One last meet

Despite the day Mistress and I managed one last in-world meet before the end of the year. It wasn't very long (mostly because we wanted to spend more time in RL than SL) but just enough for her to appreciate the state she'd left me in yesterday.

And also to pop out on a very quick shopping trip...

...because, if all goes to plan, we'll be going and finding a body of ice and having a bit of a skate tomorrow.

I can't wait.

Meanwhile though I still, as of the time of writing, have 1/2 hour before the quadcopter unlocks. I'll be so glad to be able to get around normally and touch/edit things far from me again. For one thing there's a build needs finishing off...


Stopped in my tracks

Given the time of year I'm having a little bit of a RL holiday, which consequently means I'm having lots of fun making more things in-world (if you hadn't guessed by now I find making things in-world incredibly rewarding and relaxing). So the past few days I've being fairly prolific.

And then, yesterday, unexpected RL things kept Mistress away. So, of course, I did what I always do when that happens: I fill the void by building something; anything.

Mistress was back today and, after we'd permed and packed this week's Z&A releases (which are in the shop now and will go up on the blog tomorrow) I ran her through what I'd being making and what I had in the works. After that she announced that she was going to collect on another item on my allowance payment list.

She decided that she rather liked the look of "20 hours locked on a vehicle" and she opted for the Z&A Quadcopter.

Only after she'd locked it and set the timer did I notice that she's configured it to deny far-touch. Suddenly I couldn't touch or edit anything that wasn't within 1.5m of me. I queried if that was what she intended and... it was!

Seems Mistress had decided that I'd been prolific enough this week and that it was time I paid a "real" payment. Normally being locked on a wearable vehicle like this is tricky enough as it makes some forms of product testing tricky. But now I can't actually finish the build I was working on when Mistress turned up (at least not until the 20 in-world hours are up) and I'll have to do some rather careful planning and moving of things when it comes to putting this week's releases in the shop.

It's a rather stark, if awesome, reminder that Mistress controls my world.

Oh, and I also needed a top-up of TPs so... one item came off the list and another went on.


Out of the tkISO suit

Mistress and I met briefly in-world today so that she could let me out of the tkISO suit that I've been locked in since Christmas Day.

It's been a fascinating 3 days locked in it. While I know that 3 days won't seem like a long time to some, and the few restrictions it applied will seem easy to some as well, it had quite an impact on me. As you might imagine, given that a lot of my time in-world is spent creating things rather than off playing or socialising, any change to my environment can have a profound effect on how I work. This suit did, without a doubt.

The first evening locked in it saw me not really getting anything done in-world. I dealt with a lot of Z&A admin and generally pottered around with other things. My initial reaction of "there's no way I can get things done in this!" still with me from when the suit was locked and Mistress informed me that it wasn't being unlocked.

The following day I started to try and work on builds. At first there was a fair bit of frustration, especially given the narrower field of view, but after a while I started to get used to it. I even started to get used to the murky/foggy environment too. Not that I didn't notice it, I did; but it was a constant and almost comforting reminder of the fact that Mistress had total control, even when she wasn't there.

By last night I was almost building like normal and got quite a bit of work done. So, even in 3 short days, I'd become accustomed to the world I'd been locked in. I was almost a little afraid of it being unlocked, knowing it would feel odd.

Eventually it was time to unlock it. Actually, Mistress had set the timer 3 days ago and she went to check on its progress. Oddly it was still showing as there being 3 days left (as it read to her) which was a little confusing and worrying. It could be that we'd misread how the timer works so we'll have to do a shorter test at some point to be sure. Anyway, ignoring that for now, Mistress asked if I was prepared and...

...I was unlocked. Even though I was ready for it it was still a little jarring. The change in windlight as well as the "loss" of the vision-restricting HUD made more of a difference than I'd been expecting. Once I'd got used to the change I swapped to more normal clothing.

Mistress decided that she wouldn't collect another payment off the list today, letting me be "free" for the evening (which works out well for me as I'm readying some new Z&A releases for this week and am working on another couple or so for the week after).

Since I said goodnight to Mistress and tucked her up in bed it's felt really strange, being free to do as I "wish" (within reason, obviously, I'm still under 24/7 allowance control, etc...), to have full use of my screen and to be able to enjoy the Linden sunrises and sunsets.

The tkISO suit is, without a doubt, a welcome addition to my #RLV folder and will work rather well alongside the various Z&A hoods and helmets when it comes to isolation and environment control. I'm pretty sure that Mistress is rather taken by it too.

She's already said it'll be going into the list in the Punishment Picker as an item in its own right.


In the workshop

While Mistress and I were stood in the Z&A workshop earlier today, as I showed her the script I'd made earlier on, I had a brief play with advanced lighting.

