OpenSim NPC’s Are An Easy Touch Of Fun

In The Shadows With Nara Malone

I’m catching up with Nara Malone in OpenSim. Nara had told me that there have been some good developments with Non Player Characters (NPC’s) in OpenSim and had asked me if I’d like to take a look. I had agreed, a couple of weeks ago, but I hadn’t managed to login to OpenSim until today. Fortunately Nara was willing to forgive me for being late.

I did try and go off on my own to look at NPC’s but I ran into a few errors, which were more down to me not understanding how OpenSim works than problems with OpenSim. In order to create and use NPC’s in OpenSim the land needs certain permissions and so does the user. However Nara quickly came to my rescue and took me to a suitable location, where I was introduced to Neo Cortex.

Neo knows his stuff and rezzes a camera, which he asks me to touch, I do so and receive a notecard with some settings, this is somewhat important. Then I am asked to touch the camera again, at which point a double of my Avatar appears in NPC form. This is quite impressive, but it’s static and not doing much. However this was a very quick process, less than a minute for me to be able to rez a NPC version of me.

Double Trouble

However the new me isn’t doing a fat lot, it doesn’t move, it looks like a mannequin. However Neo and Nara want to shoe me more and they both suggest that I should engage in dancing with NPC’s.

I’m a bit cautious but Neo takes control and promptly starts dancing with a quite striking avatar, who is a NPC. Nara does the same and I notice that different avatars are appearing to replace the one they were dancing with before.

Those avatars in here are from the FestAvi they had on Francogrid,” Neo informs me.

Neo Cortex & NPC

Nara and Neo both encourage me to join in, I touch the dance ball and select NPC couples and then go to options, this is where I can change my partner, eventually I settle on a very poetic looking avatar.

That poetry avatar was made from one of my poems,” Nara informs me “Fuschia Nightfire made her and a male version”.

However what about the dance ball and the posing system? “Aine Caoimhe made the dance ball and the posing system,” Neo tells me.

Dancing With NPC

One of the systems being used here is the Paramour Multi-Animation Controller and it seems to work well. However how does it all work? Umm, I don’t really know, but that notecard I was handed right at the start of this adventure contains settings, and it’s this notecard that I can use to add to poseballs and animations to create animated version of NPC’s.

There are options for singles, couples and even groups. I’m told that clubs in OpenSim use NPC’s as dancers. There’s a lot of potential here, especially for roleplaying and storytelling environments. Whereas we don’t want to be all alone on an Island full of NPC’s, NPC’s can certainly add to the ambience of a location.

Neo is enthusiastic about collaborative working in OpenSim, “This is what I love so much about being here in Opensim, all this working together to create a better Metaverse. I added the ability to rez “props” to that posing system.

Collaborative working is certainly not unique to OpenSim, but developments such as the way NPC’s can be used are an area where lots of people will see the advantages and will be prepared to work together to create standards and use cases.

However a word of warning, OpenSim is not like Second Life in some ways and one glaring example is server code and features. There will be grids where NPC’s simply won’t work. However on the grids they do work, they seem to be a lot of fun.

Fuschia Nightfire and Nara Malone have been working together (with others) to create a series of video tutorials regarding NPC’s in OpenSim and they are very interesting, they also exemplify the ease with which NPC’s can become part of OpenSim if you have the right settings.

To see more tutorials regarding OpenSim NPC’s follow the links below :

Fun With NPC’s Tutorial Part 2

Fun With NPC’s Tutorial Part 3

Fun With NPC’s Part 4

To learn more about visiting OpenSim, read Nara Malone’s post : An Author’s Guide to the Metaverse & How to visit Greyville Colony.

7 Replies to “OpenSim NPC’s Are An Easy Touch Of Fun”

  1. Hi Ciaran!
    Thank you for this great article! Just a little correction: it was Nara who wrote that poem, not me 😉

  2. Nice to see a post about Npc’s in open sim.
    When i used to be on OSgrid at full time, from feb 2011 up till may of that same year, one of the things it mazed me was the beginning of the npc’s developement.
    We made our regions on that time, running still up today and they have more then 200 npc’s that will show if one knows where to click.
    As the regions are adult, the npc’s will show doing some naughty things so i sugest to see Saphyre castle on Kitely , that is a pg version of one of them, and guess and watch them.
    At the time, i was able to put a npc, with the look of the vatar i was at the time, on a poseball, so when it rezzes will start using that animations, link several diff ones that will rezz when a prim is touched (the one that has the launch script) and rez one that would follow a specific path, like a solder walking around the castle.
    Each a diff one as i did create more then 200 looks of my avatar.
    The main problem with npc’s was at the time, and still is on our regions, that one needs to find and click only once the prim to rezz them, then wait a lil bit for them to rezz all fully.
    Of course i could let (and i did) all of them rezzed at all times, but is a bit crazy to have more then 200 npc on a single region, lol, it would make the map show them and it would feel like the regions where more filled then slb12.
    And this was circa 2011, can only imagine the works after that and how things had improved.
    Still our regions are always up so any can give them a try, as long a they dont mind adult conten, at osgrid and the pg version is still running on kitely.

  3. Interesting to see someone from SL coming over to opensim and having a go at setting up NPC’s! Great article Ciaran, hopefully the way you have shown how easy it is will encourage more people to come and try it.

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