Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2012 SL Year of the Mesh

Mesh is here and here to stay! According to Charlar Linden from the January 30, 2012 Content Creation/Mesh Import User Group meeting ( 70% of SL residents have updated to viewers that let them view Mesh.

Like the adoption of any new technology growing pains are to be expected. After the hurdle of simple adoption the next on the list is issues with rigged Mesh. Rigged Mesh is a special use of static mesh where parts of the Mesh are associated with the bones used to size and animate the SL avatar. One use of Rigged Mesh is the creation of 100% replacement avatars that move just like the default Avatar. There are already many examples of amazing new avatars that would be hard if not impossible to make without rigged mesh. The other major use of rigged mesh is in the creation of clothing.

Rigged Mesh clothing moves with your Avatar in ways not possible with other types of prim clothing. The issue with Rigged Mesh clothing is that it only moves and sizes with your bones. Avatar girth (Fat and Muscle settings) are not taken into account causing sizing issues across the diversity of SL avatars. Currently 2 solutions to this situation are being looked at. The first is Karl Stiefvater’s (A.K.A. Qarl) Mesh Deformer project; currently in Alpha. The project changes or “Deforms” rigged mesh to take into account Avatar girth. You can view a demo of it here… ( Unfortunately with a project this complex it will be many months before it is ready and adopted by enough viewers to be considered a solution. The other solution involves coming up with a range of sizes.

To this end, on Feb 5th 2012 I announced the start of my “Open Sizing” project and started taking Girth numbers from ANY avatars that cared to give them. Number collection is still going on; you can send me, "Roblem Hogarth", your mod shape(s) in world, a notecard with numbers or submit your numbers to one of our online surveys.

Male -

Female -

Numbers collected will be used to create statically balanced sizes representing the wide range of avatars both male and female. These sizes will be released for free for anyone to use as they see fit. Sounds like a great idea right? Well…

Overall my efforts have been well accepted in the spirit that I thought they would be. Of course a vocal minority doesn’t see it that way. There is another size range in place known as “standard sizing” that includes a woman’s sizes XXS-L, and… that’s it. You can get the sizing set for free on the Linden Marketplace here. ( How creating a different system for designers to use that covers larger sized female avatars as well as male, when there is nothing in place for them now, could be considered a bad thing is beyond me, but there it is.

I have been told that creation of my “Open Sizing” system will cause “consumer confusion” when right now, 75% of avatars are not addressed by the other system, many stores have resorted to creating their own systems, and some clothing is only available in 2 sizes while others have put out as many as 11 sizes. I still like to think one open unbiased system will be of use to designers even if it is used only to supplement other systems already being worked on. Again all sizes will be made available for free for anyone to use as they see fit, once they are finished. Hopefully this clears up a few technical questions as well as any ego/drama questions. (ok I don’t think the drama will end, LOL)

Friday, February 3, 2012

LLgiveinventory Throttle info

I’m seeing enough disinformation in both directions regarding the new “LLgiveinventory Throttle“ , I have decided to document what it is and what it does here. DISCLAIMER: This is based on the best information I have to date on this issue as of 2/3/2012. I do not work for Linden Labs (LL) and have not been able to find any “official” documentation from LL other than comments found in the Jira ( “New rate throttle on llGiveInventory”, started by Fred Allandale.

LLgiveinventory is a linden script function used in many devices to give an item to you. LL is putting a limit on the rate items are given out. Go over that rate and the function fails to give any items for a set period of time. This choke is not limited to one offending device but rather is cumulative across all devices using LLgiveinventory rezzed by the same avatar on the same sim.

As an example: A store in SL has a scripted mailing list, scripted product vendors, riot vendors, info givers and the like. The store announces an event (sale, new release, etc.) in its mailing list and customers come to participate. If all the calls to LLgiveinventory go over the limit all use of LLgiveinventory fail, the mailing list continues to run but stops giving announcements, you pay for an item from a scripted vendor that takes your money but fails to give you your item, even simple LM givers fail to function for a long as 90 minutes.

My partner and I tested this with her Sn@tch scripted mailing list and saw all LLgiveinventory functions fail on the sim on devices owned by her at 13% into a 20,000+ list, or about 2,500 names into the list. LLgiveinventory functionality did not return for well over an hour. Luckily we ran the device on a different sim from her main store so her info givers, lucky boards, etc. were unaffected.

