Shippe & Saille Harbor Master in Second Life

The Shippe and Saille Harbor Master (Bimini and fishing rods deployed)

As a rule of thumb, I tend not to seek copies of items for review in these pages; those I do produce tend towards items I have purchased. The reason for this is because I feel I can give a fairer review if I’m writing about something I’ve purchased. That said, there are a couple of of exceptions to the rule, and I’m about to make a third in this case.

LadyJane Shippe sent me the latest from her Shippe and Saille brand, the Harbor Master, a slightly rescaled model of the Harbor Master 19, a dory style hulled cruiser with a forward cabin space, and itself based on the classic open Outboard Dory 18. It’s a small, fairly nimble craft driven (in the case of this version) by a 50 horse power outboard motor.

The Shippe and Saille (r) moored alongside the Bandit 170 at home, with the Bandit 580 behind them both

The S&S Harbor Master is reportedly 15% larger that its physical world equivalent, so as to present enough space for all sizes of human  avatars within the cabin and the covered pilot house. It is not, at first glance, a particularly elegant boat when compared to other cabin cruisers; the snub bow, forward placement of the cabin and high roof to the pilot house tend to give it something of an ungainly look. But looks, as the hoary old saying goes, can be deceptive.

Outside of the increase in size – which given it is proportional, isn’t that noticeable – this is a faithful reproduction of the Harbor Master 19, fully capturing the shape of the dory hull, the cabin and pilot house. The latter offers bench seating for two, and the cabin basic sleeping space for two – although the boat will carry up to three.  Behind the benches, the open cockpit offers room for equipment stowage, etc. A cooler box sits at the back of the cockpit, which might be considered at keeping drinks on ice or used to hold any fish caught when out and about.

Fishing aboard the Shippe & Saille Harbor Master

Fishing, because the boat is compatible with a number of Second Life fishing systems – WZW fishing, 7 Seas, and Goldtokens rod. Two rods can be rezzed in the holders towards the stern of the hull, and the pose system also include fishing poses that will auto-rez (temp) fishing rods. In addition, the user manual provides instructions on swapping the latter out for any preferred rods an owner might have.

Rezzing the two rods on the boat increases the LI from 31 to 34, which still leaves the boat a modest count in terms of LI. Other options that are included with it are a cockpit Bimini “raised” and “lowered” by the pilot’s chat command of “Bimini”, an opening /closing cabin skylight or door, and an anchor that can be raised / lowered, as can the outboard motor (the latter of which is raised by default on a fresh rezzing of the boat)., and the boat’s fenders. All of these, bar the cabin skylight and door, are activated via chat commands (the skylight by touch).

If rezzed out of Linden Water, the boat will raise itself and rez a 6 LI trailer underneath to support it

Handling-wise the boat follows the usual lines: the majority of commands are chat based, although some  – such as the lights – use the switches in the pilot house. the arrow / WASD keys handle steering and the throttle. The latter has four forward and four reverse settings (dead slow, slow, half, and full) sitting either side of the idle setting. Additionally, the Page keys can be used to rapidly toggled between idle and half speed (forward or reverse). In terms of driving, the boat is extremely responsive and the chat command for the camera can be used to help recover the camera position should things go sideways on a region crossing (including the “cc” command for any passenger – a nice touch).

Painting the boat can be handled in one of two ways. Those wishing to just change their Harbor Master’s name can use the hull texture included in the user guide. Those wishing to make more extensive changes can find a link to download a comprehensive set of texture and UV maps. As a copy / mod vehicle, this boat is also open to a degree of physical customisation – general guidelines are provided in the user guide for those wishing to do so.

The Shippe & Saille Harbor Master

Those who enjoy Get The Freight Out will find a GTFO option in the the Habor Master package. Once unpacked, simply add the script and GTFO item it contains to the boat’s contents, and your ready to use it with the game.

