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Everything posted by animats

  1. This is the new user experience? Visit Caledon; they got this right. Or the new user hub in southeast Zindra. New users may not know that you cannot drown in most of SL. Or that walking on the bottom of water areas is possible. You'd think swimming would be the default, but no, you have to buy an accessory for that. The Firestorm new user hub offers diving gear, but it doesn't come with a swimming capability, so by default you're on the bottom.
  2. I was in the Kama City infohub today. I rarely go there, but it had a huge avatar count today and I wondered what was happening. Mostly AFKs and bots, plus some confused newcomers. There's no easy way to walk out of the Kama City infohub. That may be part of why there are so few avatars on the streets of Kama City. The hub doesn't encourage exploration. It needs a way out and some EXIT signs. Free bicycles and scooters. The infohub in southeast Zindra is open and easy to leave, so it's surrounded by retail aimed at new residents. Lots of freebie and low-priced places sprung up there to get new residents started. But not Kama City's.
  3. I use those occasionally. There's a place where four regions meet. I and various Lindens do region crossing tests there, which is why there are so many vehicles sitting around that region corner, some stuck in midair. For routine sandbox construction jobs, I recommend the adult premium sandboxes west of Zindra. Four flat empty sims. Few griefers buy a premium account, so that's not a problem. Not that private, but not used much, either. You might see someone off in the distance working on a big building.
  4. I love that demo, and I've seen it before. The compute load is large. It's using 85% of one reasonably good CPU just for that bit of water and its light deflection. A few more years of GPU development and that will be available on affordable graphics cards.
  5. Uniform Violation. In-world store for cops, EMT, fire, etc. About 1km away is a mall with a full selection of emergency vehicles and accessories. Check the Astaro store.
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  7. a Electrical switch box, designed in Autodesk Fusion 360. The Collada exporter in Autodesk Meshmaker (beta) will convert Autodesk Fusion files into .dae files which are accepted by Second Life. So there's a path from CAD models of real world objects to Second Life. Fusion is what SketchUp wants to be when it grows up. It's a constructive solid geometry system, like SketchUp, but with much more power. It's intended for engineering design, where you're going to make the thing in the real world.This might be a useful approach if you wanted to design some elaborate machine and bring it into SL. Models made this way will usually need mesh reduction, some of which Meshmaker can do.
  8. SL has a moderately tough packet management problem. Object position updates need to get through with minimal delay, or you see visible lag, or those stupid motion artifacts that appear when the viewer tries to guess what's going on in the absence of data. That's a small fraction of the traffic. Object updates are never retransmitted; you always want the latest one. A delayed old one is useless. I wonder how much reported "packet loss" is actually out of order delivery. Most of the traffic volume is geometry and textures. It's not time critical, and much of it comes from the content delivery network, not SL's servers. But it uses most of the line time and competes with the object updates. Because of this, you need a lot more bandwidth to the Internet than SL will use. There needs to be a lot of idle time on your network connection, or the object position updates get delayed. This problem is common to all MMO games, so it gets some attention. It is sometimes possible to set up quality of service queuing in both your own router and the last router on your ISP's side to prioritize UDP packets over TCP packets. Some routers and some ISPs allow this; look for "gamer settings". There's no standard on this (well, there is; it's called DOCSIS-PIE, but that's the underlying machinery, not the user interface.) There are some gamer-oriented routers which claim to help. Try playing Fortnite, which is a very high performance 3D virtual world where you can build stuff while people are shooting at you. If that works, SL should work. If it lags badly, call your ISP and ask them how to tune your network connection for Fortnite. They won't know about SL, but they'll know about Fortnite, which is about #5 in online usage of all online services right now.
  9. Sure. I'll often chat with friends face to face in SL. That's kind of the point of SL, right? The first thing I built in SL was a little cafe, as a place to hang out and talk.
  10. For the past few weeks, I've been seeing a new form of the half-unsit bug: Single region crossing with a vehicle at slow speed, nowhere near a region corner. Rider gets disconnected from vehicle and ends up in space. Sometimes moving. Vehicle disappears, and is never seen again. It is not returned to inventory. After about a minute, the avatar is back on the ground, but arrow keys don't move it properly; the left and right keys do nothing, although if shifted, they move the avatar sideways without rotation. If the avatar is walked across a region boundary, there's a delay of about 6 seconds at each region cross. Our internal logging to a server shows everything going great with no errors, then the vehicle goes missing. Anyone else seeing this?
