Thursday, February 3, 2011

Its the Little Things...

by Cummere Mayo

When it comes to love its often the little things that make all the difference in a girl's heart; The kisses, the random hand squeeze, getting the door, the random box of chocolate, the "your beautiful" when her mascara has run in the rain.

When it comes to viewers, that adage "Its the little things that matter most" still holds true. The big things make the viewer usable or not, its the little things that make people fall in love with it or hate it. Lately, TVPs have been much better about that kind of thing and thus have been wining over far more admirers then Linden Lab's official viewer. However, there are signs that might be changing soon.
The latest few rounds of Snowstorm test viewers have had a few neat things that make things so much nicer and have helped finally make the 2.x viewer turn the tide from merely tolerable to almost decent.

First off, some of the movement and animation controls that were scattered across different menus were gathered up into a movement group and moved under the "me" menu. this makes it much easier to find them then hunting through different menus like before.

Next the voice button disappears when you turn voice off now. Another small thing, but it frees up space for other buttons that are perhaps more useful, and to those that are deaf or mute, it means they don't have the voice button sitting there mocking them.

The mini map built into the nearby people subtab. I was skeptical at first how useful it would be, but once I saw it I fell in love with it. To be able to instantly see not just who is near me but where they are near me is wonderful. Furthermore, if you click a name on your nearby list it automatically highlights the dot representing that person. For business owners and role play game masters this tool can be extremely useful for responding to someone that needs help or to knowing where a greifer might be hiding.

Another small but noticeable thing is the stability. The new round of 2.5 and 2.6 viewers are much harder to crash then previous versions. Which means less crashes for everyone, and seriously, aside from griefers who doesn't appreciate less crashes?

And finally, allot of little settings that didn't persist like custom water color changes, and inventory sorting options are now persistant so there are less things you have to reset every time you log in.

The viewer still has a long, long ways to go, but the more of these changes that Snowstorm can continue to push through and the longer they keep up this pace, the more attractive viewer 2.x will be to users. Keep it up Snowstorm!


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