3 level cycles we may be able to afford a concept artist and sound engineer - although anyone is free to give input and then use it as part of their resume/portfolio.

  • programmer - most routines are documented and mundane (no AI) - only one or 2 challenges such as integrating 3rd party voice program - code for anything from  switches to jumping to distance fogging can be found in the Genesis community and Forum
  • modeler - most modeling is done through Studio Max 3D but more tools for translating are possible - this team member might be our strongest texture artist also
  • level designers - Genedit 2 is already in its second beta and until the next version comes out by the end of Nov the preview version will give an idea of its use - any level editor can grab it and give it a go - the level designer for each of the 3 levels will be the focus for any input from the community - each level manager can coordinate resource needs through me
  • the 3 core level managers should be able to fill in the blanks for any needed textures that can't be gained from the resources page
  • we will probably use stock sound effects
  • in the team equation our strongest asset is the unbelievable support in the Genesis community, specially the skilled users of the Genesis3D forum - we will reciprocate and promote in any way possible - any programming will go straight to the community with tutorials for plugging levels directly into the program for promotion of any one else’s chat terrains, upon release of the first shareware version.  Any improvements of the chat terrain program through successive shareware releases will also be released to the public
  • as team director my job is to promote word of mouth so the first shareware version can bring in returns for the team's well being - keep the design focus, provide resources, just plain full time management as I have already been doing for the last year.   Maintain all levels of communication for the team to overcome isolation of a virtual team - through web pages, e-mail, etc. and promote brainstorming.   In general the Debabelizer.
  • as one who has loved games for their environments and exploration of 3D spaces above all else - it is my dream to be a part of a team with a part in bringing total virtual exploration to the mainstream
  • any input from outside the core team will also be posted here and in the weekly status report and tagged with the author's name and optional E-mail - will also be included in the credits for shareware releases
  • inputs can be used as basis or with little tweaking depending on the decisions of the team and or the level manager

 

   The Program     programming is managed by

  Setup.exe
 
  • ease of use, shows professionalism
  • also demonstrates the ability to polish it off if we ever have to give up on shareware and send to publishers and agents
  • standard acceptance of terms for use - to protect the intellectual property and copyright of the included design documents (promotion)

 

  Voice Talk Programming
 
  • user will connect with the other individual through voice talk first - then contact is maintained while firing up Nemo’s Mind (voice is temporarily lost until first interface screen comes up)
  • first version will be limited to 2 users - this is an unexplored market - a program to be streamlined to give the best one on one voice versus a multiple voice chat room - at this time  alot of multi-user voice chat programs make the users sound drunk and add a drawl - users will appreciate a program that makes a simple long distance phone call free and easy
  • having only one other avatar also speeds up our frame rate/r speed and allows more detailed model

 

  Shell Interface
 
  • Genesis3D logo
  • virtualworldnews.com (logo) presents Nemo’s Mind (logo)
  • first interface screen will show how Nemo’s Mind will promote word of mouth - Note: an alternative to using this standard "options" type screen is to use the Gallery from level 3 as an "in engine" way to select between the 4 levels (4th is the gray-scale alternate) and all of the other choices - this might actually increase our chances of the user reading the areas we will use to promote the future development of Nemo's Mind - also make it so this gallery selection method is underwater so user can swim around in the gallery and get up close to details of ceiling etc.
  • first interface screen (is also the screen called up when the user hits the escape key in program) can be used to go to another level or to send an e-mail to a fellow voice talk user who doesn’t have Nemo’s Mind:
    • modeled after the classy Mech-warrior 3 demo
    • base texture is rusted metal scrolling downward (view going up the texture)
    • "Nemo’s Mind" and wood print ( pre- turn of century) style global symbols scrolling across the background - moving from upper right to lower left (for reading title)
    • Scrolling text and graphics art in animated molten glowing yellow/red lava texture
    • A static text message saying to use left mouse button to talk - this will encourage talking in the menu and possibly checking out non program areas together - such as "Next Step" or Newmoon" - see buttons below
    • stationary buttons over top of the scrolling back ground:

     

  First Interface Screen - Buttons
 

"Nemo’s Mind" button

  • leads to a screen selecting the avatar
  • avatars are pre turn of century (Nemo era)
  • should have a choice of gender so at least 2 models that will be the default male or female - remember the first shareware version will be for just 2 users at a time so user will only see one avatar and even if both users choose same avatar they won't be able to see they are twins -  a 3rd model used underwater which is gender neutral
  • after avatar selection the user is moved to the level selection screen - see  3D engine start up below
  • 3 pictures - no titles - click on a picture to start the corresponding level - hovering over a picture brings ambient sound that will continue if clicked on while loading the level
  • the level select is 3 image buttons plus one small button at bottom leading to information on the next set of additions to these levels - such as the teaser to make all the man-made objects in the lagoon level accessible
  • if user clicks on the password only level then text will pop up over the image saying to see info on registering the shareware to access this level plus the gray-scale version of  the European Subconscious level they have access to now

"Options" button

  • option to turn off music and turn down sound effects if you are not using ear phones - users will encounter difficulties where both are on speakers with music and sound effects turned up and hearing both sets when talking
  • option to speed up mouse look and movement speed? - default will be for the non-gamer and maximum detail

