Playing with a hovercraft in Second Life

The Hovercraft 1.0 on land
The Hovercraft 1.0 by Kaliska (Yetius) on land

Every so often it happens: you’re hunting for something specific on the Marketplace or in-world, when something else grabs your attention. It’s not what you’re looking for and it may even be something you’re not sure you want – but it’s there and it gets your attention just enough for you to think, “why not?”

Such is the case with the all mesh Hovercraft 1.0 by Kaliska (Yetius), which I happened across on the MP whilst looking for mooring buoys. Despite being into my tenth year in Second Life, I’ve not really seen that many hovercraft around, so the idea of a little single-seater (and which is offered free to boot) proved to be a little too distracting.

... and over water ...
… and over water …

Kaliska describes the vehicle thus:

I recently discovered the dinkie avatar (a mesh tiny sized avatar), and just had to do something about the total non-existence of dinkie-friendly vehicles.

So this is primarily a diminutive hovercraft for dinkies.  It’s loosely modelled on pictures of single seat racers and personal/leisure/small utility craft, but based on nothing in particular.

By “dinkie”, I think Kaliska means “petites”; however, and as she notes, this is not a vehicle aimed at a single small market; there is a version included in the package suitable for tinies and one for “normal” sized human avatars (if you’re 7+ feet tall, some adjustment to the sitting pose may be required).

Everything bar the engine script is supplied Mod, offering plenty of opportunities for playing around with the vehicle and texturing / colouring it to suit personal tastes – maps are supplied to assist with both, and can be found in the instructions note card. For the purposes of testing, I simply recoloured parts of mine from white to red. I could well end up playing more extensively with it at some point 🙂 .

The full-size Hovercraft (red) and the "dinkie" / tiny version
The full-size Hovercraft (red) and the “dinkie” / tiny version

At just 12 LI for the human version and 8 LI for the “dinkie” / tiny version, this is a little craft which can easily fit within most land budgets. It is also, I have to say, A lot of fun once the controls are mastered – and these are not exactly taxing. Sitting in the vehicle and typing “start” in chat enables the engine, lifting the vehicle slightly as dust (is on land) our spray (on water) is blown out from under the skirt.

From here, movement is simple: the UP and DOWN arrows are your throttle (faster and slower respectively), LEFT and RIGHT turn you. If you prefer, WASD achieves the same). PAGE DOWN / C acts as quick stop, bringing you immediately to a standing hover. A couple of things to note is steering is only possible when in forward motion, and doesn’t work at all in reverse, which is accessed by coming to a standing hover and then pressing and holding the DOWN key.

In addition to the above, PAGE UP / E will toggle the headlamps on/off – note that these use projected lighting, so ALM needs to be enabled to see them decently. Finally, typing “HUD” in text shows / hides the vehicle’s hovertext info, and typing “stop” shuts down the engine.

The default pose for "normal" sized human avatars is pretty spot-on in terms of handlebar placement
The default pose for “normal” sized human avatars is pretty spot-on in terms of handlebar placement

Overall, the hovercraft handles very well; a quick few taps on the UP key and you’ll be zipping along; both water and terrain are handled well, and mesh terrain doesn’t prove a major challenge. I zapped from home across the waters and to Holly Kai Park in next no time and traversed from mesh beach to water and back to beach with ease at both ends of the ride.

I’d actually be happy paying for this little vehicle, and perhaps see it with group driving were it offered for sale, as it’s the kind of thing that’s fun to rez when friends visit, and then scooting around the sea together. Setting a nominal fee for it would allow it to be gifted, which is something I’d like to do with a few close friends as well, rather than nagging them to go grab it as a freebie.

But these are really minor point.As a freebie, there is absolutely no faulting it – and it really be worth paying for it were it to be offered at a reasonable price. As it is, if you’re looking for a little vehicle to mess around with on land and water, this could certainly be just the ticket. Now, if you’ll just excuse me, I’m off for a little more fun…

Hovercraft 1.0 by Kaliska (Yetius)
Hovercraft 1.0 by Kaliska (Yetius)