A3 Reflection – MUV601

Initial Design Decisions;

I’m just going to say it now, the planning blog I wrote before starting the build had some over ambitious plans. But in saying that I don’t think that is a bad thing. I have no real previous experience in building on Second Life so I didn’t know how long it was going to take. I had planned in a lot of scripting in the build which would of taken more time than I had. There was some ideas in there, like the timer, that required a good knowledge of scripting to complete which I didn’t have.
My plan however was very in depth with lots of ideas which in the long run helped me a lot. I liked that I was very set on the layout of the maze, even coming up with a design. This helped moving into the build planning. Having all the ideas meant that I could pick the ones I felt progressed the build well and were achievable and implement them effectively.

Build Planning;

I went into the build planning with the idea that I could make the paths through the maze quite large. However I quickly realized that this was not the case as the halfway through testing with the width at 2 meters that it would come out larger that the area I had allocated. This meant that I had to go with the 1 meter wide paths. This had quite a drastic effect on the planning going forward. I do like the final outcome. I think that the maze works just as well as it would have if it had 2 meter paths.
Another thing that happened during the build planning was the design that I came up with in the design stage helped more than I thought it would of. I didn’t notice really when designing the maze but the design is broken up into 25 by 25 little squares. Being able to uses these squares as 1 by 1 meters in Second Life was the a great help. Also sticking to whole numbers in in the build was probably one of the best decisions, as I wouldn’t want to think about trying to build it without the snapping guides.

Building;

As I decided that I was using set sizes as for the build before starting I figured out all the different size bits I would need and built them off to the side. This was a great help during the build. As the maze I was creating was all straight edges I could do this. It meant that I could just shift click and drag and new prim into the correct location in the build. This speed up the build process so much. Building all the prims manually and sizing them would have doubled or even tripled the build time.
I enjoyed the problem solving aspect of this build. There were a number of things that I had never considered before starting, like the flicker of textures if there is a overlap, or how small changes had a big impact, like change the paths from 2 to 1 meter meant that instead of adding different textures to the walls I had to infact make them all black. I also like how the roof is slightly recessed to show the black walls. Looking down from about shows that the maze inside is actually quite complex and almost puts it on show a little. It also means that if you want you can try solve it first before even entering.
I think finishing the maze before building the surrounding objects was a good idea. This was because it meant I had some to base it off and during the maze build it allowed me to develop ideas. There were so many changes to the maze as well that if I had built the surround stuff first, it would’ve ended up being a big clash of ideas.
Thinking about it now to fit in with the theme I should of possibly added in a splash back wall around the build. This could of had a dense forest texture on it. When I finished the build I thought that it was missing some trees or nature so the above idea would’ve possibly solved this problem.

Scripting;

In the design stage I was coming up with ideas of how to make it harder, like having changing textures everywhere and having heaps of doors. But on completing the maze and having not only a resident get lost just three turns in but myself, the builder, getting lost to many times to list, it changed to how can I make this easier. The particle effect I believe achieve this. They don’t make it too easy but keep it achievable. The idea to be able to have the particles turn off and on by the users choice also means that they can challenge themselves.
When scripting the door I jumped in without any real thought to how script might work. I was planning to have it work on a proximity sensor. After spending over 3 hours trying to get it to work to only realize that the doors wouldn’t activate correctly was a bit of a blow. If I had spent some time before hand to work out that it wouldn’t work then I  would of not wasted all that time. But in saying that I will just learn from my mistakes. I had to fall back to the plan of having the doors activated on a button message sender/receiver system.
In hindsight one more thing I should’ve done before starting the scripting was to check what was needed to complete the complex build aspect. At one stage I thought I had finished all the scripting but when I checked that I had every thing I realised that I had only 5 of the 6 need parts. In the end I managed to have everything needed.

