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New Virtual Aquarium - a call for beta testers

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Hey all, i'm a former Visual Effects artist and programmer, and i'm developing a virtual aquarium. I would appreciate if people could take it for a spin to assess compatability on different hardware (especially low-end and integrated 3D graphics). it's fully-functioning and doesn't expire. Here's a still: you can download it at www.dreamaquarium.com/download.html i'm mostly interested in machines that have problems running it (run slowly or crashes). i've had the odd crash on integrated graphics machines but i think it's because of bad openGL. it would be helpful if you run "Report an Error" from the start menu if you experience a problem. thank you! alan [Edited by - spiralmonkey on October 10, 2005 9:07:45 PM]

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This is really freaking cool. Do the fish die if I dont feed them?
So far it runs well for me on my 2400+ and geforce4

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yeah, i've barely begun on the behavior at this point. right now they all travel at a constant velocity and you're right - they never slow down or stop and look around. i'll do this when i'm confident in the stability of the graphics. thanks for the input!

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It doesn't seem to be very happy about me adding an absolute ton of little fishies. If I do this then food doesn't show up when i select add food and the red circle to denote which fish to delete doesn't show up until after I've deleted a bunch of them.

[Edited by - xanin on October 12, 2005 12:02:19 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
one more thing: the position of the food doesn't appear to be affected by the agitation/motion of the fish.

i'm probably digging too deep :)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Ran fine on:

GeForce 4 5200 MX (128MB), P4 3Ghz 1Gig
GeForce 3, P4 1.7GHz 256Meg
Dell laptop GeForce 2, P4 1.7Ghz 256Meg

But on a laptop GeForce 4 5200 MX Go(64MB), 3Ghz 1Gig it works fine with 1 monitor but supporting two monitors - rendering on one, it slows to a frame per few seconds. Even reducing resolution down from 1 monitor 1920x1200 (runs fast) to 2 monitors (without clone/mirror options) at 800x600 each dramatically slows it.

Clone/Mirror options gives a blank screen (probably rendering first frame very slowly) on the GeForce 4 MX 128MB and on the GeForce 4 MX Go 64MB renders only on one screen, clone very slowly, mirror much the same as dual monitor without clone options. The above with few fish - down to 1 fish in one test with no real differences in the dramatic slowdown occuring.

I had the similar issue of missing images in the 'Add Fish' menu (all three fish icons were missing) after I'd added lots of fish and went back to the Add Fish menu.

Apart from the dual-monitor issues - it was lovely! I really liked it.

Some ideas I had for the future are:

occasional chasing behaviour.
occasional fish peck-feeding on the bottom of the tank.

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yeah, the dual-monitor support is a real hack right now. it's possible it's losing openGL support in that mode, and going into software GL emulation mode which is painfully slow. that's my theory anyway. i'm not very savvy in that arena. if anybody knows about dual-monitor support from a programming POV, i'd love to hear from you!

For people having problems with objects not showing up with lots of fish on (and how many fish are we talking about here?) it would be great if you could run the aquarium, have the problem happen, and then run "Report an error" from the start menu. Actually, anybody who experiences any problem including the dual-monitor issues, if you could do the same it might help me resolve the issues.

and yes, the fish behavior needs some work. i intend to have them picking at food and chase each other.

thanks again everyone!

[Edited by - spiralmonkey on October 13, 2005 10:23:27 PM]

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So the program sets itself to be used as a screensaver without asking? That's not nice [sad].

It looks great, but it crashed for me. I used the error reporting tool to send the log.

Specs:
AMD Athlon XP 3000+
1GB RAM
Radeon 9600XT

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Laptop Compaq Presario, P4 2.6GHz, ATI Radeon IGP 345m.
It ran fine and smooth on my integrated card. Very nice work.[cool]

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AMD Athlon 64 3400+
480MB RAM + 32MB shared "VRAM"

SiS 760 based IGA

Runs perfect on all settings levels.

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Quote:
Original post by dOb
So the program sets itself to be used as a screensaver without asking? That's not nice [sad].

It looks great, but it crashed for me. I used the error reporting tool to send the log.



thanks for reporting that crashing dOb, i found the problem and [hopefully] fixed it (xp only right now). you managed to find a rare set of circumstances where you added food, then added new fish and quit the aquarium right as one of the new fish was swallowing a piece of old food!

i also added an installer checkbox option to set it as the current screensaver.

dual monitors are still an issue, but i put some more diagnostics in there. Unfortunately i don't have a dual-monitor setup so i'm programming in the dark. if people with dual monitors could run "Report an Error", that would be great.

thanks again everybody!
alan

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Pretty awsome. Ran the application on Intel's Xtreme 3.2 Chipset HT, dual core, ATI x800GT video card. Configured the screen saver to run at 60 FPS. Everything looks A-OK!!! Excellent Job!!!!

gani

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Runs fine here. P4 3.4Ghz, ATi X300 vid card. What program did you use to model the fish? Their swimming animations are really quite good!

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2.4Ghz Compaq nx9010 Laptop.
Runs great, looks like it's at 60fps or close to it.
If you are trying to do some benchmarking, I might suggest listing the fps on the screen. Kudos on the tetras. The look just like the ones I used to have.

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Wow, looks and ran amazingly! I'd pay a few bucks for sure for a full version of this with more fish a few different aquariums (or even customizable aquariums!? Like select a decoration and drop it in the tank!!).

I also had issues on the dual monitor set up. Here is the info:

Clone Image...On - Freezes (i think; just black screen and not responding)
Mirror 2nd Image...On - Doesn't seem to effect the app at all (i just see the desktop on screen 2)
Both turned on - Freezes (i think; just black screen and not responding)

What is the error log you are talking about? Is that in-game? If so, I'm not sure how I can navigate to it with the thing frozen up.

Great work!
Matt

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Hey all,

thanks for all the great feedback. I'm glad people enjoy it and i can't wait to get back to the creative aspects of the fish. I've just moved the aquarium's framework over to the Microsoft screensaver template, and moved the API from OpenGL to Direct3D, so hopefully i've improved compatability. I've also learned more about playback and timers, so hopefully it will play back smoothly at your monitor's refresh rate, and as efficiently as i could get it. It doesn't support display on multiple monitors yet (i still don't have a second monitor to develop this) but on a dual-monitor setup it will display on one screen.

and to answer some other questions that were asked:

- i use Houdini to model the fish. www.sidefx.com
- The log file ends up in the application directory (called stdout) but if you run "report an error" from the start menu, it will automatically FTP it to my site.

It would be great if you could all give it another download and PLEASE let me know if anything doesn't go well.

www.dreamaquarium.com/download.html

thanks!
alan

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I tried to download and install the screen saver at home and got this error:

"The installation package could not be opened"

Matt Hughson

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I got the same thing
"The installation package could not be opened"

running XP sp2

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Runs good on my System no problems thus far

specs:
Celeron 2.53
Ram 256mb

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Looks pretty nice, but there were two problems. First the text in the menu (when you press enter) is hard to read and cut on the right side. Second the background in the top left corner is covered by some black moving thing, it sometimes flickers, so its probably not intended. I used the W2K Version of the program.

Specs:
Athlon 550
Geforce256

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