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Passengers of SL


laben Core
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As many of you know, Second Life boasts a very active vehicle transport industry; from sailing ships to muscle cars.  Few however, offer passengers an experience equivalent to that provided by the aviation sector.

Shuttling from one destination to the next is a favorite pastime for many in Second Life. As a pilot, you have the thrill of directly affecting the outcome of the trip through your navigational abilities – server conditions permitting, of course. Passengers, on the other hand, have the freedom of surveying the churning landscape before them without having to concern themselves with the details of flight operation.

For years, freelance pilots and even dedicated airlines have sprung up to meet the needs of passengers wishing to charter flights in Second Life. The pilots who fly are as diverse as their aircraft of choice. Some offer grand tours throughout the grid in luxurious private jets while others employ non-traditional means of transport such as heavy lift helicopters and aerobatic prop planes. Prices tend to range from free to a nominal fee of only 20 lindens. Most pilots and airlines are exclusively based in areas accessible to the Blake Sea, Nautilus and China Sea on mainland.

So, what’s the problem? The number of participating pilots far outweighs the number of available passengers. Given that most residents prefer to do the flying rather than assuming the passive role of a passenger, this comes as no surprise. However, the ratio is so lopsided that many passenger aircraft that embark at the various airport terminals found throughout SL are often devoid of any passengers at all. In my opinion, this is more symptomatic of the lack of any real channel from which to make travel arrangements rather than an indication of residents having no interest in being passengers.

While I won’t claim to have all the right answers to this problem, I believe that a platform for both passengers and the pilots who fly them to communicate with each other would be a good starting point. To that end, I’ve created a group titled “Passengers of SL” (secondlife:///app/group/14cc8a34-8df1-5c5f-fb4c-bfed7debbfc9/about).

The basic aim of the group is to help connect pilots with passengers. Pilots can announce departure times and destinations in group chat. Notices that provide information about the pilot’s airline and rates, if any, can also be sent. Likewise, passengers can state their intentions to charter a flight. Normally, such information would be considered spam in other aviation groups – this one is made specifically for real time updates so everyone can keep abreast of everyone else’s status.

The group is open enrollment with three main generic roles: passenger, freelance pilot and airline pilot. The default is set to passenger  - pilots can personally notify me to be reclassified to either of the two other roles. General chat about flight conditions, passenger aircraft and airport status is also welcome.

At the moment the group is small, but my hope is that it will grow to be a useful tool for both pilots and passengers alike.

Any questions or comments? Feel free to IM me.

Thanks for reading.

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Any questions or comments? Feel free to IM me.

No questions but some comments if I may, please. Most passengers tend to fall off vehicles at every sim border. Their interwebz connections are just too feeble for them to survive. That's the reason why they prefer to ride as passengers in the first place instead of taking the wheel in their own hands. That works sometimes with slow vehicles like balloons and blimps and boats, maybe sometimes witth those terrible bot cars. But anything faster than super slow is bound to fail.

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Just thinking ....

You fly at a height of lets say 250m over ground and tell your passengers to set their view range to 500m. A few will vanish once they set the view range on their ancient machines. Thats good, makes space :)

That way you are out of range of the security orbs on ground and only need to navigate out of range of the security orbs in low skyboxes and out of banlines.

Every sim crossing will cost you at least 10% of your passengers. So if you have 10 crossings and more than one passenger left you can take it as a success.

The rest wants their money back.
If you give it back - in the future - the surviving passengers will teleport out of the vehicle after last sim crossing and want their money back too. So you need to offer the flights for free.

I dont excpect flights over ground beeing interesting. Maybe some spectacular looking sims but those are probably not constructed from a view from above or outside.

One detail - this is SL - I can teleport everywhere in an instant and I can fly on my own and - if i want to - can fly even faster than your plane :D And I don't even need navigation because I can teleport at every time and so always reach my target. :D

I suggest to drop thinking RL and start thinking SL

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Nova Convair wrote:

Just thinking ....

Every sim crossing will cost you at least 10% of your passengers. So if you have 10 crossings and more than one passenger left you can take it as a success.

