21 December 2007

I will be away for a week or two...

I now have SL running on the laptop, albiet poorly. So if I've got network access, I'll be able to appear on the grid to tend to things as they come up. IMs are set to go to my email ( storm dot thunders at gmail dot com ) so hopefully I won't miss anything. My apologies in advance - please don't be surprised if it takes several days for me to respond.

19 December 2007

A search interface, and me claiming some turf.

If you haven't seen it yet, Tateru Ninu's put up a friendlier web interface for LL's Search.

Insomnia. Whatever else can be said for it, it does give one some time to play.

I didn't manage to catch up to half the people I wanted to talk with, and the dataserver was having odd issues (you know something is wrong when even profiles can't come up consistently.) I did manage to pick up a plot of CoLA land in Trevon Paine's sim South Gate. Turns out I have Veyron as a neighbor! Met a couple of the others, I think having a place there will be fun. I've had an alt or two running around CoLA and some of the other gaming sims, I think I'll add Storm there, maybe as a supernatural. I've also been exploring weapon scripting for CCS.

I'm going traveling for a week or two, and depending on whether or not I can get the old laptop running I may be out of touch. So if you can't contact me before the new year, I'm probably not dead. ;)

13 December 2007

Pinup Girls and other stuff

Haven't posted anything here in too long. I've been playing too much WoW, sleeping a lot, and trying to trim down my SL inventory. I'm down to about 15.6K. Stop laughing! :D

I'm doing a little exploration into making weaponry for CoLA. The melee stuff looks straightforward enough. I need to start contacting people to get information about ranged weapon best practices. I'm tempted to see if I rent a small plot over there - I've been messing around making post-apocalyptic builds and found it is a lot of fun.

Ran across a possible bug - when I try to add a "no mod" animation to my AO HUD I can't, but if I rez the HUD on the ground I can add the animation. I need to do a little jira research and possibly more experimentation.

I updated Avatar Toolbox to point at my Sunwi Do plot as the inworld pickup location. Caught up with an old friend. I've set the photo booth in the workshop so in theory members of the group can manipulate the pose balls but I haven't tested that yet. One of these days I'll rescript it so that there's only one poseball.

The next SL Blogger party is this weekend. The theme's the '40s, so I've put together a navy Pinup Girl. I may look for some kind of aviator's outfit for her too. There's some gorgeous retro outfits out there, more for the '50s on up, but there's still a fair amount to choose from. Pics when I get around to it.

EDIT: Pics here.

03 December 2007

Not much grid time lately

RL has been busy. Redoing home office, holidays, work related madness, etc.

I have spent some time with TOKOROTEN and ROKURO, both easy-to-learn applications for making certain styles of sculpted prims.

18 November 2007

SL Profiles on the web.

Now we can have our avatar profiles up on the web. To do it you need to know your avatar key. Then you make a url like this one, replacing the bold text with your key.

http://world.secondlife.com/resident/Your_Key_Here
Here's mine. I'm not sure how long it takes for updates to appear, but I can tell you it isn't less than five minutes. *grin*

So how does one find out what someone's key is?

You can visit one of the many name to key services like this one.

Or, drop this script into a prim, save it, and touch the prim. It'll say the key of whoever touches it.

default
{
touch_start(integer total_number)
{
llWhisper( 0,(string)llDetectedKey(0) );
}
}

Permissions checking script

Ordinal Malaprop is a wonderful person who makes builders' lives a little easier.

Animations, updates, and big words

Whipped up a couple candle holding animations for a friend, since it turns out the QAvimator version available for Apple machines has some issues.

Updated my SLX boxes (they've revved up several versions in the last couple weeks.)

Ran this blog thru one of those online tests. I guess this means I use too many big words?
genius reading level


Lots of windlight talk going on. :D

16 November 2007

Search experiments continue.

I don't know how long it will last, but my shop is #5 when you search for neko skins.

Seems I'm on the right track with the store rebuilds.

15 November 2007

Search uses related words

Search is using -related- words. If you're searching for Deer, buck will come up. Poodle, dog will come up. Thanks to SL's last name tradition, this is making for some very odd search results.

For my vendor tasks: Names and descriptions are updated, a copy of everything except the blow up doll can be found at the Sunwi Do site. The sound prims are separate from the general freebies. TP location has been adjusted. I've thinned down the shop in Seomna, gives me more prims for building in the workshop. The HUDlandmark address, blog address, and the ones on the slexchange infos have been updated.

13 November 2007

Working out Search tuning

The basics of my shops have been rebuilt, now I'm starting on readjusting things to account for the new Search functionality. 1 2

The name field of a prim: Limited to 63 characters being displayed and edited in SL client but upto 255 can be saved (llSetObjectName)and retrieved (llGetObjectName and llKey2Name) via scripts. How many characters are showing up in Search? How many characters are being referred to by Search?

From Jeska Linden: Currently we’re indexing the name of the object, it’s description and it’s price.

I need to clean up names of vendor objects - Anything with AV becomes avatar. Check all multiple-object vendors and rename them. The description now is for more than just mouseover text.

Objects appear to be clustered by parcel. Good on one hand (we aren't stuck viewing 1000 versions of Dress-Red) but it means you may have to click on each entry to find the relevant information. Is there any sense to the order they're shown in the listing? They appear to be alphabetically listed.

Here's the url to see how your info looks right now.
http://secondlife.com/app/search/search?q=Storm%20Thunders

Keyword prims inside the store. "Feline Neko Cat Skins and Avatars - Many styles for male and female" Just set it at the price of the skins and tuck it down inside the floor or something.

Some of my freebies need to be moved to their own prims, especially the Sound Prims.

TP point given by search is currently the one set for the parcel - I need to reset mine.

Unfortunately, it can take several days for the search engine to update, so it'll be a slow process learning how to use it effectively.

12 November 2007

09 November 2007

Invisiprims and Occlusion

Added some new information to the invisiprims page about how invisiprims can occlude 24 bit textured objects. Read the forum article here.

How to turn Occlusion Culling on and off:
Client | Rendering | Object-Object Occlusion
or hit CTRL-SHIFT-O

06 November 2007

02 November 2007

Doings

So, what've I been up to?

Picked up some wings and a mermaid avatar from Seven's Selections and they're delightful. The wings have size and speed settings, and they've also got a flight assist built in. She's got script-enabled demo versions too. Kate Amdahl reviews them here.

Shop rebuilding. :P But I like the open design, and the waterfalls flowing thru it to connect it together.

Experimented with building a quick prefab house for a 512 lot. It isn't too terribly hard, but I guess I'm just not a virtual house kind of person.

30 October 2007

Nuts and building

SL, you worry me. Kick Dilbert's writer in the nuts!

In less exciting news, I've been redoing my main shop to account for the way the new Search functions. I'm thinking about leaving a path to a club-like area - I still adore the wild neon Blacklite colors.

24 October 2007

Time and Place

I've been playing a bit of WoW with some friends. WoW's world has a 24 hour day, so since we play in the evenings, I've been always seeing their world at sunset.

Part of a sense of place is how it changes over time. Days and nights, weather, seasons, the changing positions of the sun and moon. Growth, erosion, repairs and construction.

WoW's world has weather - rain, snow, sandstorms. Their time is tied to the real world; days last 24 hours, and a year is the same in either world. The moon is always full. The leaves never turn, and the snow never melts. There's an inn that's been being repaired for years, yet it never changes. There are annual holidays tied to the realworld calendar, and certain fish can be caught at different times of year. There's also a monthly fair that appears on the same date every month. Shadows are a strange mix; world objects have shadows that move in relation to the sun's position, while those of avatars and npcs are small circles directly underneath.

Time in SL moves at breakneck speed. Six days there to one in the real world. There's no seasons or weather or shadowing, although any particular area may have some if the current tenants wish it. If they're still there - neighborhoods change ownership and style in the blink of an eye. The wind changes force and direction. The moon is always full. There's a faint sense of year in the recurrence of Burning Life, The Relay for Life, and the track of the sun in the sky. You can also stop the movement of the sun in the sky in your own viewer, and even move the sun around in the sky. Island owners can stop the sun entirely - it is never noon in Midnight City.

