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PolyMad

Feedback and suggestions

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As a long time graphic producer and 3D modeler (and I talk about 30 years), I want to give my 2 cents on Voxedit and Gamemaker.
Of course this only represents my personal opinion.
Below you will find my thoughts about what are the main issues and features most needed.

 

Most of the problems I want to talk about are about the GUI.
I understand that Voxedit is still under heavy works, so I don't complain much about the features that are or are not there.
But the GUI should be addressed as soon as possible, together with some bugs that make the use of the editor difficult.

 

First a general consideration: the GUI of Voxedit and Gamemaker are completely different. Voxedit has a flat on black GUI, while Gamemaker has a bumpy old school one. I don't know if this has been done on purpose, but it really feels unprofessional to have such distinct GUI for two products that are essentially part of the same suite. I think you should unify the looks of both the apps BEFORE proceeding with the launch. 

Another hint is that instead than creating a brand new GUI, you could adopt one from the most used editors out there, like Magicavoxel. 
This would greatly help people to switch between the apps.
No need to reinvent the wheel over and over, and you well know that, at least at the moment, Magicavoxel is superior to Voxedit in many aspects.
In general I find the Magicavoxel interface much more friendly, clean and quick, than the one of Voxedit.
That's why for ALL the static objects I am using Magicavoxel until the very final editing steps and then import into Voxedit.
At the moment I'm only using Voxedit for avatars, because I need to see the whole bunch of objects while editing, and only for the final touches on static objects.

 

FEATURES AND GLITCHES

1) ORBIT OBJECT
Orbiting an object in the viewport is often sketchy. The app zooms in or out depending on how the user orbits. I don't know about you, but for what I know, nobody wants this. It's the first time I see such a "feature", and I find it extremely annoying. Just orbit around the object and nobody will get hurt. I don't want to zoom in when I am orbiting. You should find a better location for the temporary pivot point when orbiting.

2) EXPORT VOX
I consider Magicavoxel quite superior as interface and ease of use to Voxedit (at the moment of course! and it doesn't features any animation system), and I can't find a way to import colored voxels into Magicavoxel from Voxedit. Maybe a VOX export would solve this problem, and it shouldn't take too much time to implement.

3) COPY/PASTE PALETTE COLOR

4) SAVE/LOAD PALETTE
So that one can share the same palette throughout different objects and not re-create the same colors over and over. This should have been a basic feature btw.

5) SAVE TEMPLATE WITH THE NEW NAME
When saving a template for a new project, it should be renamed with the new name instead than keeping the name "MAMMAL BIPED BLABLA". Another small change that shouldn't take away too much time.

6) MIRROR SELECTION
Once selected a bunch of voxels, there's no way to mirror it inside the model. Another basic feature, imo.

7) UNLOCK AVATAR!
I mean, we have all these cool animations and they can only be use on the avatars and can't be unlocked for NPCs or local avatars for particular games? Come on, that's crazy. I just made a martial art champion, I would like to use the animations that we already have and add some martial arts animations... AND I CAN'T!
Come on, just add an option, when saving the template, to save it as avatar (locked) or as non-avatar (unlocked), and the game is done. I know you can "easily" go into the file and unlock it with a text editor. Doesn't feel much right though uh.

8) PREFERENCES
Another thing that is quite trivial and only requires some annoying GUI set up to allow the user to not go over and over select the viewport rendering method each and every time a model is opened. Or at least use the last rendering method the user has selected.

9) GRID SUBTLE DISPLAY
At the moment the grid in the viewport rendering has the same weight that the outline has. It's too heavy and nearly unusable because of eyestraining. Magicavoxel does an excellent job at this by dimming the grid on the mesh.

10) SPACE WASTE
There's a huge waste of space in unnecessary spacing in the GUI. This setting reduces the viewport area.

11) SAVE AS
Why there is no SAVE AS option in the Animation app? If I want to save a model with a different name, so to work on a different version of it, why can't I do it?

 

All in all it feels like the editor is being made by a programmer that does not use it much: things like copy/paste color are trivial, but they save time. Same for the save/load palette.
But only somebody who USES the editor, knows how much time goes wasted with these "little" things. They are no small feat, when you are using them over and over
Not to talk about the viewport rendering bug: how can you release a build with such a bug? I am on a GTX 750 Ti, that is a well tested graphic board.

I hope this criticism can help the software grow better for everyone!

 

 

 

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November update.

After further use, I have more bug reports and suggestion on the software.

 

GAMEMAKER

1) The bloom effect in the game has a far too low threshold that kills off the effectiveness of the effect (?).

unknown.png

In this image that I made as a test, values range from 100% to 0 in the first 3 columns. Then they couple up in 100% and 50%. As you can see, at half way going up from the darkest to the lightest colors, the different shades of colors are completely lost.

unknown.png

In this other image prepared by another artist test, we can see that at higher values, all we get is white. We don't even get a shade of color in the corona, just all white. This means that the POWER value is too high.

What should probably be done is:
- lower the bloom threshold, so to capture lower values, because as you can see in the first image, the effect is nearly completely lost at low values.
- lower the bloom power, so that not all colors become basic colors and then all white.
Blur and spread values look ok.

