State of Beta
Our beta 'Sandbox' release of High Fidelity is up, with people able to use it to start up their own servers and create shared spaces. Thanks to the perseverance of our alphas and the enthusiasm of our new beta users, we are starting to see spaces with great content. Of course, there remains lots of work to do still to bring it all together. At a mile-high view, we believe that work can be summarized as fixing bugs, finishing the UI for HMD users, and building the tools needed to discover and manage people, places, and things. Here is a more detailed breakdown:
Bugs and Polish
We've made a conscious choice to go to beta early with the goal of getting people building quickly, with the hope that presence of early creators in the system will help us better prioritize our work. However, it leaves us with a number of known bugs and partially complete features. So a good portion - probably about a third of our development time - will be spent fixing bugs and finishing features. We are actively accepting bug reports from the forums and at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll also be monitoring issues submitted through GitHub.
Vive & Hand Controller UI
With the rise and success of the HTC Vive with it's great hand controllers, we need to prioritize making our UI work well in the Vive, particularly when both hands are using hand controllers and walking around in room scale VR.
Right now there are many actions in HiFi which require a mouse or keyboard. We'd like to make all of these actions available using only the hand controllers. That means making the HUD/UI easily controlled with them, providing a way to type without a keyboard when needed, and redesigning the UX to put key capabilities at the 'fingertips' of a person with only a controller - things like navigation or importing content.
IMPROVED CONTENT SHARING TOOLS
We need to make it easy to find and share content made by others. We will build submission mechanisms for sharing content through our own marketplace, improve import, export, and backup tools, and work on a secure proof of purchase mechanism that can be used both to advertise and authenticate content, as well as get us ready for a paid marketplace.
Server Security and Anti-HARASSMENT
We will work on creating solid controls allowing server operators to regulate their spaces: At the simplest level, we need tools that allow a person running a domain to decide who to allow in, without necessarily needing to know (or caring to know) their username. Formation of groups, and the ability to delegate capabilities will likely be part of this work.
Discovery of People and Places
We need a first cut at making it easy to find and explore the different domains that are coming online. An event calendar of some kind will likely be part of this work, as well as screenshots or photospheres that can capture a particular vantage point for easy sharing.
Versions for Steam and Oculus
Right now we are a web download, but we would like to have versions of High Fidelity available through Steam and the Oculus store.
In-world roadmap meetup this Friday, 3:00 PST
If you are interested in our plans and would like to jump into High Fidelity this Friday, May 27, and meet with me to review & discuss, I'll be holding court near the stacks in playa, or just @philip to jump directly to me.