ISBoxer 41 is around the corner, what’s coming?

ISBoxer 41! New skin! Menus! New Quick Setup Wizard! Buzzwords!

I’ve been working hard on this major update to ISBoxer 41 since January and it’s almost ready. It’s time to show off some of the cool new stuff, and also to get some new Beta Testers! MiRai is cooking up a new video, but until then here’s a little taste of what’s coming in ISBoxer 41!

ISBoxer 41's new ISBoxer Control Panel skin

If you’ve used ISBoxer before, chances are you’ve seen the in-game ISBoxer Control Panel, and that the one in the screenshot above looks much better than the one you’re familiar with.  Hooray! You’ll also notice this new “Menus” tab…

Menus?! ISBoxer didn’t have Menus. What’s a Menu? It’s basically the same thing you might call an “Action Bar” or “Hotbutton Bar” or “Quickslot Bar” or something along those lines (I’ll just say Action Bar if that’s okay) in a typical MMORPG. Something like this…

An example of an ISBoxer Menu, fitted alongside WoW Action Bars

This is just a simple example, designed to fit in with World of Warcraft Action Bars, but menus are an incredibly powerful and dynamic new system for ISBoxer. Clicking on one of the buttons is the same as pressing one of its Hotkeys, and Menus can also provide visual feedback when you move your mouse over or click the buttons (or press the Hotkeys). Menu Buttons are not built right into the menu; they are completely dynamic and can be replaced either all at once or individually. This means that you can set up a Hotkey or something to switch a different set of buttons into your Menu for a different purpose (maybe you need different behavior if you’re mounted than when you’re not mounted, or if you’re out of combat you need different utilities than in combat, etc), and the new set of buttons might look completely different, with different pictures and all… but it will be on the same Menu with the same Hotkeys.

In addition to the simple “Grid” style of template shown above, ISBoxer also provides Radial and fully customizable XML templates.

Radial Menus?! Yes, Radial Menus. The way these work is you press a button to pop up a Radial Menu, and it starts out centered on your mouse cursor. The buttons are placed in a circular fashion at configurable distance around the cursor. Click on a button, and the radial menu disappears! This style of menu can be conveniently used for things that you don’t want to memorize lots of Hotkeys for, but don’t want cluttering up your screen either; as you use the menu more often, your muscle memory will naturally help you move the mouse the right distance and direction!

XML templates will also allow ISBoxer users to create and share Menus that don’t conform to one of the pre-programmed layout styles. Here’s an example of a layout that looks like the Logitech G13:
A fully customized Menu based on the Logitech G13

Well, cool, now people who want to really dive into ISBoxer have a new toy, what about the complete newbies?! Glad you asked. ISBoxer 41 includes a new Quick Setup Wizard, in part to help everyone take advantage of the new Menu system but also to improve the default configuration that ISBoxer sets up for the variety of games we multibox.

The Quick Setup Wizard has gotten many improvements, and this will show on nearly every page of the wizard. The Character selection page, for example, previously was absolute crap for every game but World of Warcraft. Now there is no special version of this page for any game, rather the same useful layout is used, and now allows selection of different Game Profiles per Character. That will make things easier if you want or need to use different game folders, for example.

Selecting Characters in RIFT with ISBoxer 41's Quick Setup Wizard

Even the CPU Strategy page got upgraded. Previously, the wizard always recommended Round-robin CPU Strategy, even when this strategy was clearly not the best idea for the user’s system and number of game instances. Now, the CPU Strategy page attempts to recommend a strategy that will result in smoothest performance. It also indicates how many instances will be using each CPU core, as well as how many CPU cores each instance will be using; this way, the user should be able to make a slightly more informed decision.

The final page of the Quick Setup Wizard previously asked simply if you would like some default Key Maps and a Click Bar assigned to your Character Set. These defaults were an “okay” starting point for many people, but left a lot of people hanging for what they felt were “basic” features for their game.  With ISBoxer 41, this page of the wizard has been replaced with a much smarter system. It now provides a drop-down box with several common styles of configuration, which hopefully defaults to the most common one for your selected game. Additionally, options are now available at this stage of the wizard to configure ISBoxer Hotkeys, and to fill out your Game Key Bindings — for ISBoxer to link up features for you.

Action RPG players, such as Diablo 3 and Path of Exile, will notice a drastic change, with a brand new default configuration tailored to their Mouse Broadcasting-heavy gameplay style. Broadcasting defaults to ON for the new standard Action RPG style! Configurable Hotkeys are also provided to individually control up to 6 Slots from your current window (the full party size in POE), for example when holding F1 or F2 to control Slot 1 or 2. These new Hotkeys will certainly come in handy to re-sync your characters!

MMO players will have a new default “Standard” Menu, which is mostly transparent and can be adjusted and placed directly on top of your game’s Action Bar to provide visual cues when the 1 through = Hotkeys are used for broadcasting. Previously, those Hotkeys were purely invisible!

All ISBoxer customers are invited to participate in the beta; the only requirement is that you join the Beta Testers usergroup on the forums, to unlock the download. For detailed information on participating in the ISBoxer Beta, check out the ISBoxer Beta page on the wiki. Change notes and documentation for ISBoxer 41 are likewise available on the ISBoxer 41 page.

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