So this is your first day on the construction crew. Do you understand the concept illustration? Good. Get ready. We're going to hoist the structure on this plot. We purchased rights to the land and got permission to build. Be sure to work in pairs and be careful during the final assembly. We start in fifteen minutes, so don't be late. Ready. Set. Fly!
Fly? Welcome to Second Life.
This 3-hour laboratory introduces building using Second Life, for the course Design of Virtual Worlds at San Francisco State University.
|Overview||0:00 - 0:15|
|Design discussion||0:15 - 0:45|
|Travel to construction site||0:45 - 1:00|
|Pair construction||1:00 - 1:30|
|Break||1:30 - 1:45|
|Team assembly||1:45 - 2:15|
|Finish||2:15 - 2:30|
|Review||2:30 - 2:45|
Come to a consensus on a concept illustration. The concept must be simple enough to build in thirty-minutes to one hour. In addition, the concept should be easily divisible into pairs. Like much of Second Life building, a theme is a good idea for building. For example, Benham (18,27) is a plot of snow, so some themed ideas for group building may be:
The culmination of this discussion are concept sketches that roughly correspond to the screenshots of the plot of land. This is the first step to team construction. The team has a concept that can be visualized as an illustration. There is only about ten minutes to make this illustration, so it should functional, without rendering. Example concept sketches of "Snowboy throwing a boyball at a snowgirl":
If a team member has experience with scripting or programming, include a script to the structure, such as mobility. If no team member does, then the library script of rotation can be applied to an object to demonstrate the principle of scripts. Briefly discuss and illustrate the scripted behavior. Ensure that it is simple. It is better to be on the side of caution in order to build confidence through team accomplishment.
The deliverable for the design discussion is three concept illustrations, from the same angles as the screenshots. Three examples are shown above.
Each student in the pair should have adjacent computers, so that both may observe the partner's view and activity. This enables the two students to troubleshoot each other's problems and collaborate on their building assignment.
The instructor arbitrates, when needed, distribution of labor of the building to the pairs. If the class is larger than a dozen, group the pairs together for a subassembly of the total building. Each pair should have an equal amount of labor, because each phase requires the full class to finish.
Once there, by flying or teleporting, the student can fly to the exact coordinates. The coordinates map (x,y), with x being the west-to-east ascending scale, and y being the south-to-north ascending scale. Each region is 256x256 units as a square, so (128,128) is the center.
If a student gets stuck or the software becomes unresponsive, attempt to retrace the path. If this fails, wait one minute. The client may be downloading obstacles that are in the way. If no response after one minute, exit the software and then restart the software. If this occurs while teleporting, do not attempt to teleport.
Then the instructor invites each student join to the instructor's group. For example, the group name may be SecondLab, with officer title as "Instructor" and member title as "Student."
If not done already, the instructor enables the land owned by the instructor's account for group building. And the instructor gives build permission, on this land, to this student group.
During building, each builder must set each object to full permission (found in General properties while editing an object), such as "Share with group", and next owner may "Modify" and "Copy". It may also help to "Allow anyone to modify" and "Allow anyone to copy." Otherwise, a partner cannot edit the work!
Ensure the textures have been made consistent and that the scales mesh. Ensure the overall design matches. Work through issues and quickly come to a consensus or provide explicit direction to finish on time.
The last issue may be attaching a script. This should be simple, one that has been tested already, such as a rotating appendage.
To create this screenshot:
For example, the above screenshots were produced in this manner. This web-friendly screenshot should be uploaded to the class file server, in the directory designated by the instructor.
Is the screenshot done and uploaded? Congratulations! You have collaborated to construct a new building in Second Life. For example, a screenshot of the ski lift produced by the class on September 8, 2004:
(The chicken is someone else's laboratory. No virtual chickens were harmed during the construction of this ski lift.)
|1.||The student participated in design discussion.|
|2.||The student cooperated with the partner.|
|3.||The pair constructed its assigned part.|
|4.||The team assembled a structure.|
|5.||The structure resembles its concept illustrations.|
|6.||Textures give a consistent style.|
|7.||The structure's style is compatible with the surrounding environment.|
|8.||The structure displays a script.|
|9.||The team resolved its conflicts.|
|10.||The student uploaded one unique screenshot of the building to the correct directory.|
|11.||The screenshot is 640x480 and JPG.|
|12.||The student participated in the review discussion.|
David Ethan Kennerly directed five massively multiplayer (MMP) games in the US and Korea. He is an author on game design for ITT Tech, Westwood College, Charles River Media, Gamasutra.com, and the IGDA Persistent Worlds whitepaper. If you have comments or other feedback, please contact the author at: kennerly (AT) finegamedesign (DOT) com
You may view this lab at his website: finegamedesign.com/secondlife
You may find out more about the course, Design of Virtual Worlds, taught by Jane Veeder at San Francisco State University.
Copyright 2004 David Ethan Kennerly, except images copyright Linden Labs. All rights reserved.