The following is my set of goals for the next year.
Version 1.0 (based on Blender 2.7x, not sure if 2.70 is likely, but hopefully 2.73 at latest):
- Suitable for my church to replace the ProPresenter lyric & media presentation software with BlendShow and use on a 3-screen-wide video wall plus 2 side screens sharing a separate video output.
- At this point, it will also be suitable for most presentations and concerts, but the initial focus is song service at church.
- A Bible library is not planned at this time, and I’d be limited to translations in the public domain anyway. Personally, copy-pasting from a Bible website or program hasn’t been an issue for me.
- Asset manager is planned for Blender 2.7x series, so when that is introduced, BlendShow will have that as well.
- Version numbers will be based on the Blender version they’re based on, first and foremost. This means that the first finished version could actually be higher than 1.0. This will encourage me to have a new .x increment every 3-4 months. Plenty of improvements will come directly from Blender development. Once I have a rhythm down, I intend to release BlendShow versions about a month after the Blender version it’s based on.
Version 2.0 (based on Blender 2.8):
- Suitable to compare to Microsoft Powerpoint and Apple Keynote presentation programs. Hopefully a Powerpoint slide importer will be finished for this release, but comparable features are the focus. That means graphs, even if I personally don’t need that feature.
- Might have template file support, judging by Blender developer talk.
- Improved physics, judging by Blender’s current roadmap.
- Some features might be moved up to the 1.x version if they just happen to show up sooner, like graphs. That’s a high priority item that I have an idea on how to implement.
- Using Blender 3.x as the core(it looks like they’ll skip 2.9), version numbers will sync with Blender’s version numbers sometime in this range. I really want the versions to match up with the version of Blender it’s most compatible with. While I’m not sure when Blender 3.0 will come out, it will take a few years, which would give me plenty of time to catch up.
- This version of Blender will combine the game engine into Blender. It’s too early at this point to know for sure how this will affect BlendShow, but there are plenty of advantages to be seen, such as the editor and presentation window using the same code so that improvements aren’t limited to just one or the other. One of the biggest benefits will be 3D model generation from within the view window. Quite simply; more versatility with the 3D text, spontaneously generated objects, real-time scene updates on the viewer as you edit(like in Powerpoint), and easier coding(3D text in BlendShow uses a workaround currently that creates a mesh duplicate of your text).
This is, however, also the end of official development of the stand-alone game engine. I’ll keep a very close watch on developments here, and I am aware that people WILL fork the Blender Game Engine as a separate project(or projects) if worse comes to worse. However, if there are any features dropped, it seems likely to only affect games.