Friday, February 23, 2007

Review: Outy Banjo's Auto-Emote

Written 21 February, 2007

Review: Outy Banjo’s Auto-Emote

My Heads-Up-Device is getting so cluttered these days that Sweetie has taken to calling me Bond Girl.

Truth to tell, I’m running out of places to attach things.

The lower right has a place for attachment, but is vacant, for that’s where Chat scrolls. Everywhere else but the middle of the screen, I seem to have something attached.

My Mysti-Tool is attached to the lower right. On the upper left is the Sensual Animation Override, which gives me a sexy walk and nice stand, sit, and fly poses. Occasionally (but rather infrequently these days, as Blogger has come to work only sporadically) the AO is knocked out of its place by the translation device Blogger and I have to reinstall it. The upper middle displays my compass, which tells me the direction I’m facing, and without which I feel naked. And on the upper right there’s Outy Banjo’s Auto-Emote.

And it is the Auto-Emote about which I want to blog.

I’ve several appliances that make my avatar smile. One simply attaches them to an inconspicuous part of the body, and, until they’re detached, they cause me to smile at irregular but frequent intervals. I’ve not been happy with any of them.

I like to have a happy avatar, but it’s not quite appropriate to smile when, for instance, a friend is telling me about her breakup to the love-of-her-life, who dumped her after three days of Second Life marriage, or while banning a misbehaving avatar from my land. And I find the smiles, even when timely an appropriate, a bit cheesy. Poorly executed, in other words.

Enter Outy Banjo.

Outy is famous in SL for her particle products. She sells poofers, water and fog and bling scripts, sunset clouds and rainmaking scripts, and anti-griefing devices.

And she sells the Auto-Emote.

Being dissatisfied with my third—count em!—smiler, I took a chance and spent $300L or so for Outy’s emoter. And I’ve been very happy with it.

The Auto-Emote attaches to the upper right portion of the HUD (it can be placed elsewhere), and accordions away nicely. When open, it displays an array of perhaps 20 facial expressions which can be accessed with a mouse click. Actions available include: smile, laugh, surprise, horror, disdain, boredom, wink, yawn, and tongue protrusion. You just click on the expression you want and your av goes into action.

The various actions are performed smoothly, and their timing is expertly executed.

Outy being Outy, the Auto-Emote is an intelligent device. It listens to Chat and compares your avatar’s speech against a list of about 300 key words, and, when it finds a match, calls up the corresponding expression. When I type ROFL or LOL, for example, my av gives an exaggerated laugh. When I type Ewww!, she wrinkles her nose. She can be in turn happy, surprised, frightened, bored, disgusted, or mischievous (the wink).

It’s even possible to add key words to trigger particular expressions.

The expressions on the HUD are signified by emoticons, most of which tend to look alike to me. I sure wish Outy had included text labels. But that’s a small complaint. I rarely make my av execute a facial expression, except when making a photograph—and even then, I can type a word in Chat and make her perform. Mostly, I just keep the HUD collapsed and let Outy’s script animate her. I let her script do the work. For the most part, my expressions follow what I’m saying. That’s good enough for me.


Photo 1: Sweetie is in Chat Range

Photo 2:
Sweetie Has Left the Building

Photo 3:
Waiting for Plush Beta to Rez

Photo 4: You’re Cute!

Photo 5:
Time to make the Tier Fee Payment

Photo 6: Chey Frightened 

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