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Scout Schwager

Intan Dance Ball Critisism

18 posts in this topic

I just purchased an Intan Couples dance ball, singles ball, and the 'Dance Anywhere" add-on. I only purchased this system as it seems Every club in SL uses it. I wanted to make it easy to add dancing animations. Well that is not gonna happen, I will have to spend a lot of time to get this to work.

Intan does not sell in the Marketplace, so I can't leave feedback there, but I am glad to here. You can find their store searching for "Intan Eksotics" at Sunset Beach.

This companies web site is registered in Indonesia. The web site has not been updated since 2008, yet they maintain a store in world, and there are some customer support agents there. I believe the agents work and earn money independently working out problems that would be better fixed by the maker. I have a feeling the money these independents earn fixing problems is a factor in not updating the website, or system.

Issues:

Adjusting poses. Couples dance animations need a relative position (a set of numbers) to be adjusted correctly. If you buy dance packs, or single pairs of dance animations, with these positions recorded in a card, you are in good shape. However many animations are sold, even from major providors, without this information.

Standardize these settings. There is no reason all dance ball providers can't use the same notecard information.

Want to take Intan's business? Have your system read the same card format as Intan.

Adjusting positions. When an animator does not provide the position settings. Provide a positioner. MLPV2 is the leading script for pose beds in SL. MLPV2 (which itself is free of change) provides a free, included pose positioner. Also one can purchase another positioner in the Marketplace to make it easy to set poses in furnature.

No positioning tool is provided, or available for Intan

Categorize Dance Menus. There are more than 20 dances in the world, but thats about what most Intel balls in world offer. This system will hold up to 200 animations, perhaps more, if they update it. Commonly in SL though, all the dances are listed in the menu, and users must scroll through to see them all. Do you want to scroll 200 dances? Make it easier to categorize the dances, and show Categories First in the menu, not a list of all the dances.

 

 

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Intan is a low cost an effective solution.

The duty to configure among the many possible makers of animations in SL falls on those makers - not a single provider of a 'rezzed HUD'. It is not that hard to do on one's own though - just time consuming.

MLPV2 burns up a lot of script usage. Intan doesn't. That's key - especially for a busy social venue.

Most dance clubs have a theme, and a smart club puts dances into their intan that fits their theme. Categories would actually go against this - causing people to end up 'off theme' for the venue. So personally, I'd rather just see a place have more than one set of intant balls and swap them out for different events. When I built a club (that I never fully opened), I built the intant balls into the visual by having them spinning inside of alien plants. I've only seen a few other places theme how they put them out - but I would suggest this, with multiple balls - if wanting areas of your venue to have assorted themes.

 

The system is not everything in one device. Its a tight package meant to do a specific thing, which it does well, and for very low script impact.

 

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At least for the last part there's a remedy: you can use the Filter (main menu - tools) to select specific dance categories if you (or the creator of the notecard) added proper tags. Thus you can even have individually selected categories of your own ;-)

 

Have fun

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Scout Schwager wrote:

I just purchased an
Intan
Couples dance ball, singles ball, and the 'Dance Anywhere" add-on.
I only purchased this system as it seems Every club in SL uses it.

 

Never buy a product on the basis that everyone has one. They may have different requirements for a product than you do, meaning you'll be disappointed (as you were in this case). It's best to try out different products, and for something expensive talk to someone who owns one. That's the method I used recently when searching for a dance ball. The one I got isn't the cheapest and it's not the ball everyone has, but it did exactly what I wanted (I have a There in Spirit / DevShack hybrid ball).

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You can get all the notecards from most of the more popular creators on the intan site(a feature they do NOT have to offer I might add). If there is a dance/animation not on that site, you can always ask the creator. I've done exactly that and never once had an issue getting the proper notecard for the dance. You can find all of the notecards here...(be sure to register, they'll send the notecards to you inworld automatically, so also, be sure to be logged in when you get a nc). I know you might think the site has not been updated at all since 2008, but I assure you that's not true. A lot of their stuff came out after 2008, especially a lot of these new(er) animations that they do offer the notecards for.