I’ve not used the Harbor Master extensively, having made fewer than a dozen runs in it – although three have been reasonably long distance across and around Blake Sea and along the coast of Nautilus. Throughout, I found the boat to be responsive, made good recoveries on region crossings and generally presented no real handling problems.  At L$1,900, it’s very well priced, and just the job for those looking for a modestly-priced, small-sized motor cruiser for open water or river cruising.

Related Links

Bandit 170: a pocket cruiser that’s coming Second Life

Bandit 170

I logged in to Second Life to find I had an unexpected gift waiting for me: a preview version of the Bandit 170, the latest motor boat by Analyse Dean. It’s a cute little craft modelled, as Ana’s boats are, after a physical world boat, as is noted in the 170’s user guide.

The Bandit 170 DeLuxe is modelled after the small recreational pocket cruisers of the 1970’s, like the Inter 500 and the Marina M17, they were popular then, and are still popular now.

Due to the small size they are easily stored, can be pulled on a trailer behind a compact car, they are fuel efficient when puttering around, but fast and fun to drive when you open up the throttle, and you can camp out in the cosy cabin for a weekend fishing trip.

At 6.6 metres in overall deck length, this really is a small boat – smaller than the Bandit SRV-210 speedboat, which I reviewed two years ago, when it was first released. Nevertheless, it come packed with details: a range of cabin and deck sits, the ability to tow a passenger carrying tube or and optional wakeboard (the 170 is compatible with Ape Piaggio’s wakeboards, which can be purchased at Ape’s store at Dutch Harbor).

Bandit 170

The 170 is very much a faithful reproduction of the Inter 500 / Marina M17 (Ana provides a pair of photos of the Inter 500 so you can see for yourself). The stern well provides room for four, while the compact cabin offers sleeping / sitting space for  in reasonable comfort. It is powered by 40 hp outboard motor that may not have a huge turn of speed in the physical world when compared to speed boats and larger cruisers, but which is for Second Life more than adequate, and at the upper end of its speed scale, makes this a manoeuvrable, nippy little craft.

The controls for the boat follow the usual layout: when seated, the pilot types “start” (no quotes) to start the engine and “stop” to turn it off, while the Left / Right keys will turn the boat in the appropriate direction, and the Up / Down keys increase / decrease the throttle. From start, a tap on Page Up will fully open the throttle while tapping the Down Key when in motion will drop the throttle back to idle. If Page Down is tapped when the throttle is idling, it will drop the boat into full reverse, and Page Up will bring the throttle back up to idle.

A range of chat commands unlock other features, including deploying the Bimini (Sun shade over the open boat well) or the tent (completely encloses the boat well), setting the camera position, turning the hover text HUD on / off, dropping / raise the anchor, deploy the fenders – and more, as detailed in the the user guide. Touching the boat can either access the range of sit / pose options (of which there are a fair few, singles, couples and fun) or activate various controls  / options – such the the ventilation hatch in the cabin roof, boil the kettle, (and give you a mug of a hot beverage), toggle the control panel switches for the boat’s lights, stow / unstow the forward seats in the boat’s well or the table in the cabin, put out a larger bed, etc.

Bandit 170

Like many of Ana’s boats, the Bandit 170 is a very physical craft: it really will bounce through waves when at speed; as a consequence, you can suffer a fair amount of camera juddering. This can be lessened by using the mouse scroll wheel to push your camera back a little from the boat. And talking of the camera, for those times when it skews and locks at a weird position on a region crossing, the pilot can generally recover by toggling between the two camera modes (cam 1 and cam 2). It may not always work – but such is the nature of SL.

For those who like first-person driving, the Bandit 170 is a capable craft, the dashboard has a single instrument – the speedometer. When driving in third-person mode, a little practice will show there’s no need for the hover text HUD.

The boat’s package includes a range of extras: a dock with scripted auto-mooring, a trailer for towing the boat, a complete texture pack for producing custom paint finishes (and which includes a couple of pre set paint options; textures are applied by right-clicking the boat and selecting the required face – just refer to the texture currently in place on the boat to confirm which texture goes where). A pack of flag textures are also included, together with the aforementioned towable tube – see the user manual for details on this.

