A novel lifeboat system for Second Life

The WALT lifeboat with launch cradle / crane in the background

Ape Piaggio has released a curious – and possibly niche – product in the form of the WALT Deeplag Horizon lifeboat. It’s a product I was able to observe during development, and got to play with during pre-release.

Originally developed as a part of an oil rig emergency / evacuation game Ape developed with Analyse “Bandit” Dean, the Deeplag Horizon (name that might be a little raw in some cases) is primarily at those who may be involved in SLCG / SAR role-play, and who want to add some training capabilities for oil rig evacuations, etc. However, it is a versatile kit, so might have wider appeal, possibly as a lifeboat for large-scale SL boats – although I note this with a caveat.

Costing L$3,000 and available (at the time of writing, at least) through Ape’s in-world store, Deeplag Horizon comes in a neat little package comprising a boxed model of the craft sitting on one of its launch cradles. This contains:

  • Three versions of the lifeboat:
    • The Regular version, seating a total 15 avatars and suitable for general evac / reuse role-play.
    • An eXtra version, that is identical to the one above, but with additional singles and couples animations.
    • Short version, seating only 9, and potentially suited for use as a vessel lifeboat.
  • Two launch cradle / crane variants – these function identically, and are distinguished only by the placement of the support legs.
  • A HUD for the launch cradle / crane.
  • A coalesced Lifeboat Crane Tower.
  • A WALT Adjust Tool Box to assist with adding your own animations to the boat.
  • A textures set.
  • The user manual.
The two sizes of the WALT lifeboats: the R/X variant (top) and the S with one of the side egress doors open

The Lifeboats

This is a quick overview, the lifeboat (particularly the X version) packs a lot into it – all of which is covered in the user manual.

Outside of the differences noted above, all three lifeboats offer the same overall boxy look typical of these craft, together with the bare bones interiors that speak to function rather than comfort. The side egress doors and rear entry / egress doors open, as do the hatches for accessing the engines, air tanks, etc., while the gauges and indicators on the control panel all work (as do the light switches), offering the potential for Mouselook driving.

Obviously, given their function is to save lives in the event of a disaster, these lifeboats are not going to zip you around Blake Sea at a high rate of knots. However, they will pootle along nicely, with a top speed of 9 knots. Handling at lower speeds is very tight – the smaller of the two designs will literally turn on a sixpence (or dime for my American cousins) and the larger one not far off.

Both chat and dialogue menu commands can be used with the boats, the latter called by touching anywhere on the boat’s superstructure other than the doors. As is usual with boats, the ↑ and ↓ keys (or W and S) will increase / decrease the throttle (with reverse engaged on using ↓ with the setting at 0), whilst ← and →  will activate the steering. In addition, PAGE UP will jump the throttle directly to 100% and PAGE DOWN will cut it to 0%, bringing the lifeboat to a stop once its momentum has been lost.

The interior of the large versions of the lifeboat, with one of the floor panels lifted to give access to the RP air tanks

For those who wish, control of the boat can be handed off to someone else, and the Settings and Accessories options provide additional options, such as enabling / disabling rocking when the boat is on the water (Accessories) and inverting the rudder movement when the boat is in reverse (Settings) – handy when using a forward-facing camera when the boat is moving backward, if the “inverted” nature of turning when reversing confuses you, and more besides.

The Launch Cradle / Crane

This is a fun part of the system, a combined system for launching and recovering lifeboats. There are three ways to operate the launch cradle / crane: via the Crane HUD, directly by touching the crane to access its menu, or by accessing the crane’s menu through the boat’s menu. Of these, the HUD is a little less efficient on initial use, as the cradle / crane must be switched on to work – and this requires using the menu.

Once turned on, a lifeboat can be mounted in one of two ways: by rezzing one in place via the Rez Menu (note this has several options – refer to the user manual for further detail on these), or by pulling one from inventory and placing it on the water under / in front of the cradle / crane. The latter is the best way to get familiar with operations. Again, the instructions in the user manual are clear, and don’t need to be repeated here.

The Small variant of the lifeboat sitting in the launch cradle

When using the cradle / crane, it look a lot better if there is a reasonable degree of elevation between the cradle and the water – 5 metres is a good height – or the additional tower can be used.

Continue reading “A novel lifeboat system for Second Life”

2021 SUG meeting week #19 summary

Elvion, March 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The majority of the discuss was about the advantages of scripted ability to manipulate hover height.

Server Deployments

At the time of writing, there had been no server deployment thread available for review.

