Black Dragon is MY Viewer, i decide which feature i want to add and which to remove, i share this Viewer to show the world that user base size is not important, i do rate quality by effort, thought and love put into the project, not some rough estimated numbers. I consider feature requests only if i you can name proper valid reasons i can agree on. It is my (unpaid) time i'm putting into this project, i'm not here to cater to every Joe's desires.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#1)

Quite some time passed since i last updated the Viewer and nothing really important has come up that needs fixing as of now so i decided i should start to make 2.4 happen. 2.4 will see quite some changes, excluding a bazillion just to get up to date with Linden Lab's latest releases.

Most changes will happen in the User Interface category (obviously). The current interface is what i consider "broken", it's stuck in a temporary transition between new and old designs i'm testing. Many things are just either missing, bugged or straight up broken, there are also a crazy amount of widgets that need a lot of love. Preferences is a prime example of a huge outdated floater that has never made a step forward until i recently total-overhauled every panel, categorized everything and added and fixed a lot of features, inventory is another one that could use some changes but the worst is the whole "Appearance" or "Outfits" floater, it looks absolutely horrible, it's filled with buttons and strange alignments, it's straight up next to broken, simply broken. I want to trash them all and redo them for a cleaner and better look without removing too much functionality (hopefully). I got quite a bunch of ideas for Preferences already, if you've been following me since my first Niran's Viewer releases you probably know how many re-visits the Preferences floater had already... so i'm here, asking you what i should do next, i want something that is unique, something that can contain a huge amount of options without cluttering the screen too much, there are so many things i could do, i could try, maybe a mix that includes features from the past, maybe not. My previous iterations looked like this:

"I think this one was probably the worst i have done so far. It was space wasting, looked way too funky to be good and didn't work out at the end anyway..."


"...which brought me to this, basically a small version of the graphics panel that can be minimized. It didn't work out, was really buggy and missed a lot of options. It went into trash really fast."


"Similar to the one below, it includes the second design from the first one as "Graphics 2" tab and had the advanced graphics options in an accordion that was only visible if the main one was hidden (right one) until i changed it to always visible (left one)."


"This one was similar to the last one, it included the above panel and used a similar layout i used later in the next one, advanced settings were in a completely separate main preferences tab totally disconnecting it from the graphics tab itself, most people didn't even look into it."


"I think this one was one of the better designed ones, it made all most important options easily available on the main page, allowed selecting advanced options via tabs and was quite idiot safe. I still use the drop-down widgets for most detail related options because everyone understands LOW MEDIUM HIGH better than 1 3 5."


"I loved this one, it had a huge goal but never met it tho because of the horrible way the UI works especially with scaling. It was inspired by pretty much any game that uses a full screen preferences panel instead of a big floater that is always in your way no matter where you put it. All i could do was just trying to make it usable as much as possible. I would really like to see it return but it would require a huge redo of how the UI works to make it work with differing screen resolutions, not to mention that i would have to cut off about 60% of all included features. Second Life is a bitch, it has way too many options for conventional methods of containing them."

Phew, what do you think, should any of these be re-considered? Should i create something totally new again or is there something you would like that is used elsewhere in games or other applications you know that might work?

Next big part on the redo list is the main interface, the one you see as soon as you logged in to Second Life.

I will change it, that is for sure, you already saw that i changed it to a "water splash" themed design which didn't quite look like i wanted to. I have redone it in a more "painting / brush" styled design, have a look:

This is the current main UI. Small, sleek and minimalistic, the only "fancy" thing about is the actual design i chose for it... and no you will not be able to hide those black lines around the screen, they are a core part of the artistic style i want to create, hiding or transparenting it (Yes i'm looking at you Adeon.) is a kick right to where it hurts most, there will be no option to hide it other than hiding the entire interface, i will include an option to show/hide it in Snapshots though because it's a nice framing. Mouselook UI hiding will not hide it too, only the edges at the top but not the black frame around the screen. I will hate you if you remove or transparent them, i'm serious. The main UI will probably not include a direct "Search" feature as it did before except the Navigationbar which can be used to search as well, you might also notice that there is no balance display. Yes, i am money-less, you will become money-less too soon enough when 2.4 is ready... i'm just joking, the money display will be moved to your Inventory and Pay/Buy floaters. Inventory... am i crazy? No. Tell me, do you see any money display here on this screenshot below?

