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Monday, June 11, 2012

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Hitomi Tiponi

Pathfinding is getting closer to deployment and part of the experience tools project was deployed on Magnum last week (but had to be pulled because of a security exploit). Both these features will be very useful in adding 'game mechanics' to Second Life.

Lyrical Popstar

I think one of the best things they could do to increase new residents would be to rename it to something other than Second Life. I've always hated the name and think it's such a marketing nightmare. How many gamers are going to join in on a game called "Second Life"? They need to rename it to something catchy and more appealing to gamers.

Secondly, in order to attract more gamers, they have GOT to update. We haven't had an update to the Ruth avatar in over 10 years. Yes, it would mean creators would have to start creating on new templates, etc. But if SL is going to be around in the next few years, they NEED to start rolling out with some exciting updates.

Creators are making things that shame the SL avatar: mesh feet and hands, even mesh faces now, etc. They're trying to cover up the ugliness that the Ruth avi limits us to. There are creators out there who would transition very well to a new platform... the ones who have already surpassed the quality of the Ruth avi by leaps and bounds, but yet, we're still stuck with trying to cover her up and match our feet to our skin colors... it's just awful. With so many games out there with phenomenal graphics, I think LL needs to catch up with the times and implement some improvements before they're left with a bunch of gamers signing into the new gaming functions of SL, looking at it, and saying, "WTF is this crap?"

shockwave yareach

Yes adding game capabilities so that SL folks can make and play games could help SL immensely... had it been deployed half a DECADE ago when we were asking for it.

People aren't going to buy private sims and create their own limited MMOs at the current price structure. And this won't get any more people to join SL than are already here; builders who want to experiment with SL are already IN SL. What you need to do is make it so newbs can actually enter SL and pay money to do more and more in SL.

You can start by adding buttons to the Viewer splash screen letting people start in Low quality, Medium quality, High quality, or custom (for folks who tweak their settings.) Today, you get someone installing the viewer and the viewer goes to superhigh quality mode, making Nvidia cards crash horribly. If people cannot even start your silly program, how can they hang around SL any? Give them some buttons to dial SL down so they can start and maybe they'll hang around longer.

Pussycat Catnap

I'd call this a regrettable departure. The program this guy was on is likely the most viable path to continued success for SL.

But LLs seems on the path to becoming the Emily Short publishing house; so we'll see if SL even survives that transition. :)
(at least that's 1 of the new things we've heard of. Who knows what the full package is - all together they might be a strong package, but that will just bode even worse for the SL part of the company.)

Melissa Yeuxdoux

I'm sorry to hear that he's leaving LL... but you might wish to read/watch http://chrishecker.com/Achievements_Considered_Harmful%3F, Chris Hecker's presentation "Achievements Considered Harmful?" (question mark in the original title). Of particular interest: extrinsic motivations kill off intrinsic motivation in women more than men--and supposedly SL has more (RL) women users than games do, so would extrinsic motivations be particularly harmful to Second Life?

Hamlet Au

I doubt it, personally. It hasn't curbed the popularity of Plurk with hardcore SLers, which has a strong game layer. But like I wrote, I think the gaming layer could better be directed at new users who haven't found a community or a purpose in SL.

Midori ohare

I couldn't agree with Lyrical Popstar's second point enough. The avatar mesh has to be updated for SL to continue long term. It is so incredibly off putting for new users when they try and make a good looking avatar for themselves and find it just about impossible without buying parts. I have delt with that hurdle every time I introduced someone to SL

And if mesh showed me anything it is that content providers will grab new options and run with it.

Kadah Coba

"left the company recently"? Are you sure that it was 'recently' and not like last year? o_O
Or did he come back yet again? That team seems to be made of boomerang.

Cyberserenity

I said gaming several years ago. Now it is to late. What gamer would stand for download times, outdated graphics, falling thru earth and so on?

I play the new MMOs all the time and they are far beyond SL.
But i love the idea of new llcommands. Going to be fun to see what the SL community can do with them.

But attract gamers? LOL, not a chance.

Medhue

I fear LL is missing the point. As a developer, I don't need to teleport any1, and in most games, teleporting is not part of the actions. Achievements, without giving creators tools to those channels, is a useless feature. Basically, I'm not going to sign up for their developer's program cause it offers me nothing that I need. What I need are bugs fixed, especially anim bugs. What I need is a proper gun systems with more triggers and a better sniper system. What I need are NPCs with real bones for motion capture animation.

Oh, and to those wanting Avatar 2.0, LL could end that debate now, by simply making the new deformer for mesh clothing fit mesh avatars. Basically, they would just need to designate a mesh avatar as the default, so the deformer deforms to that. They all use the same bones so this is totally possible. Then, there would be no need for LL to ever create Avatar 2.0. Imagine being able to wear your mesh clothing on almost any avatar you want.

Loki

http://www.edge-online.com/features/redefining-videogame

shockwave yareach

Medhue: The teleport is a workaround for things like death caused by monsters and traps getting you. Teleporting to the start of the level when you get killed allows you to have actual games with risk involved. The only other solution would be to use the Health system, which does nothing but kick the user off SL entirely for 10 minutes -- a terrible respawn system.