The way the tkISO suit looks with ALM turned on is almost enough to make me want to splash out on a new graphics card. :S

Texture shuffle script

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I do quite a lot of building using Mesh Studio. In some cases the thing I'm building requires the careful lining up of textures on the various faces of the prims that will make the final object, in others it's not so important. With the latter builds, especially those that are designed to look like they're made of wood, I make a point of "randomly" messing with the texture offsets and the repeat sign (as in: the flip of the repeat) to try and make the texture look a bit more varied when I'm really using just the one texture.

So, given something like this:

I'll get rid of that very regular pattern by going through every face and changing the relevant values until it all looks a bit mixed up. The thing is though, in a very large linkset, that can get really boring. Sure, there's a certain meditative quality to doing a repetitive task like that again and again and again but... sometimes, just sometimes, you want to get on with actually building the damn thing.

Last night, as I headed for bed, I had one of those "why the hell didn't I think of that before?!?" moments. The idea that popped into my head was that I should write a really simple script that'll do the job for me (and likely do a better job of it than I do). So, this morning, I fired up the code editor and knocked it out.

Now I can drop a script in an object like that above, touch a face that matches the faces I want shuffled, and the result is this:

Or, if I don't like it, I can touch it again and get a different random arrangement. Or another. Or... you get the idea. And, of course, if I decide that one or two faces could do with a better tweak I can remove the script and finish it off by hand.

Here's the script in question:


Demo day

It's was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing but today turned into a demo day for Mistress and I. Well, I say Mistress and I.... for Mistress. I'm still locked in the Think Kink ISO suit with no hope of release until Sunday so it was a demo day for Mistress and I was tagging along.

Mistress was rather keen to have a look at the new fitted mesh body from Maitreya. This is the first one we've seen that looked like it had a reasonable shape and would be a good match for her. So, with no other plans for the day, a demo-trying session seemed like a great idea.

Before going there was a little bit of debate about if I should go with her or not given my current outfit; especially given visible cuffs and collar. Mistress did entertain the idea of removing the cuffs but the collar is never coming off so... Even though it's a General region I was really wearing nothing more than a spacesuit so we decided to go with it.

We needn't have worried really. We landed next to a woman all decked out with cuffs and collar and chained up. But that was nothing compared to when we got to the body vendor...

While the vendor image itself likely sails a little close to the wind when it comes to interpretation of "no nudity" for General regions, it was the avatars around it that were most interesting. We counted at least 4 people stood there, naked in demo bodies, posed to best show off that this is a fairly anatomically correct body.

So, yeah, I think I was likely the most PG thing on the region at that point. ;)

Anyway, Mistress picked the demo up and we then headed off to a few other shops and grabbed demos for other things she wanted to try. I'll skip all the actual demo-trying stuff, partly because I doubt anyone really cares about our conclusions on the pros and cons of mesh bodies, but mostly because any photos of the event, posted here, would get me in serious trouble.

And I have a knack for that. Especially thanks to the ISO suit. At one point I thanked Mistress for something and that came out as "Ghag you Miff". Mistress took that to mean that I was saying she should be gagged, at which point she found a very accessible button in the suit's menu...

Seems the suit is well equipped with painful shock pads placed in interesting places.

I'll have to be a little more careful about what I say in future.


An exchange of gifts

Like last year Mistress and I had the chance to spend time together and to exchange gifts. Although, in these days of mesh and size issues and the like, it's not so straightforward to arrange gifts any more. So first off we both half let on what we had in mind as our in-world gifts and worked out who would go where first to get what.

Given that my main gift to Mistress was pretty easy to sort we started with that. We've being talking about replacing the old sculpt dining table in our house for ages so I took today as the perfect opportunity to gift her this:

It's the Dutchie dining table. Mistress was really delighted with it and our shopping plans got put on hold for a short while as we both explored the menus.

It's got pretty much everything you could want from a fully-scripted table and handles between 1 and 8 avatars and provides menus that are appropriate to the arrangement. This includes some really sweet romantic moments.

And wine. It has wine too. Mistress was delighted it had wine.

Next up was a little trip out. First was a visit to League so Mistress could get a demo for a dress she'd mentioned to me a couple of months back and which she seemed to have forgotten about. Sadly though, as much as we looked, we couldn't find it! So Mistress rummaged through the notices and notecards she'd had over the past couple of months to try and find out what the deal was. Meanwhile I found and bought myself a new pair of front-gartered wool stockings. Well, I do have at least one short dress and it's chilly this time of year. ;)

Mistress finally found out that the dress in question was only available at Uber so we then headed over there and she picked up the demo and then took me to have a look at her gift to me...

Ever since we found out during The Femdom Hunt V that Think Kink would be releasing a male version of their ISO suit Mistress has been pretty clear that I'd be getting one; so today was the perfect chance for that to happen. While no demo was available to try on there was a copy rezzed out and, just looking at it, it was obvious that it had been made with a reasonable male shape in mind (the rezzed copy actually seemed to be a fairly good match for my own shape, which was a surprise and a delight). So, without any hesitation, Mistress gifted me a copy.

