Saturday, April 19, 2008

LIVE RESULTS - VSA Surf Jam 19 April 2008

Check out SurfWatch Results for live results of today's competition at Majini Island.

First post-Havok4 Surf Jam is ready to roll!

15 surfers to take part in the third VSA Surf Jam of 2008

Preparations on Majini Island are well underway for today's VSA (Vibrations Surf Alliance) Surf
Jam, which takes place at 1100hrs SLT (1800 hrs GMT) today (Saturday 19 April 2008). The third Surf Jam of 2008, this will be the first surfing competition to take place after the Havok4 code update and organisers are using all efforts to create the best competition conditions possible.

"We've swept-up some scripts, tuned the waves as best as possible in the new Havok4 environment and reduced prim traffic to make the Surf Jam as lag-free as possible," said VW Sands, Bishara Resorts manager. "In addition, we're asking all spectators to teleport to Bishara Island to help reduce the affect of visitor traffic. We're all looking forward to a great competition!"

15 competitors have signed up for the VSA Surf Jam, although only two out of the top three competitors from the last event were able to register for the competition.
Buffy Munro shone through at last month's Surf Jam, beating January's VSA champ ONeill Auer, who came second and Jaqueline Infinity who finished third. No doubt, with one win each under their belts this year, Buffy and ONeill will both be surfng hard to try to secure the spot on top of the winners' podium today.

The VSA's monthly Surf Jam's are members only competitions taking place on
Majini Island, part of the Bishara Resorts sim. However, fellow surfers, visitors and prospective members are always welcome to watch. Spectators should teleport to Bishara Island to watch the competition. Click here to teleport.

Today's heats will not be timed as they were last month, instead the judges will give everyone three waves each in the opening heats and semis, and five waves each in final. As always, the surfers' competing in the finals will have their best two waves counted as their final score for the competition. The following competition heats have been announced by the VSA:


1. Ariana Talaj (BLACK)
2. Abel Alderman (BLUE)
3. Buffy Munro (RED)
4. "Pinky" Pinklady (GREEN)
5. Bastante Little (ORANGE)

1. Wilfrid DeCuir (BLACK)
2. Cloudy Matova (BLUE)
3. Socks Clawtooth (RED)
4. Bretch Tigerpaw (GREEN)
5. AlexSurfer (ORANGE)

1. EvilBob (BLACK)
2. Quench Spotter (BLUE)
3. Tony Carter (RED)
4. ONeill Auer (GREEN)
5. Aluccino Pinazzo (ORANGE)

Surfers contact: VW Sands

1st post-Havok4 havoc Second Life surfing competition
Buffy wins big at Surf Jam! (8 Mar 08)
Surfing Calendar - March-April 2008
ONeill Crowned VSA Surf Jam champ! (2 Feb 2008)
SurfWatch: SURF REPORT -- Majini Island

SLURL: Bishara Beach (spectator area for the VSA Surf Jam)

Friday, April 18, 2008

No fix date for Havok4 surfing

Surfing community struggles with Havok4; Linden Lab considers options

No topic is hotter in the surf community these days than Havok4, the server code that affected waves and wave/board interactions rolled out by Linden Lab at the beginning of April. However, surfers that were expecting a quick fix may be disappointed. It's a complex issue and no strategy has yet been decided on by the Havok4 roll-out team
to-date and it makes little sense for Heather Goodliffe to make changes to board and wave scripts until Linden Labs can confirm what fixes it might introduce. "I don't have a specific fix date for the waves, because we're still reviewing the issues," said Sidewinder Linden, program manager for the Havok 4 project, talking to SurfWatch.

Sim owners are struggling with unpredictable and/or nonfunctioning waves; retailers
are losing sales of waves and boards; surfers are trying to negotiate buoyancy and movement issues; and surfing wave and board designers are unsure what to do next. Some surfing sim owners have had to make major changes in order to accommodate Havok4. Bishara Resorts owner Dumisani Ah said the Havok4 changes have had a "massive impact on Majini Island due to the EPIC II wave problems and this has impacted the sales of all the board and wave vendor owners directly as well. It's been a struggle to get the sims waves adjusted." Majini is currently running pipeline waves and fluffies only.

Oddly, it seems that it was only very recently that the Havok4 roll-out team understood that Heather Goodliffe's waves had any function past visual presence or that they had a purpose "other than to look nice".
"My first encounter with Heather's waves was in trying to figure out why certain regions were having performance problems," said Sidewinder. "After some 'look for high impact scripts'-work with some regions, we figured out that those waves were a particularly heavy impact and noticed that if they were removed, the simulator stats were much better."

"The next step will be to talk to Heather about some strategies for creating a wave set that has lower impact and at the same time discuss whether there are any efficiency optimizations we can do to improve things from the simulator perspective," explained Sidewinder. "Although Havok4 does many things faster than Havok1, there are some physics operations that are less efficient in the Havok4 physics engine and we have discovered that some in-world content 'trips' on those areas."

"We have several high priority items on deck at the moment," continues Sidewinder. "We are working through the list and are trying to make things work well for everyone: within the constraint that we don't want to cripple the future to support the past - and that's always a hard line to walk with these kinds of upgrades. We'll keep working the issues, and want involvement from people who are seeing problems. I suspect that the waves solution may be a combination of script or design adjustments and some optimisations: if we can find any, since none really stood out as obvious when we first looked at them."