For a quick visit or two, a place's cycles don't matter. A visitor won't notice them. The 2D/3D design, the usability flow, the sounds and colors are what they'll remember. But in the long term, those cycles are part of what defines a place. They're what we notice when we've come back after being away, they're part of how we mark time.

For Tourists of Gor

Looking for a fun themed Halloween costume set for you and your friends? Or just like wacky avatars?

Have you ever read Houseplants of Gor?


The avatars are now available for $10L each ($30 for the set) at SL Exchange and OnRez.

19 October 2007

New SEARCH

Heads up! Search is reborn!

Making a robot avatar

The SL Blogger group's party theme this time is robots. I roamed around SLX and OnRez but didn't find whatever it is I was looking for.

Then I found this on the web.

I don't want exactly that, but I like a lot of the design. I like the rounded squares, that most of the box shapes are tapered, and the color scheme. Sort of like a feminine MegaMan. To do it right, I'll have to whip out some sculpties. I made a prototype (sans sculpties or custom textures) last night. The chest area gave me a lot of trouble - I might redo the prototype there and add some invisiprims.

18 October 2007

Zombies and Freebies go well together

One of my rl friends decided to try out SL. I made an alt to travel with her, in the hopes we'd end up in the same orientation areas. The newbie experience is very different now than it was when I started. Done a lot of touring, I've gotten to see a lot of neat places.

As part of this new "game" I'm seeing what I can do entirely with freebies. There's tons of nice hair, skins, and toys. I've added Fabulously Free to my bloglist - she's found some gems, and I've got a much better list of places to shop for clothing than I used to.

I checked out the new I Am Legend sims the other day, and I like their zombie game. It's fun, and the gear is free. I'll have to take some pics.

17 October 2007

Rezzing conspiracy theories!

Sometimes, when I don't have enough to think about, I like to make up conspiracy theories. They're fun, they're stimulating, and I like to watch people pull them apart or add to them.

The mystery of Rezzable, their identities and business plan. Me musing about how bulk business needs larger advertising channels than are currently available in SL. Ansche is a major investor in SLX, owns one of the banking licenses in Entropia, a lot of the land in SL...

So... anyone wondering if maybe Ansche Chung is funding Rezzable?

15 October 2007

*sigh*

Dear Fellow Grid Inhabitants,

Please understand that making your avatar completely invisible is in dubious taste. There also is no known way to consistently hide your name tag from another's view.

If you're doing it so that special someone doesn't know you're there, it is called stalking. Stalking is considered a form of griefing and is forbidden by the ToS.

Yes, I host a page about invisiprims. Yes, I offer some for free. Yes, I sell the Invisible Man Avatar - notice that he's outlined. No, I'm not going to make you entirely invisible.

Megaprims, we'll miss you.

The traditional path of the grid ban-hammer is an announcent that the Lab is "considering" something, a wait of roughly a month, then the something is no longer allowed on the grid. This seriously saddens me; I've seen a lot of lovely builds that use megaprims responsibly. They're part of the Caledon sims, they're core to the Greenies sim, several "desert" sims use them to remove the ocean view that's a default part of islands without neighboring sims...

http://blog.secondlife.com/2007/10/12/the-big-prim-problem/
http://forums.secondlife.com/showthread.php?t=216541

Anyway, here's what I commented.


You want to solve the megaprim problem?

- Let us make prims up to 256x256x256 in the editor.

They're common in large builds as walls and floors, and for large spheres the only other option available takes a lot of prims. Experiment with the physics to find out what sizes give the physics system trouble - I've seen no signs of sim problems with the common 20x20x0.5 prim.

- Allow island owners to "texture" the view off the side of their sims

This is the main use of megaprims over 256M^2. With WindLight in development, would this be a good time to consider adding this feature?

- Make prim parcel encroachment impossible.

I've had MANY more cases of this from the standard Linden trees than from megaprims or anything else. It is a common user complaint, and I suspect the Lindens who do inworld support would love for parcel encroachment to be impossible.

11 October 2007

Wednesday Oct 24

The CSI television episode featuring SL is supposed to air Wednesday Oct 24. So (HEY STORM! PAY ATTENTION!) make sure that all your rents and such are payed up for a couple days, because the grid is likely to be overwhelmed and full of newbies.

10 October 2007

Skin

I've said before that I doubted I'd ever make a normal skin. There's thousands out there. But this tutorial tempts me.

07 October 2007

Kids

Marianne McCann has a show with a very different view about child avatars than the media has been portraying. Drop by and see SL from a different angle.

Professional help

Know some guy avatars who need a little help dressing themselves? I'm tempted to drop by and grab a landmark to share... ;)

02 October 2007

Hey bloggers!

I don't usually blog about blogging, but this thrills the geek in me!

You know those little things that have you type in a word to leave a comment? To cut down on automated spam? This one puts up words from books that are being digitized. What you type helps decipher a word that was not readable by the scanning computers.

http://recaptcha.net/

hee!

Neat! neon Neko got a mention in a new freebie fashions blog. The description as sad surprised me, the skins have an air of feline indifference on most of my shapes. One of these days I'll have to make a pair of freebie shapes to go with the skins. Especially a male shape, a strongly square jaw does not look good with them. The female freebie skin does have very soft shadows around the belly - I didn't want it overly muscled and probably went too far the other way.

01 October 2007

Turf and the Neko Fair


Well, the Neko Fair was fun. I sold some stuff and talked to several people. I've learned to always put freebies in a very obvious place *grin*, and that there's a lot of people who need a cuddly tiger toy.

Meta Card needs to do some work on their business model - every single one of my sales there was cash.

Some land next to one of my properties is going cheap. I'm thinking about upping my tier and buying it. Haven't made up my mind yet. There's an ad farmer block in the center of two I'm looking at, and I'm wondering if they'll either sell cheap or consent to a trade for a square closer to the road. I guess it depends on whether they still log in, and how much of their business model is reasoned. I could always box the plot out where my build is.

28 September 2007

Havok 4

The end of the world must be near, or Hell just had some very unseasonable weather. Havok 4 cometh!

Flags!

If you haven't seen it yet, this is a delight. Ordinal offers us another alternative to Voice!

VAT and automated testing

Hot news right now is that LL is applying VAT to purchases from the EU. I wish they'd posted a notice about this in the official blog; there have been a lot of people wondering if this was a phishing scam. It isn't. LL does has an office in the UK now.

There's some attempt to create a bit of automated testing for LSL. There's currently several areas that aren't tested that would work in this context, so there's room for contributions.

27 September 2007

Dreamtime

Ever want to touch the sky? Check these two articles.

I'll be the first one to admit that I'm mostly oblivious to clothes and fashion. I like what I like, and I don't care if that hideous affront to the eyes called legwarmers are "back" or not. But this place has some stunning outfits. I must go shopping.

24 September 2007

Who needs a title anyway?

Not a lot to say. I did some vendor errands, uploaded another skin. I'm happy with the gray freebie one, I just need to remember to send it out. I keep forgetting how easy QAvimator is to use. I like the interface on the new ZHAO AO. My apologies to you all - I've been feeling not-social too often lately.

I made an animated bonito treat - after she's eaten all the bonito, my neighbor's cat rolls around on the ground where the flakes were - and that came out rather cute. I haven't done much with the built-in facial animations before this. I put it up for sale, but my email informs me that I forgot to use the proper group tag. :( I intend to fix that tonight.

I dropped a note to the MetaCard address for merchants. If you don't have a card account, and you click on the vendor, it pops up a dialog sending you to their website. *dry tone* This is not in a vendor's best interest. If someone's decided to buy something, the last thing I want is for them to be sent on an adventure across the internet. :P The appropriate place for linking to a website is the "We take Metacard" sign.

20 September 2007

Neko spread and vendor interface thoughts.

Had some fun last night corrupting a friend. Well, not really. I'd gotten her thinking about making a neko avatar and she decided it was time to start shopping. She'd also never been to Free Dove, land of freebie clothes/hair/skins before.

I'm still thinking about how to best use the Metacard vendors. I don't like the interface; it is annoying to a shopper who isn't using their card. The first rule of any interface is "Don't get in the way!" So first check to see how the interface behaves with someone who doesn't have an account, then either I'll make a special "metacard" wall on the shop and talk with their tech people, or I'll like the interface a lot more than I do now.

Here's the interface I want to see.

