Assignment 3 – Final Reflection

Wow, what a really fun and interesting assignment. I learnt heaps along the way and MUV has definitely opened my mind more to virtual worlds. So much can be achieved in a virtual world and i think its an awesome platform for education. As of now i have finished my build and really happy with the results. Here are some pictures of the final result (click pictures for a better view):

Outside View

overall i’m happy with how the outside looks. I wanted to create another two turrets at the back of the castle but though would use way too much prims and i probably wouldn’t of have the time to complete it. im happy with the choice of texture for the outside.

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The Entrance

This took quite some time to achieved, especially for the door to open and close when clicked. I’m happy with the look of the double doors and don’t think i would have done anything different here. The red orb on the right is a scanning system which scans for avatars and sends them a message. The sign on the left can be clicked on which is a link to this blog.

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The Hallway

i am generally happy with the hallway. It looks much nicer now with the flame torches on the wall, especially at night time. It does look a little plane but its not a biggie.

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Fireplace / Lounge

Really happy with how the fireplace turned out. Thanks to the particle lab for teaching me how to make fire.

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Dining area / Kitchen

This room i struggled with a little. Not for building it, but deciding what to put in it. In the end i decided to build a sort of dining room with a table for people to sit around. I’m happy with the result and like the look of the big table and bench behind it.

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Upstairs 

This is where i wanted to build a big catapult but i think that was biting off more than i could chew so it just has the chimney on the left.

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What am i pleased about?

I am really happy with how smoothly the scripting went. I originally thought that this would be one of the harder parts, but i was wrong about that. As i started to get more involved in the build the scripting came more easier to me rather than doing visual complexity, that’s why i changed the type of build that i was doing. I guess I’m not mean to be a graphics designer.

Another thing that i am pleased about is how the fireplace turned out. I am really glad that i managed to get the particle system working as the castle would not be the same without the fireplace. Gives it a nice medieval feel to it which is the theme i was going for.

What am i not so pleased about?

One thing that i am not so pleased with which is how the spiral stairs turned out. They work fine but they are a little too steep and to me look unrealistic. If someone was to climb the stairs in real life, they would probably fall down. I guess that’s a bonus of a virtual world. When an avatar climbs the stairs they can get to the top but the camera kind of moves through the walls because there is not enough room.

What would i do differently next time?

spend more time planning the build. If i was to do this i would not have run into some the problems i faced along the way. But overall i’m very happy with what i have done.

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Assignment 3 – Problems

During this assignment there were some problems (as to be expected). However there was not as many as i thought there would be, which is a plus.

The opening and closing door

I think that the major problem that i faced was the opening door. I tried all sorts of things at the start. I was playing around with numbers in the script but that kept on making things worse. I was googling how to change the point of rotation for an object, but it seemed that it was not possible unless you create an object in other 3D modelling software and then import it. So after a few hours of trying to get this to work i gave up. Then came the next class with Isa and thought that i would take this opportunity to ask Isa if it could be done. He was quick to show me how to do it. I had to double up on the texture and make the prim double the size. Once i had done that i used path cut to cut the object in half thus changing the center of the object. After Isa showed me i how, everything worked perfectly.

Creating fire

This was somewhat of a struggle. I was searching online but their didn’t seem to be anything that helpful. So i was stuck for sometime trying get fire for my fire place. I was talking to Paige one day about how our builds were going and she mentioned something about the Particle Lab. So i visited the Particle Lab and they had a sandbox teaching the basics about using the particle system in second life. They had a basic template for a flame which i got a copy of. I Was really quite happy at this point. so i added the the right parameters to the script and manged to get a flame for my fire that was the right size, see Below:

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Things for inside the castle

This is something that i struggled with and most likely should have done more planning at the start as to what was actually going to go inside the castle. So i had finished building the structure of the castle and i had some basic things inside but was quick realize i didn’t know what else to put in it and i still had a whole room to complete.  So that would be something that i would do different next time, more planning.

The prim limit

Throughout the whole build process i know that this restriction was holding me back and think i did well to make use of every single prim to make it go as far as it could. There is still more i want to add to the castle like creating a catapult for the top level of the castle but i know i will go over the prim limit if i do.

So overall I am really happy with how the build process went. There wasn’t too many problems that set me back.

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Assignment 3 – Meeting requirements

So an update on how i am going with my build. I have almost finished building the castle. I have met all the requirements, but still have a few prim’s left out of my 300 prim allowance, so i will still add bits and pieces to the castle to make it feel more real.

General Requirements:

A minimum of 50 and a maximum of 300 prims used in the construction

In my build i have almost 263 prims.

At least three different primitive types (i.e. Sphere, Torus, etc.)

I have achieved this by using a Cube, Cylinder and a Cone. I used a the cubes to make the walls of the castle, the Cylinder for the two turrets and the cone for the fire torches on the walls.

At least four different forms of prim manipulation (i.e. Cut, Twist, etc.)

For the hallway i wanted to use as less prims as possible. I managed to achieve this by using Path Cut and Hollow this creates a perfect prim for a hallway.

