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Updates for May 2, 2021
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Updates for May 2, 2021
First off, a HUGE thank you to everyone who has sent in reports for audio/video errors and performance issues. We have been working hard to track down the root causes and create a better overall experience. We hope that the incremental changes implemented over the last few weeks have been noticeable (or should we say, "We hope that you haven't noticed issues at all!")
Client-side performance and video reliability remain our top two priorities here at Gather and we are grateful to each and every one of you who takes a moment out of your day to help us track down mysterious and hard to reproduce bugs. Please keep sending in those reports!
image of a luxurious Victorian-style office lobby
In other news, because this week's update is short, please enjoy this luxurious foyer created by our extremely talented art team. It is part of the "Fancy Office" template and all objects (even the rugs!) can be found in the object picker!
↕ Mapmaker Sidebar Adjustment
animated image showing the sidebar for the mapmaker being adjusted up and down
It's the little things in life that bring joy and satisfaction. Thank you for the feedback regarding the new Mapmaker UI! The side panel can now be adjusted to fit your own workflow needs.
🐛 Minor Updates and Bug Round up
  • When someone "rings" you, you get an automated chat message letting you know who rang for you.
  • Deleted Spaces no longer appear on Recent Spaces List
  • Gridview interaction bug
  • Nickname Characters bug
  • Tooltip updates
  • Poster Upload bug
  • Frozen video links bug
That's all for now!
- The Gather Team
Updates for April 25, 2021
new
fixed
improved
Mapmaker
Avatars
Happy Spring! We're back this week with a literal actual ton of new features, improvements, and bug fixes. Let's go!
🏗 New Mapmaker UI
Image showing new mapmaker UI with menu
We're excited to announce the release of our newly reworked Mapmaker! The new design has all of the functions of the Mapmaker you know and love with the addition of some new, exciting, and often-requested features including:
  • Duplicating existing objects! ( Use Ctrl/⌘ + C with the object you wish to duplicate selected!)
  • If the object you duplicated was a Gather Object, you can still rotate and change colors as if you just selected it out of the object picker!
  • An Object Context Menu! (Options to move an object forward or back, duplicate, and delete!)
  • Tile coordinates display!
🎤 Volume Level Indicator
image showing audio level indicator in user settings
The volume level indicator shows your microphone's volume level and allows for test playback in the user settings page and the initial camera and microphone check. Can you hear me now?
🔄 Turn in Place
A character looking left and right while standing in place then moving to a chair and facing down
Gather avatars can now turn in place! To turn in place, stand still for a moment, and then tap either the arrow key or the WASD key corresponding to the direction you wish to face.
No more staring over the back of the couch!
🎓 New Avatars
A photo of several avatars in graduation uniforms with two bald avatars in sweater vests on either side of group
It's graduation season! Congrats to the Class of 2021. Show off your academic achievements in a variety of colors. We're also introducing a bald avatar with a spiffy sweater vest! Whatever look you decide to go with, remember: wear sunscreen.
🖱 Click Interactions (In Beta, Gradual Roll Out)
gif of avatar moving back and forth using click interaction
Gather now features a new way to get around: Clicks! Double-left-click on a tile to walk to it. Clicking to move will automatically try and avoid private spaces, bumping into people, and the office coffee maker at 3 PM.
You can also right click (or two-finger click) on a participant to open a context menu. This menu lets you follow someone, send them a message, or start a bubble.
image showing close-up of context menu
Note
:
On Mobile, you can long-press to open and use the Context Menu, but the "send chat" function is not supported.
💬 Bubbles (In Beta, Gradual Roll Out)
gif showing one person starting a bubble with another by right clicking. They then automatically move over to the other person and a colored bubble appears around them
A bubble is a conversational aside between you and another person. Need to get a word in, but don't wanna disturb the flow? Break out into a bubble.
People outside your bubble will still be able to hear you, albeit very softly (and with transparent video). People can join and leave bubbles freely, even across private spaces.
Screen sharing in a bubble will broadcast your screen to everyone who could see you in a normal conversation.
To start a bubble, click another participant to open the context menu and select 'Start bubble'.
🐛 Minor Updates and Bug Round up
  • Time-limited invitation links are back!
  • Minor menu text updates!
  • New Beta Warning screen in Safari!
  • Search bar fixes on the dashboard!
  • Text no longer disappears under interactive objects!
  • Desktop App Auto-Mute Fixes!