Is the person the owner?
-YES: Enter admin mode.
-NO: Do they have an open line of credit? (not just whether they're registered!)
---YES: Offer to let them buy with the card.
---NO: Let them buy on touch, without the script's interference.
---If you don't get a response back within a reasonable time, assume NO.

EDIT: Okay, the interface is sounding like it works as I'd like for people without a MC account. This makes me happy. What made it messy was the fact I've got a merchant account - I didn't sign up for personal credit and I'm trying to find out how to tell their system to treat me like a non-MC avatar.

Metaplace

The areae people have finally started talking. Metaplace. They've got a mailing list.

19 September 2007

Lions and Tigers and Cards Oh My

I haven't posted in far too long. Been messing with neko stuff, goofing off, shopping, and doing RL stuff.

I've got the new male neko skins up over at what I'm calling neon Neko. The striped and spotted ones are up for both genders in black and white, and the female tiger skins also have a gold and an orange version. Stuck in matching tails and ears. Had fun playing with the gimp to make a pic for the shop HUD for the place. Still deciding what I want to do with my older skins - I think I'll keep them as is, but I definitely want to do some siamese style ones with the new tricks I've learned. I've got some gray sample skins up as freebies, and I have to remember to mail copies to Smiley and the OpenSim crowd.

Been watching age verification slowly move onto the grid. Must remember to check with the lady who sells my adult products and find out how she's handling that.

The aditi (beta) grid has been popping up and down. Frustrating when you're doing texture work. Interested in getting status info on the beta grid?

There's someone at MetaCard who's setting up a Neko themed fair for the end of September. IM Minky Mousehold for more information. I've been curious about the card, so I signed up to be a merchant. If you're signing up as a merchant there doesn't seem to be any kind of check on the information you enter. I know this because I wasn't really born in 1917.

The client particle fixes I've been eagerly waiting for is starting to be added to the code! Having to restart my client to see particles has been a pain.

08 September 2007

The Deer are Done! and creating urban blight

Note to self: Make sure you're fully awake BEFORE messing with Auto-return. Or any other object land permissions. Yes, I do know how to spout obscenities in more than one language, why do you ask?

The white tailed deer avatars are done and up for sale inworld and on SLX. I went with brown, black, and white. The texture on the brown came out wonderfully - I'm finally getting the hang of making things on the skin layer look like fur.

I had fun dressing up my little neko corner with some spraypaint. Looking for things to decorate it with, I found a wonderful place with a lot of run-down urban freebies. It isn't a look I usually try for, and I'm finding there's a lot to learn to do it well.

07 September 2007

Laziness and a Todo list

I got the vendor errands done, and I'm trying a new and lazy tactic: listing one of a set on the online shopping services and including a slurl to my shop. Time will tell if it works. I may go back as I finish lines and include a picture of the entire set to entice people. I like the model; the skull attachment point is available for hair, the ears and tail are separate attachments and their root prims are a tiny orb so it'll be easy for people to add movement scripts. I originally made the white deer with albino pink eyes, but it looks like a demon-deer so I'm going to make them blue or gray instead.

TODO:

More Bambi work - Black and brown skins. The brown one will take a little longer, have to get the white pattern right. Then pics and vending prep. At least I'm getting faster at that part.

Free skins - pick and mod some for OpenSim/TG. I think I'll do something trademarkish on them, maybe a little scar on the bottom of the feet? Not sure yet. I know I want a pair of neko ones available, not sure what else yet.

New male neko skins - I'm having fun making skins, so why not?

Ansche-Mart

The freebie market has been getting steadily stronger the last year. It isn't surprising that someone wants to be the Walmart of SL (cheap goods at cheap prices.) Ansche is strong enough to make it happen.

It is happening. Arguing over whether it is fair is a waste of time. The current rules allow for it, and if Ansche doesn't do it someone else will. Use your time, words, and $L where they will be most effective.

Here's what I'm expecting to see with the introduction of a Walmart to SL.
  • Goods offered by independent and small group creators will dramatically go up in quality. They need to differenciate themselves from Ansche-mart, and keep their $L per hour rate up. Niches, branding, and image will become very important.

  • New advertising modes for these creators will appear. Fast. If you have an idea for a new advertising service, NOW is the time. Watch the channels Ansche-mart uses; that business model requires large numbers of purchases and that requires being seen and heard. She's already started this in Dreamland, remember the 16M ad plots on her sims?

  • The newbie and casual creator end of the market will suffer. Newbies often make a handful of lindens by learning how to create and sell. They're new to it, so the goods they make are usually low quality and involve a high time investment. Cheap goods discourage people from learning to make their own, so long term there'll be a lower percentage of newbies who become high-quality creators.

  • Assuming LL ever gets their billing problems fixed, there will be more people buying lindens. Newbies can't easily sell their creations, but they want $L, so they'll have to buy them. Meaning more money flowing thru the linden economy. Long term, this will be a good thing for everyone involved with the economy.

  • Cheap and free goods will encourage people who are trying out SL to stay. Cheap goods encourage them to start buying items, getting people over the concept of buying virtual goods.

As an aside, I wonder if the reason furniture was released first is to encourage land buyers and renters? Most avatars have no land, and so no use for furniture. The goods are using animations from someone else so I wonder if there's no skilled animators on staff yet. Quality control is also an issue - the furniture line was first released with full perms accidently on those animations.

05 September 2007

Gorgeous Nekos, HTML on a prim, and Looking for Logos

Vint's been getting a lot of enjoyment out of her new skin, and working with her has been a pleasure. Along with the new color-your-own stripe skins, I put up the first of a set of spotted ones last night. Yes, I ignored my list of things to do. *laughs* The newest neko stuff is on a board at the top of the tent in my main shop, and in the back room at Blacklight Club Supply (which is still being renovated.)

oooh.... Here's what's happening with HTML on a Prim! There's a google group for this project too - so please consider talking there instead of overwhelming the poor linden with emails. ;)

The Second Life Bloggers Group needs a logo! And there's a reward, so while your avatar's camping why not spend a little time with your favorite 2D graphics editor?

04 September 2007

SLife's Little Details

Put up a handful of new striped neko skins up for sale. I've seen a lot of abandoned urban style building, so I started to rebuild Blacklight in that style. I added the beginnings of a neko shop there, offering the four new skins and a duct tape vest. I'll probably move the build up to 500M or so. There's some kind of stutter happening at the current height that I don't see at ground level, so I suspect it is related to the mysterious doings in my neighbor's tower. I need to finish up skinning for Bambi, and he'll be ready to go. I've been lax putting new things up on SLExchange because I need to update my boxes to the new ones.

TODO:
Offline
- Brown and maybe piebald skins for Bambi
- listings for new stuff on SLX,
- freebie skins
Online
- Update SLX boxes

02 September 2007

Skins and Fireworks

Did some skin making this weekend. Learned some new things about working with alpha layers. I rewrote the section on skins in Avatar Toolbox so there's a much better discussion on how to shade and highlight them. I've got plans to make up a couple free ones on png files - OpenSim and the teen grid lack free neko skins.

Saw Marianne's last fireworks show of the summer. It was great! Quite a crowd too.

Finally got around to making a couple of overdue sales pics.

31 August 2007

Coats, Cannery, Crash Me, and Hippotropolis

Been messing around with mixing prims and clothing textures, trying to make a trench coat. I'm experiencing a bit of a learning curve. *grin* Pose stands are wonderful things.

I stopped by at The Cannery for the opening party. Great abandoned urban atmosphere, and a fun way to show off a lot of 2D SL-based art. Makes a great neko hangout too.

Crash Me says on the sign to not cause physics-based crashes. This makes me sad. The terrain on that sim is great for rolling around as a hedgehog though.

I also stopped by to check out Hippotropolis, the sim home for Open Source. Not much there yet, but it looks like it'll be a good place for meetings. There's plots here for some of the Innovation Award winners, but they haven't rezzed anything there yet.

28 August 2007

A sim named Crash Me

An interesting bit for those of you with forum access. Sky Eclipse's saga. Something about the avatar is causing sims to crash whenever Sky logs onto them. A rather hard super-power to live with.

Turns out there's a sim named Crash Me. So if you think you're bringing sims down, drop on by. I need to get a SLUrl for this place. If it has physics and scripting enabled, it sounds like the perfect place to try out those wild ideas I get that might crash a sim.

