I suppose that only a handful of my readers remember the days when this blog was CubicleDweller.com. Back in the heyday of personal blogs, I wrote frequently about life at the office, working the cubical farm — you can still read those posts in the archives here. Fewer readers will know that this is how I got the name “Cubey”, which I carried forward as “Cubey Terra” for a decade and a half of building aeronautic fun in the virtual world.
As of last week, I’ve headed back to the cube farm. I’m once again working full-time as a software technical writer. What that means is that Cubey Terra will only be around on weekends, and that new hoverboard will be delayed.
If any of my Second Life customers need help, please go ahead and message me in-world — I get those as emails, and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
So Second Life, I’ll see you next weekend. Real life, I see you all the time, don’t I? Stop being so clingy.
So I’m doodling away in Blender adding bits and bobs onto other bits and bobs, and before I know it, it starts to look like something. Yes… something. But what?
I don’t know!
Instead of figuring it what it is, I want to give it a name. That’s right. I have no idea what it is or what it does, but it needs a name. Send your name ideas to me, Cubey Terra, in Second Life. My panel of judges (coincidentally all named Cubey Terra also) will review the entries and pick a winner by March 15, 2117.
The winner, if they choose to live into the 22nd century, will get a copy of the first airplane I made in Second Life*. How can you turn that down?
(*Offer only applies if both Second Life and Cubey Terra still exist one century from this date.)
I’ve been in and around virtual reality for a long time now. I’ve seen world-building tools and shared worlds come and go. In the early ’90s, I played with something called Virtual Reality Studio, in which you could construct mini realities from 3D primitives, script them for interactivity, then share the world as an executable that ran on any PC.
The end of the ’90s brought ActiveWorlds and There.com, and by the early 2000s Second Life sprang into being. Since then, SL has spun off countless replica worlds — some public, some not — among which is InWorldz. Just like SL, it supports a large number of square region simulators that are designed and built to their owners’ tastes. And just like SL, anyone can drop in and start building right away. The difference is that, unlike Second Life, InWorldz doesn’t charge you money to upload content like mesh models, images, sounds, and more. It’s all free!
Given that I’m a cheapskate, I thought I’d see if I could bring one of my Second Life creations into InWorldz. I started with something simple: my Terra Xplorer hoverpad. Even though I created the Xplorer myself, Second Life has many restrictions on what you can export for use in other worlds. It’s meant to prevent IP theft, but it’s mainly just a pain in the ass, to be honest.
For example, today I discovered that some of my scripts and most of my textures couldn’t export from SL — mysterious reasons. What arrived in InWorldz was scriptless, untextured models. That meant hours of work copying and adapting my scripts to InWorldz, re-creating textures, and sometimes even rebuilding from scratch, as I did with the Xplorer’s heads-up display (HUD).
So three hours later, I produced a working replica of my Terra Xplorer hoverpad in another virtual world. Done.
Now what? InWorldz seems to have play money like Second Life, but I don’t know if it can be exchanged for US dollar credit as SL users can do on SecondLife.com. Given that I’m not especially interested in earning a new kind of play money, I started giving away Xplorer copies for free.
So that’s today’s experiment. If you log into InWorldz, send Cubey Terra a message and I’ll make sure you get an Xplorer.
Check out today’s blog post “Talking Multi Engine” over at SL Airmenship. It’s an example of a nice innovation in Second Life flight physics — a simple idea, yet I can’t think of anyone using this idea in a multi-engine plane. Normally, thrust is applied in a central location and sometimes offset left or right as is needed. In this case, they apply force at the engines, rather than the centre axis, so no offset calculation is needed when engine thrust is imbalanced.