As Thom has described in his previous entries (Part 1 and Part 2) the initial testing of OpenSim software was something that he started on his laptop. It was with that set-up in place that I first logged in to view what was going to be our new virtual environment. This was at our first, default shaped, region which we named Perelandra.
It was an exciting moment for me; even though I was aware that it would be an entirely blank world. I’d use the analogy of moving into a new home – you know what to expect because you’ve lived in a building before and yet you aren’t quite sure how it will look when you’ve moved in and what you may encounter in a new place. Here are some of my impressions.
For anyone who has logged into an OpenSim based grid previously; you will probably know, or have heard of, what a Ruth avatar is. If you don’t then a quick visit to this Second Life wiki will give you one example of the general look.
Everyone’s avatar is a Ruth by default. After a very long time without my avatar being in this particular form, at least not deliberately, it was the first thing I noticed. The next, automatic, step was to look at my Inventory as you do have a standard Library folder available with the OpenSim software. Depending on what you are used to it can be quite spartan on some resources; it is worth noting that avatar clothing, skins, hair, accessories and attachments, pre-fabricated buildings and objects are not included.
Your OpenSim Library folder contains the following assets:
Animations – Includes twelve basic animations, of particular note are two standard T-poses. One is provided for when you are creating your own static poses and animations, one is the T-pose used in a posing stand.
Gestures – Sixteen basic gestures are included with such things as a wave, a laugh and three definitely silly, but fun, dances.
Notecards – A Welcome to OpenSim note is including in your Library as well as a sample notecard (which contains an example of Mr Open Sim’s sense of humour).
Scripts – The Scripts folder contains the most information by far. There are five sub-folders of scripts: .Kan-Ed Scripts, Other testing scripts (this is an empty folder), A, B, Open Sim specific scripts, R and S. I have not investigated these fully but the selection seems to cover the most common scripts such as colour, texture, positioning and rotation changes for objects; also land management scripts (i.e., ban lists, access, music streaming). All are full permission.
Textures – You will find quite a selection of textures, most of which are for building structures or landscaping. You’ll find textures of bricks, ceramic tiles, wood, trees, an alpha transparency etc., also some terrain textures. All textures are full permission.
Everything else you may need or want has to be uploaded by you. If you want to move past your Ruth avatar look sooner rather than later I would suggest some pre-planning of resources, I’ll be covering that in further posts.
The other quickly noticeable feature is the space. I’ve included here a picture that shows the default land shape. This is where the big differences between virtual worlds started to impact.
Your region, and subsequent regions you create, will have a prim allowance of 15000. Which takes a bit of time to get used to. As a comparison: during the time Thom and I were residents in Second Life we rented managed Estate parcels for our home. The maximum prim count for four parcels of land was around 5900. Which seemed a vast amount of space and prim resources for building at the time!
Other immediate differences also relate to building. You are able to build structures with mega-prims (for non-builders this means that if you have tried building in Second Life the height, length and depth restriction of 10x10x10m that you can stretch a single primitive to doesn’t apply). If you want an instant skyscraper or pyramid by stretching a primitive shape you can do so.
There is no flight limitation, so the need for a wearable object or HUD that assists you being able to fly above a certain height is unnecessary. You do still need one to assist with accelerated flight speed.
And finally, because this runs on your own computer or server space, all your uploads are free of charge.
These facilities and resources are just the immediate ones that were apparent to me at the time of logging in. From my next post I will be, hopefully, starting a series that covers what resources you can make use of to start building in your virtual world.