EDIT: Here.

27 August 2007

Reflections.

Torley torments us with pictures of WindLight's water reflections.

Virtual Coke does still love us.

Particles & Prims

Part of why I haven't been in a hurry to release the particle spotlight is because of the particle leaks and related issues in the client viewer. When you've been on for several hours and TPing a lot, particles stutter and eventually stop appearing on your machine. :P

I was trying to help a friend find a lost prim. If only this had been published a day or two before!

Greenies

I finally got to the Greenies sim last night. Fun place! Full of interesting corners to explore and interactive objects. The flow of the place is great; you start in a tunnel, go thru a (scaled to avatars) dollhouse, then enter the giant-scale main space. The movement between the lower and upper parts of the sim was easy and fast. Here's some pics.

I'm fascinated by spontaneous games - the ones people make up for themselves outside of what seems planned. Almost everyone roaming around in the house part of the sim was racing around in vehicles sooner or later. I wonder if it is intentionally seeded; there's a free UFO available in the upper part of the sim, and one of the greenie displays has the aliens playing with a remote control vehicle. Was that display there before visitors started racing around?

26 August 2007

Doings

Made a piece of clothing that I like.
Looked at some Neko places.
Did work on the spotlight. I think it is ready for testing. Dropping a note to D asking if they're interested.
Avoided working on the deer avatar. Alas, things at that almost done stage aren't nearly as exciting as new projects.
Paid vendor site rents.

Discovered that one of my huge prims does a very strange thing - as a visually hollow cube it isn't physically hollow, but as a cylinder it is. Must remember to add this and a link to Aimee's megaprim post to mine.

Fell asleep before the fireworks. :( I think next week is the last time. I will miss knowing they're happening.

22 August 2007

luck dragon av



Here's a picture of that dragon avatar I got. Ain't I pretty?

20 August 2007

Doings: Socializing, Avatars

I didn't build much this weekend. Spent most of it socializing. Hung out with friends, saw the fireworks again, did some shopping. Did a little more work on some stuffed toys and the deer avatar. Got a couple good pictures of giant avatars for Avatar Toolbox. Yes, that tiny pink poodle is about 6' (2M) tall.

Bought a gorgeous asian dragon avatar from Grendel's Children, I must get pics for the blog. The base avatar is laying on its stomach and the AO makes it slither like a snake, so the dragon moves constantly. The textures on it are all greys to make it easy to change the colors. The skull uses a couple sculpties, the rest is standard prims.

Philosophically I go back and forth on whether to use scripted movement or alternate invisibility myself. The invisibility has more prims, but is easier for people to modify poses themselves. It also takes more work to modify colors and textures. Same number of scripts with either option (unless you want to use the ugly delay-laden lsl link commands.)

17 August 2007

Deer, sales, and updates

The last time I changed the avatar toolbox freebie box I forgot to update the entry on SLExchange, so people have been getting the old one from there. I found and fixed that this morning.

I'm looking over my sales for the summer... Almost half are from SLExchange. Most of the ones on the grid are from my main store. I'll give it to the end of September, but if that pattern continues, I think I'll pull out of most of my rental sites and replace my booths with teleport posters instead.

Did some polishing of the white-tailed deer avatar last night. I know I'm going to offer it in brown and black, still thinking about whether the third color will be white or piebald.

16 August 2007

Somedays I can be such a brat

When I was doing research for the shapes page on Avatar Toolbox I made a child shape. That was one of the few kinds of avatar I didn't already have. I've decided to make her one of my personal avatars, so I bought her a nice skin (one of Robin Wood's) went thru my inventory for an outfit or two, and adjusted a copy of one of my favorite prim hair styles. I found a pair of poodle shaped barrettes (hair-slides) that I had to buy. No skipping animation though. *grin*



One of these days I'll have to redo the pic on the top of the blog. I've got a handful of other avatars I wear often that aren't there. The tiny blue hedgehog, my neko, one of the invisibles, the dalmation catyr... I should update my profile picture on the grid too.

How Not To Run A Public Venue


Ran into Marianne McCann interviewing Lynne Singh (of the band Keltish) about a rotten experience. Lynne's avatar looks very much like she does in RL, and she's not seven feet tall. She shows up at a club looking to find out who IMed her about a show, gets harassed for being short, called a child, mocked as a "mutie" because her mike wasn't working, and thrown out.

The avatar on the right doesn't look like a child to me. But even if she was one, there's more classy ways to let someone know their choice of avatar isn't appropriate or welcome. IM them. If you've got unusual "dress" requirements, offer them an appropriate freebie outfit or avatar. RL black tie restaurants always have a few jackets and ties available for loan.

If you're running a public venue and you have voice enabled, make sure you can hear how it is being used. Spare yourself the shame of being in charge and allowing your employees or guests to humiliate themselves.

14 August 2007

Poodles, Panda Bears, and the SL Economy

The poodle avatars have finally been updated. I redid the legs, adjusted the muzzle, modified a little texturing, and stuffed them back in the vendors. If you've bought an older one and you want the new model, IM or email me.

Narsil made a cool panda bear avatar. Drop by my main shop and check it out!

I changed the tail in the Neko Add-on kit to one I like better.

Zee Linden blogged about the Second Life Economy.

13 August 2007

Picture

Didn't spend much time in SL this weekend. I spent most of it in RL running amok in orchards or covered to the elbows in peach juice. Narsil had fun making a doll version of one of my avatars. Isn't my twin cute?

09 August 2007

Big Finance, Little Grid

Login and sim down problems have been plaguing the grid. *grumbles*

Ginko's down. Doesn't hit me personally, but I know some people who used it. Including more than one who didn't realize Ginko was having serious problems - they thought the ATMs weren't working because of a tech problem. Apparently any money in it is being converted to bonds (promises of future money) which you can sell. The whole banking-in-SL concept seems crazy to me because of the lack of oversight and legal recourse. Their returns just didn't make sense.

It has me wondering whether there are any venture-capital funds in SL, and whether the people picking the ponies are any good at it. I suspect there aren't - just not enough money in it yet to draw them in. I know there's groups that do VC rounds for themselves (if I remember right Sarah Nerd's a good example.)

08 August 2007

Stuff. And stuff.

Caught up with a friend and chatted. Still trying to catch up with Dalien. Worked a bit on the deer avatar. I like it and I think I'll end up selling it, but I need to catch up with Amad and see if he likes it and how he wants his custom version to look if he does. Organized and archived my 2D SL graphics files.

Too many ideas, not enough time. Elevators, Nekos, Skyboxes, Blacklight and spotlights, the Landmark HUD of wonderful-ness, updated poodles, and a bunch of socializing too. I have places and things I want to build for my own amusement, and some scripting experiments I want to do.

I think I'll blame it on the time of year. :D It is harvest season, back-to-school season is starting, the weather is horribly hot, and people get all frentic and full of energy and plans.

06 August 2007

Gesturing at the weekend

I didn't get the market eval done, but I finished everything else. Sales did well this weekend too.

Marianne's fireworks are awesome.

The big secret to gestures seems to be "Don't edit an active gesture."

03 August 2007

TODO

TODO by Monday:
Get Hittail tracking onto the Toolbox.
Prep financials for August
Do a neko market eval.
Go to (Sat 7pm) RCFM party
Go to Marianne's fireworks (Sat 8pm)

Empty bottles.

When you're feeling really down, drunk, and thinking about someone who's been dead for a couple years, don't customize avatars. Just. Don't.

The fingers are too long, and the expression isn't quite right, but the build is, and that's his nose. He'd never have worn those pants though.

Ghost? Memory? Avatar? Are they equally real? Unreal? Do they have any meaning beyond what we give them?

Fuck. This hurts.

I don't know whether to save or delete it.

02 August 2007

Spotlighting the long tail of tecture moving?

Spent a little time yesterday working on my spotlight scripts. The interface is proving to be the hardest part; I may end up writing a notecard to go with it. I'm still trying to decide if I want to sell one spotlight with many features, or several different spotlights. I may also make one that doesn't track.

Hittail's results for the last day don't hold too many surprises. A lot of inquiries into mega prims, lsl and lsl functions, building avatars. The one for "japan boxes tecture moving" wins the wtf prize. My curiosity insisted I google that, but I still don't understand what they were looking for.

