Last night I went on a “walk through” the developing Second Life build with chief architect Chris (CJ Carnot) and my friend and colleague Nick (Corwin Carillon). (Is “walk through” a common term in virtual world design by the way? We’ve been using this term for the past year or so to describe the process of walking and/or flying through a development and discussing it along the way. Maybe its from architecture?). During the walk through we refined and redefined the space, the experience and the 3D sketch of my part of the sim. In my original brief I had numerous source images for the NMC build team to draw from for various spaces, and now I’ve converted some of our favourites to inspiration boards inside the space for quick and easy reference. I’ve annotated the board with a few notes as reminders of things we may have discussed about the build, or that I need to remember for myself about the purpose of each aspect within the literary role-playing experience.
This process of sketching in 2D, writing prosaic notes, sketching in 3D, adding inspiration boards, and doing walk throughs and so on is very exciting. It reminds me of some of my art classes, where we learnt to draw by using simple geometric shapes, then slowly adding the details to refine or where we learnt to paint by first using only blue paint to get shapes and shadows right, and then layering the details on top. Its all very creative and artistic and magical. When talking to Chris about architectural elements to include for example he quickly redesigned some things with simple white prim shapes until we were both happy with the feel – there’s still more to sketch out (both in 2D and 3D), but by next week we’ll be starting the refined build, texturing and detailing. It’s such pure and creative fun (errrr… a lot more fun than grading assignments and writing accreditation reports about our courses, but shhhh you didn’t see me say that!). It doesn’t even feel like work really!