Archive for August, 2008

Shirt Designs

August 30th, 2008 by Leave a comment Share on Facebook

One of my first projects coming back from vacation is designing some t-shirts for Tirnua that will be available for sale in the very near future. I was hoping to get some feedback on the design direction.  But also, we have been thinking about what sort of caption should be displayed on them and would love to have some of your thoughts on this.

Caption ideas we have been discussing are: “Share a New World”,  “A New World Online”, and “Save the World Online”.

Tirnua is a new world, a world to be shared with your friends and people who are significant to you.  It is a world with an environmentally conscious focus.  The colors we have chosen for the t-shirts (so far) have been reminiscent of the sky, water and grass.  I will, of course, be playing with the designs and continually refining them.

The designs use organic elements like flourishes made out of leaves you see below. I have a preference for the circular motif because it makes me think of planets, and thus a new world.  The circle shape also suggests the environment and how elements within the environment are continuously linked.

Here are a few samples so far, you will be seeing more over the next few days:

Please comment on this post and help us by suggesting some relevant captions.


This week’s release

August 28th, 2008 by TirNua Sarah Leave a comment Share on Facebook

Release Notes:

  • Personas now have individual pages and the main account page shows your Tirnua Bank Account Information. Browse others’ personas and click on a persona name to go to that persona’s (very very basic) homepgae. If you are logged in you will see extra information about the personas on your account and be able to edit details about them. Please excuse the programmer art! Greg is working on moving the persona book into a flashy looking app!
  • Cort has started to put his mark on the Home Viewer with this week’s update - this version is located here for now and you will be redirected there from all the old Community Center links. The app uses your default persona as your avatar name so you have to be logged in to use it (or you will be taken to the login page). It demonstrates that you’ll soon be able to pick from multiple lots. The chat history window now also shows when people enter and leave the lot.
  • Larry has added textures and animation to our 3D object viewer prototype

Please see also Luc’s last post about all the other work that’s going on in the background toward upcoming releases.

Dev Update

August 26th, 2008 by Tirnua Luc Leave a comment Share on Facebook

We are making faster progress now that we are focused on first delivering the game in a flash application. Partially because it is easier to write flash code than c++, and also because we can start work together on the same elements of the application.

Overall, we are working hard at enabling you to start to own your digital objects in Tirnua.

Last week Laurent and Sarah made good progress on enabling the purchase of Taus (our currency), and the universal login (once you have logged in to the site, you are automatically logged in the applications).

This week end, Sarah, Cort and I enabled lots to be loaded from the database into the home viewer application. This was a key step in enabling every user to own a lot.

Greg is now working on delivering the persona book in flash, which will enable everyone to browse information about others, and to edit/view their own persona information.

Larry is slowly turning our monkey into an animated Tirnuan. We are nowhere near replacing the red dress though!

Lee and Margaret have been taking time off, but will be back this week.

Audrey is working on adding more content, and on some surprise items you should be able to see next week.

Thanks to the advertising on the site, we have earned our first revenue dollars! It is negligible income compared to what we need to sustain Tirnua as a company, but it is a meaningful milestone for our start-up. We are proud of it. Again, the next big milestone will be to enable you to buy digital objects and real estate.

As soon as we have users with objects, I would like to introduce a founder object. I am wondering what it should be like for Tirnua, and would rather see you choose that object. Can you please make some suggestions below, and uplaod images in the wiki?

I would like to thank the key wiki contributors who are slowly but surely building up more design pages. They are doing great work, (for example I really like the environment product catalog ). I invite all of you again to contribute there also, as this is the easiest way for you to make Tirnua you own game design.



P.S.: As usual not all features mentioned above will have visible consequences in this week publish. Wait for the publish post to check out the details, as some features are designed to be stealth until some extra required component is delivered in a following week.


August 22nd, 2008 by Tirnua Luc Leave a comment Share on Facebook

First, let me congratulate you for the work going on in the wiki about the planet design for Tirnua. It is shaping into some very interesting elements. Great job to the wiki contributors!

As you know we want the simulations in Tirnua to demonstrate ‘eco-friendliness’. Last week end I was searching some products to see how to turn my own home into a more energy independent place than it is now and I looked into 3 kind of products:

  1. Wind Turbines
  2. Solar Panels
  3. LED based light bulbs

Wind Turbines:

I like the vertical axis ones more than the propeller based. I think that we could have a wind speed model on the Tirnua planet, and based on where your lot is, you might be able to buy different wind turbines to generate electricity for your lot. The research was useful, as it turns out, there is a drawback to those things: they make a lot of noise.

Solar Panels:

Those things do not generate as much electricity, but they don’t make noise! This means we will need also to have a sun exposure model per lot on the planet

LED based lights:

Will Wright was first showing me all kind of LED based lights he installed in his home, and they are not only saving electricity, but also providing variable colors. This can be fun to set the mood in the room, or to have a party! Those things are EXPENSIVE! We need cheaper ones! But here is a company in the US has an interesting starting kit.

So I expect we will have those 3 items in our catalog of products for your home in Tirnua. I meant to discuss those as an example of what we need, and it would be useful if you could start to build a catalog of items that are eco-friendly that we should provide in our complete catalog of objects. Please build some pages in the wiki, set up links and uplaod sample images.