Speaking of textures, Robin Wood / Robin Sojourner has a script fix for some of the lsl animation offset troubles available free at her texture tutorial inworld.

01 August 2007

Project ramblings.

Along with all the other things I've been messing with, I'm trying to decide between getting some sort of inworld group project going involving making avatars and doing a series on building skyboxes above the edit zone. Might do both.

Vint Falken found Hittail, it sounds neat. I must try it. If nothing else, it may make a good idea generator. Like I don't already have too many ideas and not enough time. *grin*

I've started prim-wrangling for the anthro deer avatar I was talking to Amad about. Kind of cartoony but I'm liking it. Trying to make matched reflected torii is a pain. I think I'll reuse most of the hoof from the catyrs. Still considering redoing the poodles when I'm done this - I want to redo their legs and add more detail to the skins.

Landmarks, webrings, and slurls... I know the basics of what I want to do with it, but I need to work out the details. I think I can work within an existing service like Gridmarker, but I want to be sure before I start hacking.

Vendor ramblings

I've been noticing some vendor migration patterns. Themed shopping zones are built, they're inhabited by 80-90% of the same vendors selling the same products. The zones have a rush of business for a few months, the same vendors move out as sales drop, then a new place appears with the same theme and the cycle repeats. There's some zones that aren't part of the cycle. They have strong events and/or have a purpose from outside of SL.

So with the short-time zones... how do I want to use them? As vending locations (and leaving a location when it isn't profitable?) As a form of marketing, and if so would I do better to get poster space instead? What about outright marketing - do I want to look for poster space in themed non-vendor areas, set up or work with events, etc? Do I want to set up something to count views (ie note whenever someone interacts with my stuff?)

A large portion of my grid sales are at my main shop, but many of those are via Search, and that puts me at the mercy of a functioning Search. I've been using the Store HUD, SLExchange, and including transferable pictures in my products and I suspect over time those decrease my reliance on Search.

And working more seriously with other vendors - do I want to look for partners to consolidate marketing efforts? If I do, would I rather go with the themed landmarks idea or would something like Luskwood's all-partners-at-one-site arrangement be more effective? How would I want to deal with the land and marketing sides of such a business arrangement? I know how badly a friends-to-housemate arrangement can go, and from the stories I've heard friends-to-business partner is much the same.

How much energy am I willing to put into it, and how much am I willing to commit long term to sustain it? What I've got right now is little effort - track transactions, pay a couple rental boxes, pay Chantal once a month, and take care of my tier. I get 10x more support conversations about my freebies than my products. They're usually about sound features (usually looking for a song player) that aren't in the Sound Prims package.

29 July 2007

Toolbox Updates

Avatar Toolbox got some updates this weekend. The website now has a page about the basic avatar shape, and I added an avatar ruler with more features and a box of free hair textures to the freebie toolbox.

27 July 2007

Good Stuff - Client Options and LSL tools

Torley brings us more useful options hidden in the client.

Scriptors, we may be getting a useful script performance tool.

Philosophical ramblings

Prok writes some interesting stuff when the tinfoil hat comes off. Reminds me how our personal paradigms and beliefs shape our experiences.

My beliefs are very much about living consciously and personal responsibility; understanding the effects of my choices and accepting responsibility for them allows me to create what I want. Seeing patterns and reactions that aren't conscious choices allows me to change them. I've no interest in a better world; I believe we're constantly creating the world we're in now.

The grid is a mirror; the reflections of our choices and actions are so much easier for us to recognize here.

Do you believe that people treat you a particular way because you're male, female, black, young, old, fat, ugly? All those things can be changed in SL. Do you dare change them and find out if it is about your appearance instead of your behavior? What do your appearances say to the people around you? What do your appearances say to you? Do you behave differently if you look different? What won't you look like, and why?

What are you doing that attracts the same dramas to you over and over? Relationships of all kinds grow amazingly fast on the grid. Patterns that might take you years to see in RL are obvious in merely a month. What biases do you hold that you aren't conscious of? And why? Do you mock people who are X when you're feeling a little weak in the self esteem? How does it change your impression of someone you know on the grid when they tell you that they're X?

What do you do with your freedom? Build communities? Enjoy music? Share your creations? Learn new skills? Explore your sexuality? Teach? Surround yourself with symbols of material success or tranquility? Perceived risk and costs are much lower on the grid. All of the SL careers are yours for trying (with the exception of casino-operator.) And if you do well at them, there's rewards - everything from the satisfaction of a job well done to community acclaim and fame to real world cash.

26 July 2007

Wagering it all on gambling?

As expected, LL has now banned gambling from the grid. And thankfully, Robin Linden realized that the Knowledge Base is often painfully slow and posted the text of the policy to the blog entry.

Wagering appears to be a requirement of the gambling activities that are now banned. So donation based 'sploders are out. But lucky chairs (which require no wager) are still allowed. I'm not sure about Money Trees - I half expect to see new money trees that only allow donations by avatars that are over the age allowed to received money from them.

Assuming age verification ever actually happens, I'm wondering how nationality verification and server location may affect this policy. Will it simply remain banned since LL is based in California, USA? or will other factors play a role in determining whether forms of gambling will be allowed on certain sims and/or for certain people?

*grin* They do still have casinos listed on their site as something to do in SL.

24 July 2007

Hmmm

Spotlight... Elevator... Which do I want to work on?
Or should I just go play tourist instead? :D

23 July 2007

Doings. And Stuff.

Let's see. I did a lot of little things.

Did a bit of socializing. Even met a graduate/escapee from the Teen Grid. Worked on some of my avatars. Made a pink poodle "plushie" stuffed animal - it is a freebie available at my main shop. Did some shopping. Looked for AOs - a frustrating task. Put the Temple of the Original Prim into inventory. Made a transporter with a surprisingly good looking crystal. Rebuilt Blacklight Club Supply. Passed out things to newbies, and taught one how to use landmarks. Visited an ancient Mayan temple and picked up some nice freebies. Tried to go to the Greenies sim, but it was always full. I'm either seeing the summer economic slowdown or a side effect of the problems buying lindens; sales are down by about a quarter. Noticed that particles are released inconsistently in the current version of the client. Had several times where prims existing on the grid weren't being drawn on my client. Talked to someone looking for "doll" like skins for a fashion show. Bought a set of poodle shapedbarrettes (hair-slides) for one of my human avatars. Updated my profile web page.

I think I'm about at the point where I can write a decent article on ways to manipulate the basic avatar shape sliders, and about how the shape affects the way skin textures appear. Put a writeup of making the catyr avatars up on Avatar Toolbox, and added some anchors to existing pages. The animations page is too big, so I'm thinking about other ways to organize it.

Oh, I found someone who sells Wonder Woman Underoos. I may have to get Garmes a set.

20 July 2007

Windlight - How do you want your skies?

If you've got dreams about sharing our skies, give Torley a comment!

I want a unique icon for them as an inventory type. I want to be able to copy, mod, trade, sell, store them in prims, and imbed them in notecards.

I want a big SAVE button on the sky configuration dialog. I want a selection box in that dialog, one that lets me choose from the sky settings I have in my inventory.

I want to be able to change your sky using LSL. I want "widescreen" HUDs with stunning views. I want scripted camera setups including sky options. I want to see the HUDS for role-play systems including the chosen sky setting for the sim - think of how that will set the mood!

19 July 2007

Tracking Particle Spotlights


llVolumeDetect doesn't care whether it is in a parent or child prim. llPassCollisions is ignored for collisions caused by llVolumeDetect. I ended up using sensors. Once again, the math involved in making sure the objects work regardless of the direction they face when installed was a pain. Worth it though. :)

Tracking particle spotlights are cool. They're up in the Workshop if you want to play with them.

18 July 2007

Default UI Sounds

Turns out the UUID of the "rez a new prim" sound is f4a0660f-5446-dea2-80b7-6482a082803c. It is hardcoded inside of llcontroldef.cpp so you can't configure it without either altering the source, or (as my buddy Malevolent Garmes did) put on your Wonder Woman Underoos and take a hex editor to the executable. So, while you can't simply alter one of those nice config files included with your install to change the default sounds, they can be changed.

