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[BETA] Babble Buds- A Virtual Puppet Show Program



  • edited August 2017
    One issue I have been having is that we all need to load the same project in order to have all the puppets loaded.
  • edited August 2017
    So I know it's been awhile since the last update (May 9) and I wanted to give y'all a status update. I was working during the summer and didn't get much done, especially because one specific feature I'm trying to add - Asset Bundles - has proven to be very difficult to implement.

    But, there is so much coming. The next update is going to be the first beta version, and here is just a taste of the very long changelog:

    • Jiggling
    • Thumbnails now appear on Windows machines
    • Added recent projects to welcome page
    • Revamped status bar
    • Hold shift to lock assets to 10px grid (and use the arrow keys to move them as well)
    • Undo and Redo in puppet editor
    • Made popout easier to manipulate
    • In-application help
    • Button (in application menu) to trim your assets

    I must reiterate the full changelog is much longer (but probably a lot more boring). If you'd like, you can check out all the commits since 0.6.0-alpha here.

    I'm going to expand on the "trimming assets" feature because it's really cool. It'll go through each of your assets and find if any of the edges are just all transparent pixels, and it'll trim those parts off. It'll then go into every puppet that uses that asset and reposition the asset so that it'll still appear in the same place. This'll make it so that the frames around your assets will be more accurate, and will fix the head moving all wonky when you have a puppet set to bobble their head while talking. Here's a quick screencast of it in action

    That's all for now. I'm afraid there's still no ETA, because there's still so much to do. I'm working on animated assets, asset bundles (argh!), and an asset version system that'll allow you to update your assets seamlessly, and hopefully fix a lot of issues with syncing assets between clients. If that's still not enough, I'll also be working on a custscene maker that will hopefully eventually lead to a way for any game devs (or anyone else) to use Babble Buds for cutscenes, visual novels, w/e.

    Thanks for all the support you guys, it is such a pleasure seeing the response to this project!
  • Very cool! Can't wait to see the finished product :)

    Any chance there could be a few sets of premade puppets that come with the initial download? I'm not very artistic myself so making my own puppets is out of my realm.
  • @Bigfoot you are preaching to the choir there buddy. Trust me if I had any artistic ability I'd do that in a heartbeat. I can't make puppets either, but what I can do, and plan to do further down the pipeline, is set up a webpage somewhere where people can share their puppets with others.
  • @thepaperpilot That'd be perfect! I might have to bust out good ol' MS Paint and see what I can come up with once this update is released :)
  • Its been a while since someone asked about it I just wanted to know how production goes
  • @thepaperpilot still in need of puppet stuff? I am not an artist per say, but if you do need it, I can give out some of the assets I made when making puppets for a couple of friends.
  • @OlympianHeros ;Yeah it's going good. I'm currently working on making emotes renamable, and after that I still need to finish asset bundles (gah!), animated assets, and support for uploading new versions of assets (which will require a bit of reworking how assets are named and accessed, to ensure this can't be used to maliciously alter someone else's work)

    Something I just finished up was updating the UI for the puppet editor to make changing layers quicker, make it easy to tell which layer is currently being edited, and make editing emotes more intuitive, plus make the whole thing look nicer. Here's a screenshot of what that all looks like:

    That's in addition to other things I've also implemented since my last non-exhaustive changelog. Basically there's a lot coming, but there are still some things that I promised myself I would complete before releasing the next version because I really want the next version to feel complete.  I really want to get all these new features out to you guys, and I really want to give you guys this much more stable version (even though there's still some bugs to work out!), but it's just not quite ready yet.

    @JackOfTheFlames Once I've gotten the new version out, one of the things I plan on working on is a site for babble buds where people will be able to do things like share puppets for others to use and temporarily "borrow" a server to use, for people who can't port forward, don't want to use hamachi, and don't have access to a linux server.
  • Hey if anyone can post a tutorial on how to download and use this because i'm not to smart with these things  :|
  • edited September 2017
    @thepaperpilot ;
    He I just got some time to play with this, So i download win32......0.6.0zip. but when i click on babbleBuds, I get a pop up saying" the application isn't compatible with your pc, Ask the maker if there is a version for your pc".(i would show the pop-up but it is in dutch)
    I got a windows 10 pc. So do I something wrong with opening the application or do I need to download something else? Like Electron?
  • @Spacewalker I'd make sure you downloaded "" There are no version numbers in the file names, so it shouldn't say "0.6.0" anywhere.

    ... That's really all the advice I think I have. I just tried it out on my windows 10 install and it did not give me that message. The one thing I could suspect it being is that you might have a 32-bit only operating system, since the download is for 64-bit computers. However, windows 10 isn't available as a 32-bit operating system, so that couldn't be it. The app is completely self contained, as in you shouldn't need to have anything else installed or downloaded for it to work. I really don't know what the issue could be, so I'd just reconfirm its the correct download.
  • edited September 2017
    @thepaperpilot You are right about 0.6.0 that was something else. 

