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My County Fair does it better! (SL8B: a reaction)


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OK, they're very different events. And the RL County event can handle far more people than the whole of SL can. But, several times, I was acutely struck by the differences.

1: The County event is easier to navigate. Some parts of the show have been in the same place for decades, because they use specialised buildings and other permanent features. But there has been a consistent broad layout pattern for as long as I can remember. Certain types of trader have been in about the same place for over thirty years. Add to that clear signs and markers at the intersections of the grid pattern. SL8B has more detailed information in the coordinate system, but in-world it can be confusing enough to figure out which direction you're facing. "SL8B Marvellous" Which direction is that from where I am? It's a tricky balance in VR, because we do have maps. and maybe Landmarks, but after a few minutes of walking around at random, I felt confused. No sun shadows and (see later) no distant landmarks.

2: The lag didn't help. There's no avoiding it, but it's likely that people with run on lower-quality graphics just to be able to move around. Which means they're not seeing distant objects. Frankly, texture-loading generally seems to be slower than it was a year ago. That changes the whole dynamic of display and signage. And if you're not seeing from a distance, the high-up signs might not be in the field of view when the wall does rez. The eye-catching features of reality just aren't usefully visible.

3:  Ever seen a Show Catalogue? A list of every stand, and every event? I've found event lists, but they're lacking. They're just times and names. I'm not big on the dance-halls and DJs and discotheques of SL, and there was nothing I could see that meant anything to me. (I can't say the gesture-spam at the events I did attend was any help.) Yes, there's the section in the Destinations guide. That turns SL8b into a point-to-point teleport tour of the selected highlights, and rest of the show becomes irrelevant.

4: While I remember the way the start was announced in the "Featured" blog, default on the Dashboard, and the amended details were hidden in "In World", including a different start-time, seemed a little careless.

I'd sum it all up as poor communication Sometimes, it might be the stand designers, but I'm left with the feeling that the event, as a whole, hasn't been organised to make it easy for the visitors. 

 

 

 

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WolfBaginski Bearsfoot wrote:

OK, they're very different events. And the RL County event can handle far more people than the whole of SL can. But, several times, I was acutely struck by the differences.

The logged in population of SL exceeds the real-world population of ~90% of individual US counties at any given moment.


WolfBaginski Bearsfoot wrote:

2: The lag didn't help. There's no avoiding it, but it's likely that people with run on lower-quality graphics just to be able to move around. Which means they're not seeing distant objects. Frankly, texture-loading generally seems to be slower than it was a year ago. That changes the whole dynamic of display and signage. And if you're not seeing from a distance, the high-up signs might not be in the field of view when the wall does rez. The eye-catching features of reality just aren't usefully visible.

Server-side, network and client-side lag are three different beasts entirely.  Texture loading may be faster if you enable HTTP textures, particularly if the network you're on has more than one SL user and a large transparent HTTP proxy.


WolfBaginski Bearsfoot wrote:

3:  Ever seen a Show Catalogue? A list of every stand, and every event? I've found event lists, but they're lacking. They're just times and names. I'm not big on the dance-halls and DJs and discotheques of SL, and there was nothing I could see that meant anything to me. (I can't say the gesture-spam at the events I did attend was any help.) Yes, there's the section in the Destinations guide. That turns SL8b into a point-to-point teleport tour of the selected highlights, and rest of the show becomes irrelevant.

To a lesser degree, this is a problem with SL as a whole ever since teleportation was no longer limited point-to-point between telehubs.

 

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Baloo Uriza wrote:


The logged in population of SL exceeds the real-world population of ~90% of individual US counties at any given moment. 

I'm under the impression that he meant  the whole set of event sims, not everyone, everywhere. :smileytongue:

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The estimate for my local County Show was 65,000 people.

The timezone I'm in, I might not see the peak figure for SL, but I've known things start to feel laggy when things are that busy.

Oh, and Baloo, about HTTP textures: other people tell me that turning it off will speed texture loading  It rather sounds as if changing texture-loading method is seen as a magic button, fixing the problems whatever the starting position in. And that just doesn't make sense.

Oh, that must be the magic of SL that they were all going on about.

 

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WolfBaginski Bearsfoot wrote:

Oh, and Baloo, about HTTP textures: other people tell me that turning it off will speed texture loading  It rather sounds as if changing texture-loading method is seen as a magic button, fixing the problems whatever the starting position in. And that just doesn't make sense. 

I'm afraid they're wrong.  Sending the textures in-band in UDP is unreliable, so you'll end up using more bandwidth longer to get the same result, which is the reason why the lindens are moving to HTTP for texture transport.

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WolfBaginski Bearsfoot wrote:

1: The County event is easier to navigate. Some parts of the show have been in the same place for decades, because they use specialised buildings and other permanent features. .. SL8B .... after a few minutes of walking around at random, I felt confused.

I felt the same way.  I dropped in to SL7 and was extremely unimpressed at how haphazard everything seemed to be.  No signposts, no guide, no little Disneyland-type map booklet.  Confusion.  Boring, haphazard, senseless, meaningless confusion.  But if you spend any time on the Mainland you should be used to that by now.  :smileywink:

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You really can't compare a RL event like a county fair to any event in SL. I mean, not even the Burning Man/Burning Life annual event.

However, I did pop into SL7B, people didn't rezz properly for me, and it felt very laggy. I tried on three occasions, all was the same. On visit three, I picked up a slice of birthday cake, took a photo of me with the birthday cake, and gave up.  This year, I popped into SL8B, it seemed a lot less laggy, but there seemed to be only a fraction of the people there when I visited compared to last year.  I liked very much what I saw, and luckily I found my way around easily, because I'd been doing "homework", via a friend's Flickr photos, so I knew what I wanted to look for. 

But really, all of us should be out there, at the county fairs, while the weather is fine, and get the Vitamin D, not sitting in our respective basements dwelling in SL.

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