Final Thoughts;

I am happy with my build on Second Life. I am not a great designer, I have the ideas but putting them into practice is a little different. But as this is my first build I am pleased with how it turned out. I learnt a lot in a short time, especially about scripting and how simple changes can have a huge effect in the final outcome of a build. If I do another build next time for any major changes I make I will go back and revisit my design to make sure that going forward I can mitigate some future problems.
Overall I’m happy and I would get lost in my own maze again. 🙂

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A3 Problems – MUV601

Size Limits

The first major problem I ran into was the size limit of the build platform. The maze design I had was a 25 by 25 square design and as I had decided to make the wall to rounded amounts of one meter to simplify the build process. My original idea was to had the pathways within the maze at least 2 meters wide. But after testing the this by building a quarter of the maze I realized that this wouldn’t work.
I would of needed roughly 50 by 50 meters to work with. The build platform is about 10 meters less than this and it would also leave no area around the outside to build a entrance or exit. Even using 1.5 meter sizes was to close to the edge. Therefore I had to bring the build down to 1 to 1 ratio. Bringing the size down meant that now I had plenty of room to build around the maze as well.
These size limits did change the original build plan a bit too. This brings me onto my second issue.

Texture Problems

I was going to have textured walls in the maze that would possibly change. But due to having only 1 meter wide paths in the maze when ever I added a texture to the wall I found I was an visual overload and made the paths feel very claustrophobic. After testing for quite some time I decided to change the walls to black. The effect I found was I transformed the maze from an assault on the sensors to a almost a black hole on the inside. But this isn’t a bad thing because I added a bright floor texture. Now when attempting the maze I look down and the defining lines between the black and the floor make it easy to see where the walls are. The black also makes the doors stand out.

Doors Scripts Not Working

When I added the doors into the build the original idea was to have the doors activate on a sensor when an avatar was close by. I found this had several issues.
The first problem was I couldn’t get the code to work. I had created a simple script that when the user touched the door it moved it up and down every 15 seconds. I then took the script I had for the center pillar message and tried to combine the two. The issue I ran into was the script wouldn’t recognize the < and > I had added. It somehow lead to the door movement script activating when I was standing outside the  sensor area and then when I moved into it the would stop working. I change the script many time to no avail. In the end I found a script that almost did what I wanted it to and tested it using that.

The second was even when the doors were linked the center point for all of them was not the same. So when I set a radius for the doors to activate on and then flew out a small distance the close set of doors to me would activate and the second set  wouldn’t. This lead a misalignment in the swapping of close to open on the doors.

In the end I copied and modified the scripts I was using for the orb particles to start and stop the opening of the doors. I added a start and stop button at the start of the maze to do this. I did try adding another stop button to the end of the maze but when I would click it it would only stop one set of doors and not the other set. I made sure that the code was identical and it should of worked but nothing I tried did. I added a notice at the saying if the user is finished with the maze to please turn the doors off when finished.

A3 Creation Requirements – MUV601

All builds must display

50 to 300 prims used in the construction

The the time of writing this blog my prim count stands at 174.

Land impact

At least three different primitive types

  • Along the perimeter fence of build there are support posts with copper caps and flame lights on them. To make the copper caps I used the pyramid shape. It has been resized to fit the top of the post below it.

Copper top

  • Sitting on the fence is a neon B shape. To make the round bits on the B I used two tubes. I used the Tube prim as it had sharp edges and suited the back straight section of the B. These have been laid on their side and cut to make two half circles. They were then resized to create the B shape.

Tube

  • The top of the spiral viewing platform has a hemisphere prim for the resident to stand on. I used the prim shape because it gave a good platform to stand on and matched up to the spiral well. There is an image of this further down.
  • I have used a sphere on the bottom of the ! exclamation mark to create the dot. As the exclamation mark I was trying to create was 3D this was the obvious choice.

Sphere

At least four different forms of prim manipulation

  • There is a taper on the exclamation mark.  This makes the cube prim used come down to almost a point above the sphere below it. I was going to use a pyramid prim but found the point to sharp so I changed to the tapered cube.

Taper on information

  • As shown in an above section I used a the cut feature to create the B shape. The tubes used were cut to 50% making the two half circles and then pushed up against the back of the B to finish the shape.
  • The spiral platform uses two manipulations to get the effect; Twist and Hollow. The twist manipulation is used fully to get the spiral going up the originally used cube shape. The hollow effect is then used to take the middle out of the cube. This mean that all is left is a spiral walkway type shape.

