Aech’s Basement: a new Sansar RPO experience

Aech's Basement, Sansar; Inara Pey, March 2018, on FlickrSansar: Aech’s Basement – click on any image for full size

Thursday, March 29th marked the US opening of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, the film based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name. Few can fail to have heard of either film or book – which features a VR “metaverse” made up of thousands of worlds, called OASIS. To mark the opening of the film, but with much less fanfare, Sansar Studios, the 3D / VR modelling and experience design team at Linden Lab, recently opened Aech’s Basement in Sansar.

Described as being “interpreted from the original ILM design for Ready Player One, from Warner Bros. Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and Village Roadshow Pictures.” Aech’s Basement is the second Ready Player One experience to be presented by Sansar Studios, the first being Aech’s Garage (read here for more).

Aech's Basement, Sansar; Inara Pey, March 2018, on FlickrSansar: Aech’s Basement

I can’t speak for the movie as I’ve not seen it yet, but in terms of the book, and with one or two liberties taken to ease avatar movement, the experience hits pretty close to home. And like Aech’s Garage before it, there is a wealth of detail and subtle touches packed into it which are – for those with a keen eye and love of sci-fi and films or the 1980s – a treat to find.

Aech had named his chat room the Basement. He’d programmed it to look like a large suburban rec room, circa the late 1980s. Old movie and comic book poster covered the wood-panelled walls. A vintage RCA television stood in the centre of the room. hooked up to a Betamax VCR, a LaserDisc player and several vintage video game consoles. Bookshelves lined the far wall, filled with role-playing game supplements and back issues of Dragon magazine.

Ernest Cline, Ready Player One, Chapter 3

Aech's Basement, Sansar; Inara Pey, March 2018, on FlickrSansar: Aech’s Basement

Unlike the book, where avatars visiting Aech spawn at the top of the stairs leading down to the Basement, visitors to Aech’s Basement in Sansar spawn in the basement itself.  Walls panelled in wood, as per the book, it is literally chock-a-bloc with 80’s references. The RCA TV is there, although it has been moved against a wall, rather than occupying the centre of the room, its place taken instead by a sofa. However, the consoles are there on the floor in front of it – two Segas and what looks like (from a very quick Internet search, I confess to being no expert), a Mattel Intellivision. The 80’s posters are on the wall celebrating films of the era, and albums by popular 80’s musical artists are scattered around.

A little liberty has been taken with the video tapes, as they are VHS rather than Betamax, while against a wall near the spawn point sit racks of audio cassettes. The rest of the space – in suitably 80’s style lighting – is furnished as one would expect a den to be – large, plump sofas, armchairs past their prime, a games table and – against one wall, a bar.

Aech's Basement, Sansar; Inara Pey, March 2018, on FlickrSansar: Aech’s Basement

The Easter eggs are to be found all over – from the posters , albums and VHS films, through to models from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Battlestar Galactica, to space invaders climbing down a ceiling support – and more (I’m just not going to spoil the fun of finding them for yourself). I particularly like the election poster for Wil Wheaton (he of Star Trek the Next Generation fame, as well as a respected blogger, narrator of the Ready Player One audiobook and – in the novel – the vice-president of the OASIS User Council).

Connected to Aech’s Garage by a door at one end of the room, the Basement is a lot smaller than that experience, and can great a little crowded with more than half-a-dozen avatars in it; however, it is as visually rich. Sansar’s quirky interactive capabilities do mean things can get thrown around, but hopefully, this will improve as those interactive capabilities are refined.

Aech's Basement, Sansar; Inara Pey, March 2018, on FlickrSansar: Aech’s Basement

Sponsored by Intel, and licensed by Warner Brothers Entertainment, Aech’s Basement and Aech’s Garage make for an ideal joint visit to the world of Ready Player One, whether or not you’ve seen the film and – in the case of the Basement – especially if you’ve read the book.

Experience SLurl

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2018 SL UG updates #13/4: TPVD meeting

Cuivieenen; Inara Pey, February 2018, on FlickrCuivieenenblog post

The majority of these notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, March 30th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Time stamps in the text below will open the video in a new tab at the relevant point of discussion.

The meeting was reduced to under 15 minutes,with minor topics of discussion taking up the latter half. Please refer to the video for these.

Server Deployment Update

  • The Main (SLS) channel was updated on Tuesday, March 27th, to server release 18#18.03.14.513292, containing the new off-line IM and Abuse Report capabilities (see below).
  • The Magnum and LeTigre RC channels were updated on Wednesday, March 28th with server maintenance package 18#18.03.27.513831, containing internal fixes and the new off-line IM and Abuse Report capabilities (see below).
  • The BlueSteel RC was updated on Thursday, March 29th with server maintenance package 18#18.03.27.513838, comprising internal fixes.

