Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

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Dot Macchi
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Dot Macchi » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:37 am

Ilan Tochner wrote:In any case, my vision, which may be improved upon, would be for something which is a zen garden i.e. mostly outdoors and has status/points of interest that convey some idea that may be relevant to some people and just pretty to others. However, unlike the Kitely Plaza that is a collection of themed areas, this would have a few buildings that use modern museum architecture (big and spacious - possibly no roof) with most of the area being outdoors in winding paths meticulously organized around the landscape (with art / genre elements as status strategically placed on the path to convey some vibe to the traveler). A place you could take an afternoon and stroll in with information centers near the entrance and a social attraction somewhere away from the entrance (greeters could linger/TP from the pub but other people won't crowd new comers possibly scaring people away before they get their bearings).

Wood, leaves, stone, water allowing easy asset reuse. Points of interest may use other assets but their placement would be such that viewers wouldn't need to download more than a few of them at any given point in time thus allowing quick rez times.
Thanks, Ilan. This is a helpful articulation of how Kitely sees the Welcome Center. It sounds good.

Let's focus on the functions of possible buildings now, since that will help to suggest how many of them are needed. Can you think of any others? And are some of these not needed? I suspect that some of these functions could be embedded within the gardens themselves, as Allen and others have suggested.

Hmm... just had a thought sparked by Ilan's mention of meaningful "art / genre elements" placed within the gardens. What if each of these had a teleport-enabled object next to it that took the viewer to a relevant showcase world? So it would be similar Dundridge's idea of pictures+portal, but in 3D.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Ilan Tochner » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:21 pm

Hi Dot,

I like your idea. We could create some convention for how the gate objects look so that people will learn how to quickly recognize them. Something conveying a "touch to teleport to the world this is from" kind of message.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Dot Macchi » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:53 am

As a teleport object, what about using something like the small signs museums and art galleries use by larger exhibits to provide further information?

The convention would need to be explained somewhere.

Perhaps it could be "learnt by doing", so that the first sign avatars come across after initially entering the world takes them (say) to a sky-build still within the welcome center. Or would that be too much of a surprise for someone new to virtual worlds?
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Dundridge Dreadlow » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:12 am

teleports are almost always a nasty shock. It breaks any internal navigation map that can be stored in the brain by resetting everything to a new area. The first thoughts are: what did I just do, how do I get back, I wasn't finished, where am I, am I stuck here, will I be able to get back here again, am I doing things in the wrong order, what am I missing out on where I was before, am I supposed to be here :?: If they take you to another world, there is a loading delay that cannot be stopped, and besides, I really wanted the gate next to that one first. A lot of people will miss the messages in the local chat as well (sigh).

They can be useful if you KNOW the area or are looking for something specific.

Personally speaking, I won't use a teleport/poseball in any new area, I don't trust them :) :evil: Who knows where you'll end up or what you'll be doing when you get there. Maybe I'm paranoid. I might look at them second time round a region after exploring it.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Dot Macchi » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:29 pm

Paislee and I quite often chat about builds when we meet up, and today was no exception. She was working on a structure in Ruminations, one that (as it turned out) had been inspired partly by Ilan's vision for the welcome centre. It comprises a set of circular areas linked by curving pathways through the landscape.

The build is work-in-progress, and is part of Ruminations. As we walked around it, Paislee explained some of her thinking. Given the structure's inspiration, it might be a useful discussion starter for thinking about aspects of the welcome center.

The start point is at Ruminations (87, 306, 22).

With Paislee's permission, here is an edited version of the chatlog.
=============
Dot: I rather like this arrangement.
Paislee: I'm happy with it...this spot. finally... or I should say, this structure. some texturing etc to fix still, but I think it works.
Dot: simple. Not too open, but with an obvious flow
Paislee: but you see how something on this order could be developed into the sort of thing that Ilan mentioned. and this sort of thing could fit into hilly terrain as well.
Dot: I really think we should use terraforming to create more interest etc.
Paislee: yes, especially since "flat" is the norm for most welcoming places.
Dot: Lost Paradise is nicely done -- that is Old Europe village on different levels.

Paislee: the purpose of the incline [the ramps leading from the main circle] is to encourage the visitors to step out to the top so they can get a quick overview of what is around them. and to put "stuff" on... to direct them
Paislee: these circular pads could serve as bridging pieces or gathering places. pathways are simple enough to do. buildings could be tucked in along the way...

