Patterns to update on October 18th

It appears Linden Lab are keeping to their promise of “rapid iterations” for Patterns, as an update will be released on Thursday 18th October, two weeks after the initial Genesis Release launch.

The e-mail announcing the update reads in full:

Hello Patterns Customer,

Our first update is right around the corner. We’re going to be updating to a bigger world, adding more shapes to find in the world and –  based on your feedback – we’re adding the ability to place formations on your own creations as well as ours. We’re also fixing plenty of bugs.

Our plan is to update on Thursday October 18 on Steam. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Thanks for all the great feedback and thanks again for being an early adopter of Patterns!

Patterns: expanding on Thursday 18th October

I’ll be looking forward to the update; things have been a trifle dull in Patterns land of late, as I’ve run out of shapes I can think of to build.

Hmmm… I feel a review update coming on as well – you have been warned! :).

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Mesh upload patch enhancement for creators

Nalates Urriah drew my attention to a thread on SL Universe regarding the development of a new patch which should be of assistance to mesh creators making rigged mesh items. The patch is by Magus Freston and Gaia Clary, and is designed to solve a particular problem which exists between Collada file formats and Second Life. Magus describes the problem thus:

A limitation of the attachment points in the LL character is that many of them have names with spaces, like “Left Pec”. Collada 1.4 doesn’t handle bone names with spaces as space is used to delimit bone names. So the idea is to replace the spaces with an underscore for the collada file so you get “Left_Pec”, which of course SL doesn’t recognise. The patch just translates “Left_Pec” back to “Left Pec” at import time.

Posting initially to the Machinimatrix blog, where the raw code for the patch can be found, Magus and Gaia devised a test for the patch involving a mesh with two additional spheres which if imported successfully using skin weights, should appear hovering close to the hands and rotating as a result of an added animation.

Mesh uploader test item created by Magus Freston

The test files cane be obtained from the Machinimatrix blog thread, although they require registration / logging-in to the blog in order to see and download them.

Responding to Magus’ request for assistance, Darien Caldwell compiled a version of the Windows SL beta viewer incorporating the patch, and after a couple of bumpy starts, managed to import the mesh successfully and as expected. Since then several content creators have tried the patch and found it works, although a couple of warnings may be thrown up during the upload. The uploaded mesh can be correctly rendered in any mesh-capable viewer.

The test viewer is provided as a ZIP file for windows, not an installer. On unpacking, the contents should save to a default folder (at the time of writing “Test Build 341” – although you can obviously rename this). Once unpacked, open the folder and double-click on LINDENDEVELOPER.EXE to launch the viewer.

The uploaded mesh, with animation running, showing the expected result: the two spheres orbiting in front of my hands

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A Nordic adventure

Having opted to get out on the water recently, and following Indigo Mertel’s suggestion that sailing is one of the best ways to explore SL, this week I set out to navigate the further reaches of Blake Sea and the surrounding regions. Along the way I discovered Second Norway, a group of around 17 regions which celebrate life in Norway, providing both a themed environment for people living there and a wide range of public spaces which can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, all of which can be explored by road, water and air.

While not attempting to be a representation of any single place in Norway, Second Norway does include several features from its real-life namesake, and offers up much which is representative of the Norwegian countryside and Norwegian heritage, all of which combine to make it a fascinating visit.

Arriving in Second Norway via Blake Sea

My first encounter with the SL / rl cross-over came on sailing into the main harbour area, which features a recreation of a row of multi-hued buildings on the waterfront in Bergen. This is forms one of the social hubs in the regions, hosting a range of events as well as being within easy reach of a number of nearby attractions.

One of these, on the hill overlooking the quayside and colourful shops, is a replica of the triple nave stave church at Borgund, which is believed to be one of the best-preserved examples of a stave church in Norway, having been originally built some time between 1180 and 1250. The church in Second Norway is the very first build undertaken by Ey Ren, one of the co-founders of the modern Second Norway community, and a leading figure therein along with Mialinn Telling.

The stave church in Second Norway

It is a fabulous build, and provides a wonderful focal-point for visits and for SL photographers, and appears to be used for special ceremonies such as weddings. The attention to detail, both outside and in is a delight, and I found myself drawn back to it several times during my visit. I love the alter, and the traditional bell structure located outside.

The stave church, Second Norway

A short walk from the church and bell, shaded by trees, is a memorial installed by residents of Second Norway to remember the 77 people who lost their lives in the terrible events of 22 July 2011, in both Oslo and on the island of Utøya. It is a simple affair, and all the more moving for being so, bearing an inscription of a quote from one of the survivors of that black day.

Just down the hill from the church is another point of historical interest – part of a traditional viking village, a virtual living museum, the long house of which is used to host both events and exhibitions.

The viking village in Second Norway

From here I opted to take to the road to continue my explorations. Second Norway includes a comprehensive road system which goes both overland and underwater, thanks to a tunnel system. A section of the roads is modelled on Norway’s Atlantic Sea Road, and is a great drive to take. I initially started out using my ubiquitous Neuspa, partially because I felt its amphibious capabilities would be useful if I happened to fall off the road into the neighbouring waterways, and partially because some of those involved in Second Norway are into biking, and I wanted to share something of their experience when out on the open road. I did, however, also take my Autoworks 43S GT for a spin (which did encounter a few issues with road section seams).

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