 

http://intan.eksotics.com/?command=confmanager&viewall=1

They're actually pretty helpful if you contact them directly too. Even their plaid employees(I'm not real certain why you thought it important to include that in your post, many people are paid employees in sl, lol) do a really great job at fixing issues or at least assisting others fix them by themselves. If they can't help, they'll get you help. That's what they get paid for.

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Polenth Yue wrote:


Scout Schwager wrote:

I just purchased an
Intan
Couples dance ball, singles ball, and the 'Dance Anywhere" add-on.
I only purchased this system as it seems Every club in SL uses it.

 

Never buy a product on the basis that everyone has one. They may have different requirements for a product than you do, meaning you'll be disappointed (as you were in this case). It's best to try out different products, and for something expensive talk to someone who owns one. That's the method I used recently when searching for a dance ball. The one I got isn't the cheapest and it's not the ball everyone has, but it did exactly what I wanted (I have a There in Spirit / DevShack hybrid ball).

I so agree with Polenth! Just because everyone has a certain product, it doesn't mean it will suit your personal needs. Try, try, try ... and then buy. 

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:

MLPV2 burns up a lot of script usage. Intan doesn't. That's key - especially for a busy social venue. 

Do you know for sure that MLPV2 "burns up a lot of script usage"? I haven't seen the system.

The reason I ask is because it's a development of the MLP system, which was limitied to 16k per script when it was written (pre-mono), so every script in it was allocated 16k of memory. Since it's developed from MLP, it probably still uses the same number of scripts, and maybe more. But, if the scripts have been changed to mono, they only use the memory they actually use rather than the fixed amount per script regardless of how small the code in the script is. Also, scripts may have been amalgomated.

Script impact is more important, and the number of scripts is relatively unimportant. It isn't the number of scripts that matter - it's the actual memory that's used by the scripts in operation that matters - specifically how much 'work' each script is doing. For instance, a new script that says "Hello avatar!" is a tiny programme that requires a tiny amount of memory. If it's compiled in LSL (LSO, but the compile options say LSL) it will occupy 16k of memory, which is massive compared to what it actually uses. Almost all of the 16k won't be used so it won't impact on anything. If it's compiled in mono, it will only use the tiny amount of memory that it needs. Either way, the scripts will only actually use the amount of memory that they need.

The script usage numbers reported by the V2/3 and Phoenix viewers are wrong. They only report the maximum that a script can use. They don't report what the script actually uses, so it's impossible to ascertain the impact of a script from those numbers. For instance, the new script that says "Hello Avatar!" will be reported as using 16k of memory if it's compiled in LSL or 64k of memory if it's compiled in mono (the default). But the script will never actually use anywhere near either of those figures. 16k will be allocated to it in LSL, but it will only use a very tiny amount of that, and, if it's compiled in mono, it will be allocated the tiny amount of memory that it actually needs. It's what a script actually uses, and especially how much 'work' it does, that impacts on things, and the numbers reported in the V2/3 and Phoenix viewers are wrong because they don't have the correct numbers.

You can have a load of tiny scripts in an object, all compiled in mono, and the combined memory they'll use will be tiny. If they aren't doing very much, they'll have negligable impact on anything. So put 10 "Hello avatar!" scripts (complied in the default mono) into a prim and check its memory usage. It will show 640k. But, combined, they will actually use just a few k, and only a few k of memory will be allocated to them. And since they don't do very much, their combined impact will be negligable - and it's that impact that matters.

So, to decide that a system "burn up a lot of script usage" a lot more needs to be known about it than just the maximum amount of memory that its scripts could use, and all we can see is that maximum.

The "key", therefore, is what 'work' an object's scripts do over time, and not the amount of memory that's allocated to them, or the number of them.

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No positioning too
l is provided, or available for Intan 

I use a system I scripted myself, not Intan, so I don't know: Is it true that they don't provide a positioning tool?  If so, that might be an opportunity for somebody to offer an easy, cheap add-on... assuming there's actually demand for it.

On the other hand, I'm not quite sure whether this means positioning during setup, or while a couple is dancing; changing positioning in a busy club--that's an option every venue owner would disable as soon as they realized how much lag it would add. That function is inherently laggy in MLPV2, nPose, and all the other sitter products that do it, too.  It doesn't matter so much in those cases because they're mostly used in "home" settings, whereas Intan is most often used in busy social venues.

