Tuesday, June 1, 2010

but there's willow trees and little breezes, waves, and walls, and flowers

But of course the new Star Wars MMO is going to have the Bratz catgirl in it. Why wouldn't it?

*sighs* At least she's less annoying than Jar-Jar.

This is a lovely little font flowchart. Don't know what font you need? Maybe this will help!

And I'm not entirely sure if it's a case of "vicious misogyny" or not; I do think it's odd for a game concept, and especially odd for a British game concept.

Speaking of odd game concepts, there's at least one game out there where you play a deer. I'm totally not kidding about that. You don't talk to other players--you don't even type to other players--because you're a deer! You have "deer emotes", like pawing the ground and hopping back. You can also "sniff" for other players.

After a full week of staring at the MMO link, off and on, I downloaded the client; but for the life of me, I can't decide if I even want to unpack it and take it for a test run, let alone play the game for fun. I mean...deer. Who wants to be a deer?

Dusan Writer goes into the selling of Second Life, and while on the surface it's an extended comment to an earlier post by Grace McDunnough, it stands on its own as an integral commentary to why we log into SL in the first place. Because we are trying to prepare for that "crashing wave of change"; because we are realizing that the world is evolving, and if we don't try to evolve with it, we will die; because, as he points out brilliantly, "Social media takes no prisoners".

It remains the greatest disappointment that users of Second Life understand this, many of them on a subconscious, instinctive level, and yet the owners of this new social experiment fail to perceive what they have at all. (And a note for T Linden, in case you have plans to come and comment? You know I'm right. Don't even bother to say some of you get it--because, while I know some of you do, your bosses don't.)

Dale Innis tracked down the best reason I've heard so far to never set foot on Blue Mars. Copyrighting a color? How stupid is that? Thanks, Blue Mars, you've finally one-upped Linden Labs in sheer unrestrained idiocy. Way to go.

Now, a brief exploration into how some avatars--who have never been to parcels belonging to me--get banned.

On the sidewalk project (and more on that later), I've been getting this folder offer from something named the "Chili Club". Now, not only is this rude of the Chili Club--especially since, when I get it, I'm next to the Razorpill Club in Good Day Sunshine--but it doesn't reflect well on the avatar, either.

Today, instead of auto-discarding it, I accepted it, because I wanted the bastard's name:

[17:57] .:KCI:. xVisitor Counter v2.1 owned by Anthony Hausner gave you 'CHILI CLUB' ( http://slurl.com/secondlife/IAm%20The%20Walrus/231/169/24 ).

Bingo. So I went there:

Second Life,clubs,annoyance,wtf

If you like red, you'll love the club. If you like lag, you'll love the club. If you like being in dance clubs where there are flashing signboards, neon lights, moving laser strobes, and a full-on animated dance floor, oh, WAU will you love this place.

And if you like being anywhere within a sim's length of it, in fact, it's likely all you'll hear about. I must have gotten that offer about every two minutes when I was working that entire side of the sim.

Thus, as soon as I hit my home parcel, Hausner will be banned from it; my store and Morgaine as well. And I'm none too fond of the Chili Club at this point, either, which is why I'm mentioning it here. It exists on Iam the Walrus, the next sim I'm going to tackle for the Great Sidewalk Project; which means I'm going to CONSTANTLY GET SENT UNWANTED SPAM FROM HIS CLUB.

I swear, give me one week, I'll be sending him hate mail.

Just as a note to anyone who decides automatic shout-outs are a great way to go: please think of your customers. When I land someplace, and something tosses me a landmark; fine, I might be interested. I see a drop-down menu offering me that week's free gift, or a landmark, or their webpage URL, or their sale notecard; well, that's overburdening me on choice, but I can get through that.

If I'm not even on the same LAND MASS as your club, though? Trust me. The more you scream at me that your place is a cool hangout spot? THE LESS I WANT TO GO.

So far, on the sidewalk project, I've put in fifty-four hours (not consecutively) on finishing one sim. Now, I grant you, a large part of that was tracking down the right size megaprims to use on each section of the project, building the correct size round corners, working out design parameters on three different bridge styles, and laying everything out to the correct height and position--but I will also grant a significant portion of that was texturing. To wit, matching textures perfectly on the planar by mathematical estimation.

Mathematics? Has never been my strong suit, and I only feel the mildest quibble saying that, because I know it's not a 'girl thing'--there are some women who understand mathematics completely, and more power to them. And there are some men who throw their hands up at fine calculations, so it's not a 'weakness' of the gender. It's just not my thing.

