2019 OpenSimulator Community Conference December 14th / 15th

Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference

The 2019 OpenSimulator Community  Conference is in progress over the weekend of December 14th and 15th. An annual event, the conference focuses on the developer and user community creating the OpenSimulator software.  It is organised as a joint production by Core Developers of OpenSimuator and AvaCon, and this year is sponsored and supported by University of California, Irvine, Institute for Virtual Environments and Computer Games, together with members of the Opensim community.

The conference once again features business presentations, talks, panel discussions, workshops, social events and hypergrid activities, covering a wide range of subject areas, including education, social VR, using virtual worlds and environments for historical recreations – and much more besides.

You can find the full schedule of events on the OpenSimulator Community Conference website, together with instructions on how to log-in and join and of the sessions.  Those wishing to register and support the conference can do so through the registration page. This is not required, but those who are willing to do so help to cover the cost of running these conferences.

Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference
Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference

To encourage interest in the conference, there will be two social events held on Friday, December 13th (as well as during the conference itself). These are:

  • 14:00-16:00 PST- Tour of the International Spaceflight Museum in Kitely: ISM Exhibit Building Chair Mike Lorrey will personally lead and narrate a tour of the ISMuseum region in Kitely, with detailed explanations of the many exhibited rockets, spacecraft, and astronaut/pioneer exhibits. Come prepared to listen in voice. The first hour will be a tour with a considerable narrative explanation.Tour will be followed by a dance party in the Rocket Ring with DJ Rosa Alekseev.
    • Grid Name: Kitely – http://kitely.com.
    • Region Name: ISMuseum.
    • Parcel/Venue Name: ISMuseum Southwest,Rocket Ring.
    • HyperGrid URL: grid.kitely.com:8002.
  • 18:00-19:00 PST: Magnolia Gardens Party: explore Magnolia Gardens of Knowledge, interact with the Digital Teaching Assistants designed to guide new users learning to use the SceneGate Viewer, relax, fish, ride the jet skis, or dance the night away with music throughout.
    • Grid Name: Metaverse Depot.
    • Region Name: IMA Outpost Alpha.
    • Parcel/Venue Name: Magnolia Gardens.
    • Grid Website: http://grid.metaversedepot.com:8002/wifi/welcome.html.
    • HyperGrid URL: http://grid.metaversedepot.com:8002:ima%20outpost%20alpha.
    • Note: if you land in the default Depot region, select Magnolia Gardens on the quick teleport board; if you use the teleport system with the image, select Magnolia Gardens in the list then click the picture to teleport; if you arrive inside the lighthouse, click the yellow cylinder to teleport to the venue.

Related Links

Second Life 2019 Shop and Hop

Shop and Hop 2019

The end-of-year Shop and Hop event, organised by Linden Lab, opened it doors on Friday, December 13th, 2019 at 09:00 SLT.

This year  sees 120 content creators participating in the event, offering a minimum 20% discount on items and a free, non-group gift on offer to all shoppers (look for the Shop and Hop gift box). In addition, some merchants are offering additional gifts and freebies of their own.

Unsurprisingly, avatar fashion, accessories and wearables (hair, skins, make-up, hats, etc), dominate the event, while scattered throughout are indoor and outdoor furnishings, buildings and skyboxes,

For 2019, stores are spread across six regions – one up from 2019, comprising: Aurelian, Gilded, Gleaming, Golden, Halycon, and Tinseled. All of the shopping regions are bordered north and south by “overspill” regions. Should the region you’re attempting to reach be full, you may be redirected to one of the two landing areas for that region, where you’ll be greeted by the message:

Sorry, but you are in an overflow region. Feel free to cam around and window shop while you wait for a space to be available.

Shop and Hop will remain open through until Monday, January 6th, 2020, so shoppers will hopefully have time to explore, by their gifts (or treat themselves!).

Shop and Hop SLurls

All of the regions are rated General.

Cica’s Donkeys in Second Life

Donkeys by Cica Ghost – The Sim Quarterly

Cica Ghost returns to The Sim Quarterly with a new installation. Donkeys opened on Thursday, December 12th, and it is once again a delightful and light-hearted installation. As the name suggests, it is a place with a certain focus on domesticated equus africanus asinus. However, within it, visitors can find nods to many of Cica’s past installations and work, all of which means that it is place that is guaranteed to raise a smile, whether as a result of discovering Cica’s work for the first time, or because of the Donkeys and their heart-warming looks or because of the flashes of recognition brought about when coming across those familiar touches.

The donkeys, with their oversized ears and curious, confused looks, sit within a grassy, hilly land from which palm trees rise. Around this landscape sit Cica’s familiar finger-like houses, some of which are closed, others of which offer little vignettes. Ladders climb up to some, while others sit close enough to the ground to be entered without assistance.

Donkeys by Cica Ghost – The Sim Quarterly

Within these houses are interactive elements – seats, dances, surprises – and reminders of works like 50 Cats (see 50 cats in Second Life) and Strings (see: Cica’s beautiful Strings and stories). When exploring, it is essential you mouse over almost everything in sight in order to find opportunities for sitting and dancing – and for hanging around! For those who prefer, three sailing boats sitting on the waters around the island each offer a little perch from which to watch the comings and goings of others.

But really, it is the donkeys that hold  the attention; there is something quite touching about their soulful and at times slightly confused or worried looks; it’s hard not to to be drawn to them. Watched over by seagulls and some of Cica’s snails, they stand on their own or in little groups as if conversing. Nor are they entirely static – mouse over some and you’ll find additional sit points and poses.

