Nexus VI …

Posted July 30th, 2010 by wonko

It was suggested (thanks DJ) that when cybernauts first connect to the syntheverse (called MyWorld … an increasing misnomer) if they do not have permissions on the first contact world, then they end up in a sort of “limbo” where there is nothing but white, and no one can hear you type “scream!”).

Naturally, this is not ideal, particularly for noobs, who get confused at the best of times. We decided to make a new world (500m x 500m) whose job was to provide an initial contact point. A meeting of worlds, an inter-planetary jump-station of sorts – Nexus 6 was born in a startlingly short period of time, and kitted out in record time also (given I am being paid hourly, I better slow down or I am doing myself out of a job 😛 ).

the Nexus6 boardwalk

The Nexus6 boardwalk

I like the metaphor of “browsing worlds” before selecting one that suits, and I think Nexus does that job interestingly. The star-shaped board walk, each spoke terminating in a world is a nice gentle way of suggesting these are planets that are worlds apart.  For such a small world, it has an expansive feel thanks to a rather lovely skybox (a skybox is a scenic element that takes over the job of masking the horizon and provides a base texture for the sky) that adds some distant mountain ranges and a little atmosphere.

Originally I had a concrete star but think the timber out over a lake works well, and provides the opportunity to go underwater – I think there will be a discussion circle underwater, in an octopusses garden, in the shade.

"under the boardwalk, down by the see...."

"under the boardwalk, down by the sea...."

A little concession to structural engineering, the piers may well provide some supports for underwater thingies in the future also. There is just enough land to make a visitors centre – a rustic timer structure, also if it is deemed necessary some time in the future, providing a first contact with activeworlds navigation skills.

A teleportery

A teleportery

…so I found a globe-shaped picture object, dived off to each world and took a screenie of it (in retrospect I should have made it a panorama – might re-take them now I know what I am doing) and wrapped the picture around the globe, set it rotating slowly and we have a nice metaphor for a “world picker”. To travel to that world, you can click on most things nearby, or the planet itself for an instant teleport to the entrance point of the world.

The current design lends itself to extension – when we have more worlds, I just expand the jetty system, simple.  A little bit of terraforming (remembering scale and the smallnicity of the actual developable landmass in this world), some vegetation clumps and it is quite a calm and peaceful place to begin your exploration of virtual worlds … well, I think it is at least. I will either compose or sample a soundscape to complete the environment – birds, water lapping, gentle breeze, that sort of thing.

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