11 September 2006

Cannons and Taking Shots at the Newbie Experience

Sunday was a busy day for me. I redid the boat into a boat-platform. I must remember to take pictures. It has three sets of lift balloons, the anchor, a 20m x 20m platform with railings and marquee lights, and a triangular covered front area with metal rimmed portholes suitable for cannons. There's an attractive sitting poseball hiding in one of the portholes. (Speaking of which, I highly recommend Thunders Animations. No relation.) Being a ship, it required a wheel to steer it. The wheel uses llTargetOmega() to spin for a few seconds in either direction when touched. And then there's the cannon...

It isn't complete yet, but it does load, make a "boom" sound, and launch people in the direction the cannon faces. I am fortunate to have such tolerant neighbors. *grin* There were a couple bouts of scripting agony; the Lindens have taken down the LSL wiki site to do upgrades. Having never used llPushObject() before, this made the cannon's scripts a bit more challenging than I had planned. I still do not understand the meaning behind having both "impulse" and "angular impulse." In the end, I resorted to setting the angular impulse to <0.0,0.0,0.0> and working with a normalized impulse vector (to describe the direction to fling people) multiplied by a predetermined "force."

Other than building... I talked with some neighbors, noticed that the coastline in front of my land is still for sale, modelled a spiked armband made by a friend (there's a pic of that on Snapzilla,) helped a couple of newbies, adjusted one of my vendors at Rainbow Mall, and finally got around to checking out the Burning Life displays. If you haven't been there it was... trippy. I did laugh at the one commenting on camping chairs and typical newbie behavior in SL, but it makes me wonder how much of that is because of the awkwardness of the newbie experience in SL. When I compare my first ten hours of SL to the same in WoW or other massive multiplayer environments, SL still does an incomplete job of pulling in new people. Socializing, interesting locations and events, educational resources, how to use the Search, money trees 101, links to common web resources, etc. New Citizens and groups like them help fill in the gaps, but I was well past my first ten hours before I found them, and based on conversations with newbies, my experience wasn't unique.

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