Reflection on how the Process Went
Design vs Result
So firstly looking at my original design and comparing it to my final build, I think I managed to get it pretty much spot on, the floor plan remained the same and I feel that, overall, I captured most of the elements from the pictures I was drawing inspiration from, with my own twist of course!
In my task plan, I set myself learning goals for the process and I feel like I have achieved most of them, however, with my usual attitude, I believe that there is always room for further improvement. These were my learning goals:
- Shaping and aligning objects (i.e. prims) in a 3D virtual space. I feel like I have come a long way with this, from the beginning where I had only just learnt what a prim was, to moving and shaping them with relative ease by the end of the build.
- Learning how those shapes come together to create various objects. Again, I feel like I have come a long way with this as well. From basic beginnings to building some (in my opinion) pretty cool stuff, as basic as some of it may be. I also feel like I pushed myself even further by attempting to use Blender.
- Apply textures appropriately in a way that looks visually appealing. I feel like I have grasped the basics of applying and scaling textures, however, this is one learning goal that I feel I could still improve on a lot.
- Improve my scripting knowledge. I have made leaps and bounds with this learning goal, starting with not knowing how to use LSL at all, to doing some pretty cool stuff, knowing that I have hardly scratched the surface of what LSL is capable of is also shows me just how powerful it could be, especially looking at some of the other builds.
- Improve my knowledge of how 3D virtual objects can interact with virtual avatars. I have definitely improved my knowledge here, although, I’m 100% positive that there is much, much more for me to learn about in this area.
- Learn how particle systems can be leveraged to add atmosphere to the environment. I like the way my candles add a small touch to the tables, however, I did not quite achieve the level of knowledge I initially wanted with this learning goal.
Meeting the Requirements
In terms of requirements, I managed to achieve all of my goals, except for one, which was making the Laser Light using a particle system, however, I feel like the alternative that I came up with was much better than my original idea.
Following the Timeline
In all honesty and as I expected, my timeline was a little bit all over the place due to the workload of my other courses. I had a strong head-start at the beginning where I managed to get almost 3 weeks of my timeline completed in just 1 week, then my progress slowed drastically and almost went the other way but, in the end, things leveled out and I managed to stay (mostly) on time.
Reflection on the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Final Product
So let’s start with the bad stuff first.
- The first thing that I felt I could have improved on was the outside of my build. Overall this ended up being very plain and I would have liked to make it look a little nicer.
- Some of my texturing wasn’t great. Particularly around the bar and with the tables/chairs. This was partly due to the textures I chose to use and partly due to my skill level but I would have liked to tidy these up a bit more
- Although I was happy with it in the end, my “greeter” was fundamentally flawed and could be thrown out of sync if an avatar flys/teleports in or out of the pub so I would have liked to find a way to improve that.
- The ambient sound could only be a maximum of 10 seconds, so hearing that for extended periods was a bit painful. I would have liked to add more variation to that.
- The back bar ended up being far less detailed than I had planned and also lacked the interactivity that I wanted. If I had much more time and a slightly larger prim allowance I would have added some extra interactivity here and made it look nicer.
- The standing positions for both the booth seating and the table and chairs are not ideal and I would have liked to figure out a way to make the avatar stand to the side of the chairs rather than stand straight up.
- The barrels that I made have some rendering issues and only fully load when you get up close so I would have like to improve on this.
And the good stuff
- Overall, I feel like I did a pretty good job of building the look and feel of the environment (once you’re inside), given my very limited skills.
- I’m really happy with the amount of scripting that I have done and the interactivity that I have added to the bar, the most notable being the dance ball as that took up far more time than I intended but the others include
- The sliding doors (these have small glitches too but I’m really happy with them)
- The greeter (Even though it is flawed, I love how this works… when it works)
- The laser light (I think this adds to the look and feel of the environment immensely)
- The music controls (The music adds to the feel of the environment and the controls were just a “cool” extra)
- and the seating. (Particularly by the bar with the variety of poses to chose from)
- The barrels, even though they have some rendering issues, I’m just really happy that I gave them a go and managed to get some mesh items into my build
- Did I mention the dance ball? ;-P
Despite there being many things that I would like to improve on, I am really happy with the way that my final build has turned out. I have learnt a lot about building inside 3D virtual worlds and about 3D modelling in general, I feel that I have met all the requirements for my chosen option and I more or less managed to follow the timeline that I set for myself.
On a final note, I would really like to thank Isa (Aaron) and Belma for all the time and effort they have put into teaching us all this semester, I have really enjoyed this course, far, far more than I originally anticipated and, dare I say it, there were points where I even found myself having fun! Which is what life is all about, even in Second Life, apparently.