Thursday, 30 October 2008

Scratch for Second Life

During the summer MIT Media Lab’s Eric Rosenbaum released Scratch 4 Second Life. I heard a fair bit about it at the time but never got round to trying it out.  Yesterday a new SL member showed me what he had created with it so I decided to have a really good go and see what it can do.  So now, whilst on leave, I have had a play with it.

Like the educational Scratch program it is snap together blocks so very easy to use. Basically you make choices based on what you want it to do and choose the relevant blocks, e.g. choose a control block based on a touch start, collision, something received or on rez, add motions, looks, sounds etc., to suit your needs and ask it to create the script. This can be pasted into a new script facility in your item to be activated inside Second Life. The two programs run side by side.

I have managed to make a spinning cube art build, see photograph, something that I have been puzzling about for a while, so am actually quite thrilled with that. However I am a bit worried that the script generated is so long and seems rather cumbersome. Other people have said Scratch can produce laggy script, looking at this one I can easily believe that. As I replicated the script I had made about 20 times in 20 objects I fear this could be a problem. Sadly I cannot understand the script enough to be able to build it better myself, though I am still trying.

I am going to use the several scripts that I have created and see how it performs. I am really pleased with the one that I have been puzzling about and it has inspired a new one that I am going to make now.

It is certainly a very good option for people with either no or only rudimentary knowledge of LSL scripting and really good fun!


ericrosenbaum said...

Great blog post- I'm so glad you were able to make some cool things with S4SL! I'd love to hear more about your progress with it, and answer any questions you might have.

Carolrb said...

Hi Eric
See my Christmas Wall - made with Scratch