Matt's Muv601 Blog

A blog all about my MUV experience

Participating In a Community

I had already decided on which community I was going to participate in while I was looking into locations during the first assignment. The community that I liked the look of was The Builders Brewery (SLURL). The reason I liked this community was because it focuses around the building aspect of Second Life, and not only just with the in world building tools but they also offer classes in 3rd party tools like Photoshop and Blender.

So like I just said the whole purpose of this community is to provide a learning environment for a Second Life resident who wishes to learn all about building. There is a busy class schedule set up for each month, with classes with ranging difficulty levels. So if you haven’t even rezzed your first prim yet or you know how to build and are just looking for some advanced building techniques, there will be a class for you.

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MUVE Location Comparisons

I found it quite hard to compare the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives and the Particle Laboratory. In a way they are similar since they both provide resources for building enthusiasts. But they aren’t providing the same resources, i.e. one focuses on building basics and the other focuses on using particles. I guess the only real way is to bring in a third contender and compare both of these locations to that.

For the comparative location I chose the Builders Brewery.  Like the other two locations the builder brewery is dedicated to teaching how to build within Second Life.

Ivory Tower Library of Primitives

Builders Brewery

Particle Laboratory




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MUVE Location – The Particle Laboratory


For my second location I chose the Particle Laboratory. As I stated in my previous post I am interested in the building side of Second Life. So to me this is only a natural place to visit if you want to learn more about the use of Particles within Second Life. The Particle Laboratory provides you with tutorials on how to do some basic scripting and how to use particle effects within Second Life.

The Particle Laboratory is located in the Teal region and the SLurl is: ( The Particle Laboratory was made and is maintained by Jopsy Pendragon who has obviously been very dedicated in bringing this valuable resource to the Second Life community.

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MUVE Location – Ivory Tower Library of Primitives

So I decided to choose the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives for one of my locations. The reason for this is because I think it is a great resource for new users to Second Life who are interested in learning how to build in Second Life. The Ivory Tower Library of Primitives provides tutorials on how to build in Second Life, ranging from rezzing your first prim to providing you with techniques to build a curved staircase.

The Ivory Tower Library of primitives is located in the Natoma region and if you don’t have the Landmark from our little class expedition there here is the Slurl ( The Ivory Tower was made by Lumiere Noir who has spent a large number of hours dedicated to researching and constructing all the tutorials that are available here.

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Delayed Update

Yes yes yes, I know I am very slack at posting updated blog posts. Last week we explored Astarii  ( that Isa had a large part in building. I have to say I was amazed by some of the builds on this sim and got a good laugh out of the exploding barrels.

Me stuck in the barrel after it exploded and sent me flying into the air.

Awesome bamboo dragon sitting at the top of a waterfall I found on Astarii.

Relaxing in a beautiful location on Astarii.





After we got back to Kowhai I noticed Rick had been set alight during his travels in Astarii.. It makes you wander what sort of mischievous behavior he was up to when we weren’t looking.

Rick covered in flames after visiting Astarii.

I found that I didn’t have much spare time this past week to get onto Second Life to do some building practice. I did manage to get on after last Thursdays session where I ran into Isa and he gave me the Sculptie for the Ponga tree that was there. So armed with the missing piece of the puzzle it set about creating a replica of the example Isa had left us and after far to long I was done with a reasonable copy.

My attempt at replicating Isa's pong tree example.

I have to say I am looking forward to today’s class learning more about applying textures, see you all in world then !


MUVE Platform – Open Simulator

Open Simulator  is an open source server software platform that is used for hosting virtual worlds. Since Open Simulator is open source that means that anyone has access to the source code and therefore be their own little developer. However for the programme to work they can’t just release a version of the programme that has been worked on by many different developers that are unknown to them. So while you can get the code and play around with it for yourself your custom version will never be released to the public. So what actually happens is that Open Simulator has a small team of what they call “core developers” who actually develop the bulk of the code that gets used in the public release of the Open Simulator server software. The only way to become a core developer for the Open Simulator project is via invitation, so this means that the developers actually working on the project is very controlled. You can find a list of all the developers, past and present here.

