2021 SUG meeting week #10 summary

Mount Campion National Forest: Roscommon Ridge – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, March 9th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting.

Server Deployments

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

  • Tuesday, March 9th saw the servers on the SLS Main channel updated to server release 556255, containing “some internal tweaks related to launching region”.
  • There are no planned RC channel deployments scheduled for Wednesday, March 10th.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current pipeline of official viewers at the start of the week, leaving them as follows:

  • Current release viewer: version (Jelly Doll improvements) originally promoted February 17th, and re-established as the default viewer following the rollback of the Simple Cache viewer.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version, March 4.
    • Maintenance RC viewer – Eau de Vie, version, released March 4.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 project viewer, version, February, 23, 2021.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16, 2019.

Region Crossings

A simulator version currently in QA at the Lab has some region crossing changes in it. It is hoped the updates will take some of the load off of agents trying to enter crowded regions. The engineering team also intend to look at the protocol for moving an agent from region to another; however, this is viewed as “a much larger project” that has yet to be started.

In Brief

  • Group chat is being tweaked. It is hoped that an update will be ready for deployment Soon™.
  • Map tiles continue to be worked on, but not fully fixed. However, some updates to the World Map are being seen.
  • HTTP 5xx errors: some with internal services reliant on external web pages for data have been seeing an uptick in 5xx HTTP errors (see BUG-229660 and BUG-230059 as examples). Some this may be more directly related to the external service hosting the web pages (Cloudflare), while some are apparently seeing 503 errors when regions are down (rather than 404s), but are seeing recoveries once the region is back.
  • BUG-229871 TP issues: some people are experiencing teleport issues whereby they cannot teleport back to any region they’ve previously successfully teleported to previously in the same session, but are disconnected. This is being investigated. It has been suggested by some users the issue might be related to a past similar issue that was the result of a local firewall or router setting issue.

A little amusement at GEL Park in Second Life

GEL Park, looking towards Space and Funland, March 2021

Sitting within the GEL residential community that spans some 40-ish regions, GEL Park is billed as an all-mesh public amusement park that offers some 26 different rides for the enjoyment of all who visit. It grabbed my attention after appearing in the Recently Added section of the Destination Guide, so over the weekend, I suggested to Caitlyn we hop over and take a look.

Utilising the entire ground level area of a Full private region and extending into the air overhead, the park is laid out in the manner of many a physical world amusement park – as anyone who has been to the likes of Disneyland, Six Flags Alton Towers and so on will likely recognise. There’s the familiar “main street” style of entrance next to the landing point, complete with mini arcades and store spaces (some of which are available for rent), with the rest of the region divided into five areas: Space, Adventure, Imagine, Yesterland and Funland.  There’s even a cable car to help give the sense of arriving from a distant car park.

GEL Park, March 2021

Most of these areas carry something of a theme to them. For example, Space has a distinctly futuristic look to it and features rides related to rockets, etc., that culminate in the region’s version of Space Mountain. Meanwhile, Yesterland takes a trip into the past with rides themed on ancient Egypt, Vikings and Atlantis. However, there is some degree of cross-over: Funland for example, includes Torgon’s Space Ride, whilst it is hard to miss the Stagate franchise references in a couple of Yesterland’s ancient Egypt themed rides.

While there is a lean towards rollercoasters, the park does offer a good mix of rides large and small, and anyone who enjoys amusement parks in the physical world will feel right at home among the dodgems/bumper cars, drop rides, pendulums and spinning rides,  and so on to be found here.

The rollercoasters themselves come in both of the common varieties: those with cars on the track and those with cars suspended from the track. Some have apparently been specially built for the park, others are commercially available and some have a touch of history to them. Torgon’s Space Ride, for example, first appeared at SL13B, and I can recall riding it there and am pleased to say it is as enjoyable now as it was then.

Yesterland, GEL Park, March 2021

There are a number of different approaches taken in how the different rides operate. Several will start automatically, waiting a number of seconds before setting off; some require you manually start them either via chat or the use of a supplied HUD, and some are triggered through the use of a local experience.

The latter are generally the rides that are located on sky platforms above the region, the experience intended to move you relatively seamlessly between ground and ride and back again. You’ll be asked to join it the first time you pass into the ground-level entrance for one of these rides (indicated by an area of deep shadow you’ll need to walk through); thereafter the experience will freely move you back and forth as required without any prompting or clicking.

The best way to appreciate most of the rides is to switch to Mouselook view, as this gives a more realistic sense of actually being on the ride (screen allowing), although a couple can result in a certain motion-induced giddiness, so a little care might be needed. Some rides will automatically drop you into Mouselook when you sit on them, others may require you to toggle it yourself.

Imagine, GEL Park, March 2021

This being SL, some of the rides can have the odd case of the jitters or have one or two small oddities (one rollercoaster is so compact, part of it seem to slice through you as you ride it!) but none of these hiccups actually prevent enjoyment of any given experience. My only real niggle was that I found the Haunted House ride in Adventure to be just that little bit too long (but then, I also feel the same way about LL’s annual Haunted House ride that rolls out each October).

Should the rides all get a little much, the north-east corner of the region presents Imagine, a garden space to wander within. This is home to paths, sculptures and water features, with places to sit and just unwind for a bit. It is also home to the Imagine Theatre, which I assume is home to dance productions and events – there is a auto-subscription board to one side of the theatre stage for the Imagine Dance update group (touching the board again will allow you to unsubscribe).

GEL Park – a Mouselook view whilst inverted in a loop, March 2021

Amusement parks are not new in Second Life (I’ve covered a number previously in these pages), and can be hit-and-miss events for visitors. However, GEL has a clean, open design that makes for an easy, fun visit, and aside for the minor hiccups mentioned above, all the rides worked for us.

SLurl Details

  • GEL Park (GEL Community 38, rated General)

Poetry, music and science fiction in Second Life

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home in Nowhereville, unless otherwise indicated. Note that the schedule below may be subject to change during the week, please refer to the Seanchai Library website for the latest information through the week.

Tuesday, March 9th

12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym, Live in the Glen

Music, poetry, and stories in a popular weekly session.

19:00: Variable Winds

A continuing experiment in poetry, music, and communal dances with Ktadhn Vesuvin.

Wednesday, March 10th, 19:00: The Guns of Avalon

Across the worlds of Shadow, Corwin, prince of blood royal, heir to the throne of Amber, gathers his forces for an assault that will yield up to him the crown that is rightfully his. But, a growing darkness of his own doing threatens his plans, an evil that stretches to the heart of the perfect kingdom itself where the demonic forces of Chaos mass to annihilate Amber and all who would rule there.

One of the most revered names in sf and fantasy, the incomparable Roger Zelazny was honoured with numerous prizes—including six Hugo and three Nebula Awards—over the course of his legendary career. Among his more than fifty books, arguably Zelazny’s most popular literary creations were his extraordinary Amber novels. The Guns of Avalon is the second book of The Chronicles of Amber.

With Corwyn Allen.

Thursday, March 11th:

19:00: Star Wars a New Hope

The story that started a saga with the immortal words:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away…

Join Sandon Loring and Caledonia Skytower as they bring us the story of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and two certain ‘droids as they fight for the Rebellion against the tyranny of the Galactic Empire. Also in Kitely! Find teleport from the main Seanchai World grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI.

21:00 Seanchai Late Night

Finn Zeddmore presents contemporary Sci-Fi-Fantasy from such on-line sources as Light SpeedEscape PodClarkesworld Magazine, and more.