Unity - Manual: BloomMK Glow - Free Download | Asset Collection

What we want is to have a nice halo also around violets and oranges, all those sweet shades, so that the games don't look all the same everywhere in The Sandbox, right?

This is IMPORTANT and URGENT, because the artists are now calibrating the values of their emissive colors with THESE poor settings.
As you well know, once the objects will be minted, there won't be a way to change anything in them, so if you will make this bloom change later on, then the first batch of minted objects will have completely wrong emissive colors, that will probably look far too dark with the new settings.

 

2) The ambient occlusion filter is too powerful, reaching 100% black in the corners.
Having it at full power only makes things look odd, not more realistic or cute. It should be calibrated better.

 

3) The template for the weapon (Blade) does not allow to set up animated weapons.
This is a HEAVY LIMITATION for creativity. Can't make hammers with thunders and wands with rotating gem stones, etc.
In my opinion, the best way to solve this is to assign a tag "handheld" to objects that can be held in hand, and allow the users to add this tag to any of the object in the game.

 

4) VoxEdit COPY/PASTE.
It doesn't work in an intuitive, productive way.
I warmly suggest implementing a system like that in MagicaVoxel, where the pasted voxels are in an alternate "layer" that does NOT interact with the existing voxel model.
Only "write" the pasted voxels into the model once the user exits the selection mode.
Also: apply the functions of flipping and rotation only to the selected/pasted voxels.

 

 

 

 

And finally, requests and ideas!

1) Small light sources.
I understand that for performance reasons lights must not be overseen, and their number must be kept extremely limited, but I ask you to take into consideration the option to add small light sources that would help create great effects locally for fires, torches, lamps...
As a method to limit the number of light sources in game, a simple collider could be added that prevents to have more than 1 light source in a certain volume.
In example: if we put a collider around the light source, say, a 20 meters size box, then when 2 light sources collide, you can automatically turn off one of them, so that they won't render both on the same surface and the creators won't be able to add too many light sources in one place.
Another, more fine solution would be to lower their radius in real time, depending on their distance. Still based on collider: when the collider touch, a routine starts that will calculate their distance and reduce their radius of action.

 

2) Templates system.
In VoxEdit, use 2 icons for nodes: one for COMMON NODES and one for TEMPLATE NODES.
COMMON NODES will be like the ones unlocked now.
TEMPLATE NODES will be locked, and thus the user won't be able to change them.
Or as alternative, don't lock them but do that when the user tries to modify them a nice pop-up warning comes up and tell the user that the action will probably have bad consequences.
This would allow to have templates where a user can add nodes and thus animate the added parts.

 

3) Skybox choice.
Allow the user to select and upload custom skyboxes. Possibly with the option to rotate it so to allow the user to find the best angle for it.
Even better: have an entity behavior that can select skyboxes based on conditions.
In example I may have a black skybox when the player is walking through a cave with an endless pit, and change it into a blue cloudy skybox before he reaches the exit.

 

4) Sun direction.
Allow the user to control the sun direction. This could be done by transforming what is now a built in directional light into a simple entity that the user will then be able to rotate and control like any other in-game object.

 

5) PAINT function in GameMaker.
At the moment there is no paint function in GameMaker. You either ADD or REMOVE blocks.
This is a function that should be quite easy to implement and would speed up the production process a lot.

 

6) Replace blocks in GameMaker.
Let's say that I used block A to build a very complex cave.
But then decide that it's too dark, and I want to use block B.
It would be nice to have a function to replace a block in the whole map with a single click.

 

7) Blocks selection and move function.
Let's say that I built a small village, and then I find the need to move some houses a bit away, to make space for a street.
At the moment there is no way to do it: I will have to destroy and rebuild everything. Crazy!

 

8) GAMEMAKER NAVIGATION.
Last but not least! I find it crazy that the navigation system is different in GameMaker than how it is in VoxEdit.
I think there is no valid reason for that. I already sent a proposal for this, to change the navigation and basic editing commands more similar to how VoxEdit works, because they are better thought.
In particular, I suggest the following:
- right MB to rotate/orbit the view
- ALT modifier to DIG blocks
- SHIFT modifier to PAINT blocks
It doesn't make sense to have a plain mid MB working to pan the view, while you require to press ALT when you want to rotate: switching between the applications is also irritating!
But on top of this, it's much better to have the view control all in the mouse and the added editing functions bound with modifier keys, instead than mixing the two systems.

 

Thank you for listening! 

 

 

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The VoxEdit file requester font... could it be smaller and thinner?

Or give the option visualize a list?

This is what I see when I want to open one of the object in a series I am working on...

image.png.d9455c0f2c0a8a33c49b791ed13fe542.png

 

Also: I have several hard disks, and the last in the list partically cover the filename field. If I add another one, the first part of the filename will be completely hidden.

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Request for VoxEdit: in the modeler, add a function to swap the entirety of the voxels of one color in the model, with another color.

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Hi guys, I have few points for feedback. I will just paste it here, although I see Polymad has already mentioned a lot. Just I'd like to have fluid experience using VE. 