  11. I have a basic fix going into Firestorm that just stops velocity interpolation when you're outside the sim boundaries. (If you build Firestorm from source, you'll get it, but it's not in the release version yet.)That stops most of the bogus motion, but instead you get frozen during the region crossing. So that's been put on a debug switch, so the sailboat crowd can disable it. The viewer fix doesn't kill prim omega, the way turning off Velocity Interpolate Objects does. I also think there's a bug where the wrong region is briefly applied to an object location update, resulting in the object being yanked one region out of position for one frame. That needs logging to catch. I want to go back to this, but Firestorm code is in a bad state right now while the developers digest the new LL fixes in texture handling. They have to resync with the LL viewer. So I'm holding off. LL is working the sim crossing problem. It comes up in every sim user group meeting now, with Lindens reporting on fixing something associated with it. There are a lot of bugs in this area, and they have to be fixed individually. It's not one big problem; it's about five to ten medium sized ones. If LL can fix the half-unsit problem, at least you don't have to log out and back in. Everything else can be worked around with viewer fixes and scripts. So I'm trying to keep them focused on half-unsits. I want people to be able to go places in vehicles and reliably get there. That's the point of all this.
  12. did not fix the half-unsit bug. Ref: https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-214653#comment-559639 Short video. The test is simple - add 1 second of network lag with a test program, aim vehicle at a double region crossing. Instant fail.
  13. That could change. The tier credit of a premium account should only be usable on land that you own. That would favor owner-occupied land over leased land. Some landlords might try dividing land into 1024m parcels, each with its own paid alt. That would be very visible, and wouldn't work in areas where you can't subdivide.
  14. What a mess. Still, you can upload a different mesh for each level of detail. So something which creates a new mesh for each LOD is possible. Maybe this should be some Python script for Blender. A real win would be automatic generation of simple impostors. That's possible, but it has some limitations. You'd need to upload the texture maps and meshes at the same time, so the previewer can texture the preview. Then, internal to the viewer, you'd render the preview with texture (it's not textured now) and take shots of it from the angles needed for an impostor. The viewer already knows how to do most of that. Then create a very simple impostor (two planes) and put the rendered texture on it. Instant good low level of detail. But you can't change the object's color or texture later and have it look right, because that's been baked into the imposter image. So this won't work for objects that come with color or texture changing tools. I've tried generating an imposter image in-world by putting an object in front of a full-bright green screen. That's a uniform color, so you can remove it easily. Then you have to get it out of world, into Blender, paste it on the impostor surfaces, and re-upload the mesh object. That can work, but needs automation.
  15. I've been trying out mesh reduction programs. There are a lot of them. Seam Aware Decimater - new, good algorithm. Maintains the edges of UV regions as it reduces the mesh, so the same texture will work on the reduced mesh. In practice, it seems brittle. Many models make it crash. It seems to need perfect triangulated geometry with a valid texture mapping. Does a good job when it succeeds. Open source. Academic grade code, not yet ready for the real world. Fast quadric mesh simplification - Fast open-source implementation of a well known, reasonably good algorithm. Does a terrible job when a lot of triangles meet at one point. Does not preserve the texture map exactly, as the seam-aware one does. Open source. MeshLab - open source program. GPL. Has a good reputation. Very good at mesh reduction for non-textured objects down to very low triangle counts. Not so good if you ask it to preserve UV coordinates for textures. Crashes a lot in mesh cleanup operations. Some commercial products: Simplygon, which is part of Unreal Engine. Haven't tried it, but it powers most of the AAA game titles. Umbra, which is apparently used by Sansar. Full automated level of detail solution, including runtime components. Partly a service; you can send models to Umbra's server for optimization. Any better ones out there?
