Extending a Linden robot

I have three "non-me" accounts for dealing with Z&A business. The first one I ever created was "Zanda Slacker". Unless there's been a glitch in his connection you'll always find him hanging out in our main store somewhere, doing something vaguely useful (right now he's available for trolley rides). As a registered scripted agent (AKA "bot") he also handles group invites and he lets me keep an eye on the shop while I'm working at my desk but not in-world.

The second is "CrashTestMistress Resident". When building Z&A items we've always taken myself and Miss Vila as the size guides. However, due to our different timezones, Miss Vila isn't always available to help size things up when I'm building. To get around this problem I created Crash as an avi with similar size and shape as Miss Vila and kitted her out with fairly high heeled boots. As a template to work around she works well. With the help of METAbolt I can have her in while I'm in on my viewer of choice and get things done.

More recently I had a need for a third avatar. Late on last year I was getting more and more into working with mesh. At that point Firestorm (my viewer of choice) wasn't quite up to the job of uploading models so I was always switching over to the official Lab viewer to get that job done. A slight hassle, but no big deal. Until, that is, things happened that meant I was using RLV all the time again. At that point I didn't want to be logging into a viewer that lacked RLV. I also wasn't sure that, even if I could use a viewer that contained RLV and handled mesh uploads well, I'd have access to things like inventory all the time. While I could have used one of the other avis for uploads I also wanted the object's creator to show as something sensible -- either me or....

Meet ZandAProductions Resident.

He quickly became my goto avi for doing things (with Miss Vila's permission, obviously) that I couldn't do due to some RLV fun. As time went on the need to use him for his original purpose diminished. Firestorm now has much improved mesh upload so the need for me to switch viewers has pretty much gone away.

But he does still have a purpose. For the past couple or so months I've been working on a lot of new stuff (which will be getting launched early next week) and, again, because of the restraints I was sometimes in while doing this work, I needed another avi to be the "victim". "The Robot" (has he's generally known to us) was the perfect candidate. Log him in on METAbolt with the RLV module enabled and I was all sorted.

Because we use LockGuard for particle chains and the like I started out by putting some freebie cuffs and collar I'd made on him. However, it seems that METAbolt doesn't support multiple attachments on a single attachment point (or, if it does, I missed how to do it) so he'd end up losing cuffs or body parts. The solution was pretty obvious.

One round of copying his body parts, adding some extra prims, and dropping LockGuard scripts in those prims later and I had a LockGuard compatible version of one of the Lab's robot avis:

This solved the problem nicely and it works a treat.

In this form he's not a good body double for me in terms of checking sizes, but for checking general workings and that I've got the chains/ropes/etc working right he's perfect.

So, thank you for making him mod, Linden Lab. Much appreciated. :)



I feel a bit cheap now.

Not even enough to upload a mesh heart...



I got Miss Vila a little gift today. Well, she found him and, before she knew it, there was a package turning up in the received items section of her inventory...

She's named him Lethal. He's rather handsome and rather clever too. And, of course, very at home at Raven Park.


Taking it slowly

As mentioned a couple of days ago, the issue with making a mistake with some recent scripting work hasn't gone without incident. Today Miss Vila had words with me about this, and a couple of other things, and she decided that I really needed to slow down and better concentrate on the job at hand. There's little doubt that, now and again, I can get carried away and miss some important detail. While it's true that the details always get picked up in later testing she was of the opinion that it would be better if such issues never arose in the first place.

So she decided that I needed a lesson in slowing down and paying close attention to what's in front of me. I wasn't sure how this was going to happen, until a latex sack was laid out and I was told to climb inside. And so, until Miss sees fit to release me, this is how I'm to go about my business:

Movement, while possible, is very slow. Compared to this my recent periods of being hobbled seem like nothing. Hobbled movement is speedy in comparison. Thanks to the sack I'm also denied teleporting and sitting on items more than a meter or so from me.

To top it off Miss put me back in the SLiCK hood. This has been locked on with a gag applied.

I think this is a lesson I'm going to learn well.


A night in the cell

As I've mentioned before, Miss Vila has a cell set up in the house that is my "home" location for anything that involves being force-teleported home. The best example of this is the arrest plugin that I have in my RR cuffs (that are locked on 24/7). If I'm in-world too late I get sent to the cell, it locks, and a random timer is applied. It's also now the landing point for a background project I'm working on.

And then, sometimes, I get put in there anyway.

Miss Vila and I are working on a new venture that is associated with Z&A Productions (all will be revealed on the Z&A blog later this month) and it, naturally, involves me doing some scripting. I thought I had it all done and, last night, we were starting to make the final builds and I noticed a glaring error.

And, as usual, I started (metaphorically) kicking myself. I hate it when I miss something as obvious as the thing I did. Now, of course, we discovered it because we were carefully and methodically testing things. That's what we do (as Z&A and, obviously, as V&a too). The test worked, it uncovered something it was designed to uncover. But I was still annoyed with myself that I'd let the problem slip through.

And I felt bad about holding things up as I go back and rework the script.

So, to make me feel better, Miss did what Miss loves to do: she sent me off to the cell for the night.

That made me feel a little better. She has made noises that this won't be the end of it, and has suggested that, perhaps, I should have paid a little more attention. So now I'll make the changes that need making and do so while wondering what might be coming once finished.


Embrace the pain

Earlier today, in the group chat of a certain popular in-world builders group, the subject turned to how terrible Second Life is and how Linden Lab are just out to take all our money, make life as painful as possible, and how we all just bend over and take it. Etc... You know the sort of thing. The sort of thing where all the other grids are greener and anyone who points out any flaws in that argument is an apologist for the Lab.

One thing that came up was the cost of uploading content.

Which got me thinking... the latest Firestorm lets you change the UI sounds. So doesn't it make sense that we make those upload costs as painful as possible?

Here's my suggestion to those who want to embrace the pain. First, in Avatar >> Preferences, go to the "Sound & Media" tab, then go to the "General" sub-tab. At the bottom, change the "L$ change threshold" to a nice low figure -- one below L$10, obviously.

Now, having done that, head to the "UI Sounds 1" tab and find the "Money balance decrease" item:

In here, place the UUID of a slapping or spanking sound. For bonus points add a recording to the end of that sound of you going "Thank you Lindens, please may I have another?"

Hit "OK" and you're all done. Now, every time you upload content to the Second Life servers and are forced to pay for it you can feel really good about the pain.