Category Archives: Second Life

3D graphics performance is all about control

A desert tortoise with the caption "I used to race Achilles, then I took an arrow to the knee"

The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax’s upcoming MMOG take on the Elder Scrolls universe is going to have nowhere near the sort of graphical fidelity that you’re used to from, say, Skyrim. And there’s good reasons for that. Reasons that are applicable to pretty much every graphical title you’re likely to encounter, from IMVU and Second Life to … well, Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls Online.

Leaving aside the individual hardware for just a moment, perhaps the single most important factors in graphical performance, is control.

The customer has 3D graphics hardware, and your software contains a tuned and optimised 3D graphics rendering engine and pipeline. That’s great.

However, the best 3D graphics engine on the best 3D graphics hardware can still run about as well as a wounded tortoise if you don’t exercise proper control.

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What’s mainstream?

If you ask someone if something can or can’t be considered ‘mainstream’, the usual response involves numbers. User numbers, audience numbers, profits. Stuff like that.

The thing is that the idea that large audiences = mainstream is essentially fallacious. You tend to get much larger audiences for mainstream things, but not always. Something that is mainstream can have very small numbers indeed. Then we say it has ‘niche appeal’. Quite a lot of things we think of as mainstream fall into that category.

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Lame searches: cheat codes to get your account unbanned

Something I rummage through periodically are the search results that people use to get to this site. A lot of people come here through the site appearing in amongst this or that search result. Some of them are obvious, some of them are weird.

A few are lurid, and then there’s one commonly recurring set that is particularly lame.

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Cool tools – Game Booster

Even the best Windows-based computer rigs can get bogged down, when you want to get the most performance out of them, whether you want that performance for Second Life or for general gaming.

In your average Windows system, your RAM and your CPU cycles get nickle-and-dimed away by all sorts of background tasks and services, few or none of which you actually need at the time you want your system performing at its best.

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Could Australia be barred from Second Life access?

Darn straight they could. Second Life could be on the hitlist, the more so because of the Zindra continent for adult content.

While Second Life clearly isn’t a game, I doubt that anyone involved in the process really cares about that trivial little detail. We’re all pretty sure this isn’t really about games anyway, right? After all, the current list also censors religion, political opinion, veterinarians, and school lunches.

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Glorious, beautiful text

The art of roleplaying has been one of the several key drivers in virtual environments over the last 20 years. Indeed, there have been environments packed with features supporting roleplaying, scriptable objects, and user-generated content for a long time.

Mostly those environments were text, but that shouldn’t really be held against them. Many roleplayers coming from these environments find them technologically superior to Second Life in many respects, and the textual aspects of them cannot be ignored — with good reason.

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