Monday, November 30, 2009

Shengri La in the Science Sim

Having read in Prim Perfect about the fabulous Saltwater House in Science Sim (one of the Open Sim grids), I created an account to see for myself. (Go to for information on creating an account. The standard Second Life client will run, but the "Target" line has to be modified along the lines of: "C:\Program Files\SecondLife\SecondLife.exe" -loginuri -loginpage -loginuri .)

Apparently, the prim restrictions that builders in SL face are less, um, restrictive. Miss Shenlei Flasheart, of the SL Fashion Research Institute, has used on the order of 140,000 prims for her build, allowing her to provide a great deal of detail unavailable in SL. Each nail in the plank of the deck is an individual prim, and hundreds of prims are used in the flowers surrounding the house.

I swallowed hard and accepted that I would look and walk like an absolute noob for the purposes of this adventure. Miss Flasheart kindly provided a free male and a female avatar, clothing, and hair so that visitors would not look so utterly horrific. That's me admiring the flowers:

The Saltwater House in some of its glory. More on that below.

On the deck of the house. Though hard to see in the pictures, the detail is incredible.

Here's the bad news, and it's two-fold: first, the number of prims takes forever to rez. In fact, I never got the entire house to rez completely. It's possible - likely, even - that my Difference Engine is not up to the task, but said Engine is roughly a year old, outfitted with the best video card offered with the system. Second, the client crashed every time I was there. Sitting was problematic - two crashes came as soon as I stood. One crash occurred at some point after I had left the room, hoping that a half-hour would be sufficient for everything to rez. One crash occurred when I tried to take a picture. A final crash happened for no discernable reason.
But, as they say, Your Mileage May Vary. And, as immature as the Science Sim is, competition among virtual worlds is likely a good thing for users. Patience is advised, however.

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