This is an unofficial Beta release of both the Alice 3 IDE and the accompanying Alice Player. We will be updating this often so if you elect to use this beta please check back often to get the latest and greatest. This beta can be used for running worlds in the Alice Player on desktop and cast to VR. VR support requires a specific set-up that you can read more about below.
Current Alice Build Number: 343
Current Unity Player Build Number: Player Version 0.1-beta 2 Library Version 0.7
Last Updated: Oct 31st 2019
* This is a very early Beta (possibly better called Alpha). We have chosen to release this very early in the development and testing cycle due to the excitement (both ours and the community) surrounding these new features. We still have a long list of known issues, bugs, and features to update. This list does not encapsulate all of the undeveloped functionality just the major issues you should know before attempting to use. Some issues will cause worlds to fail to export if the bug is on the Alice export side, other issues may allow the world to export and then fail to run in the player, and finally others may just cause odd behavior when the world is running:
* Development Screen Resolution And Graphics Quality Menu – The development resolution menu will appear when you launch the player. We have left this up until we optimize more and implement a settings menu. We suggest that you chose the highest graphic quality you can on your machine. Lower quality will cause models to render and animate differently. Very High is ideal for models to render as desired.
– The loading interface is a placeholder design so may scale poorly and do weird things. You should be able to load new worlds fine which is the most important part (it just doesn’t look pretty yet).
– Sims people are not yet supported with this build. Sims models will import but they will not animate as we are still working out the construction of the different meshes for the sims people models.
– Known object export/import problems – FirTrees have a class conflict issue so will not properly open in player
– Known object display problems – Most Transport class objects and some other prop objects including the toilet will have offsets of components.
– The camera field of view and other details are not currently mapped exactly to the camera settings in the IDE so you may see variations in the view between the IDE and the player.
– Built in joint arrays in things such as car wheels and railroad tracks may not function as expected.
– The default addObjectMoveFor(object) event in Alice has an “as seen by ground” detail modifier that causes it to move objects it is set to on the ground plane (in Alice IDE). This has not been translated into the Alice Player at this time. If using this event to move an object make sure that the object has been oriented to upright (use the orient to upright one shot in the scene editor on the object) if you want it to stay at the same level (the camera is by default at a slight down angle for example so if not oriented will move down on forward and up on back)
– The get(boolean,string,double,integer) functions displays should block other events from firing but do not (keypresses and mouse clicks to complete will trigger other key and mouse events).
– There are still many edge cases that we have not yet found. These could include specific model oddities, certain procedures or functions acting strange, and much more. Be forewarned we have not even formally entered Quality Assurance (QA) or a formalized testing phase yet because we are still building out base functionality. We would appreciate any and all feedback and bug (error) reports. You can use our contact form to send us feedback (please select reporting a bug and the version Alice 3 Beta)
To run worlds using the Alice Player you will need to export a new save format for Alice that will have the file extension .a3w. To export to this format you will need to use the Alice IDE Export build found on this page. You will find the export function in the file drop down menu. You can take worlds created in other versions of Alice and open and export them from this version.
You will want to continuously check back for new builds of both the Alice IDE and the Unity player as changes will be made to both. Some worlds may cause Alice to crash or you may receive errors on export as we continue to work through bugs related to the export functionality to handle all Alice functionality and patterns that students may be creating.
The Alice player when opened gives you the option to select the resolution you want to run. This menu will later be moved inside the application. You may want to launch in windowed mode in case you encounter errors or be aware that to toggle full screen in Unity you want to use command+f on mac and alt+enter on pc. These are not intuitive for people who have not used a lot of Unity applications so I wanted to point it out here. See above for impact of Graphic Quality choice.
Enabling VR Mode
Setting Up Alice Worlds for VR Tips
The Alice camera is by default up in the air and angled down in a third person type position. If authoring for a first person camera view of the world you should a) use the one shot procedure in the scene editor on the camera to orient to upright to eliminate the angle b) use the input x, y, z value to set the y value to 1 (Alice is in meters so this will set the eye level at a good adult person height).
Oculus Rift and Rift S
Our initial development is focused on integrating with Oculus Rift and Rift S. If you have these platform you will need to start the Oculus app and have it running before starting the unity player. It will then launch into VR mode when you start a world. We have not yet implemented a VR interface so you can either use the virtual desktop to navigate or start and manage world playback from the desktop. We are currently working on implementing the inputs for Oculus so check back soon for the newest version.
– The headset has been mapped to the camera object
– The joystick is mapped to the addDefaultObjectMoveFor (Object) procedure – know issue is that it does not support left and right movements at the same time for smooth movement
– The controllers have both been mapped to work for mouse pointers. The right trigger will work as a mouse click. This will only appear if you have implemented a mouse click event.
– We have mapped the buttons to key presses so that you can author them using the following:
A, B, X, Y Key Events – A, B, X, Y Buttons
Space Bar Key Event – Left Trigger
Control Key Event – Right Grip Button
Shift Key Event – Left Grip Button
1 Key Event – Right Joystick Click
2 Key Event – Left Joystick Click
The player will also work with the HTC Vive at this stage. For this to work you will need to download and have running the Steam platform with the additional Steam VR plug in when you launch the player. This will currently support the same camera functionality as the Oculus platform. We are going to first work to implement Oculus inputs so it may be a while longer till we also have full Vive integration but you can still create some compelling VR content with just the camera to headset functionality for now.
– The headset has been mapped to the camera object
We have attached the demos we ran at CSTA and ISTE. The folder contains both the .a3p files for use with the IDE and the .a3w files to run with the player. The worlds are:
AmazonBoatRide – this world makes use of one of the starter worlds in the gallery and simple object marker moves for the boar with the camera vehicled to the boat. It is an example of a good VR pattern for a ride experience.
UnderwaterExplore – this world was used to show a simple open world explore at the conference.