18 September 2006

Cannons and other scripted toys, and a whole day to play!

I logged on Sunday at four in the morning (insomnia again) and had the whole sim to myself.

Completed the cannons in their basic form - they shoot in whatever direction they're facing, there's a nice "boom" sound and some flaming particles, and whoever's in it flies. Uploading the boom was a pain; I learned that sound files become much quieter after loading. To get the angle of the push I'm now using the location difference between the hollow cylinder of the cannon and the curved prim that closes the back of the cannon. You can aim the cannon up or down and the force follows suit. If you know someone who wants one, or if you want to be shot thru the sim, IM me. I will probably add a circus texture option and maybe a flaming wick before I start selling them.

I added a switch and some link messages to my ship so that all the runway lights turn on and off as one. Did a cute timing trick so that the particles seem to turn the corner.

No exciting scripting, but I redid my anchor arrangement and raised the boat another 30M. Gets me away from the view of my neighbor's little mall with the giant glass wall, but low enough that other people's skyboxes don't feel too close. I added some boat pics to Snapzilla, but the camera doesn't love me.

One of my european friends was on, so after letting me shoot him from a cannon, I helped him troubleshoot a scripted toy he'd bought that was an incredible example of awkward user configuration. If you expect you users to configure a tool using notecards, design your project so they'll know how to do it right. I've had free AOs and holo-vendors that were far easier to configure. What about contacting the maker? My friend did. Telling your customers that they're stupid is not the path to a good reputation.

I took some free bird and insect sounds and made a script that randomly plays the daytime sounds during the day, and the others at night. A little ambience. I need to explore the distance the sounds travel; if I decide to give this away I don't want to aggravate neighbors.

Gorilla and his friends (a group of neighbors) decided to invest heavily in the sim. They've bought up all the remaining coastline that was for sale and plan to keep it open and available. I'm happy about that - some of the plots were large enough that they could have supported casinos.

Torley got back to me. Said that scripted prims were a big source of lag. Textures too - small, few, and repeated are good. Whether they are library or not doesn't matter. The built-in skirt doesn't add lag. I wasn't sure about that since it was added later. She also pointed out this article as a resource on the wellbeing of sims.

EDIT: This article explains why custom skins and no-prim clothes and the like don't add to lag. So clothes, tattoos, makeup, etc are merged together into the same number of temporary textures regardless of what you use.

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