Written 27 January, 2011
For a while now Sweetie and I have been puzzing about how to transport avatars from this little island...
... to this little island.
The islands are, of course, only about 10 meters from one another, but this is Whimsy Kaboom, after all. Why settle for something simple when you can have something ridiculous and sublime? I mean, really! Is this Second Life or not?
And so, Sweetie and I engaged in our usual negotiations. That is, she pooh-poohed my ideas until I came up with something utterly impractical and fabulously silly.
I know it's difficult for her, but she is a muse, after all. It's her job, and she would be remiss if she gave in to one of my lesser ideas. And half the time, of course, the brilliant idea is hers and not mine.
A bridge? Yawn.
A fancy scripted bridge? Double yawn.
Zip line? We have one on Whimsy.
A little helicopter that will pick up avatars by the seat of their pants and drop them on the far shore? Better. You're getting closer.
It was at first a frustrating process for me, but all I know is it works. Instead of something average or mediocre, we wind up with something spectacular like a sanatorium for robots.I wouldn't have it any other way.
And so yesterday I flew over to the spot in question and started throwing out prims.
I had the basic shape of a rocket ship laid out when Sweetie logged in. I IMed her, asking her to help me with the tailfins, the shapes of which I had in my head but couldn't quite produce. She came over and straightaway tortured the prims into submission.
After Sweetie went to bed I finished and textured the rocket and added a full-permission ground sit that positions the avatar perfectly in the limited space available. Then I set to work on particles.
The blue jet flame was a piece of cake, as Jopsy Pendragon's Particle Lab provides one with their free learning materials. Smoke was more difficult, but by tweaking and tweaking and tweaking the parameters I finally nailed it. I was even able to set the flame to stay in the proper position in relation to the rocket, and set the smoke to not follow the rocket. Woot!
This morning I began writing a script to control the smoke and flame. They're triggered when an avatar sits and stop several seconds after the avatar stands or is unsat (Unsat? What strange usage!)
One of my unfinished projects is a poseball called "Don't sit in the geyser!" It's meant to be placed in the main geyser on Whimcentricity. When an avatar sits, the geyser begins to spout; several seconds later the avatar is thrown 750 meters into space. The poseball dies and the avatar is left in freefall.
I'm going to use the same propulsion system in the rocket. When the smoke and flame start, the rocket will move forward slowly and then hurl itself far into the air. When it reaches its apogee the smoke and flame will vanish and the rocket (still carrying the avatar) will teleport to the far shore, emit a burst of particles (as if the rocket were exploding), go invisible, teleport itself back to its starting point, reappear, and reset for the next avatar. There will be rockets on both shores to facilitate travel in both directions-- or maybe I'll have a single rocket that comes to waiting avatars.
I've already done everything I've described in other projects, but I have a hurdle-- I'll have to figure out how to make the rocket stay stable in its trajectory rather than tumbling in all directions.
If I can get everything working, it should be great fun!