I published a brief comment on Gamasutra announcing my willingness to lead a team to make this technology available to all. Basically, nobody was interested, so nothing came of it.
I ended up writing a little face editor in Java for use in Siboot. This tool allowed a storyworld builder to create, edit, and display faces. It didn’t produce photorealistic images: the intention was to get something more like “serious cartoon faces” that could exhibit a broad range of emotional expressions.
This face editing prototype is an ideal testbed for investigating the practicality of open sourcing the rest of the Storytron technology. It’s only about 1500 lines of Java code, but I cut a lot of corners in its development so a proper version would probably be larger by some order of magnitude.
I propose making this source code available with one caveat: I’m not going to simply place the existing code in a repository somewhere. It’s written in Java and the cruel truth is that Java is no longer a mainstream language (only “techies” can install Java on their machines). This would prevent the Face Editor from being useful to a large chunk of the public.
But, as I wrote earlier, I will not do this myself. I want to see some commitment from the community. I want to know that I’m not just talking to myself when I write these posts.
Here my proposal:
- We’ll discuss this thing for one week. All specifics are open for discussion.
- On Monday, June 16th, we’ll end the discussion and I’ll assess the responses.
- If the discussion fails to generate enthusiasm I’ll set aside the issue of open sourcing the Storytron technology for a later date.