Welcome to the fourth Sign of the Kite (SOTK) newsletter of 2016. 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. Note that we’re currently running a fortnightly publication schedule.
A pdf version of the newsletter is available here.
There has been a lot of useful activity on the forums and related media.
- If you build it they might not come (a serial blog by Seanchai Library giving guidance on running events)
- Importing mesh (Ozwell Wayfarer)
- Fixing Firestorm graphics issues (Ozwell Wayfarer)
Grid Treasure Hunt
Almost 30 grids and 60 regions and counting!
Sponsored prizes and fun of the Hunt!
Your connection in Kitely is the Seanchai Library. Come get your free Treasure Hunt Kit!
Let’s get Kitely to be the grid with the most Hunt locations!
Any issues or questions feel free to IM Shandon Loring inworld or email directly to:
More Treasure Hunt info at:
New to the Market is a favourite of Dot’s, namely Xzari Curtains.
In other significant news Ozwell Wayfarer announced that all his mesh products are now export-enabled and he has cut prices 30-50%. In a notable double for the Market Kayaker Magic announced that his scripted mesh items would likewise be available as export-enabled.
Speed build event on Eydis
The winners of the 1st Eydis Prim Building Event were:
1st Brayla Sana – 2500 KC
2nd Jacon Cortes – 750 KC
3rd Paislee Myrtle – 300 KC
Congratulations to all the winners. Many thanks to the audience and to the esteemed judges.
Special thanks to Faye Doff for sponsoring the event and hosting it at the Eydis region.
These prim building events will take place at least once a month at grid.kitely.com:8002:Eydis.
Archives: a new work-in-progress by Paislee Myrtle and Mat Mahogany
Paislee writes: “Archives” arose from a desire to retrace footsteps taken through virtual worlds; from the solitary experience of Myst, to Cyan’s beautiful Uru where many of the Devokan Storybuilders met for the first time, rubbing shoulders with explorers from around the world. There.com was our second virtual world experience before traveling on to Second Life, later to OSgrid, and finally settling here in Kitely.
All these shared worlds provided an path toward new experiences and friendships which would not have been otherwise possible. It’s our intent in Archives to honor our common (and uncommon) journey into the diverse experience of virtual worlds and to celebrate friendship and exploration in the Virtual Universe.
Welcome Explorers and Friends – Past, Present, and Future!
Fancy a challenge?
Most likely aimed at US folk, the EdSim challenge is sponsored by the US Department of Education and the likes of Oculus. It aims to foster creation of “simulated environments that prepare America’s students for a more competitive world through high-quality career and technical education”. Beyond that it’s a little nebulous at present as the process is being crowd-sourced. Everything should become clear come the spring so keep watching the web page or sign-up for the newsletter.
Fancy another challenge?
This will better suit avatars within travel distance of the UK. The British Library is holding its annual competition to identify two transformative projects that use the British Library’s digital resources in novel and exciting ways. The lucky winners will receive £3000 and work ‘in residence’ with the BL Labs team between May and early November 2016 to realise their projects. The deadline is 11th April 2016.
Not tired of challenges yet?
Envious of that blocky Minecraft aesthetic? Wondering what inworld building in HiFi might be like? I thought not. Well, anyway, SketchFab is having a voxel-based art competition (with some serious T&C). Need a voxel editor? MagicaVoxel has you covered and, of course, you can convert the output to DAE format for use in Kitely.
OpenSim and Google Cardboard
Curious to see your OpenSim work in fully immersive 3D? Graham recently bought a Vigica VR-2 Head-Mounted Display (HMD) to go with his Wileyfox Swift, a relatively inexpensive phone running the Android-derived Cyanogen OS. Although he has yet to persuade the accompanying controller to work with this buttonless Google Cardboard HMD, a number of apps (Titans of Space, InMind VR, Bosch VR, Sites VR) work fine by tracking persistent gaze, either to navigate or to activate buttons, shoot at targets, etc. Although Titans of Space registers only around 30 fps (compared to the 90 recommended for the Oculus Rift), Graham found that viewing was not at all unpleasant for periods of 15 minutes or so although, of course, the user generally cannot move with the same freedom as the Rift. Moreover, scene transitions may have been purposely designed to avoid latency issues. (incidentally, Hypergrid Business has reviews of many alternative HMDs).
One way to view OpenSim content with Cardboard HMDs is to export as mesh using Firestorm and upload to Sketchfab which has a Cardboard option with orbiting and first-person perspectives although you can’t “walk” through a display. The steps needed to create a scene in Unity 3D suitable for Cardboard HMDs were described in an OSCC15 paper by Paul Emery/Casias Falta. For the technically adept, region OAR files can also be migrated to Unity using Fumi Hax’s conversion tool as blogged by Austin Tate. However, keeping mesh complexity to a minimum is key to the low-end Cardboard format.
While the Rift has thus far attracted most attention (and OpenSim support via the CtlrAlt viewer), there have been suggestions that the SL viewer may ultimately support Cardboard as well as Rift. However, it also seems likely that the Cardboard platform will evolve further, including improved support for Unity 3D.
The general topic of immersive VR is covered in some detail in the recent Journal of Virtual Worlds Research and Virtual Education Journal.
Can’t find that mesh you need?
One more place to look before starting that Blender class you’ve been putting off for ever: Yobi3D. It’s a meta-search engine so it’s possible you’ll come across mesh you’ve seen elsewhere but, as ever, please pay attention to copyright issues.
Building a virtual interface to an RL lab?
Why not do it in OpenSim and tell the IEEE about it! And yes, there’s an educational slant to this as the standards-oriented linked slidedeck shows (geeks only, please). In other news, Artacho and colleagues have been busy creating OpenSim simulated labs and have made some scripts and objects available via their download site.
See under Developers (and note Translate option)
Education and VR
People keep saying that education will be a focus for immersive VR and a couple of blog posts put some flesh on the bones.
Light at the end of the viewer tunnel?
Folk yearning for a CEF-enabled viewer (with updated media-on-a-prim/MOAP) can take heart from the fact that Team Purple is working on an update to Kokua. It’s not working for me yet but thanks to them (and all viewer devs) for their efforts to make MOAP a little more HTML5-friendly. Modemworld also reports that an (unspecified) update is due “imminently” for the OpenSim-oriented Alchemy viewer while Firestorm is aiming for March.
Heh, I’m looking forward to the day we can write this newsletter collaboratively inworld rather than on the web!
Yet another NPC toolkit you may say but this one looks especially intriguing with features such as conditional behaviours programmable in notecards (if, if-not, jump). Scroll down for clear but voluminous documentation and let us know if it works for you.
Freebies from Linda Kellie at Clutterfly
Good to see OpenSim fairy godmother Linda Kellie back inworld on her new grid Clutterfly.
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.
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