Team Leader: Heather O'Daniel (SL:Tensegrity Tigerpaw)
members: team is made up of current SLA members.
in-world group name: SLA Developers*
This space is for all members of the in-world development team to log and describe aspects of developing the SLA site in SL
Lead developer, Heather ODaniel (Tensegrity Tigerpaw) directed me to help her start developing some structural spaces on the new 4096 m2 land acquired by our group leader, Jill, for the SLA site. To teach Tens how to do this without a hitch, I wrote in detail in a notecard, the steps that I take to deal with a parcel with prims from multiple owners before building a building there. I also wrote out instructions on how to inspect who owns what on the land, how to return things and how to check if she had subparceling permissions (for the sandbox). These details will be provided in other educational materials elsewhere in the wiki. (insert link here).
I imagined a very professional and modern looking building that was also uncomplicated, without too many stairs, prims or high resolution textures. It needed to have a wide open center area for people to stand in one place and just look around. Heather and I talked for weeks about spaces and what buildings and constraints, or lack thereof, do for people, traffic flow, how space and walls helps them think, relax, create, how they divide up tasks. We talked about basic square buildings and we talked about spaces centered in circles. We talked about building in the air vs. on the ground. I knew that over time, the spaces on the SLA land would change as SLA changes and matures within SL, but we needed to start somewhere and both of us agreed that there was a certain amount of urgency to get something down so that we get on with the fun stuff. To us, building the building (or learning to) was not a meaningful goal of the SLA committee volunteers. We just wanted a building to be put down to give people some defined limits of structure, inside or around which, the creativity of the SLA SL team could attach its roots. I set out to provide several examples of buildings for Heather and the rest of the group to view. Lucky for me I suppose, they liked the very first one, at least I didn't hear of any objections, and they began to place chairs down and take pictures of it immediately.
The building that we placed down was built by Lordfly Digeridoo independent of SLA. Lordfly is the creative director of Clever Zebra, an SL development company I have volunteered for. I obtained the building from the island headquarters of Clever Zebra, where it is given for free, in full permission format (mod, copy, trans), as part of a marketing and tool package to help rl businesses develop their presence quickly. Its a wonderful gift to the SL community and to the RL business community, and if you ever get an opportunity to thank Lordfly, please do via notecard. He may not even know we have a copy, since these buildings are for the business community at large. Obtaining a full permission, free building doesnt happen every day, especially such a large and beautiful one. This was a perfect choice for SLA because it can be unlinked, re-colored, stretched, broken up, rejoined, copied, and transferred. He used shaded textures which are very modern. If the building were to be retextured, his textures will be lost in the modified version, but the original building are still in Heather's inventory. If major remodeling is done, i recommend saving copies of various stages of remodeling. There is no undo button in SL.
Lordfly is a very talented builder as you can see just by glancing at it, the shapes, textures, window details are all stylishly created, but if you look carefully, you notice that the building fits just perfectly along the length of the land because it was built to fit on a 4096. The building comes in three multiple-prim-linked peices. The two back peices make up the major part of the pavilion, and the front peice was initially placed in front (L shape), but subsequently removed on accident by Tensegrity. Tens looked at the effect and thought about it, and the I saw the space and we both really liked the result. She asked me to polish up the broken end of the back of the building and I helped her create the two doorway entrances and a sidewalk that connects the streetwalk with the entrances. As a source of new prims, i pulled out the front third of the building from inventory and unlinked it. I saved some sections of it, windows, columns, flooring, bits and pieces and gave them to Tens for safe keeping. These are small parts of the building that can be used for minor modifications if needed. I also realized I had an affinity to those skylights of the third section, but we wanted more open space in the land, so i unlinked the front third and preserved the skylit section and removed the windows and trashed the rest. The result was an open air small square "gazebo" that defines a new space and provided a doorway from wanderers coming from the west of the land. It also balanced out the center sidewalk which invites wanderers coming from the north of the land. I modified the building a few days later and added more doors by shrinking the existing windows and adding some thresholds on the east and south ends of the land. More doors or open windows are still possible if needed. The entire build was placed by Tens and i can modify via her permissions. Currently the build is locked and can be unlocked to mod only by her.
In the days before finalizing the building, Sofie put down a circle of cushions on one half of the land. It has remained in the same place since.
Once the building sections (3 total) were set in their preferred location, snapped to the grid, they were locked down. There are 3 or so single parts of the building that are not linked to the main. These were also locked down. We built some signs containing the SLA logo and these were put up over every doorway on every side of the land.
