Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mothgirl Dibou -- the Future of Sailing and the Flying Fizz 3

[12:03] Welcome all. I prepared a little speech for you. It's long. Lol But I'll do it fast. So pay attention.

[12:03] Mothgirl Dibou: I'd like to start with the Tako and Kanker Greenacre. It must have been hell to create those Tako's in a premature SL environment, where things that seem to work one day, would be useless the next. We tend to forget that in his days SL had limited possibilities. He was pioneering and he found solutions that somehow worked. Workarounds or compromises if you want. He would probably have developed our sailboats to levels we cannot imagine today, if he was still active in SL today.

[12:04] Mothgirl Dibou: We still use every solution he came up with in those days. With solutions i mean the way the sails handle, the way the boat heals, the way he used banking, the way we move the sheet, the way we use the camera, the commands raise, lower and moor. Let's be honest, all we really did was add a few features like windshadow, apparent wind and capsizing.

[12:04] Mothgirl Dibou: Things keep changing around us in SL. Over time, new scripting and rendering possibilities opened up, we keep having ideas of things we would like to improve about the sailing experience. We all love Kanker's scripts, they're great and they continue to serve us well, but I always felt we can do things differently, and even quite a bit better in some instances. So for me, when I was thinking of were to go from here, I wanted to leave this safe world and push out and beyond and create new footprints in the sand beyond where we are now and that means standing on our own feet.

[12:05] Mothgirl Dibou: To do that, let's think what we need to make a boat sail and forget everything we know about SL sailing as it is today. Not to throw away the heracy, but to move forward from where we all stopped, including me. Can you do that? Let's try. : ㋡

[12:06] Mothgirl Dibou: First, we need wind! We forget the present day wind with it's gusts and shifts that are the same wherever you are. So we need a good windsetter One that supports local variations to the wind, to make it appear as if it moves around islands And we need a new wind algorithm One that uses windshifts and gusts that travel over the world hitting one boat after another.

[12:07] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: Next, Current! : Owen's current model is very advanced, totally awesome if you ask me. It fills up an omission in the original SL design. But it is not yet available everywhere and not very flexible at the moment : In the meantime we need a workable model A simple one that we can change at the startline, but still supporting current flows around islands and fluctuations with water depth

[12:08] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: Next thing we need is Waves! The water in SL is completely flat Owen introduced waves in his ACC and I followed with my Trimaran and my Fizz But these waves are nothing more than a little bobbing around with no real effect In RL waves will set you back, they influence your steering, they can make you nose dive or capsize and can even make you surf on them. Waves are currently computed on every boat separately. But waves don't work that way. They travel. And they hit one boat after the other. So we need a setter and an algorithm for waves as well.

[12:09] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: Surprise, surprise, all this is present in the new WWC setter today :-)

[12:09] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: Next thing we need is something really vital: Feel! When you sail a dinghy in RL, you feel the waves, you feel the wind and you feel your boat respond. In SL all we have is numbers to sail by. Everything is imaginary. So let's forget those. We need to make the boat move as it should. We need a moving mainsheet and also sheet for the jib and the gennaker. We need changing telltales, changing sailshapes, the lots!: In fact we need a boat where only the hull is fixed and everything else moves, changes shape or rotates around it.

[12:10] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: The Fizz has 31 parts, including the 2 avatars My new boat now has 22 moving parts, leaving only 9 fixed parts and even those move with the waves, the speed and the heel. And the good news is, I found a way to make these movements instantly, without lag, making the boat feel "Alive"!

[12:11] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: Next is balancing the boat: In RL you hike or use your trapeze and you play with the sheet. Balancing your boat is the most important thing when you're out there Without balance your boat will be slow, your rudder will hardly work and you cannot plane. So lets increase the effect of boat heel on boat speed in a realistic way and at the same time give the sailors the ability to adjust this heel more than they are used to. : We need an extra hike option, that is limited in use, just like your belly muscles.

[12:12] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: Next is the sheethandling: Kanker once decided that the tako sail would be optimal at 0.5 times the wind dir. We later changed this to 0.5 times the apparent wind but we still use this as a given fact, whereas it was only a compromise at that time. In RL, the sail angle is optimal when the air flow is optimal creating a pressure in the sail. And the airflow depends on things like sail shape, boat speed, disturbances and even boat heel. So if we forget the 50% rule and get rid of the digits, we need something to show this windflow. We should add telltales to the sails and get rid of the sheet handling in degrees. The sail/sheet only needs 5 steps: flapping, loose, optimal, tight, too tight. To not make it all too easy, the sheets for main, jib and gennaker should be separate. And this in turn gives great options for dealing with an inbalance between those three.

[12:14] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: Next is sail trim: In RL your boat will be terrible to sail if the sailtrim is not good. In the Fizz 2 I introduced sailtrim but we need to make it a vital part in sailing, with separate trimming for the main and the jib With visualization of the sailshape in the sail itself and with huge effects on speed, heel, wave handling and boat handling.

[12:15] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: Next is the speed: A boat should have a realistic speed. Right now we are in a circle making the boats faster and faster (I am guilty too) But at the same time we added something like apparent wind A boat that sails almost twice as fast as it should will have a smaller apparent wind angle This is why you cant sail much higher upwind than 50 degrees in a fizz 2

[12:16] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: We need to slow our boat down by about 1.8 times A realistic speed. And this new speed will make sim crossings a lot more smooth and get rid of the arcade game reflexes you need at the moment.

[12:16] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: Next is windshadowing: In RL a boat can block your wind, but when you sail behind it, you will find that you are going slower than it and cannot sail as high upwind as it does. This is because you sail in it's foul wind. The wind is bend slightly by it's sails and has a lot of turbulence in it which disturbs the air flow in your sail. So we need to have both effects implemented, wind blocking and wind bending/disturbing.

[12:17] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: Also, the windshadow becomes much more important because the speed is much lower and the effect boats have on each other therefor lasts longer.

[12:17] Mothgirl Dibou: Next is the view: We sail our boats as if they are helicopters. In RL you sit in the boat, feel the spray on your face, have a half blocked view by sails and crewmembers and you sit low on the water, giving you the feel of going really fast and fighting/using the elements We therefore need a camera angle that is lowered to the level of the RL eye. This way you can see the wave motion and you get a much better feel of what sailing is about. You cannot see the entire field, but with the slow speeds, you have plenty of time to steer when another boat is on a collision course We need a panoramic view to see the boats coming, but it will only be temporary and switch back to normal viewing after a few seconds.

[12:18] Mothgirl Dibou: And last but not least: We also need a very good way to compute speed, heel and boat handling: Kanker once started with the formula: speed = windspeed * sin(boomangle) * sheet efficiency And that was basically it. : Our new scripts should compute
airflow in the sails
effect of one sail on the other
water displacement :
water drag ,
wind drag,
hull efficiency due to heel in 2 directions,
weight of the rig,
crew weight and their individual positions,
momentum of the waves
force and direction of the waves
sail trim
balance between the sails
rudder pressure
down force on the bow
lift due to heel and wind in the sails
planing velocity and max. hull velocity
lift because of hyrofoils underneath the boat (if there are any of course)
balancing effect and momentum of a keel (if present)

People sometimes ask me, what is the optimal angle to sail up wind? There should be no correct answer to this question anymore. Everything you do influences something else. What works for one is useless for someone else. Just like in RL.

[12:21] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: And all this.... All the things i just described, .... and much more, .... : are reality in the new Fizz 3 scripts.

[12:22] Bittersweet Lime: :-) where is the vendor?
[12:22] Orca Flotta: hoozaaa
[12:22] Justyna Huldschinsky: omg
[12:22] Charlz Price: WOOOOOT!!!!
[12:22] Nomad Zamani: yum yum!
[12:22] Liv Leigh: haha.. where s the vendor

[12:22] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: It is what I have been putting all my energy in since april this year. The scripts are completely configured with notecards that take variables like hull width, hull length, sail area, etc. and they are configurable for dingies, keelboats, hydrofoilers, traditional yachts and multihulls

[12:22] Talulah Nomura: .oO~*~ YeeeeeEEEEEEHAAAAAAaaaa!! ~*~Oo.

[12:22] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: They will be available for every boat builder on a commission basis.

[12:22] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: I hope to have the Fizz 3 ready in January, followed by a release of the universal scripts in February or march.

[12:22] Mothgirl Dibou shouts: All I can do is my best, it is up to you to embrace these changes or not :-) Thank you all for listening to me. ㋡any questions ?

