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Summary of where the development of Source Media Arcade BETA 2 is at. Highlights include multiplayer, GUI enhancements, and simplicity of gameplay.

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GUI: 70% done

The graphical user interface in BETA 2 has been exnhanced with HTML-powered menus and expanded to serve dual purposes. First, it is used as an info panel to display all sorts of details about the item bound to a cabinet. These details include screenshot/marquee URLs, plot descriptions, download URLs, trailer URLs, and more! The presents of these infos make exploring and discovering new media with Source Media Arcade easier and more enjoyable than ever!

Second, these same graphically-charged menus can be used to customize items in order to give their cabinet the exact appearance and functionality that you desire. All you have to do is click the EDIT icon next to any field you wish to customize.

MP Coding: 90% done

Multiplayer arcades can be joined or hosted painlessly. If the server sets up screenshot/marquee download URLs, the artwork images for all the game cabinets gets downloaded in the background while you play. Otherwise, all the necessary resources are sent to clients upon connecting (just like when joining a Counter-Strike: Source server).

Hosting a multiplayer arcade is as easy as increasing the maxplayers value. However, downloading resources directly from a listening server can be slow. It is recommended that you set screenshot/marquee download URLs to allow people to download these resources in the background. If you're just inviting a few friends into a private arcade, zipping the resources and sending it to them before hand also works nicely.

Note that only listening servers have been tested and that your router must already be configured to allow you to host HL2DM games.

SP Coding: 90% done

Singleplayer mode does everything that MP does, but also adds map customization into the mix. If you wanted to set up an arcade on a custom map, you would do so in SP mode. It allows you to spawn new cabinets, assign new items, or change which item is bound to an existing cabinet.

Until we are able to grant these abilities to server operators in MP mode, they are only available when maxplayers is set to 1.

Art: 50% done

Although we're only now getting ready to start working on the art for BETA 2, you can expect atleast twice as much art than what was present in BETA 1. We're bringing in all the cabinets models and props from BETA 1, plus adding lots of all new ones that go along with the themes of the new maps. More information about the maps and types of new props and cabinets will released after we make the shift from coding to art development.

User Experience: 70% done

The multiplayer user-experience is satisfyingly simple and nearly complete. You just join a server and start exploring. When you customize an item, it gets saved either in your cache or in your library. This means the next time you play, your customizations will still be there.

The remaining work to be done in in this area mostly involves adding visual special effects such as making cabinets glow if somebody is hosting a MP game on them. The 2D library explorer interface also has to be created to give players quick access to their favorite media.

Recent Developments

Last week we added the ability for SM Arcade to parse XML-formatted NFO files to extract detailed media file information contained in other program's libraries (such as XBMC's media library). SM Arcade can now also be configured to use your XBMC library's existing artwork images as well.

Artwork images that fail to download will now retry 4 times before aborting.

The familar Windows file open dialogue can now be used to find your files quickly.


Can't wait!

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Very nice, looks good.

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Wow, I'm really impressed by this MOD! I can't wait for beta2! I've purchased HL2 for this MOD hahaha.

Great job!

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