“ecoutee”-moi, s’il vous plaît?

Time to clean the dust off the keyboard and write about my favorite online program, Second Life! Yay!

Before I get into the progress of my project for the class, I want to acknowledge that it has been a while since I’ve done some serious blogging about SL. Yes, I did a post last week, but because I knew I have a few to catch up on and I didn’t want another on my list. I will be going into complete detail of my opinions of SL and my experiences there for my final blog entry with this class, but I just want to mention how my interest for SL has significantly decreased since the beginning of this semester. The blog posts haven’t been forgotten because of busy schedules, but mostly avoided because of my increasing dislike for SL.

It’s hard to force yourself to do something that causes so much aggravation.

With that said (leaving the topic open for my final blog entry later on), my progress on the final project has made me feel like I’ve learned a lot about SL in the past weeks. Unfortunately, what I learned was not what I was expecting. I’ve been in charge of developing the ecoutee double-t-shirt for the group. What this was supposed to be was a vehicle where two people could sit in it and appear to look like they were wearing a double-t-shirt (think Siamese twin shirt). The vehicle didn’t need to drive, which should have made things easier to work on.

And this is where Murphy lays down the law.

Since I wanted to learn some SL coding anyway, I decided to start with developing a car-like vehicle. My teammate, Naimya, sent me an object for an Ultimate Vehicle which had coding in it to work like a car. Unfortunately, it doesn’t move very cleanly (or when I went to work with it, not at all). So, getting an object from someone else to edit doesn’t work. I decided to do my own searching.

I came across, “A Speed Guide to Virtual Driving in Second Life,” which is an excellent source of information on what the code should look like, how every function works, and makes for a great car. I learned very quickly how painfully perfect this code really was.

egg 1

Introducing my first experiment in the world of coding: The Egg-O-Matic! If you know the reference, you know what I was trying to go for. It was going to be a vehicle that “floated” above the ground and could be driven around, kind of like a car without wheels (which essentially is any car in SL – the wheels don’t make it move, but the whole object moves).

egg 2

However, thanks to the physics involved with the egg, it completely flipped upside-down in operations. Looks more like a coconut-shell car, or a turtle shell. Couldn’t get that to work out, so the idea was scrapped. But, it gave me inspiration for the shirt idea. If I could make a shape like the “coconut shell” and make it look kind of like a shirt, then it would pass for a double-t-shirt!

Stage Two: The Double-T-Shirt concept. The funny thing about a concept is that it doesn’t always match the execution. A nice cone shape, add some sleeves, drop in some code, and presto! A working vehicle shirt… thing! With the example of the Egg-O-Matic, this should work perfectly.

shirt of death

Instead, I got the Shirt of Death. It’s actually booted me off SL in one occasion.

Since we didn’t exactly need the shirt to act as a vehicle, I decided to scrap the vehicle concept. After meeting with the group, they suggested making a stale picture of the double-t-shirt concept (which Gigii supplied), and make a stand-alone (or sit alone) version of the vehicle, one that does not drive, but one that still has two seats.

doubletee

I tried to make the flat piece of shirt stay in one spot, while adding chairs for the vehicle script to attach to. However, I couldn’t get the script to allow where the two seats would be. Then I figured, why do a vehicle at all? I could just add blocks behind the shirt design and people can sit down easily.

doubletee behind

And it worked!! Except for the fact that sitting in the proper direction was not simple. In order to be facing forward, a user would have to click on the seat while standing in front of the seat looking towards the shirt design… which makes clicking of the seat to sit in impossible, unless a user did a camera change and then clicked the seat. Too much work for the average user.

After a phone call with Gigii during the day, I met with the group last night to discuss our progress with the assignment. Naimya wasn’t there, but he did set up a suggestion. He placed a smaller version of the double-t-shirt icon in front of the couch that’s in the store. It needs to be tweaked, but it works.

seated

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.

It would have been nice to have learned something about coding in SL, and even using the proper sources didn’t assist me in understand it too much either, but maybe that’s just me. Maybe I wasn’t cut to do programming in SL. At least, I feel discouraged from wanting to try again.

Today, I’m going to try some advertising around some public locations to get people to come to the grand opening of ecoutee on Friday, November 30th at 7:00pm EST. I’m going to try a few experiments in the advertising, including “dressing up in costume” to get people to show up.

Maybe this will be easier than trying to create the shirt.

Come to ecoutee at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/146/62/22

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~ by Cliff Huizenga on November 28, 2007.

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