“It was raining in the city…”

It was raining in the City — a hard rain — almost hard enough to wash the slime from the streets. But it never does. When the rain stops, the boulevard dries and the snakes once again slink from their holes. That’s when my door opens and the helpless, the desperate, walk through with a heart full of hurt and a pocket full of nothing.*

"It was raining in the City -- a hard rain ..." - The Silent Peacock Hotel, starting-point for a grid-wide investigation of Room 326
“It was raining in the City — a hard rain …” – The Silent Peacock Hotel, starting-point for a grid-wide investigation of Room 326

My name is Bullit. Traci Bullit. I’m a private dick without the di – well, you get the picture. My bosom buddy is Mr Redemption, because he’s helped me out of some tight scrapes and spends time in a holster under my right arm.

The rain was still falling when my door opened, only it wasn’t the helpless or the desperate who walked through. It was the Governor’s special assistant. He had instructions for me to get down to the Silent Peacock Hotel where the local gumshoes were tripping over themselves trying to sort out a spate of disappearances. I don’t usually do requests, but Governor Linden is a good egg, and I figured there’d be no harm in doing her a favour. Besides, girls should always stick together...

"The lobby was like the name of the place: silent" - Room 326
“The lobby was like the name of the place: silent” – Room 326

So might begin the mystery of Room 326, the latest grid-wide hunt from MadPea Games. I was actually hesitant to blog this piece, as I visited Hoshi Island last week and tried my hand at following some of the clues (I don’t as a rule “do” hunts), prior to abandoning things due to other pressures – and then Honour McMillan brilliantly covered the setting (I swear, one day I’m going to have to superglue her shoes to the floor to stop her getting to all the fun places ahead of me…. ūüėČ ).

MadPea routinely produce grid-wide hunts as a part of their broader résumé of games, and all are both imaginative and cleverly themed. Room 326 runs through until the end of the month and involves players becoming sleuths attempting to unlock the mysterious disappearance of 15 people who stayed in the titular room at the Silent Peacock Hotel. The mystery can only be resolved by following a trail of point-and-click clues across the grid.

Room 326
“The room wasn’t that bad, other than the smell of cheap cologne and cigarettes – a sure sign the local gumshoes had been over the place. That, and the file they’d managed to leave behind…”¬† Room 326

The game is HUD-based (costing L$50 from the vendors in front of the hotel entrance). Your first task on purchasing it is to activate it, which requires finding Room 326 and the information inside.

Once you have found the required information, your HUD will activate and reveal the 15 missing people, clicking on a photo will provide you with information on a person and – importantly – the location of the clue associated with them. Clues take the form of envelopes which must be found and clicked on. Unlike other hunts, the envelopes don’t themselves give out prizes. Instead, players must collect all 15 envelopes; only then will they be given instructions on how to proceed to the final gameplay area where, as they say in the time-honoured tradition, “All will be revealed…”

Room 326 runs through until January 31st. Even if you’re not into hunts, it’s an entertaining distraction.

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*Quote from “The Big Goodbye”, scripted by Tracy Torme

Singularity 1.7.3: more than just a vignette

singularityIt’s been a while since the last Singularity update, and the team have been hard at work updating the viewer and making in-depth changes to a range of functionality as well as providing new features and options.

Version 1.7.3.3624 was released on Sunday January 20th, 2013, which saw the viewer gain, among other things:

  • Merchant Outbox support
  • Large group management support
  • HTTP communications updates in line with recent v3 viewers.

Download and Install

The Windows download remains roughly the same size at previous releases, a touch under 23.9Mb. The release notes don’t explicitly mention the need for a clean install, but given I’m looking at the viewer for review purposes, I did my usual and removed the previous version (1.7.2) and all support files prior to installing. The installation process was, as ever, smooth and error-free.

HTTP Updates

Large Groups fulls supported under HTTP in Singularity, in line with recent LL-driven changes
Large Groups fully supported under HTTP in Singularity, in line with recent LL-driven changes (the SL Beta group has over 21K members)

Much work has been carried out on HTTP communications within Singularity in order to bring it into line with ongoing HTTP-based projects underway within the Lab.

