First a big thank you to all the volunteers who brought SL10B together, a marvellous job. Sim performance seemed better than ever before due in part to the great shared knowledge of the organisers and the Exhibitors. On the opening day i hardly experienced any lag and was kind of disappointed that i would not experience any matrix moments.
I unfortunately did not get to see everyones exhibits this year and i only managed to film tiny moments from two of the main stages due to ongoing problems currently with the Viewer. The live shows gave me that great festival feeling that only avatar presence can get from the interwebs. Having Lindimoo beautifully sing and dedicate Puff the Magic Dragon to my Behemoth Project was a highlight.
There was a bit of drama over some exhibits appearing to be ‘blatant’ adverts for SL Business. Now I’m more forgiving as long as their presentation is a nice example of whats possible in SL. In a way we are all advertising what we do, some are just more subtle than others. I did notice for the first time quite a few exhibits that were either exactly the same as last year or changed a little bit from last year. I don’t know whether the exhibitors had no time to do anything original or were simply lazy, but as a visitor seeing something you saw last year gave an impression of no progress. I tended to think ‘hmm saw that last year, so i don’t need to see it again’. It’s got to a point where some commentators are calling for the Volunteer Organisers to be more strict in future, but i feels thats going to far.
The message about repeat exhibits should be aimed at the exhibitors, and if they want to persist in boring the visitors with the same thing every year then its their call.
Exhibits aside i was truly amazed at the stages this year. Their is something very glastonbury about how they take on a theme of their own and add to the magic of the event. You can look back and say ‘remember that stage that was on the back of a giant turtle when listening to live acoustic shows, and the dance stage under the rocket in a an old power station chimney.
I set out to make something never before seen in Second Life that used every ounce of skills id learnt since last year and expressed my love for Linden Lab, the Second Life Platform and all thats inspired me in my life…. so nothing to hard this year :-p
Actually it was not to hard. Over the past year I’ve been slowly building up a series of scripting systems that would help me with story telling and interactivity. Ive been practising more and more with Blender and learning the tricks and workarounds to making efficient low land impact mesh. So when it came to SL10B there was nothing new to be learnt, i just had imagine it and then build it.
Thanks to Draxtor Despres i actually got quite a head start since it had been planned to feature the Behemoth on the Rod Humble Episode of the Drax Files. The distinctive animated look of the Behemoth unfortunately looked out of place from everything else seen in the episode so both Drax and i decided to cut it from the show.
Building the Behemoth was a test in balancing Landimpact, LOD and Size. All three effect each other, removing from one adds to another. On the final day of building i was looking for where i could shave land impact so that i could add pecking birds on the fountain. Took me half an hour to finally squeeze them in, so important they were to finishing off the whole look and feel.
I always aim to create HUDs that are as simple as possible to use. For the Behemoth i created the most simple HUD yet. Through Listen commands activated by touch the HUD hears a special keyword and moves a Mesh plane display up into your view showing a texture devoted to what ever you clicked. It also positions your camera view to focus on characters or views, then waits for your permission via clicking an arrow to move on to the next part of the story. This is the closest i think to how RPG games tell stories and was recognisable and easy to use for the majority of people who visited the behemoth. Of course there were some who still found issues with the HUD but they still enjoyed walking up the Behemoth.
The overall size of the Behemoth came in exactly on the parcels land impact allowance of 269. You maybe surprised to know that half of that was the cell shading black line effect used to make it look like a Studio Ghibli creation.
The People Love the Behemoth.
I got more feed back and comments about the Behemoth than any other SLB Exhibit and it’s really supercharged me for the year ahead. It’s really great to know so many are enjoying the things i create. Here are a few things people have said about the Behemoth.
“The Behemoth was the most fun I’ve had a a SL#B, what a clever and adorable metaphor. Back in 1995 I longed to see this very thing of the Internet, nicely done”
“someone’s seen labyrinth too much”
“The Behemoth is epic. Easily my favorite exhibit in SL10B. Please accept this complimentary jar of Awesomesauce.”
“I visited the Behemoth yesterday, fairy early on without too much lag. It was an incredible experience with a wonderful message. Thank you Loki for all your outstanding contributions to the ‘Behemoth’.”
“This is the exhibit I kept taking my friends to see. Well done”
“Love your build at sl10b it’s by far my favorite xD”
“i have just seen your exhibit at SL10 and it is fantastic! I dont mean to sound like i am nitpicking, it’s really just a question – is it pronounced “be-oh-moth” or something else?
“when i look at his face, i think he should be called “George” or something haha :-)”
“I have just visit your build on SL10B and I loved it! Thank you for the lovely enjoyment! ^^”
“Hallo Loki, I just wanted to let you know that The Behemoth is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my five years on SL. Thank you so much for your contributions to SL and I hope you keep up the awesome work, I’m really hoping to see so much more from you now. \> 3</”
Not only did i get great feedback i was delighted to see so many snapshots taken. It seems standing on top of the Behemoths head people could not resist taking a snapshot of themselves 🙂
The Behemoth maybe gone, probably for ever, but there is no shortage of ideas in my head and with the lab still to bring out new tools for easier interactivity there is plenty more to come from me. Thank you for your support, i love what i do thanks to all of you.