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For the other two manipulations, i used Taper and Top Share. I used Taper for the fire torches so that they didn’t look too much like a cone. I used To Share for the chairs in the kitchen area this gave it a nice lean to the backing instead of 90 degree angles. Pictures:

HALLWAY_002 HALLWAY_003The use of different textures and colours throughout the build with consideration given to using appropriate textures, texture repeats, offsets and rotations.

I think that i have meet this requirement. The walls and castle itself is made of stone. For the floor on the second story, it is made of cobblestones to changes things up a bit. I made most things look like they were made of either wood or stone. this gives a more medieval feel, which is the theme of the castle. For the main entrance i had a door that i wanted to open and close with a script. The script that i had was rotating the door around the center instead of the hinges. i had to double up on texture repeats and then use path cut to change the center of the prim. I also had to use offsets for the door to get the texture in the right position.

At least two different texture manipulations (i.e. Glow, Shininess, etc.)

I achieved this by add glow to firewood to make it look more realistic and i add shininess to the steps on the spiral staircase.

The appropriate use of multiple textures on a prim

I used used this where was necessary. For example. The ceiling/roof of the castle, the texture for the inside was different to the texture on the outside.

The appropriate scale for purpose both in construction and texture use

I think that i achieved this requirement. Because i was building a castle, it needed to be big. I also wanted the castle able to be entered into and used rather than just a castle to look at. I tried to keep everything even to the scale. This meant making sure the textured brick walls had the exactly same size scale of texture.

Scripting Requirments:

Have a prim’s inventory item (Content) passed to an avatar

I achieved this by creating a script for my shields. When an avatar clicks on the shield it passes them a note-card which explains where i got the image from.

HALLWAY_005Have an appropriate particle system

For this i created a fire and a chimney with smoke coming out of it using the particle system

Have a link out to a web page

At the entrance of the castle i made a sign that lets avatars know that if they click the sign it will take them to this blog where they can get more information about the build.

Have prim movement through scripting

For this requirement i created a door and and applied this script to it http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Smooth_Rotating_Door

This rotates the door making it look like it is opening and closing when a user clicks on it.

Have a scanning system that will detect the presence of an avatar then interact with the avatar in some manner

At the entrance of the castle i have a red object that scans every 2 minutes for users withing a 10 meter radius. Who every it finds when it scans it sends them an instant message which welcomes them to the castle.

Have an instance of scripted communication with an avatar via main chat

I achieved this from the script above. It communicates with avatars that it finds with its scans

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Assignment 3 – Design and development

I have now changed my mind and i am going to do a build with scripting complexity instead of visual complexity. I changed my mind because now that i have spent more time in second life, i have realized that i enjoy the scripting side of things more than trying to make things look pretty.

So far i have made a good start on my castle. I have the structure there, all i need to do now is more texturing and more scripting. I also need to add more items inside my castle, at the movement it is looking rather empty. I am very happy with the progress that i have made and also with how the castle is looking at the moment. I think that i am on scheduled and cant wait to see my finished build.

What have i done so far?

As i said before i have the structure of the castle finished. It has two turrets on either side of the castle and inside has two rooms. I have managed to find some nice textures of stones and tiles for the walls and the floor. Please click the pictures below to get a better view:

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Below is a picture of the hall with two rooms that come off it.

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In the first room i have a fire place with a fire just need to add some seating around it. I also added a orange light to the fire so i glows nicely when it is night time.

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The second room of the castle has not had much work done to it. I have made a start on a basic table, but still needs a lot of work. My thoughts is have a kitchen/dining area.

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I also have a spiral stair case within the turrets.

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So, for my scripting complexity i am going to:

  • Have a prim’s inventory item (Content) passed to an avatar
  • Have an appropriate particle system
  • Have a link out to a web page
  • Have prim movement through scripting
  • Have a scanning system that will detect the presence of an avatar then interact with the avatar in some manner
  • Have an instance of scripted communication with an avatar via main chat

To complete the above requirements I am going to have a sort of notice board at the entrance of the castle. It will scan for people within the area of the castle. When it finds an avatar, it will welcome them to the castle and let them know that if they click the notice board it will take them to my blog. If i can achieve this that will tick off the following requirements:

  • Have a link out to a web page
  • Have a scanning system that will detect the presence of an avatar then interact with the avatar in some manner

I already have fire and smoke in my build so that makes use of the particle system. I also have a door that opens when it is clicked. So that leave 2 more requirements:

  • A prim’s inventory item (Content) passed to an avatar
  • Have an instance of scripted communication with an avatar via main chat

To complete these two requirements i will have another object at the entrance of the castle which will hand out note cards. These cards will explain a bit about the castle. Also throughout the castle i will have objects that when click on say something to the avatar through the main chat system.

So, still a bit of work to go, but it should not be problem. I am confident that i will meet these requirements within the next couple of weeks.

