IT’S ALIVE!!

So, I’ve had a while to poke around with three.js, and I’ve managed to create a world! It’s very basic, but does allow a limited amount of interactivity. This is what will grow and become our fully-fledged stage planning tool! Check it out… The basic stage is a platform that’s really just floating there. There is a light above it, so we can see it. It’s pretty basic, of course, but it’s a start. You can click to add blocks… see. IT’S ALIVE! What’s...

VisiGit: When VisiLit met Github

In January 2013 I joined the VisiLit team, causing the number of software developers to double from one to two. Many programmers out there will know that when it comes to sharing code in a group, things can get very messy. So myself and James started to discuss how we could share and edit our code at the same time without introducing annoying bugs into the program, and soon came across an application called Github. Github allows users to keep track of changes made to shared coding projects, via an online account and Windows application. It is also useful for backing up individual work on a daily basis. If you simply want to share code with the public, membership is free. However, if you want to keep a repository private between a number of Github users, there is a small monthly subscription fee. Once your repository has been created and your project uploaded, all users can clone the files in Windows and begin work on the code as they would any other project. When changes have been made, they can be reviewed in the Github application before the user commits them to the repository through their chosen branch, with the option to add a small description of the changes for the other members of the team to review. There is also an option to ignore certain file types created in the build or debug stages, that may not need to be shared with the group. If I was to give one piece of advice to code collaborators planning to use Github, I would say avoid the “Fork/Pull” model at...

VisiLit needs your help.

VisiLit is in an exciting place at the moment. We have a certain amount of everything but not enough of anything complete. Our day to day is focused on creating a beneficial working product with potential sales lined up in the very near future. We are split between meetings with industry experts, potential customers, mentors et cetera and moving our product development along with our web and desktop applications. Our days our great, with decisions, mistakes, jokes and hard work packed into one! We are currently a team of four energetic men and women that have an aspiration to improve the theatre industry. Vince is our web developer and is currently working on our “Storyboard Editor”, a show planner and designer tool so producers can easily manage their core technical team and save the company time and money on each of their productions. He has also developed our website. Aisling is our desktop application developer and is finishing up our “Show Controller”, a tool that takes a show and a theatre and merges the lighting designs of each in order to skip the time-consuming steps of a companies “get in” when hiring theatre spaces. Daniel is our commercial man, planning and developing our strategies and maintaining our connection with the world. He is responsible for the ongoing talks with the people who helping us on our way. James is the original idea owner and part time developer, deciding the vision and direction of the company but also working on the ground with the people who will be using and purchasing this product in time to come. He was a...

The birth of VisiLit Theatre

VisiLit is a young business, where we are learning every day. We set out to validate our ideas from the industry experts in Ireland, and elsewhere, on an ongoing basis. This has led to us to build a product that has real benefit, because our potential customers told us so. We are proud of our product because it will reduce the effort needed by busy theatre companies to get a show looking spectacular on stage. However, the initial idea came from working in the industry. My experience in entertainment events allowed me to see the necessary improvements for technology in the theatre industry. As a technical manager, I realised that there was a divide between the artistic and creative aspects of designing a show and technical details putting it on a stage. While working, I found that while the technical stuff is very important to the entire production, it is often overlooked until the end dates or until budgets allow. It is also apparent that the people in the team often know about technical details but choose to opt out. VisiLit intends on facing the new task of merging the two sides into one design flow. Once an idea is conceived, users should be able to plan and design that into their show. If it involves technical details, the technical designer (if available) should be able to easily include those details immediately on top of this, rather then waiting for other members of the team or attendance of rehearsals. Adding in these details will be done in short simple steps using some of VisiLit’s software to do the technical...

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Building a business might be one the most daunting steps in a career, yet so many who take this journey fail to plan ahead and is probably why over 90% of all small businesses fail. A business plan sets out what you are doing, how you are getting there and how you know when you get there.  Its about setting targets and describing and understanding how you are going to hit them.  From our experience at VisiLit the best starting point is a Lean Canvas.  This, in simple terms, sets out what your business idea is all about and if there is a market for it, again in the simplest of terms. Once this is tackled its time to look at the business plan.  Thankfully there are plenty of templates available so you aren’t starting off from a totally blank slate.  We’re using the Enterprise Ireland business plan template.  It’s a pretty dense document but its all laid out in black and white what each section should contain.  It seems to be the defacto standard for startups in Ireland seeking investment. Rather than tackling the plan in one paniced, late night session, we have split the plan up into multiple word documents on a shared folder.  This way each team member can view and add notes to each section.  Once every few weeks the plan is reviewed and roughly compiled.  The process is then edited and repeated. I know some people will think or are off the opinion that business plans are needless or the sign of a slow moving business without the ability to pivot, and I did...