Twist and hollow on spiral

The use of different textures and colours throughout the build with consideration given.

  1. On the spiral viewing platform I found a texture of planks of wood. This wood texture with some adjustments made follows the lines of the spiral going up the platform. To me the texture makes it look like the wood had been formed into a spiral shape to support platform and guide the avatar up.
  2. The texture on the set of doors in the first section are different to the second section. The first section I used a wooden door texture that I stretched out so only a cross was visible on the door. I then shaded it slightly red.  On the second section of the maze the doors are a plazma texture. This texture matches the center pillar and being that they are so close together I thought it suited it. It also broke the sections up a little.
  3. Black walls in the maze because no textures worked in the confined spaces. I have mentioned this in other blogs. Having a texture on the walls of the maze was a total visual assault on the sensors. The black means that there is only two textured surfaces to look at when in the maze, the roof and floor. The roof is a neutral texture and the floor isn’t overpowering.
  4. The posts around the perimeter fence have pyramid tops on them that colored a older copper color. This effect of old slightly weathered and oxidized copper has been furthered with the use of a concrete texture. This gives the copper a slightly pitted effect. I also added a texture manipulation of a low shininess to give it a dull look.
  5. The exclamation mark ! information signs are coloured red to draw the user’s eye. As they contain important information I thought this was necessary.
  6. The grass texture on the floor was used as it tied in with the overall theme in and around the maze. The green pops against the black walls in the maze and the concrete and fence textures that surround it.
  7. The concrete texture for the walls and roof of the building was chosen to give the feeling of a sturdy structure that once you’re in there is only one way out.
  8. Moss on the fences in a transparent texture used to make it look like the build has been there for a long time.

At least two different texture manipulations

  1. I have implemented the glow feature in a number of locations. For example;
    1. On the information exclamation marks to make them pop and look important
    2. On the B shape for the link to my blog. I did this so when the user has done the maze and come back round to the start they will see it at the end on the fence. I am hopping it will catch their attention
    3. On the lights. It doesn’t look right without a small amount of glowing coming something that is providing light.
  2. There is bump texture on the fence posts. This is because the texture I used wasn’t made for this application so therefore it looked stretched. The checkered texture breaks takes away most of the stretched look. It also makes the post aged.
  3. Shininess has been added to the red off buttons. This gives them a dull look like they would be used to turn a scripted function off.
  4. The texture effect shininess is employed on the copper tops. This is used to give the copper a dull effect. The color and texture selection did not provide the look I wanted alone so I added shininess and the copper became weathered.

The appropriate use of multiple textures on a prim

On the spiral there is a number of different textures. The spiral section going up has boards of wood that follow the spiral up. Then on the side there is a metal roofing texture the is white that goes in the horizontal to the wood boards going up. I change it to this texture because with the board texture it was extremely stretched and very repetitive. The metal texture looks like it belongs with the spiral structure. On the top of the spiral there is a hemisphere for the avatar to stand on. The top flat section of the hemisphere has a ripple texture that looks like a grippy pad so the resident won’t slip off. On the underside is the bright texture of the apple. The texture has been squashed up somewhat, but the bright reds and greens add a splash of colour to the build and to me it looks like the spiral down comes from this floating orb.

Although this is a small change on the prim that makes up the wall sides are a concrete texture. But on the top where it sticks through the roof I changed it to black. When it was still concrete it was hard to differentiate it from the roof. With it being black the outside of the maze is very noticeable.

TP up

The appropriate scale for purpose both in construction and texture use

I have mention a number of times the reasons for the construction size I went for. This can be found in other blogs. Another reason that the size of construction fits is that it will work for almost any size avatar that enters the build. There are number of places that I built objects based around my height, but needless to say this height will suit many uses of second life. For the likes of the fences the height is effective in increasing the build and also they are not too high that it is stretching the texture. The floor has been set to repeat and has been scaled down a lot so that is isn’t stretched over the over 30 by 30 floor.

