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Archive for the ‘metaverse’ Category

OpenSimulator Developers…you are ROCKING my world!

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image showing list of usernames for opensimulator bug tracking "assignees"

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

My first steps into OpenSimulator testing and bug reporting have left me with sincere appreciation for the developers available for bug “assignment” (see image). There is much to learn, including the developers who are contributing but just don’t jump out of the drop-down list-ed here.

/me doffs his cap.

Written by azwaldo

July 30, 2014 at 2:24 pm

a Deefoult avatar

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New alt, “Deefoult”, created today for observing latest Linden Labs design of the new user experience. Say hello, Deefoult.

image of female virtual world avatar in pleasant, outdoor setting

Hello, World!
—Deefoult (new alt)

This avatar was the first default character presented in a revolving group of avatars. The group included male and female avatars, each with a different appearance (though I did not pay much attention to those). Screenshot there might have proven useful, too.

The SecondLife™ client viewer* routed my agent to “Destination Island 9” and started up with the Destinations panel open (see image, below). Other avatars were chatting soon after my arrival. The Chat button flashed, indicating there was conversation to be had.

image of outdoor, virtual world scene with various interface elements shown

Screenshot on first login with SL’s client viewer*.

* Second Life 3.6.1 (278007) Jun 27 2013 12:41:07 (Second Life Release)

The location was a very simple space; a small island with tall trees and an ornate rotunda sporting eight portals, each one leading to a different type of virtual world experiences.

Destination Island portals, eight of them; all glowing and pulsing with intrigue.

Destination Island portals. There were eight of them, in all; all glowing and pulsing with intrigue.

A message had arrived, according to the small “chiclet” in upper right corner. I wonder if I would have noticed that were I a true nueb. However, it turned out to be a system message, notifying me of a viewer update; so, it is unlikely that a new user would have received that one.

Viewer Update Notification - Note the tiny "chiclet" in upper right.

Viewer Update Notification – Note the tiny “chiclet” with the numeral “1” showing, upper right.

My first thought was to open the Preferences panel and begin to see what is waiting for the new user…

image showing the preferences panel with many checkboxes and radio buttons for chat settings

Preferences panel opened to Chat tab on first try

…and I was surprised to find the Chat tab open when the Preferences panel appeared. Makes sense, SecondLife™ is a social medium; help ’em chat…off the bat.

The plan for is for Deefoult to remain in original condition, to preserve all initial settings for future reference. This might inform the design of a new user activity.

First thing learned: Hover-Tips appear to be disabled, by default.

Written by azwaldo

July 1, 2013 at 2:29 am

grokking subQuan

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I happened upon Cooper Macbeth, a SecondLife™ rezident whose passion both for education and virtual worlds is evident. Previously acquainted, we both attended a presentation and chatted briefly afterwards.

Later that same day, he posted a question about camera controls in a scripting group, a group that I watch. I have some experience with the issue he described; so, a quick reply engaged us in discussion and we were soon chatting in his Sushi Bar.

Image of virtual world sushi restaurant

Cooper Macbeth’s Sushi Bar, a custom venue for instruction

The Sushi Bar (SLurl) is a pleasantly appealing, interactive, educational stage that facilitates instruction. Cooper designed and built this elaborate classroom to deliver a specific—yet subtle—lesson in mathematics.

subQuan (sub’-kwän; from Latin subitas quantitas) is the ability to perceive at a glance a quantity much larger than seven by organizing the items into rows, columns, and containers
— from DreamRealizations Wiki

As interesting as the subQuan principle was, I found myself focused on Coop’s design. As VW instructional designs go, it is exemplary. Cooper and partner Ute Frenburg have been developing the presentation and its VW component for years. That is a long time in the metaverse.

SubQuan-1
SecondLife™ rezident Cooper Macbeth presenting SubQuan to a group

The space employs scripted control of each user’s camera to focus attention on particular spots, illustrating lesson content in a fluid sequence during his live demonstrations. His current challenge is to further refine the user’s experience by smoothing camera transitions from one view to another.

I don’t know if my feedback helped; but, I certainly learned something new. (Love it when that happens.)

In showing me where he needed scripted camera controls, Cooper Macbeth was demonstrating his subQuan presentation. However, in sharing his project, he demonstrated a sophistication in design that surpasses much of the educational content that I have seen.

He showed me, once again, how thoroughly VWs can augment our reality.

Written by azwaldo

March 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Pixieviewer – New Browser Based Virtual World Viewer

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Update:
screenshot: browser aimed at PixieViewer website with result being "Access denied."
Screenshot: browser aimed at PixieViewer (July ’14)

Registered and logged in to Pixievieweranother virtual world—today; but, this time it felt different.

screenshot of Pixieviewer web page with hyperlink that opens virtual world viewer in the browser

Hyperlink to a virtual world, courtesy of Thomas at Pixieviewer

See that familiar blue hypertext in the middle of this screenshot? This time, when I stepped into the metaverse, it happened from within my Google Chrome browser.

Pixieviewer is a browser based viewer for virtual 3D environments.

It is designed to run on any device (including tablets and mobile phones) which supports modern HTML5 capable browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari and others.

