Up Up and Away … to Sky City

Posted August 8th, 2010 by wonko

Now this idea occurred to me after a cybernaut (thanks Mitchell) sheepishly took me to a place where he thought other cybernauts had done something naughty – let me explain.

When you clone an object from one that already exists (the first step in Activeworld building), you get to choose the n-s, w-e and the up-down-ness of the newly created clone.  Someone had discovered that on the construction planet (Obscura) you could change the up-nicity of an object to 500m or so (waaaay above viewing distance which is typically maxed out at 200m). What makes this neat is they then FLEW up and made a lego raft at that altitude. Far from being naughty, I thought it was brilliant, and an idea well worth expanding.

It got me thinking, that maybe our budding builders need a more realistic challenge (or maybe lego is sooo yesterday man), so came upon an idea for a building challenge.

Welcome Cybernauts to SKY CITY

Welcome Cybernauts to SKY CITY

So I rigged a rusting girder platform, on some “suspensors” some 4oom above our pyramid zone (the lego building zone for noobies), lay down modular flooring, signage and some simple rules and regs, then assembled a collection of components (the lego pieces – shhhh, don’t tell them it is the same thing) they could use to make buildings in a custom “object dock” flying a little above the platform and I think I am on to a good idea.

A high altitude object dock

A high altitude object dock

By giving then carefully chosen objects that fit together seamlessly, and some simple construction instructions, punters clone and place their creations on the expanding platform. They are high enough to have conversation and not flood the ground with it, but the space is sufficiently detached from the main building academy (at least vertically) to be private enough for them to think they are being independent.

humanoid-scaled building

humanoid-scaled building

I chose modular scenery, walls etc that were humanoid scale – so when the build rooms and corridors they feel right. I may offer specialist building workshops at altitude – we shall have to wait to gauge the interest but it is certain that we have some interested little people with time on their hands that they are willing to spend in-world, so why not harness some of that creativity.

I also learned something about saved object groups that will be very useful. Once I had made the object bay, complete, I saved that to my hard drive (complete) so I can clone them wherever I want – they maintain their altitude information so I can be on the ground and make one appear some 400m above me almost instantly – pretty neat I think.

Is this going to result in great architecture? I do not know – it will be interesting to find out however. What do you think are the pluses and minuses of this approach – should there be city by-laws, construction codes or is that just complicating things way to much?

POSTSCRIPT:

Some kids just needed encouragement – they are doing wonderful stuff when given a little advice and some personal freedom, I can only be impressed

first buildings go up

first buildings go up

One Response to “Up Up and Away … to Sky City”

  1. wonko

    a little advice about object placement, seed the idea that a “clubhouse” would be cool and these kids then voluntarily spend 2+ hours on a Thursday evening making one – how cool is that?