Monday, May 21, 2012

Key issues

My keyboard worries continue apace... really, I need at the very least to send this laptop in for a service.  Unfortunately, I also need to use it on pretty much a daily basis; you can see where there is a conflict of needs, there....

This makes stuff like scripting so frustrating as to be darn near impossible... which means Tali, bless her, is currently doing all the work on the rebuilding of Caledon's ferries.  And she - and I - have been running into some issues with the (relatively) new keyframed movement system.

Basically, this is a setup where you can feed an object a list of positions and rotations and times - all the details for a key frame, in fact - and SL will move it smoothly from one specified frame to the next, without all the faffing around you would normally have had to do with setting position and rotation (for non-physical objects) or applying impulses (for physical objects).  It is neat, it is easy to script, and it gives a surprisingly smooth ride.  When it works.

Tali is running into an intermittent but persistent bug where the first frame in a sequence gets ignored, which, naturally, throws all the rest out of whack.  Meanwhile, I have found that region restarts are extremely bad news for anything that's executing a keyframed movement sequence when the restart happens.  I have four "gravity lifts" running on keyframed loops up and down sections of my tower, and not only do they all freeze in place when the restart hits, they all behave in different ways once it's finished and I try to reset them.  It's as if the sim is trying, in some rather patchy way, to preserve state in the keyframed sequence over the reset... and sometimes this takes precedence over any attempts I make to restore the things by hand!  One of the lifts, in particular, simply won't respond to manual script resets, or even a complete recompile - I have to delete it and rez a fresh one from my inventory after each sim restart.

It's a nuisance, as we were kind of hoping to use the keyframed movement stuff on the new ferry system! - It really is good, when it works.  And Tali's implementation of the Catmull-Rom algorithm to generate intermediate waypoints makes for a very smooth ride indeed.  Now, all we need to do is get the damn bugs out, somehow!

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