Thursday, February 22, 2018

Setting up a Google Docs Form for Second Life Interaction

I'm using Google Docs now with Second Life for tracking a few different things, and the basic set up is the same, so I've decided to just make this it's own post, that I can reference later.  For this example, I'm using aspects of the sales tracker script, but it can be adapted for any script.

Google Forms can be easily used to track various inworld activities in Second Life.  I am currently using it to track visitors to my store and for tracking sales in my store.  It's free, it doesn't require running or setting up a webserver or PHP or SQL.  I will say up front, I have no idea if there are API limits at all to this.  My use is extremely low traffic.  I suspect that, since it's Google, it's pretty robust.

Firstly, go to your google drive, at  Create a new form and name it something useful.  In this case, I used "Gique Sales Tracker".

Change the default included field to "Short Answer" and give it a useful name.  On a side note, all of these names are independent of anything in Second Life and can be anything you want them to be.  The interaction occurs via some key values, not the form names or LSL variable names.  Add additional form fields, all "Short Answer" using the + icon on the side.  For the sales tracker, I used "Avatar", "Item", "Price", and "Location".  If you are using this framework for your own projects, you can add as many or as few fields as needed.  NOTE:  The system adds date and time on it's own.

Now near the top of the form composer, select "Responses", and click the little green icon.  Select "Create new Spreadsheet", and name it whatever you'd like.  This will cause the form to dump all responses to a useful spreadsheet as they come in.  Because of the way Google works, you can even watch this happen in real time.  The system automatically adds a date and time column.  Notice the column names are the names of the form fills you entered earlier.

This next step is the trickiest part of this entire deal, but it's not as hard as it seems, so don't be deterred.  At the top of the form creation page, near "Send" is an eyeball icon, this will allow you to preview the form.  Click this, and it will open the form in a new tab on your browser.  If you want to test the functionality of the form, you can enter values into the form manually here and submit them and they should show up in your spread sheet.  This page will look very similar to the form creator page, except the creation buttons will be missing.

You will need to make some notes here.  I'd recommend using a notepad style program, you can write them down if you want, but at least one of the values you're pulling next is very long and complex, so I'd recommend something you can cut and paste to.  You will need all of these values in Second Life in the script, you can put them directly in the script, or an SL notecard even.

Right click on the Form Preview page, and select "View Page Source".  This may be called something else depending on your browser, but the idea is to view the code that makes the form page.  This will open a tab or a window with a mess of code.  You'll want to do a "Find".  In Windows, you can do this with "Control+F", I believe it's similar in Mac and Linux.  In the find box, search for "entry.", including the period.  Chrome highlights all occurrences of the search term, some browsers may require multiple searching to cycle through each occurrence.  What you are looking for, is the number that occurs just after "entry."

Record these numbers, and what they correspond to.  The numbers should occur in the order you added them to your form, but you can verify this by scanning back a bit in the code, the form name is listed under a tag "aria-label".  I've highlighted above where it shows "Avatar Name", notice lower in the example it reads "Item", "Location", and "Price".  The numbers from this example are, 1518898711, 1485797246, 1639291941, and 1768330639.  Your numbers WILL be different.  Using those 4 numbers will not work for you.

Also, in case anyone thinks they want to be clever, I created a dummy form for this example, so these numbers are not the numbers I use for my actual tracker.

Once you have these numbers, you can close the source code.  You can also close out the preview form if you want.  You will also need the form id, which can be found in the URL box at the top of your browser.

I've highlighted what you need above, but you want everything BETWEEN the slashes.  The actual URL for the example is here:

You want everything in between the slashes, highlighted above.  You do not need the slashes.  Mark this down as your form key.

And that's all that you need for basic set up of a Google Form for use in an SL script.  I'll post about a couple of projects using this form later.

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Quick Look at the Normie Head

I've tried a pretty wide variety of MESH bodies, but I've not really stepped into the realm of MESH heads yet.  Partially because they all are pretty expensive.  Also, there's a pretty large variety of options and it's not quite as clear on which is "best for me".  The body part felt pretty easy, for the most part, they are a layer a MESH that lays over your standard avatar skeleton to sort of smooth things out.  There are nuances in there, but picking one and then adjusting it with the standard body sliders felt pretty straight forward.

