Developer Update #6
We thank you for your interest in the newest changes and information regarding ChilloutVR and Alpha Blend Interactive.
We have worked tirelessly on making all necessary improvements to get to the point the community asked for. This includes both changes to the platform as well as changes to our workflow. For a more detailed explanation on the changes, please read below.
All important parts have been marked bold to make it easier for those who want to skim through the text but not read it entirely.
Changes to the release schedule
Changes to the release of 2021r160
As requested by the community, we will split ChilloutVR 2021r160 into several parts listed below.
This is done to deliver progress made to the community faster as well as show our commitment to the project.
Within the last months, we have put significant effort into the entire rework of the games networking and backbone infrastructure. This results in all regions being available on experimental already, as well as a dramatically improved stability across all systems that have been upgraded already. While not all systems are upgraded yet, we plan on having them all upgraded by the end of July 2021.
For any malfunctioning features regarding the backend changes (non-functioning ui pages, slow loading of ui components, disconnects, server connection issues etc) please report a bug here in the forums or mail us at email@example.com so that we can address those issues as soon as possible.
We expect to have the first part of r160 including video players, the new network, several ui improvements (not the full game ui, this will follow soon!) as well as many new features for creators in July 2021.
Permanent changes to the update-schedule
Along with the change regarding the update schedule for r160, we are adjusting the general update schedule. We will now deliver smaller, more frequent updates to keep features and improvements coming without the long wait times. This will apply immediately after the first part of r160 is released to the public.
This is possible because of major changes in our production workflow making us able to work a lot more efficiently.
We apologize for inconviniences caused by slow updates or dates we could not hold on to. The changes made will ensure that this is a thing of the past.
Updates for content creators
Content Creation Kit 3.0
The long-awaited CCK 3.0 is ready, the only changes missing are the reworked cloudpush edges. The upload network will receive a new software which ensures faster uploads as well as better responsiveness.
The new upload network also uses further steps to scan content before pushing it to our CDN to mark possibly malicious content for moderation or remove it before it can cause harm.
If your upload is flagged by this system but you feel it should not be, you are free to contact us in the forums, on the discord or via email so that we can have a look.
This system is still learning after all.
As CCK 3.0 depends on the new upload work (and the old upload network will be shut down soon) there is no way to release CCK 3.0 without this change. We thank you for your patience and understanding regarding this matter.
We expect CCK 3.0 to be public in July 2021.
Localization / Translations
Some time ago, we announced that we will enable users to translate our products to make them easy to use for people around the world. The CCK 3.0 release will contain translations for many major languages - thanks to the community. With the start of the work on the new UIs final implementation in the upcoming weeks, we will release a set of language files on github for game translations. We will make a dedicated announcement for this once available.
Once those are out, the community can start translating the game UI as well.
We will release those translation files early, so that the release of UI 2.0 has multiple languages available on launch.
Video player playlist sharing / Queue system
Many of you already had a chance to try the new video player on ChilloutVR Experimental. We have gone ahead and put extra work into it to implement further features y'all have requested.
This includes a feature to export and share playlists as well as a system to enqueue videos to play them after eachother.
With the playlist sharing system, you can export playlists to the hub, which will give you a playlist code. This code can be used to import the playlist into the video player in the CCK (adding others playlists to their worlds) and into the game on runtime (adding others playlists to any world while ingame).
Changes to the system processing content downloads
We have received a lot of feedback regarding downloading content, many have been experiencing issues regarding the loading indicator or responsiveness of downloads, others have given us feedback about the loading times.
With the next stable update, we are adding a reworked version of the download manager which will prioritize avatars and spawnables with smaller filesizes. This will mitigate the issue of avatars of a big size being loaded first, which may also cause the feeling of downloads being very slow.
In addition, we are adding settings to limit maximum download sizes for spawnables and avatars. This way, if you have a very bad connection, you can limit the maximum downloadable filesize for props and avatars.
Changes to spawnables / props
We have seen many creative props and heard many ideas people want to realize using our props system. To open further possibilities and optimize the current networking for props we are changing the way props syncronize data over the network.
With the upcoming update, prop networking will be reworked.
This also includes a change that now allows the use of up to 20 synced variables per spawnable object instead of the 9 before. Additionally, only variables used are synced which results in a small amount of saved bandwidth.
