Dev4 Avatar Saga

As you may know from my March 30th blog post (Dev4 Testing and the Sisine Whiteboard), the Sun Labs team has been preparing for Dev4 (the 4th developer release of Wonderland v0.5). After that March 30th test session, we did another test on Thursday that included a large amount of new avatar code. Things did not go well! Two people were never able to log in, performance was terrible, and those of us who did make it in each experienced at least several crashes.

I’m not quite sure how he did it, but over the course of only a single day, Paul pulled off an amazing turn-around. Friday’s test was a major improvement! There are certainly still many problems to work through including a show-stopper bug loading some avatars on Windows systems, but to everyone’s relief, the system is now usable again. Best of all, we are back to having multiple avatars, including female ones.

Avatars in Dev4

While we don’t yet have an avatar configuration tool, you can select a unique avatar by generating random combinations of hair and clothing until you find one that you like. Here’s how it works. From the Edit menu, select "Avatar Configuration." You’ll see this dialog:

Avatar configuration 1 Avatar configuration 2

Select the gender of the avatar you want and click "Randomize." Each time you click the button, you will see a different avatar. When you find one you like, or at least one you can live with, type in an Avatar Name. Now click "Add to My Avatars." As soon as you do this, the name of the avatar will appear in the "My Avatars" list and everyone else in world will see the new you. If you get confused about how you look to others, check the name in the "Current Avatar" field. This is always the name of the avatar that’s visible to others. Here I am in my new red shirt:

Red shirt avatar

We did have one particularly humorous moment during the avatar testing:

Nigel: "Oh no, I can’t wave any more."
Paul: "Did you change gender?"

As I said, there are still some problems to work out!

We also spent some time testing content importing. Here I dragged a screen shot into the world so that we could see how the new Wonderland icon will look on a Windows desktop and taskbar:

Windows screen shot in Wonderland Oversized phone model

Someone else brought a phone model into the world. Too big? No problem. We were able to right-click on the model, select edit, and scale the model down to the correct size and rotate it into position.

Note to Mac Laptop Users

I’ve struggled on my laptop when I don’t have a mouse connected because right-clicking is hard and there’s no mouse wheel. Jordan, my hero for the day, showed me that you can "right click" on your laptop’s track pad by placing two fingers on the pad and clicking the button. If you drag with two fingers, it’s like using a mouse wheel. Very handy! Thanks Jordan.


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