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Unity screensaver framework for Windows soon to be released!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by imaginaryhuman, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Hey folks,

    I think many of us are aware that the paid screensaver market is not huge but there is `something` to it - it has some potential and they are surprisingly still quite popular. I've heard of people making a living selling them. At the very least it can be a cool art form for us creative types!

    When you look at the screensavers out there they range from the incredibly awful to the very cool. At the low end people just take a bunch of images and throw them into a slideshow and call it a screensaver, riddled with ads and spyware, or worse. Then you have varying degrees of ickyness until you get to the higher end where you start to get decent, polished effects and interesting 3D.

    If you look at what people here have been/are capable of producing with Unity you realize that if Unity could build screensavers it could blow most existing screensavers out of the water. Not only does Unity make graphical effects easier to develop it does so with cutting edge support for 3D environments, physics, shaders, fast rendering, easy scripting, a cool editor, a powerful art/asset pipeline and more. Thinking of Unity as the ultimate screensaver-generating tool presents many interesting possibilities. :)

    Several people have expressed interest across a variety of threads about being able to build a proper Windows screensavers, so I have decided to finish my Unity screensaver framework and release it on the Unity asset store. Most of the work is done - it just needs a few more options added and some cleanup. It will be for Windows only since there are some major hurdles on OSX which need further research.

    Since Unity cannot natively build a proper screensaver, which entails dealing with a preview window embedded into the Windows screensaver dialog, detecting start-up commands to trigger configuration modes, switching back and forth between fullscreen and preview etc, it poses some technical hurdles which have to be overcome.

    My system acts like a new thrid-party `target build platform` for Unity. It's not quite a `click build and go` solution because there are a few steps involved, but it does work.

    It has to work outside of Unity since I obviously cannot modify Unity's build process, and so features a small external `wizard` app which helps with bringing together the necessary files and outputs a single standalone Windows executable. It requires 2 builds from within Unity to support the preview window and the fullscreen effect. This is due to limitations in Unity which can't be changed. It includes a Unity script to handle mouse/keyboard input, detection of starting up in configuration mode, taking screen grabs etc- a basic framework.

    The final exe produced doubles as a tiny installer with a payload of heavily compressed data (starting around 4 megabytes for a screensaver without any assets or scripting), making for reasonably short download times depending on your effects. You could potentially throw a huge 3d environment or even a whole game into a screensaver! There's nothing to say that your screensaver can't be interactive (the framework supports an interaction mode).

    All the user has to do is download/run the final exe from the browser (or wherever) and everything will be decompressed and installed, the saver will become the default and it will auto-launch right away. This creates a seamless `instant install` system for the end user. I will probably also support being able to use a custom installer with separate files, display a splash screen and displaying an end-user license agreement - all optional of course. Some virus checkers may not like the required modifications to the Windows registry which may be a good thing to guide the user through using a splash screen which shows upon install.

    I plan to finish up the wizard and polish up the framework script, write up some documentation and put together a few small example screensavers. Then it'll be ready to launch on the asset store!

    So I'm curious, how many people are interested in this and how much would you be willing to pay for this system?
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  2. 2dfxman1

    2dfxman1

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    Oh the screensavers, haven't seem them in ages.
    I'd get this to make a custom screensaver, but since I would never see it anyway, I guess I won't :D

    Also like 99% of screensavers on the net have some kind of malware or viruses in them.
     
  3. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Oh for sure, most screensaver sites give them away for free and strew them with ads and popups and malware and all sorts of nastiness, but that's not all of them and it's not 99%.
     
  4. kenlem

    kenlem

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    I'd buy that.
     
  5. mikesgames

    mikesgames

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    I would love something like this.

    There should be a free and paid version of this.
    free version should be like the Unity games made with Unity free - a logo from the developer somewhere
    paid should not have the developers watermark :)

    :)
     
  6. JRavey

    JRavey

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    A paid version is sufficient, there are too many people wanting free things. "Ooh, but it has a watermark" is not going to monetize anything for the developers. For clients of the framework, there is no money to be made in screensavers, but they could probably be good promotional things for fans.
     
