Friday, 13 November 2009

A week exploring

Well it's been a hell of a week with loads of new stuff and worlds/tools so here goes!

1. New Netbook Viewer: Boy Lane has released a netbook optimised viewer based on the rainbow viewer that installs with all the graphics options etc all ready set to run better on atom netbooks, tried it on my eeepc 901 and it's impressive, averaging 10fps without all the fiddly tweeking: Grab it here

2. Unity 3D: Unity 2.6 is now available to download for FREE with a FREE indie license, a few of the more pro features have been removed but it's certainly a very impressive package for making virtual worlds/game/art demos or whatever else you can think of that can run great 3d graphics in a browser, it's all pretty much drag and drop and comes with built in blender support, just import drag and drop, very easy. PLayed with this for a day or so and rebuilt the epistems sim as a test, also tried out the character control schemes which were easy enough to implement.
Unity is available for MAC and PC and looks like it's going to cause some waves in the future with the number of indie developers picking this up, there's also a race on to use unity to create an opensim client with some great work done by Dahlia here.

3. Blue Mars: I was hesitant to re download the client again but someone handed me the install file on usb and after reading that there was a Hack/workaround for importing blender builds into Blue Mars I thought i'd give it a go (check the comments in the post here).
So I logged in and was greeted by....Bots, loads of them, blah. So after crafting myself some facial hair I went exploring to meet all the new users and one, not one person in all the "worlds" so it was a bit of a let down. At least the inclusion of some new worlds/sims has created some variety and there's some interesting fauna being introduced so i'll not be uninstalling just yet.

4. The MetaPlace: This was a BIG suprise! An isometric virtual world that runs in the browser and looks so twee I might be sick, but all users get their own little "world" once they login, it's more a small private patch of land to build on and invite people to. You earn money by building/meeting people and getting people onto your land which is all par for the course for these sorts of worlds but the best thing I found here was that it allows user generated content. You can create your own floor tiles, objects etc by using 2d images and then add them to your world to create whatever you want, it kind of looked fairly limited when I first logged in but it just keeps opening up, including scripting behavior for objects, hosting gigs/art shows etc.
Must admit this sucked me in and took up a little more of my time than I had to spare....i'm sure someone with good 2D skills could make something pretty spectacular.

5. Google wave - Got my invite! It's a very different way of working collaboratively and at the moment seems to be full of too many forum recreations which become unwieldy but the possibilities for project work and bouncing ideas around are exciting.


  1. Metaversal you! Loved reading this. BTW, I'm in all these places so be sure to say if you see me in any of them. Congrats on EpiSTEMs, too.

  2. Thanks! Will do, I keep popping back and forth between worlds learning a bit as I go.

  3. well, done, Snowy, time well spent...