Blog Move!

I’m still fixing it up, but the new blog is now at:

ace.5pointstudio.com

1 comment August 31, 2007 Ace Albion

Updates for July!

Well the GLOW lights seem to be working ok- no IMs at all about not being able to get them working or anything, so yay! To celebrate, I made two more styles of lights. KOLA is a simple hanging light, like GLOW, but with a round bulb and a cone light shade, like a more typical indoor light. HALO is a wall light, a suggestion that I thought was a great idea. Both styles of lights are available in the 5 Points interiors store at Deco, and come in the same increasingly discounted packs as the GLOW.

I made some simple low-prim stores a while ago, that I finally got time to package up for sale. They come in boxes of two, in four styles, with a multipack discounted 25% for the whole set of eight-available from the yellow commercial boards at our display n sales platforms :)

I was sent a landmark to another copy of one of my houses for sale- ONUS this time, in a change from the counterfeit ARGEs. It was different in some ways, but the guy had even recreated the upstairs¬† wall prim detailing, the vaguely Mondrian stlye accenting I’d used in the original. Well, they say mimicry is flattery, or something. I don’t understand it. It’s not really so hard to make an original design when it’s simple.

Rodents Required! Lab rats, or dramatic prairie dogs- I’ve been kind of sitting on a script update for a while now- it allows an access list based on notecards, just like Parker’s funky new ParkLife builds do. If anyone wants to test it out before I make an official updater gizmo, then let me know with an IM :)

Works in progress- mahoosive house and script update (very complicated, makes my brain hurt), a funky angular house that’s breaking my will to live, and a kind-of-modular home- I made a small chalet thing that could squeeze onto a 512m2 plot, then realised I could stick some more onto it to make a proper home. The idea is if you get the home, you get a cute chalet pretty much for free.

Add comment July 9, 2007 Ace Albion

Lights!

glow-steel3.jpg

These have been out for a week or so now. Just catching up on spamming them around now :)

GLOW are three-prim touch controlled lights. They also give you the option, when rezzed, of working in an “advanced” mode. This means that they can be used with the Ace’s Spaces 2.5 house control menu, too! Parker’s BLIP/Parklife houses from 2.0 onwards will also be compatible with these lights.

Available in packs of three, six or ten (with increasing discounts per light), and in five flavours- Red, White, Black, Teak and Steel. GLOW lamps are no-copy, no-mod accessories for your home!

Add comment June 19, 2007 Ace Albion

New House! and other things

lopo-cover-copy.jpg

LOPO is a kind of sister house to LEVE- it is roughly the same size, but with a different layout- the key feature being the party pool/tub in the ground floor. It has a thick foundation and steps so the pool will work anywhere, but the best way to enjoy it, I think, is to sit the house into land near sea level, dig out underneath and use the sim water instead of the splashy prim water!

Lights are “done” and now in the early part of testing- yay! To start with, there will be a range of very inexpensive, simple lights- hopefully more styles to follow.

I’ve also started on a new version of the house control system. It will feature notecard access list support in addition to the existing group based stuff, plus some other features I’ve been wanting to put in :)

Add comment June 5, 2007 Ace Albion

Back and Stuff

I don’t like advertising. No, its true. I realised that I didn’t even use the SL group made specifically and particularly for spamming members with new product news, for the last (counts em) three things I made for sale. OK, the group is for announcements on updates too, but you know, I’m a quiet person.

So I check my blog and good grief, nothing for the whole of April. Well, there’s a good reason for that. I did actually finish a couple of things in April, but mostly I haven’t had any building time in SL. If I’m on for a couple of hours in the evening, it’s mostly taken up helping customers with problems. Even the ones who don’t think I’m being very helpful (I don’t sell textures, I don’t come round and change your patio for you) probably don’t know or care that there are at almost all times at least another three people I’m trying to help at the same time.

So adding to that, the fact that for most evenings, trying to do anything constructive in SL is a waste of time due to daily system failures, not much got built.

I did manage to put out two small stores and a low prim house though.

orea-cover-copy.jpg

How cute is that? :D

I have two more houses in the works- one goofy 512m2 sized one that I’m building just for the hell of it. I doubt it will sell much, but building things I like is why I log into SL. Someone will dig it, and that will make me smile. The other is basically a sister house to LEVE, but I think it’s more suited to friends sharing than maybe for a couple (no obvious main bedroom between the three, and downstairs has, well, you’ll see :) )

I’m hoping to get those fixed up. And I’m also going to be doing some lights finally. Yes, lights! It’s only been like three months since I started messing with them. These will be accessories, useable as regular touch controlled lights, but also able to “plug in” to Ace’s Spaces house controls. I will tell you now they won’t be sold as copy permitted. That’s the point of accessories :) They will be cheap as chips though! Willing victims can IM me if they’d like to be testers.

