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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Want to see SL10B, Hop on a Pod

No you won't see pod races like in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace at SL10B. Though some may consider the grey and orange pods at SL10B a menace. These pods will silently cruise the streets of SL10B 24 hours a day for the duration of the event. Their routes take them passed every exhibit on 20 sims. The only places that they do not go are to the 2 Linden-owned sims, Bear Island and the Cornfield. (Maybe next year, they will go there if the Lindens plant peas instead.)

The pods are a great and convenient way to get around SL10B. There are two routes, a western and an eastern route. These routes meet at 3 places where you can hop off a pod on one route and shortly pick up a pod on the other route. These transfer points are located at:
  • The Welcome Area on the border of the Beguile and Wonderous sims,
  • At the train tracks on the Pizzazz sim, and
  • at the border in the north of the Magnificent and Exhilarate.

A pod arrives from the west on the Exhilarate side 
A few seconds after it left a pod arrived from the east on
the Magnificent side.

Each pod seats two people and you can hop on them any time you see one with an empty seat floating by. Just be careful, the pods move silently and they do not stop if you stand in their way. You have to catch them while they are moving.

Map of the pod routes at SL10B 
Besides just taking you around the sims, the pods, also, give information on most of the exhibits as they pass by. It is a great way to find interesting exhibits to come back to later.

An Interview with the Pod Creator, Yavanna Llanfair

'I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the creator of this amazing system, Yavanna Llanfair. We met at her exhibit, YavaScript Pod Tours,  on the Mesmerize sim. There we sat in another one of her pods that takes visitors through part of the exhibit, over a map of some of her other pod systems and gives an explanation and a history of them.

Cruising Through the Exhibit with Yavanna Llanfair
This is the third Second Life Birthday celebration that Yavanna has set up pod tours. Like most things in Second Life, the pods have improved with time. 

Linsey: How does this pod system compare to the one at SL9B?
Yavanna: The layout of the sims is quite similar. I learnt a lot from my first SLB - which was SL8B. So the route is optimised for the shortest possible route that will take people to every exhibit and place of interest (pretty much the shortest anyway)
Yavanna: Functionally the only real difference is that I have improved the way it communicates the text - you now only get it if you are sat on a pod. You won't hear it if you are standing nearby
Yavanna: (llRegionSayTo is a very useful new function!)
Yavanna: Oh... and this year I have it running as a railcar in part, which I wasn't able to do last year, because there were no suitable rails.

The pods on the western route turn into railcars to run on the rails

Linsey: How long will it take a pod to complete a route on average?
Yavanna: Here at SL10B, the eastern route is about 42 minutes, the western about 49 minutes.
Yavanna: It might take slightly longer when the sims are lagged
Yavanna: That will take you to every exhibit in SL10B
Yavanna: And give you the text that the exhibitors have provided, which has come in for about 2/3 of the exhibits
Linsey: In around an hour and a half and you can pass all of the exhibits here?
Yavanna: Yes. Any quicker and you won't see them all. There's a lot to see here!
Linsey: So 2/3rds of the exhibitors responded.
Yavanna: Yes, around that. Hmm... I am not sure of the total number of exhibitors, I think it was something over 300 last year?
Yavanna: I have about 230 exhibits with text in the pods.
Linsey: 368 this year. I got that number today. :)
Yavanna: OK :) Then yes, slightly under 2/3.
Yavanna: That's a better return than last year.

Linsey: One final question. I know that you are busy.
Linsey: Are animals allowed in the pods?
Yavanna: Hehe! Yes, since I don't charge for avatars, animals go free too! But they do have to take a seat, there is no standing room.

Horses, like everyone else, can ride the pods for free
I would like to thank Yavanna for taking the time to be interviewed. If you would like to learn more about the pods at SL10B and elsewhere is SL, I highly recommend that you visit her exhibit on Mesmerize.

Pods are a great way to get around and see all of what SL10B has to offer. In around an hour and a half you can pass by all the exhibits and hear about almost 2/3rds of them. Just watch out if you are standing in the middle of the road. These pods stop for no one. While they are not racing, they do keep moving along.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Linsey. I took a pod tour and loved it. Travelling on vehicles is a great way to explore all the creativity there is on offer.