The Bandit 170 on its trailer

An interesting twist with the Bandit 170 is that it comes ready for a new game Ana is working on with Ape Piaggio, Rez Grey (the originator of Get The Freight out) and Dutch Mainsail. Called OMFG (that’s One More Fishing Game before you jump other conclusions!), it is a grid-wide fishing game that Ana describes thus:

It’s 100% database driven, so all the water in SL is mapped out, meaning you’d really have to go out with your boat, look at the fish finder to see if there is fish, and then stop and cast a line, what you catch depends on what gear/bait you use, and where you are (also, how much you had to drink, if that’s a lot, you start catching really weird things…

The game has yet to be finalised, which means the eventual retail price of the Bandit 170 is still TBC. However, those who would like early access to the boat (without the game option) can obtain it from the Bandit stall at Uber. Those buying the boat from there will receive a free game update once the latter is available.

Bandit 170 o the rivers of Bellisseria

One of the things I like about this little cruiser is that its small size, shallow draft and low speeds make it ideal for navigating inland waterways around SL – I had a lot of fun (low bridges allowing) pootling around the rivers of Bellisseria.

All told, a great addition to the Bandit ranged of power boats, one that could well be a popular item among boating enthusiasts, bringing with it a land impact of 35. If you don’t fancy trying to fight your way into Uber to grab one, you can hop to Dutch Harbor and at least take the demo version for a run.

Bringing a little (Studio Skye) Zen to your SL garden

The zen garden at Isla Pey

While visiting JimGarand’s Grauland in January 2020 (see: Grauland’s touch of Japanese Zen in Second Life), I was struck by the zen garden included within the region design. An examination of the core elements in the design revealed them to be from the Zen Garden Building Set by Alex Bader, sold under his Studio Skye brand.

Alex has a reputation for producing excellent landscape building kits – and I’ve used several in constructing places like Holy Kai, although there are admittedly some that while mouth-watering in terms of my desire to put them to good use, such as his stream building sets, I simply haven’t (thus far) had the space in which to do them real justice. However, the Zen Garden kit was one that I immediately had a familiar “me want!” itch about, so that after a couple of days of pondering how it might work within Isla Pey, I snagged a copy from the Marketplace. And I have to say, it is simply superb.

The zen garden at Isla Pey  viewed from the house balcony

At L$899, the kit includes some 24 individual elements: rocks, gravel surfaces, gravel path sections, plants, shrubs, ground cover, ground pieces, stone steps, edging pieces (combinations of rocks and plants), and so on. All of this offers a comprehensive means to build a garden network of paths, plants and open spaces, which can both be used to provide places to sit or include additional features as well as being easily integrated into a broader landscape.

In addition, for those who might be daunted at the thought of trying to glue everything together themselves, Alex provides two “pre-built” and rezzer based examples of gardens: one 32m on a side (96 LI when rezzed) and the other 26x18m (46 LI). Also, a couple of textures are also provided for the purposes of blending any additional items – fillers and the like – that might be required to ensure a good pairing of garden to surrounding landscape elements.

The zen garden display at Studio Skye

Given they are “ready to go”, so to speak, the two example gardens are a good place to start with a design. As they are supplied in rezzers, also that’s required is a couple of clicks with the rezzers, and they can be put together in moments and the rezzer then used to position them as required. Just click the Finish option once placed, remove the rez box and then modify or extend the garden or blend it with a broader landscape using both the additional components in the kit and whatever else you have that you feel might work with it.

I opted to take this approach myself, using the 32mx32m garden as my starting point. To this I added some of the base, path and edge pieces to provide a basic design (one which currently uses the garden’s featured rock monolith seen in the photos here, although I’m debating swapping that out and creating a “formal” element common to zen gardens: an area of sand raked to resemble ripples on water). To this I added our selection of sculptures by Ciottolina Xue and Silas Merlin, plus trees by AzaleaBluebell originally offered as a Fantasy Faire hunt gift, together with a selection of shrubs to provide more of a garden feel.

