Resting in Fall Trace in Second Life

Fall Trace, Tranquil Bay; Inara Pey, December 2016, on Flickr Fall Trace, Tranquil Bay – click any image for full size

In November, Caitlyn and I dropped in to Winter Trace, one of the three seasonal Trace regions in Second Life designed by Kylie Jaxxon and Elvira Kytori – see my article here. At the time of writing, I noted that we had yet to visit Fall Trace, so having spent some time bouncing around wintry regions, we decided to spend a lazy Monday taking a look.

As the name suggests, Fall Trace offers an autumnal look and feel, with Eliva taking the lead in the design, and Gnaaah Xeltentat providing additional support. The presentation is that of a low-lying marshland, perhaps at the estuary of a slow-flowing river. The land is flat and reedy, much of it under a shallow covering water, across which trees coloured in autumn’s golden hues stand sentinel.

Fall Trace, Tranquil Bay; Inara Pey, December 2016, on Flickr Fall Trace, Tranquil Bay

This is a wildlife haven: deer stand in the ankle-deep water, appreciative of the tall grasses growing along the edges of the various water channels, watched by geese and black swans on the water. Cormorants and pelicans vie for perches on the posts supporting the wooden board walks which snake across the landscape, while crows wheel overhead.

The board walks offer visitors a dry means of getting around a lot – but not all – of the region. From the landing point, they run eastward before curling north and then back to the west, branching periodically to offer access to the stilt-mounted cabins and shacks or pointing the way to little decks with seating. Roughly half way around this arc of walkways sits a houseboat, smoke wafting from its stack, testament to the warmth inside.

Fall Trace, Tranquil Bay; Inara Pey, December 2016, on Flickr Fall Trace, Tranquil Bay

South of this main route around the region, across a broad swathe of water, sits a little group of islands, another board walk running along them. These are home to a social deck with music, a tree house and, at their eastern end, a small shack. Two more shacks lie to the north-east, whilst dotted around the region are rowing boats and poses offering plenty of opportunities – along with the deck seats noted above – for sitting and watching the wildlife or enjoying time with a partner or loved one.

It seems that airboats were at one time available for getting between the main board walk and these outlying areas, but the rezzers were disabled on our visit; we assumed they’d proven too disruptive to the local wildlife. Getting across the water is therefore a case of getting feet wet and wading.

Fall Trace, Tranquil Bay; Inara Pey, December 2016, on Flickr Fall Trace, Tranquil Bay

Set under a cloud scudded autumn sky, the sun low on the horizon, bathing it in a soft golden glow and scattering glimmering reflections over the water, Fall Trace offers a peaceful haven when so much is rush, rush, rush at this time of the year. It perfectly accompanied by an ambient sound scape, and offer considerable scope for the photographer.

I confess to having some performance issues during our visit – the region and my PC just did not want to play nicely, forcing me to turn off options such as shadows when moving around. However, this wasn’t a major inconvenience, and certainly didn’t in any way diminish my impressions of Fall Trace.

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Lumiya 3.3: Voice and more

lumiya-logoOn Sunday, December 18th, Alina Lyvette released Lumiya 3.3, the Second Life /  OpenSim Android client for smartphones and tablets.

The new update brings with it Voice chat via the built-in microphone on your device (or suitable Bluetooth unit connected to your device), the ability to upload images via your device, and additional VR support, including Google Daydream. The realise notes are available here.

Voice Chat

Voice chat for Lumiya 3.3 requires the download and installation of the free Voice plug-in app. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the plugin, the first step is to enable Voice:

  • Log-in via Lumiya.
  • Tap the menu icon (top left of the screen) and then tap Settings > Chat and Messages
  • Tap Enable Voice Chat and make sure it is checked as enabled. To disable, tap the option again.
Enable Voice via Menu (top left of the Lumiya screen) > Settings > Chat and Messages > Enable Voice Chat. Tap again to uncheck and disable at any time.
Enable Voice via Menu (top left of the Lumiya screen) > Settings > Chat and Messages > Enable Voice Chat. Tap again to uncheck and disable at any time.

With Voice chat enabled you can use voice for open chat, IM calls and via the 3D World view.

Open Chat

To initiate Voice chat in open chat, tap on Local Chat in Lumiya. then tap the telephone handset icon in the top right of the screen. This will enable your device’s microphone and display the open / close microphone bar. Tap the microphone icon to activate your microphone; the icon will turn green, indicating the microphone  on your device is hot, and the bar will display the instruction to Speak Now.

The open / close device microphone bar as it appears in either state on the open chat, 3D world view or IM chat screens in Lumiya
The open / close device microphone bar as it appears in either state on the open chat, 3D world view or IM chat screens in Lumiya

Remember to tap the bar again when you’ve finished speaking to prevent any extraneous noises around you from being picked-up and transmitted in-world. To close the current Voice chat session at any time, tap the X on the right of the chat bar (arrowed to the right, above).

IM Voice Calls

For an IM voice call, tap the name of the person you wish to IM (e.g. via the list of people nearby or your Friends list). When the IM window has opened, tap the telephone handset icon (top right.The microphone bar is displayed, with the message “Connecting…”. The person you are calling, assuming they are on a full viewer, will receive the usual Voice call message (shown inset, below).

Making a Voice IM call on Lumiya. The recipient - assuming they are on a full viewer will receive the usual notification (inset)
Making a Voice IM call on Lumiya. The recipient – assuming they are on a full viewer will receive the usual notification (inset – click for full size)
  • If they accept the call, the microphone icon on the left of the bar will turn green, indicating they’ve accepted the call, and your microphone is now hot. Remember to tap the bar when you’ve finished speaking to prevent any extraneous noises around you from being picked-up and transmitted in-world.
  • If they reject the call, or opt to converse in IM via text, the microphone bar will vanish.
  • If they do not answer the call before the Voice connection times out, the microphone bar will vanish.
  • To end the call, tap the X on the right of the microphone bar.
    • Note that you can restart the conversation from the IM window by tapping the Action menu icon (three vertical dots, top right of the screen) and selecting Voice Chat from the drop-down. This will initiate a fresh call.

Should you be in receipt of an IM Voice call when using Lumiya, a drop-down will appear at the top of the window you are using, and you can opt to accept or reject the call. If you reject the call, but wish to converse via IM text and are not in the IM chat window, you’ll have to manually switch to the IM window for the person who called you.

When in receipt of a Voice IM call, a drop-down will be displayed at the top of the currently active Lumiya screen (3D world view shown)
When in receipt of a Voice IM call, a drop-down will be displayed at the top of the currently active Lumiya screen (3D world view shown)

If you accept the call, the microphone bar will be displayed, and your microphone will be hot. Remember to tap the bar when you’ve finished speaking to prevent any extraneous noises around you from being picked-up and transmitted in-world.

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