Welcome to the second Sign of the Kite (SOTK) newsletter of 2016. This week we focus in particular on history builds in Kitely, a popular genre and a subject we will likely return to again in the future as new builds for education and roleplay reach fruition.
Remember SOTK is the shortform newsletter that keeps you up to speed with all things Kitely and OpenSim. It is written BY residents FOR residents and is neither sponsored nor endorsed by Kitely.
Got news of your world or group, an event, a recruitment drive, a newsworthy shop, product or promotion? Drop a brief notecard on avatar Graham Mills_2 inworld or PM Graham Mills via the Forum. All that’s needed are 2–5 sentences with a title, URL and/or hypergrid address. All times in PDT, please, and nothing A-rated/NSFW. Copy deadline is 17:00 Wednesday for inclusion in Friday’s news.
You can also read this newsletter in PDF format.
The big news this week is the launch of the SOTK website. Serene Jewell is responsible for design and implementation in WordPress and the content is currently biased towards newsletter articles. The intention in the future, however, is to source longform writing with the newsletter providing brief teasers (as with Michael Vallance’s article below).
The site will also feature interviews with active Kitely users with Faye Doff first in line. Faye talks about her use of her Kitely world Eydis both now (as a freebie/exploration area) and in the future (for games and contests).
Collaborative problem-solving for robot tasking
Educator Michael Vallance has been using Kitely to devise and study collaborative problem-solving activities involving simulated inworld robots. His students are based in the USA, UK and Japan and they collaborate remotely to control a robot engaged in the simulated dumping of nuclear waste bins.
Michael says of his experience with his Kitely world “It has been easy to set up, falls well within our budget, is reliable, and our small number of avatars can maneuver seamlessly.”
As many of you know, the Seanchai Library has branches in Second Life & Inworldz, as well as Kitely. And while it seems to be an unwritten custom to not talk about “that other grid” here very much.. lol… We do feel we are doing good work for Kitely and the Opensim community by making our SL and IW audiences more aware of Kitely and the cool stuff we are able to do here. As well as doing our bestest to reach out to the Hypergrid Community at large.
In the month of January the Seanchai Library is presenting Time Travel stories every Thursday night in all three grids. We are also running a give away contest in which the lucky winner will receive a Delorean Time Travel machine from Back to the Future! It has tons of bells and whistles and is created and sold by Novatech at an equivalent cost of $2,500KC! https://goo.gl/fAmdwF
It is an SL item, and not exportable, but you don’t have to go to SL at all, and you can still enter to win by attending story sessions in Kitely. Maybe you have a secret alt in SL and you wanna drive the coolest car ever! Or maybe you have a friend that you haven’t been able to drag out of SL yet and you can give them a cool gift!
(btw – if anyone can find us an equivalent item in opensim we will consider getting one and adding it to the giveaway!)
Sometime during each Thursday session we will reveal a secret date that has some significance in Time Travel lore. To enter to win the contest you need to send us a Notecard at the end of January with all four of these dates on it. You can score an extra entry for each date that you can tell us the significance of!
But you say, you already missed the first session of January! Well, as a bonus for SOTK readers only we are revealing that first special date right here! drumroll please…. the first date you need to know is… 10-21-2015
Crista Lopes blog
Ever wondered what motivates OpenSim’s developers? Most likely there’s no single answer but hypergrid inventer Crista Lopes (aka Diva Canto) provides some insight in a recent IEEE blog. The article gives a useful overview of the technical demands of 3D environments like OpenSim and the constraints and compromises that enable the simulated world to be experienced via avatars remotely located from one another. As Crista says, the challenge for developers is “fascinating”.
h/t Talla Adam, OpenSim Virtual G+
Tip of the week: Firestorm zdrop
On the forum Constance Peregrine responded to a question about archiving content in prims by revealing a number of little-known chat commands in the Firestorm viewer. Note that a number of these commands remain active until explicity turned off. They are probably best suited to more experienced users and it is strongly advised that (for once) the documentation be read before use.
- zdrop: copies an inventory folder to specified inworld prim
- ztake: takes selected objects into specified folder
- mtake: rename objects with their dimenions before taking into specified inventory folder (intended for megaprims)
- lpackage: take selected inworld objects into specified folder and then copy to specified inworld prim
- cpackage: as lpackage but copies instead of taking
- kpackage (also ktake, kcopy): as lpackage but works with object UUIDs
(Nearly) Freebie of the week: Land Flattener (Gypsy Paz)
Terraforming inworld is good fun but sometimes you just want to restore an area to its pristine state and this simple tool allows you to do that. Simply add the script to a flat prim, move the prim to the position and height required, touch the prim to turn it on (shown in hovertext) and the land at that point is rapidly raised (or lowered) and flattened. The script is both very simple and editable. It is sold at 10 KC, the lowest price allowed on the market.
Looking for “freebies” on Kitely Market?
The HyperFind search tool can help. Simply go to bit.ly/hyperfind and enter “10 KC” (include the quotes) to get a listing of stores and items that include that search term. Note that 10 KC is the minimum price on the Market and the closest it gets to freebies. See the list at the end of the newsletter for a list of inworld freebie places in Kitely.
Weekend reading: Visualising the Guild Chapel, Stratford-upon-Avon: digital models as research tools in buildings archaeology
Graham discovered this while doing some background reading for his Shakespeare400 build.