SL Viewers

Viewer Pipeline

Note: At the time of the meeting, the viewer had just been approved for issue, but it wasn’t clear if it would be released before or after the Easter weekend. However, it was in fact issued after the meeting – see below.

[00:24-3:02] At the time of the meeting, the viewer pipelines were as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.2.512803, dated February 23, promoted March 1 – formerly the Nalewka Maintenance RC – No change
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Off-Line and Abuse Reports Capabilities

[0:44-1:36] Two new capabilities are now grid-wide:

  • The new IM cap is to overcome of off-line IMs failing to be delivered when a user logs in. Currently, these are delivered via UDP, whether or not the viewer is ready to receive them. With the new capability (once grid-wide and implemented within the viewer), the viewer will request off-line IMs, which the server will package and deliver to the viewer via HTTP.
  • The new abuse report cap will replace the need for the viewer to have AR categories hard-coded into it. Once fully deployed, and a viewer update released, it will mean the view will request the current list of AR categories from the server when starting up, making the management of the list easier, and hopefully reducing the number of ARs filed under outdated categories.

However, both require further revision, and they require viewer-side updates as well. These should be appearing in the next Maintenance RC viewer issued by the Lab.

Bakes on Mesh Project Viewer

The Bakes on Mesh project viewer, version 5.1.3.513936, was released on Friday, March 30th after the TPV Developer meeting had concluded.

From the release notes (link above):

Bakes on Mesh is a new feature to allow system avatar baked textures to be shown on mesh attachments. Currently you will need a special project viewer to use it. Bakes on Mesh does not depend on simulator code, so it should work in all regions and all grids.

Basic features

  • Any face of a mesh object can be textured using one of the server baked textures.
  • The corresponding region of the system avatar is hidden if an attached mesh is using a baked texture.

Benefits

  • Avoid the need for appliers -> easier customization workflow
  • Avoid the need for onion avatars -> fewer meshes, fewer textures at display time
  • Avoid the need to sell full-perm meshes. You can customize any mesh you have modify permissions for simply by setting the flags and equipping the appropriate wearables.

Avatar wearables are baked into six different textures (BAKE_HEAD, BAKE_UPPER, BAKE_LOWER, BAKE_EYES, BAKE_SKIRT, BAKE_HAIR) by the baking service. You can now apply these textures to your avatar’s object attachments’ diffuse texture slot. Right click on the attachment, click edit and from the edit face menu select textures. Click the diffuse texture icon to open up the texture picker. The texture picker has an extra radio button mode called ‘bake’ for selecting server bakes. The ‘bake’ radio button mode has a drop-down for selecting BAKE_HEAD, BAKE_UPPER, BAKE_LOWER, BAKE_EYES, BAKE_SKIRT, BAKE_HAIR server bake textures. When an attachment is using a baked texture, the corresponding base mesh region of the system avatar is hidden.

If a mesh face is set to show a baked texture but is not attached to an avatar, you will see a default baked texture. If you are using an older viewer without bakes on mesh support, then faces set to show baked textures will also display as the default baked texture, and base mesh regions will not be hidden.

Known Issues

Detaching a mesh object that’s using BAKED_HAIR, does not make the base hair region visible. You have to log back in or teleport again. This will be fixed in next release.

A filter for Bakes on Mesh JIRAs has been created by Whirly Fizzle.

 

This Weekend in Second Life Dance

Guerilla Burlesque - Cirque de Nuit - March 28 2018

Hi there. R. Crap Mariner, not just anybody’s Dance Corresponent… your Dance Correspondent. (Marvel insists on my not saying “friendly, neighbourhood” because some kid who throws globs of sticky gunk at criminals has it trademarked.)

Idle Rogue’s Cirque de Nuit opens this weekend. I hope you’ve got your seats booked.

I’ll be posting dance performance schedules, similar to Inara’s posts about Seanchai Library readings. We’ll start with the weekend events for now.

Let’s get started, here’s the events that I had on the calendar as of press time…


(All times SLT)

Friday, March 30 2018

6:00PM Elysium Cabaret

Elysium Cabaret – Welcome to the Weekend!

If it’s Friday, it’s Elysium Cabaret! Fancy some imagination? In The Empire Room at Copperhead Road, every Friday at 6pm SLT the dynamic performers of Elysium Cabaret take the stage to bring you a solid hour of entertainment! Featuring elaborate sets and choreography sequenced to an eclectic genre of music, Elysium Cabaret offers something for everyone. Grab your friends and get their early because the sim fills. Come celebrate Friday! Welcome to the weekend!

