What IS SereneScreen? - a message from Jim Sachs

SereneScreen is a product line with a certain philosophy. The first of these products, a saltwater aquarium program, is already available. Over the next few years, I plan to add several more programs, while continuing to improve and enhance the Aquarium. These applications are simulations of living environments, as realistic as I can possibly make them. They are meant to be enjoyed as stand-alone programs, but can also be used as screensavers. Sales are handled by Prolific Publishing, through the SereneScreen.com website.

The Philosophy

SereneScreen environments are meant to be realistic, but always beautiful and serene. This means that the creatures will co-exist peacefully, even if they might not in real life. Aggressive behavior might be shown as a quick chase, but no real violence. I plan to add the ability to feed the animals, but they won't die if you forget. These are no-stress pets.

The habitats are meant to be natural and about the scale which they would appear on a large monitor, so there will be no outlandish creatures, garish toys, or elements which are greatly out of scale.

An important part of the SereneScreen philosophy is the sense of family among those who enjoy the program. The SereneScreen Fan Site contains a huge Forum, and even a live Chat Room where fans can get together, share experiences, make suggestions, and get computer help. There is a long "wish list" of suggestions from fans, and I will try to include as many of these as possible in future revisions. I don't run the Fan Site, but I do visit every day and answer whatever questions I can.

The Aquarium

The first program in the SereneScreen Series is a Marine Aquarium. The free demo can be downloaded at the SereneScreen.com website. This demo contains the Aquarium environment and 3 fish. Unlike most free demos, there is no time limit for using it. Customers are encouraged to test it out on their computers, and enjoy it as long as they want. If the program works fine on their computer, and they would like to have more fish, a Key Code can be purchased on the Website which will unlock all the available fish. There are a maximum of 7 fish on the screen at once, but these can be switched at any time by simply choosing different fish from a settings screen. There are currently 21 species of fish plus a starfish in the program. The settings screen also allows the user to control various aspects of the program, such as lighting and bubble sound.

The first thing that you will notice is that these creatures seem to be alive. They are true 3D objects, and can bend, turn, and swim like real fish. If you have only seen programs which drag pictures of fish around the screen, you are in for a very pleasant surprise!

The Future

Next in the SereneScreen Series will be a Freshwater Tank, but that doesn't mean that the Marine Aquarium won't be updated. All SereneScreen environments will be ongoing projects, and many of the enhancements will be free to all registered users. For example, the Marine Aquarium will gain a 3D background, the ability to feed the fish, and the fish will be given different behavior based on species type. There will also be "Creature Paks" available for a small extra charge which will contain unusual or difficult-to-design animals.

These things will all take time. I worked alone in building the Marine Aquarium, but now that Prolific Publishing is involved, I have the opportunity to work with other talented artists and programmers to speed up the creative process. Nevertheless, I will remain solely responsible for maintaining the quality and realism of the SereneScreen brand.

--- Jim Sachs