The next time you boot up Patterns, you'll find a very different experience waiting. As we've blogged about before, Patterns has undergone a total user interface (UI) overhaul. We're proud of the new menus, buttons and mouse cursors, but the changes go much deeper than the visuals we've teased before. The changes in today's release are about empowering creativity with powerful and intuitive tools. We're excited to get this new building experience into your hands to see what it inspires!
So what does this update include that makes creation so much more powerful?
Some of the most powerful new functionality is tied to the right mouse button (RMB). In the past, clicking RMB on a pattern would open the "construct edit mode", breaking you out of the gameworld. The new edit mode allows for the same functionality plus much more, in a less jarring way.
Click once to select a single shape. Keep clicking slowly to increase the size of your selection, or double click quickly to auto-select the full object. You can probably figure out how to move your selection, but now by holding down Shift you can also clone your selection without having to save it to your inventory. Or use delete/backspace to instantly remove your selection from the gameworld. You can even use the RMB to select the terrain in a world, something not possible before, to rapidly terraform a world to fit your needs. With these tricks you'll be creating epic worlds in a fraction of the time it took before.
(To see these new tricks in action, be sure to watch the latest video teaser.)
Creativity in isolation has its virtues, but it's when you share with others that things get really interesting. Every Patterns user has access to the same set of shapes and tools out of the box, but one of the biggest factors in creativity is community. Sometimes we don't know what we are capable of until someone else helps point the way with an inspiring build. And putting your own work out there to be seen can be a powerful motivator to push your own skills. All of us on the Patterns team are fans of (and sometimes contributors to) the thriving communities around Second Life, Minecraft, LEGO and other platforms for creativity.
Patterns has always offered the ability to publish your works and download others' creations from the Cosmos, but we're making it easier to highlight worlds with pictures and descriptions. Every time you save a world, Patterns generates a screenshot. From the Create menu you can add a text description. Best of all, we've removed the limit to how many worlds you can publish! If you've published a world in the past that you're proud of, now would be a good time to update your world and republish.
New Worlds to Inspire You
Next time you go to create a new world, you'll see some options that weren't there before. Alongside old favorite starting points like the "Genesis Cube", we've added a few options that offer a fresh twist on how you build. "Flatland" and "Chromatic Cubeworld" launch with a new materials pack with a vast range of colors instead of the organic substances you're used to. "Uncharted Isles" offers an archipelago of floating cube-based islands to explore and transform. "The Steamworks" is an interior space with a steampunk twist to get you started. With Scene Settings, you can mix and match Materials Packs as you see fit, and with the new RMB functionality mentioned before, you can quickly delete any elements you don't want.
The planetoids you've played before are still there in the cosmos under the Featured tab, alongside a few creations that our team came up with while this update was under way. Remember to publish your best creations and maybe you'll get featured next!
Foundation for a Dynamic Future
Lastly, while there are a lot of changes to play with and master in the current release, we also made some necessary behind-the-scenes changes to prepare for the future. The Materials Editor, which you can play with right now, is just the first step in giving creators the power to control the settings and behavior of their worlds. We envision a future where both advanced creators working in collaboration and new players working alone will be able to add dynamic behaviors and gameplay to their worlds.
We hope you'll enjoy these improvements to the Patterns building experience and look forward to seeing what new worlds you create and share to the Cosmos!
As we've previously blogged, we're currently working on some major UI changes for Patterns. The team has been (and still is) hard at work!
We want to share a glimpse at some of what we’re working on so you can get an idea about where things are headed.
One of the goals for this UI redesign is optimizing the play space by cleaning up the real estate used by the UI.
To achieve this, we’re moving the tools, substances, and shapes into one clean area at the bottom of the screen, where you’ll be able to quickly toggle between each of these different toolbars with ease by hitting the Q or E buttons on your keyboard.
While we’re not yet able to share an ETA on the UI redesign launch for Patterns, we expect it to be soon and hope to share more along the way. Keep an eye out for more sneak peeks and keep sharing your worlds!