Monday, November 29, 2010

JessicaBelle Aeronautic Projects’ Focke-Wulf Fw 190 "Butcher Bird"

JessicaBelle Aeronautic Projects has come on the scene with the release of it’s first warplane, it’s rendition of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, also known as the “Butcher Bird.” Maneuverable, compatible with two combat systems, and with armament of machine guns, bombs, and rockets, it is both an excellent dogfighter and ground-attack aircraft in areal duels and combat RP battles.

From this writer/pilot’s point of view, the JessicaBelle Fw 190 flies easier than the other two brands I’ve flown. The engine scripts are made by Shana Carpool, whom has a record of building popular aircraft. Flight can be performed from either first-person-view/mouselook, or third-person-view from behind. Besides the owner, the plane can also be made to be flyable through someone else through guest mode.

Other controls are as follows:

guest=guestmode

start/stop=starts/stops the plane.

g=raises/lowers the landing gear.

vice on/vice off=activates the vice combat system,allowing guns/rockets/bombs to operate.

tcs on/ tcs off=activates the TCS combat system.

team1-4=chooses your vice team,default will be no team/team 0.

bt=toggles rockets/bombs

b=fires/drops rockets or bombs

left click on the mouse fires the guns once vice is active,also works in mouselook.

w=up
s=down
a=roll left
d=roll right
directional arrows also work.

page up/down=increases/decreases throttle.


The ease of flying the plane makes it ideal for dogfighting for both new and experienced pilots, able to maneuver with ease. For a combat roleplay sim with the VICE system, in which combat can be Air vs Ground vs Sea, the Dayafter Fw 190 makes for a useful addition. It can attack ground and sea targets with either bombs or rockets, the latter being the more popular choice (rockets can also be used against bombers, as real Fw 190s did, but some combat RPs consider them “cheating”).

By all means the plane is good for more than just combat. The same ease of control that makes it so good in a dogfight makes it a great plane for acrobatics, or just casual flying around.

There is also a smaller version of the JessicaBelle Fw190 available for pilots who prefer tiny avatars.

The Real Fw 190:

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 W├╝rger (Shrike) was designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s. It was used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War in a variety of roles. Like the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Fw 190 was employed as a "workhorse", and proved suitable for a wide variety of roles, including air superiority fighter, strike fighter, ground-attack aircraft, and operated with less success as a night fighter.

The Fw 190 was well-liked by its pilots. Some of the Luftwaffe's most successful fighter aces flew the Fw 190, including Otto Kittel with 267 victories, Walter Nowotny with 258 victories and Erich Rudorffer with 222 claimed kills. A great many of their kills were claimed while flying the Fw 190.

The Fw 190 participated on every major combat front where the Luftwaffe operated, and did so with success. Some 28 Fw 190s are in museums or in the hands of private collectors around the world. In 1997, a German company began manufacturing new models.

Build Team:

Scripts/texture: Shana Carpool

Build/sculpt: Selene Spellhunter & Mabon (built the bomb shape)

Plane/flight advisor: Sky Phydeau

Planner/financier: Jessicabelle Dayafter (also did some small things, like the spinner.)

DISCLAIMER: I do not support any hate-filled ideology, nor am I affiliated with any such persons or groups. I'm simply a history buff with an affection for fine aircraft. - JessicaBelle Dayafter

The plane can be found for sale at Vickster’s Flight-Pro Shop in The Channel sim at (145, 45, 3484).

Article by Bixyl Shuftan and JessicaBelle Dayafter (^.^)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Simball

I recently was contacted by Aeonix Aeon, whom had something interesting to show me, something that will be particularly of interest to sports enthusiasts, “Vetox is working on a new sport game, Simball. ... It’s still in beta. It’s like basketball, but on hoverboards and with weapons.”

Aeonix described the area as looking much like a “pinball machine” with the bumpers, with two goals on each end. The larger one, when touched by the opposing hoverboard, provides one point. Over that is a smaller one, partially guarded by a bumper, which is much harder to get to, but if it is tagged rewards the effort with two points.

Joining Aeonix at the viewing platform over the arena, I ran into two Simball developers, or “code monkey ninjas” as Aeonix called them, Sean Martin and KrackManiac Robonaught. “We just started a week ago,” Sean Martin told me, “well, the arena I started.”

The two offered to play a game to demonstrate, and the rest of us watched. After they got on their hoverboards, a timer counted down, and a while ball of energy appeared on the field. Both players went after it, and the one who got it first began glowing, and leaving a trail of light, pursued by the other. The energized player would speed across the floor, going up the opposing wall, and hopefully have enough kinetic energy to rise to the goal. Very seldom was a player able to have enough speed to travel high enough to reach the 2 point goal.

If the hoverboard with the lightball was tagged by the opposing player, the ball would switch to the other board, and the two players would switch offense and defense roles. If the player with the lightball ran into a bumper, he would lose the ball, which would be released again into the arena in a few seconds.

Sean Martin later emailed me additional details, saying the sport should be ready and out of beta in December, with beta events in the meantime soon to be ran by Cyphen Heart, “He will also be presenting the new sport to Treet.TV.” Regular games will have “three people per team but this may raise eventually. The objective is to gain more goals than the other team before the time runs out. (Although for beta we have a set goal of 10 and first to reach this wins.)”