Game Maker improvements

+ deselection of object not working (suggestion: ALT + shift + click)
+ rotation of multiple selections by imputing xyz rotation + number works for individual objects. with a possibility of grouping them, the rotation could work from the center
+ add and remove faces (extrude)
+ paint through blocks
+ grouping objects
+ layers
+ hiding selection
+ shortcuts for tools
+ also, I found it impossible to select small object on top of a building, like bird nest on the roof
+ selecting and replacing all assets in one click
+ selection of replaced asset possible only by drag selection
+ duplicated object should appear on top of original, not next to it (for more precise transformation)
+ ALT + click in Build mode - Block or Asset Picker
+ scalable window of Library
+ rotation dragging + Shift = precise 45 degree angle
+ transformation + Shift = precise moving objects 1 block away

Sandbox Webpage

+ notification about item removed from inventory is too big and covers the items, making it very hard to see

VOXEDIT improvements

+ Timeline always popping up when exiting from the Node edit section
+ tools keep resetting to default after entering new node
+ (bug) camera problems - sometimes the camera suddenly just start to work very awkward way. orbiting and zooming very strange
+ palettes not saved automatically, making a lot of extra work to save and load in every node you enter
+ switching to another node - this is so time and energy consuming. every exit from the node make you save the work in current node, make it unable to revert work (undo)
+ (bug) lights make strange lines across object, make it hard to see real shapes
+ (bug) after some time of working on an object, it starts to disappear parts of it. sometimes 90% of it. exiting and entering works, but again, it saves the object and undo is not possible
+ when clicking on an object, it doesn't show it in the left Root pane, in case it is not expanded (you have to manually find it)
+ Edit button is that very small button and you have to go there with mouse and click it. why not just double click the object, or make the Edit button bigger and not hidden when collapsed 
+ orthographic camera missing, set camera to straight angle missing (front, side, ...)
+ OPTIMALIZATION for slower computers. many creators complain about performance. when I open Voxedit, everything freezes
+ Saved as *.vxr, but in the Animator head title i still see the old name, so it's confusing if it's already saved
+ thumbnails of models (*.vxm) do not update. you have to load it to see proper thumbnail (confusing)

As for me, the most important is the optimalization. Voxedit itself is suuuper slow. Also, Animator / Nodes switching is destructive, unable to undo. And also very user unfriendly, for you have to make many clicks, it take a lot of time to save, then every time Timeline appears... Pls take that into consideration. I would love to be so happy using Voxedit as I use Magica 😉
If it is possible to take a lot of UX from Magicavoxel, implement it into Voxedit, me and many others, we'll be super glad, as MV's UX is amazing 😄

Edited by filip light
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Great addition, Filip!

 

One thing I don't know how my fellow artists feel about... but I find extremely annoying that once a node is duplicated in VoxEdit, it doesn't also get immediately selected.
If I copy node 6 into n.7, I expect it to be selected, so that I can immediately work on it, and keep everything all tidy.
Instead, I keep moving the previous number while duplicating. This is not an error from my side, as EVERY application that duplicates something, then immediately focus on the duplicate and not on the source.

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Oh and another one, that I don't know how my fellow artists feel about: in VoxEdit and in GameMaker, the gizmo lines to move and rotate the objects are a bit too thin. I continuously miss them and have to re-click, re-select, etc.

Would be nice to have 1 or 2 pixel thickness more.

Also, in the GameMaker the gizmo seems a bit too large for the screen and it becomes annoying when you need to select objects that are one near the other.

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There is some problem with very short animations.
I guess it's about syncing with the framerate... but we should be made aware of what the limits are, like minimum frame numbers per animation in example, or what is happening in this case.

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image.png.9fb44422376c86ca8af1d96ee300cea7.png

This happens because there is an Ambient Occlusion filter for the voxels, and another one for the screen.

image.png.5a8a0f2f590538eb5f10c9c541822146.png

As you can see, in the upper row of voxels, the passage from the mesh to the blocks happens seamlessly.

I think the AC for the voxels should be turned off on PC and just let the graphic board work it out on the screen buffer.

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So I was going to post some feedback on Voxedit but reading through this whole thread I'm surprised not seeing a single response from the Sandbox team? Are replies handled differently? Polymad has some good feedback, and obviously there's work behind it, why does it seem like it's all ignored?

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Hello Polymad and everyone on this thread

First of all, let us wish you Happy New Year 2021, all our best wishes from The Sandbox team!

Apologies for noticing this thread quite late on our side. We have forwarded it to the developers of VoxEdit and the Game Maker and we will discuss the various feedback

Please note that we have released a new version of the Game Maker v0.4 on December 23rd that might make some feedback here outdated or no longer relevant

https://medium.com/sandbox-game/the-sandbox-game-maker-v0-4-our-biggest-update-to-date-9bd5ec0de642?source=collection_home---4------0-----------------------

We'll get back to you soon - promise!

Thank you again!

Sebastien

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I think, it´s too less time to edit a topic in this forum here.

I would like to have a half hour or longer to edit something.

Because sometimes after a while i find a way to write my stuff better or some more infos to add.

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