Reasons given for this change include back end infrastructure performance as well as preventing “griefing” by spammers. Why this was change was made without any notice or documentation change is anyone’s guess. The Jira was started by Fred Allandale when he found it on the Magnum group of sims, when I heard about it, it had already been rolled out to the entire grid.

Kelly Linden from the JIRA stated “throttle is 5k per hour per owner per region; the maximum burst is 2.5k” but later started sighting a “rolling window” of where old calls to LLgiveinventory would continue to be counted with new calls well after hitting the limit, possibly extending the overall down time of the process.

Solutions to this issue will vary from situation to situation. In our case we obtained a newer slower version of the scripted mailing list device from the creator that we are running on a sim separate from the main store so its use of LLgiveinventory is not added to that of other devices.

Hope this helps.

-Roblem Hogarth

Sunday, January 16, 2011

No 2011 Predictions, BlueMars Down, SL up!

Again, no silly predictions for this year either.

I have always found “Top ten predictions for blah whatever” to be a fool’s errand. High profile SL/VW blogs have already had some predictions proven dead wrong barely 2 weeks into 2011. So what is the point really?

For whatever reason, of course, the downfall of SL is on every list. When I went “all in” with SL back in 2006 that game had been going on for years already. For the life of me I can’t understand why anyone would stick around with anything and rant about how it is just about to fail. When the Wired magazine article about SL came out in 2006 and I checked it out, I dropped all my efforts in with no fanfare or ranting. SL was exactly the VR system I have dreamt about for years before, and I haven’t been wrong about that choice since. I have said it before and I will say it again, If you can’t figure out why you hate SL but can’t leave, just go, you are wasting your time and helping no one.

The lights go out on Blue Mars, mostly.

So the dust has yet to clear over at Avatar United the company behind Blue Mars. Early word is around 50% layoffs of a very small development team including CEO Jim Sink. From everything I have read and heard, you have to feel for him, his dream was cut out from under him and he is trying his best to put a good spin on it all on his way out.

Word is development on the PC is dead; focus is now on I-phone and I-pad with eventual port to Android. A lot of talk about Twitter and Facebook integration, so it sounds like the investors are after that elusive Farmville rabbit, good luck with that. To accommodate the lesser power of mobile devises they are going for smaller rooms, rather than sprawling worlds, the very thing that killed Google’s Lively. So investor stupidity kills another idea with potential. We can only wait and see if BlueMars lands on its feet, but for now, another “SL killer” can be dismissed.

Good News for SL already.

We didn’t just get our group limits bumped up from 25 to 40, they went all the way to 42. (Thank DNA for the extra 2) Despite early reactionary reports to the contrary, it works fine with all viewers and is not some LL conspiracy to force you in to the LL2.X viewer space. (Worse thing you will see is hardcoded text stating 25 or 40 group limit with no effect on your ability to get up to 42)

New internetwork compression has cut sim crossings lag at least by half. Your inventory and worn prims are still the overall crossing limit, but you will sim cross in about half the time and far fewer failures as well.

Promised “Soon” are Viewer 2.5 with minor enhancements, New group chat system, and random grid infrastructure enhancements. Frustratingly, still no date on grid wide Mesh release.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's Time To DIVE!!!

It's time again for our 4th Annual Halloween Horror Haunted House! In DIVE you take the role of a Paranormal Investigator trying to Discover the Secrets to the Haunted Hyperion Hotel. Running NOW thru November 14th.

Here are just some of the comments from our opening week:

My friends and I did Dive tonight and we had the best time. We've done your Halloween build for the last two years, so we were really looking forward to it. It was too much fun and extremely creepy. We were talking about how LL should be giving you a grant or something because you're contributing actual gaming content to grid.
Wow that really blew my socks off thank you so much for Dive, its the best thing I've done in SL in a long time! I hope you guys keep making more of these.
Ok, the bathroom with the creepy mirrors in Dive was just enough for me to stop for the night.

We come every year to your Halloween events and they just get better and better every year. It's so creepy and the prizes are so fantastic. Thank you for making SL fun again!

Finished Dive, and omg! Got so freaked out at one point, I actually screamed a little. The maze, omg! That place.... I can't even think about it.

I had an amazing time going through this! I was scared the whole time!

Just wanted to say thankies once again for another awesomely wickedly devious haunted event this year... I've done them since you started and this one by far kicks the most butt... Thank you to you and everyone else who put time and effort into it, and thank you for all the prizes!
I Just finished the DIVE adventure at Snatch, that was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!


