Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Openlife: MojoBox Lives!

Location: Fredi's Gunsmoke Store

I'd had such a rotten experience last year with the alternative grid Openlife, less an Open Sim world than a smaller and direct Second Life competitor, that I vowed never to return.
Last year I created two avatars, but soon I figured that Mojobox Kane and Tao Jones were goners. In January their inventory was useless because they never rezzed and remained clouds, teleports were dodgy, textures remained gray and lag was terrible with no one else around. In June I went back and had some better results but things were laggy and I kept crashing.

As far as I can tell, third-party viewers apparently do not work there, a complaint I've read that discourages many from trying this world. It got a bit of hype during the Openspaces debate in Second Life, and it received a few thousand immigrants.

Did they stay? I had to go back, if only to find some proper shoes to wear.

Logging on was fast and easy. Viewer 1.7 for Openlife seems to have corrected most of these problems, and it even offers a tidy interface that leaves lots of real estate for the visitor to see the world around him: a complain leveled against the new Second Life viewer. The little toolbar icons at the top of the client window replace many of SL's 1.2x viewer buttons at the bottom:

Toolbar in Openlife

Mojo not only rezzed but explored (with a good deal of inventory missing--not that he had much). The Search feature does work, though teleports from it do not. My technique was to find the simulator name, put it into the map window, then teleport and wander.

Mostly, it's a big, empty place--I don't think I saw even a dozen dots on the entire world map, but that's not to say that Openlife is on its way out. I met another avatar, also interested in exploring after a year away, and I guided her to a freebie shop to get rid of her Ruth looks.

I want to plug a store I found with excellent Freebies: Fredi's. Here's the spot on the map, in case the link does not work for you: http://url3dx.com/openlife/Cowboys%20Country/30/158/22

I'm not ready to put any money into Mojo's virtual pockets, until I'm certain of the stability of this world. As for educational uses, I need to do a lot more exploration.

The only problem I found--and not as tricky as in Reaction Grid--was my "Hat Test." Mojobox put on a free prim cowboy hat and did quite a dance whenever I resized it. It also put me in the George W. Bush situation of being "all hat, no cattle" until I got it right:

All Hat No Cattle
Meanwhile Mojobox was catapulted into the air, blown through walls, and more. But he got the damned hat to fit, finally.

Despite these glitches, after dismissing Openlife last year, I'm ready to give it another go. My MacBook's graphics card was complaining mightily, and the system did lock up once...coincidence? I'll try Openlife next with a more robust external monitor and report what I find.

One thing Openlife has out of the box: a decent default walk for avatars. That, and boots and a hat, are promising signs.

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