Monday, May 30, 2005
THE WORD MADE REALER STILL
I find Moriash Moreau's prototype sitting on a picnic table in the middle of a wooded glen.
"I went with a simpler approach," Moriash explains. "It's just one prim, and runs off particles. Go ahead and give it a touch." When I do, the book on the table announces itself cheerily:
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow: Use Page Up and Page Down to turn pages. This book is best read in Mouselook... Touch the book again to bring up the additional functions menu.
"If you give the book another poke," Moriash continues, "it has bookmarking (for the owner), chapter skip, and dispenses the CCL license agreement as a notecard. I was operating under the assumption that there'd be only one reader at a time. I can see it, but only you can flip the pages and run the menus. Mostly personal bias-- I hate people reading over my shoulder!"
Instead, you read his book in first-person mouselook, which gives you pretty much the same perspective you'd have, when reading a book in material form. "Nothing too fancy," Moriash continues. "On touch, it checks the height of the user and modifies the display height accordingly. From there, it gives you the brief instructions by Instant Message-- no need to annoy the neighbors-- and captures PgUp and PgDn [for turning pages]." The book calls up the universal code for each page (already uploaded in texture form into SL), and renders them into particles. "It also loads the next page up and sets one of the faces of the book to that texture. This preloads it into your cache so you don't have to wait for it to load on page flip-- unless you flip fast."
If Moriash Moreau has put special attention into his prototype, it may have to do with its intended author-- Cory Doctorow's Boing Boing is where Moriash first read about Second Life.
"Oh," Mr. Moreau adds, "and the dimensions of the book are right. I checked Amazon."
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