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Moriash Moreau: My Second Life
Friday, June 29, 2007
More Snapshots
Just cleaning out my snapshots folder again.

Today marks the final day of the Garage of DOOM. At right is a picture of the Anklebiter monster, taken for a promo sign posted by Onder Skall at his in-world games storefront. The sign shows this picture and the text "the Garage of DOOM." It dispenses a notecard with landmark and the game description, "Shoot monsters. Don't die." Oh, and a picture of me running away from a dozen assorted baddies in the Garage. Simple, but apparently effective, if my traffic numbers are to be believed. Big thanks to Onder for pointing people my way, and for the general support of my gaming efforts.

Sadly, I've had to let it go. Between the prim requirements, the innate SL simulator limitations, and the lag-induced glitches (a new casino in the sim, built out of physics-raping megaprims and stocked with slot machines and camping chairs, tends to drag down the sim performance a tad), it was becoming more frustration that it was worth. I've about come to the conclusion that you just can't make a decent arcade-style game in SL, especially when you don't own your own island. I may get around to posting a post-mortem here someday, but I believe that's going to be the main point.

A moodily lit picture of the down transport from the SkyLounge. I recently relocated the Lounge and combined it with the new Mo-Tech Industries shop (which I'll talk about in another post). But this part stayed the same. I think ballistic reentry is considerably more stylish than a mere elevator.

This discovery made me want to cry. One evening, I had occasion to crank my view distance up to 512 meters. I can't remember why, now, and I wish I hadn't. In the far background, you can see the SkyLounge, at 4000-plus meters. In the foreground, you can see some faux ground slabs hanging in the air. Apparently, someone decided to start a build at max altitude, and was doing so right on my doorstep. I haven't checked on it recently, mostly because I didn't really want to know. I have hopes that the constant need for re-rezzing at these heights scared the would-be builder into a lower altitude build. Apparently, there just isn't anyplace you can build for privacy in SL. Not even at four kilometers above ground.

Addendum, 11:30pm
I just checked. The skygrass is gone. Crisis averted, I guess.

Nothing much to say about this one. On left is Will Webb, with glowing light-source halo. At right is yours truly, wielding a blue flashlight. Said flashlight has menu controls to change light color and flashlight body color. Kind of a fun thing to play with. One day, I may get around to selling it. Or just giving it away as a freebie.

Addendum, 11:28pm:
It's now a freebie at the new and improved Mo-Tech Industries. Search for "Mo-Tech" in the Classifieds and drop by for your copy! Just don't expect any upgrades anytime soon.

Here I am in a jail of my own devising. Were I of a more introspective bent, I might have something profound to say at this point. But, as it is, I'll just yammer about the technical aspects. The jail and HUD are going to be used in an upcoming Jail an Avatar fundraising event for SL Relay for Life. Basically, volunteers let themselves be locked inside the jail, and try to persuade friends to come donate money to buy their freedom. This has been done before, of course. But I decided to make it a little more sophisticated (or perhaps just needlessly complicated).

The HUD allows one jailer to remotely control multiple jails (currently limited to 10, but more could be added easily enough, if prims allowed). He can remotely open or close a jail, change the required donation amount, and reset as necessary. It also relays status information from each jail, including current occupants, current donation amounts, and any error messages that come up. The error checking is what proved to be the most complex, as expected. I had to deal with situations where the volunteer may stand up before reaching his goal. I don't know if every Jail an Av device has provision for this (they should), but there are just too many cases where an av can accidentally (or on purpose) vacate his seat. And it causes all sorts of problems if his donation drive ends prematurely.

Finally, I settled on a manual state-change system. Once an avatar sits in a vacant jail, the door slams shut and the jail changes to collection mode. If he stands up/disappears, the jail door opens for him (it's bad form to trap an avatar), but continues to collect in his name. This gives him the chance to return to his seat after a relog, sim crash, teleport, accidental stand, etc. without the jail losing track of the money he collected. All money goes to the jailer for processing, in any case, but it would be unfortunate if technical difficulties caused someone to have to start his donation drive from scratch. (More than likely, he'd just give up and move on.) This way, he can pick up where he left off, even if his client crashed or the simulator went down.

The down side is the jailer has to decide for himself when an abandoned jail is truly unoccupied. He'll receive a message, "John Doe has left his jail early!" But it will be up to him to find out what happened, and clear the jail if required. I suppose I could have come up with a timer to reset the jail in such situations. I went as far as starting that, actually, but decided that it would be better to have a live jailer with his human judgment mediate the situation. I'm sure I'll catch flack for not making it all automagic but, given that real Lindenbucks are changing hands, I'd prefer to require a real live human be present to monitor the process.
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