Monday, April 23, 2012
Usher in OpenSim: One Hour, 19 Prims, Staircase!
Location: Nevermore Region, Jokaydia Grid
Give me an idle hour during exam week, and my thoughts return to fixing little problems my last class identified with the Virtual House of Usher. There's a small chance that I'll teach with the simulation in the 2012-2013 academic year, so I decided to spruce up things in OpenSim.
On both that grid and in SL, much of my summer work will focus on adding more clues directly from Poe's stories-within-stories that make "Usher" such an interesting tale. These additions further my pedagogical purpose of adding reasons to return to the primary text. After all, one purpose of the simulation is to deepen how students read the text.
But first we need stairs that work!
Many students new to gamelike spaces never really figured out the spiral stairs I had once thought so clever. So when parts of Usher returned to Second Life, Enktan Gully's staircase, a "dollarbie" from Enkythings, saved the day. Along with other repairs and revelations from the Fall 2011 final exams that took place in Jokaydia Grid, one lesson included getting rid of the spiral stairs.
Enktan's original gave me the model for reproducing a more battered and rustic version in Jokaydia Grid. Finding the right Z-axis spacing would have been tough, otherwise!
Here's Roderick at work.
And after an hour, on both grids, the finished product. It weighs in at 19 prims, to the original's 31 and, I think, about 30 for the spiral.
While I don't have any problems with available prims in OpenSim, it's best to never let a build get in the way of learning. I even put aesthetic considerations after that, though both builds will get some needed attention this summer in their decor, particularly in deepening the sense of general gloom.
I don't suppose there are any "gloom consultants" out there?