Complex interactivity;

A scanning system to interact with the avatar in some manner

In the middle on the maze there is an area where the two paths through converge before splitting for the two paths out of the maze. In the center of this area is a 1 x 1 meter pole. I have added a script to the post that scans for an avatar within a 2 meter radius, every 5? seconds. If it detects an avatar then it whispers a message to the avatar in the main chat saying “Half Way. You are doing well”.

Scripted message sensor

An instance of scripted communication with an avatar

Along with the above communication I have an information exclamation mark at the start of the maze. This when clicked this whispers a message to the user welcoming them to the maze and giving some basic instructions.

Interaction in chat

An appropriate particle system

As explained in the design and development blog I added guide orbs to the maze. These are particle effects that float along the ground within the paths of the maze. These orbs are turned off and on using two buttons at the entrance to the maze. The particles come from prims hidden in the walls around the build. When the on button is clicked there is a message sent out on channel -2525. Each one of the particle spawning prims then has a listener in it. When they detect the on message it activates the particle effect script that is also in the prim. I have set the particle effect to decrease is size as it travels along. Each script is set with a different max age so that the orbs fade out before they reach the end of the section that they are traveling down.

Particle direction

A link out to a web page

On the fence surrounding my build there is a large neon B shape. This has a script in it that links out to the MUV section of this blog, when clicked on.

The sitting of an avatar on a prim with the purpose of teleporting the avatar

I have two prims that when clicked on will teleport the user to another location. The first is just in front of the location that the avatar spawns at on my build platform. This prim teleports the avatar to the start of my maze.
The second is if the user clicks on the spiral viewing platform then it teleports them to the top.

TP up

Prim movement through scripting

The maze doors a scripted to move. I have linked up two sets of three doors. They work through the same prim on/off system as the orb particles do. With this though I have linked the script in the link so that it covers all the doors in that set. I have done the same for the other set. I then offset the doors so one set were in the maze and the other were above. I then swapped the script parameters so that they start by either moving the doors up or down.

A3 Design and Dev – MUV601

Part 1; Designing the maze.

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.

Different Sizes

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.

No 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.

Clostrofobic.

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.

Black Walls

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.

Particle direction

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.

Particle locations

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.

Particles

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.

Texture with door at end

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

Doors

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.

Surrounding area 2

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.

Surrounding area 3

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.

Door buttons

Asignment 3 Planning – MUV601

Content Creation with Complex interactivity

  • What you are going to do?

I am going to build an interactive and changing maze. I am thinking of designing a maze that has 1 entry and 1 exit but multiple paths to the exit. All the paths will meet at the middle with a door that changes the way that avatars go through the maze. I think two paths from the entry to the middle and two to the exit will allow enough variety. I could add in possible alternate paths as well to add some complexity. These will have to be opened and closed off using doors. These doors will change to open up and close off a maze route after a certain amount of time (1 min?).  After making the maze I’ll test it to see how hard it is to solve. Depending on the results I’ll decide if I want to add in changing textures too. These will change when the doors change. It will add confusion to the maze and the reference points will change. The maze will have a roof to stop people cheating by zooming out. This will also mean I can implement particle effects and glowing lights to either help or confuse. The roof will be one way so if the avatar gets lost of confused then they can fly out the top, but they still won’t be able to see in.

  • What you will learn by doing it?

    • Programing using the linden language
    • Limitations of second life and the possible ways people have solved them
    • People’s ability to problem solve when the environment around them changes
    • Designing a build that allows for additions, to make it more complex, if time is available but completes all the requirements in the first build
  • Description of initial ideas?

Below is a design of a maze I was thinking of using. The red and green lines lead to the middle of the maze, while the maroon and aqua lines lead from the middle to the exit. Where there are the yellow lines they are possible alternate routes. These can be closed or open to provide other ways to exit the maze. The black lines are possible locations for doors that can be opened and closed.

Maze.PNG

There will be an interactive object at the entrance that will start the maze. This will reset its doors, textures(?), sounds(?) and possibly a timer. The player can then enter the maze. The object at the entrance will have a running timer that will sent private triggers to the doors to change them periodically allowing for different routes through the maze. Sounds could be made at the changing of the doors to warn the avatar. At the end of the maze there will be another interactive object that will stop the doors, textures(?), sounds(?) and timer. Throughout the maze there can be particle effects to help guide or distract the avatar.