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Copperhead%20Road/74/64/2754

Elysium Cabaret - March 23 2018

7:00PM Idle Rogue’s Cirque De Nuit

Directed by Blaze DeVivre, with the assistance of Sho Kyong, and produced by chryblnd Scribe, this year’s production will feature new acts, new dancers, new art installations and perhaps a little something we haven’t done before.

Billed as “a steampunk circus in black and white”, Le Cirque de Nuit pays loose homage to The Night Circus, a novel by Erin Morgenstern, which tells the tale of an enchanted circus travelling the globe during the Victorian era. Our production features dance acts with themes of circus, illusion and steampunk, and the strictly black-and-white acts are interspersed by colourful art installations from Second Life artists and musicians.

Oh, and there’s a blog post.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Idle%20Rogue/63/242/3980

Saturday, March 31 2018

1:00PM Elysium Matinee

Elysium Cabaret is thrilled to present a matinée show for your entertainment pleasure, starting at 1pm! Featuring the very “Best Of” the past month’s shows plus special guests! We look forward to sharing our love of music and dance with you!

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Copperhead%20Road/74/64/2754

3:00PM Idle Rogue’s Cirque De Nuit

Directed by Blaze DeVivre, with the assistance of Sho Kyong, and produced by chryblnd Scribe, this year’s production will feature new acts, new dancers, new art installations and perhaps a little something we haven’t done before. I’m just throwing this sentence in to see if you’re actually reading, okay?

Billed as “a steampunk circus in black and white”, Le Cirque de Nuit pays loose homage to The Night Circus, a novel by Erin Morgenstern, which tells the tale of an enchanted circus travelling the globe during the Victorian era. Our production features dance acts with themes of circus, illusion and steampunk, and the strictly black-and-white acts are interspersed by colourful art installations from Second Life artists and musicians.

Have you read the blog post?

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Idle%20Rogue/63/242/3980

6:00PM Whymsee Noir

For the Let’s Dance show, we trade in our sets for MORE dancing and LESS wait time between songs! There will be lots of wiggling, dancing, physics, and a little dazzle thrown in for good measure! Dance along with us or have a seat in our comfy chairs, we like it when you watch! No naked avatars, just dancing. Come to the show and see what all the fuss is about!

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Whymsee/96/192/3286

7:00PM Moulin Rouge

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Moulin%20Rouge/172/131/31

7:00PM Idle Rogue’s Cirque De Nuit

Directed by Blaze DeVivre, with the assistance of Sho Kyong, and produced by chryblnd Scribe, this year’s production will feature new acts, new dancers, new art installations and perhaps a little something we haven’t done before.

Billed as “a steampunk circus in black and white”, Le Cirque de Nuit pays loose homage to The Night Circus, a novel by Erin Morgenstern, which tells the tale of an enchanted circus travelling the globe during the Victorian era. Our production features dance acts with themes of circus, illusion and steampunk, and the strictly black-and-white acts are interspersed by colourful art installations from Second Life artists and musicians.

Please, for the love of God, read the blog post.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Idle%20Rogue/63/242/3980

Sunday, April 1 2018

Nope. Nothing at all. Go up to your skybox and clean your inventory… okay, lamest April Fools joke ever.

5:00PM – Winds Of The Sahara

Each Sunday we have a shiny, new show at Winds of the Sahara Theatre. Our dances range from burlesque to performance art and you are sure to be amazed at all of the wonder that sets, costumes and music can create. We’ll put sparkles in your eyes and leave sequins on your shirt collars.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aladona/124/193/2001

7:00PM Idle Rogue’s Cirque De Nuit

Okay, fine. You don’t love me enough to read the blog post. I get it. I’m okay with it. I’ll find some way to survive.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Idle%20Rogue/63/242/3980

7:00PM The Art Factory

The Art Factory presents: The Greatest Showman! A show about Phineas T Barnum’s start with the circus we know today! This show will leave you inspired to be yourself! We promise to leave you stunned with razzle dazzle and songs that will make you dance in your seat! The show starts at 7pm slt but you may want to come a little early for a seat.

(Short shameful confession: At first, I thought it said “The Greatest Snowman.” I need new glasses.)

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Josina/188/161/22

The Art Factory - March 21 2018


I assume there will be a few more shows this week… folks are just taking their time getting the notices in, finishing up their routines… that sort of thing. I’d prefer to error on the side of caution and just post the ones confirmed at press time.

Check with the Dance Queens event calendar for updates and additions to the weekend’s schedule, as well as the many events that happen during the week. And then, next weekend… something extra-special is happening: The Festival of Saint Put Up Or Shut Up!

So, folks, is this useful? Let me know. Drop me an IM when you get to a show and that you enjoyed it.

Guerilla Burlesque - Cirque de Nuit - March 28 2018