After 10 crossings, you can expect to have 35% of your passengers left if you lose 10% of them every time.

100 * (0.9)^10 = 34.8678......

So even if you start with 3 people you can expect to have one left :)

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I wasn't planning on dismembering anyone, my math is the math, that's how you calculate it whether you like it or not. We could calculate it by showing the chance of having 0,1,2 or 3 people left every turn, which would be not that hard but very long...with might I add the very same results.

Your assumption is based on nothing, unless you mean 1 is close to 0, which is what the math says. :)

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".... the ratio is so lopsided that many passenger aircraft that embark at the various airport terminals found throughout SL are often devoid of any passengers at all. In my opinion, this is more symptomatic of the lack of any real channel from which to make travel arrangements rather than an indication of residents having no interest in being passengers."

My opinion differs. There isn't a reason for any SL resident to make 'travel arrangements' for the purpose of travel. Never will be. If we need to go somewhere we teleport.

That leaves only the novelty of the experience as a reason to take a plane trip. That might actually be greater than I think, and it's possible your idea of pilots announcing availability and groups of passengers requesting charters in your group chat might work. I wouldn't waste any time making airline schedules, though.

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Nova Convair wrote:

 

I suggest to drop thinking RL and start thinking SL

To turn that into a useful suggestion. I would suggest what was on my neighboring sim for a while (but in a XXX version there, this idea is the PG variation).

Build an airport at ground with a terminal and a plane people board by clicking a doorway with a walkthrough door animation (There is a door like this at builder's brewery called I think, the Anywhere Door).

Go through that door and they enter a skybox up at around 3000+ m up that is built to resemble the inside of a plane...

- Up there, you can do 'flight roleplay'.

 

MUCH BETTER than a vehicle, because you won't be limited to a certain land-impact, you won't worry about people getting lost in sim crossings, people won't have to remain seated, and props could be moved and unattached (like a food cart).

Your airport could have multiple skyboxes: passenger jet, coptor, private jet, small plane, even a 'LOST plane wreck crashed into the 'eyeball' of a quarter moon' made of cheese.

- That would be a viable roleplay. Much more than the problems one would face coordinating actual plane runs. But you could also put up a runway at ground for 'private planes' to land or take off' from.

 

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Nova Convair wrote:

One detail - this is SL - I can teleport everywhere in an instant and I can fly on my own and - if i want to - can fly even faster than your plane
:D
And I don't even need navigation because I can teleport at every time and so always reach my target.
:D

I suggest to drop thinking RL and start thinking SL

One reason I find this idea interesting is not for utilitarian purposes, as in I'm certainly not going to book a flight to go shopping when I can tp to each location, but rather as quasi-rp and meeting other people with similar interests.

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I'm reminded of the fun we used to have back in 2008 & 2009 flying friends, family and passengers around SL and crossing region boundaries. It became obvious which of the passengers had the slower internet link or PC as many of them would go poof from the pilots POV when we crossed regions. Later they reported falling to their deaths sans our aircraft. Thus we started including parachutes for passengers that would open automatically allowing them the fun of a slow tour of the region they ended up in as they safely fell to the earth.

 

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Nova Convair wrote:

So if you have... more than one passenger left you can take it as a success.

That's not how I fly.

If I have a single passenger left, I consider the flight a failure. (You've been warned, Czari.)

;-)

*Makes note to come prepared with a parachute*

Actually, some of the best times I had on SL were when my partner donned his IoW dragon avatar and, with me as the rider, went exploring.  Back in 2007-2008 sim crossings were even more precarious than they are now and it was always a gamble if we'd actually make it across together and intact.  More often than not the dragon saddle would be hovering in mid-air while my partner was flung to one end of a sim and me to the other.

Good times!

Edit: Typo

Edit Again: Typo - But as long as I saw that and have the edit window up, I found a photo for this post:

SpiritStormDragon.JPG

 

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I like the idea of flight roleplay a lot! It would be great for families going on holiday etc. The idea of a skybox seems like the best idea in this thread so far. I wouldn't very much like to be setting off for a holiday only to loose half of my family on the way. The skybox flight could actually be a lot of fun. 

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