Category Archives: News

Project Espeon: Experience enabled sits in Second Life

Experience scripted force sits - a new project from the Lab (image courtesy of Linden Lab)

Experience scripted force sits – a new project from the Lab (image courtesy of Linden Lab)

Update: thanks to the efforts of one or more juveniles, the proposal – originally referred to as a Google document in this article – has been converted to PDF format, and this article has been updated to reflect that fact, and how those with a genuine interest in the proposed capabilities can forward ideas and suggestions to the Lab.

Since the introduction of Experience Keys into Second Life to allow more convenient granting of permissions for the system to act on an avatar’s behaviour when engaged on a specific activity – such as a game or a tour – a commonly requested item has been the ability to for scripted forced sits to be made a part of the Experience process.

On Thursday, September 22nd, during the Server Beta user group meeting, Rider Linden announced he is working on just this capability – and that test regions are available on Aditi for Experience creators to test the capability as it stands.

The new LSL functions for Experience-enabled scripted forced sits form Project Espeon (after the Pokémon character). Rider has produced a proposal document on the new functionality, which can be read  in PDF format, which he introduces as follows:

With the advent of Experiences Keys we would like to be able to allow scripts being run as part of an experience to force an avatar to sit in a particular location.  This feature will be useful in an adventure game scenario where an avatar is forced to sit in a trap so that it may sync its animations with the avatar, or in an amphitheatre or classroom situation where a presenter wishes for all the other participants to remain seated.

We will add at least one new LSL script function that will force an avatar to sit on a particular prim and make adjustments to the existing llUnSit() function to perform the counter action.  

Within the document, Rider outlines the current APIs and functions related to sitting (llLinkSitTarget()llSitTarget()llSetSitText()llAvatarOnLinkSitTarget()llAvatarOnSitTarget() and llUnSit() ) which by affected by the new capability, before proposing a new series of APIs and behaviour changes to make Experience scripted sitting possible. At the time of writing this article, these new capabilities comprise:

  • llSitOnLink( )  – Function: integer llSitOnLink( key agent_id, integer link ); – mimic the behaviour of the rightclick “Sit Here” menu item.  The avatar specified by agent_id is forced to sit on the sit target of the prim indicated by the link parameter. If the specified link is already occupied the simulator will search down the chain of prims in the linkset looking for an available sit target, as per the diagram at the top of this article.
  • PRIM_ALLOW_UNSIT – to be added to llSetPrimitiveParams( ) – When set on a prim that is running a script as part of an experience an avatar that is seated on the sit target and has agreed to participate in the experience will be unable to stand, select another prim to sit on or teleport to another location in the same region (inter-regional teleports will act as normal).
  • PRIM_SCRIPTED_SITS_ONLY – to be added to llSetPrimitiveParams( ) – Agents may only be seated on this prim using llSitOnLink().  Attempts to do a manual sit will fail.  This flag applies even outside of an experience enabled region.
  • PRIM_SIT_TARGET – to be added to llSetPrimitiveParams( ) – The sit target if any defined for this prim.  If the active value is 0 the sit target is deactivated, if it is nonzero the prims sit target is set to the indicated offset and rotation. As with llLinkSitTarget(), these values relative to the prim, however unlike llLinkSitTarget() an offset of <0.0, 0.0, 0.0> may be explicitly set.

Note that the above is in summary only, please refer to the Google document for the complete specifics.

Test regions have been set-up on ADITI, the beta grid, and those interested in testing the capabilities should join the Second Life Beta group on Aditi for access. The test regions are: Leafeon or Umbreon or Sylveon, with test content is available on Leafeon. If you wish to have your own Experience added to the regions for testing, contact Rider via IM. Similarly, if you have any suggestions or ideas for improving the proposal document or the functions, should raise a JIRA.

With thanks to Whirly Fizzle.

Lab issues important update on Second Life viewer evolution

secondlifeLinden Lab have issued a blog post on upcoming changes / evolutions in the Second Life viewer, most of which will hopefully be familiar with readers of these pages – particularly my project updates and viewer notes.