  • Updated Object Picker Categories!
  • Canvas Drawing Performance Improvements
That's all for now!
- The Gather Team
Updates for April 11, 2021
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🔊 Ambient Sounds
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We are excited to announce the introduction of Sound Objects! Two types are being released at this time:
  • Sound Emitters - These emit sounds to a large area and look like speakerphones
  • Localized Sound Objects - These emit sounds to a small area and look like objects that would typically have sounds (Fountains, fire pits, streams, etc).
Sound Emitters are designed to cover large maps and we highly suggest only placing one; however, if you find that you are not getting enough coverage, you can place several at various intervals.
At this time, the sound objects themselves cannot be adjusted. If you find the pre-set volume distracting, you can adjust how they sound to you in your User Settings:
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If you don't hear any sounds and you're on a Windows computer, click here to find out how to adjust your Call Settings.
When deleting Sound Objects, remember to have everyone in the Space refresh their browser for the changes to take effect.
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Sound Objects are still in development and we plan to continue exploring the possibilities and adding customization options! If you have thoughts, comments, or questions on these Sound Objects, please feel free to send us an email to Feedback@gather.town with "Sound Object Feedback" in the subject line or post them on our public Q&A board found here: https://feedback.gather.town/ask-a-question.
🐛 Minor Updates and Bug Round up
  • Follow and Locate algorithm updated to avoid private tiles
  • Passible Portals tile bug
  • Audio device auto switching less agressive
  • Red/Green Online icon colors adjusted
  • Fixed modals taking frame out of focus
That's all for now!
- The Gather Team
Updates for April 4, 2021
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👩‍🏫 The New Whiteboard
image of an office meeting room with fax machine, commercial printer, and white board
We are excited to announce the release of our new whiteboard integration with Eraser [tryeraser.com/home]! With this board, you can:
  • Draw vector graphic objects that are easy to rotate, scale, and move around the canvas
  • Adjust the z-height of your objects
  • Easily center and fit all of the contents into your view window
  • Easily copy, paste, and delete drawn objects using universal keyboard shortcuts
  • Use any and every color available via hex code
  • Share notes for your brainstorming session in real time with markup notation
  • Easily switch your own personal view between notes only, canvas only, and having a side-by side view without affecting your collaborators' view
Image showing the new white board interface with notes on one side and drawings on the other. One object is selected to show properties
You can check out the new white board by navigating to tryeraser.com or by dropping a new white board into your space!
A Note on Old Boards:
Never fear, old Cocreate boards inside of Gather Spaces will not be altered. We have no intention of removing them at this time; however, we do not plan to offer support for them moving forward.
🐛 Minor Updates and Bug Round up
  • Hotkeys in MM activated on start
  • Auto-mute bug
  • Lingering audio bug
  • Performance Tweaks
  • And other, smaller bugs
That's all for now!
- The Gather Team
Updates For March 27, 2021
new
improved
Mapmaker
Dashboard
🪑 Improved Object Handling
Animated image showing chairs being placed around a table with chairs rotating depending on the side of the table it is being placed on
After you select an object from the Object Picker in our Mapmaker, you can now easily rotate and change the color of the object before placing it. You can rotate the object by:
  • Clicking on the arrow keys in the right side panel
  • Pressing the [R] key on your keyboard to rotate clockwise
  • Pressing [shift+R] on your keyboard to rotate anti-clockwise
Note
:
Right now you will need to click on one of the side menus in order to activate the Mapmaker hotkeys. This oddity will hopefully be worked out soon!
You can even change an object's properties after it's been placed when you click on it using the selection tool!
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Note
:
This only works for Gather Objects found in the New Object Picker. Unfortunately, you won't be able to rotate or change the color on older Gather Objects or custom-uploaded objects.
Additionally, names for all Gather Objects from the New Object Picker and custom uploaded objects that you have named will have those names listed on the Mapmaker Editing Stack to help easily distinguish which objects are where.
📶
Network indicator icons
To help you and others identify potential connection issues sooner, we've implemented Network Indicators that will help you see when you or your friend's streaming upload quality degrades.
New Project
For your own video preview in the bottom right, you will always see your own Network Indicators. For your friends, you will only see their Network Indicators if their connection becomes unstable.
If your own internet disconnects entirely and Gather fails to establish a connection to stream video/audio, you will get an error message with troubleshooting steps.
