2018 SL UG updates #28/1: simulator user group / EEP

Aphantasia; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrAphantasiablog post

Sever Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates.

  • There was no SLS main channel deployment on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018, leaving regions on that channel running on server release 18#18.06.14.516450. However, due to the “14 day rule”, region on the main channel were restarted.
  • On Wednesday, July 11th, the release candidate channels should receive server update package 18#18.07.03.517389, comprising “additional internal tweaks”.

Both of the RC updates will include changes to the Animesh code currently deployed to the RC to allow better logging of Animesh related activities.

SL Viewer

At the time of writing, there had been no SL viewer updates to mark the start of the week, leaving things as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.6.516459 and dated June 15, promoted June 21 – formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate – No Change
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Quinquina Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.1.7.516813, released on June 22.
  • 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.

Environment Enhancement Project (EEP)

This is the project to introduce a set of environmental enhancements. Rider Linden is now engaged in internal testing a viewer supporting the new EEP capabilities, together with the server-side support. During the July 10th, 2018 SUG meeting, he provided a brief summary as to how the basics of EEP will work:

You can create what are called settings objects in your inventory. These settings objects [they are not prim-like not can they be rezzed in-world] represent either a water, a sky or a complete day cycle. We are providing interfaces that will let you set the parameters for each of these types of settings. (Very similar to the existing WL editors).

[Then,] from the context menu for a setting object you can apply it either to yourself, the parcel you are in or the region you are in. (The last two if you have rights to do so; you may also open the editor and a button there will let you apply to region or parcel as well).

Scripted support for EEP will be provided for agents (avatars) in experiences, but as I’ve noted in previous EEP updates in these pages, this scripted support will not be part of the initial EEP release, but will be added later.

Will there is now the ability to present different windlights at pre-set altitudes (to to 1,000m, then 1,000m up to 2,000m and then 2,000m up to 3,000m and 3,000m+), this may be seen as a less flexible approach that can be achieved through some third-party viewers, which allow much closer altitude zoning of windlight settings (e.g. have a windlight from, say 22m to 500m, another from 500m to 1,000m, etc.). .

The bar at Holly Kai park exemplifies a potential limitation of EEP. The bar is built-in to the base of a rock plateau, and currently, it is possible to define a viewer-side windlight that applies purely to the bar’s interior (i.e. up to a height of 32 metres above the sea floor). Above that limit (“above ground” so to speak), the parcel uses the same daylight windlight as the rest of the region. EEP’s 1,000 metre altitude zoning effectively prevents this.

How big an issue this might be remains to be seen – but it is not unfair to say there is a reasonable number of regions scattered across the grid where EEPs altitude zoning could force a repositioning of different sky builds using local windlights, should it become the only means of applying localised windlight – which might not be initially popular.

In Brief

Retrieving Grid Statistics Page via llHTTPRequest (see BUG-216320): trying to retrieve grid statistics via a script results in a 499 error, although queries via web browsers will still succeed. No remedial work has been done on this.

JIRA Bug report fields issue (BUG-1074): the fields used in the Create form for a bug report do not use the same titles as the fields seen in a filed bug report, nor are they in the same order. This makes submitting a bug report confusing for anyone not used to the SL JIRA (they can’t even look at a filed report to easily see what they sound be entering in the fields of the submission form). This is something the Lab might fix following the deployment of an upcoming JIRA update.

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Back into the Labyrinths of Sansar

Horizon Maze – that’s me, bottom centre, for a sense of scale

I recently wrote about my visit to the first prize winner in The Sansar Labyrinth Contest, which actually saw prizes awarded to a total of three among the various entries. Given that I did write about Abramelin Wolfe’s grand prize-winning entry The Secret of Mount Shasta, it seemed only fair I jumped back to Sansar and took a look at the second and third prize winners as well.

Horizon Maze

Horizon Maze is the third place entry, designed by Ecne. It’s an ingenious piece that, while lacking the direct challenges present in The Secret of Mount Shasta, makes up for it in presentation and design.

This is a compact, circular maze which may at first appear to be built along traditional lines. The aim is to get from the outer edge to the central ring, where a golden cup awaits. You can even freecam over the maze to get a feel for it before entering. It all sounds simple, except for two things.

Horizon Maze: the golden cup is your goal – if you can find your way to it and through the wall!

The first is that the maze comprises three concentric rings, revolving around a central axis. Moving between them requires finding one of several gateways in the ring you are in, then waiting for a gateway in the next ring to align with it, so you can step across.

The second is that the maze is on two levels – you must periodically take the stairs to the lower level and find your way around it. This may involve finding stairs back to the upper level, or it may mean finding another gate on the lower level where you can cross between rings. Nor is it all one-way; you may well have to move back out between ring in order to find the way back towards the waiting cup.

Horizon Maze: the lower tunnels

This all makes Horizon Maze a lot more complex a puzzle than first appears, so much so, that it can get a little confusing. To help people out, Ecne provides a number of maps inset into the floors of the rings at various points. These show both levels and mimic their rotation and also show where you are within the maze, allowing you to attempt to chart a course.

When you do get to the centre of the maze, there is one final challenge: getting past the wall separating you from the golden cup. The secret to doing this can b found both in the wall and on the floor of the path around it – but I’ll let you figure that out!

Ebucezam

Read the name of this entry by Tron backwards – maze cube – and you get pretty much was it is summed up in the title: a maze forming a roughly cube-like shape. The second prize winner in the competition is, like Horizon Maze, a compact design, but one which uses more of a vertical approach to its design.

Ebucezam

In parts uniformly monochrome in styling, Ebucezam is a series of box tunnels and shafts laid out within the volume of a cubic shape. The aim is to get from the single entrance on the ground level to the single large room on the far side of the maze. All of which again sounds simple enough, so where’s the catch?

The catch is that to get from front to back across the maze, you also have to go up and down. This requires using the elevators scattered around the various tunnels, as well as jumping back down shafts. The elevators are colour-coded. White elevators are open to use from the start, but any other coloured elevator – denoted by the colour of the activation switch on the wall and the glow surrounding it – requires you first obtain the corresponding colour energy node.

Ebucezam

These nodes are scattered throughout the maze, so in order to get to the far size, you must first locate the power nodes so you can activate the various elevators.  You only need to find a colour node the once, though. As you approach it, a pop-up notification will inform you have obtained it, and it will then unlock any elevator of the same colour at any time. However, it does mean a lot of moving forward, searching, then potentially backtracking to find the right elevator, making this maze harder to complete than might first appear to be the case.

Thoughts

Both Ebucezam and Horizon Maze are interesting designs; however, I admit to fining Horizon Maze the more engaging of the two. While Ebucezam is a clever design, I found the constant back and forth to find energy nodes and then unlocking elevators came a tad repetitive – it would have been nice to have a little more variation in things. That said, Horizon Maze wasn’t without a slight fault of its own; a could of times when first stating into it, I slightly mistimed my moved between rings and ended up caught in the walls and forced to try walking between them until I eventually fell and was respawned at the start point. The lesson here: time you moves carefully and double-tap run to move between rings!

Ebucezam

Nevertheless, for those looking for something a little different to do in Sansar, Horizon Maze and Ebucezam are worth dropping into and trying out. Congratulations to both Ecne and Tron on their designs and prizes.

Experience URLS and Links