Sunday, December 31, 2006

Expecting to fly

The office is now more or less complete, although I'm sure I will keep tweaking it for some time. I'd better be at least somewhat happy before I send it up several hundred metres, though, because at that height, I can't just fly outside to make a change. I'd also better make sure the teleport terminals are in place and working correctly.

As I mentioned, it's basically the same shape and layout as the free Archer house. When you're building on land that's only 16 metres wide and 32 metres long, you don't have a lot of flexibility. It might seem odd that we little avatars need rooms that measure a hundred square metres with 16-foot ceilings, but the reason for that is the camera, the way we see the world. Just as with a real camera, like in a film shoot, if you're in too small a space, you can't see what you need to see. You need more room than if you were just looking with real eyes. Which is a challenge when it comes to interior decorating! Second Life rooms are huge, and it's difficult to create a feeling of intimacy.

The one thing I did differently from the Archer house is to add that peaked roof in the back. There's a small loft under that peak, above the counselling room. What's it for? I'll never tell! Let's just say it's for a private space, and no, not for clients. I thought about making the peak go the other way, but the house fits on the lot in a north-south direction. That landing pad you see faces north. So by turning the peak sideways, with the one-way glass windows facing east and west, I get views of the rising and setting of the sun and moon.

The loft illustrates that cool things can be done with textures, even free ones from the SL library. To me, the rough wood look makes it feel like an attic, except that in SL, it won't give you splinters, which is rather nice. It's slightly smaller than the room below, because of a two-foot gap just past the edge of the floor that allows me to fly up and down (stairs eat up way too many prims). With the sloped-in walls of the peak, it illustrates the problem I mentioned about the camera and space. It feels rather cosy, maybe even cramped. But that's OK. It's not a place to run around in.

Looking at the photo above, I realize that I'd probably better put a railing around the outside of the landing pad. If I ever get any clients, I don't want them falling off the edge of my sky-office! And if friends come up to visit, I certainly don't want them going into free-fall without a parachute.

I learned one more thing today, once more by the trial-and-error method. I put in a front door as well as a door between reception and counselling. The door has a script in it that allows it to open and close upon a touch from the owner. Well, when you link the doors to the building, or at least if you do it in the wrong order, opening and closing the door flips the entire building around. That was a bit of a shock! It's a good thing I was in a sandbox with lots of room when it happened. And also a good thing that I have a copy of the office in a pre-door-linked state.

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