🔐 Login Information
You can now easily check which account you are logged into by clicking your name in the control panel at the bottom of your screen while inside of a Space. The e-mail associated with your account will be listed under the nick name you give yourself inside of that Space.
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🚪Unbanning
In case you accidently banned yourself or your friends, you can now undo bans in your Space's Premium Dashboard.
unban
🐛 Minor Updates and Bug Round up
  • Beta Feedback Form Fixed
  • Minor text updates for consistency
  • More clear Spotlighted indicators
That's all for now!
- The Gather Team
P.S. If you're passionate about connecting people online more meaningfully, check it out https://gather.town/jobs !
Updates for March 21, 2021
improved
✏️Erasers of the Future
animated image showing character moving and deleting objects using the new eraser interface
(Alt Title: No More Accidental Desk Deletions!)
In Eraser Mode
(while inside your Space), easily scroll between the objects in a stack to select the one you want to erase. This menu will only appear if there are 2 or more objects on the square you are trying to erase.
To use the semi-secret individual object selection feature, simply press x when the object you would like to erase is highlighted!
In the Mapmaker
, when you use the erase on a stack of objects, it will now only delete the topmost object. To delete an object in the middle of the stack, select it from the list on the right side and use the backspace button on your keyboard!
👀 Emote Hotkeys Preview
Animated image showing several emote previews before settling on one that then populates over the character's head
When using the keyboard shortcuts for your emotes, you will now preview which one you are selecting so you can make sure you have the right one keyed up before it appears above your avatar!
🐛 Minor Updates and Bug Round up
  • Sign-in refresh bug
  • Minor updates to Office Demo
  • Minor text updates for consistency
  • Status Message Bug
  • And lots of backend updates
That's all for now!
- The Gather Team
P.S. If you're passionate about connecting people online more meaningfully, check it out https://gather.town/jobs !
Updates for March 14, 2021
improved
new
Our new interface for creating a new space showing the space station template selected
✨New "Create New Space" Flow
We've made it easier than ever to browse our collection of our fully decorated template Spaces. Now, when you click the "Create New Space" button, you will be taken to a new interface where you can
  • View templates by category by clicking the list on the left
  • Flip through several preview images of the template's best features
  • Get information on the number of basic and advanced objects in the template
  • Filter templates by Space Capacity
  • Filter templates by indoor, out door, or combination of indoor and outdoor areas
  • Easily use your own maps or maps you have access to as a template
💼 Office-Centered First Time User Demo
The first screen after starting our new office demo and walk through
In our ongoing effort to improve the first time user experience, we've created a demo that walks you through a typical day at the office. Although this is particularly tailored for virtual offices, it's a fantastic way to introduce your friends to Gather and help teach them how to navigate our various features! During the demo, you will learn about:
  • Build and Erase Mode
  • Private Spaces
  • Spotlighting and Screen Sharing
  • and more!
When you learn about spotlighting, an informational pop up will appear
Although this is particularly tailored for virtual offices, it's a fantastic way to introduce your friends to Gather and help teach them how to navigate our various features!
A link to this completely opt-in demo will be included in the confirmation e-mail when you sign up to be on our list of Remote Office Beta testers. Additionally, you can launch this demo at any time from our Homepage!
You can try out the new office demo by clicking the top button on our home page that is labeled "try our the office demo"
🔁 Updated Object Picker Categories
And image of our new object picker with the Presentation Category open
We've revamped the categories available in the object picker to make it easier to navigate. Our Situational Categories now consist of:
  • Office Decor
    - From coffee cups to water coolers, we got you covered!
  • Presentation
    - Everything you need to co-work or present information to others!
  • Celebration
    - Because you don't need a holiday as an excuse to celebrate!
  • Outdoor
    - Trees, benches, lamp posts, and everything you need to feel like you're outside.
Our Descriptive Categories are mostly the same, with the addition of the Appliances Category. Now you can easily find some of our newest objects including commercial printers and vending machines!
🎉 A Moment to Celebrate Our Series A Funding!
We're excited to announce that Gather has raised a $26M series A led by Sequoia, with participation by Index Ventures, YCombinator, Dylan Field, and Jeff Weiner!
The vision for Gather has always been really ambitious: build a Metaverse that gives you access to people and opportunities wherever you are. We saw this as something that would be a large part of many people's lives: they would be using it everyday for work or with their friends, family, and communities.
However, with this vision comes great responsibility, and so we've always been cognizant of building with the right incentives. We took great care in selecting investors with similar values to our own, and are really excited to partner with them moving forward!