  • What resources you are going to need?

An area in second life, textures, sounds,  scripts, time.
Learning sites for scripting because I have limited knowledge in the language.

  • What skills/knowledge you are going to need that you

      1. Have
        • Knowledge on how to build structures in Second Life
        • I know how to import textures
        • Basic particle scripting knowledge
      2. Don’t have
        • How to effectively use the scripting language. I will need to learn how to trigger other scripts, get object to move, change textures and play sounds. I will also need to know how to script in a timer and show text to a user. To gain knowledge on this I can use in class lessons and online documentation. There are also locations in second life that teach about scripting. I will try visit the relevant places to gain more knowledge.
        • I will need a better understanding of the particle scripting for the build to look good as well. I will vist the particle laboratory for help on this and look at online tutorials.
        • I don’t know how the sound system working in second life. If I decide to implement sound into my builds I will have to find out how to import and play the sounds.
        • I can also visit other locations that have mazes. This will give me insight and more ideas on what I could include and how to complete problems I’m having.
  • A rough timeline for your assignment (5 weeks June 19th)

1 week planning.

1 week building and texturing. This time is for the initial build without any scripting. Objects will be place in the best possible places to allow for future development when scripts are added.

3 weeks scripting. I have allowed this amount of time because of my limited knowledge. This time will also have additions to the build as more scripts are implemented.

  • Which platform will you use?

Second Life

Participating in a Community – MUV601

The name of the community/group;

Hyperpixel

A description of the purpose and activities of the group;

Hyperpixel is run by a group of people that have custom built a Minecraft server and forum. They started out as a minecraft youtube channel that built custom maps and have now become one of the largest Minecraft Network in the world. Hyperpixel is a minigames based server where many of the games that the server hosts are short competitive based games that pit players against each other. It is a very large community of player, most of the times I visited the number of players in the server fluctuated from 10,000 to over 17,000.Here is a update number of players. The forum has over 500,000 registered members. The Minecraft server that they run is mostly for entertainment purposes with some social activities taking place. On the other hand the Forum ranges from social to educational and discussion. From what I have found while switching game modes and browsing the forum the Hyperpixel server is actually made up of multiple Minecraft servers. When a user goes to a lobby and then a game, they are actually passed to another server. Due to the size of the community of active players this is the only effective way the manage this. In saying this thought the gameplay is not hindered in any way.

Games;

Game modes that Hyperpixel currently include are; Mega Walls, Blitz Survival Games, SkyWars, Smash Heroes, Crazy Walls, Turbo Kart Racers, UHC Champions, Warlords, Cops and Crims, Arcade Games,  Arena Brawl, The TNT Games, Quakecraft, VampireZ, Paintball Warfare, The Walls.
A full list and description can be found here.
Players can choose what game they want to play. To get to a game from the main lobby you have to select and click the character with the corresponding game name above it.Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_29_38 AM.png

This then takes to another lobby where you can go and select the difficulty of the game you want to play. These and usually listed on a sign. Once enough players are queued it launches you into the game.

In the games there is the normal try to win but there is also the ability to gain gems and other goodies from games, like treasure boxes. This is mostly based around the store that Hyperpixel runs. This store is to used to keep the servers running and pay the people that work on it.
Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_35_21 AM.png

Forum;

The forum on the Hyperpixel website is used for communication between players and a way the communicate with the admins.
In the forum it includes the official rules to playing on the Hyperpixel servers and rules for the forums too. I also found this great startup guide which helps first time forum users.