Speaking of lag, I want to echo Phil's question, re: MLPV2 supposedly being script-heavy. It contains a lot of scripts, that's true, but they're pretty efficient.  I've monitored some sim statistics in my time, and I've never seen a product based on MLP contributing much to script load.  (I wish I could say the same for another "sitter" product that I won't name here.) That said, the nPose approach has a slight advantage over MLP in that it doesn't use rezzed poseballs; it still uses a separate script for each sitter in order to be able to keep animating them, but those scripts can be simpler, not needing to rez poseballs and communicate where they should go. 

On the other hand, I've never seen Intan systems contribute much to actual script load, either.  They need to contain a lot of scripts, of course, but they're really (really) simple.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

Speaking of lag, I want to echo Phil's question, re: MLPV2 supposedly being script-heavy. It contains a lot of scripts, that's true, but they're pretty efficient.  I've monitored some sim statistics in my time, and I've never seen a product based on MLP contributing much to script load.  (I wish I could say the same for another "sitter" product that I won't name here.) That said, the nPose approach has a slight advantage over MLP in that it doesn't use rezzed poseballs; it still uses a separate script for each sitter in order to be able to keep animating them, but those scripts can be simpler, not needing to rez poseballs and communicate where they should go. 

There was a thread here recently about animation systems that don't use poseballs. It piqued my interest so I wrote one, and it's in some of my beds now. Nobody mentioned that nPose doesn't use poseballs or, if it's a free system, I could have saved the time :) However, it did give me something interesting to do, and still does, so it's been well worth doing.

My system also uses a script for each possible user but each of those scripts uses 12.3k of memory so they're not exactly super-lightweight in terms of memory usage, but they aren't very active so they're not laggy. I've no idea how 12.3k compares to other systems. What such systems don't do, of course, is perpetually listen like poseball systems do, so they gain a bit in that respect.

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Without turning this into a scripting forum thread... nPose is full-perm, but as I recall it's GPL licensed, so I can't really distribute what I've made based on it because I've had to change the code itself, not use the API, and under GPL I'd have to distribute my changes.  While I certainly don't care about making L$s anymore, it would be a bit of scripting--and runtime processing--to separate-out some things that need to be kept secret for the system's own protection.

Anyway, I wanted to suggest that one trick to reducing the memory size of the per-sitter scripts is to use them only for starting and stopping animations, keeping in one central script all the sit and stand detection (CHANGED_LINK), making sure the standing AV is still in the sim, all associated bookkeeping, etc.  (Of course, all the AV-positioning code should be centralized, too, but it's unlikely anybody would think to distribute that part across scripts anyway.)

I haven't actually checked the per-sitter script memory usage of nPose--I can't even recall the detail of how it works, since my system pulls all that out of nPose anyway--but I should think it could be under 4KB per sitter, using the above approach.

Incidentally, if there are at least two prims in the scripted object, it's possible to dynamically adjust the script count to match the instantaneous demand for sitter slots.  That's monstrous overkill for a single piece of furniture, but might make sense for something like my system, Intan, or even danceballs. I don't know of anybody actually doing it, though.

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You're right - I won't turn it into a scripting discussion. I'll just say...

Good idea about centralising the 'book-keeping'. Some of it is already centralised (CHANGED_LINK, for instance), but some significant chunks of it could also be centralised - adjustment stuff, for instance.

And what you mentioned in your last paragraph is also right - it would be overkill for my use of the system.

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I think it's grossly unfair to single-out and criticise one product like this.  It's made even worse because most of your complaints are nothing to do with the product itself.

The company's web-site, whether it has one, where it's registered (are you racist?) and how it runs it are absolutely none of our business.  That there are some customer support agents available is a good thing, few SL companies have any.  Do you have any evidence for your beliefs about them or are you just attempting more libel for the sake of it?

Adjusting poses, adjusting positions and 'no positioning tool' are all the same issue.  Menu-structure is another.  Did you really feel the need to flame Intan just because it doesn't have TWO features you'd like?

RIC almost seems appropriate for this thread, but there are some good and useful comments by other people.