We'll be using this capital to expand the team, and are rapidly hiring across all roles. If you're passionate about connecting people online more meaningfully, check out gather.town/jobs
For more info on our mission and plans, check out our CEO's announcement on twitter here as well as the article on our Series A Funding on Tech Crunch.
🐛 Minor Updates and Bug Round up
  • Gather now asks for audio and video at the same time
  • Improved notifications in regards to connectivity and permissions needed
  • Uploading custom images endless loading time fixed
  • https://gather.town/jobs is live!
That's all for now!
- The Gather Team
Updates for February 28, 2021
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image
This week we have the exciting launch of our long awaited self-help center (pictured above)! You can find it by going to https://support.gather.town/ or by clicking the "Help Center" button at the top right of our homepage. If you still can't find what you're looking for, please feel free to send us an e-mail using the contact form and we will not only be happy to answer your questions, but will also add it to our knowledge base in order to help others who may have similar questions!
Over the next few weeks we will continue to add tutorials, video walkthroughs, and more information on our most commonly asked questions!
📺🐛 Audio and Video Stability Improvements
Over the last few weeks, many of our long-time users reported encountering more stability issues than before. We are both aware of the issues, have been working hard to resolve them, and want you to know that stabilizing the video system is, by far, our biggest priority.
Two weeks ago we pushed out a new version of the video system that involved significant rewrites because the previous version was fundamentally flawed in many ways. We wanted to create a better foundation upon which we could fully stabilize our system. We built this new foundation, tested it, and when we were confident that all of the the flaws we saw during testing were resolved, we pushed it out to Production. After doing this, we began to hear about and see several new issues that we did not encounter during our testing processes.
Our understanding of how significant changes affect our video system is ever evolving. We are constantly improving our metrics, monitoring methods, and logging procedures in order to better understand the impact of large changes on our system in addition to developing a better understanding of what issues users are seeing as these changes are implemented.
All of this is to say, we are deeply sorry for all the pain this has been causing you. We hope it helps to see a little of what goes on behind the scenes and to know that this is also causing us a ton of pain. After this weekend, it will be much more stable than it has been.
As always, if you encounter issues, please send us a bug report using the Gather icon in the upper left of your screen — We really do look at all of the bug reports and are constantly looking to improve the overall user experience.
Thank you for all of your patience!
-The Gather Team
Updates for February 21, 2021
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Screenshot of first prompt on tutorial island letting people know how to move
This week's update involves UX/UI improvements for first time and returning Gatherers!
🛬 New Audio and Video Landing Page
You can now preview your avatar when you first enter Gather before you enter your space.
Initial Gather landing page to check your video and audio settings
To change your name or character's look, simply click on the button that says "Edit Character."
Module to change your name and character image
🏝️ Tutorial Island
Starting this Sunday, new users will be guided through a short tutorial before arriving at their very first Gather experience. After learning the basics of movement and interacting with objects, they will be teleported to their destination. This helps users sort out their name as well as their audio and video settings before they arrive in a Space to remove confusion regarding people who are experiencing connecting issues and those who are taking a little more time to get settled before joining the Gathering.
Final prompt showing portal to enter destination space
Users will only see this tutorial if they have never used Gather before. If you have entered any Gather Space before this coming Sunday, you will not encounter this tutorial unless you open Gather while in Incognito Mode on your browser. This tutorial can be skipped at any time by clicking on the "Skip Tutorial" button on the left side menu.
Sidebar showing "Skip Tutorial" button
Here's a video of the Tutorial Island Experience:
Updates for February 14, 2021
new
Image of a garden scene with various trees, tables, games, and decorations
Everything in the above image (Including the arrows and pre-generated help text) can be found in our Mapmaker using our new Object Picker!
🛋️ New Object Picker
image of the new object picker
Our refreshing new Object Picker allows you to easily browse our wide selection of objects and customize them for your own needs. We have over 150 objects and 1400 variants available and plan to continue increasing both of these values over the next few weeks!
Customization options include:
  • Color (and sometimes display options)
  • Direction
  • Object Interaction Type
That's right! You can now make our chairs interactive if you so choose!
Additionally, you can now easily drag and drop in your own custom objects to upload them!
Image of the new drag and drop to uploading interface
Looking forward to seeing all the delightful Spaces created with this powerful new tool!
-The Gather Team
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