UI Enhancements

Although I’m leaving most UI changes till later, there are some that are simple yet surprisingly powerful.

For example, Functional Blocks (Groups):

The screenshot above is just from the rough implementation — blocks also are allowed to have text inside them, so that you can commentate on different sections of the network.
It seems stupid, but the ability to draw boxes around groups of devices to denote what “goes with” is shockingly helpful in understanding how a graph functions! This has been an idea to implement since the 0.99 days, but if I’d realized how cool it was earlier it would have gone in long ago.

Miscellany

Between broader design issues, I’ve been finishing off bits and pieces of different functionality; specifically adding RGB import support to the tiled File Input device (its already inside the regular FI device), finishing off the Coverage Device, adding a couple new shapes to layout mode, and some other small changes.

User-interface issues are something that I spend a lot of time on; although World Machine can be sometimes confusing to a novice because of the graph-based interface, I’ve put a great deal of time and effort into making it streamlined to use once you understand the principles. For all of the new functionality being implemented I want a similar elegance; this takes up alot of time futzing around trying out different interface possibilities.
On the plus side, I can “back load” alot of these issues towards the beta test rather than the alpha; The focus in alpha is just to get the functionality there, no matter if its the most easy to use. Once its in, its alot easier to play around with different interfaces.

Stupid RGB tricks

Note: The below is all just for fun. But it does make me realize that there are probably going to be some indie developers, in particular, that might want to just use WM to make all the textures for their terrain, period.

It’s pretty sweet looking, actually, which is totally unexpected. The network to produce the image above is just a basic eroded perlin, overlayed with an RGB network. The net consists of an imported rough texture tiled across worldspace,  with color adjustments made according to the erosional masks.

Fun!

The latest 'Behind the Scenes' news from Stephen, the author of World Machine