Another day: SDForum Simulcast, Samurai Island and Community Round Table

5 05 2006

So back from the island and having some time I looked around a bit more in SecondLife and attended some events. It actually started, when I visited http://nwn.blogs.com and read about a simulcast of a conference in the Computer History Museum in Mountan View and on Sheep Island, home of Electric Sheep. It began at 9am SLT and thus was a good time for me european😉
I then moved on in checking out the Timeless Linked Door script, visited Samurai Island and finally attended the Community Round Table at Pooley.

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So I actually popped in at the first event, the simulcast of the conference where Philip and other assorted virtualworld experts have been speaking just shortly before it began. I saw the movie up and basically I saw people moving around to find their places. The SL location also started to fill slowly..

Problem was just that the weather was nice and so I thought that sitting in front of a computer is not that good and walked outside to meet some RL friends🙂
I got back later when being at home and the conference was still going on. Just I had no video stream anymore for some reason. So I basically listened to the ongoing discussion in the room. Which was a bit strange to be honest. It just seems that some people take SL far too serious.. One point of view was that SL is a exploited third world country. Now that’s interesting but haven’t I said that some people might take all this too serious?😉
I just would actually liked to have seen the video but I heard that Johnny Ming was recording audio at least for SecondCast.

Anyway, I moved then on to some sandbox to check out Timeless Prototype’s Timeless Linked Door Script for my Sphere Houses. Well, all I can say is, it worked quite well🙂
It actually works by recording the open and close state and adjusting the door prim to be placed accordingly. The only problem with my sphere house was that I wanted it to rotate around some point in the shell which is apparently not possible without a custom approach (but the open/close state was correct of course). So all in all seems like a nice thing.

Samurai Island Then I remembered the article on Torley’s Blog about Samurai Island. I read about this when being myself on an island (but in RL) without much internet connectivity and a slow computer so I couldn’t check it out directly. But now I did and it’s amazing!
It’s a very silent sim with a very nice atmosphere. It’s crafted with a love to detail. And it comes with a combat engine in it’s combat region. I also met one of the devs, Esprite Xavier, who showed me the basic of their engine (unfortunately I only was able to use the Booken (wooden) sword as the Katanas are still beta but I will come back when they are finished). All I can say: It was lots of fun🙂 And I made it on the board although far deeper than Torley who was according to Esprite enjoying it quite a lot🙂
I will also certainly come back to make some video.

So after that I was attending the community roundtable about which I heard again in Torley’s Blog. For some reason the discussion seems to be going on on a mailinglist for which you can subscribe at the SecondLife community Page. Topics have been

  • Privacy
  • Audio Streams
  • Statisics

Privacy

The most discussed topic was probably privacy. The main problem is basically that there might be times when somebody would not liked to be disturbed. But this is easily possible as your friends get to know whenever you are online and also where on the world you are. So basically there are two points to be discussed, visibility on the map and better online/offline-status. The latter might also be involved in a better IM-System.

So going for the first point people had the idea to maybe remove all the green dots on the map altogether so you will never be able to check out where people are and maybe disturb them. Somebody also proposed a red dot for “do not disturb” but this would most likely have the opposite effect😉
So I am actually not in favor to remove all of the green dots as I would like to have that information on the map as sort of a statistic. So I would like to know where on the world some action is going on. But maybe one can introduce a threshold and not show the dots in an area if there are less then 3. Or, an idea of FlipperPA Peregrine, to only show the amount of people inside a sim and not the dots directly (would still be some search to actually find the party then). Removing them altogether might also have a bad impact on new users as they tend to ask “Where are all the people” and you cannot point to green dots anymore. So here are some other thoughts on the topic:

  • differ between “your own position” and those of all. So maybe add a switch to hide your position to friends (but you will still be an anonymous green dot on the map).
  • define more on the area you are on if you wish to publish dots for it or not. Say, if it’s not allowed to enter your parcel anyway, then also remove the dots on the map for it. So you can define “private” areas.
  • Make events better. We do have the times when events take place and we do have the area. So just show the number of people at an event inside the event listing. Also try to improve the listing so only real events show up (event events😉

Related to this was also the Online/Offline-Status. Here there was also the proposal to never show if somebody is online so people will not try to contact them or whatever. But I think this might even results in even more IMs as people might try to ping their friends all the time to see whether they are online or not. I’d actually say that there should be some prefs to define, whether your status is visible to a) friends, b) everybody or c) nobody.
Additionally a switch for temporarily disabling it would be nice, e.g. if you’re working (this might go into busy state but this state might also be enhanced, like that stuff given to you is not rejected. Maybe it should just behave as offline).

Then the topic was IMs. Here a complete overhaul of the system is underway, as Robin Linden told us. Main problems here are sometimes the amount of traffic (e.g. when being at some meeting I’d actually disable IMs altogether or just restrict it to friends instead of all groups). Another problems some residents have is the amount of offline IMs which they might have to answer when they get back online (but if they crash in-between they are lost). So here some INBOX was proposed by Robin. Actually I also would like a logging feature so they get instantly logged to FS when logging in and you can still look them up . Same might be good for any IM e.g. also for those which arrive when you are busy. There might also be some nice UI for accessing them again through the client.

Audio Streams

Mostly all people agreed that the audio systems would need some enhancements. This is mainly obvious when attending a live concert. Even more so if I tried it with a camera. All that typing noises (and even non-typing noises) from all the avatars became somewhat annoying to have that in your recording or even just hear it while being there and trying to enjoy the music. One possibility to get rid of at least the typing is of course using \ or in front of every line. But that’s somewhat annoying to remember and not everybody is doing it. So a switch might be nice to get rid of system sounds.
The disadvantage of that is though that applause is also muted then. So what to do? Simply create a better applause system🙂

It might work as follows: It is no system sound to be switched off like typing and it’s much louder than these claps you here nowadays. It might even be mixed into the stream and it’s volume might be corresponding to how many people are clapping their hands. This would of course be some very special implementation just for live events but as the scene is growing it might be ok to implement something like that. Of course this could also be implemented in a more generic way so you might have groups of sounds you can enable or disable maybe on a per-parcel-basis.

Statistics

Last topic was statistics. Jesse Linden announced that there will be lots of mainly economic statistics will be available either sometime today or early next week on the Second Life community page. So be prepared🙂

Well, that actually wraps it up for yesterday.. I won’t read over it again so excuse any typos😉


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