The more extensive zen garden at Grauland

There are some additional nice touches with the set, together with a couple of “does” and “don’ts”. For example, the water elements include a volume control for adjusting / changing the sound being generated by their little falls. The edges of the individual paths are nicely “feathered” so that path sections can be more easily placed together and blended. Also, the kit is compatible with the Studio Skye 4-Seasons bolt on – although this is where the “don’t” comes into play. If you do plan to use season changing bolt-on, don’t link elements of the garden together, as doing so will adversely affect how textures get applied when changing the seasons.

Also, do take care should you vertically resize elements (e.g. so the base better connects with whatever is under it): many of the pieces have horizontal faces painted as edge cover, and resizing can leave these “floating” above the rocks / pathway section on which they are supposed to be growing, or no longer aligning with edges they are supposed to be draped over.

The zen garden at Isla Pey with the house behind

But, as noted at the top of this piece, this is a minor niggle. For those looking for a different look to their garden – one that can be unique to them whilst leveraging other plants and garden items they have, the Studio Skye Zen Garden Building Kit makes for a excellent purchase.

Links

Note: the statuary, trees, large bushes and benches seen in the images here do not form a part of the Zen Garden Building Kit, but have been purchased separately.

Product review: the WALT Sea Roo in Second Life

The Piaggio WALT Sea Roo in its box

It’s taken a while to reach the market place since I first wrote about it under the prototype name of WaveHopper (see Previewing a little wave hopping in Second Life), but Ape Piaggio’s WALT (Walter, Air Land, Technologies) branded SeaRoo has reached the market. The delays in the release have been due to some final fine-tuning of the vehicle and its scripting – and have also allowed Ape to add further animations as well as a number of further options for the vehicle.

Based on the physical world Innespace Seabreacher, a two-seat semi-submersible personal watercraft that is shaped like a Dolphin and mimics its movement on and under the water, the SeaRoo behaves like a speedboat and can make short dives (up to 60 seconds at a time) underwater. It can be piloted in both Mouselook (the dashboard has working instruments) and third-person views, making it an all-around leisure craft.

Priced at L$3,000, the SeaRoo is delivered in a package that comprises the vehicle, a system to build one or more SeaRoo mooring points (and which includes a fuelling station), an obstacle / race course building set, the SeaRoo Key (described below), a tool kit for adding custom animations (it comes with a range of single and couple animations for when it is not being piloted) and a comprehensive set of manuals, the main user guide of which includes a link for downloading a set of .PST files should you wish to create paint schemes for the vehicle.

The SeaRoo can be touched for a menu system. If touched when outside the vehicle, the menu is more limited in scope (l) than when seated in the vehicle (r). When seated, the full menu is displayed, providing access to all of the vehicle’s options and settings. Refer to the SeaRoo’s user manual for full details

I’m not going to run through absolutely everything with the SeaRoo – the user guide is comprehensive in that regard, but it is worth covering come of the highlights.

SeaRoo Controls and Operation

By default, the SeaRoo’s controls match those of an aircraft:

  • The ◀ and ▶ or A and D keys turn the SeaRoo left or right when in motion.
  • The ▲ and ▼ or W and S keys pitch the nose down (dive) or up (surface / jump)
  • The PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN keys or E and C increase and decrease the throttle respectively, with PAGE DOWN / C putting the vehicle into reverse from 0% throttle.
    • A double tap on PAGE UP / W will set the throttle to 100%.
    • Pressing PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN (or E and C) simultaneously will cut the throttle to 0%.

Those who prefer a boat-style layout for the main controls, with the ▲ and ▼ (W and S) keys controlling the throttle, can switch to this mode of operation via the menu → Settings → Tuning → CTRL Style. In this mode, the PAGE keys and E/C will control the SeaRoo’s pitch down/up.