Avatars, and a list

I'm thinking about trying to organize a group project. Like the hair challenge several people blogged about last fall. Everyone picks an avatar, and makes three versions of it. Child, adult, and very old. I can do all of the steps, but I'm no expert at any of them. Skins, shapes, making hair, clothes, animations, photos... I'd like a chance to have people show/write/talk about parts they're great with.



TODO:
- I'm making a particle based tracking spotlight for Blacklight and it is going well. I thought of an easy way to configure it while travelling last night.
- Write up making the last bunch of avatars.
- And I must remember to add the free hair textures to the inworld avatar toolbox and update it.

16 July 2007

UI sounds, blogger meetup, and bikinis

I'm going to have to explore my SL install. I'm wondering how the default sounds the client uses are stored, and having a mild fantasy of being able to swap them out for more personally pleasing choices. I didn't spot anything specific on the open source wiki, and I don't recall seeing anything about them go thru the client development mailing list.

The SLBloggers group had a pirate themed meet, so I dropped in, said hello, and made some pirate jokes until real life intervened and I had to log out. Saw some names I recognized, some that were new to me.

Goofed around and made a bikini using Vint's free bikini template. I decided on a Coca-Cola theme since Coke is being bravely experimental in SL. I can't drink coke anymore in RL, but I like their attitude about the grid. I'll probably drop the bikini into the freebies hat next time I'm on.

I think I'm going to take a good pic or two of the Temple, and then move it to my inventory. I'm not sure what I'll build next, but I'm in a mood to play with big blocks again. Maybe I'll go cartoony.

15 July 2007

Finally done with the new avatars, and some simple fun scripting.


I finally finished boxing up the new avatars and got them loaded into the vendor. The one on my left is my favorite of the bunch. I still have to go and write up a how-to for Avatar Toolbox, but the rest is done! One of my buddies has been keeping me company in the Workshop while working on an adorable bright blue cartoon dragon avatar.

I made a neat particle effect for spotlights for Blacklight. When you change the color of the prim, the color of the particles changes. ( Changed event with CHANGED_COLOR. ) Some of the prettiest scripting effects are really simple.

11 July 2007

Doings.

Had an impromptu party at the workshop last night. Wrangling prims, taking pics, uploading stuff, etc... Building and chatting go well together. The next set of avatars is close to done; I've got to make some color variations and wrap them up for sale.

Rocket City's Saturday dance is focused on furry canine avatars; I need to see if I can toss in one of my poodles as a prize. Or maybe my scottie, now that I've finally worked out the skin texturing problem.

09 July 2007

If the current client hates you...

If you're using a box with an older AMD processor and can't log in with the newest update, VWR-1610 might be of interest to you.

08 July 2007

Back, and Fullbright

I'm back.

I've been fascinated lately by fullbright. If you're curious, my latest playthings are on the grid here. Most of it is modelling with the same two textures. The dance floor is scripted to cycle through several patterns.

29 June 2007

Off The Grid - Back In A Bit

I will be away for a week or two, and internet access for me during that time is questionable. Comment here, or send me an email or IM if you want to leave me a message. Things should be back to normal somewhen between July 7 and July 11.

Have fun!

28 June 2007

Travel, PNGs, Hair, and Stuff

You can now upload PNG texture files. If you don't already know, PNG is a format that's lossless and handles transparency. There's a lot of web-related tools that display and work with PNG that don't work with TGA.

I will be away for a week or two, and internet access during that time is questionable. Put a sign (with the poetry rock script) in my main store, paid up my rentals, added a note to my profile. I'll leave a blog entry as a reminder before I go.

I made my first prim hair last night. I've been working on a set of cartoony avatars and they need some. Hair requires a lot of patience.




Sales are typical, so I'm not seeing the summer slowdown I keep hearing about. This is my first summer selling in SL. I wonder if it only hits certain markets? A Linden I've never come across bought one of my invisible avatars, and the idea of a visibly invisible Linden running around amuses me. ;)

24 June 2007

The joy of privacy

There is nothing quite like trying to position something exactly so and finding out that your neighbor has set their brand new security orb to have a 2 second delay. AARRRGGGHHHH!!!

I'm trying to introduce them to the idea of ban lines, or to a slightly longer delay.

20 June 2007

Tiny Prims

Tiny Prims forum post.

Support?

All the talk about improvements to Support may have something behind them. I had a tree rooted on Gov Linden's land overhanging one of my parcels. I dropped a support request on the weekend to have it moved or removed. It was done less than 24 hours later.

16 June 2007

Of Temples and Toolboxes

I'm not sure why, maybe it was from hearing a friend talk about visiting the Parthenon in Tennessee, but I had ancient Greece on my mind last night. I spent some time experimenting with mega prims. I've still got a lot of work to do on it, but you're welcome to drop by The Temple of The Original Prim and say hi sometime. While hunting for virtual olive trees, I discovered plants by Lilith Heart. They're realistic but without the realism, so I'm in love. I expect I'll be back, $L in my pocket. ;)

I did some updates to the animation page on the Avatar Toolbox website this morning, and the new Toolbox freebies are now up on SLExchange.

Lindex Troubles This Weekend

For shoppers and vendors - Lindex purchases thru the client viewer have been turned OFF this weekend. Use your web browser instead.

15 June 2007

Toolbox, Cages, and Poetry Rocks

The grid was cranky last night. I had several failures to rez from inventory, and more than a few TP failures. Group chat was having serious problems.

Added another attachment sample to Avatar Toolbox (animation by changing prim size) along with some UV clothing. Hopefully I'll have the updated version of that on SLExchange tonight. I've got some pics to put up on the website and some text to edit.

I got the new group-friendly cages wrapped up for sale at my main shop. I added a "touch here to change color" script. There's a handful of prebuilt colors it cycles thru. I like that they've got the same interface as the basic cage - everything is based on touch. No notecards to configure, no chat commands to memorize. They're transfer, because the basic ones aren't, and because people sometimes sell furnished clubs and other gathering places. Hopefully I'll have them on SLExchange sometime tonight too.

Dropped by Uva Oxide's poetry garden to see how the poetry rocks are doing. They've been a popular freebie. The garden has a giant plant with some rocks at different levels, and a trippy hollowed cube water fountain.

11 June 2007

Japanese law and virtual spaces

So, are virtual locations considered places or billboards? Japan may soon decide their offical stance on the matter. From Tateru Nino, and The BBC. I hope more information comes out about this one.

The Church of England and Sony are having a discussion on a similar topic. One of Sony's games has a shootout in a virtual version of a famous church...

Do you sell/ give away avatars?

If you sell or give away avatars, esp furry ones, drop a note to Roxie Logan. Roxie's group is setting up a rent-free area for such vendors, and they've still got space.

Doings. And Stuff.

After a conversation with someone running a club, I made a version of the cages I sell that works with group ownership. I'll give it a few days testing there, and if it does well I'll sell a new version of the cages. Turned out to be a very simple code change. If I sell them transfer, I may also include a color change script.

Checked out Gardens of Apollo. Beautiful, crowded, and laggy. Fun design too - there's plenty of interesting spots that are obviously meant to be reached by flying. Sometime when I'm having insomnia I'll have to go back there.

Ran into an old friend while running errands. We chatted for a bit, and he gave me some interesting ideas for a new avatar.

Changed a couple of my own avatars. I'm not sure why I keep using some and get bored with others. Did a little clothes and AO shopping. Learned that successful stores can be sim-killers too.

Readjusted my profile - I was running out of picks. I may put together a landmark HUD with my vending sites so I don't have to wade thru my inventory every time.

Found that 16M plots are very vunerable to neighbors shaping terrain. I may readjust the server plots to have their trees in giant clay pots. If the pots extend far enough into the ground, the neighbors can do what they want and my little plot will still look decent. I could also script the pieces to move in response to ground height, but the idea gives me lag-guilt. I can't make it reliably respawn the one prim linden plants anyway - they only spawn if the owner is online.

06 June 2007

Vending - including a picture?

Friend of mine pointed out this article talking about including a texture/picture of clothing products with the items. I'd never thought about it before, although I've bought a couple things that included one. I do look at them when going thru the prim hair I've bought. I think next time I update my products I'll add a copy of the box texture.

I'm still ambivalent on adding my landmark HUD to everything; when I drag a folder on my avatar to wear, I wouldn't want to be stuck looking at the HUD each time. Right now people get them if they click on the "sign" part of the fancy vendor or if they loot the freebie hat. That's another thing I need to do next time I update - put it in all of the packages of products that aren't worn.