But it is so completely not my thing that in utter frustration, I went to a builder I trust, and asked them if they use anything to match textures across prims of various widths. And they recommended something. And it was a very high-priced something.

But I thought it over, and realized I could easily clock another thirty hours on this project getting the seams right, and no one wants that. So I steeled my resolve and decided to purchase the JexTone Industries EasyTexture HUD from Twisted Thorn Textures. For L$1500. (For which, I am insanely grateful to said friend, because in addition to recommending it? She fronted me the funds.)

So, I followed the instructions (I thought), and loaded the texture in the HUD, and hit the button...and nothing.

Well...crap, I thought.

So I made sure the upper right marker was in the upper right, centered on the North/South axis, and the lower left marker was in the lower right--so essentially SE upper corner, NW lower corner. Hit the button again.


So I went to the Twisted Thorn group, and begged for help.

[19:05] Star Fairymeadow: i have it
[19:05] Emilly Orr: Okay, does it *work* at all if the prims are set to planar textures beforehand?
[19:06] Star Fairymeadow: you know, i honestly don't recall if i have. i think i have done it with planar
[19:07] Star Fairymeadow: it does use the planar texturing itself

I have since verified it doesn't matter a whit to the EasyTexture unit if things are set to planar beforehand.

[19:10] Emilly Orr: (The build: i'm making commercial sidewalks on a sim. So it's a LOT of prims, and they're very BIG prims.)
[19:11] Star Fairymeadow: hmmm
[19:11] Star Fairymeadow: i wonder if there is a limit as to how far the scripts can communicate

It turns out the answer to this is yes...and no: the scripts don't communicate that far, but, when the markers are centered on the build, it does work fairly well, if the prims touch. (Or so I thought at the time.)

[19:09] Emilly Orr: A friend recommended I try this--I decided to buy it--and....it's not working. I have a script in every prim (generally all megaprims that were set to planar texture beforehand). And I still have flicker and insanely visible seams.
[19:10] Emilly Orr: I put the main texture in the center pic of the HUD, then gave up and put the texture in all five pic slots in the HUD. And I'm still getting flicker and obvious breaks.

[19:11] Blackrin Darkfold: I use it with mega prims all the time and no problems, are any of the prims set to fb and others not? this will still cause flicker
[19:11] Emilly Orr: FB?
[19:11] Blackrin Darkfold: any of the prims clicked full bright under texture

And the answer to that is no, but I will say that this build has been fascinating in one regard: I generally build on Midday, wherever I am, simply because it's easier to see. But on this build, when things are set to full bright, they're actually darker visually, which took me a while to figure out. Apparently, SL's full noon is brighter than full bright under a light source.

I am amused by this.

[1:912] Blackrin Darkfold: kk, is the bottom left and top right arrow prims set correctly and at proper angles?
[19:13] Emilly Orr: Guide said must be at some multiple of 90 degrees. Do they need to be set with the center cone section pointing in any specific direction?
[19:13] Blackrin Darkfold: they have to point toward the prim side you want to texture
[19:14] Blackrin Darkfold: and yes, must be at the angles of a multiple of 90

And this was my first complete revelation--the upper right and lower left markers are actually small square prims attached to a checkered cone section, scripted. The cone has to point at the surface that's desired to be retextured. So if I want to texture the side of a prim, I have to orient it, with multiples of 90, 180 or 270, with the tip of the cone pointing in that direction. (This is not in the user guide for the EasyTexture unit.)

[19:19] Blackrin Darkfold: I see you discussing possible size in group, I've not found that a problem, I used jextone to texture a castle 90 meters long, 50 meters wide and 160 meters tall with no problems
[19:19] Emilly Orr: Sure, but have you ever tried moving the corner pieces 256 meters apart?
[19:19] Emilly Orr: I'm making sidewalks on an entire sim.

[19:20] Blackrin Darkfold: haven't tried that far lol
[19:20] Emilly Orr grins
[19:20] Emilly Orr: I am challenging the system!

[19:21] Blackrin Darkfold: that you are

I generally do. But it's also a point--the JexTone seems not to work over very large distances.

[19:08] Emilly Orr: A friend recommended I try this--I decided to buy it--and....it's not working. I have a script in every prim (generally all megaprims that were set to planar texture beforehand). And I still have flicker and insanely visible seams.
[19:08] Emilly Orr: I put the main texture in the center pic of the HUD, then gave up and put the texture in all five pic slots in the HUD
[19:08] Emilly Orr: And still flicker and obvious break lines.