To sit in the vehicle, right click on it and select Sit Here from the context / pie menu. Once seated, and as with most vehicles, the SeaRoo’s engine can be turned on / off using “s” in local chat, or “start” / “stop” – note that all of the SeaRoo’s chat commands are entered in lower case.

Zipping along above the waves

Key Vehicle Features

“Keyless Activation”

Enabled by default, this causes the canopy to open and the dashboard to engage when you are with a few metres of your SeaRoo. Similarly, when moving away from the vehicle, the dashboard will turn off and the canopy canopy automatically close. This option can be disabled / enabled via the menu: Settings → Keyless.

The HUD

The Sea Roo HUD

By default, those sitting in a SeaRoo (pilot or passenger) get offered a HUD. It is not vital to piloting the SeaRoo, but provides an informational display (shown on the right) for fuel, speed, heading, engine temperature and power settings. It also includes three buttons:

  • Resize: increase / decrease the HUD’s size via a dialogue box.
  • Menu: access the main menu.
  • Colors: set the colours for the SeaRoo’s dashboard.

Note that the HUD is inactive whenever the SeaRoo’s engine is not running, and further details can be found in the user guide.

Hovertext Information

When the SeaRoo’s engine is on, information on the vehicle’s speed, engine power level and temperature, and the fuel level is displayed over the SeaRoo’s tail. It can be disabled / enabled by typing “hud” in local chat.

General Handling Notes

After any trip, the SeaRoo can report a set of statistics for you. Toggle off via the button, if required

Like many vehicles, the faster the SeaRoo goes, the more responsive it becomes. As such, I recommend handling it at low to mid-range speeds to get familiar with it, rather than leaping in and going flat out; but keep in mind some capabilities work best at mid to higher speeds, such as diving / staying underwater, and performing jumps and acrobatics.

As speed is increased, the SeaRoo also takes on a nice Dolphin-like movement as if responding to the waves as it moves. Also, like a real boat, if it is moving at speed and you press both throttle keys to drop the throttle to 0%, it may take time to come to a complete stop.

The vehicle’s time underwater is – as noted – limited to 60 seconds. This is because the air intakes must be closed when submerged. A timer is displayed with the stern hovertext to help keep track of submerged time, and an audible alarm will sound when 20 seconds of submerged time remains. Try to stay underwater beyond 60 seconds, and the engine will cut out to prevent damage, and the SeaRoo  automatically surfaces. Once there, and providing the AutoRestart option has not been disabled, the engine will automatically restart.

Jumps are achieved from underwater by making sure you have sufficient speed, then pitching the nose up by about 30-45°. As you clear the water, gently pitch the nose forward to re-enter the water. Note that if you are moving too slow or pitch the nose up too high, the SeaRoo might either stand on its tail and fall backwards into the water, or perform a belly flop. You can also use SHIFT+ ◀ or A to roll left or SHIFT+ ▶ or D = roll right for both underwater acrobatics and to help level the SeaRoo after turning.

Taking a dive under the sea – note the bow light will, be default, come on automatically when underwater and turn off when on the surface

Refuelling

The SeaRoo has a limited fuel supply, and can be refuelled in a couple of ways:

  • Using the fuel pump supplied with the SeaRoo dock system or any Bandit / TMS compatible gas station – see the user guide for details.
  • Using the SeaRoo’s fuel canister when at sea: with the engine stopped and type “f” in local chat (no quotes) to trigger the refuelling animation. Note you may have to repeat this to completely fill the tank.

Continue reading “Product review: the WALT Sea Roo in Second Life”

A vehicle transportation system in Second Life

Using the Piaggio Transportation System with my MD-900 helicopter and Piaggio RoadRunner scooter: note the scooter sitting under the helicopter’s tail boom

So you have a luxury yacht with a helipad and been annoyed that you can’t sail it with your favourite helicopter rezzed on the deck? Or you have a landing craft and would like to be able to have a driveable vehicle it can carry and you can drive straight off? Or a cargo plane you’d like to fly around with your favourite car inside ready to drive? Well, Ape Piaggio might have the answer.