History builds are of great interest to both amateur historians and roleplayers who want to get a feel for environments that shaped both events and people in bygone times. Professional historians and archaeologists have, however, expressed concerns regarding the inability of history builds to factor in uncertainty. This led in 2009 to the development of the so-called “London Charter for the computer-based visualisation of cultural heritage”. Of course, one can also see history builds as learning opportunities and the term “reimagine” often used in this context provides for using OpenSim as a platform for data integration, for posing new questions and hence identifying the limits of our understanding as well as occasionally pushing them back.
Giles, K., Masinton, A., & Arnott, G. (2012). Visualising the Guild Chapel, Stratford-upon-Avon: digital models as research tools in buildings archaeology. Internet Archaeology, (32). http://doi.org/10.11141/ia.32.1
Model (Unity WebGL): http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue32/1/guild-chapel/index.html
3DVISA (list of history builds): http://3dvisa.cch.kcl.ac.uk/projectlist.html
London Charter: http://www.londoncharter.org/
Ongoing: Seanchai Mall
It is another WIP, but the SEANCHAI MALL world is now open. It is based on Linda Kellie’s Freebie Mall with a few additions including a terraforming store where people can download .RAW terrain textures for free. We’re continuing to expand offerings there as we can, and welcome any other Kitely Merchants to place their freebie and demo items here. We’ll even set them up with their own storefront here if they want. It will remain free access for all residents and HGers, with the caveat that they need to join the Seanchai Library Group to be allowed to go there. Which they can do by visiting our main world’s LZ, or contacting me inworld or by email.
ALSO… all of the items in our Kitely Market, SEANCHAI BOOKS are available free somewhere scattered on one our worlds for the intrepid explorer willing to hunt for them!
Kitely favourite: rue Valois, Parc de Monceaux 1785 (James Stuart)
There are some wonderful French Baroque worlds in various stages of completion and presumably intended for roleplay. Not all are open to the public but rue Valois (James Stuart) and Antiquities (Jacon Cortes) both currently are and bode extremely well for the remainder. Some of the building components are available on the Market via Twice Baked Meshes and Textures and Graham took the opportunity to acquire a Baroque nobleman costume from l’Orangerie, also on the Market. Doesn’t he look smart!
Twice Baked: https://www.kitely.com/market?store=7213952
Scripter (paid): contact Jacon Cortes inworld.
If you have short adverts like this, place them with us for free.
Digital archaeology: Temple of Bel, Palmyra
The Institute of Digital Archaeology, a collaboration between Harvard and Oxford universities, has an active programme to archive 3D records of historical sites under threat in conflict zones in the Middle East and North Africa. A digitized version of the (now largely destroyed) Temple of Bel at Palmyra is consequently available as an OAR and can be seen on Kitely courtesy of Kat Lemieux (who provides further details on the respective World page).
Edo period Japan: Hosoi Mura (Amiyru Hosoi)
This is probably the largest ecosystem of historically themed content on Kitely and it doubles as an area for roleplay and as a shopwindow for the creator’s store in Kitely Market.
Hypergrid bucketlist: Allegheny Portage Railroad (Nova Saunders)
Nova Saunders is an RL educator who uses OpenSim with her students on the VIBE grid. On arrival there’s a board with a range of destinations and the one shown is a heritage build for a rather unusual railway for moving canal boats, the Allegheny Portage Railroad.
Hypergrid address: nova.bio-se.info:9000
YT (Spiff Whitfield, Serena Offcourse): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxX0CJkNEP8#t=134
Where to find freebies on Kitely – an incomplete list
Here are a few regions offering free content. We’ll update as time goes on. This is not a complete list by any means. Don’t forget to say “thanks” to the grid owners.
Vana Harbor Bazaar
grid.kitely.com:8002:Vana Bazaar and Botanical Garden
Just4yucks Main Store/Gallery
Access requires joining Seanchai Library group via grid.kitely.com:8002:Seanchai
Handy’s Tools Freebies
grid.kitely.com:8002:Stuff (mainly intended for educators)
Finding people: part 2
One commonly asked question is “How do you find people to talk to inworld?”
In fact, there are several ways you can do this – some via inworld tools, others via the Kitely website.
- Join the Kitely Community group inworld.
- Use inworld search to find individuals.
- Use the Kitely website to find worlds with people in them.
- Subscribe to the Kitely Events Calendar and go to events and activities that interest you.
Last week we looked at the first method. In this newsletter we cover the others.
Use inworld search to find individuals
Open the viewer search tool (command-F or control-F) and switch to the People tab. Type the name of the person you are looking for. Scroll through the list of possible matches, and select their name. Use the buttons that appear on the right to open their profile, send them a message or add them as friends.
Use the Kitely website to find worlds with people in them
The Explore Worlds search page on the Kitely website orders worlds according to how many people are currently in them, from top left to bottom right. Click on a picture or world name to open the World page, then use the “Enter World” button to teleport there.
Subscribe to the Kitely Events Calendar
The community runs a Google-based Kitely Events Calendar. Going to events and activities is a good way to find others with similar interests.
Production team: Dot Matrix, Serene Jewell, Graham Mills_2, Shandon Loring
This week’s editor: Graham Mills_2
Thanks to forum and community meetup participants for suggestions
Stay in touch
Stay in touch with Kitely events and announcements.
On the Web
Kitely Forums: https://www.kitely.com/forums/
Kitely Calendar: http://ow.ly/W2sDL
Kitely Worlds: https://www.kitely.com/search
Kitely Market newest listings: https://www.kitely.com/market?sort=date
Kitely Company blog: https://www.kitely.com/virtual-world-news/
On the Hypergrid
HYPEvents Event listings: http://hypevents.net/