Saturday, November 22, 2014

Terra Xplorer

Renowned Second Life builder and aviation expert Cubey Terra has released a new product after quite a few years of dormancy (or simply enjoying himself), the Terra Xplorer. Announced on his blog on 20 November, Cubey made everyone wait two days before they could get their hands on one. Not one to wait, I went ... um ... Xploring.

Look what I found! A full beta unit just laying around in Georgian! I posted about it here and here.
No, that's not a real product in the picture. Having seen the basic appearance from the blog, and being impatient, I mocked up a board with exhaust flame and mounted it on an invisible Linden 2009 Hoverboard for functionality. It didn't fool Cubey nor did it earn me an early production model, but I zipped out today and got one for myself and for my friend Xandah since I knew she had the Terra Z Transport, a vehicle that the Xplorer seems to be based upon. Here's what she has to say:


Terra Z Transport, no longer available for sale.
To start, I refreshed my memory of the Terra Z Transport, one of the very first vehicles I bought when joining Second Life. If you rez one on the ground it asks to attach to you or you can simply attach one from your Inventory. Turn off your AO and use the same controls you would to fly. It is that simple. A HUD allows you to change the color scheme of the main body and the accents. The exhaust flame matches the color of the accents as does the HUD.

Terra Z Transport dashboard
The Z has a control stalk with hand grips and functional readouts for altitude and airspeed. Not that you can see them in use, mind you, but the HUD shows the same information and has a slider to control a speed boost. Otherwise your speed is the same as walking or running.

Terra Xplorer HUD
The HUD for the Terra Explorer is essentially the same but with one addition: The Eye Button will hide the attached board and disable the board's animations so there is no need to detach it for walking.

Terra Xplorer in action. L$250 at Cubey Terra Aeronautics (SLurl).
You can also visit the Marketplace.
The Terra Explorer is essentially the same vehicle, sans the control stalk and with better animations. Turning or banking with the Z results in awkward tilting motions anchored to a strange pivot point. The same actions on the Xplorer give your avatar a delightful little hip sway as if your body is controlling the motion. Turning while flying with either unit decreases your altitude so be careful around water.

Up close. Exhaust shuts off when not moving. Stable enough for high heels.
This is a fun little craft and I look forward to using it more. The ability to hide the Xplorer rather than needing to detach for ground travel is a big plus. Be sure to box a copy of everything you get in the sales delivery folder for backup. Everything is full Copy.

Thanks, Xandah! Good report! I should note for editorial integrity that I gave Xandah the money to buy the Xplorer.

My experience (or is that Xperience?) with the board was entirely pleasant. A 1/8th boost in speed is very comfortable. Anything more than that and you will easily out fly your Draw Distance and the speed with which objects near you rez. Save high speed for races or high altitude.

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