Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A visit to Dinosaur Park

What makes Second Life so neat is that you can really play and immerse yourself in a world if only to explore. So yesterday I took a trip, actually several trips to Dinosaur Park (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Dinosaurs%20Park/229/234/22), This a real ambitious sim owned by a group called the Dinosaur's council, started by Nargus Asturias (Nargus Lab website). Nargus runs Nargus Lab whose motto is "The Past is Our Future. The web site has photos and a little history of the park.

The park is a lot like Jurassic Park right down to the labs and electric fences but it is not a slavish imitation of Jurassic park. Here's a view just outside one of the building entrances. This gives a pretty good feel for the build present in the sim:

dinosaur1_002

Right now there are not too many dinosaurs wandering around but the shops and laboratory facilities are fun to visit. You might even find several Park employees hanging around such as these two dinos:

dinosaur1_016

One nice feature in the visitors center is an information Kiosk that gives information on different dinosaurs and rezzes a dinosaur that you can walk around and view from different angles. This is really slick!

Here's a little raptor rezzed with this system. Unfortunately the textures were not quite fully loaded when I snapped this shot:

dinoutahraptor_001

Another shot of a park Employee talking with me.

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Well lest you get jealous as I was of the cool dino AV, never fear you can buy dino AV's at the park. Normally I try to maintain a consistent appearance as Simone but decided to have some fun and buy an avatar, an official Nargus Lab raptor. The are a bit pricey, the one I settled on was around 1500$L, but I am a big believer in supporting good Second Life designers. Besides you get what's you pay for.

So here I am, Simone as velociraptor:

dinosuar2_004

As you can see, the AV is feathered very nicely reflecting current thinking about how dinosaurs. This AV comes with a HUD (Heads up display) that you can use to modify the texture, and coloring of your AV. I did not get the full mod version since I am not really experienced with modifying AV parts.

The next shot shows me wandering around the park's lab and restaurant with another visitor. Here AV is from another designer and is not nearly was well articulated as my Nargus AV.

dinosuar2_005

You buy scripts and other add ons for your AV, and what I really like is you get a little card that you can take to an upgrade station to get the latest version of the AV if one is available which there was for mine. Very painless and free.

Well back at my lab:

dinosuar2_003

You can see the HUD in the left hand corner of the image.

I was getting hungry so decided to go to Torley Lindon's sim Here which had these adorable bunnies and I thought it might be fun to get a shot with the bunnies before I ate them:

An Easter Scene

Unfortunately the bunnies were either hiding or gone so here I am looking very forlorn going "where the bunnies I'm hungry!"

Where's the food?

Warning! If you gt one of these AV's, make sure you properly save your current AV. When I switched back to my usual appearance, I had a little bit of trouble putting myself back together again. For instance the AV's script gives me a male shape-really ugly and so I had to find my female shape again. But the whole experience was lots of fun and my difficulty was probably more related to my lack of experience in radical AV transformations than to the dinosaur AV.

Dinosaur park is really engaging, the scripts operate very smoothly and the AV's are lots of fun and well thought out. There need to be more dinosaurs, yummy dino food in the restaurant and right now the labs are pretty empty. Looks like that will change. I know I will keep going back and even if you are not a dinosaur person, there are lots of neat little ideas that could be incorporated into educational builds.

3 comments:

Eloise said...

Looks great!

Not relevant to your biology teaching, but if you search for (WORN) you get a list of all the things you're wearing including skin and shape as well as clothes, hair etc.

If, before you do that you make a folder called normal shape (WORN) it will, conveniently show up in the search. You can move your shape, skin etc. (and anything else you routinely wear) into the folder so when you have to put it on after converting out of dino-shape it's all right there.

You might also find you don't have to change shape (you might not). I have a dragon avatar, and it comes with a shape, but my normal avatar fits in quite happily so on the rare occasions I do change into a dragon I don't change shape.

Simone said...

Thanks,

The Velociraptor AV changes my shape to male mode and gives me really ugly legs and to add insult to injury at first I was not allowed to change. But I found the folder with my female settings.

Thanks for the folder tip! I will do that. I almost posted the picture of what I looked like when put my clothes back on. To put it mildly I was very disheveled look.

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