Free stuff? Prizes? You betcha! Scattered Everywhere are gifts from...
Crimson & Clover
Weather! Or Not?
Acid & Mala
Rara Avis
Blackberry Jam
Tainted Desire
It's Cake
Eat Me COuture
Old Dirty Bastards


So now that I know you are coming, Here are a few tips. No Spoilers, Promise!

#1 Go with a group if you can. There is so much to see and do it's almost the only way to not miss everything.
#2 Click everything!
#3 Read the notecards
#4 Read the notecards? YES read the notecards! Most of the info you need are in them.
#5 Cheat if you like, we could care less. (I have seen a couple of the cheat notecards already and they will make you miss a TON of fun and prizes)
#6 PLEASE do not shout or give out hints in open voice in the DIVE build. Please keep that to your Private IM's or Private Voice chat. It wreaks the experience for others that want to do the puzzles on their own.
#7 Do #6 too much or randomly give out cheat notecards and find yourself sim banned.
#8 There is NO CASH PRIZE, that is only part of the back-story. (If you can find and get the fictional "Winthrop Institute" to pay you, go for it!)
#9 Remember this is Game with hidden Prizes, Not a hit and run hunt. Looking for a quick and easy Hunt? DIVE is not for you.
#10 Have Fun!

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

...and thanks for all the fish.

So this and my next blog post about what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico and How SL is helping, are likely my last “serious” blog posts for a while. Sorry but the “new black” today seems to be fast and stupid rather than researched. I don’t expect citations and references in blog posts; it’s not that kind of medium. But come on!

How does describing someone’s efforts as “fail” or even a derogatory usage of “tranny” pass for a maverick well thought out review? How does 5 years of blog posts about how a corporation is about to fail every next month pass for insightful? Not even getting the actual meanings of words like censorship? I love that I have a voice and that you ALL have a voice on the Internet but THINK PEOPLE THINK! Give your brains 2 minutes to process what you just heard before you feel the need to react it to it. If something is really important to you, maybe take the time to look into it yourself, before you overreact?

Ok to cover what I promised I would and sweep over the things I wanted to talk about deeper. Yep there was this small spike in the exchange rate over on the Lindex. It’s all over and it is obviously Again due to overreaction to the layoffs. Funny thing is it didn’t happen over on the Xstreet exchange that has much larger exchange rate sways all the time. We take cash out of SL almost daily and we have seen much larger rate spikes than this freak-out all the time. It’s actually odd that an exchange like the Lindex is so stable day to day normally.

Of course also, Philip Rosedale is coming back as CEO of Linden Labs, so what does that mean?!?! Not a damn thing. What matters is what he does going forward. Now personally, I think he is one of the smartest people in the room, he more or less took Neal Stephenson's novel “Snowcrash” and brought it to life. Linden Labs virtual world Second Life is arguably the most successful Virtual World ever created. Even the eggheads over at Google couldn’t make a go at a Virtual World with its Lively back in 2008.

Don’t get me wrong there are some very interesting things going on in the virtual worlds of Blue Mars, Rezzables, InworldZ and others. However they are all in more or less Alpha/Beta mode and while I watch in interest, they are just not there yet.

As I care to glance at my chosen home Second life, 65,401 people are in right now with well over a Million active residents. The home to America, Apple pie, Baseball and the Red Soxs, Fenway Park seats a maximum of 37,402 people at once. You know what that means? Not a damn thing. But Rob 82 Million people play “FarmVille” doesn’t that mean something? LOL Of course not! Look SL is unique, it’s not going to be the next Facebook, Twitter, or whatever. I will say, I don’t see people playing Farmville ten years from now. ;-) Hope to see you in world.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A couple of things…

The First thing: Ok the elephant in the room is the 30% layoffs over at Linden Labs (LL). I decided I would wait about a week to say anything about it. Obviously it’s very sad for everyone involved, it really is. Of course the usual “the sky is falling” bunch is using this event as proof that the lab is closing up any time now. Ok but Rob, why else would a company layoff so many people off without doing it because they are so desperate for cash this is the last gasp? Nope sorry that’s not the case at all. OK two points here, #1 LL is reasonably valuated at 650-700M $US privately owned company. You think a company that big is off the Federal United States radar? Let alone the Hyper Liberal US state of California that they are based in? Sorry they don’t get to lay that many people off and make announcements about why without justifying it to severe scrutiny. That is a fact. Prove me wrong that there are no consequences to laying off that many people.