While working to complete the SeaRoo aquatic vehicle (formerly the WaveHopper – see: Previewing a little wave hopping in Second Life – and still very much “coming soon” as the final bugs are ironed out), she’s developed a neat little script set called the Vehicle Transportation System that allows two Modify / Copy vehicles to be combined so that one can be carried by the other, so that the “one” can be used when desired / as the local region settings allow.

As usual, I’ve been able to take the system for a test-run and thought I’d offer a piece on it for those who might be interested.

The Piaggio Vehicle Transportation system classifies the vehicle to be carried (in my case, the Piaggio RoadRunner, foreground and shown with handlebars folded) as the “secondary vehicle”, while the carrier (in this case, my MD-900 helicopter) as the “primary vehicle”

The system does require a careful amount of setting-up. In particular, it requires the unlinking and re-linking of one vehicle. This is something that can create issues, because vehicles often use a defined linkset numbering system which, if altered, can stop the vehicle function correctly. For this reason, there are scripted tools available to manage linksets. It’s also why Ape provides two versions of the Vehicle Transportation System:

  • The Vehicle Transportation System, containing only the scripts needed to allow one vehicle carry another, and suitable for those already have a re-link / unlink tool, or are confident in their own ability to edit linksets.
  • A Combo pack, offering both the Vehicle Transportation System and Ape’s own Relinker Kit, suitable for those who are not confident in editing linksets or who do not have a suitable script set for linkset editing.

Both kits are available on the Marketplace and will deliver the scripts to your inventory in two different folders.

In addition, the following points should be noted:

  • Both vehicles must be Copy / Modify.
  • The system uses a pair of defined terms:
    • Primary vehicle – refers to the vehicle that will transport another vehicle (e.g. a yacht you want to carry a helicopter or jet ski or something; or an aircraft carrying a car or tank or other vehicle, etc.).
    • Secondary vehicle – refers to the vehicle that is being transported.
  • A primary vehicle can only carry one other secondary vehicle.
  • When in use, the system will only work in regions / parcels where rezzing is enabled.
  • If you are the only person on your primary vehicle, note that it may be auto-returned if you swap to your secondary vehicle and are away from the primary longer than the local auto-return time.

Setting The System Up

Note: for the purposes of this article, I’m using my Spijkers & Wingtips MD900 Explorer helicopter and Piaggio SG33E RoadRunner scooter as, respectively, my primary and secondary vehicles, ans they happen to be the two of my vehicles that offer a reasonably logical pairing. As noted above, the system can be used with any suitable pair of Copy / Modify vehicles.

Setting the system up comprises three steps:

  • Preparing a static version of the secondary to be carried by the primary.
  • Linking that version of the secondary to the primary.
  • Preparing a version of the secondary that can be rezzed from the primary when it is to be used.
The “static” version of the secondary vehicle ready to be linked to the primary – the idea here being my RoadRunner is “slung” under the helicopter’s tail boom

Preparing a Static Version of the Secondary Vehicle

  • Rez your primary vehicle.
  • Rez a copy of your secondary vehicle and place it on your primary where you wish it to be positioned when the primary is in use (e.g. put a helicopter on the helipad of a yacht, or a car in the cargo hold of a plane).
  • Edit the secondary and open the Contents tab.
  • From the Vehicle Transportation System folder in your inventory, drag and drop the script called CONVERT INTO STATIC OBJECT into the Contents tab of the secondary vehicle.

WARNING: this script will DELETE all contents from the secondary and render it unuseable, so again, you should only do this if the vehicle is COPY and you retain a working version in your inventory.

  • Wait for the local chat message –> CONVERSION FINISHED <–.
  • Leave the converted vehicle in place.

Linking the Static Version of Secondary to the Primary

Note, the following references using the Piaggio Relinker kit; if you are using another scripted means of unlinking / relinking an object, then please refer to the instructions available with that tool.

