Friday, February 23, 2007

Balance Board

Written 22 February, 2007

NB; Chey’s Balance Board can be seen and purchased on the Forsaken sim.

Chey’s Balance Board

Last week I started to play with the physics of objects.

In the Edit menu, there’s a selection, grouped right there with Temporary and Phantom, marked Physical. When you tick it, the object will begin to behave rather like objects do in real life. It will become responsive to local physics.

Thus, if it’s in mid-air, it will fall in response to gravity’s pull, or, if it’s leaning, it will topple. If touched or bumped by an avatar, it will move, and it will respond to collisions with other physical objects.

But I’ve told you all this already. So consider the above a refresher course.

After the Icarus Society play with teeter-totters, I decided to make a balance board—a plank that would swivel on a fulcrum when an av walked along it.

It was easy enough to make a balance board. Make a board. Make a fulcrum— a cube tapered along one axis to 85% or so. Center the board above the fulcrum. Make it physical. Done.

The problem was in keeping the board operational. In normal operation, it tended to turn clockwise or counterclockwise and would eventually overbalance and fall to the ground. Bumping it would move it so it was heavy at one end and wouldn’t balance properly.

I solved the problem by adding uprights to either side of the board— which stopped it from swiveling—and horizontal pegs which stopped it from twisting upward until it overbalanced and fell out of the mechanism, and other pegs to stop it from moving too far laterally.

Then I fancied up the base so the board would make a nice clunk when it descended, applied some nice textures, and...

Ta Da!

Chey’s balance board.

Coming soon to a mall near you.

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