Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Developers and the Blue Mars Tech. Staff - 1st Meeting

Recently the developers in Blue Mars got this invitation from the Avatar Reality Technical Staff:

The meeting was well attended and lasted well beyond the hour mentioned in the invitation. Also attending were the two mainstays of the Community Department, Glenn Sanders, Community Director for Avatar Reality, and Tiffany Nahinu, Community Development Associate. It was this team that organised the meeting, and they did an excellent job.

I had many questions concerning scripting, animations, and physics, but two answers stood out above all the others, and these were in response to questions concerning the chat-room concept, and the formation of a scripting library. These were the topics, and the answers:

Two recent threads in the SL forum (thread 1) (thread 2) made me think about privacy in general in virtual worlds, and particularly how this would be addressed in Blue Mars. The threads in the SL forum were not the first on the subject of privacy, they are a recurring complaint in SL. Basically, in Second Life, anyone can detach their camera and by extending their draw distance can send their camera anywhere inside a region, and even into neighbouring regions, right into the homes and bedrooms of other residents, and watch whatever they are doing there, as if they were standing in the room, and there is nothing that can be done about this, other than to buy an expensive private island of your own, and close it to public access.

However, it has been noticed that when you detach your camera in Blue Mars and send it into a residence, it appears bare of furniture, and no-one in there, even though it is a fully furnished residence, and people are at home. So I asked Tim the technical designer and scriptor what was going on.

Tim replied that when residents and their friends (on an access list) are inside the residence it effectively becomes a separate chat-room. So all messages concerning the objects inside that room, the avatars inside, and what they are saying and doing ONLY goes to them, and no-one else, so a stranger passing by looking through the window, or a detached camera sent inside, just sees a bare room. In Blue Mars you have true privacy! For others to see what is inside, and see the avatars in there, they must be invited, in the same way as in real life. This platform just gets better and better :)

Script Library
Now that the Blue Mars scripting wiki is taking shape (Blue Mars uses the Lua scripting language) I thought it would be of great use to newcomers to Lua to get hold of simple, sample scripts, to get their Lua feet wet, and start modifying the code for their own purposes.

I spoke to Maggie (Blue Mars name - magnolia), the scripting guru at Blue Mars, and she thought it was a great idea, and promised to get onto it straight away. Here is the proof :)

All in all, a very productive evening.