  16. Land use in Zindra puzzles me. I own land in Kama City on Zindra, where I have a motorcycle workshop and a cafe. It doesn't need to be in an adult area to comply with Linden rules; a motorcycle shop just seemed to fit there. I bought abandoned parcels, so I didn't overpay. I didn't realize at the time how much of Kama City is empty Life Properties shells. Recently, various people have been building in Zindra. Someone put up a nice carnival, with working rides. Good rides - bumper cars, Ferris wheel, drop tower, and a track ride. Not adult. No traffic. I took a friend there once and had a good time. That place lasted a month. Now it's half a sim of random large objects - rocky hills, a big fountain, a swimming pool, and a Mayan temple. All low-quality builds, like someone just wanted to fill the space. Someone else just put up a very tall building that looks like a smaller Empire State Building. It looks good from the outside. There's nothing in it; it's hollow inside. SL doesn't have large enough prim budgets to build a packed downtown city block. There's a new adult diner and convenience store owned by a French couple. They show up in world now and then. Someone put up a church recently. Bad build; looks like someone bought a low-end stock building and resized it to fit. If you go there, you get a notecard trying to sell you blood. So there's land turnover, but not much happening. What to do about the land baron problem? Reprice things so that buying a paid alt to get stipend to pay tier isn't a win.
  17. Don't do that at a dock. You pull up to the dock, you stand up, you start to walk on the boat to the dock, the boat disappears, and you fall into the water. If you make a dock, make it useful and allow some docking time. If you make a parking space, make it useful and allow some parking time. Thank you.
  18. Post some pictures. The mesh male avatars I've seen either look gay or look like Twilight characters.
  19. llSHA1String is available in LSL. I use that when signing logging info I send from vehicles to my server. The data may be used for race timing and distance traveled awards, so I wanted some basic security. LSL is that LSL doesn't have a type for an array of bytes. What you get from llSHA1String is a text string in hex. The standard HMAC-SHA1 algorithm needs the result from the first hashing round in binary to be fed to round 2. This is not something you can do in LSL easily. Representing a string of bytes as a list of integers and doing your own arithmetic is possible but not fun. If you're writing your own authentication, you can work with strings only, but if you're trying to be binary compatible with something else, it's going to be tough.
  20. It's in archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/20160822121510/http://anarchy.cn/manual/12/HavokSdk_ProgrammersManual/bk03.html That's the manual for 2012. You probably have to sign up as a Microsoft game developer to get later documentation.
  21. The viewer code is a mess inside. I've been in there.The sim side code is probably similar. Despite that, several projects have managed to make major changes. Level of detail code in the mesh uploader is a few hundred lines of code in one place. It's not real time or event driven. That could be replaced. Probably easier to replace than fix; it has very few comments. At the other extreme is the "fix" SL really needs - multithreading in the simulator. To make the sim side go fast, physics and motion control, which are real time, need to run in different threads than all the other object management the sim does. High Fidelity breaks up its sim process into six microservers. Havok supports multithreaded physics, but it's not clear that SL uses that feature. That's a huge job, but a huge win. Fortunately, SL doesn't really have much physics. Avatars are capsules. Vehicles are single rigid bodies. Avatar interaction is very limited. Attachments are non-physical; swords are just visual bling. There's no physical combat system. The only big problem is that each sim has a high count of stationary objects. I'm not sure what the state of Havok physics is. Since Microsoft bought them in 2015, all the public documentation disappeared. Is SL stuck with an old pre-Microsoft version?
  22. Is this the change to the retransmit timer tried on the beta grid two weeks ago, or the additional message to finish a sim crossing discussed at the Server User Group last Tuesday? Is it on the beta grid anywhere now?
  23. The stuff I'm talking about is well known technology which could be retrofitted to SL without too much effort. What the successful MMOs are doing right now is so far beyond SL it's not funny. New big open world multiplayer online games are coming out almost every month now, and they all work better than SL. The technology is here. Many allow building, so the excuse that "games are all carefully developed content" doesn't fly any more. Wildstar put in a "player housing" system, and players started building elaborate structures. So they added more building features. Now some people log in just to hang out. Many MMOs have continents as big or bigger than SL continents. Some games have region boundaries so well handled that the user doesn't notice. Scaling is a solved problem. In scale, Fortnite recently hit 3.4 million concurrent users, a new record. It's free to play. In-game purchases were US$223 million in March 2018. Yes, SL isn't a game in terms of goals, but underneath, the current generation of MMOs do most of the same things. Better. That's what users expect. The SL homepage suggests something that looks like an AAA game title. Then new users get in and feel cheated. That's part of why so few of those 4000 new signups a day turn into regular users.
  24. That's more elaborate than I'd expected in SL. They even regenerate the sprite when the avatar changes pose. Nice. Is that done for animesh?
  25. Your inventory should look like this scene from The Devil Wears Prada. Now that would be a nice feature for people who have big houses in SL - walk-through inventory.
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