nostos deer: whimsy with a surreal touch

I stumbled over nostos deer entirely by chance recently – it was literally a case of paging through the Destination Guide and then clicking on something that set a small bell ringing. It wasn’t until I arrived and started exploring that I realised why: Honour McMillan had posted on the region last year (I swear I’m going to have to superglue her shoes to the floor and hide her teleport button one day 🙂 ).

:nostos deer:
nostos deer

The region is home to Dora Nacht’s Little Hopper store (located inside a rock floating high in the sky), with the sim itself landscaped into a delightful park rich in whimsy and with just a touch of eye-catching surrealism, both of which make it an ideal destination for the foot-wary Second Life explorer who is looking for a place to rest and recuperate, and which offers to bring a smile to the well-travelled face. Indeed, given “nostos” is the Greek word for “homecoming” and the idea of returning home from a long journey, perhaps it is the ideal destination for those wanting a break in their SL meanderings …

nostos deer is one of those places which is full of things to do in a not-really-doing-things kind-of way, something which greatly adds to its charm, as even doing nothing will leave you smiling and wondering. You can, for example, sit on the beach and relax, look out to the sea, and watch the fish serenely swim above the waves (which should not be taken as a sign they’ve been incorrectly placed – nothing within nostos deer is the result of wrongful placement).

:nostos:deer:
nostos deer

You can roam wherever you will on the island – old sleepers mark what appears to have once been a busy tram service. Only one set of tracks now remains, running from a little station overlooking a river valley and out towards the sea – literally!

If you tire of the beach, there’s a little kitchen serving sushi, or there’s a walk up the hill to a small church where you can sit in quite contemplation with other members of the rather unusual congregation…

:nostos deer:
nostos deer

Take a walk over the bridge spanning the river valley (gorge?), and you’ll find more to see and maybe do. Dara’s own swan boats sit against a waterfront pier on the west side of the island, waiting for you to take a ride, while further south is an inviting campfire and chairs offering warmth and a chance to sit and chat – although not entirely without a further measure of the surreal! Down at the river itself you can grab a canoe and go a-paddling or, if you’re up for a little surrealism on your own part, you can sit in the middle of the river and enjoy some time in a rocking chair, hovering serenely above the water…

Teleports up to the Little Hopper store can be found around the island, notably as pictures hanging on walls, although I much prefer the mineshaft teleport. The store shares a similar sense of the whimsical, with Dora’s swan boat displayed atop a forklift truck, and the entrance to the “underground” store is guarded by a LandRover and a tricycle.

nostos deer
nostos deer

nostos deer is, in every sense of the word, a delight and more than worth visiting. Should you decide to go and have a little wander, make sure you give yourself a little time – while the region is open and apparently lightly built-out, there are a lot of little details which can be so easily overlooked but the hurrying traveller.

And besides, to hurry through would be to miss the point; nostos deer is about unwinding from the need to hurry, and giving oneself a chance to breathe, smile, and linger …

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SL project news 9 (1): servers, SSB, materials and Aditi

Deployments for Week 9

It’s a “lightweight” week for deployments, with all channels receiving one of two maintenance packages.

Server Life Server (Main) Channel

Region restart notifications: the "old" stayle (top), and the "new" style (bottom)
Region restart notifications: the “old” style (top), and the “new” style (bottom)

On Tuesday February 26th, the Second Life Server (SLS / Main channel) received the server maintenance project which was on all three RC channels last week.  This project has miscellaneous bug fixes, along with an impoved restart notification (which will only be apparent when this new version restarts for the next update) – see the image on the right.

While this is much better than the previous notification, it does suffer from the fact it will still fade from the viewer’s window and become a chiclet whether or not the OK button is clicked – and thus can still be missed if attention is not on the screen when it appears. To help avoid this, it is possible to set a sound for the alert using the Debug Setting UISndAlert, which requires the UUID of the sound, which coule be one you’ve uploaded to inventory yourself (Firestorm additionally has UISndRegionRestart, which can be set through Debug Settings or Preferences > Sound & Media > UI Sounds 2).

This release  means the until the RC channel deployments take place (see below), almost the entire grid is running the same server code – the only exceptions being a few “special” regions (such as the Linden Realms regions) – release notes.

Release Candidate Channels

On Wednesday February 27th, all three Release Candidate channels should receive a new server maintenance package which includes a fix for a crash mode – release notes (BlueSteel).

As always, there is a forum thread for discussing the deployments.

Server-side Baking

Following-on from his initial feedback given at the TPV Developer meeting on Friday 22nd February, Nyx Linden gave a further update on the recent Sever-side Baking (SSB) pile-on / load test when chairing the Content Creation User Group meeting on Monday 25th February

Thanks all for everyone who helped out with the pile-on test of server appearance last Thursday. The results tended to be that when the system worked, it was nice and speedy, however there were a number of issues that prevented it from working for everyone all the time. We got a good bit of data on the bugs we knew were there as well as a couple new ones. we’ve been crunching on the results and are starting to attack the issues, so it was definitely successful in achieving what we wanted: more data :). There will be future rounds, so thanks in advance for anyone who comes back to help us test again.

Z-offset Issue and SUN-38

As noted in the comments following my quick SSB test using currently available TPVs with SSB enabled, there is an issue with the “Z-offset” capability common to many third-party viewers, which allows the vertical height of an avatar above the ground to be adjusted, such that sits and kneels don’t leave the avatar apparently floating in the air, and which allow those with very tall / giant avatars or very small / petite avatars and those wearing full body mesh to similarly adjust their vertical placement relative to the ground / floor.

The problem was reported to Nyx in week 8, and SUN-38 was subsequently raised by Henri Beauchamp on February 24th to officially log the matter. Commenting on the problem during Content Creation meeting, Nyx Linden stated. “It hasn’t escaped our notice. We’re considering a couple different approaches … we’re considering a few different options. Suggestions appreciated, but we haven’t officially settled on an approach we’re going to commit to publicly just yet.” He also suggested that any questions on the subject be asked again next week, presumably by which time LL will have had time to consider the problem in detail, and hopefully consult with TPV developers.

Interest List Updates

Andrew Linden is continuing to work on the interest list code, with more refinements to come, as well as looking at a number of bug fixes. The updates about to go to LL’s QA include changes which should make scenery load faster  / more correctly when first logging-in to SL or teleporting to a region.

Aero Pines Park
Future updates to the interest list code should see scenery in your world view rezzing a lot faster

Continue reading “SL project news 9 (1): servers, SSB, materials and Aditi”