We then headed back home and I unpacked my purchases while Mistress tried on the demo for the dress I wanted to get her. That was an instant hit and, before I got to try my gift on...

A couple of gift dress purchases later we were back home and it was my turn. After unpacking and checking the instructions (which aren't 100% clear about what needs to be worn, or how you get at the menus; but it seems pretty intuitive what to wear and once we figured out you get the menus from touching the top of the head of the suit it all fell into place) Mistress sat down with a cuppa and had a play.

She had some fun playing with the various colour options (not that I could see them that well given that the suit imposes some pretty cool windlight effects on you) and working through all the different restrictions and punishment options. There's enough scope in the menus of the suit that all sorts of fun things (well, fun to Mistress anyway) can be devised. She's already decided that it needs to go into the list as a specific item, both as a thing in its own right and possibly also an outfit to combine with a forced walkabout.

We did notice one odd thing and that was a single prim that was constantly floating in front of my face (you can see it in the following image).

Originally, while we were trying to figure out how to actually get at the menus, we entertained the idea that this was the prim to touch (remember that the suit itself is rigged mesh so touching it isn't a thing) to get them but that didn't really seem very likely. Finally we figured out that it was the particle emitter for the breather of the mask so I edited and made it invisible (coincidently, just after we logged off to say goodnight in RL, Ilana IMd me to say there was an update coming real soon and, it turns out, the visible breather prim is one of the fixes -- that's what I call customer service, letting me know that a problem I hadn't got around to reporting yet is fixed before I've even had the chance to let them know!).

Oh, yeah, the breather.... While Mistress did seem rather taken by the very anonymous look with the full-face hood she seemed to adore the open-face mask and breather. So, in the end, she went with that.

She then turned off most of the restrictions, made sure the vision-restriction plate was set on the easiest level (you can see a bit of it around the edge of the image above, see below for better examples), set the renamer with a name of her choice and set the gagging option to a reasonable garble. She then informed me that she was collecting on the allowance payment of "Wear the outfit of your dom(me)'s choice for 3 days" and that I'd get to enjoy my Christmas gift until Sunday...

After that it was time for Mistress to head for bed.

Meanwhile I've been left in a fairly murky world that looks something like this:

Only, that isn't exactly what it looks like. What it actually looks like, when I take a photo that shows my HUDs, is this:

So I'm left in a state where I can work, I can build, I can get around, but it's made rather frustrating by having my vision obscured and by colours and light being all wrong. Not that I can really complain, the vision restriction options can get a lot worse -- what I'm on right now is the easiest of the options.

Overall we're delighted by the ISO suit so far. The only niggles I've noticed are that there's no "quickstart" documentation that explains the essentials of what to wear and what to explain to your owner (or if there is I couldn't find it) and that the suit's alpha-auto-change system is hardcoded to expect the suit itself to be held at the very top level of your #RLV folder (something I'd never do as I have a carefully laid out hierarchy of folders in there and having a single restraint at the top level would ruin that).

The quickstart documentation thing isn't such a big deal as, as I've said above, once you've figured out how to get at the menus it all falls into place; or so Mistress tells me anyway -- I only saw the menus for the brief moment that I used them to add her as a "trusted operator" and then I handed all control over to her. I'm not sure the #RLV folder thing can really be solved (unless some method of soft-coding it is introduced) but it really isn't that big a deal for us. If Mistress is locking this on me it'll be in a specific configuration so I'll just wear the correct alpha and that'll be that. Nobody else will be getting access anyway.

As for the look of the suit... This is where the materials/no-materials issue starts to creep in. My desktop machine really doesn't handle advanced lighting at all well (and it turns out that my recent driver update didn't have quite the positive effect that I thought it initially had) so I normally run with it off (framerates are terrible with it on). As such the suit looks like this:

Overall I think it looks just fine, although the breather on the facemask looks very flat and featureless. The real magic happens when you turn advanced lighting on:

Suddenly lots of detail appears and the breather doesn't look quite so 2-dimensional. Personally I think TK have done a great job of making it work fine with ALM turned off (in fact they've made a feature of this difference if you read the details of the product) and it's inevitable that ALM will be more and more favoured.

For now I'll have to make do with the loss of detail and plain flat shine while Mistress (who always has ALM turned on) gets to enjoy the full detail of the gift she kindly got me.

Actually, for now, all I'll be doing is trying to get used to the environment the suit is imposing on me and hope that Mistress doesn't decide to make it worse before it gets better. And, of course, figure out if I'm able to build in it.

Merry Christmas Mistress. Thank you for a lovely gift. ;)

VT Xmas dance

I went out dancing. Alone. On purpose. Again!