  7. 2dfxman1

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    But you can just edit the code and remove the watermark.

    I think you could even do that without code editing by finding the text/image it shows and simply replacing it with custom code.
     
  8. imaginaryhuman

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    I don't plan any kind of watermark. The initial version will be the basic version. In future if there are enough enhancements above and beyond standard features, I might consider it a `pro` version warranting a `free` version, but not yet.

    There is SOME money to be made with screensavers, like I said above. Some people make a living from it. But it's not a huge amount.
     
  9. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    So how much should I charge for this? $20? $39 $50? More? Less?
     
  10. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    No suggestions on price? I'm looking for how much you would be willing/like to pay for this functionality - I can be reasonable. If I have to set the price myself without user input it might not meet the expectations of its audience, so I appreciate your input.

    Also any feature requests you can think of are always welcome.
     
  11. starpaq

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    I have very little knowledge of the limits of a screensaver let alone how one is made. But the pricing would depend on its limitations. Can the screensaver be interactive? Can it perform random calculations? Can you Drop and Drag in elements of said game with animation to create a quick easy promotional screensaver? But according to your original post it seems all of this and a little more is possible. Personally I would like to pay $30 for the tool. However, if it's as efficient as regular unity exe builds then I'm sure you could go upward to $50.

    But seeing how screensaver would be an afterthought, that price may sway me to avoid it if I am on a tight "indie" budget. Without considering that, Honestly I think the extension would be worth its $50-$80 if it's extremely flexible and interactive as a general screensaver software. You may also want to try to get your extension known in areas of the net for people looking to make only screensavers. I'm sure anyone would be willing to download Unity Free and purchase your extension if its competitive with general screensaver software.

    Hope my opinion helps a bit.
     
  12. kenlem

    kenlem

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    it's hard to come up with a price suggestion for you but I guess I can just tell you how I feel.

    $100+ is out of the question for me.

    $50+ I might do it if I have an actual need which I don't at the moment.

    $25 I'd buy it just for the heck of it.
     
  13. 2dfxman1

    2dfxman1

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    Agree with this
     
  14. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Anything is possible with a screensaver just as anything is possible with Unity.

    In exactly the same way that the webplayer is a target platform, iOS is a target platform, Android is a target platform, so too the screensaver is a target platform. Absolutely anything you want to do in Unity can be made into a screensaver. Be it that you made a massive multiplayer networked game with millions of users and huge amounts of resources, or some fancy graphical special effects, or a physics simulation, or you're showcasing your 3D models/environments, or you have a casual game, or you used unity to make a 3D modeling application, or some kind of visual synthesizer, or an architectural walkthrough, whatever. It can all be `made to run on` a screensaver as if it were just another build target.

    The main handling of making your app into a `real screensaver`, managing the files, managing secure installation, launching the preview window in the windows dialog, launching in config or play mode, etc, is done with some custom programming outside of Unity. At its barest bones it will simply make your `preview` app launch embedded in the screensaver dialog, make your `fullscreen` app launch when it's time to preview it or trigger it, and either make your fullscreen app launch in configuration mode when requested by the user or launch a third app/gui to configure it in a window on the desktop. None of this imposes anything on the contents of what your Unity app does internally.

    There are however a couple of things which make the screensaver system work more seamlessly. The first is that the preview app has to have a default resolution of 152x112 so that it will fit into the window dialog properly. Also the preview app has to be set up to open in windowed mode from within Unity, while the fullscreen effect has to be compiled to launch in fullscreen mode. It has to launch this way and since Unity isn't designed to let you forcibly configure resolution/windowed/fullscreen by hacking into the Windows registry (believe me I tried) this forces us to have to have a separate app for the fullscreen mode. For the fullscreen app you can set what resolution you like but ideally setting it to a high number like 10000x10000 will force Unity to open the highest res possible, which likely matches the user's desktop resolution. This is sort of `normal` in the Windows screensaver world, but since you'll have to set this manually in the Unity editor (unless I add a script to do it) you have control over it.