Add comment May 17, 2007 Ace Albion

FREE UPDATES

Maybe that got your attention :p

IM me in-world if you want the 2.5 scripts for your existing Ace’s Spaces house, plus a fresh boxed copy of the upgraded house also.

This is for Ace’s Spaces houses only. :)

3 comments March 9, 2007 Ace Albion

Great Big Update!

I have actually made one more house since I last posted… but it was also the first house to be built with my revamped, new, snazzy 2.5 version house control, so it got held up a while during script testing and feature adding. I also had to change the rezzer platform script (some technical problem with SL being rubbish) so that I could add the SECOND PLATFORM! Yes, that’s right. Now double the opportunities for fisticuffs at the rezzing stations, with two platforms. Not that anyone noticed the teleporter right in the middle of the platform…

I also updated every mod/copy house I’ve done to use the new 2.5 system. During the update, I replaced all the door scripts to ones that will be more friendly to modifications- more on that below. So over 30 houses (including the bigger, awkward rez-box ones) updated with new controls and scripts and stuff. And all free for existing owners.

So what’s so cool about 2.5 and why should you flood my IMs with requests for updated scripts or house replacements?

The biggest feature, is that 2.5 is going to be much easier to update in future- I found that remotescriptpinblah LSL stuff, so the house scripts are all set to work with update boxes that can be collected free from the store, or sent out to members of the Five Points group (join now- it’s open and free!)

Other features:

  • Menu- in since 2.3m but now every house has menu out of the box!
  • Setup menu for the owner, including:
    • show relay- reminds you what relay channel your house is using- the relay channel is now randomly generated on first use of the menu, so this is handy to know.
    • Update script- rez an update box out by the house, then choose this option to update all the control and relay scripts.
    • lights yes/no – enables the main menu’s light controls, because some people got confused and were demanding to know where their lights were due to 2.4m having a lights on/off button even though I haven’t yet finished my optional lighting accessories system. Call this a little future-proofing
    • install. This will be used for things like optional unlinked accessories like lights, etc. It sends out a quick message on the default relay channel to change the accessory to listen on the house’s personal relay channel. So each house can talk to its own accessories without the chat spilling over to other houses etc.
    • say pos. This will get the house, or house sections, to report their x,y,z positions and rotations into chat for you. If you use this option, you can paste those numbers into a notecard or text file, and then you have an easy and quick reference on how to replace a house on the exact same spot in future. Handy!
    • change cha. Short for change channel, but menu buttons are too short and I didn’t want to change the way the command worked to accomodate a smaller label. This doesn’t do anything other than explain how to change the house command channel- because that still involves typing in a number, but it’s on the menu because everything should be, even if the button only offers advice.
  • Improved use of access level checking which will make future options for implementing new access systems a lot easier.

Oh… I changed the default relay channel because the houses now shout over it (for larger builds) and I didn’t want older houses getting griefed by the bossy new script. I know that despite my pleadings in my old notecards, almost nobody changed their relay channels to unique values for each house, so that’s why now it’s done automagically.

I also changed the default command channel. Just to keep you on your toes and make sure you at least gave the new instruction notecard a cursory glance. :)

Doors- doors now work on a prim description basis. So if you look at the door prims you’ll see they have stuff in the description field. Mess with this stuff and you’re going to bust your doors. But then people unlink their doors and still tell me they have a “problem with your house”. I dunno, do people take the wheels off their cars and then call up Ford…

Anyway, the format is

n<x,y,z> for sliding doors, and n<x,y,z>:<x,y,z> for rotaty ones.

the sliding doors get their position relative to root on script reset (so reset the script if you edit the house). “n” is either 1 for a locking door, or 0 for a non-locking door. So you can make internal doors lock if you want, by switching 0 to 1 for those.

examples- sliding external balcony door:

1<0,3.25,0>

Locking door, that moves 3.25 metres up the Y direction from where it was when reset, to open.

Internal bedroom door

0<0,90,0>:<0,180,0>

non-locking, starts at rotation 0,90,0 relative to the root, and rotates 90 degrees in the Y axis to open.

Builders should know what all this stuff means. If you don’t, then I advise you don’t edit houses and doors etc. My houses are modifyable, they’re not foolproof DIY home building kits. You wouldn’t pull all the wires out of your car engine and then expect it to work- my houses are the same, so edit safely.