"The Future of Nemo’s Mind" button

  • leads to a screen soliciting input - so know right off the bat this is an evolving program from now to forever and that philosophy should show in the front end of any evolving virtual world program - once art is designed it will be in place and energy will be efficiently spent by updating that base from that point on - plus nothing spurs creativity more than having something to look at already
  • a message such as "Want the next thing in interactivity? Please give us feedback on what you want to see added to the next version of Nemo’s Mind"
  • button leading to credits with pictures of each team members work and e-mail contacts (mixed with this 3 level design document) to encourage direct feedback - make sure everything used from Genesis demo is credited to the Eclipse guys (that would be my job to chase down this info and arrange the html styled credits) - this shows the style of credits that will be used for every version of Nemo’s Mind from here to eternity
  • button leading to full original Nemo’s Mind design doc in original html format - soliciting input on the open development design and tyhe next round of 3 level cycles
  • button producing an e-mail flyer if the user wants to send Nemo’s Mind info to a friend or if talking with someone on voice program that doesn’t have Nemo’s Mind
  • button for info on adding user made levels to program for personal use and info on getting Genedit

"New Moon" button

  • leads to a screen giving information on the "New Moon" Concept" and a button to go to the web site - and plans to give to socially conscious cause versus taxes as we will position the commercial aspect outside of the United States - A socially Conscious association will also enhance this type of artistic program become mainstream (separating from the game industries bad rap - to give a new market a chance and then once the market is created then the game industry that spawned this technology gets a good rap)
  • the non gaming public will have to justify use of programs such as Nemo’s Mind and to create the market and get word of mouth it will help if any virtual art project associates its self with a socially conscious cause as one of its themes inside the program and out
  • therefore the New Moon concept will be heavily tied to the program’s theme on Nemo anti-slavery
  • and maybe in the future we can even do a good thing with the success of Nemo’s Mind

"Registration" button

  • gives following information but doesn't do an on-line registration
  • user sends 5-7 dollars with e-mail address to receive password that is derived from their password or e-mail
  • give the user a half dozen anti-slavery organizations to choose from - of which $.50/1.00 of the registration will go to - for the good of all
  • e-mail instructions back to the user will tell them to come back to this button and input both the passwords into the password fields - using the e-mail address sent to us and the derived password given to them
  • programming required within shell interface to produce the same equation used by us deriving the same password from the given e-mail address and activating permanent access to the new level plus the alternate gray-scale version of one of the 2 free levels
  • the advantage of using the e-mail to derive the password might discourage people from passing the 2 passwords on to others (their own e-mail address and corresponding password)
  • May possibly tell user that an online registration by credit card can do the same and can try a link on this screen to see if that has been warranted by popular demand
  • also need a button for version check to make sure they aren't registering an old version and a warning when the planned release of the next version will be released

"Quit" button

  • is followed by a nag screen if not registered - with buttons into the registration screen - could put how many times used - "help this independent project grow"

 

  3D Engine and User Controls
 

3D Engine: Genesis3D 2 by Eclipse

Level Editor: Genedit 2

3D Engine Start:

  • after clicking the picture in the level select screen the screen will fade to black (maybe as view zooms in on picture - or picture just zooms to fill screen) while level loads - ambient sound from hover activation continues as smoothly as possible into the beginning of the level as it fades in visually
  • an alternative is to use an in engine level select using the Gallery from level 3 for level selection

 User controls:

  • all user movement is walking - no swimming/flying/running - camera sequences may be added
  • simplest controls possible for the non-gaming world - mouse look and strafing slowed to a non-disorienting rate
  • mouse look will be standard (since it isn’t a game or a skill challenge it will be easy for newbies) for a browsing speed chat terrain - the focus is on art and ambience and free mouse look is the most intuitive way to look and to immerse - for most users this will be their first experience with virtual 3-d and will test things we took for granted after "Wolfenstien" and "Doom" - such as real perspective scrolling - some of the art will be interactive in a way that can only be appreciated by side strafing - remember mouse look and strafing is natural when the speed is decreased to the first time user of first person 3D
  • Arrow buttons used for forward/back/side strafing - speed of mouse look and side strafing will be slow enough that any one can pick it up with out the newbie disorientation and immersion killing/lightning movement of today’s FPS
  • escape key leads to front end options screen
  • alt-tab function may be necessary to enable chasing down a disconnected chat or to find a new companion
  • talk button is left mouse button - since voice may be one way (not simultaneous like telephone) we will add a mouse like audible click at end of each transmission so users know immediately when they can talk
  • decide foot step sound effects limitations early - may not do any for initial shareware, but does amaze newbies - definitely not a factor in the lagoon level

Frame Rate:

  • because of the nature of this program - art takes precedence over everything
  • mouse view and movement are slowed for the non-gamer and for the nature of this program - enhancing frame rate - the lagoon level will move like molasses through the water as Nemo suited divers - This movement scheme also facilitates talking
  • liberal use of distance fogging to max out art detail - non gamers will be fascinated by the surreal effect of fogging - will also be used to enable some special effects such as the carousel lift off and first hints of the Nautilus in the depths
  • only 2 people max in the demo - so only one model is exposed at a time
  • non-solids - very minimal collision opportunities - nothing to shoot and impact on polygons - anything above waist level and beyond barriers will be non-solid - could use transparent bounding "rails" at foot level for stopping participant at cliffs etc. - in this case nothing is a solid - bounding rail could be placed so the players head never has a chance to collide with polygons such as a cave wall sloping upward and toward the interior
  • what will our level and avatar scale be? - to maximize detail and frame rate? - must settle on standard or is scale of a finished level going to be easy enough to adjust at any time in Genedit2?

Use of Color and textures:

  • bright textures - not dingy & muddy such as style of Quake
  • also for a product aimed at the non-gamer we will use default luminescence on most surfaces
  • textures will probably be 256x256 .bmp files

 

 

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1999-2001 by H. Kevin Long -Nemo's Mind TM  all rights reserved
 
 
  3LevelPlan 
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Welcome to the Nemo's Mind Design Document!
     Contents 
     VWNews