There I was, Christmas Eve, doing something I really love (that's right, tinkering with a build in the workshop), and I noticed the chatter about how there was a Christmas party a little later at The Velvet Thorn and how Miss Eve was going to be the DJ. So I thought "sod it, let's have a night off..."

And I did.

At Miss Eve's request I took a whole load of photos and you can find them in an album over on imgur.


A ride on Corsica

Today Mistress and I got to spend a fair bit of time together in-world. Initially we met up in the house and had a little chat, deciding what to do. It was decided that now would be a good time to take the new bike (a Christmas gift from Miss Eve and Sue) for a proper spin.

First though we decided we were a little over-dressed for the occasion. So we changed into something a little more conventional and casual...

...and headed for the mainland. Mistress didn't want to go on any of the continents that I've covered lots of during my various banishments and walkabouts so she settled on Corsica.

When it comes to travelling by road this seems to be a pretty good bit of mainland to visit. The roads seem easy enough to follow and there are plenty of rez zones. Even better, every so often there are signs telling you how far it is to the next rez zone.

Unfortunately the roads there do suffer from the usual SL blight of bulling automated vehicles that won't stand for you going to slow or, worse, stopping for some sight-seeing.

More than once we got hassled and shoved about by one of these buses.

Along the way we, coincidentally, bumped into not one...

...but two...

...different places that had Z&A vehicle rezzers out for people to use. We were sort of temped to hop off the bike and carry the journey on using one of our own builds that was owned by someone else. In the end though we stuck with the bike and kept riding well after sunset.

I'm not sure how many regions we crossed but I think we went quite some way because, by the time we finished and TPd home I noticed I was getting rather low on walk top-up again and I'd only had a top-up of it the day before!

On top of this I also needed a top-up of TPs too. These two top-ups cost me the addition of  "Be locked in a public cage for 1 hour" and "Wear the punishment log for 2 hours". Mistress decided to collect the latter one right away.

So after saying goodnight to her I spent the next 2 hours only able to touch things within 1.5m of me -- which meant I had to put the build I'd been working on aside for the duration.

Two root prims

Ever seen an object with two root prims? No? Here's one...

I'd linked together two smaller linksets to create the one object. I'd "dropped" the edit of them and then went to edit again. Both appeared not to have linked together. Only, they had. Both had the same (higher) LI count in the edit floater but both appeared to be different linksets with different roots.

And how did I fix it? I changed groups, moved my camera a bit, selected something else and then selected one of the problem objects again and...

Frustratingly when it was a "two root" object both of the original linksets could be moved on their own without apparently affecting the other. Further attempts to link them (again) made no difference. I've had this happen so many times before that I'm very careful about this now (although I still get caught out now and again -- last week this sort of mixup partially resulted in me deleting a build I'd been working on for a few hours; thankfully I had backups and could also restore from trash to last position).

This is a great example of why I wouldn't recommend the latest versions of Firestorm (or any other viewer that still contains this sort of interest list bug -- which I assume it is). Many of the other improvements make the later versions worth having but you have to be very vigilant while building as you're going to be fighting the viewer at times.

The viewer (and the region, depending on what's happening) will lie to you.


Back to normal

Mistress and I only managed the briefest of meet-ups today, just enough time to handle some Z&A business and then deal with some personal items. The first was, of course, to let me back out of the outfit from yesterday.

Even though I'd only spent the one day like this it was still a shock to suddenly find my world like this:

Once unlocked I had to ask Mistress for a walk top-up. That didn't go at all well.

It earned me a payment of five hours without touch! That means, at some point in the future, there'll be five hours of not being able to build or edit or even touch things. That's going to be a very tough one. I did try and persuade Mistress that it'd be a good one to run in parallel with the five hours caged but she wasn't having any of it. Was worth a try.

Finally, before she had to leave me, we had a very quick go on a Christmas gift we'd been given:

It's rather awesome and really well done and, at some point in the near future, when we've got more time, will doubtless be part of a fun little road trip.

Sadly though Mistress needed to get off. She left me without collecting on any allowance payments for today so I've tried to make the most of it. I might have already made a product ready for release next week (and we've not even officially announced this week's releases yet). ;)


Skater Bane

After a weekend of not seeing each other Mistress and I dipped in-world to deal with a couple of things and so that she could also collect another payment off the list.

After contemplating the options available Mistress decided to collect on me being in "Skater Bane" mode for 24 hours. So on went the latex, the skates and the Isolation Helmet...

and down came the darkness as Mistress locked it.

For the next 24 hours I'm locked in deep darkness and can't see my location, maps, avatar names or hover text on any in-world object. Also, while I can hold IM conversations, I can't start them. Only if a group chat is opened by someone else first, or someone IMs me first, can I natter away.

And the texture job I was starting on a build will have to wait until at least tomorrow. ;)