Rapid Prototyping of Computer Simulations
Community How users can connect and share
Users of Falcetto can participate in an online forum style Community. This Community will allow Users to discuss problems, share Models, share Simulation results, share curriculum, report bugs, and request new features. Zones can help group forum topics by academic subject, industry, or modeling technique.
Creating an account on the Community is free. Sharing data between Falcetto and the Community can often be done with a single click. Any data that the Falcetto application has stored can be uploaded to the Community, and as such does not require a Server Side subscription. Use of Marketplace content may restrict a Model from being sharable.
Teacher tools allow a teacher to provide a place for their students to go. This place will contain forum threads exclusive to the class. These exclusive forums will allow the teacher to share assignments and starter Models to students. When the students upload their assignments, the data will automatically be protected from viewing by other students, so that no one can copy. The teacher will be able to choose if and when the student assignments can be viewed by other students. The teacher can also compile a this is what our class did forum thread to concisely portfolio the classes accomplishments, which students can permalink for inclusion in portfolios or resumes.
A User with a Server Side subscription can have the results of a server command automatically show up on the Community when complete. This can be especially useful for rendering a Simulation as a video, as it wont require the User to re-upload the video. Automatic posting can also mean that the results show up on the Community before the User has downloaded it to their own Falcetto app. This can be useful for students to post an assignment to their teachers assignment board.
Since the target audience is school aged students, the forums may require certain restrictions and/or special moderation considerations. Since the data is complicated, there is no way to quickly index whether the content is lewd or inappropriate, so the forums may have to error on the side of assuming that everyone is embedding lewd data in their Models and Simulation results. Ideally it can be a self-moderated community, but if restrictions do apply, they may manifest in several ways. A User may need to prove their age before being able to freely view the public forums. Posts made by students may only be visible to their teacher and fellow classmates. If posts by students can be shown, it may be required that their names or usernames be hidden.
Falcettos Community will provide a way for teachers to upload read-to-use curriculum pieces. These will allow other teachers in the academic subject to just grab a curriculum piece to insert into their own class. This can be a great way to grow the Falcetto Community, by allowing new teachers to teach a class using Falcetto without having to craft the class themselves.
As a stretch goal, the Falcetto Community will launch with some curriculum already prepared. This curriculum will be crafted by the Falcetto development team, in cooperation with school teachers that are interested in being able to introduce Falcetto into their own curriculum.
Falcetto will come with a series of image asset collections upon release. Image assets consist of a series of images to represent objects from different points of view, and will be accompanied by 3D models that can be used by the more advanced visualization engines. Users can create their own image asset collections as well, and share the collections via the Marketplace or Community. The planned image assets upon release are:
· Vehicles: car, pickup, semi, van, biplane, plane, sailboat, boat, oil barge
· Space: 9 planets and the Sun, Saturn V, Space Shuttle, Lunar Lander, Mir
· Animals: cat, dog, horse, cow, bear, wolf, sheep, rabbit, sparrow, hawk, fish, shark, dolphin
· Bugs: ant, spider, fly, butterfly, ladybug
· Buildings: house, mansion, gazebo, offices, industrial facility, gas station, warehouse, store
· Plants: flower, deciduous tree, evergreen tree, shrub
· Signs: caution, stop, exit room, exit highway, construction
· Elemental archetypes: cloud, raindrop, fire, explosion, rock
· People: male, female, robot, space alien
· Oil and gas: pipeline, oil tower, pump
· Electricity: power line, nuclear stack, solar panels, wind turbine
· Miscellaneous objects: hazard cone, barrels, mailboxes, picnic table, computer, phone
As a bonus, a backer can effectively commission additional image assets to be available upon release. For instance, if a backer really wants to model space exploration, then additional image assets would be needed to properly represent it, such as many more models of rockets, more space stations, space probes, and different astronaut/cosmonaut suits.
Some Models will be included with Falcetto upon release. These Models act as demonstrations of what Falcetto can do, to allow Users to throw together some Simulations quickly. Users can create their own Models, and share them via the Marketplace or Community. These initial models will include:
· Predator/Prey: using wolf and sheep to simulate how populations balance
· Birds flocking: see how simple bird behavior creates beautiful patterns
· Electric Power Load Flow: see how electric power flows across power lines to get to cities
· Fluid Flow: see how fluids jostle and follow terrain
As a bonus, a backer can effectively commission additional models to be included as examples of Falcetto. For instance, if a backer wants to teach a class in global economics, then they would specify which model of global economics their class will learn, and the Falcetto development team will attempt to accurately represent it in Falcetto. With it included in Falcetto, that backer will be able to use Falcetto for their class.
A Marketplace style environment will be available for people to share the graphical assets, models, simulation results, and curriculums they have developed. The assets, models, and curriculums developed as stretch goals will be available for free purchase on the marketplace. Users will be able to use the Marketplace to distribute any assets, models, or curriculum that they create.
The Marketplace will not initially allow financial transactions, but will instead only allow Users to freely share the content they create. The intent is to eventually support financial transactions though.
Models can be Black Box, or be Open. If the Model is Open, then the User that purchases the Model will be able to use the content offline, and can view the Code and internal structure of the Model. If the Model is Black Box, then the User will not be able to view the Code and internal structure of the Model, which means that the full Model can never be downloaded to the Users Device. To accomplish this, Model stand-ins will be downloaded to the Users Device, where the User can create their Model and prepare their Simulation. The full Model will securely live on the Server, which means the User will need to have a Server Side subscription in order to actually run the Simulation. Clearly, releasing a Model as Black Box will reduce the available audience of the Model.
Product Improvement Program
Improvement suggestions will primarily come from Community forums, especially during Beta testing, but the GUI will have data mining hooks in place for learning usage patterns as part of a Product Improvement Program (PIP). If a User opts to participate in the PIP, then Falcetto will track the information and occasionally submit it for analysis. There are many tools and companies that can analyze usage patterns to come up with improvement suggestions. Information such as which help button is clicked the most can be used to determine which help videos should be made next, or promoted into tutorials. Information such as the user often clicks button A within a second before clicking button B could indicate that a new button C should be made that will perform the tasks of button A followed by the functions of button B. Information about which browsers, devices, and features are use will also very useful, especially if unexpected crashes occur. Utilizing PIP, Falcetto development could eventually fix problems no one realizes are problems.
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