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Yes, well I am not new at adjusting poses. I've been working with MLPV2 for 3 years, programming up dozens of different beds and other items, I seldome need the position information, I work it up myself with the tool included with MLPV.

I suspect, don't know, but I believe these independent customer service agents also have the tools to set the positions for dancing animations, but Intan will not share that down to the cutomers. The agents have a revenue stream 'loading' dances in these balls so their is no motivation to share a "how-to".

Yes a company in Indonesia is an issue, I have a lot of issues with non English-speaking programmers and the subesquent lack of good instructions. The market in SL is primarily English-speaking.

I've looked at that TIS Hybrid Dance Machine that was mentioned above, They replied to some questions I had. They have a different approach, maybe not all great, but I am going to try it out, and post more later.

OK and for web site owners. The copyright at the bottom of the page. In 2008, you put "Copyright 2008 yada yada.com". In 2009, you put "Copyright 2008-2009" etc. Otherwise folks will think you are asleep at the wheel.

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Scout Schwager wrote:

Yes, well I am not new at adjusting poses. I've been working with MLPV2 for 3 years, programming up dozens of different beds and other items, I seldome need the position information, I work it up myself with the tool included with MLPV.

I suspect, don't know, but I believe these independent customer service agents also have the tools to set the positions for dancing animations, but Intan will not share that down to the cutomers. The agents have a revenue stream 'loading' dances in these balls so their is no motivation to share a "how-to".

Yes a company in Indonesia is an issue, I have a lot of issues with non English-speaking programmers and the subesquent lack of good instructions. The market in SL is primarily English-speaking.

I've looked at that TIS Hybrid Dance Machine that was mentioned above, They replied to some questions I had. They have a different approach, maybe not all great, but I am going to try it out, and post more later.

OK and for web site owners. The copyright at the bottom of the page. In 2008, you put "Copyright 2008 yada yada.com". In 2009, you put "Copyright 2008-2009" etc. Otherwise folks will think you are asleep at the wheel.

Your suspicions are completely unfounded. I have been using intan for quite some time now(if were' boasting about our experience with various systems, I've been working witht he very one you're comparing it to, for even longer than 3 years as well, but I see no need for that sort of information to be added).

You were, and are, clearly biased from the word go. I have had absolutely nothing but the best of service from intan, ALL of their staff, and even other members in their group chat. I have watched people literally write the position cards for people(both staff, and other members) right there, on the spot, at no charge. It happens ALL the time. They are evry helpful should an issue occur.

You quite clearly have something against people not from the US and/or those who don't have English as a first language. That is 100% YOUR problem. Saying it out loud, in a public(international I might add) forum, makes you come across terribly. It doesn't speak well for you at all. You shouldn't assume things the way you do about people simply because they aren't from your preferred country or speak your preferred language. Then again, you have every right to be as, well, judgmental, as you'd like to be, I suppose. So have at it. But I have to say, reading that makes almost everything you've had to say seem more like sour grapes on your part about something either unrelated, or buyer's remorse, or some other stupid nonsense.

Intan doesn't have to "share" anything down to the customers. People can, and DO make their own position notecards all the dang time. Try actually spending some time doing it yourself instead of complaining about how difficult it is. Since you want to boast about your skills, it should require very little work on your part. Better yet, create your own system and then you won't have to worry about anything at all. I don't know why you find it a bad thing for someone to charge money for a service, such as creating the position notecards for people. Do you expect everyone to do it for free? Seriously? What then exactly are these people supposed to be doing at their "jobs" and getting paid for? It's quite clear you've got absolutely no business sense whatsoever.

Try joining the group inworld, your eyes might be opened just a tad. Maybe you'll see that their staff, and company, isn't nearly as bad as you wrongly assumed. (fair warning, that chat can get busy, or at least, used to). There is always someone around who can and will help, should an issue arise, though.

As for the website, while I agree keeping the date current ought to actually happen, it's not that huge of a deal to me. It's certainly not a deal breaker and certainly not indicator of anything other than someone didn't pay very good attention to that part. But then I guess it could be that they've been busier making products inworld, creating all these notecards you, and the rest of us, will surely need when the creators haven't been able to provide them and such. It's a pretty insignificant piece of information for me, personally. I wouldn't get hung up on it, nor would I make any sort of assumptions about them based on it. It's not their fault you assumed they weren't at the wheel. That's entirely on you.

