Thursday, July 10, 2014

License to Jump

Hypergrid jumping is a bit like driving. Learning the basics and getting experienced requires a good amount of will power and humility, but the freedom it gives you makes it so worth while.
There are four ways to grid jump. The simplest, someone can just tp you - a 'personal chauffeur'; you can use a Landmark - a 'taxi', you can find a hypergate, which is a scripted portal to another grid - 'public transport' or you can use your Map, which is the equivalent of driving stick. You ought to learn how to do the last one, even if you rarely use the skill, because dude, you're not a noob, you ought to know how to read and write addresses, and it will help you grasp the overall sense of the hypergrid. Plus it's excellent practice to get your spelling and copy/paste skills up to scratch, which is good for your soul.
          The lovely little house on Ilha Magica is getting too small for our group - we were a whopping 15 yesterday, including such luminaries as Ferd Frederix (aka Fred Beckhusen), Pathfinder (aka John Lester), and Mal Burns. That's Mal with the top hat. There seems no logic to why some OSGrid avies were clouds - could it have been that some people had tp'd from regions using the new 0.8 release?
         Our destination was Nara's Nook, belonging to Nara Malone, Tina Glasneck, and Siobhan Muir. It's a classy, stable grid, a place for authors, poets, and people who love writing and imagination in general. They had put a lot of work into preparing for our visit, and we all appreciated it very much, a lagless, gorgeous group of sims full of interesting spaces and inspirational scenes.
When we arrived, I overheard John'Pathfinder' Lester asking Nara what a selkie was.
Nara.Nook: A selkie shifts shape between human and seal. When you wear the avatar you turn into a seal under water.
Prax.Maryjasz wants to grow up to be a selkie
Nara.Nook: thanks to the scripting magic of Fred Beckhusen. There are other shapeshifter avatars in our swamp. Those change when they fly - a Tardis, a turkey, and a butterfly.
Meanwhile Fuschia Nightfire was cozying up to an NPC (non player character) who seemed to be taking an unnatural interest in her foot. I stole this 'footage' from Facebook...
You can't take her anywhere. Interesting though, her attachments survived the jump this time; she has a new strategy, don't bother wearing attachments when you jump, just wait and put them on when you arrive!
Nara's open sim experience has been a voyage of discovery.
Thirza Ember: When you started in SL did you ever imagine something like this would happen? a grid of your own?
Nara Nook: No, I didn't even want to know how to build, now I'm scripting. Open sim forced that.        
            You'll find a lot of NPCs on the grid, the writers use them to make the characters in their books come alive. It's one of many tools used to pollinate creativity. The Nook is a place where people with no previous virtual life can get inspired at a 3D level without being mocked. This non-mocking of noobs is against my religion, so I kept pretty quiet while the group murmured noob-supportive remarks.
 Nara.Nook: I started this grid so I could help other authors learn to use the metaverse in a safe place, something set up just for newbies, where no one makes fun when you get a box stuck on your head
Siobhan.Muir: Or hair to your hand
Miso Susanowa: *looks at Wizzy & giggles*
Nara.Nook: or a guy can comfortable ask why he suddenly has boobs
Mal Burns: ha - like earlier lol!
Nara.Nook: 99 percent of these members had never been in the metaverse before here. We bring them in and teach one on one.
Tuna Oddfellow: that's really cool
Pathfinder.Lester: So you really have to focus on having a good new user experience.
Talla.Slade: you've done a wonderful job Nara. You done yourself proud girl
Nara.Nook: I find the only way to do is is personally, it is too complicated to be automated. We meet here weekdays to encourage each other because writing is a tough and the support helps
Siobhan.Muir: Most people have their own project, Serene, but sometimes we get together for group projects like the interactive fiction we did a few months ago
Mal Burns: we were all noob once!
Prax.Maryjasz I like noobs, and if you take time with them, they become permanent residents
Nara.Nook: and even our SL transplants have a noob stage here.  If we want to grow, noobs have to realize we appreciate them and how hard this is
Mal Burns: metaverse needs noobs to continue to grow - fact!
Pathfinder.Lester: Here's a research paper from a while ago that I love. It basically proves that new user retention is critically dependent on getting them connected to people as soon as possible.
Nara.Nook: I was trying to teach someone to add our adress to the viewer the other night and it was not sinking in, and within a day they are hypergridding and making NPC - it took me a couple years to learn all that on my own.
Siobhan.Muir: It also helps that people feel comfortable asking question
Nara.Nook: Right, no question is unreasonable here
Prax.Maryjasz ty, Nara, this is a wonderful place.......and I love what you are doing.
PatriciaAnne Daviau: this place is really awesome
Pathfinder.Lester: Thank you again Nara. Not only is this place so creative, it sounds like you're giving folks a wonderful new user experience too. That's fantastic.
          It really is.

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