 

Descriptions of at two occasions on which you participated with the group;

First;

This was the first time I entered the server. I found the server on the minecraftservers.org website. There was a brief description on the type of server  it was so I knew it was a mini game type server.
Hyprer Plex.PNGAfter connecting and getting into the server I checked out their mini games that they had to offer and selected SkyWars. I have played this mode in the past so I kind of knew how it worked. I got into the lobby and found the sign to click to enter the game’s. It was a little confusing for a start trying to figure out how to get into games and I didn’t know that the signs where that key. But after following everyone else I got it.
Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_24_54 AM.pngI decided to join a team based (two man teams) normal mode game. Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_25_18 AM.png
This took you to a very crowded room where you waited for the game to start. Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_25_32 AM.png
After it put you in a box with your team mate.Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_25_49 AM.png
A count down when and you started. The aim was to kill the other teams without falling off the side.


Obviously I die pretty quickly at the start but after observing other player after I died I got better at it. Although I never got near the top.

Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_28_31 AM.png

Second;

On the second occasion I decided to try out one of the custom mini game types.

Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_31_12 AM.png

This game requires you to download a pack to play it. It asks you when you go to the lobby if you want to download it and on accepting it installs it. This give you a custom look.Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_30_37 AM.png

The game mode I decided to try was Turbo Kart Races. This is a variation of Mario Kart. The first time that I tried to join this game style I had difficulties as I was put in a lobby with no enough players to start the game. On the second attempt later on I was successful.Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_31_05 AM.png

Once it it started you racing pretty much straight away. You are in a kart and racing to win. Items spawn in the race that you can collect. These items can then be used to slow the other racers down. Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_33_30 AM.png

I did find the racing a little difficult as the lag caused issues sometimes, the kart would freeze and then jump. This meant you quite often hit walls and would lose a few places.
In the end though I managed to finish a race in fourth place. I thought I did quite well as I could tell I was playing against seasoned players. Minecraft 1.9.2 4_05_2016 12_34_44 AM.png

Permissions on objects – MUV601

Description of the different levels of permissions

  • Modify
    • If checked this allows the next owner to modify the object/s
    • If unchecked then no changes can be made to the object/s
  • Copy
    • If checked another resident can take a copy of the creation and take it into their inventory
    • If unchecked then the creation denies any copies to be made.
  • Transfer
    • If checked then the next owner of the creation can give it to someone else. How they can give it depends on the the if the copy box is ticked or not. If the copy box is ticked then the next owner can give a copy to someone else, but if it isn’t then they can only give the original.
    • If it is unchecked then the next owner can not give the creation away to someone else. If the copying box is ticked then they still cannot.
  • Export
    • Exporting creations can only be done using third party viewers. The user that is exporting the creation needs to be the creator and owner of the creation to do so. Otherwise it isn’t allowed.
  • Share with group
    • If the owner is in a group then they can share it with the group. Anyone in the group can then edit it. The modify, copy and transfer rules will apply still.
  • Allow anyone to move
    • Any resident can move the creation around.
  • Allow anyone to copy
    • Allows anyone to copy the object, if wanting apply this to a whole creation then the rule must be added to every object in the creation.

 

Suggestions of when you might use the different permissions

  • Modify
    • This allows other residents to modify your creation. It can be useful if you want another residents input into your creation. Remember that anyone can then edit it so limiting to a group will be a good idea.
  • Copy
    • If you want other residents to be able to create copies of the creations that you made. Can be effectively used to make a creation sharable with everyone
  • Transfer
    • This permission is good for shop owners. As it allows them to sell a creation which the next owner can’t sell on or copy onto other users.
    • Other uses are if you want to share a creation with a lot of people then allowing them to pick it up and pass it on either when they’re done with it or create a copy of it and pass it on if the copy permission allows
  • Export
    •  Old uses for this was to copy other creations that don’t allow the copy permission and then reimport them into Second Life. Effectively meaning that they could “steal” creations.
    • Newer uses are for users that create a creation using a builder in Second Life and then want to export it to either store it out of second life or make it better using the likes of blender.
  • Share with group
    • Sharing with a group is useful if you want to collaboratively build or share with a group you have joined. You can still only allow others to copy it or so on if you want but this will be the best option for group builds. Be careful of who is in your group or may get added to your group because they will be able to modify, copy or transfer it.
  • Allow anyone to move
    • There are very little uses for this permission but there could be a few. When meeting new residents or at an event and you want to allow the resident/s to move an object around for some reason and they are not in a group with you. It does allow for easy griefing of the object. Other uses maybe is an demonstration and you want user interaction. You could possibly use scripts to move the object back to its original location afterwards.
  • Allow anyone to copy
    • If you want to quickly share an object with other residents in an area or give a object away. To go this to a creation then all the objects need to have the same permissions. It would be easier to sell the creation for $0L.

