Friday, December 23, 2011

Secondlife and OpenSim on Kinect from the Network System Lab of TUIS

Further info:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

unofficial sloodleset 1.2c for SLOODLE 1.2

SLOODLE 1.2 had been released last June. The new feature is the SLOODLE Tracker. See here for further information (Downloads, Installation and Documentation):

Developers who would like to test it under Opensim may want to look at the unofficial sloodleset for OpenSim (Updated Dec. 23, 2011 due to problems with permissions) below:

Warning: The quiz chair does not work yet in this sloodleset. It is still under investigation. Update: quiz chair should work now.

IAR (2.54 MB)

OAR (2.77 MB)

User Documentation for the Tracker

A journal article detailing the use of the tracker by Michael Callaghan entitled Engineering Education Island: Teaching Engineering in Virtual Worlds (2009) is available here

For more info see these threads: (Call for Beta Testers) (Unofficial SLOODLESET 1.2 for OS discussion) (Tracker installation problems)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Project Report: Exploratory Approaches to the Design and Development of a Game for a Distance Education Course in Philippine History

Roel Cantada

I would like to share my project report for my master's degree in distance education at the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU).


Report (4.57 mb)

WIP OARs of the game (15.22 mb) (5 mb) (10.44 mb)

Moodle backup (Updated Dec. 19, 2011) (955 kb)

You may need to edit the presenter slides url after restoring this moodle backup. Click on the presenter link->edit tab->hand icon->paste new url. (The new url should come from the course files->briefing folder. Right click and copy link to get the url.) Then save.


The project explores the design and development of a prototype video game for a distance education course in Philippine history. The project seeks to answer these questions:

  1. What are the affordable learning actions and constraints of educational games in general and games for learning history in particular? 
  2. What production pipeline of design and development of educational games is appropriate for distance education teachers of Philippine history with meagre resources?
The rationale for the project is the following:

  1. There is little study on courses as games in distance education. 
  2. In the context of connectivist learning theory there is no study of games as hubs for a personal learning environment (PLE). 
  3. There is no available off the shelf game for teaching Philippine history. 
Open Simulator, a Multi-user Virtual Environment (MUVE) was used to create a prototype game. Formative research methods were adopted in the design and development of the game.

It has been found that the game affords the adoption of a wide range of learning theories and methods. As a PLE hub it has weak and strong affordances. In learning history it affords the following:

  1. It affords the linking and finding of historical sources.
  2. It affords role playing of historical characters.
  3. It affords reconstruction of history in multimedia.
  4. It affords the linking of game play with history.
It has also been found that teachers may impose a minimal amount of constraint on the learning path through quests and virtual objects that serve as obstacles. Items may be hidden from view (to delay use) or pointed out by Non-Player Characters. These constraints may help learners recognize affordable learning actions in the game. It may also scaffold the experience of novice players who are unfamiliar with the 3D environment.

In conclusion, series of steps and guidelines are suggested for developing educational games. It is recommended that teachers exploit the tools of the game for collaborative design and development as well as the production of reusable virtual world archives.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

testing SL postcard

testing SL postcard
testing SL postcard. This postcard was sent via posterous. When I tried to send the postcard directly to blogger via email, the images did not appear.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My first virtual village for my Philippine History project.

It's not dense enough for a Philippine pueblo but there is a need to limit the prims to conserve computer resources.

Sugarcane field for the sugar run quest of my Philippine history game project

In the center of the field is a trapiche or sugarcane press. The sugar run quest is just a collecting game that will allow students to explore the world and learn about the economy of 19th century Philippines; that is based on crop export. There are no monsters to kill here.

Orientation area of my Philippine history game project

I decided to go with an open area plaza instead of creating buildings so as to facilitate navigation for users who have yet to learn navigation in Open Simulator. At the same time having a single place with all the needed tools for playing and learning would prevent fragmentation especially for an expected low number of users such as a class. The tools here are hypergates, sloodle objects, graffiti board, forum rss and greeters that I turned into npcs for the quests.

The open areas are for students generated content and sandboxes.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Using Sloodle PrimDrop as a simple quest system for Open Simulator

I set up three Sloodle PrimDrop boxes. The assignments are called Quest1, Quest2, and Quest3. Quest 1 has the description: Please bring me a cube. When you finish this quest go to quest 2. And the rest is the same.

I created a test student named Noob1 Student. When Noob1 touched the PrimDrop boxes they say in the public chat the description of the assignment. This could then be used for instructions to the quest. This description can be displayed again when you click 1: Assignment summary in the Open Simulator (OSim) menu as shown below.

When an assignment object is submitted, there is a feedback. The PrimDrop says in public chat: Item "submission name" appears OK. Thank you Noob1 Student.
Assignment submission successful. Thank you Noob1 Student.

This feedback is in feedback is in sloodle_translation_assignment_en.lsl in the scripts of the PrimDrop object in OSim. The last two lines is as follows:

"assignment:submissionok", "Assignment submission successful. Thank you {{0}}.", // Parameter: avatar name

This could be edited to reflect the next steps to take in the quest chain.  But it would be better if the feedback from the Moodle grading is reflected instead.

The teacher can then take the objects and even grade the assignment in-world as shown below.

In addition to the above I installed the Activity Locking (AL) course format plugin in my Moodle server.

The AL format locks/unlocks succeeding activities based on prerequisites. It appears that PrimDrop is unaware of the locks because when I tried to submit to a locked assignment, it still accepted the submission. There is a need to hack the PrimDrop code for it to recognize locks and prerequisites.

In addition it would be great if the PrimDrop boxes could give an object in return as a reward or as an item for the next quest. Also it would be interesting to use llGiveMoney function in the OpenSim DTL Currency Server. Such that when the student completes the quest he/she can be given token OS money.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

100 npc bots in opensim

I need NPC bots as greeters, information providers, and quest givers. NPC bots are useful to reduce the loneliness of an empty virtual world (which is quite common).  I was able to spawn 100 server side bots in OpenSimulator ver. 0.6.9 following Kenneth Rougeau's instructions. I could have gone higher but the server was getting laggy. My problem with this approach is that I would have to roll back my sim from wherein the NPCModule is broken.

There are 104 avatars in this image, 3 failed to rezz and remain clouds
With respect to my current Philippine History game project, I could really use them as soldiers, shopkeepers, teachers, etc.  I was able to use Radegast's aiml plugin for a chatbot but the resources needed for running multiple instances of Radegast is larger than a server side NPC bot. I can also spawn multiple bots using a single instance of Radegast by using File->New window. And then logging in a new avatar as shown in the following screenshot.

This means I'm keeping multiple Radegast viewers open. Another drawback of this approach is that the two bots in the screenshot share the same aiml brain.  One could use a new brain by switching users in your computer, then running a Radegast viewer there. But then you'll have new xwindows instances and all the overhead of maintaining another account running in the desktop.

Creating a prim mannequin results in an ugly mannequin due to low level LOD at a distance, and the ceiling of 1024 verts per sculpty prim.

There's got to be a better solution out there, or hopefully someone will fix 0.7.x.x OpenSim's NPC Module.
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