Sunday, September 21, 2008

Twinity: real and virtual mix getting better

Twinity recently went into public beta, after being in closed beta for the best part of 2008. It's nice to see it develop over time! Some parts of the Twinity vision are much better articulated these days; the mixing of real and virtual for instance is becoming much more obvious as a center piece of Twinity's offering.

A good example of this mix is the Drykorn shop in Berlin - both the real and Twinity Berlin, that is! The similarities between the two are obvious.

Nicely done, I must say! Too bad one can't control the lighting in Twinity - for the European market, it means shopping in a dark store as you can see. Twinity's day/night cycle has always matched the real world cycle, and while I appreciate why that's done (remember, mixing virtual and real), the result is that I'm always stumbling around in the dark when visiting Berlin. I'd really like to have the option to influence this daylight cycle - in Twinity, I mean!

In the past, I've had a lot of crashes with Twinity. Today I adjusted the Twinity resolution to match my screen resolution (1440x900), and this seems to have a positive effect. I now can use control-alt to switch between Twinity and other applications without Twinity crashing, and the graphics look better too. So here's an advice to Twinity users: in the menu System - Display, set resolution to the same value as your display uses!

From the 'must fix' department: I'm still experiencing performance issues. Lots of harddisk and network activity, and lots of lag, even when I'm alone in a place. I use this same setup to play Eve Online, Second Life and other stuff, and Twinity doesn't look too good, compared with those. The Twinity client still feels clunky, too. From the splash screen and the startup messages, you can gather that the Twinity client is comprised of several pieces of third party software, glued together by Twinity code. That's a bit how it feels: not yet like a tight piece of software. I know it's still beta, and I acknowledge it's getting better, but this could still be a major roadblock for enduser acceptance.

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