SL project updates week #50: server, viewer

Groenland Kangamiut; Inara Pey, November 2017, on Flickr Groenland Kangamiutblog post

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news and updates.

  • On Tuesday, December 12th, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with the server maintenance package previously deployed to all three RC channels. 17#17.12.01.511131 comprises “internal improvements”, which should not result in visible changes for users.
  • No deployment is anticipated for the the RC channels on Wednesday, December 13th, leaving them on server package 17#17.12.01.51131. A potential deployment to the BlueSteel RC was cancelled, “I found a nasty little bug nest late last night,” Mazidox Linden reported at the Simulator User Group meeting, “Had to halt the move to RC.”

SL Viewer

Two viewers were updated by Linden Lab on Monday, December 11th, 2017:

  • The Alex Ivy 64-bit RC viewer updated to version 5.1.0.511248.
  • The Animesh project viewer updated to version 5.0.10.330058.

The Alex Ivy RC viewer release notes contain the following information, worth reproducing here:

Windows: there are now separate 32-bit and 64-bit builds for Windows.

  • If you use an HD 2000 or 3000 series video card on Windows 10, choose 32 bit
  • Otherwise, choose the one that matches your copy of Windows

If your computer can run 64bit, and most can, you will get better performance and fewer crashes running a 64 bit Windows and Viewer. If you chose the wrong one, the viewer will upgrade you again the first time you run it to the correct one (if you think it made the wrong choice, please file a bug in jira). This build further refines the determination of what is “the best” platform for your system.

Mac:  the Mac build does not support 32-bit Macs (this is permanent, and not really a change since it’s been some time since LL supported OS X versions that would still run on a 32-bit system).

  • This build shows two icons on the Dock when running. The first one is a new launcher/monitor process (SL_Launcher) that checks for updates; the second is the viewer itself, but both are labelled “Second Life Viewer”. If you are going to pin the icon on the Dock, pin the first one or you’ll get a warning each time you launch. We hope/plan to get this sorted out so that only one shows.
  • Video media (QuickTime) usually does not play (the media handling is now the same as the Windows viewer).
  • The volume of web based media (e.g. YouTube) doesn’t change based on your distance from the source.

Linux: there is no Linux viewer yet. We hope to begin work on addressing this with the community after the release of the Mac and Windows versions.

The release notes for the Animesh project viewer include a summary of the key changes from the previous version of the viewer:

  • Animesh objects should now display correctly as impostors, using the same rules that avatars do currently.
  • Fix for a crash triggered by unchecking the animated mesh check box for an Animesh attachment.
  • Fix for Animesh attachment getting removed after teleport.
  • Fix for some of the cases where animesh graphics state could get corrupted.
  • Various clean-ups and optimisations.

The rest of the SL viewer pipeline remains as per the end of week #49:

  • Current Release version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, promoted November 29th – formerly the “Martini” Maintenance RC
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Wolfpack RC viewer arrived, version 5.0.10.330001, released on November 30.
    • Voice RC viewer, version 5.0.8.328552, October 20 (still dated Sept 1 on the wiki page).
  • Project viewers:
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847, dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

 

Advertisements

The Haze in Second Life

The Haze

Now open at CKB Art Gallery curated by Ceakay (CK) Ballyhoo is The Haze. It is the latest installation in a series of living stories featuring art and focused on the adventures of a principal character, whose journey we are invited to follow in words, images and settings. For The Haze, CK returns to her own character of Ellie, who featured in A Watercolour Wander (read here for more) and The Forest Beyond (read here for more) in a collaborative story developed with 2D and 3D artist Silas Merlin.

“It was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” CK says of the installation. “An offer from Silas to use his new builds and sketches to form a story. Using Silas’s new digital sketches and the ruins and creatures he has created, a world started to form, darker than anything we’ve either done before, the story turned into a nightmare: Ellie’s nightmare.”

The Haze

The result is a full region installation far removed from the green and pleasant lands of the first two instalments of Ellie’s dreamworld adventures. Instead, visitors find themselves in a desert-like, ghostly landscape, heavy with a dusty haze (I recommend exploring using the default windlight). Instructions on following the story can be found at the landing point – and should be read. In short, look for the little illuminated STORY stones set on the ground along the way, each one presents a chapter in the unfolding nightmare.

Another difference between this and Ellie’s previous adventures is that not only are the chapters presented in note card form when the stones are clicked, but approach a stone will trigger it being read to you – just have local sounds enabled (*not* the audio stream) to hear the readings. These readings can actually overlap one another, depending on how many are playing when you visit, and where you are in relation to the different stones. This might annoy some; for me, they actually added extra ambience: whispering ghostly voices, overlapping but each telling a story – if you listen carefully and focus on just one of the voices.

