Just before Rod Humble entered the scene and just after upgrading my island to a full region, i had started a project to create a game that tapped into childhood joys of bashing things with a stick.
It was my first real attempt at making a game within SL and over the years I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible to use while maximising the fun. It’s now at version 4.5 and includes Health, auto teleporting and animations, but while I’m still waiting for a new Permissions system to make things even MORE easy for the user to use, I’m going to blog about something else that I’ve found it hard to work around.
Second life has a plethora of control keys to move your avatar but only one button for an action. This is the mouse button. You click on an object to sit, open doors, fire a gun or activate a scripted object.
Traditionally with projectile weapons you change to ‘mouse look’ mode and click mouse button to fire a cow gun, Problem is, if you try to open a door while in mouse look you end up with cow all over your door.
For my bashing game i wanted people to stay in 3rd person but still be able to use weapons. Nothing is cooler than watching you Avatar go nuts on a giant thistle. But you cant click the mouse to fire a weapon in third person, you end up just clicking the floor or where ever your cursor currently is on screen.
The HUD Work Around
In my Bashing game i worked around the third person issue by adding a HUD Button that you click to make you avatar bash stuff, But in mouselook you can’t interact with a hud. Would be nice if i could script the controls to map to a keyboard key, but LSL seems unable to do this.
The Gesture work around.
I’ve seen some people use gestures to activate commands such as ‘reload’ or ‘holster’, but its limited and script heavy.
The easiest solution i can think of is the creation of a second action. A second action button would allow users to finally open a door while holding a weapon in mouse look, or in Third person adventures to attack NPCs without inadvertently sitting on giant mushroom seat.
Or why not allow scripts to map keyboard keys to scripted actions?
Im seeing more and more hardware appearing that revolve around controlling like leap motion, iOS Controllers and headsets that require more intuitive ease of use. The latest Oculus Beta Viewer also suffers from this lack of a second action. I think it’s about time Second Life got a second dedicated Action key.
Linden Lab did in fact create such a feature as part of the OCULUS Test Viewer, the X ACTION key, and it worked brilliantly. Unfortunately the Lab then binned the Oculus Viewer and the Action Key feature along with it.
I made a Jira to try and get the Feature added to official viewer with no luck yet…