Saturday, September 06, 2008
Well, I haven't completely disappeared, although my SL time has been severely restricted due to RL work issues. On the other hand, I haven't done anything terribly blog-worthy, either.
I've done a little more work on Mo-Tech Tower, just for fun. This includes adding an automatic landing platform (pic courtesy of Caliburn Susanto) at the SkyLounge. Nothing terribly high tech, really, just a simple auto-rezzer. When an occupant of the Lounge presses the "open" button, or when an avatar (presumably in a vehicle, but not necessarily) approaches from the outside, a door will open on the north face and a network of four 10m circular docking platforms will appear hovering outside. They're not large enough for conventional aircraft (there's no landing strip), but they're perfect for small VTOL craft or, as Caliburn proved, balloons.
It's also ideal for SL's small but dedicated BASE jumping community. One could debate that four kilometers off the ground is not truly a BASE jump, since it's higher than most conventional parachute drops, but why split hairs? It's within 20 or 30 meters of the maximum altitude achievable by SL planes and drop ships (which would evaporate at 4,096 meters), anyway. I suppose if someone absolutely had to be higher, they could climb up to the avatar maximum (just shy of a million meters) using a flight assist. I'd think it'd be a very long, very boring drop down afterward, though.
Just to spite the new rules of the universe, I've also been tinkering off and on with methods of building above the 4,096 meter ceiling. So far, results are not encouraging. Near as I can tell, it's not merely a matter of placing the object root point below the ceiling. I tried multiple variants of room-on-a-stick, with the root below the line, and all of them were returned. Instead, it appears that it's either a matter of center-of-mass or geometric center (which may or may not be the same thing). Long, skinny protrusions anchored to large objects below the ceiling (like the spike on the top of the Tower, which is linked to the roof dome assembly) appear to work just fine. So do tiny objects linked to the end of such protrusions.
I've yet to try usefully large rooms linked to even larger below-ceiling bases, however, mostly because I didn't want to clutter the airspace around the newly installed landing pads with giant, invisible counterweights. In any case, given that any variant of a room anchored to a root point below the ceiling would be limited by the maximum linked distance (about 30 meters, give or take various tricks), it's all a pretty pointless endeavor. Best case, we're talking a small, lightly constructed room sitting at 4,125 meters or so. Aside from the dubious thrill of thumbing my nose at Havok 4, there's really not much incentive to continue.
Otherwise, I've been updating the Fist of Righteous Fury, one of Mo-Tech Industries' oldest products. Evidently, the Fist is the weapon of choice for The Outlaws, an SL biker gang. And one of its members asked if there was any chance of making a Foot of Righteous Fury for their use. Easy enough, given that the Fist uses the built in client animations, which includes punches and kicks. From there, I ended up adding all of the hand-to-hand attacks (left hook, right hook, and one-two combination punches, as well as the aforementioned kick), and cleaned up the status readouts on the dialog menu controls. That, and recoded some of the embarrassingly primitive, kludgey code from my earliest programming days. Now, I can say that it's only about two years behind the times, instead of three. I guess that's improvement?