  • Edit the static version of the secondary vehicle and open the Contents tab.
  • From the Piaggio Systems Relinker System folder, drag and drop ONE of the ADD scripts into the Contents tab:
    • Use ADD (CONVEX) if the root of the secondary is mesh.
    • Use ADD (PRIM) if the root of the secondary is a prim.
    • If you are unsure of the root of your secondary vehicle, use ADD (NONE).
  • Close the Edit floater of the secondary vehicle.
  • Edit the primary vehicle, and then from the Build menu, select Scripts → Set Scripts to Not Running.
When linking your secondary vehicle to your primary, you must ensure you set the primary’s scripts to Not Running before doing so, and then set them to Running afterwards
  • From the Piaggio Systems Relinker folder in your inventory, drag and drop the RELINKER – MAIN script into the primary.
    • A series of dialogues will be displayed, requesting permission to de-link and re-link he primary vehicle.
    • You must reply YES to each in turn.
  • When the process has finished, local chat will display the message: DONE: REMOVING SCRIPT.
  • Edit the primary vehicle again Scripts → Set Scripts to Running.

Preparing a Rezzable Version of the Secondary for use with the Primary

  • Rez a new copy of the secondary vehicle and edit it.
  • From the Vehicle Transportation System folder, drag and drop the script SECONDARY VEHICLE SYSTEM into the Contents tab of the secondary vehicle.
  • From the General tab of the Build / Edit floater, highlight and Copy (CTRL-C) the name of the secondary vehicle.
  • Take the updated copy of the secondary vehicle back to inventory.
  • Edit the primary and open the Contents tab, then:
    • From the Vehicle Transportation System kit folder, drag and drop the script PRIMARY VEHICLE SYSTEM.
    • Then drag and drop the updated secondary vehicle from inventory into the Contents of the primary.
  • In chat, type NAME, followed by the name of the secondary vehicle as in appears in the primary’s contents. For example:

name SG33E RoadRunner

Note: you can use Paste (CTRL-V) to paste the vehicle name accurately. Also, note this is only required if the primary has other objects in its contents.

Your vehicles should now be set-up and ready to go. Take a copy of the completed pairing back to inventory so you always have a “master” copy.

Using the Vehicle Transportation System

Notes:

  • As per the notes above, the system will only work in regions / parcels where rezzing is enabled.
  • The engine systems of both the primary and the secondary vehicle must be OFF in order for the system to work correctly.

Use the primary vehicle as you usually would. It should perform exactly as it did before you added the secondary vehicle.

Flying my MD-900 with the RoadRunner “slung” under the tail boom

When you reach a point where you want to use the secondary vehicle, stop the primary and make sure the engine script is not running, then in local chat type RELEASE.:

The version of the secondary vehicle will be removed from the primary and a copy of the driveable version contained in the primary vehicles inventory will be rezzed in its place. You can then sit in the secondary and use it as normal.

Preparing the “driveable” version of my Roadrunner secondary after “detaching” it from my helicopter

When you have finished using the secondary, return to the primary and dismount from it. Make sure the engines of both are turned off, then in local chat type CONNECT.

The rezzed version of the secondary will be removed, and the “static” version will reappear connected to the primary.

Note: if the primary has been auto-returned  to your Lost and Found folder, you can re-rez it to complete the above operation  and continue travelling with the primary. Or you can delete the copy of the secondary and simply pull a fresh version of the primary from inventory the next time you want to use it.

This is an elegant solution for an issue many have found to be annoying. Those interested in trying it for themselves can obtain it as follows:

The Culprit Console Piano in Second Life

Culprit Console Piano

Pianos have been – if you’ll pardon the pun – something of a theme for me over the last couple of years; particularly those made by Eku Zhong and Yure4u Sosa for their Culprit brand. In September 2018, I wrote about the Culprit upright piano, and then in March of 2019 year, I reviewed the Culprit baby grand (links below).