(from the website)

This seemed significant; it felt like a virtual world, not just a world rendered in a browser…and we need browser based access to VWs if the platform is to expand its niche.

screenshot of avatar in virtual world standing on top of cube

Pixieviewer virtual world avatar atop custom widget.
(Click to view full size.)

Pixieviewer creator Sunny Salamander describes the technology behind Pixieviewer at his website, and explains:

One of my goals in virtual worlds is to lower the hurdles that come along with the new technology and make it easier to use.

Will I be able to point Pixieviewer toward my own OpenSimulator region? Does this relieve the casual user from the complexity of standard viewer interfaces?

I clicked on a link in a webpage and a moment later watched as a new world revealed itself. No downloads, no waiting; no worry about installing software from an unknown vendor.

I think the metaverse just got a little bit bigger.

Well done, Thomas.

Written by azwaldo

March 10, 2013 at 1:03 am

Landmark Exchange

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Image of animated virtual world with maps as big as cars laying on the ground

SciLands region map at STEM Island
(Click to view large image.)

We have plenty of opportunity to swap and share web links. Think about how often you have said (or heard) “thanks for the link.”

There are quite a few ways to learn about locations in the metaverse, too. And, given the medium, you can find some creative approaches to sharing destination information.

Elucian Islands
3-D Site Map at Elucian Islands, now closed*
(Click to visit image at Flickr)

My favorite destination information location was the Destination Station (image below). But, I rarely saw anyone there. I may have been late to the party.

Still, I enjoyed seeing the design of the space; especially the casual seating in the middle (appeared later than the image here)…it looked as though rezidents might hang around. I imagined them talking design, recommending sites to visit, swapping landmarks.

image showing virtual world location with many pictures

Destination Station; Browse images, touch to visit
Image by Daniel Voyager; click to view at Flickr

Destination Station is also missing from the grid.

So, if you are ready to discover a new space…how do you find it? Or, if you have found a great new space…how do you share it? Are you a profile surfer? Do you check out Profile Picks to discover new content?

image of a common pushpin in virtual reality animation

The Landmark Exchange

The Landmark Exchange is an attempt to design a new way to share content. Got landmarks? Drag one and drop it. Looking for a new place to look? Touch, and learn. What if you could touch a prim in one grid and learn about landmarks submitted in another?

I am curious to see where this widget goes.

The first version can be found at my SeaPrior Plaza parcel in OSGrid (where I have buried my nose in scripts for a few weeks). There is another one placed in my new SecondLife™ parcel in the NW corner of the Urdu region (SLurl).

Quite a few features fill out my wish list. My nose goes back in a script right after this post.

Working features, so far…

  • Any user can touch the object and receive landmarks.
  • The object is easily set to only receive landmarks from members of a group.
  • Object checks new LMs for copy permissions (because a locked-down landmark is no good to any avatar).
  • Drop a good LM and object will IM the owner with the name of the landmark and name of the user.

The landmark pushpin is a recognized symbol, and my Landmark Exchange should be an easy addition in any location, to any design. So, next time you see one in world…give it a push.

Mine are loaded.

Written by azwaldo

March 5, 2013 at 4:12 am

Setting the Virtual Coffee Bar

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I wandered the grid to see some virtual coffee shops; the first seven in the search results for “coffee” in SecondLife™, in order.

Image of virtual world coffee shop, avatar seated in distinct pose

Multi-pose seats and doughnies at BRB Coffee Shop in SL’s Marachia

All of them had coffee machines and animated mug prims; but, they did not all have pastries. Two had seats with adjustable poses and two had tea service. Not one of the seven I visited displayed any sort of news or current events; no streaming media. They all had music; but, I never saw an option to change the stream. No knobs and dials.

Two seem worth mention here.

My first stop, BRB Coffee Shop (slurl), set the bar early. A nicely designed space with various seating areas, the scene was casual and comfortable

The detail at Cool Beans Coffee Shop (slurl)busied the eye; plenty of care in the texturing. For making a cool, quaint space; this was most impressive.

Image of virtual world coffee shop with finely detailed design elements

Rich texturing of Cool Beans Coffee Shop

Still, I did not see anything delivering information. To be fair, there may have been more interaction available,  me missing out in a hurry to bop around in my survey. I will be back to Cool Beans, though.

I only ever saw one other user, and that was an owner tending their own parcel.

I saw an interactive bookcase; no literature beyond its facade but it had an animated pillow, for posing with a book. One spot had a crystal-ball-sort-of hover-text fortune-telling object. It was—at least—a sign that the builder was trying to engage users with some type of written word, even if it was just a bit of schmaltz.

There was a cat.

I do not mean to seem cynical. I recognize the appeal in some of those spaces; an easy destination in which to meet and have a quiet conversation. “Let’s TP over to Cool Beans for a bit.” Many VW users probably have a folder full of such locations; all good for quiet, atmospheric conversation. And, I have made advantage of plenty of pose-ball settings to snap a screenshot for grins.

I think I am just looking for something new.

Written by azwaldo

January 31, 2013 at 8:56 am

Posted in metaverse, narrative

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