I am very excited to begin introducing a completely revamped home control system to my Second Life customers. I would like to thank Ewan Mureaux who scripted the “Total Control” system I used between January of 2009 and this month. Ewan has moved on largely from Second Life and there were some issues I wanted to improve on. As a result, I retained the services of Maya Spore to script a completely new system and I belive she has delivered an excellent and reliable product.
The new system has lower script run times than the older system, is completely menu based, and offers versatility for customers, including landlords, to configure how guests are able to use the house and survive being booted from land when the included parcel security is turned on.
One of the major improvements that my customers will notice is that the need to configure access notecards is no longer necessary. Users can now be added to one of two classes via a menu controlled security option which lets a home owner simply type the names of users in the chat window and the names are stored. This is particulary convenient for owners of my larger houses which have to be divided into separate link sets because of Second Life linking restrictions. So, if you own a Sedona, which will be released with the new script system today, you no longer need to edit three different notecards with your partner’s name so that they can use features in different sections of the house. You can simply use a control panel in any part of the house to add or remove people and you are done. You can turn security on or off in any of the parts of the house as well. So, if you turn the security on by the front door, you can turn it off in the master bedroom (which is in a different link set) and the security will turn off. This was impossible with the old scripts which largely worked, with few exceptions, only within a link set.
The new script system works just as the old one for landlords and those who have houses on land deeded to a group. Like before, you can change the channel the scripts operate on by changing the integer number in the item’s description field and have the same type of house model in proximity to another without one house’s control panel controlling the next. Also the houses still come with relays that can be deeded to your group to allow security and media functions to work on group owned land.
As the system is completely menu based, you can no longer touch items, except for garage doors and privacy blinds that raise or lower, to get them to work. This really only affects windows where blind or tint features are now controlled by menu operation, not touch. However, this a large improvement for reliability because it was clear that houses, particularly with tintable windows, were suffering problems with lag and freezing from time to time. That problem has been alleviated. A home owner’s mouse cursor will no longer activate into a pointer because these touch events have been removed as well. While most of my feedback is positive, the two issues customers were alerting me to were houses freezing and always seeing their mouse pointer and I believe these problems no longer exist.
Other new and exciting features are the ability to store media URL’s so you can program the house to act as a radio or have television stations you like with SL compatible video streams. Also, the house can store SLURL’s as well so you can store a list of your favorite destinations in the house and call upon the menu option to teleport from your home to favorite locations within Second Life.
Customizable parcel security, lockable doors, fireplace and lighting controls are still included in the homes. All features except fireplace are now divided into rooms that show on your drop down menu wen you pcik an option. For example, you can choose to lock all doors in a house or just your kitchen doors. You can choose to close all the blinds in the house or just the blinds in the den. The menu controls for all features is intuitive and easy to navigate through.
I believe my new script system will make the homes easier to operate, more reliable, while retaining a rich list of features you should expect from me. Please note that existing home models will be receiving upgrades over the coming weeks.