05 June 2007

Partial content creation?

And making content control even more interesting,rulings regarding responsibility for partial content creation in the USA.

REF: Mega Prims, Huge Prims, Giant Prims

This is a reference post. It may be updated.

Mega Prims, Huge Prims, Prims with dimensions greater than 10M.

They're a child of the libsecondlife project. The grid used to not validate object sizes that were passed to them in some cases. That has been fixed, so all existing mega prims are copies of the ones created on the grid before that time. They currently can't be made on the grid.

They can't be resized, but you can twist, hollow, cut, etc. Twists and other modifications may be ignored during collision calculations, making them interesting to interact with. You can change the cubes to cylinders. It has been said that some of the curved mega prims are treated by the physics engine as cuboids. They can be used with sculpted prim textures.

There's conflicting information about hollowing them; some sources claim that they only appear hollow, others claim that they hollow as if they were 10M versions of the shape. I've had no problems hollowing basic ones myself, but I've only worked with the smaller ones.

I have one that hollows strangely - it visually hollows as both a box and a cylinder, but it is phyically hollow only as a cylinder.

There's a trick used to make tiny prims where you dimple a sphere, then convert it to a box. Several of the huge box prims available were created from other huge prims using this technique. Their "center" when you edit them is far away from what you see of the cube, and several of the edit controls seem strange (hollow acts as cut, etc.)

Larger ones can upset the physics engine, causing sim lag and crashes when things collide with them. There's also talk that some of the largest ones can cause a "pull" - avatars nearby find themselves moving toward the prim as if it had its own gravitational force.

Object culling in the viewer can do strange things to them. Culling is based on the prim's center, so if the viewer's distance is short, they might not see the prim. Sim borders and object culling require special consideration. A sim only looks so far into another to find prims, so don't depend on a megaprim to be a bridge across sims.

If you use them, you're advised to not us them as physical or flexi, and to use them as phantom. Respect parcel boundaries, and make sure they aren't intruding on the neighbors.

LL's official statement on them has shifted over time; if you plan to use them keep yourself informed. As of the last edit here, they're allowed on both mainland and island sims. Builds using them that are perceived as "causing sim problems" will be deleted without warning. Requests to remove them entirely from the grid have been refused with the comment that it would break existing content.

Mega Prims are freely available on the grid, and from SLExchange.com

Links to SL Forum threads about mega prims.
183213 166217 181082 57194

Second Life Insider article about the 2006-2007 mega prim controversy.

Second Life Insider article about megaprims and making a case for unlimited prim sizes.

EDIT: April 2008
With Havok 4, megaprims are now treated as they appear for collisions.

04 June 2007

Physics R Phun

You know those height limitations? You can't teleport to a location above 768M. Physics-powered movement only. So grab a flight ring, hop on a vehicle, or be prepared to make a physics-based elevator. I've made sit target based movers before, and ones that use llSetPos(), so I think I'll make the elevator.

Physical things roll like crazy. Especially when there's an avatar standing on them. The next line is your friend. Memorize it.
llSetStatus(STATUS_ROTATE_X | STATUS_ROTATE_Y | STATUS_ROTATE_Z, FALSE);

Box your avatar in the elevator. They'll shoot off like a rocket if you don't. And be careful about speed - if the object goes too fast, the avatar may fall thru the elevator.

Unless you make them sit. Don't trust them to sit. They'll have a smoother ride and the elevator can move faster if they sit. If you need them to sit, think about how you're going to enforce it.

llMoveToTarget() doesn't make for a smooth ride when you have to call it several times in a row. And each call is distance limited (64M) so you'll probably be looping thru it.

If the riders are sitting (and therefore part of the linkset), I could use llGetMass() and apply force. I'm wondering if I can do a mix of the two - use force for the majority of the movement, then switch to llMoveToTarget() for the last 50M to take advantage of the positioning and damping.

I have some concerns about what will happen if the elevator bumps into an airplane or other solid object... Theoretically, if I'm using llMoveToTarget(), the box should work its way around the obstacle ( unless it is at the target point). I wonder if it would bounce if I'm just using force? I need some airplanes...

02 June 2007

Pictures

So I took a quiet Saturday and redid that plot.

The ground's back to being a park of sorts, mostly plants. I roughed up the land a bunch and filled it with weeds. Yep, that's part of one of Madcow Cosmos' sculpts. He does beautiful work.

The main shop's in the same location in the air, but I got rid of the building and made it a small floating island. Plants, waterfalls, and the usual day and night nature sounds.

I've got a basic work platform up at around 320M, but I doubt anyone but me would find it interesting. I attached the photo setup to it. No pictures of that for you.




01 June 2007

Rebuild?

My main plot's currently boxed in with large boxy stores, so I've been thinking about rebuilding.

I think I'll make the ground into wilds, with a half-buried large skeleton of some kind. Grasses, some trees and bushes. I'm tempted to throw in some city trash - empty boxes, old newspapers, tires...

The store stays in the air, but it needs a new look. A landscaped floating platform, with pavilions. Some water flowing off the edge, maybe a fountain. I want to stay at a height where people can fly unassisted so it'll have to be below the clouds. I should probably try to keep the arrival point the same; it'll make things simpler for anyone using a landmark.

The photo setup will stay basically as-in, although I might swap the current poseballs for one with a dialog box. I'll probably attach it to the workshop.

For the workshop, I'm thinking about making a floating platform under 768M. Holo-deck type rooms are great for skyboxes, but I want to be able to move things with the editor. I want a quiet area for scripting and focused building, and I can't build without script positioning above that. I'll probably start simply with a floor and railings, but who knows what it'll end up as?

I need to remember to add a sit-teleporter. I get impatient.

The height limits as noted by Moriash Moreau:
- non-physical movement (768m)
- permanent build (2,000m) anything above disappears on a sim reboot.
- absolute object (4,096m) objects above are destroyed almost instantly.
- avatar existence (1,000,000m)

EDIT: April 2008
The non-physical build limit changes to 4096 with Havok 4.

Define "broadly offensive content" please.

I'm very curious to see how this plays out. Is it just verbal grandstanding? Or are all the Gor groups about to move elsewhere? The safety comments strike me as a load of crap; you can always TP or log out. I've wondered if that is part of why BDSM on the grid is so common.

The vagueness of "broadly offensive content" concerns me. Is homosexuality broadly offensive? What about furries? Running around in lingerie? Fat avatars? Transsexual avatars? Gambling? Child avatars - and as "news of the painfully stupid" I've been hearing about people harassed for having short avatars lately.

If you want to engage in kinks or violence that I find offensive, but you put it where I won't accidently come across it, why should I care? I guess I don't see the why of this - we've got age verification coming to SL, so soon there'll be no need to worry about protecting unsupervised children. If I go seeking things I find offensive, why should that become anyone else's problem?

31 May 2007

The value of virtual property

Remember Bragg vs. Linden Research? The lawsuit over virtual land? The PA court has decided to allow the suit to continue vs both Philip Rosedale and LL. Some articles.

The comments about the legality of the ToS are particularly interesting. The longterm metaverse effects of that will be worth watching.

If you want, you can read the various legal filings yourself.

Ups and Downs

Eileen McCallister gifted me with some delightful windchimes and let me know she likes the Sound Prims. :D

Modified my avatar vending machine. The animal eye textures, the new flexi tails, and a modified version of the neko gloves & socks are now in there.

Found a sweetly simple SL-Blender tutorial.

I'm finding my main plot of land depressing. I need to come up with some fun ideas for it.

30 May 2007

Staring into the Uncanny Valley

Here's an article from Gamasutra discussing the Uncanny Valley as relating to character interactions.

"...a Tickle Me Elmo doll pushes a lot of our "cute" buttons. However, when it's set on fire and continues to giggle, kick it's feet and shout "Stop! Stop! It tickles!" while it burns into a puddle of fuming goo, it seems horrific, profane and hilarious by turns."

Aside from the fact that I have always loathed Elmo, the quote above really pins down why I have a very hard time relating to automated characters (NPCs) - they almost always end up in situations where they behave as "things" instead of as people.

