Second Life Bits 2014-44

Don't Panic 2014

Don’t Panic 2014

Photographer of The Year Award (Second Life)

This is a contest I had not heard about. It seems to be entering its final stage. The latest information is here: Nominated photographers. The original contest information is here: Rules of the competition. The opening for nomination names was October 22. So, voting for your favorite work and enjoying the results is all that is left.

The thyme is interesting: “I will fight till my last dying breath”.

Texture Thrashing

The Firestorm people have updated their Texture Discard page. Texture Discard is an en error message some see when their video card memory is insufficient. As we fill up video memory others of us see texture thrashing, rendered objects completing render to a nice crisp appearance then going blurry and re-rendering in an endless cycle.

I have a video card with 2gb of video ram. I am occasionally running into texture thrashing. The new Firestorm page has suggestions for reducing this problem. One of the steps is to avoid opening inventory and especially to avoid opening two inventory windows. 

Inventory windows use memory, but AFAIK they do not use video memory. So, that this makes a difference in texture discard and thrashing is surprising.

One can also disable OpenGL Vertex Buffer Objects (VBO) and reduce draw distance. Both steps reduce the amount of video memory needed.

The problem comes from there being more textures needed to render the region than the video card can handle, there isn’t enough video memory to hold all the data needed to render the scene. This can happen when region builders use lots of large textures in their build. We can mitigate this problem by reducing our draw distance.

Another source of texture overload is our HUD’s. Some HUD’s use large textures. Some even use them for small buttons. There are HUD’s that use more large textures than some buildings. So, removing HUD’s can reduce the texture load.

Removing HUD’s and adding them back one at a time is a way to find the problem HUD.

Lindal Kidd Blog Closed

Lindal posted: Closed Until Further Notice. Seems she is going to stop blogging.

I see her posting most often in the SL Forum’s Answers section.

Don’t Panic

If you have played Myst games this will be a really fun game. It is fun even if you have never played a Myst game. In my opinion Don’t Panic is Myst like because of the combination of exploring and puzzle solving. None of the puzzles are difficult… I figured them out without help. But, they are tricky and you cannot advance without solving them.

In some cases you can stand around and wait for someone else to solve the puzzle. When they open the locked door you can make it through.

Having the sound turned up to hear the sound effect hints, leaves you open to ‘BOO” scares, loud sounds. I jumped several times.

I switched back and forth between using the local Windlight settings and one of mine, so I could see. It is more fun with local settings, which are dark and much more creepy. But, when poking around for rats and clues, it is nice to be able to turn on the lights.

They have a load of prizes. The exploring is sort of a hunt. Most of the stuff, more than half, given as prices is pretty nice. I had fun opening all of them.

The headset they give you at the start is a flashlight. There are some  places where you will need it. It is a Projector… that means you need to have the Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) enabled and Sun/Moon + Projectors. You can play without ALM, there is nothing to stops you nor is it needed to find clues. But, the game looks way better with ALM enabled. You can turn your draw distance down to 64m, if ALM is causing a performance problem.

I think it will take people 3 to 6 hours to make it through the puzzles without help. And… no don’t ask me for clues. I’m not telling.

4 thoughts on “Second Life Bits 2014-44

  1. Concerning the Second Life Photographer of the Year Award, I am trying to figure out how this is supposed to be a photographer of the year competition. Generally, POY competitions are open to all, not a select group of nominees, and are based on the photographer’s work that year. They are also judged by peers, not by public voting.

    I also find it interesting that no one knows about this competition: I would certainly have entered myself, but I see a number of more significant names that aren’t on the list, which would be if we were really talking about an overall SL-POY. Where, for example, are Ziki Questi, Strawberry Singh, Inara Pey, Wildstar Beaumont, or Honour MacMillan, just for a start?.

    A little bit sad to see the POY title abused this way.

    • Email them and ask…

      In marketing you will find groups that do awards for the sole purpose of being able to hype a product. It is not uncommon for this to happen. I agree it is misleading.

  2. As i understand it, your 2GB Video Ram (or more) makes no difference, Viewers cap your Video Memory on 512MB because they need to reserve 768MB in your Main Memory in parallel, which is limited to a maximum of 2GB for a 32Bit Task on Windows for the whole Task. Your Viewer goes Boom when it hits that 2GB Limit, a reason why 64Bit Viewers are more stable, they don’t have that 2GB Limit. A big Inventory eats a lot of Memory too. Example: i have about 82000 Objects opening a second inventory windows uses more then 400 MB extra. So the problem is not the Memory on your video card, it is the whole memory for the viewer task. See also Bao Linden’s Comment on SH-2547.

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