    I also tend to disable the screen-mode/user-input-selection dialog box which usually launches as Unity starts, since screensavers typically need to start on their own without user input, but you could opt to show it if you want to go interactive.

    The final potential imposition on your Unity freedom is that Unity needs a little script to run near the start in order to receive communication from the custom launcher to know whether to start up in `play` mode or `config` mode. This won't be needed if you have a separate configuration app, but if the fullscreen app serves as the full screensaver `effect` and also as the place where the user does configuration (ie realtime interactive adjustments), then it needs this little script to make that switch happen. If you don't want that script in there then it will always start up in play mode, or you can have a separate app for configuration.

    So the only `requirement` is that the preview app MUST have a 152x112 resolution. Everything else is optional.

    Basically then if you have a project right now, no matter what it is, how big it is, or what it does, so long as it results in an exe file it will work. Then if you want it to integrate a bit better with the idea of a screensaver you can quickly add the script for handling config detection (at any time really, not just at the start), and then you have the option to also use my basic screensaver toolset. It basically either gives you a blank slate to start with or adds common screensaver functionality like detecting mouse movement, detecting the keyboard, taking screengrabs, and entering or exiting `interactive mode`. Now really whatever your app does can be interactive right off the bat, but this mode was just something I thought I'd add given that most screensavers run `passively` most of the time and then you'd press a key or something to enter an interactivity mode. You don't have to use that if you just want to be interactive right off the bat.

    Right now this system just turns your Unity app into a screensaver, it doesn't give you tools to create particular effects or templates for standard slideshows or basic cookie-cutter presentations or even more sophisticated animations... both those are interesting possibilities for further down the road. What it does do is gives you a clean slate to do whatever you want, Unity permitting.

    I do plan to use this in future as the basis of a much more advanced and involved graphics/gaming platform which will be a cross between general graphics generation and game creation, so that would probably lend itself well to making actual screensaver effects with greater ease.

    I agree on the attitude about pricing, I personally am thinking somewhere in the region of $20-30 perhaps. Like you say $50 would be nice but I think I'd need a few more helpful features to warrant that. I appreciate your feedback.

    Thanks also for the idea about attracting non-Unity people who might be interested in using Unity Free to make screensavers. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  15. imaginaryhuman

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    I figured out how to require only one Unity app instead of 2, for both fullscreen and preview modes :)

    I'm also looking into being able to build the screensaver as a post-processing step after a normal Windows build, so that effectively you just build the windows app and it auto-converts to a screensaver :) This way the whole system will be operated from within the Unity editor instead of having an external configuration app.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  16. PhilliamApps

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    hmm is there a way to use java for this? Cause java is on macs too
     
  17. kenshin

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    ...A unity3d screensaver framework? Really cool!!!

    I am really interested to see some demo and if is good of course to buy it.
     
  18. RandAlThor

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    Sounds nice.
    I am interested too.
     
  19. imaginaryhuman

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    I'm not sure what you're thinking regarding the use of Java. Your screensaver has to be written in Unity and the extra software which turns it into a screensaver runs on both Windows and OSX. There are some problems with OSX - with Apple's introduction of `Snow Leopard` they made screensavers have to be compiled for 64-bit. They have to also use Apple's screensaver framework which largely means they have to be written in Objective C. There is that OSX screensaver system based on a webkit embedded Unity webplayer, but I'm not sure it works on 64-bit (could maybe be recompiled in XCode?) but one issue with it is the framerate limiter in the Unity webplayer, and it would require a mouse click in order to jump to unlimited fullscreen. So it's not ideal. I was thinking to use Objective C to launch my own app but there might be conflict with the screen that OSX opens for the screensaver and its detection of user input. So there's more research to be done there. I'm definitely interested in screensavers on OSX so we'll see.

    I will consider a demo, or at least a video.
     