Ok so what is going on? Why drop that many talented people? Because, as LL has stated they are restructuring. But Rob isn’t that just BS that they need to cut jobs to cut costs because they are about to fail? Nope sorry, let me make this personal, forget about what I said above. Lets say you or people you know have a baby. The need is a good, reliable babysitter that can be trusted to take charge of the job. Fantastic, someone is found that fits the bill, wonderful! Ok time moves on and needs move on, now the need is for a home health giver and not a baby sitter. So what happens? Do you retrain the babysitter as a Home health giver? Do they even want to do that? No, you thank your babysitter for a job well done, maybe give them a send off bonus and wish them the best, and move on to find a great Home health giver. That is what is going on over at LL, they have new needs and are changing members of the staff to meet the new needs.

Also I think some people are taking the layoffs a little too personally. I saw the Linden Memorial over at and that’s fine. What I haven’t seen is a conversion list of Linden avatar to alternate avatar, or even where to follow these people on Plurk, Twiter or Facebook. (Obviously hard to do with the many “Unknown Lindens” that got gavestones) Maybe SL was just a job to most of them? Maybe we were not all as close as some people seem to think. The only Linden I can say I ever talked to outside of a professional arena was Pathfinder Linden. (He was laid off a while back so I guess he didn’t qualify for a headstone) ***UPDATE! Looks like he got a headstone after all. *** He seems a nice guy, I follow him on twitter and he seems to be doing fine post LL. He didn’t die when LL laid him off, he moved on. So maybe don’t worry so much, these people and the lab will be just fine.

The second thing: Much like after the lindens jacked the prices around with the homestead/open sim mess, rumors are flying that people are leaving SL like a sinking ship off to other virtual worlds. Pretty obvious rumor to run with, but this time it is different. There was this one new world where all the “talented creators” in SL were running to and that was going to leave SL with a talent vacuum or something and that was going to be the end of SL. I consider my partner and myself fairly talented creators and so how did we not hear about this magical new virtual world that was better than SL in every way. Even odder, why were most of the posts I could find not including the name of this brave new world. Well I finally did my “Davinci Code” work and figured out where everyone is supposedly going. is a virtual world run off the same software that runs Second Life. (You can get a copy here and get an island running on your local machine pretty easily) So I made an account, and took a look. As I write this, here are the stats they report.

Grid Status: Online

Total Users: 4606

Users Online: 55

Total Regions: 213

I’m not going to show the SL numbers here because I don’t need to. Also I’m not going to get into just how unstable and how many issues I found in my brief visit. This is a perfectly great start for a new virtual world. However, why would so many people be leaving SL to this new and frankly unstable new world? Ok first few people are actually talking about leaving SL and even fewer are actually leaving. So what is all the fuss about? This vocal minority are generally older Avatars or “Oldbees”. (Yes even at almost 4 years in world I am considered a Noob by some) I think the big issue they have with the SL of 2010 is that is just isn’t the Wild Wild West they remember from when they first came to SL. So a new grid like Inworldz is very attractive to them. For me, let them have it. If inworldz, bluemars or any of the other growing virtual worlds gets independent cash out, a significant number of invested players and a bit of stability my associates and I will expand into it, but not leave SL.

This is not the first upheaval we have been through in SL and it will likely not be the last. Trust me most SL residents never even heard about the layoffs let alone all the rest of this drama. If you believe in virtual worlds like I do, and you are here for the long term, you must know that right now Second Life is hands down the best virtual world available to us. I look forward to the future filled with rich genuine options to grow into, even then, for as long as she is around I’m sticking with SL.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The ban-hammer vs. the Blog-hammer

So after what was a very nice day of day of shopping and getting out in the sunshine and feeling like normal people for once what do I wake up to? My Partner Ivey crying her eyes out... Why? Because of being held pretty much at gunpoint by a blogger. My strong empowered girl reduced to tears over what? This. The avatar Pennelope Thiessam has decided that a sim ban, a personal ban done by ME for personal reasons is such an atrocity, censorship, outrage that her and her friends needs to attack, anyone and everyone she can. My partner, every store on my sims, the operator of 69L humpdays, and as far as I can tell anyone and anything she can. I wake up to things so bad that not only is Ivey in tears but she has unbanned Pennelope Thiessam from our sims. So you know what Penn, you win. Your Blog-hammer is clearly bigger than my ban-hammer. After I post this I am going in world to clear out my ban list, and then proply throw up. I guess I just have no right to have control over the regions I pay the lindens $780US a month to. A bloggers rights to tell me I have no balls are just more important than mine to not want her around. So I hope you are happy Ms Self Appointed SL Quality Control Coordinator, you win.