Post Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:12 am

State of ISBoxer - Oct 2017

It's been a while since I've provided a kind of update like this, so here we go.

End of summer turmoil
As is basically common knowledge at this point, at the end of this summer Blizzard released World of Warcraft 7.3.0, which included an exe packer -- something they had not previously used on World of Warcraft. While Inner Space is not new to exe packers, World of Warcraft's happened to not be supported by Inner Space. My last 2 months have been spent on upgrading the Inner Space loader to deal with WoW's new packer, while not breaking every other game. It has been a delicate dance. I fix one thing, and 2 other things break, and so on. But, we're basically at the tail end of that trouble -- things are working for the vast majority. There are still some games with issues and I'm still working through those on a daily basis. (e.g. ArcheAge)

ISBoxer 2
So that's where we are right now. This interrupted work on ISBoxer 2, which has had its own bit of turmoil. The original plan for ISBoxer 2 was scrapped; while there were certainly some improvements over ISBoxer 1, the execution did not live up to the dream. Earlier this year I began work on the re-imagining of ISBoxer 2. Key features on the new plan include...
  • Simplified Interface
  • Online Configuration
  • Programmable with Lua and web APIs
  • Password Management

Let's go into a little depth. Online Configuration is central to the new ISBoxer 2 experience. Most of the configuration will be stored online and is web accessible -- so for example, you will be able to visit from work and have access to your settings. That is not to say that ALL of the configuration is online, you'll note that "Password Management" is also on the list and we will NOT be storing your private account or password information online -- so THOSE settings will not be accessible to you from work unless you bring a copy with you. But, with your configuration being online, this will allow us to provide better support when something is not working correctly -- we'll no longer have to ask someone to share their configuration in order to see what the problem is, instead our support team will just access your already-online configuration. It also means that pieces of any configuration can be shared and dropped directly in to someone else's. If you make a cool Window Layout for your triple 4K monitors, and you want to let other people use it, it can literally show up as an option for them.

As far as the ability to program ISBoxer 2, Lua will be available within ISBoxer 2 itself, and the Online Configuration will be programmable with web APIs. Web APIs will allow developers to create a web app that people can choose to use to help configure ISBoxer 2. For example, if a developer wanted to create a different version of the Quick Setup Wizard for use with a particular game, say, EverQuest, which sets up custom Hotkeys and such for specific classes in that game, they could do this online and make it available via our system for users to opt in -- similar to the way you can allow apps to access features of your Twitter, Facebook, etc. Or perhaps a version of the wizard Deutsch, or Chinese.

This will all serve to simplify the end user experience, and expand the configuration tools available to an ISBoxer 2 user.

On Password Management, this topic has come up quite often and I think it makes sense to have this capability in ISBoxer 2. I don't know about you guys, but over the years I have lost/forgotten passwords for various game accounts, and for me that is as good of an excuse as any to let ISBoxer 2 handle them for me. Some people currently have ISBoxer 1 set up with Key Maps to enter their passwords -- that is not secure and is not recommended. Building on experience from creating ISBoxer EVE Launcher, ISBoxer 2 offers secure Password Management for your game accounts, encrypted using a Master Password of your choosing. While logging in to a game with ISBoxer 2 you can temporarily enable its time-limited Password Entry Mode (after unlocking the feature with your Master Password), and it can then enter your passwords for you in each window. As mentioned above, your private account information (including encrypted passwords) are only kept locally on your PC, never as part of the Online Configuration!

Future of ISBoxer
Not going away! ISBoxer 1 continues to be maintained, and should continue operating in the foreseeable future.

Future of Inner Space
Inner Space is going to be evolving into essentially Inner Space 2. I'm going to be replacing various pieces of Inner Space, starting with the main Inner Space program (the Uplink), which is being replaced by Inner Space Launcher. The new launcher essentially loads in the old Uplink, so nothing should be lost by the transition, and because it's still using the original Uplink this update should be coming up quickly. As with ISBoxer 2, the new launcher is built with WPF and will be a leap forward in aesthetics for Inner Space. Additionally, a browser built into the launcher will keep you up to date on important information (something many people could have used with the recent Inner Space patches!), and streamline Lavish account management. Inner Space Launcher will also allow you to more easily switch to a different version of Inner Space -- currently your options are to "Use development (test) patches" or not, but in some cases an older version may be needed for certain games.


Other near-future plans for Inner Space include updates to the Input system, to hopefully support a wider range of input devices, and an update to the in-game GUI system.

The ISBoxer and Multiboxing Communities
Join us on Discord:

We have a great community of multiboxers, and thank you all for being a part of that. We've been working to figure out the right ways to improve and support the community even more.

One way we're doing this is with LavishQuest. LavishQuest is a relatively new system we have that lets you earn points just for posting on our forums, posting multiboxing screenshots or videos, posting about ISBoxer or Multiboxing on Twitter/Facebook/Reddit, and even streaming on; these points in turn will earn you (so far) free Inner Space subscription time for yourself, as well as Lavish Time Codes you can give away to others for being a sort of Ambassador. So LavishQuest is an answer to both "How can I pay less for Inner Space?" and "How can I do more to support Inner Space/ISBoxer and the community?" Everybody wins! To get started with LavishQuest on any of the social platforms, all you have to do is send our social media bot a message so it will recognize you; follow the link for full details.

I will also be looking for people who would be interested in being a sort of ISBoxer community leader, for each individual game. I've not hashed out the details yet, but in a nutshell I want someone who can be available for me to casually tag on Discord or email such if we have a question about multiboxing that game, and could tell me when the game is patching or announces new content/expansions/etc. I would definitely give free Inner Space time to these folks, and I have some other interesting/unique rewards in mind as well. Again, I want at least one person for each individual game, if you're interested let me know!

Additionally, I need one or more people who would like to write multiboxing content/news, and one or more people who would like to produce images (digital artwork or infographics) and/or multiboxing memes on the regular. If you're interested, let me know!

There is of course much more that could be said, so I've tried to keep it brief on each topic ;)

I'll try to give one of these posts each month. I welcome your feedback and suggestions here on the thread, thanks :)