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Lets make a difference to XBMC (joint skin project) => Team Razorfish and MediaStream - Printable Version

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- BritneysPAIRS - 2007-10-03 00:44

ive been doing the concept and looking at issues I can and cant solve though SVN but its based upon this design http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQewtw2PE1Y and I agree fluid is the best concept pics ive seen...


- Jezz_X - 2007-10-03 01:39

It would be at this point I would like to interject and say that any skin that has a chance of becoming new default needs to full support all resolutions and can't just be concerned with looking fantastic on 720p and up and leaving all the 4x3 users in the dirt. Also for me the biggest killer for compatiblility is Pal and NTSC 16x9 because they still use the same screen res as 4x3 but are suppossed to be 1/3rd wider thus you get less pixels making everything look worse again.

Also it needs to be somthing that the average idiot user who has never used XBMC before can handle this means
*No hidden side menus (like xTV) everything needs to visible for the user to use.
*No 10,000 skin settings just so people can set it up to how they think it should be by default
*No huge Images and animations taking up resources, memory, cpu cycles (mc360 background animation) from what should be used for (video Playback)
*It needs to have nice large clear fonts with full unicode char support that even someone with a crappy 48cm CRT TV can read 10ft or more away
*Navigation needs to be logical ie : having menus buttons above lists/panels that instead of going up to get to you have to go sideways is bad
*It needs to work with default settings so no huge thumbs taking up 1/2 of the screen because the default icon cache will make them look crap

Sorry if this sounded a little negative but its just how I see it to be usefull as a default Compromise to 100% beauty is the key and you need to go for function over form


- BritneysPAIRS - 2007-10-03 03:25

I wasnt looking at a new default...but my focus is making it alot better for the furture eg Linuq. PM3 is the best comprise for features and all res but needs a complete revamp for 720p or a new prettier skin for that res IMO. Everytime ive mocked up a preview skin to look great on my HDTV its looked bad in 4x3 or even 16x9 and vice versa. PM3 looks great in both 4x3 and 16x9 but just good at 720P IMO... so for me im only looking at future direction, PM3 to me is the best comprise for all things and its very difficult to develop a vision of a skin to perform as good as this across all screen sizes and low memory of the xbox.


- Jezz_X - 2007-10-03 03:56

Thats my whole point BritneysPAIRS


- BritneysPAIRS - 2007-10-03 04:21

Wink


- MikeBeecham - 2007-10-03 08:50

Yeah, I can understand what you're saying Jezz and BP...but I dont think that they are good enough reasons NOT to try. Taking your poiint Jezz, this is the reason I have suggested maybe splitting into two teams, in order to tackle the resolution and definition issue.

Also bear in mind that whatever takes place (if anything...nothing is set in stone here) is not going to happen overnight...look how long PM3 took to evolve into what it is now.


The XBMC manifesto - Gamester17 - 2007-10-03 10:12

Jezz_X Wrote:It would be at this point I would like to interject and say that any skin that has a chance of becoming new default needs to full support all resolutions and can't just be concerned with looking fantastic on 720p and up and leaving all the 4x3 users in the dirt. Also for me the biggest killer for compatiblility is Pal and NTSC 16x9 because they still use the same screen res as 4x3 but are suppossed to be 1/3rd wider thus you get less pixels making everything look worse again.

Also it needs to be somthing that the average idiot user who has never used XBMC before can handle this means
*No hidden side menus (like xTV) everything needs to visible for the user to use.
*No 10,000 skin settings just so people can set it up to how they think it should be by default
*No huge Images and animations taking up resources, memory, cpu cycles (mc360 background animation) from what should be used for (video Playback)
*It needs to have nice large clear fonts with full unicode char support that even someone with a crappy 48cm CRT TV can read 10ft or more away
*Navigation needs to be logical ie : having menus buttons above lists/panels that instead of going up to get to you have to go sideways is bad
*It needs to work with default settings so no huge thumbs taking up 1/2 of the screen because the default icon cache will make them look crap

Sorry if this sounded a little negative but its just how I see it to be usefull as a default Compromise to 100% beauty is the key and you need to go for function over form
all in the spirit of XBMC http://xboxmediacenter.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_XBMC_manifesto

Cool


- Jezz_X - 2007-10-03 10:19

Well yeah if you want to look smart and say it properly instead of ranting like I did Smile


- MikeBeecham - 2007-10-03 10:25

Then lets get some people together and make something happen. I have a couple of names down already...who else?


- MacGyver - 2007-10-03 12:23

Like I said, count me in for something small, like a media view or two, and feel free to cannibalize anything I have ever posted or created (Kaliedescape, Verve, XMBox, xTV mods).


- MikeBeecham - 2007-10-03 12:43

Thanks MacGyver...

In terms of design, I wonder whether it would solve a small problem if design if we looked at a new skin in the making (or potential). If I'm being honest...the one design that jumps out at me immediately is Fluid. It seems to tick all of the boxes in term of potential functionality, looks, feel and prepencity to evolve whilst still keeping one ahead of the competition.

I'm not sure whether we would be given permission to use Fluid as a basis, but it might be better than trying to come up with a design from scratch.

Please remember to email me with your name, skillset and availability, as I am collating names into a Project Management file, where we will be able to run everything smoothly.

If Fluid seems to be the possible way forward then I will PM theDeViL and ask him/her what they think.


- skunkm0nkee - 2007-10-03 14:07

I agree that basing a new skin on the concepts in Fluid would be a good idea (it was the skin I was actually thinking about when I said we could base it on an existing concept but I didn't want to mention it specifically in case it upset theDevil)

I also think that aiming to have one skin that works as well in 4:3 and in 720p is not really realistic as there are too many constraints placed on the 720p UI by the 4:3 version. It should be possible though to use a 'design theme' across the resolutions though that means that the skins would be based on similar components but may not look or work in exactly the same way. Mike, your idea of splitting the team into smaller teams for the different resolutions sounds like a good one to me as long as you have at least one person who is up to speed on what is happening in the various streams to make sure that they stay consistent.


- MikeBeecham - 2007-10-03 14:10

@ Skunk...

I completely agree mate about the teams...there would need to be an overall Project Manager. At the moment, I guess that person would be me on the basis that not a lot of other people have come forward. However, there are easily people within the community with better Project Management skills than me, so feel to jump on into the role anyone.


- skunkm0nkee - 2007-10-03 16:04

One other thing that occurred to me was that the skin(s) will have to try and be futureproof as much as is possible. People are already realising that this project could take some time to complete and it wouldn't be worthwhile if it needs to be re-developed a few months after it's finished.

At the moment we have limitations on the skin and textures, mostly due to the memory considerations of the Xbox but with the Linux development rolling along I can see a point in the future where some (if not all) of these limitations may not be a factor for all versions? (All the more reason to have as many people as possible helping out to make sure that all scenarios are covered)


- Gamester17 - 2007-10-03 16:24

skunkm0nkee Wrote:At the moment we have limitations on the skin and textures, mostly due to the memory considerations of the Xbox but with the Linux development rolling along I can see a point in the future where some (if not all) of these limitations may not be a factor for all versions? (All the more reason to have as many people as possible helping out to make sure that all scenarios are covered)
I vote for that any skin should run smoothly on the original Xbox hardware, so yes limit it to that.