Wednesday, February 20, 2008


SL is being a brat today, and constantly crashing me- I am lucky if I get 5 minutes before I crash again, and that's just too much to bear, so I give up.

I'm, in my plodding way, working on a few things. Most of my energy has been going towards a jacket (the shoulders alone took a day, and I'd still prefer them a bit crisper, but we work with what we're given), which still needs little tweaks here and there, and then gets the rest of the 12 variants worked up (that should at least be a, comparatively speaking, easy part- half are variations that SL leads to, with the way it works, and divided the other direction, they are things that one would be able to do if it were an actual item of physical clothing). Currently I think it will be just the one colour though, I'm not sure anything suits it but black. The pants were easy, assuming I don't decide they are too plain, but then I need to come up with a shirt. I'm sort of floating on that and haven't really figured it out yet.

Mind you, this jacket was going to be something a fair bit different, as part of a completely different set. Which I still may try to put together soon, although to look at them I don't think anyone would see how the one could be related to the other (general spookiness and colour scheme aside). I'm still referring to both sets by the same name in the meantime, as I haven't decided which to rename, what.

The shoulder things, which are just me being masochistic as shoulders already fill me with irk since I generally want them to sit not where the inherent seams are, were only made as possible (without me working on it for a month or so, still being thoroughly disgusted, and finally giving up after upload after upload after upload) with a different workflow I've managed to get functioning with Blender. I would say it's like cheating...but it still takes for frigging ever, even with the help, and honestly if we were doing Real Professional Video Game Things, this is even a gimpier version of what would be available (primarily due to just using Blender, and not one of the fancier 3D suites). I'll be sharing it soon as I get things together enough to do so, right now I'm very seat of my pantsing it- more scattered, and more work required to make it useful. I'd like to get things a bit more organized and less painful to work with before I try to encourage others to use it much- but on the bright side, I've picked up a few tricks that make it easier for me to set up once I get that far now, that will increase consistency and such other useful type things.

I'm 50% done with the female set for the original concept as well, although it's taken a back burner to getting this suit working. Frustration aside, the jacket's somewhat exciting (even if certain poses, as always, have a tendency to distort things in less than optimal ways, that annoys the crap out of me- even AOless, the shoulders, especially, are far enough forward to wreck the lines around the chest/shoulder area, nevermind all the slouchy or leaning poses that disrupt beautiful lines of can't be helped, of course, even with a more sophisticated model, there will always be Things. It is largely my fault for coming up with things that require fighting the system instead of working with it), and I'm pretty chuffed with how it's coming out.

And then there's that corset dress. That should just be a case of coming up with colours now, I believe (which, as evinced by the striped pants, I have a tendency to over engineer- but even though I'm rarely in anything other than black, black, and black, I like a good shocking colour range- I'm highly tempted to go for 2 shades in each of my fav colours [yellow and orange, as always, excluded], and then there's the possibility of duotones...which I really really don't have the room for. Maybe someday I'll do up some of the other alts in my head for special occasions or whatnot), which is always a beast with prim limits and all. (I've got to vendor up the pants, to reduce..8? to 3.) I've tweaked it slightly from the last version I was working with (I'll probably still wear the other, as Alle isn't all that attributed in the chest area), but I think I've gotten the majority of a handle on all the bits. Annoyances with attachment points and skirts aside, which I've at least figured out a way to get good enough, if not perfect (as, in this case, perfection is technically impossible).

I've still got to do something about my HUD as well- I'm now down to minor interface things, convenience vs. lag. I'm leaning towards convenience, as the way to manage multiple bits the less laggy way is quite inconvenient really. Added on, I've never seen any real indicator comparing the two methods (nor a way to get the concrete numbers myself), other than a "well, this is bad unless necessary, and don't do it too much." I would like to know ways to really judge load on scripts- there are things that I've been doing in a less efficient way on the one hand, trying to avoid functions that are stated as inefficient themselves- and have no way to judge whether it's a good idea or not.

I'm also a touch irked I figured out I can't do all my sits in one script in a parent prim, being no Link equivalent function. I could use the SetLinkPrimParams hack, but I don't know whether that is actually working again, nor whether someone will decide to break it in the future, as well as it being substantially more regimented, and not in a desirable way in this case. While I would assume just sit targets (and anim calls) wouldn't be super nasty on server load, by their very existence scripts cause some, before they even actually _do_ anything, so the minimal number is better (when not trumped by convenience, or script limitations).

Monday, February 11, 2008

Treasure hunts

I've got to get back to useful things, I haven't been in the mood to get all the things I want together for something that, to me at least, will be insanely useful for actually making things without quite so much trial and error.

But I wanted to collect my thoughts on this now, while I was still thinking about it.

I like a good treasure hunt. I end up throwing away half or more of the things I get, but the looking can be fun, as well as the potential for bargains. I love me a good sale, even though I don't really have any plans to hold any myself. But to be brutally honest, I don't think the grid wide Valentine hunt was as successful as it should have been.

1) It was over too short a period. One weekend, with that long a list of participants, means people are just going to be running through. As I would assume the entire point here was a marketing/visibility/traffic thing, having people scrutinizing underneath your furniture and up in your rafters and then running to the next location isn't as useful as, say, having it go for a week bookended by two weekends, so people can look around and oh hey, what's that over there, I rather fancy that.

2) It was a tad disorganized- I know we're not official hunt coordinators here and things go wrong, but at least one person had nothing to do with it and didn't know how they ended up on the list (and was probably pissed when people kept IMing them "where's the box? can i have a hint?"). One person didn't realize they were in it because they thought they missed the deadline, and so didn't make anything for it, and hurriedly threw something together to put out in another manner as an apology. One place had an old LM and had moved locations (and, I heard chatter than their box was broken or somesuch). Am I the only one who thought they would have double checked everyone on the list to make sure they were ready?

3) Some items were hid too well. If you've got a small shop area, yeah, feel free to shrink your box and stash it behind something. When your shop spans half a sim, put it in the back, or upstairs, fairly obvious. Make them work enough to wander through and see things, but not so much they get frustrated and pissed- remember, you want to make a good impression on these people so they think of you and come back when they have more time. One place apparently hid boxes inside of prims, which is dirty pool. Added on, the short time period meant people were likely to get frustrated and pissed in fast forward. Honestly, I don't think the places that made the boxes tower over people with big blinky arrows did it right either- while they didn't get people irked at them, neither did they encourage any looking around and seeing what they had.

4) There was no clarity as how many boxes were where. A couple of shop owners placed out signs "there's one here, and two over there" or thuslike, but otherwise it was a total crapshoot. Is there a valentine or an anti here? Are there both? And some places there were more than one of one type. With how hard some places hid things, you were left unsatisfied not knowing whether you'd finished that place or not.