Perhaps the most obvious evidence of this work is that this update incorporates Baker Linden’s Group Service code changes to support the management of large groups – which will now load successfully in Singularity and avoid the 10K members cap imposed on the UDP code for handling groups.

Additional work has been carried out on support of HTTP communications which is designed to both improve stability when using HTTP within the viewer and to pave the way for full support of further enhancement of LL’s HTTP services, including the upcoming new server-side avatar baking service.

Merchant Outbox

Version 1.7.3 of Singularity brings with it Merchant Outbox support (World -> Merchant Outbox). As with V3-style viewers, the outbox forms a separate floater, allowing folders to be dragged and dropped from Inventory with the same ease as v3-style viewers.

Right-clicking on objects in the Merchant Outbox provides the usual options of renaming / deleting them, together with an additional option to send them to your Marketplace store (allowing individual items / folders to be sent, rather than the entire contents of the Outbox see comments at the end of this article).

Snapshot Floater

The snapshot floater has been completely overhauled with this release, which now includes an option to upload images to your profile feed at my.secondlife.com.

The new (l) and old (r) Singularity snapshot floaters (click to enlarge)
The new (l) and old (r) Singularity snapshot floaters (click to enlarge)

The new floater is larger when opened-out, but offers a better snapshot preview, and is also somewhat context-sensitive with options; the temporary upload option is disabled, for example, when sending a snapshot anywhere other than to inventory. Aspect ratios have also been improved upon within the new floater as well, providing further flexibility when creating images.

Unfortunately, this release of Singularity does not appear to include the snapshot tiling fix (MAINT-628). I’m not sure if that is because of issues with the code fix or an oversight. However, increasing the images size to anything over my screen resolution when running in deferred mode immediately produced tiling lines – and actually did so on-screen.

Snapshot tiling issue still present: My screen resolution is 1440 x 900. Increasing the image resolution beyond this (in this case 1920x1200) when in deferred mode displays the familiar tiling lines.
Snapshot tiling issue still present: My screen resolution is 1440 x 900. Increasing the image resolution beyond this (in this case 1920×1200) when in deferred mode displays the familiar tiling lines (slick to enlarge)

 

 

Continue reading “Singularity 1.7.3: more than just a vignette”

Viewer release summary 2013: week 3

This summary is published every Monday and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my¬†Viewer Round-up Page, a list of ¬†all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware) and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy
  • By its nature, this summary will always be in arrears
  • The Viewer Round-up Page is updated as soon as I’m aware of any releases / changes to viewers & clients, and should be referred to for more up-to-date information as the week progresses
  • The Viewer Round-up Page also includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog. ¬†

Updates for the week ending: 20 January, 2013

  • SL Viewer updates:
      • Release version rolled to 3.4.4.268864 on January 15th – release notes
      • Development rolled to¬†3.4.6.269073 on January 15th, then to¬†3.4.6.269108 on January 17th and 3.4.6.269229 on January 20th
      • CHUI project viewer rolled to 3.4.4.268981 on Janunary 15, while the development version¬† rolled 3.4.4.268994 on January 14th, then 3.4.4.269171 on January 17th and 3.4.4.269254 on January 20th
  • Dolphin rolled to¬†3.4.10.27205 on January 15th – core updates: viewer no longer freezed briefly on opening Places floater for the first time after logging-in; prims rotate correctly even when not looking at them (Henri Beauchamp), updated to latest viewer-dev codebase; release notes
  • Niran’s Viewer updated to version 2.0.7 on January 17th – core updates: rendering updates – release notes
  • Cool VL updates – three versions for the time being, all updated on January 19th:
    • Stable version rolled to 1.26.6.6
    • Legacy version Legacy (v2.6 renderer) rolled to 1.26.4.49
    • Experimental version rolled to 1.26.7.6
    • Release notes
  • Singularity released 1.7.3.3624 on January 20th – core updates: major updates to HTTP communications (Aleric); rendering updates (Shyoti / Siana), including motion blur and vignette; Image pipeline update and tuning (Siana); updates snapshot system (Aleric);¬† Merchant Outbox implemented (Inusaito and Aleric); Large group management support (Inusaito); Inventory cut’n’paste support for folders (Inusaito); UI setting changes; fixes – release notes
  • Phoenix officially reached end-of-line for SL on December 31st – read more here

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