In Important Viewer Evolution Update, the Lab outline three developments coming to the official viewer, and also indicate the ending of support for some versions of Windows and Mac OSX. The three developments are:

  • The Project Bento avatar skeleton extensions. For those needing an introduction to Bento, which adds enormous new capabilities to the SL avatar skeleton when working with mesh bodies and attachments, please refer to my Project Bento updates.
  • 64-bit viewer support. The Lab is working on 64-bit versions of the viewer for Windows and Mac. A project viewer is expected “real soon now”, and should offer much improved memory handling and reduced crash rates for 64-bit OS users. The 32-bit Windows version of the viewer will continue once the 64-bit arrive, and the Lab’s advice is that for those who can, to switch to 64-bit when available (or with a TPV, most of whom offer 64-bit versions).
  • Introduction of VLC for better media support. In April, Apple announced they were immediately ceasing support for QuickTime on Windows, leaving some potential security vulnerabilities unpatched (see my article here). As a result, the Lab has implemented media support using  LibVLC for Windows. A release candidate viewer is currently available via the Alternate Viewers wiki page. A Mac switch to VLC is anticipated when the 64-bit versions of the official viewer arrive

OS Support Changes

In the post, the Lab also announce that from this week (week #38 2016 at the time of writing) discontinuing support for the following operating system versions:

  • Windows Vista
  • Mac OS X versions less than 10.9.

The Lab note that the viewer may continue to operate on those OS versions which are no longer supported, but they won’t be testing against them or attempting to fix any compatibility issues related to them.

With this part of the announcement, the Lab note that Apple has released OSX 10.12 Sierra, which has caused some Mac users issues. They therefore offer this advice:

We do have reports that installing this upgrade will clear your Second Life inventory cache. Normally, that should only cause some performance impact as the cache is reloaded, but in some cases at least in current viewers it causes your avatar to appear as a cloud (see BUG-37653). The workaround is to open your Inventory, find an outfit folder, and drag the outfit folder onto your avatar; after this, you can modify your appearance using any of the usual methods.

Required Viewer Update

Finally, and as a result of recent and upcoming changes to the viewer, the Lab note that they will be making upgrades from any Viewer version older than 4.0.5 a required update, and in line with the ending of support for Vista and Mac OSX versions below 10.9, they have updated the SL system requirements.

Lab seeks Halloween photos for Second Life campaign

secondlifeSecond Life Community Manager Xiola Linden has blogged about an opportunity for residents to have their photographs featured in an upcoming Halloween e-mail and selected banner campaign.

In the post, Xiola notes:

Share your pic on our Official Flickr Page with the tag “SLHalloween2016” so that we can see all of your amazing work. You may submit as many as you like between now and October 5, 2016. Please include your avatar name in the image description so that we know who to credit!

We’ll showcase the chosen image(s) in an email to Residents, as well as in some banner campaigns. We’ll let the chosen image creators know via Flickr.

Images should be taken in-world and be Halloween themed in order to qualify. They should also be appropriate for all audiences.  Xiola also offers some submission tips:

  • Layout:
    • The main content of your image should be near the center and to the right of the image – similar to the images you’d see on the Second Life login page.
    • Horizontal images work best.
  • Show your avatar or avatars in a scene in-world – an image that tells a story is going to make an impression.
  • Keep your image free of additional text/logos.
  • Higher resolution images work best.

 

The official blog post includes a couple of example images to help visualise finished banners / headers.

So, if you fancy having a go – snap away, and good luck!

Ladyslipper Constantine: celebrating a life in Second Life

ladyslipperAs many of us are aware, long-time Second Life resident Ladyslipper Constantine passed away on Saturday, September 17th, 2016.

Having joined Second Life in May 2008 and deaf, Ladyslipper (or L.S., as she liked to be known, having taken her name from the flower of the US state she lived in for many year: Minnesota) quickly became involved with Virtual Ability  (you can read more about her on the VAI website), and also joined Burn 2, becoming a leading member of DRUM, as well as being a Burn2 Ranger.

In addition to these activities, Ladyslipper was very involved in Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education events, many Second Life Birthday celebrations, and more recently, with One Billion Rising.

Ladyslipper lost her life to cancer, passing away peacefully on the 17th, surrounded by loved ones. For all those who knew her, I’ve received notice from Gentle Heron of Virtual Ability that, VAI will be hosting a Celebration of Ladyslipper’s life on Saturday, October 1st, starting at 11:00am SLT on the north-east lawn of Virtual Ability island.

“The celebration will begin with some of her friends offering memories in text and voice,” Gentle says of the event, “because LS was part of the deaf community in SL. There will be a slide show of the many events LS participated in. And there will be music and dancing. LS loved a good party.”

To help with the celebration of Ladyslipper’s life, VAI are asking that if anyone does have  images of Ladyslipper at SL events which might be included in the slide show, to please consider passing them to iSkye Silverweb.

Further details can be obtained in-world from Gentle Heron, Eme Capalini, or Treasure Ballinger.

My condolences to Ladyslipper’s loved ones, and all who knew and worked with her.