  20. imaginaryhuman

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    I forgot to mention there will be the ability to grab an image of the user's desktop to a temporary PNG file which Unity can then read in at runtime and use as a background texture so you can make screensavers which appear to be `on top of` the desktop or which manipulate its image in some way, map it to a cube or landscape or whatever. There of course has to be a slight period of a black screen or screen with the Unity logo at the start, due to the way Unity starts up.

    There is also functionality to set a screen-grab as a new desktop background after the screensaver ends.
     
  21. AdamDived

    AdamDived

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    Actually i agree with ImaginaryHuman about the possibility of making a little biz with Screensavers, so i would get it even at a hundred bucks... I'm doing a lot of cool visual things but i'm not able to make a screensaver out of it. That would be cool...
     
  22. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Thanks for your feedback and support, AdamDived. Yes, it's an interesting possibility, I haven't made any money from screensavers yet but that's because I haven't tried to sell any ;-) ... so this is a fun experiment and if it ends up helping other people in a similar way then I'm good with that. It is a niche market and a limited one but I think you could either make a full living off it or at least enough to supplement other irons in the fire.

    There is really an endless supply of possible screensaver effects/interactions you can do. This is one of the things that attracts me to it, that you can just create stuff `for the sake of the art of it`, just because it looks good or is interesting or unique or clever or appeals to a small audience who likes a particular subject etc, it doesn't necessarily have to conform to the sometimes rigid constructs of trying to put a game together or tell a story or have a control system to worry about, or trying to please everyone. I think they're more of a `long tail` product. Make enough of them at a high enough quality and with a targeted audience and you could have yourself some income.

    I was actually thinking to post here today cus I just wanted to update on the status. I've been working hard on the system the past week or two and it's going well. There's still quite a few things to do but there is definite good progress. I think probably $50 might be a good price point eventually, at least to start with, but I'm still open to suggestions and will give it a final consideration before it goes on sale. I'm building in a number of customizations that let you choose various aspects of how the system behaves etc so it's not going to be like just some `it only does it one way` system. It doubles as an installer so there are various installation options, setting wallpaper, grabbing the desktop image for use as a backdrop, etc

    My general plan is to create the software needed to run the screensaver as a screensaver, create the Unity interface/framework for it, create a few simple screensavers as examples which will come with it, and create documentation. The first part is mostly done, I'm just about to start working on the Unity user interface. It should only be a few more weeks I hope until I can release it and start cranking out some cool effects.

    Meanwhile if you have in mind some screensaver effects you'd like to produce in future, don't hold back. The system is easy to integrate into an existing project, just a matter of importing a package and setting up a some options, building and converting to a screensaver. So feel free to work on the actual presentation and then you can turn it into a screensaver later. It sounds like you already have a number of projects underway with cool effects so you'll be hitting the ground running :)

    In terms of the business of screensavers, I think it pays to be honest and to set up a website where you sell them properly. When you research the state of affairs in screensaver land (and btw the term `screen saver` gets over 5 million searches on Google each month), you see a wide sprectrum of quality and integrity. Many people go with the shove-ads-in-your-face-cus-the-saver-is-crap-and-its-free model, whereby they really don't care about the screensavers. I don't think that's the way to go.

    I think Unity presents a unique opportunity because never before has it been possible to actually show high quality 3d graphics fast in a browser window, which means you can use the webplayer to let your customers preview the screensaver effects before they buy, which could be a lot of fun and increase conversion rates. That's something that basically NOBODY is doing yet for screensavers. I've already reserved some domain names for my site and started designing it. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  23. adminsmithee

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    I'm very intrested in this, when may we expect this to be around?
     
  24. pretender

    pretender

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    me too, when we can expect this?
     
  25. imaginaryhuman

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    Hey folks, thanks for your interest. :)

    The screensaver framework is coming along very nicely. The majority of programming is done, just some small stuff left to do and some thorough testing. The past few weeks have been a bit slow due to my day job deciding to move to another city, and us along with it.

    The Unity interface for it is almost done. There are over 100 adjustments which can be made and I've been working on a custom inspector which was a slight learning curve.