So, now 2.5 is done, I can look forward to wish-list stuff like access lists, touchpad controls…

So form an orderly queue and I’ll be handing out, FREE, updated scripts and houses in boxes. This should be the last time I ever have to ask you to drag and drop a script yourself- the new update system should be a doddle!

Add comment March 7, 2007 Ace Albion

Shiny New House!

No stress in this one- just a nice relaxing, warm woodsy kind of place. I pictured this in my head as being somewhere green, surrounded by those great big pointy-trees-that-aren’t-pines but-I-forgot-the-name-of.

LADE- Is basically a two bedroom, or one bedroom plus “other” with an open plan ground floor. I pictured the right side of the ground floor as a cosy lounge kind of area (especially toasty with a FLAM wall-standing cabin style fireplace hint hint :D ) and the left, more open side, as a kind of dining/function room. Though the way people furnish their homes always surprises and often delights me. 41 prims and 21×20 metres (it’s roughly 20×20 floors with a little overhang on one side of the roof) I think this would look nice on a wooded 1024.

It also has my new window texture, which I think is snazzier (if less versatile) than the one I used in every other house ever.

LADE! (maybe I should do a prize competition for who can identify the reasoning behind my house names :D )

lade.jpg

1 comment February 14, 2007 Ace Albion

Simplicity

My houses are scripted very simply. There are two main reasons for this- one is that I’m not a scripter, I figure out (or ask about) what I think I need to do, and I do it, and call it done. The second, while convenient in terms of the first, is also a specific and deliberate design choice. That is Keeping It Simple.

People want privacy windows, lockable doors and some way of controlling who can come and go in their houses. So I originally made a script which matched these features on a very simple level. Doors locked when you said “lock”, windows tinted when you said “blinds on” on the correct chat channel. Access to the commands was either owner only, or group. As in SL groups, as this follows the standard of how SL works with permissions like that. If your house was on group land, you set it to the group and allowed group the access. To further restrict access you would change the chat channel needed, like a PIN code for security for a given house. So the default is /102 (for a boring historical reason) but you could change it to /3456 and only tell your SL spouse and/or mistress. Simple. Easy to implement, and easy to manage.

The last big script update, available pre-installed in my later houses,¬† and available free for anyone with an older build, added a menu option because I’d figured that out (at least for the easy settings), and an “anyone” option alongside group. So people who want access lists have one in a way- the list of people they tell the secret channel number to.

Except they don’t, of course :) So ok my documentation sucks, it’s a list of commands, and even though it’s explained, some understanding of how chat channels work in SL is needed. I know some houses spam menus at you if you even whisper the word “help” in open chat, but that’s not how I like to do things, so I don’t do that.

So people ask about doors with access lists that open automatically when the right person walks their face into them. My doors aren’t smart, they’re like real doors. They open when you touch them, and they are either locked or unlocked. To make them “smart” would involve all kinds of headache inducing communications between the main house control and the doors, or else have them seperate, and have people asking why the list they made for the front door doesn’t work on the balcony door.

Locked or unlocked. Some days I get IMs from people who don’t understand how to get the windows to tint etc. It’s not fair to say they didn’t read the notecards- a lot of people have english as a second (or third..) language, and it’s a lot to ask to make sense of heavy text. So “locked or unlocked” is a lot easier to explain than how to set up doors to do whatever. Never mind pulling some “does everything ever” script off the scripting forum and winding up doing support calls for that!

Everyone is different- I have people on occasion who tell me Blah Prefabs are cheaper why aren’t mine? And the same day someone else will ask how I can afford to sell a house for 500 that someone else would charge 2500 for. It’s interesting. So I have people who ask about the possibility of smart doors- two in one day as a record ever. The difference being one asked nicely, and seemed ok with the idea that the doors are easy to re-script by a third party as a personal preference, that mine are sold with the simple functionality. Of course the other one wouldn’t accept that rewriting my house menu from ground up to suit some door script he’d found wasn’t on my To Do list any time soon, that I should discuss it with him right there and then or else I don’t care about customers, that I should immediately resolve this issue with my substandard doors to give customers what they want. And keep repeating this after being told that I’m not going to do all that work for one guy. So that was unpleasant, and uncalled for, and led to my first ever muting of a sentient SL being, because of someone who just wouldn’t leave me alone, telling me I should “get a clue, girl”.