The Haze

The setting, with its deserting buildings, twisted trees, creatures and ruins, presents an eerie landscape, barren despite the trees – which appear a sickly yellow-green, rather than the usual robust green of fir-trees.  It’s a haunting place in which scenes loom up at you. They can seem disjointed, sudden – and very nightmare-like for doing so. Amidst all the rocks and fir-trees, seemingly dead trees also sit, their branches denuded of leaves, left to form easels on which groups of Silas’ drawings sit. These also have little STORY stones alongside of them which, when touched, will deliver background notes on a scene to you in note card form, adding further depth the the story.

Silas’ art is as captivating as ever – and there is a lot to see from buildings to gnomes to creatures to rocks (someone them resembling creatures) to people awaiting discovery. The 2D art forming the background stories is cleverly presented and offers an illustrative style reminiscent of a storybook – so thoroughly in keeping with the setting. He and CK have created an immersive tale, one which invites exploration  – and be sure to keep an eye out for the Boogeyman and also the dragon rezzer – the latter will allow you to fly up to the higher reaches of the setting, unreachable by foot, and essential to the story.

The Haze

Also when visiting, don’t miss the UP teleport at the landing point – it will take you to a sky gallery where you can find CK’s own art, more from Silas as well as from other artists, all taken from CK’s personal collection.

Related Links

Holiday Trace in Second Life

Holiday Trace; Inara Pey, December 2017, on FlickrHoliday Trace – click any image for full size

Update: Holiday trace is now closed, and Secret Charm is under now ownership.

Over the years, a visit to The Trace family of regions – The Trace, The Trace Too, Summer Trace, Fall Trace, Winter Trace – has always been a pleasure. I’ve written about these regions, which were started by Kylie (Kylie Jaxxon), then became a partnership between her and  Elvira Kytori, on numerous occasions in this blog. So, it was with delight that I received news from Shakespeare that there is another in the series – Holiday Trace – now open for visits, and made a point to hop over and explore with Caitlyn as soon as we could.

Given the time of year in the northern hemisphere, Holiday Trace is a wintry setting. Snow lies heavy on the ground and falls gently from a windless sky. Exposed water here is heavy with ice thick enough to skate on, and the sounds of the countryside are subdued.

Holiday Trace; Inara Pey, December 2017, on FlickrHoliday Trace

In the south-east corner of the region sits a little country train station, sitting quietly with a tavern, each waiting passengers or customers. The great black bulk of a DRD Arctic Express steam train stands at rest before the station, having emerged from a dark tunnel, the great lamp on the front of its huge boiler still lit.

Across the region to the west and over the snow blanketing the land, sit the house and barns of Christmas Tree Farm, which may beckon visitors to set out across country to visit them. Northwards from the station however, along a brickwork footpath one might find the way to the local chapel. The path may have been salted at some point, as the snow is having a hard time settling on it. Also, it doesn’t offer a direct route to the chapel.

Holiday Trace; Inara Pey, December 2017, on FlickrHoliday Trace

Instead, the path splits a short walk from the station and tavern, branching east and west to encircle a frozen pond where children skate. Nor does the path resume on the far side of the pond; visitors must walk through the snow and over an icy path (or is it another frozen body of water on which the snow has settled?

This route runs alongside a walled and fenced garden in which a fountain – drained, one might guess, for winter – before visitors arrive at the little chapel. Tall beech trees, barks frosted, branches bare, stand around the chapel as if protecting it. Between their stout trunks a rutted track winds westwards to where a covered bridge spans a narrow stream which feeds into a larger finger of water cutting into the land. A rowing boat is trapped in the frozen stream and a horse and sleigh might shortly vie for use of the track with a red pick-up truck that is coming up behind them.

Holiday Trace; Inara Pey, December 2017, on FlickrHoliday Trace

Laden with a fir-tree, the truck might be making its way to the chapel from Christmas Tree Farm, sitting a short distance from the western end of the track, where a Surrey-style carriage sits in the snow, also bearing a fir-tree and watched over by a fox and reindeer as Canada geese fly risk an low pass through a gab in the trees overhead.

With trees a-plenty, rocky cairns and step-like slabs covered in snow, whilst offering a home to foxes, deer, reindeer, dogs, and birds, Holiday Trace is a delightful winter setting. It’s a place where wanderers can wander, couples can cuddle (try the sleighs and the old cable car!), individuals can sit and ponder, and photographers capture the scenery and memories.

Holiday Trace; Inara Pey, December 2017, on FlickrHoliday Trace

SLurl Details