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Planning for Assignment 3

For assignment 3 i am going to do a ‘build’ using the visual complexity. I am more interested in building something that is more on the fantasy side of things. One things that i have been thinking about is a castle. It will have to be a castle that you can enter and actually do something inside the castle rather than an object that just looks like a castle. Another thing is that i don’t want the castle to look too realistic, so i want the textures to be cartoonish, like something off a game. Here are some pictures that i got off google images that i want the castle to look like: Obviously my build would not look as good as the ones above as i don’t think i have the skill, time and available land and prims, but you get the idea of the sort of castle i have in mind. So far i have no other ideas so a castle is looking like it is going to be the build. As for resources go, i am going to see what i can use from the texture board that Isa put up but, I also found this website: http://opengameart.org/textures/all on this website there is hundreds of textures and a lot of them are in the public domain which means i could use them for free. I am not the best at graphics designer so i think i may end up referring to websites on the internet to get some help with this. I understand the basics of building and texturing thanks to Isa but, i am not the best at decide what colours go together and what things should look like.

Purpose of the Build

The purpose of this build is to make a place the looks and feels like a medieval environment for people to hang out in. I would also like people to build from what i have started, so possible be able to give avatars a copy of the castle.

My Time Line

Now that i have done some of the planning and know what i want to build. over next week i will hopefully have a design finished and start working on actually building the castle.  Then the next couple of weeks after that i will finish the castle and finish the required blog posts.

So that is the plan and i am hoping it all goes well.

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NCI Community

http://wiki.nci-sl.org/doku.php?id=policies:groupim

What is the NCI Community?

NCI stand for New Citizens Incorporated. This is a group of volunteers that dedicate their time and work in helping out people that are new to second life. The group is open to the public so any one can join the group and receive notifications about up coming events and also receive messages from people asking for assistance. Once i had joined the community i found that everyone was very nice and willing to answer any questions that i had.

What does NCI do?

In the NCI building there is a big timetable above the dance floor. Each day they will hold classes teaching the attendees about different aspects of Second Life. Every now and then they will hold different events that are separate from the timetable classes. Below is a picture of the timetable:

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The first time i participated in the community was on the dance floor! I walked into the building and saw that everyone was dancing to cool music and having a good time. I did not know how to join in until i asked some of the people that were already dancing. They told me i had to click on the orb above the dance floor. This brings up a whole lot of different dance moves you can apply to your avatar. I had a really good time dancing and chatting away to fellow NCI members. Each time the song would change we would adjust our dancing to suit the music. Below is some picture of me and other members on the dance floor:

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Another activity i got to join in on was a class that is held on Sundays called Power Tools

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This class is an advanced building class. I arrived to the class 10 minuets early and got to talk to the teacher Afon. She told me that the class is an advanced one and that i would most likely need some good build skills. This was somewhat intimidating, but i told her about the classes i had been having with Isa and said that i would see how i go. We started off learning about :

Copy Selection

This is a building tool that lets you copy a prim straight onto another face of a prim. This tool would come in really handy if you were building something that required lots of duplicated objects. Another thing we learnt about copy selection was that you can copy a prim and have it take on the rotation of another. This is a very fast way for you to make lots of prims have the same rotation as a completely different prim. Very hand stuff to know if you were making a fairly advanced build.

Local ruler, World ruler and Reference ruler 

In the second half of the class we got to learn about the different types of rulers this is somewhat hard to explain. When you are building an object the object will automatically align its self in the world. If you switch the settings to local you have many more directions available to move the object in.

Below is some pictures of me attending this class:

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Overall i did not find the class anymore difficult than the ones we are currently having with Isa. I think that the NCI community is a fantastic addition to SL and would recommend it to anyone that is new to second life. There is many people who are willing to help you out and a good way to make great friends.

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Protecting intellectual property

Intellectual property rules still apply when you are in second life. When you are participating in the second life community, you are not to make objects that represent trade marked items in real life such as  brands, logos or if it has a distinct look or appearance, unless you have the permission to do so.

How do i protect my Intellectual property in second life?

In second life you can use the permission system to protect objects that you have created. There are 3 different types of permissions modify, copy and transfer. You can find out more about these HERE. For example you could disable the modify permission when giving an object away if you did not want other residents to slightly change what you have done and then take credit for it. You also could disable the transfer permission if you did not want the receiver to sell the object on and make money off the work you have done. These permissions have been made to protect you from these situations.

What is CopyBot?

CopyBot was originally developed by libopenmetaverse formerly libsecondlife. This is a team of developers the have made a library of code that talks to Second Life’s servers. CopyBot was developed as a debugging tool for second life. What it did was download an object from the second life server and store it as a data file on your computer(XML file) then it was able to upload the file back onto the second life server and you would be able to have a copy of what ever you downloaded. this was created as a backup tool in the case that something may happen to your creation on second life. Then later on libsecondlife released the source code of this application on their website. People then changed the code and were able to copy objects and avatars without having to have the permissions to do so. This is not how copybot should be used and there are versions of copy bot out there that do what it was intended to do. Now if you are caught using copybot for the wrong reasons you may risk having you second Life account banned. You can find out more details about copyBot here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CopyBot

Copyright Alternative

When you create an original design in SL you are the copyright owner, even if you sell a copy of the object you still own the design of it by default. if you want to to open up your work you are able to license your work under the creative commons license. This is achieved by attaching a note card to your object displaying the details of its license usage this gives you more flexibility to licensing your creations not just falling under the default copyright act. You can find out more about creative commons HERE

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