Feb 112013
 

Hidden away on the Second Life Wiki, well not hidden very well, you’ll find the pathfinding cookbook. Described as a ready made solutions for some critters, it has some interesting concepts, it’s also incomplete or written with invisible ink.

In terms of interesting concepts we have such potential solutions as:

Sentient Treasure Chest

Treasure chest with legs. Sleeps, but runs and hides if anyone approaches.

Which makes me wonder if a wizard called Rincewind is having some input over at Linden Lab! There are sections for dogs, cats, rats, snakes, vultures which all sound like feasible critters people may want to engage with and then we get:

Hopping Scarecrow

Wanders about hopping and approaches random people, lingers and moves on.

Hmmmm!

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Dec 312012
 

Usually at this time of year, someone will post some predictions for the forthcoming year, although that seems to be light on the ground this year, it’s always a bit of fun to see those predictions and see what transpires. However predictions aren’t for me, instead I’ll post some hopes and wishes and look at what may happen.

On The Horizon

On the horizon we have some useful looking improvements coming to us from Linden Lab. Project shining leads the way and is already well under production. This includes server side baking via project sunshine, which will be a pain point for some as older viewers such as Phoenix aren’t coming along for the ride but it should mean improvements to how textures load and improved performance. This is also alongside the new http-Library project which is already being used in the beta viewer.

This comes on the back of Linden Lab improving hardware during 2012, as stated on the blog post about 2012: “in 2012 we made the single largest capital investment in new server hardware upgrades in the history of Linden Lab

So we should see the results of these hardware and software improvements during the coming months. We should also see the emergence of the open source efforts to improve graphics rendering performance such as the use of normal and specular maps during 2013.

Then we should see more work done on the good building practices wiki pages, which is turning into a bloody good resource.

Second Life expanding to Steam is still on the horizon. Changes have been made to the beta viewer, including a create account option, so it seems to be getting closer.

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Nov 292012
 

Inara Pey’s blog post regarding the article in The Register about Second Life being a failed technology, raises some really interesting points in the comments. I’ll pick up on some of them with a blog or two. A good starting place is a comment from Ezra, who feels that in many ways Second Life has failed:

Features roll out half-ass (mesh without deformer, shared media 2 years before everyone has a viewer that can see it). Some square peg in round hole features gain little traction at all (who needs pathfinding and quasi-AI without riggable NPCs? Only so much willingness to swap sculpt maps to fake it.)

Good points, I don’t see these points as equating failure, but they are points worthy of further discussion. Mesh did seem to be rolled out with buildings and props in mind, it largely works well in those areas, but it does seem short sighted not think people would want Mesh clothing. Hence this oversight started to give birth to Qarl’s Mesh Deformer Project  and it’s still in labour from what I’ve seen! However this is a feature for which residents raised funds to bring to Second Life. although it is of course a project in co-operation with Linden Lab, the oversight is one that makes people feel that Linden Lab don’t see the big picture.

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Nov 012012
 

Pathfinding is now widely available, although the tools are not yet in the main viewer, they are in the latest beta viewer which is available from the main Second Life client download page. Inside the viewer you will find the build tools:

An Image Should Be Here

Pathfinding In Build Menu

Now the issue for builders to consider is whether or not they want to consider making their buildings pathfinding compatible. There are certain things to consider here, fortunately Linden Lab have a good resource on the wiki: Pathfinding Tools In The Second Life Viewer. I heartily reccomend builders read that but I’ll briefly go through some of this.

Pathfinding works on linksets, not objects in linksets, that’s a big conundrum for builders and I’ll explain why.

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Apr 052012
 

The first rule about NDA club, is that you don’t talk about NDA club. Fortunately, Pathfinding in Second Life is not in NDA club, which means I can talk about it, hurrah!

I’ve been taking a look at Pathfinding in Second Life, being able to select where my characters can walk and select whether objects can move obstacles or collide with static obstacles does not sound exciting, indeed it’s not exciting at all. However what is exciting, although it doesn’t sound it, is watching prim cubes race around your sim after you’ve engaged in a bit of setting up and scripting.

There are bugs with Pathfinding at the moment, which is no surprise as testing is only just getting extended to sim owners, we’re back into the more variables the more issues arise territory, but the support I’ve received on the issues I have had with Pathfinding, have been absolutely superb, the team behind this are extremely enthusiastic. Unfortunately I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to poke around with it, but I’m getting there.

Now, so far I’ve managed to set some paths and then with the aid of the Pathfinding LSL functions I was able to create characters and set them on patrol on my sim.

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Feb 162012
 

If you want to keep up with technical developments you can go to user group meetings, read forum posts, read the wiki or go and read Nalates Urriah’s blog. I like the latter as it’s a good central repository. This week Nalates has been keep us up to date with the upcoming Pathfinding features, you can read the blog post here.

Pathfinding will help prims navigate around a sim all on their own, this has potential for non player characters, such as pets, barmen (and maids), ambience, bouncers and such like. Pathfinding alone won’t make this happen, as Nalates points out animations will still need to be used but pathfinding is a big step in the right direction of making this more easy to get going.

There’s an alpha overview on the Wiki, which being alpha means we shouldn’t get too excited just yet. The overview informs us of some of the commands and their LSL counterparts. There is also a Pathfinding Alpha Release wiki page which tells us that there will be a development viewer for this, but it has not yet been released. The feature will appear on Aditi first.

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Dec 272011
 

There seems to be a fair degree of divided opinion over the forthcoming tools for content creators, based largely around Rodvik’s statement on the official blog:

One of the key goals of Linden Realms was to learn more about what tools Residents could use to develop richer experiences in Second Life — and boy, did we learn a lot! In Q1 2012 , we will be releasing new tools used to develop Linden Realms, which will allow Residents to create even richer original experiences in Second Life. To prevent abuse of these tools, we will introduce a “creators” program in which verified members will be given access to these very powerful capabilities.”

There are arguments for and against such a program, there have long been arguments for and against such ideas. I’m currently very firmly on the fence about this as I believe the devil will be in the detail and some of Rodvik’s tweets have suggested it won’t be too painful, first this one:

“@AmaliaIllios Whats the dejavu? Curious I want to avoid anything bad. We are thinking some kind of minimal sign up program….”

Followed by this one:

“@AmaliaIllios ..basically so we can ban greifers who might abuse the tools (needed because they are really powerful). Hope that makes sense.”

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Dec 232011
 

Are you waiting for the family to arrive?

Are you sure you’ve got the room to spare room inside?

Does your granny always yell ya, that the old songs are the best?

Then she’s up and rock ‘n rollin’ with the rest!

Oh wait .. wrong post, that’s for the Karaoke Christmas special. There’s only so much Slade one can take, forty years old next year so I’m sure Noddy Holder and co. will be getting a windfall next year. However after spending half an hour driving around Morrissons car park at 9am this morning looking for a parking space,  I’m not sure how much Christmas spirit I’ve got left, I only wanted to get some beers! The shops are only closed for one fecking day, good grief people what is it with this bunker mentality at Christmas … wait wait wait Ciaran, this has nothing to do with Rodvik, Second Life or Linden Lab! ok agreed, so where was I? Oh yes, Rodvik’s blog post. In my previous blog post I talked about the policy and direction, now I want to talk about NPC’s!

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