Protecting Intellectual Property – MUV601

How the Permissions system helps to protect IP.

The current protection system is very straight forward but allows a lot of control around the sharing of their creation. A user may not want to share, not allow copying,selling,  transfer or modifying of their creation, so they can leave all these permissions locked to protect their IP. Unlocking the permissions in certain ways will achieve different levels of protection. As the permissions are inherited by the next user that gets the creation the creator is then guaranteed protection, even from current CopyBots and when selling the creation. Obviously there are limitations to the permission system. Therefore it needs to be used carefully, as one small change can allow almost full access.

What is CopyBot and how it can/should be used?

ORIGINAL USE: CopyBot was created by the libsecondlife development team, originally to be used as a debugging tool. It was developed with purposes for import/export function. As a “backup” tool, and/or to assist in development.
Potential uses for the import/export function include but are not limited to;

  • Using it to backup a creation so the user doesn’t have to rely on Linden Lab for the data backup services
  • Importing content which was created using other grids or methods
  • Exporting someone’s own intellectual property to other environments or exploiting another user’s creation. 

These intended official applications required creator and owner permission, and a response to a disclaimer before content could be copied.”

LATER REVISIONS: The source code for CopyBot was made accessible via the libsecondlife website. It was turned into an application used replicate objects and avatar appearances without the owner’s permission. This triggered discussion in the Second Life community and also lead to the multiple articles which were published in the media. As the software was hard to come by some users also starting selling download links. This lead to Linden Labs intervening. 
The CopyBot program doesn’t run inside the virtual world of Second Life. It is written in C# not  the programing language of Second Life, LSL. The CopyBot software was made available the SL Exchange and other websites supplied download links. In April 2008 Linden Labs banned any distribution of CopyBot. However there are currently programs which use a heavily modified version of the CopyBot code or have re-implemented it in another way. But these include some kind of copyright protection, like only the creator of the creation can use the CopyBot on the creation. These are focused around the old uses of the CopyBot. 

CURRENT VARIATIONS: From the open source code of CopyBot, businesses have established encouraging safe and responsible use. This includes; Inventory backup which promotes the responsible and legal use of the CopyBot program to protect the creations and offers tutorials to help people learn the software. Uses are now using it to build better creations by exporting in game creations to the likes of blender for more development. 

Protecting users creations in a virtual world.

First off the user needs to decided on the level of protection that they want on there creation. Taking in to account what they are going to do with the creation after they have finished it is very important. The permissions applied if they were going to sell the item would  probably differ from if they were going to give it away.
Next they need to investigate the permissions. Going over what permission does what and selecting the one or more permissions to secure their creation.
A list of the permissions, what they do and possible uses can be found here. 
The user then needs to apply the permissions the creation, making sure that it applies to the whole creation. Always keeping the original, either exporting it using CopyBot or in their inventory, and never using it only copying it is a good proof that the creation is yours, if you ever have to lodge a complaint about a stolen creation.

The “Big Six” – MUV601

Second Life has six rules to protect and allow everyone to enjoy Second Life. These rules are known as the “Big Six” A full definition of the rules can be found at the below link otherwise a brief explanation of the rules can be found in this blog.

https://secondlife.com/corporate/cs.php

Big Six Rules;

  1. Intolerance

     

    • This rule is in place to make the general interaction of Second Life enjoyable. There is no tolerance to hindering another user (Resident) or community group’s interactions or ideas. It also means no derogatory or demeaning language or images are to be used that include or are aimed at another resident or group.
  2. Harassment

    • Due to the free to join and large diversity of residents in Second Life, harassment is a very real possibility, This standard is in place to stop any form of in harassment that may annoy or cause harm.
  3. Assault

