Post Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:25 pm

ISBoxer 2 Development Update - December 2019

First of all let me just say thanks to everyone who participates in our great multiboxing communities here on forums, on the ISBoxer Discord, and over on as well. While I'm at it, a great thank you to all the ISBoxer Staff, and all of our ISBoxer Team recruits and other volunteers. We really do have one of the best online communities, and we can all thank the community members who get involved and put themselves out there for that.

I'm thrilled with how 2019 went, and I'm super excited about our plans for 2020.

ISBoxer 2 has progressed handsomely this year, and we're preparing for amazing things in the coming year.

Here's a quick peek at some of the latest developments in ISBoxer 2-land.

ISBoxer 2 Window Layouts
The new Window Layout system is just about ready for testing, and I'm expecting a fresh Alpha build by next week with new features and plenty of fixes. "Video FX Layouts" (more generally for a single monitor) got shown off earlier this year, but Window Layouts will really bring that feature set home.

Here's a short demonstration video I shared on ISBoxer Discord recently while working on Window Layout functionality for ISBoxer 2: In this video I start with 6 windows open, and as the 50 seconds or so goes on, I close the windows and finally end up with 2. It is quite satisfying to watch the layout change to fit with fewer windows.

Basic Window Layout configuration in ISBoxer 2 is also dead simple:

These are the types of fairly simple options that ISBoxer 1 gives you in the Quick Setup Wizard, but then leaves you scratching your head afterward. "Where did the simple option go?" "Well, Timmy, ISBoxer 1 created a complicated mess with your settings.". Timmy likes ISBoxer 2.

ISBoxer 2 Modues
An immense amount of work has gone into preparing the landscape for ISBoxer 2 Modules. Developing for Inner Space has undergone an almost complete overhaul, specifically with an eye on the next 10 years with ISBoxer 2. That sounds a little crazy to say, but come on, holy shit ISBoxer has been around for 10 years and still going strong.

Since this summer I've provided a small handful of basic ISBoxer 2 Modules. While those modules themselves are not intended to be quite impressive at the moment (with the exception of the LOTRO Conductor module :) ), this allowed for evaluation of the development process, common pitfalls and needs, and so on -- as one should expect during the Alpha testing process. With the latest refinements to LavishScript and LavishGUI 2 I'm pretty happy with how quickly we can build beautiful and functional modules.

I've also spent several weeks now teaching a small real-life class LavishGUI 2 and LavishScript. This has helped me develop a series of tutorials and examples to help guide those interested in developing ISBoxer 2 Modules, with or without prior coding experience. The series, still a work in progress, is now available on github as LERN -- although note that LERN does not yet have any tutorials or examples that are specifically demonstrating ISBoxer 2.

Tip: Most people will choose to download ISBoxer 2 Modules and not develop their own, just like most people choose to download WoW Addons and not develop their own!

Here's a quick video showing a little game built with LavishGUI 2 and available in LERN: VIDEO: Bouncing on a Squeaky Toy game. This short little video shows custom rendering and even audio support with LavishGUI 2, demonstrating a little bit of what ISBoxer 2 Modules have available to them -- indeed that is to say, this game can be put in an ISBoxer 2 Module, and you can Bounce on a Squeaky Toy while you wait around for someone to resurrect you in your favorite MMO. :lol:

Or, more likely, ISBoxer 2 Modules will be able to include beautiful, responsive user interfaces, even with sound, and you're going to love it.

The Last Alpha-bender
... so that's why the final Alpha build that I alluded to this summer hasn't happened yet. :)

The final Alpha build of ISBoxer 2 will have Window Layouts. The final Alpha build will not have complete multi-PC support, which will be finished up during Beta.

What I see happening in January is a fresh Alpha build with the new Window Layout functionality, and probably a good handful of minor updates to correct initial issues that come up. Meanwhile, most or all of the available ISBoxer 2 Modules will get updated to make use of the latest changes to the API, which will also turn them into cleaner and better examples for others to learn or copy from.

I suspect that we'll be ready for the Beta phase by February, and I have no particular reason to call it Beta and still keep it invite-only. So here is your first official ETA for ISBoxer 2 Open Beta: By the end of February, 2020!

Other than the multiple PC support, the main ISBoxer 2 feature set is now basically complete, making it possible for ISBoxer 2 Modules to fill in any remaining gaps in the user experience. And that's what the last few months of preparation have been all about.

During Beta, ISBoxer 2 Modules will be king: Modules will change everything about the way you configure and use ISBoxer 2 -- including in-game configuration -- and then together we will burn our old ISBoxer 1 profiles!

For now, the rest is left to your imagination.

Here's to 2020. It's gonna be wild! :twisted: