SL commentary

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Hello, welcome to Schome Park, the Schome project’s island on the Teen Grid of Second Life.

This is Fox Phlox, with her pet dragon, Shadow. Fox is one of several avatars based on the island. You’ll meet her and the rest of the team if you join us there. Today Fox is going to take you on a guided tour of the island and introduce you to some of the features of SecondLife.

Fox is flying over part of the island to the reception area, where you will arrive when you first visit Schome Park. Take some time to look at your surroundings, and to get used to the controls which will move you around the island. Fox is using the right and left arrows on her keyboard to spin her around. As she does so she sees one of Faji’s cannons, a meeting place and the Skills Area.

The notice boards are kept up to date with useful information. Fox can see a page from the schome wiki. All visitors to the island are invited to contribute to this wiki.

If you click on notice boards to touch them they should come into focus for you.

Fox is off to the Scho-op, where you can get clothing, vehicles, pets and other useful objects. You can walk in through the main door, but Fox has chosen to drop in through the hole in the roof.

She passes the Help Station in the middle of the Scho-op. Touch this if you need to ask for help at any point.


The goods in the Scho-op are stored in pictures on the wall. Right-click on a picture and select Buy if you would like the contents. If you’re using an Apple computer, you can apple click to get the same set of options. All goods are free and they will be added to the Inventory tab at the bottom right of your screen. If you check the Library folder, you will find that your inventory already contains lots of items.

Fox has flown over to the Pink Place to demonstrate some of the things you can do with your Library folder. It’s tucked away at the bottom of your inventory, but you’ll find it’s full of useful things. Fox is going to change her image. She tries on a goth’s top and trousers but then decides to go for a more extreme look as a furry, complete with stripey tail. A complete image change, with a new body shape, head and clothing. A twirl reveals she’s kept some attachments: her tattoo, her bunches and her dragon. She has her usual clothes stored away in an outfit folder, so she’s quickly back to normal.

You can make major changes to yourself without going near your inventory. Right-click on your avatar and select edit appearance. Fox increases her size and bulk and then turns her attention to her face First her eyes get bigger, then her ears double in size. A huge new nose, her mouth grows larger and, to add to the effect, her lips grow larger still.

You can also make alterations to the clothes you are wearing. Fox kept her gloves and boots as they were, but reduced her top in size rather too drastically and decided to try red trousers for a change. Hmm. Perhaps not. She goes back through the appearance menus, one by one, clicking Revert on each one, until she is satisfied that her clothing and her appearance are back to normal.


Now to visit the tranquil Japanese Garden section of Schome Park In this area you can meet other avatars and discuss ethics, philosophy or the motorbike you have just bought. in the Scho-op.

To sit somewhere in SecondLife, just right click and select the Sit option from the pie chart which comes up. Some locations, like this one have built in poses which your avatar will adopt when it sits down. When sitting down, you can use the arrow keys to look around you. Click on Stand up at the bottom of the screen when you want to move on.

Fox has chosen to walk rather than fly for a change, and is controlling her movements with the arrow keys. She could walk through the water, but is opting to cross the bridge and go up the steps to another shelter. To jump up, you can use either the page up key, or the E key. The seats in here don’t have built-in poses, so she right-clicks to sit down normally and then uses the arrow keys to take a look around.

Fox leaves the shelter and the Japanese garden and flies on to the next section of Schome Park to take a look at a building under development. Things change fast on the island, and you’ll see the finished version when you visit. This aerial view shows how the objects and buildings in SecondLife are made from basic shapes called prims. They start off as simple plywood shapes, as they appear here, but can be transformed by the addition of textures as they have been elsewhere on the island.


If you want to do some building yourself, you’ll need to go to the Sandbox. Anything you build in here will be wiped away at night, so remember to take any object you are pleased with and put it safely in your inventory. If you create objects elsewhere on the island, please remember to right-click and take them before you leave.

Fox has been using the Sandbox to sort out the tree section of her inventory, which is why there is a large glade here today. She’s also been building some green furniture – you can see instructions on how to build simple items like this on the wiki. Over here our top designer, Woop, has placed some different types of notice board that he has been developing.

As Fox looks over at the Sandbox, you can see an oversized moon that Zed built there this morning. You can see how important it is to build only in the Sandbox – it wouldn’t take many moons like that to fill the entire island!

This is our largest meeting area – the Arena. Comfy chairs for the speakers and blue benches for the audience. Fox tries both forms of seating for size. Although the Arena looks spacious, SecondLife can’t cope with more than 40 people on the island at any one time. As the number of avatars on the island approaches this number you may experience lag as the system struggles to deal with all the demands on it. If this begins to happen, it’s a good idea to make your avatar as simple as possible. Right-click on yourself and detach any attachments, such as pets or vehicles. In busy sections of SecondLife, it’s common to be asked to remove your bling.

If Schome Park is too full, you may be refused admission. If this happens, let us know and we will reschedule events so that this doesn’t happen to you again.

There are many other meeting places on Schome Park, several of them can be found on the archipelago. Most atmospheric is Schome Henge, a circle of standing stones. It looks good by day, but if you go to the World tab at the top of your screen and select ‘Force Night, you can create a whole new experience for yourself. Remember to reset the time when you leave, otherwise you’ll find yourself in a perpetually dark world, struggling to see what is going on.

Fox has selected Camera Controls from the view menu and is using them to look around her. They include options to raise, lower or move the camera, to rotate it and to zoom in and out.

To try out some other sets of controls, Fox pays a visit to the Schome Park skills area. First challenge is to walk up the ramp and around the corner without falling off. This is a no-fly zone, so if she falls off she has to walk round and start again. Sometimes she falls into the sea, but she can walk out again without difficulty. There’s no danger of walking out to sea and getting lost because the design of SecondLife keeps you close to the island.

Next challenge is to complete the path. The red plank needs to be manoeuvred into place. Fox has right clicked on it and is using the edit controls to move the plank around.

When the path is complete, Fox can walk across it onto the Photobooth platform. Once there, she turns to face the way she has come, and then uses the Camera Controls from the View menu to look at herself in front of the backdrop. When she has the image she wants on screen, she clicks the Snapshot tab to take a photograph. She can store this on her computer’s hard drive, or email it to herself or a friend. If you take a good photograph you can share it with others by uploading it to the schome wiki.


The next Skills platform contains Faji’s people cannon. Right-clicking this gives you the option to climb in, you can then adjust the cannon’s aim and its velocity and fire yourself out of it. If you aim the cannon correctly you can fire yourself across the sea, to land on the games platform, or you can project yourself even further, to reach the Sonic Track. If you don’t set the controls correctly, your avatar splash lands in the water below and you have to fly up for another attempt.


Beyond the games platform is the Sonic racetrack. There are several circuits already built for you, or you can click the dispenser and use the new pieces to set up your own layout. Fox uses her bike to get around the track. If you don’t already have a bicycle in your inventory, ask someone else to give one to you, then drag it on to your body to ride it.

We’re coming to the end of this tour of Schome Park. Fox has introduced some of the main buildings on the sim. Schome Park really comes to life, though, when it’s full of people – building, chatting, going to events and meetings. Come and meet Fox and the rest of the team, and you’ll find out why Schome Park is a place where we are all learning together.