P.S.: I forgot to mention an article written by Andy Grove (former CEO of Intel) about energy independence in the US. I found it very interesting, and it made me realize that we need electric cars in Tirnua…

Tirnua in 3D

August 21st, 2008 by TirNua Larry Leave a comment Share on Facebook

I have spent the past several weeks researching various 3D solutions for Tirnua. The latest I’ve been investigating is PaperVision3D which supports full 3D in Flash. This would allow us to have 3D without having to force users to do a download and install of an external application (other than Flash which most users already have anyways).

I have implemented a 3D object viewer prototype which gives you the ability to view 3D objects on our site. You can find the Object Viewer Prototype link on the side navigation bar of the main site. It is very basic right now, displaying a single shaded spinning object. The content is exported directly from Blender. I hope you like the object I chose as my first demo. It somehow felt appropriate. You can left click and drag the mouse on the object to move the camera around it and use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out.

There is still a huge amunt of work to do to get this to a useable state. Soon I will be adding textures and animation capabilities to it and the ability to view multiple objects. Eventually the goal is to have this technology be the basis for object browsing and character viewing and editing. Expect many updates over the next few weeks.

This week’s release

August 21st, 2008 by TirNua Sarah Leave a comment Share on Facebook

We have more obviously interesting stuff coming next week (as alluded to by Luc in Search for Planet Tirnua) but for now please enjoy:

  • New site design for homepage. This is not permanent and so has not been pushed throughout the site but it gives an idea of where Margaret is going
  • Most blog, wiki and site pages now have Google Adsense Ads
  • We’ve made the changes to our login management necessary to enable seamless login in to the Tirnua Home Viewer for next week and to other viewers beyond that.
  • At your request we added prominent login/register links on the blog to so you can more easily leave comments  (the blog is still using separate accounts for now). There is also the link to our blog’s rss feed
  • See our next blog post where Larry introduces the Tirnua Object Viewer Prototype!

Search for Planet Tirnua

August 19th, 2008 by Tirnua Luc Leave a comment Share on Facebook

I must admit I was on vacation for the last two weeks, but I back now and working on our lots with Cort. We are hoping to be able to let everyone have their own lot very soon.

This brings back the issue of the Tirnua map, and what it will represent. Some of you have done some good work on the wiki, adding a land mass and also discussing a Tirnua Planet.

As NASA Astronauts are preparing for the last Hubble repair mission, I was finding it interesting to think about Hubble, or the next James Webb Space Telescope looking for Tirnua in the sky.

I feel that the feedback on the blog and the wiki is that you find it more interesting for us to have our own planet rather than just a continent. This choice would enable planet wide simulations.

Another benefit of a new planet is the lack of supportive global infrastructure. I like that each lot might need to deal with its own energy independence, and its impact on the environment. It might also need to deal with water supply. Back on earth, human expansion on some islands is limited by rainfall and our ability to capture it. Sharing resources might justify who your neighbors are, if we find an easy way to share water, electricity, recycling between lots.

Please continue to contribute to the wiki, and suggest to us a land mass (elevation data mostly) for our new planet. You could share the work and create several continents which assembled together would give us Tirnua.



This week - Browse Persona Descriptions

August 14th, 2008 by TirNua Sarah Leave a comment Share on Facebook

This week we’ve been adding to our web services functionality. Not much of this work is immediately suitable to exposing but we have added one fun feature around the basic personas you’ve created so far.

This week’s release notes:

  • Persona Book
  1. Added Persona Book homepage that allows anyone to browse all personas with public descriptions (paginated and pretty fast - thanks, Laurent!).
  2. All users can report any public descriptions they would like to flag.
  3. Pre-existing persona related functionality: Login and visit the account management page to add personas and update information about them, including their public description.
  • Site
  1. Added RSS feed from blog on homepage.

Those persona descriptions are ordered by the most recently updated … hint, hint!! :)

Feedback always welcomed (What Persona Book related features would you like to see next?). Thanks for your patience!

Last week’s minor updates

August 14th, 2008 by TirNua Sarah Leave a comment Share on Facebook

Apologies for the lack of release notes last week - your many registrations helped us to test out and improve a lot of things in the background. We added more useful logging, did some optimization work on our ever growing webservices. Thanks to your feedback we made some basic improvements from correcting spelling mistakes (mea culpa) to ensuring that your default persona description actually showed up when you first logged in.

Finally, apologies to all those IE6 users that had trouble with our secure webpages initially. IE6 uses SSL2 but we were using SSL3 and tested with the lastest versions of the common browsers only. Laurent modified things so that IE6 users should not have trouble now. Thanks for all the feedback.

Later today we will make a modest push that will allow you to browse the descriptions of all the personas created so far. More on that to follow…

This week’s release

August 2nd, 2008 by TirNua Sarah Leave a comment Share on Facebook

Today we’ve pushed out some new website functionality making use of our web services from Laurent. The wiki and blog use a different login mechanism for the time being but if you visit our secure registration page you can set up your first free personas and provide public descriptions for them.

Here is the new functionality in detail:

  • create an account, agree to privacy policy, fill out a first version set of profile questions and subsequently click on activation email to register
  • login and see your main account page with full details about the default persona and a list of your other personas
  • add up to 2 free personas
  • change your default persona
  • change the description and gender of any of the personas

We also have an extended set of links in our sidebar and a new flash navigation element from Luc and Margaret on our homepage.

This is just the very beginnings for Personas. Please contribute your thoughts on a fully fledged Persona Book on the wiki.

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