The teleport also allows you to create doors that lead to different rooms or different levels. You simply have the larger rooms or different levels at different heights in the sim and tport to them. For gaming, this also permits one-way travel, stopping people from going backwards in games where you don't want that to happen.

The recent mess with the greifers shows that this function needs to be limited to items owned by the owner of the land and not free for anyone to use whenever they feel like. I cannot see a good use for forced TP except for landowner's creations. Make the function fail if the prim owner is not the land owner and you have the griefer abuse of the function licked.

Pussycat Catnap

"so would extrinsic motivations be particularly harmful to Second Life?"

YES!!!

But, I don't think what this guy was doing was that.

I think he was adding tools that could be used by builders for all sorts of purposes.

Imagine a farm of animals that moved about more naturally, or a small village with villagers doing things.

Yeah, if he was coding in something like DCS-combat and leveling systems into the core of SL, that would be a nightmare. Those are good for gamers, but not the general SL.

BUT if he was coding in tools to let the DCS folks have an easier time making their sims - that would be good, and his loss to LL is regrettable. The same tools could be used by the rest of us as well.

Pussycat Catnap

"Oh, and to those wanting Avatar 2.0, LL could end that debate now, by simply making the new deformer for mesh clothing fit mesh avatars. Basically, they would just need to designate a mesh avatar as the default, so the deformer deforms to that."

Its a LOT more complicated than that.

Just to start - that would only work for clothing originally made for that mesh avatar. So this would end up right where we are now: every clothing item made for a mesh avatar would only work for that avatar, and not others - and switching the 'base' would just result in garbled spiky triangles all over your screen.

So if you just picked one of the mesh avatars and made it the only base...

At that point, what you are asking is simply a designation of a new default avatar.

And I'd say that they -do- need to make a new default avatar (technically a new mesh, but people around here got really confused last time I noted the avatar for what it is... so lets just say: a new ruth, a new base avatar) - and make it an OPTION.

Make it the default option for any new account, and a simple button on the menus to switch between them so old accounts can transition over at will.

The new base avatar would need to be made by an artist that knew BOTH anatomy and 3D human figure modeling / rigging for animation.
- That's not a tall order. You can hit the forums on Renderosity and find dozens of people up to the task and it might not take you more than a week to staff an office full of them. Especially if you hit up local hotspots for training them here in San Francisco where LLs is - like the community college.

shockwave yareach

Why not have two meshes? One is the current one and not deformable. Then have one called DMesh which is nothing but a mesh based on the ruth AV that is deformable? Poof, you've made the problem simpler for creators and customers alike since anyone wearing Mesh won't expect it to conform like a DMesh will.

Pussycat Catnap

The deforming is not in the mesh of the avatar, but the items worn.

Two meshes that look the same would not change anything from anything to anything.

Pussycat Catnap

Put another way...
(and this is not meant to be technically accurate)

Its like needing new tires, so going out and paving a new road.

Yes, the car could use better tires -AND- we need to fix the roads. But these are separate issues.

We need a better base avatar because of things like prim feet - look at your avatar's feet, then go log into Everquest ONE.

Yeah, ONE. Its that ancient.

Go to a dance club and watch the males. I know nobody does that - but look at one of their avatars. LOTS of bumps and jagged triangular shapes poke out along the back and limbs as they move.

Its that ancient. The mesh doesn't even have enough polygons to animate itself properly for many male motions. I assume if I took off my long dreads, and wore plain system clothes - I'd see this on a female avatar too.

So yeah... we need a new road. The one we're on feels like it dates to the Anasazi period.


But we're all also using bad tires...

Mesh clothing has no ability to morph itself. However it was made - wherever the polygons were placed - that's where they stay.

But that's not true... Yet it is...

They WILL move along certain paths. So you can slide your arm length from 0 to 100 and your mesh shirt will stretch with it. You can take body thickness from 0 to 100 and your mesh clothes will expand or contract.

But they will not move on others. Slide that breast slider from 0 to 100 and - like having a pack of Republicans notice that the girl staring in the Disney movie just hit 14 and isn't wearing a burqa - chaos ensues. Or slide body fat up and down, and it all goes nuts.

The difference seems to relate to which of these are about 'scaling' the avatar and which about 'morphing' it. If we were in Poser - that would be the terms I'd use. In prims, think like this: did I scale that cube, or taper and cut it?

The mesh item can follow scale - because its just like using a resizer - you tell it to get wider here. Because its rigged, it only scales in relation to the rigging. Make the arms of the avatar longer and it knows where its own arms are, so increases those to match - so that each point along the rig stays where it was.

But the mesh item has no idea where your boobs are... or what part of itself covers them.

A deformer works by taking a look at the item as it was made - putting it onto the shape it was made for - and finding out the distance between EVERY SINGLE VERTEX on the mesh item, to some chosen point or points on the shape - I assume, the nearest one, albeit with rigging taken into account (so the nearest one in the same joint-group).

What this -also- means is that every current mesh clothing item in existence will have to be remade OR thrown out the day a deformer comes out...

If you look at your avatar in wireframe mode, all the spots where those crazy lines meet - those are vertexes, or vertices (spelling?). The space in between the lines - polygons.


We will need new tires, AND new roads. But for different reasons.

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