In-World interaction improvements
The next stable update will bring the long awaited CVR Interactable sync. As this is a first-time implementation of this particular part of the game, we suggest that everyone using the interactable validates that their worlds (especially published worlds) still function properly, in case some interactables have been setup to use networking without being configured properly.
In addition, we are adding two new networking types:
- Global Networked Buffered
- Global Networked Owner Only Buffered
- Global Networked All Instance Moderators
- Global Networked All Instance Moderators Buffered
The buffered option will sync previously triggered actions once new players join. The non buffered options will not sync to late joiners.
Changes of our Terms of Service
Changes regarding the NSFW regulations
Many members of the community (and those interested in becoming a member of the community) have been asking questions about the NSFW regulations and we have to admit that they were not as clear as they could have been. With this post, we are declaring clear rules on NSFW events and content. Additionally, with the documentation coming soon, further help for tagging NSFW content will be available.
The general guidelines for NSFW are:
- Uploaded content may never contain NSFW materials or references to underaged characters independent of if they are fictional or real. Canonical age (e.g. 9000 year old girl) does not count to invalidate this rule.
- NSFW events may never be hosted in public instances. There is no exception to this rule.
- NSFW events must be moderated actively. Event moderators have to ensure that no person under legal age is able to attend.
- It is strictly forbidden to take any efforts to bypass or disable any game functionality that prevents underaged people from joining NSFW events.
Modding of our games
For ChilloutVR, we had plans for a modding support pipeline for a longer time. Considering the amount of time that would be necessary to build such a built-in modding support pipeline, we have cancelled those plans.
We have discussed several ideas of how we could enable modding for legitimate cases.
With the next stable update, we will allow modding of our games under the following restrictions (a corresponding ToS update will follow):
- When sharing modifications, you have to mention that the modification was created for ChilloutVR and link to our website or store pages. This may be a simple one-liner.
- You may only create modifications for the purpose of improving the game. Malicious intent is and will be punished in any case we deem necessary to take action on.
- Mod sources have to be public so that users can build their own version and read through the code for security reasons.
- You may never create any modification to steal, abuse, disturb, annoy, harass, exploit or any of the kind. When finding security issues, you must report them to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
- You may never create cheats / hacks to bypass limitations or gain an unfair advantage in any game mode or game world
Distribution of game code is strictly prohibited.
You may never distribute decompiled game code.
In some cases Alpha Blend Interactive might get in touch with modders to check on opportunities to add specific parts of modifications to the base game or work more closely with modders to create a better experience for the community as a whole.
On another note: Alpha Blend Interactive does not support the idea of distributing modifications that may harm other users. Users creating malicious modifications will be suspended without an option to appeal.
Please note that modifications from unknown sources may yield security risks. Be careful of what you install. If you do not fully trust the source, do not install the mod. We do not provide support for harm caused by modifications that have been installed from sources other than the official workshop.
We still follow the plans of making users able to share mods via an official workshop. We will also work with specific members of the modding communities to have them help with mod verification to ensure that only checked and safe modifications pass and become available in the workshop.
For concerns or questions, feel free to create a discussion in the forums or tell us on twitter @AlphaBlendNET.
Website related changes
Login & Signup improvements
Many of you have reported weird behavior regarding our signup process. As one of our next steps, we will be reworking the signup and login routines for both the game and the community hub to ensure easier signup and logins with more responsiveness. We will make a dedicated announcement regarding this change once ready.
Community hub performance
The community hub has been performing very slow for many of you and we have been investigating on this issue. The issues are now located and the corresponding parts causing this will be reworked within the next weeks.
Once those changes are out, we will continue working on the promised features like groups, event system, reserved instances and more.
We want the current system to work flawlessly before adding new features to it.
In addition to the above mentioned, the community hub will be moved to infra 2.0 within the next weeks as well, which will improve its stability and availability.
Final lines & social links
Find us on social media with the links below:
Support Alpha Blend Interactive
Like every company, we need financial support to be able to push updates and improve our product. We are greatful for every bit of support we get.
If you want to support us you can do so here:
Later this month, all former and current patreon members up to this date will receive additional unlock keys to thank them for their support. They can be given to friends, used for giveaways or any of the kind. We will give out one unlock key per 100 dollar of support we have received.
We are more than thankful for your support!
Not on our Discord server yet?
Use the link above to join our discord server and get in touch with our wonderful community, get help with creation related topics and find people to play with.