CoLAWell as everyone knows we've got mesh on the grid now and people have been talking about the CoLA rebuild for quite some time. I originally got the CoLA replacement sim as an intention to rebuild the sim and replace it with a better prim build, but the news of mesh being in development came my way not too long after I bought the second class five sim so I was basically left with a choice, rebuild it in prims and replace it as fast as possible, or, swallow the cost of having the sim for experimenting on builds while waiting for mesh.

Well now mesh has arrived and after teaming up with Chaos Borkotron, after helping him with some copybot issues in CCS sims that the Lindens weren't helping him with, we're now on the cusp of the future of CoLA.

Some of you have seen what we're working on here but the last few weeks have been a process of getting the imagery right. This is, yet again the sewer network, but fully light mapped and rendered in SL.

Update 10/11/2011
Just adding a new image to the article this is a seperate section of the sewer build. Now lightmapped and ready for public view.

Update 10/17/2011

Effectively as you can see the overall environmental quality is going to go straight through the roof when it comes to detail on the future iteration of CoLA. Chaos and I both have very competent art skills and there are details he sees that I do not, and details that I see that he does not. Between us we've worked and reworked this piece to make it more like what you'd expect to find under ground in CoLA.

Notice the concrete damage and the cracked shifting of the tunnels. Look at the details of the lights and props and the sewer itself. Then boggle at it all when you realize that that area of the sim costs only 27 prims.

Far as performance is concerned I know a lot of people are worried about performance in mesh sims, simple facts are performance is affected by how many triangles per mesh are in use, and we've been extremely good about optimizing mesh elements down to the lowest amount of triangles without losing detail.

So after several reworks, we've finally hit the overall artistic vision of what we're trying to present. This aspect of the new CoLA will be part of every element from the underground all the way to the top of the highest buildings. And while we're doing what we can to try to get this done by Halloween, its entirely possible that this rebuild may take until the holidays to do right.

So no hard dates as yet, we're working as we go, trying to ensure that every piece and element of the new environment is visually sensible and logical and represents CoLA as it should be, in a modern game environment. Thank you for your patience while we work on this. I can't wait to have it done.
#1 | sickjessi on October 01 2011 01:37:41
GTFO Charissa, Jessi is taking the sewers by storm - Not liking it, loving it.'

(Though I won't be able to REZ it until I scrape enough money for a new pc x_x)
#2 | Kagehi on October 01 2011 10:29:21
/me blinks.

I think I just wandered into one of the tunnels in one of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. lol Though, their tunnels tend to be "level", if in almost as bad a shape. Wandering through a tunnel like that, I would expect to have who knows what jump me. Wink
#3 | Natascha Furse on October 02 2011 01:46:00
Lovely, realy lovely... but now as SL looks like a state of the art 3D computergame soon, it likely will need a state of the art top of the line graphics card to.. does it?
#4 | Tai on October 02 2011 02:23:21
Fuck yes. Now if Nvidia would just fix the 460 GTX drivers so the Firestorm mesh beta doesn't fuck up!
#5 | NeqNeqs on October 02 2011 02:39:42
Here, here Tai! i've got the same gfx card, and mesh as a whole doesn't seem to like it, regardless of the viewer. Hopefully those scientists behind their computers will sort this out, so i can take a wander around the new build.
#6 | Suzanna Soyinka on October 02 2011 04:52:56
Odd that the 460 GTX has issues, I have a GTX 470 currently (haven't upgraded in awhile) and it doesn't have any issues at all.

The 400 series is using essentially the same driver set so I wonder what the issue could be. How do meshes look when you view them? Have you tried using the SL 3.0.3 viewer to see if it renders the meshes where Firestorm does not?

Overall you should have no issues with mesh using anything even fairly modern, mesh is hardly a new technology, nearly all mainstream games use mesh formats for almost all their static world objects. So if you're running a 7600 GS or better you shouldn't have an issue. I haven't tried the Firestorm Beta 3 much but we were having some trouble with it when uploading meshes so we ended up reverting to using the SL 3.0.3 viewer cause the mesh wasn't importing right in Firestorm Beta 3.
#7 | Kagehi on October 02 2011 09:28:26
Hmm. Yeah, kind of odd that the 460 GTX would be having a problem. Though, since SL uses OpenGL, rather than DirectX, more problems are likely. Sadly, the driver makers are often *way* more concerned that Microsoft not have problems, than they are that someone using OpenGL doesn't, so, as a result, there are often very bizarre bugs in OpenGL, which simply don't happen in DirectX. Its also completely absurd to talk about an issue with "mesh", there isn't a card in existence that uses anything "other" than mesh, by definition. But, it is plausible that that specific card line had some small glitch in some specific data handling, and the OpenGL doesn't realize it, so tries to do say, P, Q, T and Z together, or in that order, where, by shear happenstance, Linden's implimentation of the "translation" of prims and sculpts to mesh does like O, T, Q, Y, or something. I.e., nearly the same, but one single step goes boom, on that card line.

To me though, this has always made no bloody sense to me. You would think that the "priority" with these damn cards would be "backward compatibility", so only to bleeding edge features would be buggy, not stupid stuff like some game using a technique from 5 years ago blowing up, while the absolutely newest thing working perfectly, some anything between, all because the "drivers" have to somehow know the "correct" way to talk to the hardware. o.O

This is about as stupid as if you tried to do basic math, and every single CPU had some quirk in it, which resulted in needing a "driver" to tell your math program that you need to subtract 5 on processor X, but add 5 on processor Y, for 2+2 to come up with the correct answer. But, we put up with precisely this sort of nonsense with graphics cards? Sigh...
#8 | Tai on October 06 2011 13:55:27
The error I keep recieving on mesh viewers is https://jira.seco...acrasj.jpg after a while, and generally just lower performance all round - fps/rezzing - when compared to regular Firestorm.

Mesh objects render correctly, but the fps drop, crashing and rezzing issues just spoil the experience.

Gonna try the latest 285.38 beta drivers, see if that brings any improvement.
#9 | Joshua on October 13 2011 06:36:19

Depends on the viewer you are using. For some reason, I see more stability in the FireStorm viewer then the Official SL Mesh Viewer for Mesh.

Unfortunately, my computer can't handle Mesh atm until I get my new XPS Laptop. Well it can, but my settings have to be WAY WAY low, and it's just not even worth playing cause my FPS still sucks (around 3) on Mesh.

Either way, try multiple viewers to see which one might not throw that error. I have a cheap NVIDIA card in my lappie, and it's never thrown that error before. Very odd.
#10 | Jolene Merlin on October 20 2011 09:07:50
Yea, as Jessi says, those Sewers are definitely AR territory! Those graphics just scream "zombies!" just by looking at them!

On another note, hows this going to work out for those who refuse to use a Mesh capable Viewer? I know several in CoLA right now who are refusing to switch until an 'old school' viewer becomes capable of supporting Mesh... I for one, am one such... as I simply can't stand the newer Viewers and will not touch them... they're absolutely horrible; even Firestorm!

They say they're working on it for Phoenix, as Henri Beauchamp successfully ported the v2 codebase into his v1 SL CoolViewer and got Mesh working on it, so now Phoenix is trying it...

Hopefully they'll figure it out soon! Least that'll keep some of us going until those silly Lindens shut down the ability to use v1 style viewers.. I know several people who are claiming that they will never, ever use V2 or V3 and some claiming they will be leaving when/if Linden Labs shuts down V1... sad...
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