    • Due to most of the areas in Second Life having a safe rating it means that no types of assault (shooting, pushing, shoving, creating or using scripted objects) can take place in these areas the targets a resident or residents. This makes sure the experience stays enjoyable for everyone.
  4. Disclosure

    • No disclosing another residents real life personal infromation can take place without there permission. On information that they have made public in their profile can be shared. This also includes any conversation logs.
  5. Adult Regions, Groups, and Listings

    • A area (land) in Second Life is classed as “adult”. The undertakings and what is said is not allowed in the the mainland, where there is no adult class. Any content that falls under the definition of adult maturity is not allowed on the mainland. Other areas may have there own maturity level and rules around this, these must be followed.
  6. Disturbing the Peace

    • Hindering another user’s enjoyment of the game is not allowed. This covers annoying sounds, spawning objects, unwanted advertising to name a few. Also intentionally trying to slow server performance is banned.

 

Why you think they have been created?

As stated in most of the rules they are made to make sure every resident enjoys there time in Second Life. Second Life is a very personal experience and a lot of the users put a lot of time and effort into their character/builds. The rules are in place to help protect these users from others that intend to disrupt their experience. They also are used to keep different maturity level activities and conversations to separate areas so that users can enjoy every area.

How you would make sure you do not violate the standards?

Most areas that you go to have a board with rules on it or a chat message. I make sure I read the rules at each area before interacting. If there is not any viable rules I would probably go ask another resident in the area for them.  Looking at other users interaction and judging what is allowed and not allowed is a good start. When going to a new region starting out by interacting in a nice a friendly manner and following the “Big Six” until I have found out what the area’s rules are.

A brief description of what to do if you think that someone else is abusing the standards?

If you see anyone abusing the standards there is a report button in the viewer where you can report the user. Also take screenshots I would try taking screenshots, storing the chat if relevant and details about what was wrong. Reporting to the moderator of the area with this information would be also helpful.

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MUVE viewers – Second Life Viewer

Who it is developed by?

The Second Life viewer is developed by Linden Labs and is the base viewer. It can be downloaded from there website and used to log into Second Life. Most features are available that other viewers offer.

What functionality it provides?

The second life viewer allows a user to log into their Second Life account and access the Second Life world. This viewer is only made for Second Life. The viewer can be used downloaded in Windows, Mac, and Linux versions. Note that on the download page that there a links to the Mac and Linux versions. All the basic functions like chat, group chat, viewing and modifying inventory and building can be done from in the viewer. This is managed through a series of popup boxes that have all the controls in them. These boxes can be moved and resized around the screen to the user’s prefered location. This is that base viewer that other viewers are built off and offer more functions than it.

In game screen.PNG

It also allows advanced and developer controls that can be toggled on by the user. This enables more way the user can interact with the world.

How easy is it to use?

Being that I have already user Firestorm viewer before, going to the Second Life viewer was easy. The UI layout was simple and customizable. Installing the viewer was quick and it did its hardware detection on install which I found useful so it doesn’t do it each start up. The login screen was very simple but this is because it only has to access Second Life.

Login Screen.PNG

It logged in quickly and rendered in the world smoothly.
Being use to Firestorm I found the mouse movement a little delayed at times and jittery. This lead to some miss clicks.

How it compares to others?

One major difference to Firestorm is only being able to log into Second Life and know other virtual environments. This is logical though as this is made by the developers of Second Life.
Another comparison to Firestorm is the UI design. There a less options presented to the user along the top bar and in the preferences.

Preferences Menu.PNG

I think this is to allow new user to learn how to use the viewer quicker, ruther that getting swamped in options.

What your impressions of it are?

I found when using the viewer that some of the boxed menus and help windows to a long time to load. I was usually stuck at a white box while it loaded. Sometimes it wouldn’t load and closing and reopening the box fixed it. I also found that you sometimes can’t make boxes smaller that a certain size, meaning that they take up a lot of room on the screen. Although having less options presented to the user may be a benefit at the start this could later take away from an experienced player game.
The viewer overall seems less refined that others but it is a good starting point. I liked that by default the WASD keys were used for movement and the color scheme was easy on the eye.