Second Life wave and board retailers all shared the sense of uncertainty. There are boards now available that are Havok4 compatible and reduce the problems surfers face with their older boards. Schrottvogel Wei, owner of the SJA surf shops told SurfWatch that he currently carries a line of Havok4 compatible boards. Radical Twang, owner of Reaction, commented "custom boards made from now onwards are being made with an updated script to work with Havok4 and we're currently looking into updating all the board scripts on sale, though we fear that if the issue is fixed, it'd be a big waste of time updating so many scripts, to then have everything reverted back to an original working standard".

What will happen to the older board inventory if the new Havok4 board script becomes the new standard also remains in question. It is estimated that Second Life residents collectively own thousands of surfboards and retailers have hundreds of boards in stock. "We're waiting on Linden Labs to fix some of the issues they introduced, since any fix I do will require significant logistics to replace everyone's boards and will probably be broken once Linden Lab fixes things from their end," said Heather.

By Barchan Paderborn and Tauri Tigerpaw

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rezzable changes Surfline venue

Rezzable, owner-developer of the Surfline sims, announced late Wednesday that the upcoming SLSA Surfline Shortboard Pro surfing competition due to be held on Saturday 26 April 2008 will now not be held on Rezzable Discover as expected, but on a newly revamped Surfline Epic and Aloha sims. The Surfline Shortboard Pro has already been affected by a string of real life and Second Life circumstances over the past few weeks including its most recent deferment due to the total lock-down of the Second Life grid two weeks ago. Surfline management had confirmed earlier this month that the twice-postponed surfing competition would be held on the Rezzable Discover sim.

Rezzable's Surfline Epic sim today running pipeline 2.0 beta waves

"Our Surfline SL 'project' is coming to a very quick close this week," read last night's message from Kalani Koga on the SLSA Forum website, explaining that the Rezzable Discover and Rezzable Create sims would be turned over to future projects. "We've been furiously working on our home beaches, Epic and Aloha, to bring you a similar break and lineup!!! In actuality, what we've done is taken our lessons learned from Discover and Create, and have applied them in a more modular and prep-friendly design."

It true that the Surfline Epic and Aloha sims have been competely changed and the Surfline Epic sim is now running pipeline 2.0 beta waves which run onto a newly formed beach on Surfline Aloha. However, the
Surfline Aloha sim (see pic above) hardly looks prim and script-free in comparison to the superb competition conditions created at Rezzable Discover. Surfers will obviously be hoping that Rezzable is able to create and manage a competition pipeline 2.0 set-up on the redesigned sim in what is still a difficult and unpredictable post Havok4 environment for Second Life waves.

The new competition sign on Rezzable Aloha.

SurfWatch hopes that the sign on Rezzable Aloha beach sim quoting the wrong date is not a bad omen.

Update 1100 hrs SLT
More background information is now available on this story in the SLSA Forum here, courtesy of Surfline's Kalani Koga.

Update 17 April 2008
Gweneth Lange points out on the Rezzable blog that the picture at the top of this story is misleading, since the islands visible are actually on neighbouring sims and not on the main Surfline Aloha sim itself. We concur.

SurfWatch: SurfLine Shortboard Pro competition postponed (5 Apr 08)
Second Life grid lock-down could stop SurfLine competition (5 Apr 08)
Wave concerns continue to dog SurfLine preparations (4 Apr 08)
SurfWatch: Tide turns as Shortboard Pro Heats Drawn (3 Apr 08)
Linden Labs Code Change Threatens Second Life Surfing (2 Apr 08)
New waves, new sim for SurfLine Shortboard Pro (2 Apr 08)
Registrations close for Surfline (25 Mar 08)
SurfWatch: SLSA announces competition date changes (13 Mar 08)

SLSA Forum: Surfline SL announcement
URL: SurfLine Aloha

Monday, April 14, 2008

Server shut downs may affect surfing sims

Scheduled maintenance events announced by Linden Labs between Sunday 13 April and Wednesday 16 April 2008 may affect Second Life surfing, particularly on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

1,400 Second Life regions are expected to experience three hours of downtime on one or the other of those days/nights.
Unfortunately, there is no way of predicting which sims will be affected by the shut downs and on which days.

Linden Labs will shut down several servers at the following times, for three hours each time:
  • 2200 hrs Monday 14 April 2008 to 0100 hrs Tuesday 15 April 2008 SLT or PDT (equivalent to 0500 hrs to 0800 hrs GMT Tuesday 15 April 2008)

  • 2200 hrs Tuesday 15 April to 0100 hrs Wednesday 16 April 2008 SLT or PDT (equivalent to 0500 hrs to 0800 hrs GMT Wednesday 16 April 2008)
These server shut downs may or may not affect your favourite Second Life surfing sim! There are a few more details on the Second Life blog, but not much.

Story update 15 April 2008:
Linden Labs will also be doing a rolling restart of Second Life servers this Wednesday and Thursday to roll out the patches to the new Havok4 servers including security patches and performance improvements.

The restarts will begin at the following times:
  • 2000 hrs SLT Wednesday 16 April 2008 (500 regions will be affected)

  • 0530 hrs SLT Thursday 17 April 2008 (1,600 regions will be affected)

  • 1800 hrs SLT Thursday 17 April 2008 (all of Second Life will receive the 1.21 server deploy; this will take 5-6 hours to complete)
All regions will receive warnings beginning five minutes before they are shut down. During the rolling restart, regions should be back 5-10 minutes after they are stopped.