The latest updates to Cloud Party provoked many very interesting comments on NWN over the long holiday/Christmas weekend, perhaps most perceptive of all being this one from reader Ezra, who spells out Cloud Party's advantages over Second Life for developers in great detail:
"[T]he biggest difference between Cloud Party and Second Life is that everything is highly customizable.
"Take Hamlet mentioning there's flight [in Cloud Party] now. Well they didn't just add flight, they added a new asset type called the 'Movement Module' for all creators to think up things with. They thought of and created basic flight. A Movement Module dictates an avatar's air and ground acceleration, deceleration, jump height, jump speed, whether they jump at all or fly instead, their mass/gravity and whether they fall down at all or instead fall up, or stay suspended in air, and more.
"And that's just the movement/physics part of what composes that flight. There's also the 'Sequencer' asset type that choreographs animations, particles, meshes attaching and detaching, and other events in well...a sequenced way.
"In Second Life, there's a lot of hacking about to accomplish such things. Want to fly faster? Flight feather that uses LSL functions in a way not intended. Want to animate differently while flying? More use of LSL functions looping and killing default animations that weren't meant to be tortured that way.
"The same goes for just about everything:
"Want a non-humanoid avatar in Cloud Party? Just upload a custom skeleton for it. Share it and others can create animations and meshes for it. In Second Life that requires offsetting bones not purposed for such things and often breaking one's avatar until re-log.
"Want a new sky? There's a 'Sky' asset type that does what one would think. In Second Life a believable sky is accomplished by a mix of WindLight settings that not all will see, or one of those skydomes.
"Want a new ground/terrain, or none at all? In Cloud Party, just delete it rather than send it to the bottom of the ocean as with Second Life. Though, this is one of the areas where it can be seen as a limitation in Cloud Party; there's no built in terrain editing, but there's less need for there to be since it supports mesh out the gate and there's no concept of size limits.
"Want an animated pet bunny? Create it, rig it, give it its own sequencer of choreographed animating and popping a carrot out of no where and eating it or whatever. Release the rig to others so they can create custom animations and sequencers for it. In Second Life of course, you'd either be rotating prims about, swapping their visibility, or swapping sculptmaps.
"So on and so forth. The theme has been and continues to be that when the Cloud Party devs give us something to work with, it's going to be highly customizable and connectable, much in the same vein as Unity's components and UDK's nodes. There's more to an 'Object' than it just being a mesh with a script. There's so much that can be accomplished without ever touching a script. All of this becomes immediately available the first time you enter, hit B for Build, and choose 'Create'.
"...Graphics engine wise, there'll never be Far Cry 3 level detail in Cloud Party, but it already has a complete material system inclusive of normal maps, specular, transmission, a separate diffuse, reflection maps, and some other settings. But also right now due to still being in beta there's some glaring omissions like lights other than ambient and the sun. Once and if that's in however it's rendering will be very impressive.
"I could go on about aspects of other asset types and how workflows differ from Second Life, but again its spammy for a comment, and instantly clear after just opening the Build Mode in Cloud Party."
Not Spammy at all, Ezra -- apropos like a boss, actually. If I can add another advantage point: In took me ten seconds to log into Cloud Party to take the screenshot you see above. Had I tried to do the same with SL, it could easily take ten minutes.Tweet