[19:12] Shadowblade Prathivi: ok, you're gonna have to manually move the prims to get rid of the flicker, i've found that the scripts that created the megas tend to interferre with the texturing somewhat, now as for the seams you'll have to texture ALL of the inside seams with the same texture (pain in the ass i know) unless you texture the whole prims the main texture (outside/inside) then use the jextone on the MAIN (largest surface) sides

Which is what I did, so I was a bit confused at this point.

[19:13] Emilly Orr blinks
[19:14] Emilly Orr: Okay, wait.
[19:14] Emilly Orr: First: all prims HAVE this texture (well, all the sidewalk sections, anyway)

[19:14] Shadowblade Prathivi: i quit using megas because of the flicker and lag they cause

And that was my second moment of cerebral stun in all of this--megaprims cause lag? I mean, measurably? Because I've never noticed this. Flex prims causing lag, yes; multiple prims on avatars causing lag, yes; multiple scripts (like the always-on resizing scripts) worn on avatars, yes; but megas themselves?

[19:14] Emilly Orr: Right, but if I don't use megaprims on this build, I'll run over the allotted prims for this sim.
[19:14] Shadowblade Prathivi: O.O! ok that's a BIG build

I kept running into this. Apparently no one's thought of texturing an entire sim at once. Am I weird for doing this?

[19:15] Emilly Orr: Someone pointed out that might be the problem, that the scripts are just too far apart to communicate.
[19:15] Shadowblade Prathivi: it's distinctly possible
[19:15] Shadowblade Prathivi: how big are the megaprims?

[19:16] Emilly Orr: The largest is 4x4x100
[19:16] Emilly Orr: Most of them are between 15 and 60, though

[19:17] Shadowblade Prathivi: wouldn't think that the 15 would be a problem but the 60 and 100 would be
[19:20] Shadowblade Prathivi: most scripts generally only have a initial working radius of about 10 meters square or 20 meters unless otherwise stated in the script

It's very likely, the more I think of it, that back when the JexTone was originally scripted, llRegionSay wasn't an existing command. So I'm seriously thinking of writing the creator and asking if s/he has thought about a script that includes llRegionSay as an option.

In further experimentation, I've discovered that it doesn't matter if the scripted prims are touching, at all, it works whether they're touching or not. But it does matter where the markers are positioned, so it could well be that I just didn't have the markers positioned accurately (which is, again, not listed in the user guide).

Still--while there are patches where the seams are on the obvious side, here and there, as far as I know there's no flicker anymore, and even if that's all the JexTone ends up doing for me? It will have been worth that price.

In the end, that build is over. There are still things to check on Good Day, which I'll be doing when I have the time, but we're on to the next sim!


Sphynx Soleil said...

...i've found that the scripts that created the megas tend to interferre with the texturing somewhat...

*buhwha???* What scripts create megas? That's a new one on me! I'm going to have to track this person down and find out...

i quit using megas because of the flicker and lag they cause

*blinks* I haven't seen that much lag. Flicker, yes, if they overlap and get the infamous jiggle...but LESS lag with primarily megas, not more.

Apparently no one's thought of texturing an entire sim at once. Am I weird for doing this?

Hee! No, and no. I'm pretty sure the people that DO an entire sim at once aren't hanging around in that group chat.

And yes, JexTone fixes the flicker. :) I've got a build where overlap was unavoidable without several more prims and a lot of uncomfortable math...the prims I used do overlap, but there's narry a jiggle in sight. Which is immensely worthwhile.

And yea, sorry, I should have mentioned about the markers... Pointing at the bottom left and upper right, and it'll figure out everything inbetween - supposedly. :)

Emilly Orr said...

I haven't seen that much lag, either, and scripts that create megas make my brain hurt, because there are no scripts involved, as far as I know.

What I've learned, playing with the JexTone:

* position of the markers is CRUCIAL. It textures everything between the two markers, but also everything OUTSIDE the two markers that's scripted, WITHIN a certain limitation (that shout vs. RegionSay thing).
* The prims do not have to touch. It totally doesn't matter.
* JexTone does not fix all textures perfectly. Some just are going to be off. BUT it fixes nearly 100% of texture OVERLAP, which causes flicker. (Put plainly: I will gladly track down and do by hand seam lines that the JexTone doesn't erase; what KILLS me on any build is texture flicker, and even if there are prim gaps, prim lines, and prim misalignments, the JexTone fixes flicker. Yay!)

Magdalena Kamenev said...

Who wants to be a deer?

Surely you haven't forgotten Miss Bamika Easterman so easily?

Emilly Orr said...

Is that where she went?

Well, if Habbo Hotel can have a problem with pornography, surely randy deer in the Endless Forest present no obstacle...