    I've also been in discussions with Unity Tech regarding the legality of not displaying the `Powered by Unity` logo for Unity Free users - the way that the screensaver system works it could potentially conceal the logo so I have had to find some workarounds and I'm still waiting on UT to get back to me with a final answer. The likely scenario will be that if you are a Unity Free user you will have to have your saver initially launch in a small desktop window large enough to show the logo and then when scripts can run it'll switch to fullscreen or embed to the preview window. This is partly because you have a single Unity app for handling fullscreen mode plus a possible desktop window for configuration plus an embedded preview window, so having a single app makes this harder to get around. In future I may add the option to have a separate app for each mode, but either way it looks like Unity Free users will have to have the logo display in one way or another, unless Unity decides otherwise. Since it's a screensaver that often launches when you are NOT looking at the screen it doesn't really make sense to put the logo there in every case, but maybe in some cases, so this is a gray area. If I don't get a concrete answer soon I will just make it a requirement to show the logo.

    The framework now supports a few different user modes which can be switched between - passive mode is the standard screensaver system, interactive mode offers extra features which you can add to, and you can also optionally have a separate configuration mode. I've also put in support for changing the speed of time ie slow/fast motion.

    There are definitely some interesting enhancements that I am thinking to make in a future version, like a menu/configuration system, some kind of global screensaver manager for multiple screensavers, html splash screens, maybe some kind of effects generator system/api, saving movies, etc. But for now I'm trying to get `version 1` done which by itself is a turning out to be a very nice system. Stay tuned, it won't be long now! It has taken a bit longer than expected but it should only be a few more weeks at most.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  26. npsf3000

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    Pricing:

    If it's $5 I'll buy it straight away.

    If it's <=$20 it will be on my to do list.

    If it's more (e.g. $30, $50) it's on my 'cool, but can't be asked' list with a dozen or two other things that sound cool, but represent too much money and time investment.

    Of course, I'm only looking for an educational license for experimentation. If I actually create something I want to share $50 is a small price to pay.
     
  27. imaginaryhuman

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    So you're almost saying you want it as shareware, so you can test it out and then pay the full fee later? I guess that's something to consider.

    So far I've put quite a number of hours into it and even if I was getting paid $10 an hour I've done way more than 5 hours work, so why would I price it at only $5 or $20? If I worked for you for, say, 50 hours, would you only pay me 10 cents an hour?

    I think it's going to be worth at least $50 so that's about where the price may end up, maybe a little less.
     
  28. npsf3000

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    Shareware, I know little about it other than it tends to have negative connotations. What I want is a low cost educational version that lets me experiment with it. If I produce something decent out of it, then of course I'm happy to pay for commercial usage - but I can't afford to if I don't produce anything worth while.

    You seem to be forgetting that your not selling me the full, unique rights to the product. Did you pay the 10's of Millions (?) needed to make unity3d, did you pay the 10's of billions put into making windows?

    Unless of course you are going to sell the complete rights to the product?

    --------------------------------------------------------

    Feel free to price how you see fit - I'm just telling you what i'll pay. If I can get a $5 license I will buy it, and at $50 I will upgrade to commercial if I produce anything worth while. If not, then I won't buy it and you won't see a dime from me.

    Am I your target market? Can you sell to me without cannibalizing your existing market? And at the end of the day, by selling at terms acceptable to me will you end up with more, or less, cash?
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  29. imaginaryhuman

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    Thanks, you have some points that I'll keep in mind. And you are right you're not paying for exclusive rights.

    It's definitely a good question - if I sell at a much lower price will I, overall, make more money? If I put it out at $10 will I get 100 orders compared to only 10 orders at $50? I don't really care how many people get to use it, in fact I'd be happy if more people can get access, but it has to work out better overall.