Heads feel different.  Like, it would be easy to end up spending 2000+ L$ on something that I couldn't possibly make work for my "preferred style".  It's not clear to me how much these heads can be adjusted using the standard sliders.  The head and face are kind of a big deal, at least to me, as part of the identity of my Avatar.  It's what I look like.  I use it in SL, I have all of my values written down so I can slap them into any OpenSIM instance I need to.

Recently <UTILAZATOR> released a head called "Normie".  The name is a little odd but if you know anything about <UTI> it will feel kind of obvious.  Most of <UTI>'s stuff is anime themed, very stylized.  It's popular among people who fall into the "4chan crowd", for lack of a better description (this isn't meant to be any sort of insult).  "Normie" is sort of board vernacular for a "regular person".  The Normie head, unlike most of <UTI>'s offerings is more "normal" looking, instead of the stylized Anime look.

I decided to try this head for two reasons.  One, it's only 500L$, which is cheap.  Secondly, based on the ads, and other pictures I've seen, it has a bit of a softer roundish style, which is the sort of look I wanted in my avatar's face.

I think I may have a <UTILIZATOR> body, but I haven't tested the head yet against it, my preferred MESH body is the Maitreya Lara.  It still works out pretty well and I was able to make the neck fix bits work pretty smoothly, or at least as smoothly as it can get.  I also created a quick OMEGA applier for my skin so I could keep the same skin I've been using for ages (I really like it, and it's almost as important as my shape).

So, the head itself.

I... mostly think I like it.  I have a few issues but I think maybe I need to just tweak things a bit more to make everything better.  Most of my problem is with the mouth.  The lips look weird no matter how I adjust things.  There are several different Bento based face poses in the HUD as well, but it could really use a good closed mouth smile.  Every single post makes my avatar look grumpy except the smile face, which makes me look derpy.

I've tried adjusting things to give the mouth a natural up curl on the sides for the neutral pose with no luck.  I am not sure exactly how universal Bento is, so I have not yet tried looking into some sort of alternative face posing HUD.  I do know that the old smiler attachment (randomly smiles every so often) doesn't work with this head.

I'm not giving up on this head or anything, in fact I'm kind of confident things may get better in the future, I've seen comments that <UTILIZATOR> is pretty good about keeping their products updated.  This is essentially the 1.0 product.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Playing with SpacialOS

I've been wanting to explore some other Virtual Worldy environments outside of Second Life and OpenSIM a bit, and recently went through a quick look at Spacial OS, using their tutorial which can be found here.  Spacial OS kind of feels more like a basic game engine/server than a real virtual world environment.  You don't really develop in world or anything, but it is something that can be used to develop and deploy a multiplayer online environment.

I didn't get too detailed into developing anything, though it uses Unity, which is a pretty common platform these days.  I did run through and deploy a world that I could connect to, and somewhat more fun, I used a remote computer for the server and my laptop for the client.  I had to adapt the tutorial a bit, during the authorization phase by copying and pasting the URLs around and entering the IP of the server instead of "local host" but it worked out easily enough.  I deployed the server end on a Windows 7 VPS I have on Cloud At Cost.  

During the set up, you connect the server to the console at  Once it's up and running, you can use this dashboard to view and interact with the backend of the game world, in this case, the demo Lumberjacks and Wizards game.

The demo game itself is pretty basic, and definitely a demo, you control a little wizard, you can set fire to things with one button and put out fires using rain with the other button.  There are also some lumberjacks gathering wood and building little houses.  You pretty much just walk around setting trees, lumberjacks, buildings, and even yourself on fire.  

It's kind of neat watching the back end of the world, you can do some interaction here as well, like deleting things removes them in real time.

Ultimately, I decided to wander off to the edge of the map, when i reached it, my little wizard just disappeared, forever.  Kind of disappointing, but it was a neat little demo.  It would take more time and skill than I have to go much farther with this platform however.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


This is sort of how my mind works.  I try to come up with a name for something, I maybe come up with something mediocre.  Eventually, I get some sort of epiphany for something "Clever" 9though probably still mediocre).

When I started selling in world and on the marketplace 6 months ago, I settled on the name GeekTronic.  I've never been real satisfied with the name, it's a little clunky and long.  Recently I had an epiphany moment and came up with the name Gique.  Pronounced "Geek".

Some web searches later and I was satisfied enough that no one else, especially in SL was using the name.  I then proceeded to rebrand my imagery on my store from the clunky ugly Geektronic to Gique Boutique.  The  Boutique park came later, partially to push the idea that it's a store and partially to help people get the "Geek" part, since it's an alliteration.

