Saturday, March 1, 2008

Read the F'ing Manual!

Bliss Gardens Tour
Written 11 September, 2007

Read the F'ing Manual!

Not long after I arrived in world, I discovered the balloon tours at Bliss Gardens. Very nice! You and a companion hop on, choose between Tour 1 and Tour 2, and float blissfully about the beautifully-detailed multi-sim area of the Gardens. Finally, you drift back to the starting point, the balloon dematerializes, and you are gently deposited on terra firma.

Way cool!

Soon, I started to see similar tours. Cocoloco Island, for instance, has a guided cruise in a beautifully-textured dragon boat, Caledon has a trolley, and the Paris 1900 sims have both a balloon tour (late note: it was gone last I looked) and a zipline that runs from the top of the Arc de Triomphe to the ground.

I was all like, “How do they DO that?

In fact, I was all like, “I have to have me one of those!”

One day in July I did a search and found The Guided Tour Company. Sweetie and I promptly jumped to a small site on the mainland, read the literature, and I dropped 4500 or so Linden dollars on a tour package.

Woo hoo! And ouch!

Back at Pele, Sweetie and I watched a slide show about the tour, and then I took the plunge. I RTFM.*

Setting up a good tour requires skill and talent, but using the product is straightforward. You simply wear a HUD and fly around, touching the button on your screen each time you want to set a waypoint on your cruise and Chatting any commentary you want included in the cruise. When you have finished, you type “save,” and the HUD dumps its memory to Chat. You then open Chat History, copy the memory dump, and paste it into a notecard. After editing (you didn’t really mean to type in Wellcomb, did you?), you rename the notecard and put it into the contents of the included tour vehicle (which looks a bit like a carnival car from the Tunnel of Love). You turn the tour vehicle temporary (best to rename it so you can differentiate it from the original), then pull the tour base from inventory to the ground and place the temporary vehicle inside. It then begins to rezz temporary vehicles, which you can reposition and fix in place by chatting /198SetPos (but type quickly, for the vehicles disappear and are replaced about once a minute) and the new position is fixed. The tour is then set.

To take a tour, you simply hop in and touch the tour vehicle and it begins to direct itself to the positions on the notecard.

It was here that I began to realize that skill and talent might be even more important than RTFM.

You see, the Pele tour vehicle didn’t quite clear the fence railing next to the take-off point, and it tipped dangerously to one side. After managing to right itself, it managed to snag itself on, sequentially, the side of the mountain, my torii gate, and various non-phantom plants.


The notecard can be edited to reset the waystations so you’ll miss obstacles, and you can reset the camera angles of each stop and edit the comments the vehicle will chat to its riders—but then the newly saved notecard must be placed in another temporary tour vehicle which must itself be placed inside the tour base.

Do this a dozen or more times and you, too, will realize the importance of skill and talent in the guided tour process.

After multiple edits, your tour car will fly where you want it and at each stop your camera will position itself where you want it, and the tour car will tell your guests what you want them to hear at just the right time. **

Then you, too, will have a guided tour to take visitors all around your 512 square meter lot.



* Read the f***ing manual!

** That’s the theory, anyway. Note the date this blog post was written. I have never had a tour running.

Take that back. The zip line from the Pele temple to the water is actually a guided tour. But I never did a proper tour.

No comments: