August 30, 2006

Going For A Morning Swim


The pool area in the back of the hotel has been coming along nicely in the last few days. The ES team has added cabanas, lounge chairs, and small tables.

But my favorite thing so far this week is that yesterday the hotel pool was finally filled with water.

This morning I woke up just before sunrise and decided to go for a swim in the pool before anyone else arrived at the hotel. If you haven't yet gone swimming in Second Life (today was my first time) it's an absolutely amazing experience. I'm now convinced the the pool will be one of the most popular aspects of the hotel.

Where did I buy my trunks? WaterWorks Island has a terrific assortment of bathing suits, animations, and pools to swim in. At WaterWorks I also bought The Swimmer! 1.1, an absolutely amazing HUD device that makes your avatar buoyant and allows you to swim laps.

See you in the pool!

-- Marc Schiller, ElectricArtists

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August 28, 2006

Preparing for Resident Activities

One aspect of preparing a project for Second Life that we (ESC) try very hard to stress to our clients is the importance of planning past the grand opening festivities. What will keep people coming back to your island? This isn't a problem unique to real-life business builds in SL - maintaining a steady flow of visitors to your land, club or business is something that all residents tackle in their own ways.

Shopping, games, and social activities are the biggest draws that keep people returning. The virtual aloft project team has a few fantastic ideas on the burner to that end, and one specific build on the island we hope to utilize repeatedly in the future is the outdoor stage.


I think its important to note that an outdoor stage will not be a staple of the real aloft hotels. Striking a balance between real world accuracy and taking advantage of the admittedly fantastic possibilities that SL offers is a delicate trick, but collectively the entire team is in open discussion on how we can utilize the best of both worlds.

The stage itself was built by Makaio, and I spent about a day and a half creating the textures. The stage is one of the detail pieces that can really showcase the extra effort spent on careful prim work and texturing. These custom textures utilize both baked lighting (done in
Photoshop) and hardware lighting (rendered via the SL platform). Additional fun sphere lights in the garden areas use both effects plus particle effect "glow" to really help them stand out.


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