The logo is still kind of a work in progress but I'm pretty happy with the name.

I've also started a blog to go with my store.  Not really anything there yet but, Gique Boutique Store Blog.  It'll be a good place to do announcements and maybe help as a motivation too myself to keep working at this.

I've also used the name Gique for my new region on OSGrid.  No links on that one yet, though you can search for it in world.  I will probably move it to a new location soonish.  The server overhead running the region isn't nearly as high as expected so I plan to stake out a 9x9 block and add a little ocean around the island.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ten Years of Second Life

As of today, in Second life, I am ten years old.

Ten years doesn't put me anywhere near the club for oldest avatars, but it's pretty old.  I have noticed that I am often the oldest avatar in in the area.  This doesn't really mean anything of course, I've come and gone a bit and I doubt I spend anywhere near as much time in world as a lot of other people.  Not to mention that many who have been around for a long time will be on their second or third new account, generally due to one drama or another.

My avatar hasn't really changed a lot.  Hell i may even be using a modified version of that old old shape still.  Sure I've augmented it over the years with Lolas boobs for a while and more recently with the Lara Mesh body, but under the hood I've always been pretty much the same.

I figure I would just reminisce a bit, kind of flow of thought.

Back when I started of, there was no mesh or sculpts.  It was all prims.  This feels like of insane today, if anything, the world needs to be all mesh.  

I spent many many years surviving on the free 50L$ Stipend that accounts used to receive.  Real early on, traffic was an important measurement for showing up in search, and locations would pad this with camping chairs that would pay out tiny amounts of L$ for every 20-30 minutes or so you sat.  I never did this a lot but I did it some.  That dried up when traffic stopped being important.

I still am not a very good builder or scripter, but i still like to create things.  Considering I was always pretty decent at using CAD software back in college, you would think I would be a natural at learning to make MESH objects, but I'm still working with Full Perm templates.  Fin Fact, the glasses in the above picture on the left were one of the first things I made, because I really wanted to give myself glasses, and they were hard to find.  The ear pencils were also one of my earliest creations.

I used to hang around Waterhead Welcome area a lot, it was the first real sim that SL put me in after the tutorial island.  It was my home for many years.

A couple of years ago I took the leap into owning land.  I won't ever go back, I love having a home of my own.  I do sometimes reduce down to just living in a Linden Home though.

Somewhat tangential to owning land, I also have been using OpenSIM for ages.  I'm talking literally since the early early prototype version, I want to say Kotaku or something posted about it and i jumped all over the opportunity to run my own SL.  I sometimes feel like I should look into doing some sort of real contribution to OS, but like a lot of things, I'm an amateur at coding at best. 

I remember finding a free prim hair at a freebie house and finally ditching the system hair I had been using.  System hair is sooo nasty.  I've gone through a ridiculous number of hairs over the years.  I don't like to change my shape too much because it feels off but I'll change my hair constantly, both style and color.

Speaking of unchanging, I've used the same skin (L.Fauna Lapine)(something like that), for a very very long time.  I even made appliers so I could continue using it on my MESH body.  Like my shape, my skin is just part of what makes my avatar feel like me.

Don't tell anyone but that image on the right is actually from around one year in on my SL adventures.  I couldn't find any decent older images.  

Anyway, just a little self indulgence for my Tenth Rez Day...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fictional Eviction

I recently moved to a pretty nice little plot of land on the water.  Technically I think it's only water because the guy next to me keeps his place up in the sky but that works for me.  For a while i was living up in the sky in a skybox anyway but I have expanded a bit and moved down to ground level.

The problem is, I found out my pretty nice view has a rather awful eyesore right in the middle of it...

Then, I remembered that I can easily block and derender some objects with Firestorm.  I don't really mind the aqua mall thingy to the right, but that monstrosity on the left had to go.  Heck, i probably wouldn't mind that monstrosity if it had real walls instead of fences.

The end result is much nicer.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Buy Something Will Ya?

So, i finally got off my lazy ass a bit and created a new store.  I'll be adding more over time but if you want to buy some Women's Tees you can head on over and check out the selection over at Geektronic.

I'm not real sure I actually like that name... so.. yeah...

Rigged Mesh Tees (uses the TD Designs template), comes in 5 sizes and includes alpha layer.