Furcadia "String" update, OS X installer released
The new version offers several new avatar and portrait features. But lower-level changes may matter more to dream developers — and to DEP's bottom line.
Avatars, portraits and dreams
Preannounced last month, the new version adds several purchasable avatars, including the Panooki Ferian and the previously mentioned human and rodent nobles; a Naga is to be added shortly. Animated portrait slots can also be bought for $14.99.
New ratings have been introduced for dreams, and portraits are now restricted according to the dream's rating. Previously, portraits had to meet a T+ level, but now those which meet a less restrictive standard will be permitted in dreams of that rating.
This release is the first to provide official OS X support. Users used to rely on mFurc, a reverse-engineered client by Ghost Tiger, first released in October 2005. While providing native performance, mFurc never allowed character creation, and development stalled in 2009.
The "new client" can best be described as a hi-tech workaround, using Wine to run the Windows client on X11, rendering via XQuartz/X11.app. Mac-specific FAQs are available. A Furcadia iPhone application has also been in development for the last year, but is not yet available.
Under the hood
A "dynamic avatar" feature means point updates will no longer be required for DEP to add avatars. String manipulation has been added to Furcadia's internal scripting language, DragonSpeak, and the maximum size of a script has been extended to 12,000 lines.
The string features proved controversial, as they allow dreams to easily record what people are saying. In response, DEP CEO Felorin said:
"this underscores [the need to judge the management of a dream] if you're wanting to spend a lot of time there. It was already important [...]. Now it's one notch more important, because this new tool can be used by the "bad guys" as well as the good guys."
Dream bookmarks can also be set in Furcadia's IM client, Pounce, and an adult news channel is now offered for dreams rated M16+ and higher.