So sometimes it’s not so simple, because people make it complicated. Well, if you buy a house from me, you get the simple way. Anyone can put new scripts in if they want to- there are plenty out there, and I have good friends who will happily just replace say, an internal bedroom door with a super-scripted one without complaint, because that’s something they want, and most people don’t need. Other people want sealed box rooms only accessible by teleporter and a door that opens when they mash their face into it rather than clicking on it. That’s not my style at the moment. Sealed boxes with teleporters will never be my style, I think that approach to building is crass and disjointed. I always take the stairs or fly at a push (and I do a lot of builds with loft/gallery style upper floors for that) because a space should be interacted with, not bypassed. That is an artistic decision and no amount of “obey the customer” is going to change that. It’s why I sell almost all my houses modifyable. So buying from me you get what you see, and my promise to fix anything wrong that’s my fault, and an answer to all your IMs about things that aren’t my fault. What you don’t get is the right to bully me about it. These are prefab houses, not unique creations. Luckily for me, 99.9% of my customers seem happy, or too shy to complain. Hopefully the former. I am also sure people don’t like how it works, or won’t buy a house without seeing exactly what the menu looks like. I didn’t set my houses up to demo all that stuff- a lot don’t actually have a menu or “anyone” access as standard. It would take me a month to update the old houses, a month in which I’ll have made a better script. Again, upgrades are free and I’m determined to keep that promise. It’s ok. I don’t expect to sell a house to everyone who wants a house.

Transferable/resellable- no. I made a transferable house that’s just the same in style as a very popular low cost copy/mod one on the advice of a land reseller who said it would be the best thing ever and he’d buy ten a week. I never saw him again, I think I finally sold ten ever. I won’t sell no-copy (required for selling transferable) and modifyable, because people break things all the time, and “rez a new copy” isn’t going to help them. Selling no-modify makes it harder to offer upgrades, or for personalisation, so I don’t do that either on houses above a certain (low) price. That said, given that I know a couple of people who dress land for sale with houses, and want to offer that as furnished etc, I am looking very hard into some kind of position recording thinger that can be used to notecard and then later set up a replacement house. Maybe with a gift voucher system to try to make that as seamless as possible.

I am also looking hard into a lot of options and updates to my house control- it will be a new baseline (especially as I only this week read up on how to allow easy script updates) but it will be compatible with all existing mod/copy houses that I sell. Of course it will also be a free upgrade to all existing customers who want it. I’m thinking a lot about access lists (yes because people ask so I am thinking about it) and touch panels and accessory installations (scripted lights are my immediate priority). Smarter menus, maybe smarter doors down the line. It’s a long list, but any one thing is not going to be a priority because some bully insists on it. Priorities are what I think I can do soonest, or which I want to do soonest. That’s how I work on prefabs- I build something that I like, then offer it for sale, and if people like it, that’s great, if not, then I still built something I liked.

Custom work is charged at $20 (that’s US Dollars based on current rates, not Linden ones) per hour. Unless you flatter me a lot, or I think it would be a giggle, or you’re a good friend. That’s the charge for my time at the keyboard working on something for you, and you alone, without any other extras. Sometimes if it’s something I can do in the time it takes to be asked about it, I’ve done it for free. I’m random like that.

2 comments February 14, 2007 Ace Albion

Time Dilation

I can rez and position a house, even a three/four part build without the help of rez-faux etc, in around two minutes if I pay attention. For a single object house, under 30 seconds.

Doing this for someone else, takes a minimum of half an hour. Again, only 30 seconds to 2 minutes of this is actually placing the building on the landscape.

This is why I don’t automatically agree to go help someone put their house up. Especially when it’s for a house that cost less than the coffee I just drank.

I do, of course, answer questions in IMs (even though this takes time too, at least I can be working on my builds in between responses). And I do sympathise when someone explodes their house or deletes it, but you know, telling me you don’t want to spend time repositioning a new copy, is basically saying you want me to spend my time doing it for you.

The last problem is fairly simple to solve- making a note of the house (or house pieces) position and rotation in a notecard will mean any fresh copies being perfectly positioned. In fact this made me think of a script feature to report this stuff into chat so it’s easy to copy and keep.

Unlinking houses makes doors act funny, it’s true. It also stops internal object messaging (for windows etc) working too. If you want to edit part of the house, I advise working on one prim at a time, unlinking only individual prims as needed. When relinking, the prim collection with the original house root prim in, must be selected last. All door movements are relative to this prim, and the control script sits in it.

That reminds me, my control script is up to version 2.4m if you want a free upgrade, IM me :)

Add comment February 8, 2007 Ace Albion

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