Tensegrity Tigerpaw (Heather ODaniel) called a meeting of the developer group to discuss a few necessary details on how to proceed with the land and build. Jilliana (Jill) Suisei was also invited. The agenda was to introduce the builds and spaces to the group, ask for feedback, describe the proposed sandbox area, answer questions, and obtain more permissions for Heather to manage the land as was necessary in order to build the sandbox. At this time the land was deeded to the group "Special Libraries Association" and Heather and I did not have permissions via the group to subparcel the land. I suggested to Jill to make Heather co-owner of the group and that i would help Heather manage and teach her. By the end of the evening, Heather was made co-owner and had gained the ability to subparcel the land to make the sandbox, and thus the sandbox was created.
There were no objections to the boundaries of the sandbox which is exactly half the parcel. A suggestion by Violet was made about making sure the sandbox (a potentially messy place) is not the first thing people see when they arrive at the land. This can be remedied by changing the landing spot on the land to be inside the building and we intend to be mindful of this.
It was suggested that the sandbox boundaries be clearly marked and more signs be put up. We intend to do this and also put up signs describing the basic guidelines for using our sandbox. This sandbox is open to the public because everyone starts out as a newbie, even SLA members.
I gave a short tour of the new sky grass that Heather and I made. It is accessible using a freebee teleporter that is located in the gazebo (I may switch to my purchased teleporters which have more options). The teleporter can be copied and put anywhere in the land (within 300 m) so please send suggestions. The "sky grass" area is the same size and covers the sandbox parcel over 200 meters above the land. Anything built on the sky grass is considered within the sandbox and will autoreturn if not set to the land group. Another teleporter at the sky grass brings your avie down to the ground. A short wall on either side of the sky platform prevents avitars from walking off accidently, however any avie can walk off the far ends and fly off or fall to the ground. The skygrass can be used for extra building space or privacy in editing the avitar appearance.
While the buildings are in place, you will notice that content is sparse. The site is still a work in progress. Additional content, furniture or gadgets will be determined later by the group.
Last night we successfully switched the land group from Special Libraries Association to SLA Developers. This went very smoothly thanks to Jill and Tensegrity (Heather). In addition, thanks to Sofie and Liatris and ?? for switching all the objects to the group and so now the site is stable. We are just tracking down a few prims, perhaps trees to finish it off, and sophie's sky grid, but we arent worried about it. in our quest we discovered a park bench in the back corner that Tens was using to hide out and smoke her cigar. *poke
The SLA sandbox is open and ready for you! Go make mudpies!
The grass around the circle of cushions is the sandbox and extends just up to the surrounding sidewalks but it also extends over and past the gazebo! Yes, the gazebo is part of the sandbox too. Do you want to attempt to furnish that space? go ahead. Perhaps you are working on a sign display and want to know what it would look like in the building, you can do it in the gazebo! You will know you are in sandbox space if you look at the top of your browser for the title of the land. There is a short wall marking the boundary of the parcel.
The SLA sandbox is open 24/7 for building by SLA members or guests. If you have your SLA developer group activated, the objects will remain indefinitely until you take them. If you are not a member of this group, your objects will be returned to you in a few hours. Autoreturn time is controlled by Tensegrity Tigerpaw, the Lead developer and other owners of the group. If you have a building project in the works and need more time, be sure and tell her or someone right away. Also inform her if your build uses alot of prims. We have an allowance for the entire parcel to share among the whole group.
Experiment with your prims, try to construct anything you imagine. If you need more space to build, the SL world has a multitude of large sandboxes that are frequented by residents of any level. To find one of these, just use your search engine. Some may be very crowded, but some are empty. Its really fun to visit these because you can see all the crazy stuff people are building. Make sure your computer and browser can handle the graphics because these places are very active in content and running scripts.
Our sandbox takes up exactly half the SLA parcel. If you go to the gazebo you can find the teleporter for the sky grass. The skygrass area is directly above the sandbox (200+ meters) and you can use the grid there as well. Land usage is measured by the number of prims you take up not necessarily the amount of space. We have a limited number of prims allowed and a limited total area of 4096m2 of area in which to build (half of that is sandbox), however the volume you can use is very large since the sky space is as high as you can fly is all contained in the SLA land (without a gadget you can fly to ~250m, with a gadget, thousands). Your prim usage and the limits can be seen in the "about land" window. Click on the title of the land at the top of your browser to open it.
Occasionally my real life schedule allows me to have some downtime to play in SL and one of my pastimes is volunteering as a mentor and building tutor. Being involved in the SLA development has been really fun and I would enjoy more impromtu or scheduled sessions with people who want to learn more about SL or creating content, but nothing is scheduled at the moment. The SLA Second Life training committee headed by Ming Wong is in the process of organizing a calandar as well as additional training resources for you. However if you see me wandering around the SLA site, usually in the evenings, I can probably answer your questions or have some virtual milk and cookies with you, just say hello.