Part 1; Designing the maze.
I came up with the initial design above using and online maze maker tool. As the design shows there are a number of paths through the maze. The black lines then represent possible door locations. I did all this before even starting the build in Second Life.
Part 2; Deciding on a appropriate size
From the above design I had to come up with a size that would fit in allocated Second Life area. Lucky the above maze design is broken up into squares. I counted the squares and it comes to 25 by 25 squares for the outside. I decided to make replicating the maze design in Second life that I would stick to whole 1 meter sizes for the walls. I then figured out what size the walls in the maze were going to be. There is more about size issues in the Problems Blog.
The final decision was each block in the design would represent 1 meter square. This meant that I could use the snapping guides to help when moving the prims into place.
The height of the walls were decided after playing around with a few walls the Sim. I decided on a height of 5 meters. I went with this as it made the maze feel a little less cramped but at the same time made the maze seem sort of daunting, an experience I was hoping for.
Part 3; Building it
To build the maze I found an easy solution. I created a heap of object different sizes. So I had a 1 x 1 x 5 object, a 2 x 1 x 5, a 3 x 1 x 5 and so on.
I sat them off to the size of the build area. I had the design laid out in front of me and then copy dragged the object of the size I needed in the build area. I would then line it up with the rule guides and it would slot into place. I had to take extra care to select the right lengths so that I didn’t have overlaps.
After putting the maze walls in I added in the surround walls, the floor and the roof. The roof was moved straight up when ever I was working in the maze and then I would bring it back down the top of the maze for testing.
Part 4; Colors and textures
When I had built the maze walls, and floor I found the walls very claustrophobic. This was due to the repeating wood pattern. I tried a few other textures, like planks and material type textures but I found all of these all to overwhelming. I believe this was due to the repetition and the close walls in the maze.
After playing round and trying the complete the maze I realized that I spent most of the time going through the maze looking at the ground. So I tested changing the walls to black and putting a bright texture as the floor. It worked really well.
It keeps the tight feeling but the claustrophobic feeling is gone. The concrete texture on the outside makes the mae feel like once you’re in then you may never come out. It also suits the block look in the maze structure.
Part 5; Particles
As the designer of the maze I knew how to complete it even if it is hard in the confined spaces. After I had another resident come and test the maze where they got lost just three turns in, did I realize I needed to add some sort of help system.
This is where the particles come in. They can be turned off and on if the resident attempting the maze wants them. These particles are fired along the ground and strategic locations so the maze stays difficult.
They move in the direction that the resident should be going. There are two different color particles for the two different ways the resident can progress through the maze.
Part 6; Doors
As I outlined in my blog post for the proposal I said that I wanted to add doors to my maze that will change the path that the resident will have to take to get through.
I used my design to plan and added in 6 doors. These doors are objects that move up and down. They create a block in a way through the maze. The doors are linked in two groups of three. I have made it so when three are down, creating blocks in a path through, the other three are up, not blocking the way
I have set them on a 15 second timer. This means that once the user starts them they change the path through.
Part 7; Surrounding Area
Finally I cleaned up the surrounding area of my maze. This meant adding a fence with posts and lights. The floor was extended out to the fences I added some moss textures to the fence which felt like it added a slight lost mayan effect to the build.
I added a viewing platform as I recessed the roof slightly so the maze can be seen from the top. If the resident wants they can plan their way through the maze before using this method. I also liked the effect that of having the tops of the maze showing through, so being able to give other uses the ability to see this to was needed, I felt.
Any areas I felt were dark I added small lights to the walls. I also added a lot of information points to help a new resident attempt the maze.I tried my best to make these short but factual.