    From what I can tell there are maybe, perhaps at most, around 10-20 people here who have expressed enough interest in it that they'd buy it within a $25-$50 price range. I'm not expecting to make millions from this - I actually am trying to make enough to buy a Unity iPhone license. So lets say I need to make around $500 to be able to develop for iPhone. If 10 people buy then I have to put the price at $50. If I price it at $5 then I need at least 100 orders. Doable? Are there really 100 people out there who want to pay $5 to be able to create a screensaver that they would look to sell or to bundle with a game or use as an advertisement for their product or something?
     
  30. imaginaryhuman

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    Here is an early preview of the custom inspector for the ShowTime Screensaver Framework for Windows. You'll have to click on the image a few times to get to full resolution so you can read it.

    What you don't see in the screenshot yet is the interface for building the actual screensaver, and I still have to come up with a decent title image. ;)

    There are over 100 fields to tweak so far. Some of this might still change or be added to but most of it is solid. Every field has extensive tool-tip documentation, but I'm planning proper html documentation too.

    I also have a growing list of extra features I want to implement at a future point, and given that I really want to get down to developing and selling actual screensavers you can be sure I have a vested interest in making the framework efficient, featureful and easy to use.

    I can also gladly announce that I am now operating as Ocean Wave Software :)
     

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    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  31. imaginaryhuman

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    I've been thinking and maybe a trial version would be a good idea. I guess it would make sense to make the trial version a free download. It would be fully featured. I would impose some other limitations which don't prevent you from trying every aspect of it, such as adding watermarks to images, and imposing a limit of say 1 minute on the screensaver. You wouldn't be able to actually use it for a screensaver you want to distribute or are serious about. How does that sound?
     
  32. npsf3000

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    Sounds good.

    Though the 1 min limit is a bit short - remember that the entire idea of this is to make fairly advanced, potentially interactive, screensaver. 1 min could limit the ability to test them.

    I'd simply leave it at licensing and logo - like what unity does.

    Of course, this is but one voice.
     
  33. imaginaryhuman

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    The length could be longer but it can't be long enough to be too useful. Maybe 5 minutes? You can still build your screensaver app in Unity and test it as a desktop app for as long as you like, then re-enable the screensaver scripts to produce a real screensaver.

    I do not feel I can rely on licensing alone, some people are honest which is great but others are not. Without limitation some will download for free and create savers for like showing off company products at a show or for use in their office or for personal use, but then they have no incentive or reason or inclination to buy. An unlimited trial doesn't make sense. Unity gives away the free version but with features missing, so similarly I'd either look to implement limitations or to remove features.

    Unless you have a better suggestion?
     
  34. npsf3000

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    Nahh, sounds good.
     
  35. imaginaryhuman

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    My question is, how to go about releasing a free version and a full version, do I make two separate submissions to the asset store?
     
  36. pretender

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    i would buy this if price is reasonable, also can it run on 2.6 version?? that is important to me
     
  37. imaginaryhuman

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    It should work on any version, but I say that without testing it yet.

    The Unity side of the system is basically a custom inspector and some scripting. It doesn't do anything too outrageous and since you actually code the screensaver effect yourself it's only really doing stuff like user input, timing, reading and writing files, running an external exe tool, etc so it should work on Free and Pro and I would imagine it's not using anything that's been added `new` since version 2 or maybe even version 1. Most of the stuff added to Unity has been under the hood or editor enhancements or new higher level stuff which would be more in the realm of what you use for your screensaver effect.

    I got the Unity side of things to a point where it can actually RUN yesterday, which after lots of programming is very rewarding to see. I've still got more testing to do and a few final features to put in. It's coming together and I'm starting to get more excited about some screensavers I'm planning. :)
     
  38. adminsmithee

    adminsmithee

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    I think the Unity team should give you a I-phone licence so you could give it away for free ;) its a nice addition to unity.

    I think i would spring around $25,- for a full-version.
    Are you going to include/share some basic scenes examples for the more noobish users under us?
    Some basics on camera movents/switches, scene switches, maybe some need script generated savers to fumble around with...
     
  39. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Heh, that'd be nice but then they'd be a bit out of pocket and that's not fair to them ;) They don't owe me anything.

