Paradise Lost in Second Life is unlike any other theatre performance before it. Because we are taking advantage of so much that Second Life has to offer, many of our recommendations for viewing might be unfamiliar to you. So, I’m going to list our top tips for experiencing Paradise Lost to its fullest. Some are mandatory, some are optional.
Here’s the summary:
- Wear your ticket once you receive it.
- Wear all 4 parts of the avatar we give with the ticket, and nothing else.
- Enable RLV on Firestorm to experience lighting effects.
- Optimise your graphic settings.
- Turn on your music stream.
- Arrive 30 minutes before show time.
- Remain seated throughout the performance.
- Please stay quiet in local chat during the 3 Acts.
And here is the longer version.
1. Wear your ticket once you receive it.
We’ve employed a custom-built event ticket system to give ticket holders access to the event. When you receive your ticket, wear it to activate it. If you can’t find it, search for “Paradise Lost Ticket” in your inventory.
Activating the ticket tells us you’ve received it, and enables us to give you access to the show. Wearing the ticket will also remind you of the date and time of the performance for which you have purchased a ticket in local. Make a note of this date and time in your calendar.
We will send a mailer to all ticket holders before the show. Please be aware that there are no refunds or exchanges if you miss the performance. Failing to activate your ticket will cause delays. Don’t wait till 10 minutes before the show to do this, or your access may be delayed, wear your ticket to activate it now.
2. Wear all 4 parts of the avatar we give with the ticket, and nothing else.
Your audience avatar has four parts:
- full body alpha
- Wings Part 1
- Wings Part 2
Wear all four parts and remove everything else. Don’t wear anything else – HUDs, attachments, or anything – and you’ll help us keep the lag down when there are up to 50 avatars in one place with a lot of scripts running. Follow my instructions above and save it as an outfit now so you don’t have to fiddle when you arrive at the show.
Your avatar will be in Angel form. Your inner demon will soon be revealed!
3. To enjoy our lighting effects, enable RLV on the Firestorm Viewer.
First, you’ll need an RLV enabled viewer, ideally Firestorm. Don’t be scared of RLV. We are not using RLV to control your avatar, but we do use RLV to control Windlight Settings that effectively change the lighting effects in the show. Download and use Firestorm.
When in Firestorm,
- open your Preferences
- choose Firestorm as above
- select the General tab
- At the top of that tab, tick on Allow Remote Scripted Viewer Controls (RLVa).
- Click Apply
- Restart your viewer.
Do your best to see the show while using this viewer. Don’t leave this to the last-minute, enable RLV in the Firestorm viewer now. (This is optional, but recommended.)
4. Optimise your Graphic Settings.
Optimising some graphic settings will cut lag for all yet still enable you to see the show as we intended. The fastest way, in Firestorm, is to open your Quick Preferences, the lower bar button on the bottom right of your Firestorm viewer.
There, we recommend you
- lower your Draw Distance to 128
- turn off Name Tags (this turns off the names of avatars in your viewers so you can better see the action) and
- turn off LookaAt Target (this removes the cross-hairs of who is looking where which further clutters your view).
- You might also want to increase your LOD factor to 4, if you’re seeing badly rendered prims.
If you tend to lag in crowded conditions, use these settings in Preferences > Graphics:
If you feel your system can take it, further optimise your settings:
- Increase Quality and Speed Performance Slider to the right
- Turn on Transparent Water
- Turn on Advanced Lighting Model (with or without shadows)
- Turn on Ambient Occlusion
- Click Apply
Only the minority of systems can handle the higher settings and still support a decent number frames per second (±5 FPS at least), so you may want to experiment with this when seated at the show.
Pro-Tip: If you want to improve the smoothness of avatar animation turn up your Avi Count (e.g 50). Firestorm users can find Avi Count in Phototools (by keying alt+P).
Find these settings in your Firestorm viewer now and play with them, so you’re not scrambling at the last-minute. (Optional)
5. Turn on your sound and turn on your music stream.
Paradise Lost is a multimedia musical. It’s much better with sound and music! We are augmenting the story with streaming audio, so turn on your music stream to hear half of the performance.
This is where you turn on your sound (right hand side corner of your viewer). Use the music notes for streaming and use the sound icon at far right to make sure you hear sound.
This is the stream we use to play the music for Paradise Lost: http://188.8.131.52:8000/stream
You won’t hear anything on the stream until 1 hour before the show begins. If your viewer reliably plays streaming music, great. If not, use iTunes or WinAmp to play streaming music. In iTunes, enter cmd + U, and enter the stream address in the pop-up box. Keep the stream running throughout the entire performance. (Optional… but seriously, why would you not?)
6. Arrive at least 30 minutes before showtime.
This is the landmark to the Basilica where Paradise Lost is performed. Plan to arrive 30 minutes before the show begins to avoid any last-minute surprises or issues. Find a seat and relax, chill out and meet your fellow theatre lovers. Latecomers will NOT be admitted or refunded. (It’s mandatory to arrive before showtime.)
7. Remain seated throughout the performance.
You are part of this performance. For this to work, you need to stay seated at all times. If you crash, return, but sit immediately. If you stand, you will generate sim lag, and you will not enjoy being animated and be a very special part of this performance! Avatars that stay standing after requested to sit will be asked to leave – and soon ejected. (It’s mandatory to remain seated – no refunds will be given should you be ejected.)
8. Please stay quiet in local chat during the 3 Acts.
To keep everyone’s screen clear (including performers who need to keep a very close eye on behind-the-scenes communications), we ask that you not talk in local during the 3 Acts. You wouldn’t talk during a non-virtual world performance, so don’t do it here. There are two intermissions where you can fill up local to your heart’s content.
Once you experience Paradise Lost in Second Life for yourself, you’ll appreciate why we’ve gone to such lengths to control the experience to this level. Enjoy the show!