Just Me

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Ivory Tower

I used Find > Places to locate the Ivory Tower last night and took a short trip there to see what it was like.

(I suppose with teleportation, though, every trip in SL is short: There’d be barely enough time to get your little bag of peanuts open before the attendants would be telling you to put your tray table up.)

I didn’t spend as much time there as I wanted to or needed to, but it was a wonderful place, and I’m glad someone thought of it and actually took the time to create it.

The Tower is essentially a hands-on tutorial of the SL building process, starting literally with the basic blocks at ground zero and layering other more advanced lessons on top of that as you ‘port up through the different floors. As far as a lesson plan goes, the building design is very logical and very intuitive.

Each floor is dedicated to a different type of shape (plus anything you’ve already learned), and on each floor are a number of stations where you are given instructions on how to do something specific. So you can go to a station, do the lesson, then move to the next station, and teleport to the next level when you’ve finished everything on the floor you are on.

My project last night was not very ambitious – I created a cube, stretched it, moved it around, layered it with a texture, tinted it a new color, made it transparent. Now that I have mastered the cube (mua ha ha!), I can move on to more difficult projects involving the tetrahedron and the sphere.

Sigh.

I think it’s just a matter of plodding through all the basics and then just trying to build things, seeing what works and what does not.

While the item-movement system (with the blue, red, and green arrows used to slide the item around) is fairly intuitive, it is still a little difficult to get something in the right position (such as a hat) because I have to keep spinning around myself to make sure it is aligned perfectly on all sides. I have clothes that are slightly “off” in their positioning, leading to embarrassing clipping problems (“Why do you have hair growing out of your lower forehead?”), and I’ve had a hard time in moving them to the correct location.

Hair problems aside, the Tower is definitely a must-see if you have any desire to craft things and so far seems invaluable to the learning process.

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