Of the boards, “There are currently 3 boards. Each as a special power and abilities unique to that type of board. These powers work from simulated energy within the board. Shown in a small white meter on back. Each board has a Generator that charges energy over time. In the info below is an indication of how fast these boards generate energy over time, and how fast the boards travel in relation to each other.” The Kinetic board has a lot of energy and can either be fast or energize other boards . The Tesla board is able to freeze other boards with an EMP blast, if it’s battery is full. And the Onyx board may be slower than the others, but is immune to EMP blasts and has a sonic “push” to repel other players.

Sean stated there may be more kinds of boards in the future, and possibly more rules for both “official” games and unofficial ones for fun.

“I started the Vetox Project back in 2005, which has a shop 'Vetox' which is located at VSN and at Andromeda Media Group. I'm the lead design and CEO of the virtual company and manage projects. But I also do graphic design in RL, programming, some animation, and a number of other things. Jack of all trades master of none. However I don't have time to do it all so a dev team is very helpful.

“My dev team is currently: KrackManiac Robonaught: Sculpter / Bake / Beta Tester, and RobsterRawb Jaxxon: Sculpter / Take / Texture / Beta Tester. Also VSN is ran by Cyphien Heart. He's not necessarily on my dev team, however we are business partners that just happen to work together well. He handles most of the PR and stuff I'm not used to. For example he got Treet.TV involved into the FS Simboarding sport. He also organized the community and gave them a place to go.”

The Simball arena is at the Dream Horizon sim, at the Virtual Sports Nexus (VSN)


Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, October 11, 2010

Scripts and Lag

I recently had a talk with EriX Oh of the Skybeam Estates. He wanted to discuss something many residents in Second Life don’t seem to be aware of: script lag.

Most residents are aware of the fact that more prims are around, the more lag there is, as each one takes a little bit of processing time. Scripts, however, also take time. So objects with scripts will create more lag than those without. EriX just shook his head at the mention of builders whom obsess with economizing their creations to have the fewest prims possible, yet stuff them full of redundant scripts.

“Many avatars with huge script-times/script-counts, they always tell me Linden Lab is the problem. I say to them they are the first problem. When I then ask the users to detach something or leave, they get angry. And even when I explain in detail, ... they still do not understand it.”

Of the subject on avatars and lag being written about more after the Avatar Rendering Cost (ARC) became available to view as an option, Erix commented, “That’s what many say, ‘Yes, but my ARC is low.’ That’s wrong. Scripts do not count in the ARC, and the ARC is only to detect local lag, not server lag. I must say my ARC may be high, but I’m not hogging the server (grin).”

As the manager of a sim, Erix had tools to help him see how much lag various objects created, sending me a couple pictures, “what you see here are all ‘ heavy loaded’ scripts .... - as this display is only limited to display ~100 scripts at one time. What you see here are times, how much time scripts need to execute.” By “heavy loaded,” he meant scripts particularly long and full of instructions, “and cause a lot of CPU load. The quantity of scripts does not matter if it lags or not, it’s the quality. What I look for often here ... generally speaking for an av, under 1 ms is okay, under 0.5 ms is perfect. When the sim has many scripts to execute, it all raises the times a bit. So on a full sim, I don’t care when I see avs under 1 ms.”

So when does script lag really begin? “Generally it’s a bit by bit feeling. You can’t say that avs over 1 ms are automatically ‘lagger: out!’ You need to think every av, even scriptless ones, cause CPU load on the sim. All objects with and without scripts cause lag. I look first at the sim itself. Are there many people? In a sandbox for instance, over 20 people around means it’s likely to lag. Who has objects with scripts? They cause lag. What I want to say, an avatar with more than 1 ms, is built wrong.”

Erix informed me that the fox avatar he uses most of the time is a modified copy of the original with redundant scripts removed, “removed over 300 scripts ... I’ll put on my original, and show you how ugly the times will be. You can potentially as one av lag a whole sim.” He then changed into his original av, which did seem a little slow to load. At first, the only difference seemed to be it’s use of invisiprims (EriX replaced them). Then he gave me a couple pictures of his sim statistics, and the difference was more obvious, :3.665 on an *idling* sim! Why that happened, if you look at me closely, you’ll see in *every* prim a script: Foxcolor. I counted them - 328 scripts!” These scripts were solely used for changing the color of his avatar fur. Since it was fully modifiable, after choosing a final color he removed all the scripts, “I also got rid of the original HUD, which I counted around 50 scripts.”

I mentioned some of my avatars had the option to change hair color. Erix answered, “Then they MAY have in every hair a script. May, because LL introduced a command in LSL to change child-prims from the root-prim on. So *one* script can change up to 255 child prims.” I changed to a "furry" skunk avatar with had a number of options which required some scripts, including changing hair color, as well as a radar, male AO, and flight feather. Erix looked at the statistics, “still under me (0.342), you’re 0.257. Nothing to worry about from my view.”

“A huge amount of scripts has other side effects. TPs often fail. And lagging, lagging, lagging. And because there's no quick, easy way to remove these scripts, I made a program, this: http://foxreports.lu/software_slavscrm.php . Note that those who use the program: I'm NOT responsible for ANY damage.”

“So girls, with many hairs, check the script-counts, and remove them if not needed.”

We talked a little more, and soon parted ways, me knowing a little more about scripts and lag, and how a sim administrator saw it.

Bixyl Shuftan