Donkeys by Cica Ghost – The Sim Quarterly

Following on from Rocks, Cica’s previous installation at The Sim Quarterly, Donkeys is another charming setting – one that offers just the right amount of lightness and cause for smiles given the time of year. When visiting, it is recommended you have local sounds enabled.

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2019 Content Creation User Group week #50 summary

Shadowlands Retreat, October 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from my audio recording of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, December 12th 2019 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.

Environment Enhancement Project

Project Summary

A set of environmental enhancements (e.g. the sky, sun, moon, clouds, and water settings) to be set region or parcel level, with support for up to 7 days per cycle and sky environments set by altitude. It uses a new set of inventory assets (Sky, Water, Day), and includes the ability to use custom Sun, Moon and cloud textures. The assets can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others, and can additionally be used in experiences.

Due to performance issues, the initial implementation of EEP will now likely not include certain atmospherics such as crepuscular rays (“God rays”).


Current Status

  • Bug fixing continues – the estimate is around 18 or so bugs the Lab would like to resolve prior to any potential release.

Project Muscadine

Project Summary

Currently: offering the means to change an Animesh size parameters via LSL.

Current Status

  • Still on hold due to the focus on ARCTan.
  • There are still requests to allow attachments on Animesh items.
    • This is something Vir hopes to look at in detail later in Muscadine.
    • It may require attachments to be handled differently to how they are managed with avatars.


Project Summary

An attempt to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering both. The overall aim is to try to correct some inherent negative incentives for creating optimised content (e.g. with regards to generating LOD models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).

Current Status

  • Vir is working on getting things to a state where he can do so practical testing over the holiday period to ensure the relevant data is being collected. This is dependent on whether he has the time to confirm the internal version of the viewer is logging everything it needs to be logging.
  • The work is still very much focused on the data collection aspect, rather than doing anything with the data that is gathered.
  • It is not currently clear whether the ARCTan work will appear in a dedicated project viewer or will form a part of a Maintenance viewer update.

Texture Caching and Loading

  • LL is working on a viewer intended to improve texture loading and texture caching (the latter as part of a general overall of how the viewer caches data).
  • This will hopefully include a rethinking of the order in which textures are loaded (e.g. objects  / faces that all use the same texture may all have that texture loaded together/in sequence, rather than the texture having to be re-loaded each time it is encountered).
  • The improvements should see textures load faster in general. In particular, there is a re-examination of some of the “optimisation” work previously done with textures, as this might actually now be slowing things down, so the hope is the new viewer will streamline how textures are handled and loaded in general, so bringing about improvements.
    • An example of this is switching the viewer from downloading a texture (or grabbing it from cache) and rendering it incrementally to just letting it grab the entire texture, particularly now that most broadband connections will allow this without it becoming a significant bottleneck.
    • This will allow a significant reduction in the amount of checking and re-checking the viewer has to carry out when obtaining and loading textures, which can have an impact.
  • Hopefully, the viewer will also improve the texture load order (e.g. those textures nearest to you or filling your immediate field of view, such as a vendor board on a wall, will be loaded and rendered first, rather than waiting for other textures loading first).
  • There is currently no date on when this viewer might surface for public use.

A Northern Shore in Second Life

Northern Shore, December 2019 – click any image for full size

On Sunday, December 8th, 2019 Elvira Kytori opened Northern Shore, a Full region forming part of her White Dunes estate. Primarily a residential region, it offers some waterfront public spaces.

Normally I’d be hesitant in blogging a region like this, simply because the public areas are so localised, and there is a risk of visitors accidentally intruding into tenant’s homes. However, Northern Shore  – as is often the way with Elvira’s designs – offers something just that little bit different.

Northern Shore, December 2019

To get directly to the point, Northern Shore is inspired by Stockholms skärgård, the Stockholm archipelago. The largest archipelago in Sweden, comprising approximately 24,000 islands and islets. Many are home to private houses, villages and small towns, and during the winter, the sea between come of the islands can freeze over. Most interestingly, all the the isles in the chain are subject to Allemansrätt (or “everyman’s right”), a law which gives anyone the right to go ashore or anchor on any ground not in the direct vicinity of buildings.

It is the rich diversity of islands within the archipelago that Elvira has sought to capture within the confines of a single region – and she has done so exceptionally well. Scattered across Northern Shore in such a way as to look entirely natural, is a series of islands and islets of varying sizes with rocky outcrops spaces around them. Some of these islands – notably the larger ones – have the rental properties on them, others off tributes to the fishing and formed a part of Skärgården’s history.

Northern Shore, December 2019

The landing point is to be found on one of the largest two islands in the group. It faces a broad, iced-over channel to face the waterfront of the other large island. Both offer working wharves for fishing boats – although none will be putting to sea given the presence of the ice. Wharves extend out into the waters, while boathouses, cabins, and places of business line the shore, although the paths and walks linking them are few: visitors must pick their way over the rocks in places.

Inland from these lie the rental houses, all of which are wooden built, their exterior boards painted in what might be seen as a “typical” Scandinavian look. These sit within their own parcels, many of which can be distinguished by gate and fence or line of trees; others may not be so obviously demarked – hence the need for care when exploring.

Northern Shore, December 2019

Travelling between islands is a matter of walking on the ice – or, if you prefer, by skating (which is welcomed) by those with skates. But again, be aware that several of the smaller, outer islands are also given over to rentals and may not offer much in the way of public spaces.

For those interested in living within this northern winter setting, the parcels in the region can be rented via the mail boxes on their walls. For those who enjoy photography, images can be submitted to the White Dunes estate Flickr group. While for those who enjoy exploring Second Life, the region makes for an engaging visit.

Northern Shore, December 2019

With thanks to Shawn for the pointer!

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