I'm pretty sure you don't, that is because there is none, it only shows up in your Inventory and on vendors and it works absolutely fine and i'm pretty sure it works fine in Second Life too, you don't need to see your account balance 24/7, it's wasted screen space.

No "Search", no "Account Balance". Check. Anything else? Yes. There's one thing i want to mention. Toolbars, those widgets you put your most important buttons into. I'm considering to remove all of them except the top one, either that or i will add 2 to the bottom corners and unnecessarily code a hide part into their background so they only show up when buttons are slotted. I think that's it for today. Tell me what you think and if you liked the new "layout" i chose for this sort of "self conversation"


  1. I know you recommend nvidia cards but i had to get an AMD 280x card and the shadow blur and shadow distance are greyed out from the side bar, and from the menu it wont do anything, anyway to make it work?

    1. I'll need your log file to tell what's happening.

  2. *I love the painted frame around the screen idea!!
    *It would take me a bit of getting used to having my account balance in the Inventory, but I'm not against it either.
    *I can do without a search bar too....as long as I can still search using its toolbar button instead?
    *Will you keep the hidden coordinates and favourites bar?? I find it a neat feature keeping the screen nice and clean until you actually need it.
    *Always enjoy you placing the toolbar button slots in different and unique ways. If I had to chose the best places it would be at the top or two on the bottom corners as you said, right on.
    *So far my favorite preferences floaters you've done is back when Niran's Viewer was in its last days, and the most recent one for Black Dragon. It looks like it could be overwhelming at first glance but its actually very simple to follow and to the point.
    *One thing I do miss is the optional RE4 type camera angle you used to have. I thought it really opened up the world, made my screen seem even bigger! Ever think about doing that again or did you just end up not liking it? I try creating the effect myself playing with the camera sliders n such but it never turns out quite right =(

    1. Open the toolbar configuration (CTRL + Alt + B), drag the "Camera" button somewhere, press it, select the presets button, select the Left/Right Shoulder Preset. Third Person Over-The-Shoulder Cam is default since the beginning but those closer versions have to be selected.

    2. They haven't been changed since this video.


  3. ...SO happy...

  4. It would be nice to add a bar at the bottom left to the local chat http://imgdepo.ru/id/i7030849

    1. Something i wanted since i started Black Dragon.

  5. Not allowing users to get the inkmarks off the borders is just stupid, egotistic even, considering your idiotic reasoning.

    Not everyone uses the in-game snapshot function for screenshots, not everyone wants an unremovable overlay/border getting in the way of scrollboxes, HUD's or interface buttons. Not everyone LIKES some bullshit black mark/border around everything. If they did, they'd use a fucking vignette.

    A minimalist design is good, but you're fucking it up by putting stupid shit where it isn't needed - the opposite of minimalism. Do you need a funky black border? No? Then don't add it.

    Your viewer already adds hardly anything more than Firestorm, graphically there's hardly any difference and yet you are still missing a lot of features Firestorm has and you want to focus on shitting up your UI? If you really want to improve the UI? Make the chatbox better. Done.

    Otherwise focus on graphics optimization and feature support.

    Brought to you by someone who likes Black Dragon but isn't a psychophant who's going to blindly suck your dick no matter what decisions you make.

    1. @ Anonymous who doesn't have the ball sack to show their identity. I like his decisions because well..I LIKE his decisions. If you don't....use another viewer or make your own? If I am not happy with certain features Black Dragon has that I need at the time, I switch to another. Same with that viewer. No viewer is going to make you 100% happy unless you make it yourself. EVERYBODY knows this!! So shut the fuck up with the bitch fest!!! Seriously! WHY do you people do this shit!? You think the ink around the screen is idiotic? Good for you!! You are totally entitled to feel that way. You want to talk about cock sucking? Well, you really seem desperate to get yours sucked SO go run off to Firestorm with your complaints and I'm sure they will get to sucking yours in say...10 months later with their next update....and do not expect it to actually be updated!