Archive for February, 2008

Question from the HUDDLES Forum

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

A question from the HUDDLES Forum about the HUDDLES EZ Animator Deluxe.

Originally Posted by TearSong Vaughan

Ok this might be a really stupid question and I’m prolly overlooking something, but here it goes:

The dances: does huddles switch to the next dance as soon as a certain dance loop has ended or does it have a set time for each dance and then switches to the next? I’ve been loading my dances and it keeps switching somewhere in the middle of the dances, at least it looks that way to me. Is it possible to make it change to the next dance as soon as another dance has ‘ended’ so it won’t change in the middle of dances anymore? Or can anyone reccomend an interval time that works best with most sine wave dances?

You can set a time interval for each dance on your dance notecard (or just some of them). For any dance you want to add a specific time for add the number of seconds after it, like this:

caramel sundae|20
dip me in butterscotch|15.5
bailey’s fog|30.2

The number following the animation tells the HUDDLE how long to wait before going on to the next animation. Notice that you use decimal places to get even more precise.

You could even set up a sequence of animations:

cherries|10|monkeys|17.0|backflip|3.1

This macro will play each of these animations in turn, with pauses that correspond to the numbers in between.

You can also add [REPEAT] to the end of the macro and it will repeat indefinitely:

cherries|10|monkeys|17.0|backflip|3.1|[REPEAT]

The [REPEAT] command will be ignored when in Dance or Random mode though.

Finicky ZHAO-II Converter

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

So I got a message today from a customer who was trying to convert his AO notecards to the ZHAO II format:

Any ideas how to fix this 9:13] ZHAO-II Notecard Converter: ‘AO – Config 2′ does not appear to be a valid ZHAO animation notecard.

He sent me his notecard and it was definitely a card that the older ZHAO script could read. After some experimenting, I realized that the converter script was having trouble with the first line on the notecard. The script would only convert the notecard if the first line was:

:: [ Walking (also Striding) 1 ] ::

So if you get that error message, try changing the first line of the notecard to that.

Gift Box Server

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

I had a problem with the gift box server that started when I rolled out version 1.2.0. I think everyone who redeemed a gift certificate should have their EZAD by now. And delivery of gift boxes should be relatively quick now. Remember gift boxes are available for sale at HUDDLES Headquarters on Animation Island.

Also, I periodically test how long it takes to get an update after saying /99update. Right now it takes about 15 minutes to get it. It was taking 30 minutes over the weekend. If you do use that method to get your update, say it once and wait. You will receive it eventually.

Update 2/20:  The server slowdown seems to be over. Update requests are being processed right away now.

More Inventory Precautions

Monday, February 18th, 2008

Among the thousands of people who have been upgrading, I have had a couple of reports of inventory loss which fit a pattern. It’s hard to know when someone loses something exactly what goes wrong, however I have a hypothesis about moving large numbers of animations into a device like a HUDDLE and a recommendation.

After you have moved a large number of animations into a HUD or other device, let the HUD sit on the ground for a few minutes. It doesn’t have to be an hour, just an extra 5-10 minutes. This should give the server enough time to properly save the current status of the HUD, so that when you pick it up, you get all your animations too.

Again, I’m not certain about this, but it seems to fit my experience with the Asset Server: Sometimes if you pick something up shortly after you edit it, the changes you just made appear to be lost.

Release notes for HUDDLES EZ Animator Deluxe v1.2.0

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

There is a new version of the EZ Animator Deluxe. It started out as a small update to add the ZHAO II script, but as I went along it got bigger and bigger. I’ve added some big improvements to the core functions (the AO and dancing), made a lot of bug fixes and added several new macro commands for the power user.

New AO Script

I’ve finally upgraded from the original ZHAO script to the ZHAO II. What’s so great about the ZHAO II?

  • You can add as many stands to the ZHAO II as you like. That’s right, you aren’t limited to 5 stands or 12 stands, but as many stands as the ZHAO II script can hold in it’s memory. In practice that might be 30 or 40 stands max.
  • You can add up to 12 sits, walks and ground sits.
  • Also, the notecard is much easier to setup then the older AO scripts out there.
  • You can switch between random and sequential mode for the order that stands play

I have a page to help people upgrade their AO from older versions of the EZAD. Also note that I’ve made a lot of small optimizations to the script to squeeze more memory out. Where as the default ZHAO script only has 11% of it’s memory available for animations, the EZAD version has 21% available for animations.

Dance Improvements

The big news here is that I’ve changed the scripts to make it possible for you to have more than 10 dancers. You could actually sync up 50 dancers now on one HUD. It takes some hacking, but I’ve provided instructions here.

