Tony wrote:The Game or Game-Maker itself is coming along very nicely.
We can already do *most* things we need to do.
To make this easy-to-use, I think mostly now we need a lot of models for the software users to have without needing to learn Blender or create, animate, and import those models. Learning one new software (PAS) is enough of a challenge and learning curve for the beginner or student.
As they become more proficient with PAS, then they can venture into graphics creation, model creation, skins, animation, textures, and all of the finer arts of creating content for their games. But, to get this into schools and provide a box-stock software that students can use to create stimulating and interesting worlds, we should provide plenty of assets for them to use, right out of the box.
We have plenty of great textures. A few more skyboxes would be good, especially open-source examples.
More character models for sure, and more NPC models.
A few more object models would be good, but I would put character models ahead of that in priority.
I have been working on creating a plethora of Item Icons for use as Inventory items. Tools, general items, stuff for quests and adventurers. These I shall contribute and hopefully they can be included in the distribution package. Again, to make it user-ready right out of the box to begin creating great quests. I have dozens of inventory item icons created now, and more almost daily as I find time to whip them up.
Now, that all being said, here are some things that I would like to see:
Some of this stuff is already possible, or can be worked around. I think a more straightforward inclusion in the main menu may help with some of this.
With more character models, it would be nice to have a choice of characters for end-users to choose from. In other words, a game-player could choose a boy-toon or a girl-toon, and have a choice of various characters to play in the game. Perhaps even a model-builder function where they can choose hair color, faces, body type (or race), of the avatar/toon. That's a lot to ask, but game players do indeed like to customize their toons.
A Bank. Again, probably entirely doable now with a custom GUI and some store type scripts. But a nice prototype or base model would be nice. RPG games usually have a bank for storing the toon's junk in.
I am still new here and getting up to speed on the capabilities of this software. I'm not entirely sure where we are on developing some of this stuff. But I'm trying to get caught up by reading everything I can find and practicing in the maps and scripting. I think the ability to choose player-toons is a big deal for game-users, and I think a bank script or stock-GUI would be really nice.
An afterthought about the content...
To keep it simple for new users, and to keep the core software download to a reasonable size, we could provide a very basic set of textures and models in the primary package. And then have supplemental "Accessory Packs" to download for more content.
That way someone just checking it out is not overwhelmed by sensory overload, and the server saves a bit of bandwidth for each "tire-kicker". Then, if the user wants to pursue more in-depth world building, they can download the content packages. Which could be organized according to application (e.g. Skybox, objects, characters, icons, etc.), or by theme, or by specific stage/scene sets.
I swear to God, you're a man after my own heart (as the saying goes). I found a great bunch of skyboxes (12) at md2sitters. The license(s) they use mean we can use them any way we want. I'll upload them soon, I think.
I must agree, we need a LOT of new character models. Whether they be humans, robots, animals, we just need more. I believe Leo has been working on that. BlendSwap has a great amount of .blend models that I believe we could use.
I would really like to see your icons included in the next version of Sandbox. The repository idea (expansion packs) is one I've really been wanting, specifically a single place to store all the expansion packs, where they can be safe and secure.
Banks are possible in the game. I've made them many a time before in FPS mode. I'm not real sure about how to do it in RPG, but it can be done. A bank model would be even easier to make.
Like I mentioned earlier, I can really agree with you on everything here. A lot of this stuff is possible, and really should happen. However, I believe Hirato is mostly working on advancing Sandbox's actual engine. Maybe, after a certain version is released, he can start focusing on the content of Sandbox.