Yes, I Love to Build

You may have noticed that I love to build things. I may not have a need for them or intend to sell them, but it doesn’t matter. Sometime on Thursday I saw a program about resorts and one had an Infinity Pool. After watching the show and doing some Web research, I still didn’t have a full grasp as to why it had that name, but I was impressed how the pool was at sea level. It seemed that one could be in the pool and, if angled correctly, see the pool blend into the ocean. So I had to build one. Here is what I made:

I’m toying with how deeply the structure should sit in the water. At this height there is a thin slice above sea level. Another option is to keep it just slightly below sea level. Probably doesn’t matter. I don’t see this being used anywhere. But it was fun to build and tweak. I’m already thinking about a dance platform, working in some trees for shade, or other enhancements. The idea of putting my round tiki bar in the middle so folks could wade up to it was just a flash inspiration.

Die, Zombie, DIE!!

I don’t exactly know the name of where I was in Nipponbashi (SLurl), but my friend Serenity found the place so it is a Japanese sim and I took a while to figure out some things. But after you grab a free gun and free HUD that seems to be of little use, you get to kill ZOMBIES! Or be killed by them. Or, as I managed, kill yourself.

um .. yah .. I tried to use one of my own guns a few times and found that if I shoot anything close to me I somehow hit myself and .. um .. Anyway, the game can be fun, especially playing with another shooter. My wife, Angela (shown above trying to rescue me from zombies in a staged scene outside the game area), and I made a great team. We managed to kill nearly a hundred or so over all with relative ease.

At first Ange died right away, not realizing that she couldn’t really use her katana. I suppose we were pretty lucky that the guns could do no damage to humans as a 3rd party joined us for a while. He insisted on hand-to-zombie combat while Ange and I shot away from the perimeter. A later strategy should have left me bullet-riddled, but worked: I ran around like a chicken while Ange shot at the top, evil, hard-to-kill zombie. Then we hugged and kissed amid the bloody carnage, me thanking her for saving my life, before lovingly walking hand-in-hand to the first level where Ange killed one last undead.

Then we went outside and took the pics in this post. The one at top is mine and is titled Ange to the Rescue! Hers (click for larger versions) are titled, in order, Too Late to Save Her Wife and Trying to Get the Zombies Off Her Love. Should I worry about the tenor of her titles?

"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"

Finding “The Land Inbetween: showing Kill All Artist by .danone.” (SLurl) was something of an accident. I had a landmark for the Mars sim in the Rezzable chain but like all good things, it passed. A world of colour and light was replaced with by yet another bleak and dark post-Apocolyptic landscape. Being in Rezzable, though, means it is top notch. I haven’t explored it much yet as the style is not to my taste, but after crawling out of a crypt I found a wonderful sight and decided it would make a great tableau for messing with the Advanced Sky Editor option inside the Environment Editor. The time of day was not adjusted and I was facing due south at the time.

There is no “unadulterated” shot here, but in order of appearance the pre-sets I used are: Incongruent Truth, Night, Sailor’s Delight, Sheer Surrealty, Blue Midday, Desert Sunset, Fine Day, Funky Funky Funky (not Funky Funky), and Gelato.

The sim creator doesn’t seem to have forced any specific atmosphere or time setting though it seems to be near midnight most times I have visited. The regular view is pretty impressive bit if any of these views had been forced by the creator I would likely have been even more impressed. The feeling in each is just something else. Try them with your land sometime or a favorite scenic spot and I think you will be rather pleased. And try this link to learn more the presets I used.

Many thanks to Torley Linden for inspiring me to play with this feature.

About this post’s title.

Thanks, Twilight!

An hour or so before this picture was taken I had logged out of the Second Life™ viewer for some regular First Life© activities. What I hadn’t noticed is that the process crashed in the last seconds, much like some 60% of my sessions with SL™. In the interim the sim I had been in crashed thus locking my avatar in a semi-permanent logged-in state. So returning I was told the system was logging me out and that I should try back at the usual five minutes. It told me that every five minutes for several attempts.

In the meantime I signed in with an alt and tried to find “my” body so I could kick it or something, but “I” could not be found. Fortunately my wife doesn’t mind snuggling with my alt and I was able to cuddle while working with the very patient and helpful Twilight Linden. She soon had “me” logged back in quick enough I was able to catch my wife with “the other woman” and chase away the interloper.

Rezzable: Tunnel of Light

Silly me, I didn’t grab any shots of the actual entrance for Tunnel of Light, another great Rezzable sim in the Second Life™ world. When you first arrive you are in a pleasant, park-like setting where signs direct you to click a paper boat floating on a small pond. Suddenly you find yourself plummeting down a shaft of lights (a vertical tunnel … get it?) and you land at this amusement park-style dark ride staging queue. From here you summon a teacup in which you (alone, with friends, or in a special cup with a sweetie) ride through various marvelously lighted tunnels. As you are told in several places, the viewer feature glow (sometimes called renderglow) is the highlight (pun intended) in all it’s neon-y glory for the next six or so minutes.