New Macro Commands

I’ve added several new commands and made adjustments to one.

  • [OWNER_SAY] Text that follows this command will be displayed to the owner only using the llOwnerSay() function.
  • [REGION_SAY:XX] Used to broadcast text throughout a region on any channel besides 0.
  • [EMAIL] Send emails to objects within SL or any email account outside of SL.
  • [RADIO] Used to change the radio stream on a parcel that you own. Also includes a group radio object to change the stream on a group owned parcel.
  • [GIVE] Used to send copies of items inside the EZAD to other avatars.
  • [IM] Used to send instant messages to other avatars.
  • [HUG] Made a change to add another parameter to hug macros.

Other new features

I added a tools button which currently has 4 tools:

  • Create a SLURL link based on the current location
  • Create text for [MAP] macro based on the current location
  • Sensor to find out who is nearby and who is within chat range
  • List current dancers

Future versions of the EZAD will likely include more tools under this menu.

Also, I’ve added a new chat command to set a target. If you say /99target followed by the full name of the avatar you wish to target, the HUD will target them. In order for it to work, their key must be included in the Moopf Murray name2key database. This feature would be especially helpful when using the [GIVE] and [IM] commands.

All help is being moved to the web. Instead of updating the help notecard, all help will be on the web. Notecards within SL are a poor way to handle anything but the simplest and shortest help documentation. Now that it’s been moved to the web, I can more easily add to and clarify the help information. Others can add to the help documentation though comments and questions. And the help documents can be translated dynamically into other languages on the web. (more…)

Two small changes, two more days

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

I’m going to add a command for sending instant messages with the llInstantMessage() function. It will probably have the tag [IM]. This will pair up nicely with the [GIVE] command now that you can set the target to any avatar, no matter where they are, logged in or not. That should be a relatively easy addition. I almost added it earlier but until I included the /99target function, it didn’t seem useful.

Also, I’m going to tweak the email functions, now that I’ve had a chance to test them a bit more.

Because of my schedule, it looks like I wouldn’t be able to make these changes until Friday, so expect the release over the weekend. That gives you beta testers a few more days to find some bugs for me to fix!

Update 2/15: I have all the updates done now. I’m doing some internal testing and should have it ready to send out some time over the weekend.

Version 1.2.0 sent to beta testers

Monday, February 11th, 2008

I sent out the beta version of the HUDDLES EZ Animator Deluxe (1.2.0). I guess this is technically a release candidate.

The earliest I will release it would be late Thursday night. That would give me all weekend to handle support issues.

If you would like an advance copy to beta test, please IM me in world and I’ll be happy to send you one, (if you have already bought an EZAD previously).

UPDATE 2/12 11pm: So far I have 28 testers and 0 reported bugs. I have identified a couple of minor changes I want to make to the email scripts, but that should be quite easy and quick. I’ve also been informed that one of the Example Macros doesn’t work, but that just needs to be updated.

The last hurdle – help documents

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

I think that all the coding is done for version 1.2.0 of the EZ Animator Deluxe. I know many people will be excited by the last feature I added. It’s a way for you to hack the EZAD to add more than 10 dancers. In theory you could have up to 50 dancers, however in practice, because of lag, I wouldn’t recommend more than 20.
All these avatars are being controlled by one EZ Animator Deluxe
Now all I have to do is finish the new documentation. As you might know, I’m shifting all the help information to this website. There are several reasons for this. The most important reason is that I can update help more easily here on the web. Also, I can incorporate pictures and better text formatting to make the help easier to understand. And if you don’t understand something about a feature, you can add a question or comment. Finally, since it’s a webpage you can use tools like google translate to translate it into other languages. For instance, take a look at this page in German. To have a peek at what the new documentation will look like, click the link in the column to the right.

I’ve made a lot of progress on these help pages. I need to make a little more headway before I send out the new version to my beta testers. I hope to do that before the end of the weekend. If you would like to be a beta tester, IM me. I’d be happy to send you an advance copy as long as you are a current user.

EZAD update update

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

Still trying to get all the code shiny and perfect for release. Thanks to a suggestion by Autumn Heyse, I have a free group radio addon for those of you who want to change the radio on group land. Also, I’m trying to figure out if I can add a change to how targeting works to make the new [GIVE] macro more useful. Also, there are a couple of more bugs I want to quash.

The last big item will be to get a lot more of the help documents online. Online, I can add more images and make the docs easier to read and understand. I want to give people the option of looking at the help notecard in world, or jumping to the website for help. Making great help documents is not the most fun part of my job. However, I know that the better the help documents, the more likely that people can find solutions to their issues themselves. That makes everyone happy, so I need to make sure I spend the time to do it right.