Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Up The Amazon - Part I

Amazon yesterday soft-launched their 2-sim Amazon Developer island, targeted at developers using Amazon Web Services. While acknowledging that it is not complete, they are keen to start getting feedback from interested SLers so they are better able to launch a fully rounded offering in a few weeks time.

The build has been done by my very good friends at Virtuool, and cool wolf-man Joshua Culdesac's paw-prints are certainly all over it. If you've not seen their work before, can I commend you to this article and this one. Unusually for me, today's article is only "Part I". Why? Well, I simply didn't have enough time to fully explore the island last night, yet still picked up more information than I can comfortably blog in one sitting.

Given the company name, the island is naturally themed on the Amazon , though it also has a more general South American vibe going on: pumas roar at you from the bushes; alligators snap at you as you take a cruise in a fishing boat that would not look out of place on Lake Titicaca.

There is so much going on here it is going to take me some time to untangle. For starters, on arrival there is a 3D model of the island over which lies a glass plate, strong enough to bear your weight. As you click on information panels, a little guide-bot scoots across the plate and illuminates the destination on the island that matches your selection. Quite simply - brilliant!

I then took a cruise, whose gently meandering route took me past many of the buildings, before I jumped ship for a closer look. One area that I particularly enjoyed is the hovering meeting rooms. These could almost double as "speak your weight" machines, since they track (and display) the load in the room, and adjust the speed of the rotors accordingly, so as to keep you hovering in the same place. Niiiice....

I scouted out the Web Services Museum, but this is still awaiting its display cabinets. However, it did remind me that Joshua has developed a cool tool for building such structures. I had seen a demo of the building tool a couple of months ago, so it's good to see it put to use here.

This build is full of interesting, diverting details - almost to the point of overwhelming you on a quick visit.

What I love about Virtuool builds is:

  • the sense of humour
  • the left-field imagination
  • the clever use of scripts to provide engaging animations and effects
  • ... and lots of other stuff too...
Seeing the reaction on 3pointD, I am absolutely delighted that one of the nicest wolfmen I know (while not forgetting Piper - sorry!!) - and one of the best builders around - is starting to get the recognition he deserves. This has raced to the top of my SL Innovations table. But, with all the praise and plaudits he's been getting, I wonder if he will still talk to me now?

PS: Oh... the green rocky thing that comes up to provide a path across the river?... is it supposed to keep going up? :-)


Joshua said...

"the green rocky thing that comes up to provide a path across the river?... is it supposed to keep going up? :-)"

lol Aleister I scratched my head more than once to understand why this script wouldn't work properly but I think now I have found the way so it should stop at the expected height :)

Thank you for this post.

Joshua the wolf :)

Torley said...

You sure have an eye for the eclectic, Aleister. Keep up the awesome blogging, I enjoy your combo of text + pictures, and you've helped me discover some kewl things inworld, like Joshua Culdesac's 3000-prim head *points*. Hehe. Incidentally, I was just over at Microsoft's island and ran into Joshua there, shortly after taking a picture of the big head. Goodness gracious, synchronicity!

It must be fate and destiny at the same time!! Keep bloggin'. :D

Aleister Kronos said...

Thanks Torley.
It's great to know people read and enjoy my ramblings. And yes, that is a truly spooky piece of synchronicity: "Of all the sims, in all the grid, you had to TP into this one." Spookily - just to close the loop - I was speaking to Joshua a little later, he said he'd met you and that you recognised him as the guy who built the Giant Head - and that you'd got the lead from this blog! Makes you think, don't it? :-)