Found a journal of someone doing their PhD on this. Lots of pictures and ideas. I'm not sure how much the theory relating to something being corpselike or resembling someone with a facial birth defect works for me. I don't find bodies disturbing unless they belong to someone I knew. When I've been around people with facial deformities I haven't felt disturbed, I'm more concerned with learning how to reliably read their expressions.

What does creep me out are things like Duracell's Puttermans, or the current Burger King. I don't think it has to do with masks, clowns don't bother me. And I'm too old to have been scared by someone with a Botox treatment when I was a child. ;)

29 May 2007

Stuff

Played around on the grid for a bit; I've got some fun new flexi tails I need to box up. Had a customer service moment when SLX reported a delivery that the customer didn't get, so I made sure she got her purchase. Still learning Blender. Torley's been linking pics of skies using the WindLights code. Sunsets are going to be gorgeous. Watching sculpted prims load when entering a space is freaky - they start out as spheres and then suddenly morph. Met someone working on an avatarium like Taco (I miss Taco) used to have - I'm hoping that works out.

24 May 2007

Heh! 1st sculpty


Ah. *dryly* The joy of learning new software. Anyway, here's a pic of my first sculpted prim (a lumpy mushroom) for posterity.

Jira

If you haven't seen it, there's a tutorial on using SL's Jira at Material Squirrel.

The grid's a tiny place.

One of the stranger things about the grid is how socially accessible everyone is. In the real world, I can mail or email strangers and be confident that they'll never see my words - an assistant or the trash bin might. On the grid, I can drop a notecard and be relatively sure they'll notice it. With the current ToS, there's no guarantee they'll be the one to see it, but most non-corporate avatars are run by one person. Have questions about someone's projects or products? Just ask. Heck, the grid's small enough that most people read their own email. More often than not, they answer it.

There's a lot more possibilities when the noise-to-signal ratio is low.

23 May 2007

New grid goodies and a whimsical freebie

Sculpties hit the main grid today! We also get a new scripting call, llRegionSay().

Uva Oxide is planning a poetry garden. I think this sounds neat, and so I made a new freebie. When touched, it displays whatever's on the included notecard in hovertext one line at a time. Everything's open permissions, and the script is set up so it is easy to change the amount of time each line is displayed and the color of the text.

21 May 2007

New Pretties?

New and improved visuals may be on the way. LL is buying a company specializing in lighting and cloud effects.

17 May 2007

hack, wheeze

No real news. I caught a cold. Voice, sculpted prims, certification, age verification, etc. all continue marching toward the grid. I'm glad voice isn't yet here - I sound like a raspy frog right now. :P I've got a new avatar about 1/3 done. I'm taking pics, so hopefully I'll have something to add to AvTx.

14 May 2007

Nekos in a Blender...

I got the new neko box kit up, picked up a new vendor rental spot, and spent some time getting to know Blender. I'm noob with it, but I can see already that once I'm comfortable with it, it'll be a wonderfully easy tool.

I'm getting bored with my mushrooms (I keep thinking of how great they'd look as sculpted prims) and might take them down sometime soon. I'm not sure what I'd replace them with yet. Maybe a giant tree. Or a huge sunflower. I don't like the way the space is boxed in right now.

09 May 2007

More Age Verification news and my todo list for tonight.

One of the Reuters guys found out that the deal with Integrity isn't certain yet. Unexpected, and I'm intrigued to see someone at Reuters get first crack at a story.

Looks might I might get a couple hours on the grid tonight! :D




TODO list:
Take some pics and set up SLX copy and inworld vendor for my new neko product.
Edit the multivendor code so it won't animate textures when in that one sim.
Peg new vendor locations. I've got two in mind. Which is good, since I'm pulling out of the new RT sim.
AvTx
- drop a notecard to that Mega avatar developer, and hunt for some shapes-makers.
- More pics.
- Refresh the box with the grid-clothing.
Do some testing on that series of texture animation issues. Add to the Jira?
Blender and beta-grid experimentation.

Laugh or Cry?

There must be something funny in the air. I found a transcript of the Office Hour I was talking about. In it Robin says several times that the transcript will be posted on the wiki in office hours.

Rant about information, organization, access.

If people can't FIND information, they certainly won't be influenced by it.

Try finding things in the SL Wiki. I dare you. Easy browsing and categories are confused and erratic. I just spent some time adding category info to pages to soothe my frustration. The Search function is a load of crap; it picks and chooses which categories to search, and I couldn't simply find his user page (in the next paragraph) by searching on Zero Linden. Even with the User box checked. But type Zero Linden into Google? First listed. When your Search function stinks, use another. At least the wiki is accessable by unverified accounts - unlike the official forums.

Information given during office hours. This Word-of-Mouth crap doesn't work in a world of tens of thousands of people. More age verification info recorded by Tao Takashi. Hey Lindens! Take a hint from Zero Linden and share transcripts of your office hours.

04 May 2007

Are you 18?

Well, for better or worse, Age and Identity Verification are coming to the grid.

They're using a third party to do the verifications, and yes, there will be an associated cost.

EDIT: Unofficial word is that they're looking at Aristotle's Integrity.

Town Hall, the short version

I could write about yesterday's Town Hall, but plenty's been said already. So instead I will offer you this:

Thank you for the letter
We hear what you have to say
But we're gonna add new features
and the Unverifieds will stay

There's lots of things you can do
to make Second Life better
Jira, office hours, beta grid
Try a compiler, not a letter

Here's the proper channels
for those nasty bugs and issues
We're too busy working hard
to ToS you any tissues

We're working on stability and bugs
and that Traffic thing will go away
Keep your eyes on the future, and
Be excellent to each other, okay?

02 May 2007

Pics of the new vendor machine

The first one is of the menu screen. The static is animated, although I might make a version where it isn't since some malls forbid animated textures. The top button with all the tiny avatars on it takes you back to here.



The second one is one of the buying screens. If the vendor is on one of these screens and is ignored (no touches or buys) for five minutes, it flips back to the menu screen on its own.

Fairies, Vending, and AvTx

I think I've finally satisfied my vendor envy. 11 prims, selling 16 avatars, with room for three more sets of six. It's big, 50s retro, has lots of buttons, and a little animated static. I'll try to grab pics of it later today. I'm curious to see how people respond to it; most of the ones I've seen are either modern/futuristic or cute in a "nature" sort of way.

Spent some time last night working on it at ~300M. Usually I don't see anyone when I'm above the clouds, but a green fairy with dragonfly wings flew over and we chatted for a bit. She's entirely focused on exploration, so I gave her leads to places like Svarga and Isle of Wyrms. I hadn't really thought about it before, but if you like to visit interesting builds but don't follow the SL blogs you're missing out. I wonder if there are any inworld groups for explorers.

I'd been musing about setting up some of my things on SLBoutique since they moved to an advertising model a couple months ago, but right now I'm hearing so many complaints about timeliness and search engine problems that I think I will wait. Growing pains.

Speaking of growing pains, the group IM bugs are painful. I miss being able to chat casually with people while I'm building and scripting.

I wrote up a list of things to add to Avatar Toolbox over the next week. I guess I'm not the only person who wanted something like it, it has gotten 800-900 visits a month since it started. One of these days I need to get it a decent logo.

30 April 2007

Stuff.

Public Sandboxes!
Build, chat, learn, and meet new folks!
Griefed to the heavens!

I also worked on a bunch of 2D graphics, did a couple errands, and got a cheerfully silly animation. Going to sleep now.

Vendor babble.

I made some animations (with QAvimator) for vendor pictures and set up a little photo-shoot area about 300M up on my Seomna plot. A backdrop, some poseballs, some light prims. Taking pictures at midnight with light prims does neat things, as does using colored lighting. I've got to finish the rest of the 2D graphics work, but here's one.

Set up the new vendor area after the one mall moved. I like FN's new mall, it is open and spacious without feeling too large. There's a balance between claustrophobic sensory overload and disconnected empty chaos. The only negative to my point of view is how they handled the independent shops. They're in a ring outside of the building holding the rest of the vendors and don't seem like a part of the space.

Landwise, I'm starting to see mainland parcels listed for under L$10/m² which cheers me up tremendously as a buyer.

I'm hoping that the Blender export for sculpted prims comes out by the time they hit the main grid. The free version of Maya watermarks images it exports, making it useless for SL.