Saturday, April 21, 2018

An Open Space Safari

           This week, we met two grid owners, and some happy residents, on Discovery Grid and on Kitely, and were treated to some very beautiful and interesting places to visit... addresses at the end of the post, as always. Kitely is one of the most long-established of all opensim's many grids, while Discovery is just about a year old. We were particularly grateful to our hosts for taking the time - for Angel Discovery, who's in Australia, it meant a very early morning meeting, for Kitely's Ilan Tochner, who's in Israel, it was a fairly late evening meet-up, and we were very glad he took the time, especially considering it was a big National Holiday in his country... rl comes first, as we all know.

          First up, Discovery Grid, and three very interesting regions reflecting the spirit and interests of the grid. This is a sporty, out-doorsy place, just packed with interesting scenery. We arrived on Spirit Rock Ranch.

Angel Discovery: Let me introduce you to the management team: Tenbears Running, Jay Copperfield and Balpien Hammerer are all senior management here. Together we run the grid There are a number of activities which you are welcome to try. This area is mainly the equestrian area although you will see some other fun items for you to enjoy. I am told the Kraken has been instructed on no snacking while you are here. To the south of this region you will also find water events
Alya.VonZ: I saw from the sky, a few beautiful waves:)

Thirza Ember: Did you all know each other in SL, or did you meet in opensim
Angel Discovery: I didn't know any of these folk until Inworldz where I met Balpien
Angel Discovery

Balpien Hammerer: Opensim is very nice. I like ubODE, decent and fast physics.  It decentralizes ownership. Seamless travel between the grids is very important.
Thirza Ember: well ... SEAMLESS hehehe maybe not but it's an adventure
Balpien Hammerer: adventure, yes. but getting smoother.
         Next up, Crocodile Island
Angel Discovery shouts:This is a discovery area with the idea being you ‘find’ all the things hidden in the region. Watch were you walk, there are predators here. There are also boats for you to tour around on. This region is actually one of the light duty regions. Some of the residents asked if they could theme it and this is the end result. Light duty is a region that is 10000 prims and is used for things like sailing or things like this with a theme. A number of the light regions have been used like this, allowing the residents to input into their surrounding areas.
George Equus: Rez is amazingly quick.

Jay Copperfield: This was a fun build :)
Tenbears Running: there are hidden villages, and hidden elements on several areas of the region. A great place for a treasure hunt too...
Tenbears demonstrates the hang glider
Phred 420: good hang glider
Jessie.Campbell: I would enjoy spending some excursion time here
          Crocodile Island looks like the setting for a novel, with all the details like the airplane and its grassy airstrip, the waterways and of course all the hidden dangers and activities. The vast, open space feel of the grid is an absolute delight. But for those looking for a dance or two,  can visitors find a party on Discovery Grid?
Jay Copperfield: We do have events, DJ's; Live performers  If you go to: our Events Calendar is on the front page.
Jessie Campbell: neato
          Our final stop on this whirlwind tour of Discovery was Fantasy Sea
Placard: This volcano erupts on a schedule but you can force it to erupt by touching the brass button atop this post. Use the landmark to return here. When the lava boulders erupt, touch one to take a ride on it. Go to mouselook for an immersive experience.
Jessie.Campbell: heads down... duck and cover!
Lucy.Afarensis: That was fun
]essie.Campbell: that gives a heck of a ride!
Balpien Hammerer:  I built this volcano in second life around 2008... I am a builder into physics. Then when I moved to Inworldz I improved it and improved it again here in opensim. It really show how well ubODE works. The buoys are also physical.
Angel Discovery shouts: Tenbears has made a small gift on behalf of the grid for you to enjoy
          All this fun, and free gifts too - what a great visit!
One of the may beautiful buildings on Confluence, Kitely Grid

          Our second stop was a visit on Kitely Grid, where we met Ilan Tochner on the region belonging to Daniel Hoffman who very kindly took time off work to meet with us and to show us his region. The ground level of sim Confluence is a wonderful mishmash of building elements, architectural and scientific.... and in the sky above, a fabulous ship, the Aeschylus.
          We sat on a lot of inappropriate bits of the ship (or maybe that was just me) and admired the outstanding textures on this build.
Jessie Campbell: the control deck is amazing
Lucy Afarensis: I have reached warp 7
Daniel Hoffman: I wanted it to feel like a really vast space.
Thirza Ember:  This place is enormous and like a labyrinth, do you ever get lost?
Daniel Hoffman: I have a map of it in my head, at this point.
         Daniel very gamely led us around the main features of the ship, along mysterious corridors and past massive bits of machinery. It's a great symphony of building, textures and sounds.
Daniel Hoffman: Here I have machinery that goes "bzzz."
Jessie Campbell: I saw these, what are they ?
Xirana Oximoxi: really amazing!!
Daniel Hoffman: You tell me.  I am creating it, but I don't understand all of it. :D
Phred 420: looks like a quantum turbolater
Daniel Hoffman

