Monday, January 15, 2007

We have lift-off

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... Office 2.0, 340 metres above sea level, floating on nothing.

No, not Microsoft Office. My counselling office. I built version 1.0 a while ago. It came out OK, but I figured out a few things in the process and decided to use it as a template rather than as a finished product. So, after studying the Archer house and some other construction, I started work on version 2.0.

One big change I made was to make walls 0.3m thick rather than 0.1. In First Life, a foot would be rather thick even for external walls, which are generally made with frames constructed from two-by-six lumber. But in Second Life, it just looks better. It also makes joins and overlaps easier to manage. I made the floor even thicker, 0.5m, again not for any structural reason—none of that in SL—but simply because it seems more substantial.

The plan of the house did not fundamentally change. I thought about making the roof peak run in the other direction, the long way, with additional peaks to maintain the east and west views. It would have looked nice (if perhaps a bit like a church) and made the loft a lot bigger, but it would have cost too many prims. This house isn't beautiful or elaborate, but it has only 17 prims in it, which leaves 100 for furniture, artwork, and whatever else I decide to put in the office. It also leaves the possibility of putting a garden or something similar on the land below. Bluenose sim could use more of that.

As you can see, I added a railing around the landing pad. I also changed the outside from nondescript granite to slightly-less-nondescript brick. The inside walls are still one-way glass, except for the stained glass wall.

You can teleport to the office, but you can't fly up unaided. Flying requires a flight feather or flight ring or a jet-pack. Or maybe a helicopter. This has created a bit of a problem with the loft. I can't just fly up to it without the flight feather, which tends to be even less precise than normal flying. I keep bumping my head. I might need to add a ramp or something similar. I wish avatars could climb ladders! I love spiral staircases, but there's that prim count again. If you have a nice parcel of land with some space around you, there are a lot of benefits to keeping your office (or house) on the ground.

Still, the view of sun and moon and stars from up there is lovely. I only wish it were really pristine. My parcel on Bluenose is near the plateau that makes up Kootenay sim and is already 99m up, so even 150m elevation isn't that high. At 150m, Golam Amadeus's tower advertising his art gallery is smack in the middle of the view. There is no zoning on Bluenose! As I tried higher and higher elevations, I ran into many more skyhouses and skyboxes and sometimes just plain junk. Even at 340m, there is stuff in the view, but I decided I just wasn't going to go any higher, for now at least. In case you don't know, doors, furniture, and artwork aren't actually attached to anything. They are simply placed at coordinates. So if I change the position of the house, everything has to be packed up and placed again.

Which leads me to an important lesson I just learned—don't build inside your house. I was making a modified fountain partly from pieces of the fountain I already have. I was happy with the result, and I linked the three prims together. I wanted to take it into my inventory. I saw that it somehow had 20 prims. It didn't register that three for the fountain plus 17 for the house makes 20. I took the fountain, and the entire house came with it. I must have clicked on the house in the process of linking the fountain, but I didn't do it on purpose. There I was, about to plummet 340 metres, surrounded by floating furniture. I quickly grabbed the flight feather and fired it up. When you've done something stupid like this, it's possible to put a house back exactly where it was, without having to move any furniture, but believe me, it's not easy, or quick.

Lesson well learned! But I'm sure I'll keep finding new ways to do things wrong. Meanwhile, I am once again open for business.

1 comment:

Sorcha McConachie said...

Congratulations on your new office Veronique! It looks great. I wish you all the best : )