Sunday, 6 July 2014

SL Ate My Castle ¬.¬

There used to be a castle on this mound. I had to take it down. It's a fairly involved technical story which I'll explain after the photos - suffice it to say for now that SL glitched in a major way while I was trying to reduce prims, and ruined the build. It will take far too much effort to redo from scratch (which I will also explain below) and so I have torn down the whole castle, leaving just the mound. On the bright side, it has freed up 600 prims with which I think I will landscape, with various plants, water features and garden decorations. What is it they say about a crisis offering opportunity? I just know I don't have the heart right now to do it all over again, but I don't want to abandon the parcel as I have got it looking so pretty.

If you set the prim physics of certain system prims only (not sculpts or mesh) to convex hull, you can halve the land impact, which obviously in a build this large adds up to a good amount of spare prims you can reuse. I reckoned I could save at least 100 prims this way, which is well worth doing.

The first time I tried this was late at night, when I was tired, and inevitably goofed up; I fixed that problem and the next time, believe me, I took precautions and didn't make any mistakes. I first took a copy of each linkset of the castle into inventory, so that I could restore it if anything went wrong. I also edit-selected out all the sculpted parts I could detect in the linkset I was working on, because if you change sculpts to convex hull, this doubles their LI, and I am already maxed out on prim allowance. I needed to work with linksets rather than unlinking the whole castle, because it's a very complex and irregular build, and if you can't see the outlines of everything selected, you can't tell where half the prims are, or whether you've already modded them.

The first linkset I modified worked beautifully and I saved around 40 prims. Then lag, or general weekend contrariness, set in. Every prim I seemed to have selected was a simple box, yet changing the selected prims to convex hull switched the entire linkset, doubling the prim count. Trying it on a couple of identical delinked box prims, I couldn't for the life of me work out why one would halve and the other double. 

Then disaster really set in. I tried a different linkset, one not much larger, and again only chose the non-sculpted prims - but this time, the prim count went off the scale, at least above my spare parcel allowance, and the linkset was returned. No problem, I thought, I'll just restore the backup copy.

And this happened. Why in the world would it try to rez the set at 0,0,0 coordinates when I was restoring to last position?! Well, I tried several times, from different locations on the parcel (just in case it had anything to do with MY position, which is doubtful) but there was no way it was going to work. I had a huge missing chunk of castle and no way to fix it.

Why not reposition the set by hand, you may ask? Well, these aren't regular linksets, and it's by no means a linear build. A tower turret could be linked to half the ground floor and a window prim on the other side of the castle, with all kinds of pieces at different crazy angles to one another. Rezzing it any-old-how on the ground would result in a mismatch it would be almost impossible to line up - I had enough trouble doing that the night before and wasn't about to try it a second time. 

So finally, why not try re-rezzing the entire castle again from scratch? Well, when I originally put it up, I made a lot of modifications. I removed quite a few prims, and to have the capacity for the full build, I would need to take up most if not all of the items I'd set out around the parcel, as the original castle is over 600 prims; and I would need to make sure I didn't position it over the top of something. Then I'd have to redecorate my bedroom all over again, which was a nightmare job of texture re-mapping. I just didn't have the heart to go to so much effort when I'd got things looking so pretty; and it's not as though I'd been indoors much, or had guests over.

So I demolished the entire castle down to the bare mound, and have decided to eschew buildings for now; I wanted more prims so I could put out pretty garden things, and now I have more than enough to work with. The castle may be one of the most expensive and longest coveted items in my inventory, but it was also one of the primmiest and now I can take advantage of its absence. Maybe some day I'll put it back. Now I have a new project, which is making a beautiful garden. SL, LL and huge builds be damned!

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