It seems more and more you didn't even actually try to read the information that came with your intan, read the website, or get any sort of assistance at all. Which leads me to a previous statement that your entire complaint is based entirely off some other nonsensical thing that has nothing at all to do with the performance of the product, or company.

I'm all for people being held accountable and poor functionality being called out when/where needed. But this...doesn't fit that bill at all.

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First off, seriously, you should go to Bits N Bob's and pick up their note card on the challenges of synchronizing and aligning couples animations and get a better understanding of the topic.

Secondly so this tid bit doesn't get lost, you can use the 'page up' and 'page down' keys on your keyboard to adjust the height of your Avatar while dancing. 

For a long time many people wanted a dance system that would allow couples to change dances with out having to change pose balls.  There were several attempts at systems but they were difficult to configure and use and borked up all the time.  There were actually a lot of people who said it couldn't be done.  There just seemed to be too many obstacles.

Then the girl who designed the Intan system figured out how to make it work.  And couples all over the grid rejoiced.  Because poseball hopping became a thing of the past.  Since then a few other creators have developed similar systems but they each have their unique shortcomings.  The biggest one still being that aligning the Avatars is still not a perfect system.

My take on the whole thing is this.  If putting this system together was a s simple as you think, we'd see a much larger proliferation of similar systems on the Market Place.

On a final note, the girl who happened to figure out originally how to do this just happened to be Malaysian.  So what.  It is perfectly understandable that she afterwards incorporated as a Malaysian business.

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Scout Schwager wrote:

Yes a company in Indonesia is an issue, I have a lot of issues with non English-speaking programmers and the subesquent lack of good instructions. The market in SL is primarily English-speaking.

i think you will find that there are more people in secondlife where english is their second third fourth or even fifth language and not their first

 is sometimes difficult for some monolinguists from the primary english speaking countries to get their head around that. same on the interwebz generally

can be even more difficult sometimes for them when they start conversations with: fts

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I have used every couple dance system on the market and find Intan the most reliable.  All the others crash or refuse to operate for various reasons from time to time. If the Intan ceases to work, it is for reasons that is not the fault of the creator such as a sim crash and a simple script reset is all that is needed to fix it.  No other system works like this.  Its major competition is used in a club where I assist the owner from time to time and ceases to function regularly and nothing we can do fixes it.  The creator always has to be called in, and that can take days.

Notecards are available for just about every dance out there.  If your dance is not on a preconfigured notecard, you can contact the creator and she will make one for you, usually within 24 hours for no charge. 

As far as loading the dances, Intan is the easiest one out there if you can read simple English and follow instructions.  Many animators have intan packs where the animations are ready to just dump in the ball too along with a notecard they supply.  Is this beyond your skill level?  If you can't, or don't want to load dances yourself,  then pay somoene to do it.  Why should someone do your work for you for free?  No animation system out there will load your animations for free.  Note that there are also intan systems available PRELOADED so all you have to do is rez it and go.

You are just being  a bigot about the fact that this isn't made in America.  Who cares if the product does what it is supposed to do and at a reasonable price.  If you actually made an attempt to use the Intan and their customer support you would have no complaint.  BTW I have actually talked to the creator in person and she understands English very well and can respond in clear English too.

I can only assume you have a stake in another system and are flaming the competition or your own bigotry has blinded you to what a great system it is.

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

I have used
every
couple dance system on the market and find Intan the most reliable.

I'll agree with this.  i have only seen one other system that was maybe as stable but it was also more expensive.  And they only sell it preloaded the last I checked.


Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

You are just being  a bigot about the fact that this isn't made in America.  Who cares if the product does what it is supposed to do and at a reasonable price.  If you actually made an attempt to use the Intan and their customer support you would have no complaint.  BTW I have actually talked to the creator in person and she understands English very well and can respond in clear English too.

I can only assume you have a stake in another system and are flaming the competition or your own bigotry has blinded you to what a great system it is.

Yep

 

 

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