The teacup floats on a ribbon of shifting light from the departure area to a fantasy pond of Lilly pads and dragonflies. Use this interstitial time to try the big red button in the teacup. It lets you pause the ride so you can take a look around. You can cam as you normally do but mostly you’ll find yourself enjoying the default view, occasionally using the left and right arrow keys. If you are like me, you’ll take several rides to look around in different ways. Next time I visit I plan on using Mouselook for the whole trip.

The pond is very pretty and quite relaxing especially after the anticipation in the first tunnel. You’ll find yourself wondering which elements are particles and which are prims with glow. This area is rather tame but it is a nice introduction to the attraction. Unlike the initial fall when you touch the paper boat surface-side, this is not “in your face” spectacular, rather merely spectacular in scope and design. Like all Rezzable sims, art is the clear focus at the Tunnel of Light.

After another tunnel the stream of light takes you into a forest where you will again wonder where glow ends and particles begin. Don’t worry about it. Enjoy the view and look for the little froggies on the tree’s trunks. If you don’t see them, try the teacup’s pause button and look around. If you would rather just enjoy the ride there are several ways to come back to this area (or other areas) for longer explorations. I haven’t tried leaving the teacup, but I imagine the vehicle would disappear if I did and I’d have to use the room’s teleporters to get out.

Each part of the attraction has a set of teleporters (just touch to go) that will take you to the room of your choice or to the ride entrance. As you see in this picture it is easy to tell which room is which, the glowing mini-worlds cleverly representing a location. It is hard to see here, but that is a paper boat on the far right pillar. Second from the left takes you back to the dragonfly pond. Wandering around on foot while others float by in teacups is strange and I worried that I was marring their experience, but no one complained. Actually, most everyone was friendly and at least said “hello.” But who doesn’t like an adorable lioness?

The stream of light takes a spectacular ride to the stars and if you ever get vertigo in-world, this is a place where you might want to be careful how and where you look. I rather enjoyed it, though, and often paused the ride at this point just to “float” about. When I come across virtual engineering like this I tend to toss my head into my hands crying why can’t I be this clever? This is a ton of scripting and planning and my hat is off to the builders.

As you might guess from the motion of the teacup and the background becoming a starry sky, you are headed into space. This is my favorite part of the whole ride. I pause and cam about eagerly and then I use the teleporters to come back and hang out for long periods, usually flying around. The teacup seems to spend more time here than in the other parts of the ride, either in my imagination or by design, but either way I’m very pleased. I liked this room so much I used it for the backdrop of my Iron Man Fan Art Contest entry (seen here).

The next destination, the last part of the ride, is also fun to fly around in but it can be very, very disorienting. A friend went with me on one trip and she couldn’t spend much time in this room. The glowing lines spin and sway and seem to pulse all around you. I can see why this was not the the introduction to the ride. The far less intense dragonfly pond is a better start, but this is far more spectacular. Not immediately apparent … perhaps because of the visual overload … is that one can pass through the arch marked Haze (shown here).

It takes you through a somewhat disappointing hallway with some neon-like art and eventually into a dance club filled with glow – Club Haze. Look around carefully for a box of free dance attachments. Some are the usual particle sticks that you can get most anywhere, but some are (at least to me) new items and use glow. You will find a paper boat here that takes you to a nice little store and from there you can go back out to the first paper boat and take the ride again.

The store features artwork created to emphasize the glow feature and some really great wings that also use glow. I’m eyeing up a great pair in this picture and looking through my inventory all while asking myself do I need another pair of wings? I still haven’t bought them as L$500 seems like a lot of money to me. And with all the face lights, body lights, and poor lighting designs in Second Life it would be hard to enjoy these as much as I think I could. But, you never know. I might get them on my next visit.

From what I found “outside” the planned visitor area, I will need to stop back again and again. The builder area has some really spectacular in-progress items and I hope that they find their way to the store as well as the ride. Explore Explore Explore! You might be surprised (and quite pleased) with what you will find.

Iron Man Fan Art Second Life™ Contest Entry

This is my entry for the Iron Man Fan Art Second Life™ Contest (Info). The background is one of the fabulous rooms at the Tunnel of Light in Rezzable (Info). I made the globe and attached it to my shoulder, moving it into place after posing. It took about ten shots to get this right as the “sinking avie” bug in the current Havok4 release of SL™ borks my ability to hover. I wound up taking the globe from one version and pasting it onto this composition.

Look for a later post about this location. I took a ton of pix late last week and I’m still sorting them to find the best.

Not Possible in SL™

Despite plenty of food in Second Life™, you will find very few bathrooms no matter how much you explore. And then the facilities are likely just for bathing. Thus the chat shorthand BRB can also stand for BathRoom Break.

Update 07 May 2008 02:24pm SLT: Found an actual bathroom with a toilet (SLurl). [14:20] Wicc Iris Door NT: You are not allowed to enter. Arggghhhh :::crosses legs and runs to RL::::