Updates Progress April 11,2013

For those wondering about what is going on with the ACS updates:

A complete system overhaul of the ACS script set was required to best integrate new multi-faced mesh graphic and light systems. The current graphics systems were designed and built on based around the legacy standard of 32 prims, mostly single-faced sculpties for an average vehicle graphics configuration of only 32 prim faces. This was fairly easy to manage memory-wise. With mesh and new physics, the new standard of up to 255 8-faced links gives a potential maximum of 2040 possible prim faces, requiring a radically different approach to handle this.

While it would have been relatively easy for me to introduce a "temporary" add-on system for the current scripts, this would have required considerable amount of scripts being added to the average vehicle to manage multiple faces, therefore I decided to take the time to properly rebuild all graphics, lighting, and accessories systems from the ground up instead of less-optimal patching of the current scripts.

All new interconnected systems for handling multi-faced graphics, colors groups, light faces etc had to be designed and integrated along with also all-new setup tools to handle these new face-assignments and an all-new Mechanic HUD.

I am very pleased with the results so far and pretty confident most script owners will be happy with them as well. The new systems actually reduce the overall script load of the average vehicle from the current, are easier and faster to set up, and allow the ACS graphics customization features as well as lighting assignments for multi-faced prims.

For you sculpty fans, the new systems handle single-faced sculpties as well or better than previously. Not all builders like to use mesh, and while many of the new features are mesh-specific, features specifically for for sculpties (like map swapping etc) are supported and have also been improved and overhauled. According to the user survey results, a significant portion of builders continue to prefer or exclusively build non-mesh vehicles and I want to re-assure those builders that "legacy" and sculpty build styles and features will continue to be supported and expanded along side newer mesh-specific features.

Accessories such as the door systems have been massively improved with simplified setup. On the new update, an entire series of additional accessories such as windshield wipers, repositioning power windows (including for moveable doors) etc will be introduced featuring the new simplified setup system.

The project has turned out to be a giant undertaking, (all mods too have to be re-built to support the new features) but the end result will be full multi-face prim support, lowered script counts, and easier and faster install of existing and new systems. These new and improved features are only a portion of what else will be in the upcoming updates, but I am keeping some surprises for the beta.

I am unsure of the timeline FOR when the beta will be released as there is still much for me to finish, I cannot say if it will be another month or possibly less. As usual, the less you hear from me, the more work is getting done.

Your continued feedback/feature request/bug reports notecards have been very helpful, keep 'em coming.

- Karyn

P.S. For new script owners: Yes, you will be have access to the next update, updates are free for script owners. The betas will be available for script owners to try out as well. Also, updating is never mandatory, you can continue to use your existing versions.