Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Building in SL

Being in second life for the first time was a wonder. Suffering from major "noobinitus" took me a while to get things straight while logged on. From seeing adds and trailers of SL, my first impression is that of a game, almost exactly like "World of Warcraft" to be specific. In it's own way, it kind of is, but it is also more than that. I can use my gamer's instincts as if it was MMO: changes in appearance, exploring the level and use of communications are the same as if in MMO's such as WoW or the Call of Duty games etc. Its a medium that connects me into the virtual world just like a video game, just taking out the gaming concept of it and using it as a medium to surf through the new world. With all honesty, Second Life was larger and a lot more vast than I thought when I first logged on. I felt like I could get lost very easily in whatever virtual world I was in at the time. I got a larger understanding of how large SL is when I just simply walked and flew around.

One thing in SL that really stands out and separates itself from other games, is that you can "build and create within the game." That blew my mind when I made that discovery, nearly constructing your own 3D art in the game. However, I was just as intimidated as I as intrigued. The trip to the sandbox in class was quite the learning experience, although it took me a while to know the ropes of creating blocks, cones and the use of combinations of creating different shapes. It was like molding clay and turning it into whatever you can imagine by adjusting its parameters. It certainly wasn't easy to figure out though because there were so many details to adjust: height, width, depth, textiles, and so on.

I started out very basic, a cube prim. It started out as a wood block, then I gave it a stone tile and turned it red. "Just like a big block of Jello" I thought, and I found the effect to make the gelatin kind of texture. After adjusting the gravitation strength and wind strength, it was quite the laugh attaching it to myself and walking around. Then I experimented with linking two objects together. I only came up with making stone columns and spearesque objects. Building in Second Life demands a lot time and effort dedicated to practice. But once you really know what you are doing, you are virtually limitless.

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