The Open Simulator project was started in January 2007 by Darren Guard who saw the potential of creating an open source 3D virtual environment server that could be used for many different applications. The starting of the Open Simulator project was done in conjunction with the release of the Second Life code as open source. This meant that they could create a server platform that would be compatible with the Second Life viewer and not have to focus on building a viewer of their own to access worlds that would be hosted on the Open Simulator platform.

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MUVE Platform – Second Life

Second Life, an online Multi User Virtual Environment was launched on June 23rd 2003 and was developed by Linden Research Inc. aka Linden Lab.

Linden Labs was founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale. It was there where he set about the task of bringing immersive 3D virtual environments to people. It all started with “The Rig” ( which was a ‘clunky steel contraption with computer monitors worn on your shoulders’ (according to the Wikipedia article here) which was the hardware that was envisioned by Linden Lab to support their immersive virtual world.  The Second Life software was developed to be used in conjunction with “The Rig” but instead it gained popularity by itself, due to this Linden Lab switched focus from hardware to the development of the Second Life software platform.

Linden Lab’s employee list is made up of a number of very talented people who have come from varying different backgrounds in the I.T industry. The company make up consists of former executives from such companies and Electronic Arts, eBay, Disney, Adobe, as well as Apple. In conjunction with this the founder Philip Rosedale was a former CTO of Real Networks and noted as one of Time’s Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2007 (Read the article here).

Now that there is some history out of the way we can look at what it is that Second Life brings to us.

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Some Build Attmepts

So I logged into Second Life one day with the pure intent of just taking a couple of screen shots. Lo and behold that didn’t really happen (well the screen shots did) I ended up spending a few hours trying to create some replica’s of the examples that Isa had left out for us. Since I didn’t have the textures I wasn’t ab;e to make them look like the finished product but nether the less I was able to make the basic shape awaiting the correct textures to be applied. One however I was unable to do, and that was the nice looking palm tree. After playing around with the sculptie I realised that it was impossible for me to create that same shape for the trunk since I didn’t have the correct sculpt texture that gives the sculpted prim this specific shape. So that one is put on the back burner for now and I might re-look at it on a later date.

My attempts at copying Isa's examples.
Sparkly Lamp on the Left and Japanese Lantern on the right.








MUVE Viewer Comparisons

So after playing around with a few different viewers for Second Life I decided that I would put together a little bit of a comparison between them.

The first thing I did was to set all the graphics settings to high with a draw distance of 128 and took a snapshot within each viewer with the interface showing the frames per second and the bandwidth.

What I noticed was that the Second Life viewer had the lowest frame rate followed by Firestorm then phoenix and imprudence basically the same. If you look at the images you can really see why there is a difference in frame rates. Both the Second Life and Firestorm viewers bring more detail to the user and Phoenix and Imprudence limit the detail shown to the user (shows more detail close to you and less the further away you get).

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Who is my avatar?

Why did I choose this name for my avatar?

I chose Incog as my avatar name because it stems back to an alias I used when playing Team Fortress Classic way back in the day. The name I used was Incognetous (no idea why that name) but friends abbreviated it to “Incog” for short and it just stuck from there.

What does my avatar’s appearance say about me?

I couldn’t really say, my avatars appearance has changed a lot over the past few weeks. At the moment I like my avatar because I like the way that the neon tassels on my pants move around. Perhaps it represents that I like to have some fun and not all the time “serious business”.

How much does my avatar represent who I am?

I guess the whole idea of an avatar is to hide who I am in real life. So in that aspect I would say it doesn’t. Or perhaps you could look at it from another point of view where it represents what I would like to be but can not be in a real life situation.. I will let you decide :D..

How important is my avatar to me?

At this stage, it doesn’t feel that important as it is just being used for the MUV601.. Perhaps in the future this view could change if I become more involved in the various Second Life communities.

How important are other people’s avatar appearances to me?

At the moment I would say not very. I am still getting over how awesome and detailed some peoples avatars become. I am also of the opinion that everyone has the right to express themselves how ever they would like. So from that point of view other peoples avatars shouldn’t really be that important (other than in terms of respect as to how they express themselves) to me but should be more important to the owner of that avatar.


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