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Moriash Moreau: My Second Life
Monday, June 26, 2006
High Anxiety
Yesterday, I completed a step I was somewhat dreading: moving the garage to 1500 meters elevation. And, as it turned out, I had every reason to dread it.

I'll spare you the play-by-play of mishaps. In general, they involved multiple iterations of testing, flying up 1500m, checking coordinates, correcting mistakes, editing notecards, flying down again, relaunching, and repeating. Over and over and over again. There was occasional swearing involved, as well as multiple open-palmed blows to the forehead. In short, not fun. I've had fun. I've come to recognize it. This? Not fun.

But I did learn a couple of interesting things. First, llTriggerSound and llTriggerSoundLimited do not work above 1024 meters. llPlaySound and llLoopSound appear to work properly, but for some reason triggered sounds just refuse to play. Very, very odd.

The problem with this is that the monster gun and most of the monsters use llTriggerSound for sound effects. The trick is the way the two commands operate. Triggered sounds can overlap, while sounds generated with llPlaySound can't. The latter would, for example, not work very well with a machine gun. Only the first report would be heard. So, long story short, I was forced to move the entire structure down 500 meters. And then recheck all my figures and correct. Ad nauseum.

Of course, this led to other problems. One of the main benefits to building at 1500 meters was that I didn't have to worry about appearance. I could have an enormous, unadorned concrete building floating in mid-air without cringing every time I looked up. But now, at least with the normal max-altitude builds, it's visible to many users. It sits right at that oh-so-annoying edge-of-view at the corners of your vision triangle. If you hadn't noticed, you can see further on the edge of your client window than at the center. (Check the vision cone on the mini-map, and you'll see.) Sometimes, this is handy. But usually, having a giant building creeping in and out of the corner of your eye is pretty dang irritating.

And since I'm kicking in land for a build that (someday, I hope, eventually, maybe) will be built at 742m, and directly under one corner of the Garage, this is going to be an issue. Nothing kills the end-of-the-world feeling of isolation of a high altitude build like a giant tan warehouse hovering in your peripheral vision. For now, at least, I've addressed the problem by killing off the entire structure 10 minutes after the last avatar leaves, then automatically rezzing it anew next time it's needed. Kind of a hassle. But until the sound bug is fixed, it'll have to do.

I've also run across some issues with llSay and llWhisper ranges at high altitudes. I haven't run any formal tests, but they both seem to have shorter ranges there. Someday, when I get bored, I'll do some more rigorous experiments to verify the behavior. Until then, I've had to brute force a few messages, by switching to the next "louder" channel (llWhisper to llSay, llSay to llShout). This is invisible, but it does generate a bit more script load, as irrelevant messages from across the arena must now be filtered. I guess we'll see if it makes a difference.

More later.
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