    Right now the idea of the system is that you just drag a prefab into your existing scene, set up some parameters, build your Unity app then run the screensaver builder to turn it into a proper screensaver/installer.

    Unity offers an endless range of possibilities as to what you can put into a screensaver, ranging from simple passive effects to full blown games, simulations, scientific grid computing, whatever you can imagine. I don't want to impose any limits on that freedom. It's a framework of basic/common features and a system to actually produce a proper working screensaver which meets the requirements of the Windows screensaver system.

    The system isn't going to magically generate effects for you, at least not yet. There are simple screensaver generator apps out there you could try if you're really new to Unity which let you create simple photo slideshows and such, but there really isn't anything that generates effects for you very easily, so that's something I will expand upon in future. My general plan is that after I release ShowTime I will work on a graphics API/toolset which would then lend itself to creating presentations and special effects. It really for now boils down to what you can do with Unity itself.

    If you have an existing Unity project it should be easy to turn it into a screensaver by just including the prefab in your project and setting it up. It just needs to be in each scene.
     
  40. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    I'm thinking of around $30 as the price, like 29.99? It was going to be 50 but that always reminds me of a $50 bill which many people don't relate to and gives it a sense of being outside a casual budget. I think 20 is too low that it would `cheapify` it. I'd need to sell at least 15 copies. I'm also still thinking about the free trial version.

    I've been a little bit distracted designing my screensaver website and some other stuff has been slowing me down but I'm still on track for a release soon.
     
  41. absolutebreeze

    absolutebreeze

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    Hmmm.. interesting.... I might have a use for this :)
     
  42. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    +1

    What's an estimated release date?

    I've got idea's I want to experiment with :)
     
  43. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Well several weeks ago I estimated it'd take just a few weeks but that's obviously been stretched out with one thing or another. I would like to be able to release it within the next couple of weeks but I don't know that I'll get enough time. I only have a few hours a week to work on it at the moment. It is definitely getting closer and I'd really like to be done with it before the end of May... I move house in the middle of June which will be disruptive.

    That said, as mentioned before using the framework is as easy as importing the prefab into your scene and adjusting some settings. So it *should* work with pretty much any Unity project and can be slotted right into an existing app, so you can certainly start working on whatever effects you want to make, focus on getting that working and then you can just bring in the framework later to complete the system.
     
  44. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Any suggestions of which screensaver effects you'd like to see included as examples? Bearing in mind the screensaver system is separate from whatever effects you create in Unity, but I thought I'd include a few just to be able to show examples of using the framework with some varied settings.
     
  45. pretender

    pretender

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    any update about this?
     
  46. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Ooh. Um... yeah sorry. I've been a bit distracted lately, started working on my 2D engine and then got even more sidetracked starting on a destructible landscape game. I've also been quite busy because we're moving house in a few weeks so lots of packing etc.

    The screensaver framework is close to being done. The last part I have to do is just to save the settings from the Unity interface into a file and that then feeds into the screensaver system. The only thing left to do then is bug-fix and tidy up. So there's not much holding it up other than finding time.
     
  47. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Hey. Just a quick note to say that now that I'm in `crunch time` for moving house I probably wont be able to work on the screensaver framework for a couple of weeks. It is quite close to being done, however.
     
  48. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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  49. I am da bawss

    I am da bawss

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    Tell me if I am wrong, from memory.....isn't Windows Screensaver just normal .exe renamed to .scr ??


    How to Convert an Executable File Into a Screensaver
    http://www.wikihow.com/Convert-an-Executable-File-Into-a-Screensaver

    How Screensavers Work
    "A screensaver is really just an executable file, with the extension changed from .exe to .scr."
    http://computer.howstuffworks.com/screensaver1.htm


    So yeh, you can already use Unity to make screensaver. Just convert your windows executable .exe to .scr. That should do it.


    Not sure about the MAC side though. Maybe you just rename the executable to .saver ?!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  50. jjn00711

    jjn00711

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    Got anything that we could play around with as a beta?? That would wet the bowl while waiting for the meal.

    :)