Daniel Hoffman: So, a lot of this level toward the front is just sorta done. Upstairs from here is where officer quarters are and the mess.  All that is in the mess so far is a BIG bar, which I just put in this morning. lol  But still nowhere to sit. :D I actually have made a little nook for a stowaway somewhere here.  But it's not decorated with stowaway stuff yet.  However, you can find it by clicking on it.
 Phred 420: i can just become invisible
Daniel Hoffman: I noticed that!
Daniel Hoffman: The green pipes on the wall are gene modified algae, which help purify the air and also are used as part of a food source.
Phred 420: soylent i expect, from the cryo pods
Jessie and George admire the whirligig

Jessie Campbell: I could watch this all day
Daniel.Hoffman: This thing needs reactor shielding. Sorry about all the radiation, folks.
Thirza Ember: Ilan, thanks for joining us, I wanted to ask you, can you remember making the decision to set up your own grid?  what was your biggest motivation? did you think it was a big gamble?
 Ilan Tochner: Well, our vision was for a service which would allow people to create virtual worlds on demand. So that you'd be able to have as many virtual worlds / spaces as you want and not have to start manually managing servers. We wanted to free people from having to think about land maintenance and instead just have as many of it as they wanted when they wanted it. OpenSim seemed like the best choice for a potential open metaverse
Daniel.Hoffman: It works, Ilan!  That's what I love about this place.
Ilan Tochner: Thank you Daniel, we're proud to have great creators such as yourself using our service.
Ilan Tochner (right) inspects the ship

thirza ember: it's not just that you've survived, you have established a standard of excellence
Ilan Tochner: Thank you, we've been open to business since March 2011, that's quite a long time for OpenSim grids, we try to focus on not breaking things :-D

Thirza Ember: a question about hypergrid, it seems to me a bold move to open kitely to hg, but also a very wonderful opportunity for cross cultural mixing, was it an easy decision for you to make?
Ilan Tochner: We want to see an open Metaverse emerge so opening up to the Hypergrid was quite natural for us. We want people to be able to call Kitely home and still spend time in all the other wonderful places that exist on the Hypergrid
                   A mess hall, crew quarters, places for ships to be berthed, equipment for making it possible to breathe and eat and enjoy space; labs and tech departments, loads of corridors, and everywhere lovely touches, in terms of textures and little details, it may be a work in progress but it is very impressive already.
            Daniel hopes in the future it might be used for role play, or, why not, maybe someone will film some machinima in here, that would also be cool. Among the features he is working on are more elevators, uniforms, and all the little bits that will make it complete. Of course, it is always a balancing game between creating a lived-in feel on a large scale, and not crippling the region with way too many prims or mesh items.
Thirza Ember:  if people com here in the next months, what are the top 5 features do you plan to add to this already impressive place, Daniel?
Daniel Hoffman: Hmmm.  Well, although it sounds boring, the BIG thing is some functionality like sit scripts and chairs, beds etc. in the living quarters, and some stuff to make the place look actually lived in.  Some more posters on the walls.  There are two big cargo areas that are actually empty and we did not tour and I've been making cargo containers to fill it.  And basically to just go stem to stern and really make the ship feel lived in so when you come into it, there are places to go and sit and do things. Also want to finish hydroponics and start on the labs.
Jessie.Campbell: it deserves to be seen Daniel
Daniel Hoffman: Well, hopefully people will come visit.  :)
Lucy Afarensis: amazing work
The cryo chamber

Thirza Ember: it's hard to stop taking photos LOL
Daniel Hoffman: Please feel free to wander and photograph.  Just share 'em if you get good ones or if you find the monster.
thirza ember: oh, i'm going to find the monster... not this evening, because it is midnight here... but i'll be back tomorrow
Daniel Hoffman: Dang, now I totally need to make a monster. :P
I think Jessie broke the ship

HG Addresses:
Discovery Grid three destinations:
                                                       Rock Ranch

Daniel Hoffman's space ship:       


  1. We very much enjoyed your visit to the Discovery Grid in April. Thank you all for taking the time out of your day, to explore our grid. Do hope several will have the time to visit again in the near future/ Tenbears Running