2016 SL project updates 41 (1): server, viewer

Venta Silurum; Inara Pey, October 2016, on Flickr Venta Silurumblog post

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for updates or changes.

  • There was no deployment to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, October 11th.
  • On Wednesday, October 12th, all three RC channels should receive a new server maintenance package comprising the new Experience Key scripted sitting (Project Espeon). Note that at the time of writing, the release notes were awaiting update to reflect this.

SL Viewer

The VLC Media Plugin RC viewer was promoted to de facto release status on Monday, October 10th. Version includes a new media plug-in based on LibVLC, which replaces QuickTime as the media player in the WINDOWS version of the viewer. Other versions of the viewer will be updated to use VLC when their 64-bit versions are issued.

The leaves the current viewer pipeline as follows:

  • Project Bento  RC (avatar skeleton extensions) viewer version, dated October 7th
  • Maintenance RC viewer version, dated on October 4th – over 70 crash fixes, improvements and other fixes
  • Obsolete platform viewer version dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Premium Weapons Testing and New Sandbox Quad

There is a new Premium users Weapons Testing sandbox available, which has been requested numerous times by Premium users. It sits kitty-corner with the existing Weapons Test sandbox.

The new Premium Weapons Testing Sandbox on the world map
The new Premium Weapons Testing Sandbox on the world map

There is also  a new 4×4 group of general sandboxes coming on-stream, with each of the regions is running on one of the four simulator channels (Main SLS, BueSteel RC, Le Tigre RC, and Magnum RC). These are designed to make easier for creators to make comparisons between the four underpinning simulator versions during product testing, etc. They are:

All have a General rating.

Tone and ambience in Second Life

Lorin Tone
Lorin Tone

Lorin Tone is the name of a new aural installation, open through to the end of 2016, intended to to demonstrate the wide variety of uses in-world sounds can be put to within Second Life. The installation takes it name from the master of ambient sound, Lorin Tone, who shares the environment with Nance Clowes “and others” (one of whom I assume could be Lorin’s partner, Judi Newall).

For those who travel the grid extensively with local sound enabled, this might sound a “well, duh!”, kind of idea: many region designers spend a good deal of time adding a soundscape to their environment, so we’re accustomed to hearing them every day (although that in itself can cause us to “tune them out”).

Lorin Tone - Madcow Cosmos' whimsical sound creatures
Lorin Tone – Madcow Cosmos’ whimsical sound creatures

But sounds are also more than just ambient background; they can be used in a wide variety of ways to add atmosphere to an environment, both passively and actively, triggered or experienced in a wide variety of ways – touch, collision, proximity, and so on.

So it is that this installation offers a series of individual parcels (denoted by the stone paths running between them) in which various sound scape can be experienced. The layout might not be that visually appealing, but a slow exploration through it will reveal how aurally rich they are, and the cornucopia of sound options available for in-world use. There are things to touch, walk past and through; to step on, play, bounce across and ride.

Lorin Tone
Lorin Tone – hunated graveyard (set your environment to midnight 🙂 )

Signs throughout the installation offer an introduction to each area and when touched will furnish some additional information on what is being achieved (and how to use each area). There is a certain degree of fun to be had in exploring and colliding with or touching things, and it is hard not to end up smiling. The bouncy (sand) castles got things off to a good start for Caitlyn and I (take the rope slide to the right of the landing point as you face them), while a skyborne race track offers something for petrol heads.

But – there is sadly a “but”, albeit a small one. The soundscapes largely stand as parcels without visual theme, and some might be seen as slightly repetitive in form. While this is intended to be an aural environment, I couldn’t help but feel more might have been gained by making it more visually immersive as well.

Lorin Tone
Lorin Tone

That said, for anyone interested in the depth and range to which in-world sounds can be put to good effect, the installation is well worth a visit. As noted, it will be open through until the end of December 2016.

SLurl Details