[12:23] Liv Leigh: WOOOOOT!!!!
[12:23] Yuu Nakamichi: Hoooo!
[12:23] Nomad Zamani: And thank you for an outstanding effort, MG.
[12:23] Charlz Price: is it january yet?
[12:23] Orca Flotta: Moth, a question: can all this awesomeness be handled by ppl outside of the netherlands?
[12:24] Bittersweet Lime: haha

[12:23] Mothgirl Dibou: :-)

[12:23] Julia Ceres: will you be using a standard for crew weight or will our avi size and weight matter?

[12:24] Mothgirl Dibou: at them moment i use a standard weight, but i think a realistic weight would be much better . it is easy to measure the length of an avi ? but if you prefer high heels on you'd be heavier

[12:25] Liv Leigh: so under certain circumstances we d need to actually sail with heels? even the guys ;)

[12:25] Orca Flotta: lol

[12:25] Mothgirl Dibou: lol, that would certainly help :-) : i said this to describe the problem with measuring height i am not sure about it yet for that reason

[12:24] Liv Leigh: with all the variables described in your story. can you tell us something on the handling? will it be like a jumbo jet with 150 buttons, a space shuttle or will it be not as hard as we fear

[12:24] Mothgirl Dibou: no Liv, the handling will be much, much easier the commands are just a few : there are just 2 gestures needed and the rest is with the keyboard

[12:25] Bittersweet Lime: it is from mothgirl,. it will be god to sail

[12:25] Alisia Student: Is it possible for me to incorporate code into my motor yachts that will get input and react to the output of your windsetters for wave effects?

[12:25] Mothgirl Dibou: sure alicia

[12:26] Orca Flotta: but really, we all know what awesome connections you got in holland. will ppl with lesser quality internet connections be able to use it at all?

[12:27] Mothgirl Dibou: well, most of the server effort will go into the movement of the sails and such. all those things can be switched off in times of lag

[12:27] Liv Leigh: no orca.. in holland we still have cross Atlantic ping times which is a big disadvantage to Americans
[12:27] Orca Flotta: cool :)))
[12:28] Bittersweet Lime: oh come on - we have pings of 280+ in Europe - and what in the US – something like 50-80
[12:28] Liv Leigh: i have nothing below 150, ever
[12:28] disisme Misfit: 18 for me bitter :)
[12:29] Orca Flotta: my pings are always way over 600

[12:28] GeorgeW Carver: At the risk of speaking too soon - I'm wondering about the camera position. Because the arc of view is much narrower on a computer monitor than in RL, and because turning one's gaze in a different direction takes perceptively more effort, doesn't it make sense to stick with the idea of "unrealistic" camera angles - to say nothing of the lack of depth perception, as well.

[12:28] Mothgirl Dibou: yes George, that is a problem : i added a panoramic view for this reason it shows you the boat and its surrounding from above, but only for 3 seconds or so

[12:28] Nomad Zamani: I sail in mouselook nearly all the time.

[12:29] Bittersweet Lime: when the camera is nearer to the boat, you can sail slower and it will feel fast as well

[12:30] Nomad Zamani: Make it user-settable, I'd have thought.

[12:31] Mothgirl Dibou: user settable would make everyone sail in helicopter mode in no time and that would be an unfair advantage : you cant look at the race field from above in RL either

[12:31] Nomad Zamani: I'd still be in mouse look anyway. :)

[12:35] GeorgeW Carver: If you are new to sailing in SL, would it make more sense to start with what you are coming out with, or to learn the more established system (Tako) first?

[12:36] Mothgirl Dibou: no George it would definitely make more sense to start with this It has only 4 modes starting with steering only and working their way up. It is much more like RL sailing and lot less digits to try to understand

[12:34] Mothgirl Dibou: i think this was it folks
[12:34] Mothgirl Dibou: sorry it isn’t ready yet

[12:34] Orca Flotta: thank you Mothgirl!
[12:34] Bittersweet Lime: oh, that is great news, MG - thank you
[12:34] Mothgirl Dibou: but there will be loads of beta's around
[12:34] Alisia Student: Thank for the informative talk ;)
[12:34] Francois Jacques: Thank you.
[12:34] Liv Leigh: kk moth thanks
[12:34] Nomad Zamani: Tres cool, MG.
[12:35] Orca Flotta: Hoooo!
[12:35] Charlz Price: <<-------awaits January, thanks MG
[12:35] Orca Flotta: Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! :D :p :D :p :D
[12:35] Justyna Huldschinsky: ㋡
[12:26] Julia Ceres: ty Moth : ))
[12:27] Talulah Nomura: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥

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