Written 23 July, 2008
Independence Day Fireworks at Whimsy Kaboom
The Fourth of July holiday saw two great fireworks shows on our Whimsy Kaboom sim. We had an early show to accommodate Second Life’s Europeans, and another after most of the U.S. was dark.
At Sweetie’s rez day celebration Fnordian Link told us about two HUD-based fireworks systems—the Decuir system and the Cubeos system (I found Cubeos on www.SLExchange.com). Both systems happened to be on sale through the Fourth, so I bought one. And then the other for Sweetie. And then the other for myself. And then the other one (for Sweetie) for her. What all this means is we both had both systems.
As my entire experience with SL fireworks had consisted of setting off freebie rockets and sitting in the grass last Independence Day and watching a fireworks show, I was a bit apprehensive about coming up to speed on the Decuir and Cubeos systems, but I needn’t have worried. It was easy to set up shows.
We used demos for the first show. Sweetie, being Sweetie, insisted we tweak for the second show, so we spent about ninety minutes beforehand setting out emitters and deciding when they would be triggered.
We had big crowds for both shows (I had listed them in Events). The shows ran without a hitch. Sim performance was spectacular during the first show. The second show started out fine, but the sim was hit with massive time lag about halfway through.
Now, fireworks are particles, and particles don’t lag a sim (the rezzing of the emitters might), but earlier we had two shows running simultaneously and about 15 avatars on the sim with no time dilation of sim frame rate slowdown—so what was up?
I don’t know, but I suspect one of two things: either SL was cutting up or one or more of the avatars present at the evening show had Avatar Rendering Costs of 20,000 or so (don’t laugh; see the next post). I think next time we have an event I’ll ask a friend to keep tabs on ARC for me.
The lag, however, didn’t make much of a difference, as people were just standing and watching the show.
I’m considering creating a custom fireworks show, using both systems, and setting it to run every two hour or so in a theater up in the sky.