  • Tuesday, May 11th saw no deployment to servers on the Main SLS channel previously updated to server maintenance package 558586, in week #18.
  • Wednesday, May 12th should see the RC channels updated to server release 559341 – for more on this, see below.

Server Update 559341

This update introduces a new Experiences-related LSL function, llOpenFloater();. When invoked, it sends  a message to the owning Agent’s viewer, instructing it to open a new browser floater pointed at the URL provided by the LSL script, if the owning Agent’s viewer understands that request.

However, it is important to note that the capability is restricted to Linden-owned Experiences – which are also called privileged experiences – and (in difference to Maestro Linden’s request for feedback on wider applications found in the deployment thread) is not being opened for general use, as the Lab is aware of the potential risks in doing so (e.g. DDOSing / doxing attacks).

As the deployment thread notes, the primary reason for deploying the function is that it will be used with the upcoming work related to the new user experience, which should be deployed this summer.

Group Chat

During the meeting, Simon Linden had this to say on the subject of Group chat:

We just updated the last set of chat servers for this round. I’m not going to promise this will fix group chat, I’ve done this enough times to know that’s not good to say. But I sure hope it helps.

SL Viewer

The start of the week has seen no updates to the current crop of official viewers, leaving the pipelines as follows:

  • Release viewer: Eau de Vie Maintenance viewer, version 6.4.18.558266, dated April 23, promoted April 29 – No change.
  • Release channel:
    • Project UI viewer, version 6.4.18.558718, issued May 3.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 viewer, version 6.4.18.558365, dated April 22.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.18.558441, dated April 21.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

Video

The following video of the meeting is courtesy of Pantera Północy.

Viewing a bare canvas in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: White Canvas

The latest exhibition to come to Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by Dido Haas, is once again intriguing in subject. Put together at short notice by Diconay Boa Cross (Diconay Boa), White Canvas takes tattoos as its theme – a subject which itself is richly evocative, and has potential to be provocative in a number of ways.

The liner notes for the exhibition point to some of the many reasons we may get a tattoo. It’s also true that the tattoos we get can elicit a range of reactions: admiration, repulsion, acceptance, rejection, attraction – perhaps even predatory – and so on. Hence their evocative / provocative duality.

However, with the body as a living canvas, tattoos can also be genuine genre of art; the professional tattoo artist can wield their coil machine, use its needles and inks with the consummate skill of a skilled painter – and, with the right subject – produce pieces as exquisite as any Monet or challenging as any Picasso.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: White Canvas

Second Life brings this latter aspect of tattoo art particularly to life, and with a none of the pain that the recipient might otherwise have to face, and none of the limitations the artist may have to deal with as a result of fears over said discomforts. True, the tools of the trade might be GIMP, PhotoShop and an keyboard and / or tablet – but the results are the same.

A further advantage with tattoos in Second Life is that wee are able to change our tattoos as easily as changing a pair of earrings or cufflinks in the physical world. hence why, perhaps, that Diconay refers to tattoos jewellery for the Skin.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: White Canvas

The images presented in White Canvas bring to the fore the artistry involved in virtual tattoos – but this in turn echoes the beauty that can be achieved through the application of ink via needle. There is a lean towards the more exotic / erotic nature of tattoos in the framing of the images, which tends to separate them from the supplied liner notes for the exhibition rather than allowing the latter help to extend appreciation of the former.

However, this was an exhibition put together as something of a last-minute affair: Diconary and her SL partner Goodcross were actually due to exhibit at the gallery later in the year, but following an eleventh-hour drop-out, Diconary stepped into the breach so that Dido wasn’t faced with a missed exhibition, so allowances should be made for any apparent disconnects.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: White Canvas

Engaging and artistically framed, this is an exhibition that pays homage to tattoos in Second Life as a means for us to express ourselves and stands as a statement to the skill of a very talented avatar photographer.

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A touch of sci-fi, folk tales and myths

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.

Monday, May 10th: 19:00 Saturn Rukh

In an unspecified time in the future, a team of astronauts is sent to Saturn on what could be a one-way mission. Financed by a multi-national consortium, their mission is to establish a factory in to upper reaches of the planet’s atmosphere where it can “mine” Saturn’s abundant helium to produce “meta” (nitro-stabilised metastable helium), a powerful propellant.

If they are successful, each of the astronauts stands to earn a billion dollars on their return to Earth. The catch? They only have sufficient fuel to reach Saturn – they must use the factory to produce the fuel needed to make their return to Earth.

However, things go awry when the mission enters the Saturnian atmosphere – and crash-lands on the back of an enormous creature that “swims” through the atmosphere. Another of the creatures – which appear to be semi-intelligent and which the astronaut dub “Rukh” – swallows some of the mission’s equipment, leaving the team with no choice but to attempt to establish communications with the creatures and attempt to recover their equipment.

Join Gyro Muggins as he reads the last full-length novel by physicist and author Robert L. Forward.

Tuesday, May 11th 12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym, Live in the Glen

Music, poetry, and stories.

Wednesday, May 12th, 19:00: When You Trap a Tiger

When Lily and her family move in with her sick Halmoni (grandmother), a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history.

Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers and now the tigers want it back. So the tiger visiting has arrvied with an offer for Lily: return what Halmoni stole in exchange for the return of her health Halmoni’s health.

It is a tempting offer; but deals with magical tigers are not always what they appear to be. So Lily must, with the help of her sister and her friend Ricky, find her voice and her courage, and face whatever trickery the tiger may conjure.

Caledonia Skytower reads the 2021 2021 Newbery Medal winning story by Tae Keller.

Thursday, May 13th 19:00: Antues, Part 2

Shandon Loring  tells the story of the monster and anti-hero from Bernard Evslin’s compendium of lore. (Also in Kitely).

Special Announcement

Tea-Time at Seanchai returns on Sunday, May 16th at 13:30 SLT, featuring American Fairy Tales, a collection of twelve fantasy stories by L. Frank Baum, published in 1901 by the George M. Hill Company.

2021 viewer release summaries week #18

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates from the week ending Sunday, May 9th

This summary is generally published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Release viewer: Eau de Vie Maintenance viewer, version 6.4.18.558266, dated April 23, promoted April 29 – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • Kokua updated to version 6.4.18.47296 (no RLV) 6.4.18.50452 (RLV variants) on May 4th – release notes.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

A tropical paradise in Second Life

The Sim Quarterly: Krak Bak Caye, May 2021

Come with me on an ocean of blue,
Where the Sun always shines and there’s nothing to do.
Where the water is warm and there’s nothing to do,
Will you come, will you come, with me?

OK, so Roger Whittaker wrote those words in reference to the beaches of his beloved Kenya, but they hold true for many a tropical paradise in the world, including Caye Caulker, the 8 kilometre long limestone coral island off the coast of Belize.

Those who have had the good fortune to visit Belize will know that it can be a place to escape the world and its worries, offering the visitor every luxury and opportunity for unique experiences (ever dreamed of renting a waterside cabana where each morning, the dolphins arrive and call for you to come and swim with them?).

The Sim Quarterly: Krak Bak Caye, May 2021

For those who haven’t had the opportunity to travel to Belize or its islands – particularly tiny Caye Caulker – then from now through until later July, then can visit it in spirit, thanks to the latest installation to arrive at Electric Monday’s Sim Quarterly. This is because the region has been gloriously transformed into the island of Krak Bak Kaye, inspired by Caye Caulker, to offer the chance of glorious escape.

Come with me finding tropical fish
That dance on the sea, whenever you wish.
At the end of your line is your supper-time dish,
Will you come, will you come, with me?

The Sim Quarterly: Krak Bak Caye, May 2021

On arrival at the landing point above the region, visitors will be offered a tourist brochure in the form of a HUD, and have the choice of taking two “flights” down to the island via floatplane Just click the signs next to each aircraft to be teleported to the beach or to the little Main Street that captures the essence of the older parts of Caye Caulker Village (admittedly, as the island has gained popularity, so has the number of hotels grown around the settlement, which has expanded well beyond what it once was).

From either point of arrival, visitors can roam freely and enjoy any of the opportunities the island offers: wind surfing, boating, fishing, swimming, diving Via the deep lagoon that sits off-shore – so be sure to pack your swimsuit when paying a visit!

The Sim Quarterly: Krak Bak Caye, May 2021

You can watch the weary world turning on its own.
Let somebody else pick up that silly telephone.
You can stretch yourself and laugh in the morning Sun.
You can smile, you can take a boat and sail for a while.
You can smile!

Gentle on the eye and the computer and rich in authenticity, Krak Bak Kaye is a perfect getaway – so why not book your ticket today?

The Sim Quarterly: Krak Bak Caye, May 2021

Lyrics to Come with Me by Roger Whittaker, from the album Roger Whittaker in Kenya (1982).

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