iPost 3.0

Posted August 11th, 2010 by wonko

… now there is this big eLearning showcasey thing next week for EQ people but I will not be there because I am not, well, really an EQ person (Hi if you are a delegate reading this, I am speaking to you from the past … how weird is that?).

The Learning Place wants to showcase some of the aspects of MyWorld that already exist – a golden opportunity to show some of what has been done already, as a stepping stone to what can be done in the future…

iPost v3.0, step 1 in the tour de-vworld

iPost v3.0, step 1 in the tour de-vworld

… so it got me thinking what sort of symbolism is naturally “tourist-focussed”.

I know when I am in a strange place, being a tourist, I head for the big blue “P” signs to park and the big blue “i” signs as they usually mean INFORMATION, so I set about designing an “information post – or iPost for short”.  It took 3 goes until I got one that I was relatively happy with, hence iPost3.0. They are made up of 2 parts (w-iPost1.rwx and w-iPost2.rwx, with part 1 being the base that throbs with a red “notice me” beacon, and part 2 the disk with the “i” rotating gently).

Wings3D is a useful mesh sculpting tool, and I am getting good at sculpting custom geometry, and beginning to understand the structure of a rwx file, so eventually I will be able to hack (without breaking) them to add texture, light, shading and other attributes.

DJ gave me a list of itinerary points she wanted to feature, so I set about setting out a trail of iPosts. It became apparent that each iPost would need some form of annotation so the tourists could nav and learn as they were going, without having to wait for a tour guide, so I included with each iPost a notice board with some simple orientation info.

unobtrusive but obvious, such a conundrum

unobtrusive but obvious, such a conundrum

The challenge was to make them visible, but not dominate the areas they sit in – they are, after all merely one way through the worlds. I hope we highlight some of the good ideas and work that has already been put into this world – a beginning in some ways, providing muct potential for young learners.

I used a mixture of teleports (instantaneously “arriving” at the destination when on another world, or where scenery gets in the way)  and warps (fast forward travellators for placemarks that are within cooee of each other) and I think the mix works – warps are particularly useful for giving a sense of space, scale, direction and displacement and can be a fun ride.

little known details, cached potential

little known details, cached potential

I discovered an issue that is potentially disorientating – when you teleport to part of a building, you may arrive before the building does, particularly problematic if that location is upstairs – you plummet to ground and then the building arrives around you effectively trapping you. The iPost above is the result of being bounced behind a building with the next jump taking you into it – thereby giving the world a chance to catch up with the traveler – caching the geometry as it were, pre-fetching it before you wind up trapped in it. This all depends on the net connection, bandwidth and so on, not sure i can do much more about that.

I have had a couple of guinea pig cybernauts test it out, it is a circuit – tourists can join it wherever they see an iPost. We can either leave the tourist trail in place after the event, or HIDE the iPosts until they are needed again.

Will it be successful? I have no idea – maybe the punters will tell me. Is there anybody out there?

2 Responses to “iPost 3.0”

  1. Mrs_Banjer

    Hi Peter
    I am going to be one of those ‘punters’ next week! I’ll let you know how we go via FB updates if you like, maybe that will be the only way to hear my cries for help if I get trapped inside your warping issues!

    I had a quick look the other night with DJ as well, my biggest issue was remembering how to fly, took a moment to orientate to laptop controls and allocate appropriate keys.

    Will send a virtual postcard from in-world!


  2. wonko

    …always difficult to know how things are going developing in a vacuum, feedback would be appreciated