n00bs, gotta love ’em

Posted April 18th, 2010 by wonko
Landing Pad - what to say?

Landing Pad - what to say?

… you land on this foreign planet, right, and you are the visitor, so what do you need to know?

That question is an interesting one – in a 3D world there is LOTS that you can know but what do you NEED to know.

context: punters are students years p-7, and their teachers, and some mentors.

I thought that concentrating on CITIZEN RIGHTS was a good starter – privacy, save place to learn etc, all good up-front.

Then come CITIZEN RESPONSIBILITIES – a little more fuzzy, but things like don’t break what is not yours, do not offend, clean up after you etc.

I figure if you place this stuff where they HAVE to walk past, at least initially, there is a chance they might read it – the wording and format … that is the part of the task that is like nailing jelly to a tree.

If I use “sign” objects, then there is a limit to the number of characters I can display, and I have nearly no control over the format (font size, wrapping, text effects), so will need to seek advice higher re visual styling and consistence, and I guess the actual wording. The “picture” object lets me embed an image version of the wording (that takes time, I prepared one earlier) which I think is the right way to go – styling and someone with the actual time to do this right now … umm, help.

I went for an industrial feel – the whole complex is old, corroded and not shiny so I think it fits.  It  still looks a bit spartan, yet to embellish and clutter, concentrating on the infrastructure first and will busy it up later. I used rusty “I” beams, thought they looked ok and let me expand when I need to, just get out the welder and we are away.

I included the obligatory “work in progress” – in much the same way a website is NEVER complete, I would be astounded if this world ever is finished – people long after I am gone will be adding/modifying/re-working I hope.

I included reference to a “basic orientation” or O-ZONE interestingly clustered around the base of the ozone tank, well I thought it was clever, and began to imagine what are the basic skills required to just drive the world – not building, that will be handled elsewhere, just the beginners guide to Activeworld use.

Moving; talking and more generally communicating; playing with your avatar; manipulating objects; remembering places; and taking pictures were what I first concentrated on – what have I missed?

It needs to be clear, concise, written in a language that can be understood by emerging literacies, it should where possible have companion illustrations, they should be fun, informative, simple but illustrative – all in all, quite a task.

I will have to ask for help I think as I am flat out designing and making the buildings – the level of accompanying documentation and illustration is important and will couch the activities that users involve themselves in when we are in production.

So … HOMEWORK: what do nOObs need to know? How do we tell them? What level of explanation is appropriate as an intro – can the skills be categorised? What sequence? How should they be displayed? All interesting questions dear reader – want to contribute to the discussion?

the O-ZONE


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