MMORPG.com Second Life Correspondent David Greene, better known in the Second Life community as Arra Jinx, writes this interview with Garrin Guffey and Marilina Antonioni, weather systems designers in Linden Labs' Second Life.
What defines one virtual world as being more immersive than another? Although there are many variables and answers to this question, one thing most can agree on is attention to detail. Realistic environments lead us to achieving suspension of disbelief more easily. One thing that makes an environment very believable is an active weather system. That’s where Garrin Guffey comes in, Garrin designed a dynamic weather system for Second Life that is extremely true to life. Thankfully Garrin took some time to talk about it with us.
How did the concept for your weather system first emerge?
Well, it was a few years ago, and I was helping a good friend set up a group of Role Play sims. We wanted it to be as feature-rich and unique as possible...like every other RP out there...and one of my first projects was to see about getting some dynamic weather. I looked around and found some very good products, but they all required manual control to change the weather. That's fine if you want to go for a specific effect, but as a sim-owner and land manager, something that ran itself would be best. I knew a bit of scripting, so I started work on it.