« ARCADE FIRE | Main | SL MACHINIMA STARTS IN FIVE »

Thursday, November 10, 2005

THE NEOSPHERE OF CROSS QUARTERMASS

The Extraordindary Avatar Expo was last month's showcase for some the strangest, weirdest, and most fantastic non-human avatars created in Second Life. Voters at the Expo selected five Residents from 50 nominees, and I've been featuring over the last couple months. Previous entries include the Arabian Phoenix of Psyra Extraordinaire, the Cute and Creepy Tabula Rasa of Max Case, and Cyberpunk Community Relations Rep Satchmo Prototype.

Cross Quartermass on the avatar he showed at the Expo

[M]y Neosphere v2 model. My new avatar, which follows a similar theme but is more advanced, I'm titling simply Neosphere. My prior avatars were for personal use only, but this one is meant for eventual sale. I figure having v3 as the first public offering would be a little confusing to some people.

On what inspired his avatars

Once I got my bearings in Second Life I was surprised, and truth be told, a little dismayed at the relative lack of diversity of avatars. This may sound a little laughable considering that seeing a humanoid wolf walking around wouldn't draw any attention at all in most places in SL, but I was surprised at the sparseness of totally non-human avatars. So I decided I would go out and try to make an avatar that was as inhuman as possible-- and a stylized sphere seemed like the best way to go. Also, I'm a science fiction fan and a compsci geek, and I've always been fascinated by the idea of artificial intelligence. So I decided I would take on a robotic theme.

On what goes into creating them

Heh. A lot. The core consists of 170 prims. Each child prim has three scripts for the color management scheme, and the root prim in addition has around a dozen or so to handle various functions. I'll probably be adding more scripts to the core as I develop more functionality... while this way of organization makes for a full contents tab, code readability and compartmentalization are improved greatly.

That makes a total of around 522 scripts, which of course means it's good that 510 of them are inactive except when they receive link messages-- if the scripts weren't compartmentalized, all those listens could grind most sims to a halt on their own!

More on the scripting technology within

My avatar series has had a modular design from the start. The core contains some utility scripts, and the modules more specialized ones. The old series (Neosphere v2) for example, had one set of attachments that launched homing missiles, and another set that managed rezzable drone groups that have dynamic formations, semi autonomous targeting, etc.

However, a lot of my old avatar series was done when I was new, and as such is too slow, messy, non-extendable or just plain buggy for my standards now. So I'm in the process of recreating my old modules for the new avatar system. All the scripts in the new system are themselves modular-- I have one master communications script in the core that passes around messages between the various subscripts, and also to coordinate between the core and module attachments. For example, I have an avatar coloring theme system that both allows the user to load avatar themes from a notecard, and to change them on the fly. The user can change the color and the alpha [i.e. transparency] or shine of the three different materials of the avatar. The master comm script is the only script in the core that listens-- it routes color system requests to the master color control script, which then messages the miniscripts in each child prim that then do the actual color/alpha changing. The master comm script also communicates with attachments, authenticating that each attachment shares the same owner as the core, then sends them the color information as soon as they attach, or whenever the colors are changed again.

For those with a little programming knowledge, it's my way of trying to simulate object-oriented programming in LSL.

On the commercial prospects of his avatars

I will be selling the Neosphere avatar suite in the near future (within the next month or two, school and work permitting). No info on pricing yet, though I will be selling it modularly and also with package discounts. [smiles] I'm also considering some sort of contest giveaway. Anyways, my as-yet-nonexistent store is called Cross Products, so just check the Find tab for that every now and then.

On whether he ever uses a human avatar

Very very rarely. If you see me as anything other than a sphere, then I'm probably doing something that involves swapping out different test versions of the core. And/or my girlfriend (who plays SL) has bludgeoned me into being humanoid for a time. I am actually planning to make a humanoid avatar with an android theme for those times, but that one will be personal only.

Part of the reason why I don't spend much time in the humanoid form is that, well, I find it pretty bland as I've stated before. And also now I do feel like my identity in SL is tied very strongly to my sphere avatar. [Laughs] I have friends that still have never seen me not in sphere form, and some actually apologize when they come across me outside it during testing.

On whether his avatar reflects his personal identity

To an extent. I'm a member of a group called "Artificial Intelligence", and while the official charter of the group is to discuss its namesake topic, many of us do have non-humanoid, robotic avatars and we have fun threatening the puny bionts from time to time.

Also, rumors that I've been working on eradication of the SL biosphere via orbital anti-matter bombardment platforms are greatly exaggerated.

Posted at 12:23 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341ccd9653ef00e5505507228834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference THE NEOSPHERE OF CROSS QUARTERMASS:

» New Case Study: Nobel Systems Inc. from for creating
ArcGIS Engine, a developer product for creating custom GIS desktop applications, to update [Read More]

Tracked on May 24, 2006 2:35:55 AM

» Lakers Growing up Before Our Eyes from the Phoenix Suns
Suns certainly don't. These Lakers resemble the frustrating team that moaned and groaned and labored its way through most of the six months of the [Read More]

Tracked on May 24, 2006 4:29:07 PM

» Iraq's Al Qaeda Leader Killed in Air Raid from Was Killed in
Was Killed in a U.S. Strike North of Baghdad in a Major Victory in War on Terrorism [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 9, 2006 1:12:16 PM

» New Medicaid Eligibility: Verification Requirements In Georgia Denying Care To Hispanic Children, Advocates Say from tax return, the
of a W-2 form, pay stub or income tax return, the Augusta Chronicle reports (Augusta Chronicle, 6/19). Gov. [click link for full article] [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 29, 2006 2:46:22 PM

» RB Toolbar from rbtoolbar
RB Toolbar - уникальный и наиболее перспективный и продуманный проект... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 20, 2006 1:06:39 PM

» United Airlines to Offer Internet Access from Airlines Cleared
Airlines Cleared by FAA to Offer Passengers Wireless Internet Access in the Air [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 24, 2006 8:21:32 AM

» Knicks' Balkman Shows Promise in Vegas from games with the
games with the Knicks, Renaldo Balkman is no longer an unknown entity. He appears to have an upside. There's still no reason to believe the [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 24, 2006 10:29:35 PM

» Bvlgari from Bvlgari Watches
Great Saving On Bvlgari Watches Bulgari Watch Bvlgari Assioma, Bulgari Zero1, Bulgari Watch Tubagas, Bvlgari Diagono Aluminium, ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 5, 2006 5:30:14 AM

» burberry from Burberry Perfume
Buy Burberry perfumes and aftershaves from the best UK shops online. Click on one of the products listed below to compare prices to find the best price to ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 5, 2006 6:04:49 AM

» Suns/Lakers Game 7 Preview from so they'll need
lineup to slow down Kobe Bryant. Game 6 was one for the ages... Kobe Bryant finished with [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 8, 2006 9:22:27 AM

» How to set up a full bleed design in Photoshop from do when I start
but this is something I always do when I start on a full bleed design in Photoshop (I mean a design [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 9, 2006 12:18:48 PM

» Bvlgari from Bvlgari Watches
Great Saving On Bvlgari Watches Bulgari Watch Bvlgari Assioma, Bulgari Zero1, Bulgari Watch Tubagas, Bvlgari Diagono Aluminium, ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 10, 2006 12:02:45 AM

» Guenther Pichler Joins ESRI as Business Development Manager for EMEA Group from Open Geospatial
Consortium (Europe) Limited, where he served as director of business development. [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 11, 2006 12:32:32 AM

» Popular phrase from Map Directory
A search engine directory map... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 12, 2006 1:28:51 PM

Comments