Wednesday, January 15, 2020

New Asset: TwIRC v1.0



I'm happy to announce yet another new asset! This time, its my first ever non-VR asset!

I've been wanting to branch out of VR for quite a while. There's more room to innovate and less competition in with VR, but also a smaller audience. So its very limited.

This isn't the most ideal, or original asset to create for my first non-VR asset. But its something up my ally as it marks probably about the 5th-6th IRC client I have created. Except this time I can actually see something come of the work. Also, to be fair, when I originally worked on this... there was not nearly as many other IRC assets. There were a couple, but none were very good. There was like 1 that "supported" Twitch, and a couple half-assed ones that look like they were made in a day. So there was room for me to significantly improve upon what was available. But like BodyLanguageVR, this too got lost in the shuffle and shelved. I concluded that IRC was not as popular as it once was, and thus this assets potential was low. Now... I just decided to finish it up and release it just because I already put in the work.

I do still believe that my IRC asset is the best of the selection. There's something lacking with every other one that mine tries to cover, though now Twitch compatibility is no longer a selling point, kind of making the inspiration for the name of my asset pointless. Damn near every IRC asset claims Twitch compatibility. Technically, if its an IRC client, its Twitch compatible. Mine at least tries to offer some premade code for some of the unique Twitch APIs.

One thing that tripped me up was that, originally I just wanted to make the IRC client core and that's it. But I realized that that would not be enough. I needed to put effort into providing an interface that was usable in its own right. And well, I hate UI design. Working on that caused me to lose the remaining interest I had. But since coming back to the project recently, I got the UI figured out and working for the MMO chat demo/template. I decided to write a quick editor example too.

Right now the main script has become the TwIRC_ModernUI.cs. While its set up for a demo with the MMO chat example, its not limited to that. I hope to use the same script to setup and provide some other examples later.

Of course, neither of the TwIRC UI scripts are necessary. The Editor UI version is mostly done as an easy to understand example of how to access the IRC client core code itself for use with your own UI. In the end, all you need is to grab new the new strings from messages regularly, process them and display them however you wish, and take and send input to the IRC core code.

As this is my first non-VR asset, I'm curious to see how well this will sell. More due to not being in the limited VR niche? Or less because... it's IRC, and not many will care to use that anymore?

Now my backlog of unfinished assets is empty. So hopefully next I can figure out something to work on that's on the next level. Something that has the potential to reach becoming a top selling asset. My portfolio is full enough of small fry assets now. I need something big. But if I have an idea for a small fry asset that's quick/easy to make, I wont mind creating that either.

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