    But I think we found the problem in the other message, I got a 32-bit operating system at the moment. So if you say the BabbleBuds is only for 64 bit systems then that is the reason it doesn't work on mine pc. (and I just check again ,I got a windows 10 software on this pc).  :( 
    Sad that is doesn't work on my pc at the moment. (probably going to test the program on the school pc Monday. Hopefully, the got the right operating system) 
  • oh, wow I thought Windows wasn't available in 32 bit anymore. I guess I just misremembered. Well the only reason I hadn't put up a 32 bit version was so there'd be fewer options to confuse people, but now that there's a need for 32-bit I've gone ahead and just added the builds for every architecture electron supports. You'll specifically want the "" file. To be clear, this is NOT the next version, these are just builds of the current version, but on more architectures.
  • is there any assets that are out there im not that good at drawing
  • @thepaperpilot ;
    Thx after you made the 32 version i could use it fine. It is a really cool program. Only it cost some time to figure out how you can add your own assets and how the layers work. After that i was really easy making the puppet.
  • @thepaperpilot Is there anyway to use the versions that haven't been "officially released"? For example say I wanted to use the latest update on GitHub instead of the 0.6.0 Alpha release, would that be possible and if so how would we do it?
  • @thepaperpilot I love this program and what is has done to improve my URealms experience. A few suggestions:

    The ability to edit the names of emotions for each puppet
    The ability to add new emotions to a puppet (beyond the normal 12)

    There is a strange bug when the host of a server tries to add assets, it completely breaks the program and the project has to be re-downloaded (as far as we can tell)

    I just fucking love this program <3
  • @Upstagebuffalo Yes, you can. It'll be a bit complicated with ensuring everyone is using the exact same version, and ofc it is considered unready for general use, but if you want to do that, then by all means go ahead. All you need to do is download the repo, download node.js, and then navigate into the "src" folder and run "npm install" and "npm run package". It'll create a folder outside of the "src" folder called "out", with a folder for each system architecture inside it. For example, for windows 64-bit you'll want the one called "win32-64bit" (or similar).

    @Ninja_Goose The first of those ideas is already implemented and will be available in the next release (which is still on its way, don't worry!). I don't currently plan on supporting more than 12 emotions, it'd be too difficult to implement from a UI/X perspective.

    Also, I believe I know what bug you're talking about, and as a byproduct of a bunch of other changes, it will be fixed in the next release.
  • @thepaperpilot keep up the great work, love the program!
  • There's an annual game jam, the largest student run game jam, called Chillenium hosted at Texas A&M, and the most recent one was a week and a half ago. Me and a few others from my university participated, and we used babble buds puppets for the cutscenes. It came out really well, and I wanted to share it with you guys to illustrate the potential of Babble Buds in digital roleplaying games (since I'm sure we're all already aware of its potential in tabletop roleplaying games).

    Tower Offense: (Since its all javascript, it runs in your browser - even on mobile!)

    To clarify, this used babble.js, a library I made by isolating the rendering code for the stage in Babble Buds, for use in other programs, like this game, as well as Babble Movie Maker, a tool I'll be working on once I get Babble Buds Beta out.

    I'll post the puppets we made along with the beta, the reason I'm not doing so now is because we used a (very buggy) pre-release version to make it, and its incompatible with the version of Babble Buds currently available.

  • @thepaperpilot Wow, it is surprisingly addictive, the music is incredibly and somehow fits the game perfectly, thank you for delighting me with this :D welldone
  • Oh my goodness look at that! Ahah it's adorable!
  • edited October 2017
    Hello, one such friend here! I did the pixel arts. (not the puppets though)

    Still deciding whether the fox or the wolf is my favorite ..
  • @thepaperpilot see this is what I love. You reponded perfectly here, complete maturity. This is why I love this community. 
  • @thepaperpilot How is that update coming along? I plan to use this in my next campaign and now I am kinda hoping it gets released before we start.
  • Please understand this is just an estimate and not a promise, but my current goal is to get it done by new years. I still have a few things to implement, and then I need time to test everything to make sure I didn't break stuff while adding other stuff (before the 1.0 release I hope to automate that part).
  • @thepaperpilot Take you time dude. I love the things you did so far. 
  • So I've been messing around with the program (to eventually use with friends), and I was wondering how to do two things: How do I save all of the assets I've added to the program for later use and how do I actually get emotes and babbling to work on custom puppets.
  • Saving the assets: When creating your project you specified a folder to create the project in. Everything you need is in there, just copy the folder and you can do whatever you want with it.

    Emotes and babbling: (I swear this is waaaay more clear in the beta version that'll come out Soon™) In the layers window, right click an emote to enable or disable it, left click it to edit it. In the babble menu, left click an emote (under the mouth or eyes sections) to enable/disable that emote's mouth or eyes to appear while babbling.
  • How is the beta going to work with the puppets?
    Does only the host need to install them and that the files will be "streamed" to the clients of those who connect to it or does everyone need a dublicant of the "asset folder" the host is using?
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