Paislee: One of the things i think needs reminding people of is the click to instantly tp to a spot in the region. I use that a lot! to move around quickly. too much walking! or flying! people get tired ;)

Paislee: if visitors are in a rush there could be a central tp device to instantly take them to their needed destination. but otherwise I think it is good for people to just wander and explore. if there are interesting "mini-builds" to admire along the way they would be pleased to wander. little freebie items (such as completed backpacks, shoes, etc.) visitors could get would encouraged to wander more.

Paislee: The last thing I want to see when I arrive someplace is a massive open build that I have to get through to see/get items of value to me. I'd like to explore small spots and pick up items as I go. I do think sorting an avie is the first thing though.
Dot: That is an important point. need to have different paths [for different kinds of visitors]. the different paths need to be obvious too.
Paislee: yes, that's why there are 4 ramps to lead the visitor.
Dot: so would you have a sign/symbol on the ramps? suggesting what is found by going over them?
Paislee: yes. text or whatever also could be placed on the white surfaces to guide people. if so desired.

Paislee: All these jumbled thoughts are buried in the build as I was working.
Dot: Any more thoughts? (sorry about this -- they are giving a useful perspective.)
Paislee: avie sorting, shopping area (with Kitely info too), points of interest, and coffee shop hangout area... with spots here and there between the areas to rest and enjoy. It needn't be huge and glitzy.
Dot: it could be "people sized'
Paislee: yes
Dot: Yes -- that is partly what I am trying to get across. Because they are big, they tend to emphasise emptiness. It is almost as though they are built for people who never came.
Paislee: A virtual ghost town.
Dot: I guess what might be happening is that we are used to "slow burn" wow factors where we learn to see details and appreciate them and over time it builds up. Again, it is a building of meaning.
Paislee: yes
Dot: But if you are wanting a place where lingering is encouraged, then you need to allow for that, or enable it. [as well as an immediate "wow factor" at the entry point, say]
Paislee: and the use of the circular pads keeps it small. but little shops could be grouped around them if wanted or landscaping and benches.. whatever is needed.
Dot: Yes :-)
Paislee: and then any style changes won't smack you in the face. but could happen as you move from one pod to the next.
Dot: Would you have time to add a couple of examples to show how that might work?
Paislee: at some point today...
Dot: That would be great -- when you have time.
Paislee: okay will work on it.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Dot Macchi » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:06 am

Paislee, Sherrie and I were able to chat with Ilan in Ruminations, where he expanded a little on Kitely's vision for the welcome center.

He had just visited Sri Isodhyana Online and was very taken with how that world had laid out paths for learning -- how the paths drew you on in a voyage of discovery that you could take at your own pace, enjoying the journey, without feeling you had to rush to the end.

The Sri Isodhyana world uses terrain, stones and plants and winding paths to convey intimacy even in a large space. Windlight and water can also be used to create an immersive atmosphere.

The winding path and occlusion can help with viewer lag for people with slower computers, so the viewer has time to load points of interest by the time you get to them.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Dot Macchi » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:30 am

Apologies for all the repeat postings...

For the teleportal designs, there's a variety of rather attractive ones in Miguel Rotunno's Ilha Magica, originally from OSgrid (so there are lots of hypergrid portals -- Miguel is obviously preparing!).

I especially like the one you walk on. While it uses hover text (which generally I do not like, because it can break immersion), being at ground level it isn't intrusive. I can imagine the circular structure working well with other design elements, but it would need to be in places where people expect to be whisked away to worlds yet unknown.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Constance Peregrine » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:08 pm

just wanted to throw in that SiFan Shan gave me full permission to distribute her items in my free oars....but, in particular, for this, there are some gorgeous red poppies on my region you can copy and use....anything else too, for that matter.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Allen Partridge » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:11 pm

After a nice conversation with Dot and Rosa yesterday, i had a fairly simple thought.

We kind of know that the desires of new visitors will fall into three or so groups. One that wants to spiff up the avie first, one that wants to understand the payment options / costs and world creation stuff - and one that likes to explore and discover.

The thought was - why not simply provide an easy mechanism for self-sorting at the landing, but... provide the required info (how to make a world, time based billing etc.) in the mode that suits each group - in the workflow / path of each group.

Eg. you can shop right away, but right within the freebie shopping / dressing areas etc. there are abundant info sources about building your first world etc. They are themed with shopping, so things like 'posters on shop windows' or in a dressing room 'Looking for even more privacy? - you can have your own world' - basically catering the message to the activity.

For info gatherers - it should be efficient, systematic, and built to minimize time and ease access to - basically a universal answer station for all questions - perhaps even a system to help people self-shop a plan based on their expected online usage.

For explorers - the quest option seems appropriate.

This seemed logical to me, but i wanted to see what others thought.

--Allen
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