As I noted in writing about the latter, I have a Yamaha N1 piano in the physical world, a hybrid piano that allows me to have the richness of playing a grand piano in the compact form of an upright piano. And with their latest release, Yure4u and Eku have given me the opportunity to have a similar style of hybrid in Second Life, with the Culprit Sonata Console Piano.

Like the Culprit upright and baby grand before it, this is  Bento-configured piano, meaning it utilises the Bento skeleton and suitable animations to give a more realistic look to an avatar’s fingers when playing. However, unlike its predecessors, the console piano has some nips and tucks to the Bento system.

The Culprit Console Piano’s keyboard

Style-wise, the Culprit model resembles the Yamaha N2, offering a deeper body than my N1 – said to help provide a richer tone – with an upright-like keyboard. It’s provided with a range of finishes, with a default of wood for a freshly rezzed model. Texture options can be used to change both piano and stool together, or mixed between piano and stool to offer a custom look between the two.

As with the upright and the baby grand, the texture options are accessed via the piano’s menu. This also provides access to the piano’s playing options. These are divided up as follows:

  • Songs: 34 solo pieces to play, all public domain, representing a good cross-reference of music.
  • Christmas: 16 seasonal songs, all again public domain.
  • Muted: a total of 16 different playing styles without any associated music so you can set a style in keeping with the music you’re listening to out-world, or on your parcel stream.

The menu also includes options to adjust the seated position on the stool.

The Culprit Console Piano (centre) with the baby grand (l) and upright (r) for comparison

Play-wise the Culprit composite starts in a similar manner as the other two pianos in the Culprit Sonata range: sit on the stool and your avatar will be placed in an “idle” pose, performing a number of arms and finger loosening exercises. Selecting a piece of music from the menu will cue up the loop – and introduces the difference between this and the other Culprit pianos.

Like the Sonata baby grand and upright pianos, the Culprit Sonata Console piano uses Bento hand animations for a more realistic playing style with Bento avatars (footage taken from tests with the Culprit Sonata Upright)

Not only will the system adopt a playing style in keeping with the tempo of the selected piece and with individual finger movements for Bento avatars, the animations will actually adjust to the tempo within the piece – so that in sections where there is an increase in tempo, or if stronger emphasis in playing is required, the animation will attempt to replicate it; this presents something of a more fluid playing “style” for an avatar.

Those who have not swapped to using Bento-enabled mesh avatars can still use the Culprit Console Piano, just as they can the others in the Sonata range – the only difference is the finger movement will not be present in the animations.

In keeping with the Culprit upright and baby grand, there is no autoplay with this model. But as I note in my reviews of both of those models, the point about the Culprit Sonata range is the Bento capability – so having autoplay (allowing the piano to play tunes while not seated) misses that a bit.

One small point of note is that the piano is supplied both physical when rezzed and has a root prim base. The former means you can be catapulted ceiling-wards when standing from it, so setting it to phantom might be required. The latter means a little vertical adjustment when placing it in-world might be required to avoid the appearance of having it hovering above the floor. Neither of these points detract in any way from the piano’s attractiveness or playability.

If you have limited space in which an grand piano can be a little over-powering (inset), and an upright a little too “traditional”; the Culprit Console Piano might offer a stylish alternative to the one offer a more modest footprint than the other

Those who have a grand piano – and room for it – might not be tempted by the Culprit Console Piano. However, if you are pressed for space and miss having a grand in the house / aren’t too enamoured with a “traditional” upright, then this model could be right for you. Small and attractive, it fits into confined spaces admirably, and at 7 LI, isn’t a capacity hog. I’ve already added it to my Evening Star Linden Houseboat rezzer, where it sits nicely within the small lounge space I’ve created with that particular houseboat design, without overpowering the room and making things feel cramped.

The Culprit Console Piano is currently exclusively available at the Tannenbaum shopping event through until December 23rd, after which it will be available directly from the Culprit main store.. The price is L$995.

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