It Begins: the Dawn of Custom Locomotion

by BONZO, HSM Editor

When released, the 1.7 update hinted at being a game changer for Home avatars. Animating items which would change animations for your avatar and Palace of the Seven winds suggested it in personal spaces, and nDreams brings it directly to your avatar in public spaces.

This is truly amazing stuff. nDreams has been no slouch on custom locomotion animation in costumes. These people brought us the floating reapers, and the jumping, flip flopping ninjas. But they were strictly restricted to the costumes, at least back then. Now you can wear any avatar clothes and still have these emotes.

So what are they bringing us? Pure 100-proof awesomeness.

Super Dash – allows your avatar to run faster than normal; it was mentioned 1.7 would allow your avatar to be manipulable to move up to 50% faster.

Zen Flight – will let you fly at a limited height in public spaces, don’t get too excited you can’t fly above Home structures. The cool thing about this one is that it lets you float around in the lotus position. Harness that avatar chi.

Super Flight – this one lets you fly like a superhero at different speeds. This would have been handy for the PSTalent superhero contest, but alas we didn’t have it yet.

Ninja Run – you can stealthily move like a ninja. From a stealthy move, to ninja run and into ninja sprint.

Inferno Hero – how cool would it be to fly like the human torch? It would be scorching hot. So make great use of this one.

Ice Hero – on the other side of the coin, you can glide through an ice platform you keep generating. It’s not exactly a flying emote, it’s some sort of physics-defying use of ice which I still wish Stan Lee would explain to me exactly how it works. Oh well, it doesn’t have to be explained; it just has to look cool. And it does.

Skateboards – I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t crazy about the costume the original skateboarder outfit came in — but I liked the skateboard emote. Problem solved. I want this skateboard. It looks awesome, ride it anywhere, and pop an ‘Ollie or two.

This is quite a progressive change for the avatars. Invisible items which allow you to change the locomotion of your avatar are a big deal. We knew what the 1.7 update change was bringing and now we see the fruits of that update — and developers are taking full advantage of it. Leave it to nDreams to really run with it and give us the top items on the wish lists, and from here developers need to think out side the box on how they will take advantage of this new ability.

Nonrestrictive wearable items, so you can have the majority of your wardrobe still at your disposal for customization. Who doesn’t win from this? Price point may be a deterrent for some of us, but from what I’ve seen I am ready to shell out the cost, and the tough part will be the will to not purchase all of them. These are awesome.

Can you really get any cooler than this? Of course you can. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities are huge, and so many dynamic possibilities can still be achieved. Home’s changes haven’t been strictly limited to the personal spaces, or inanimate portions of Home. The most dynamic changes happen with the avatars themselves because those avatars are the one thing we see everywhere we go.

nDreams and Juggernaut have jumped on these new options first, and I can’t wait to see what the other developers bring us. (Lockwood, I am looking in your direction.) This isn’t just about one developer or the other, but about all the developers in Home. We are reaching a point where expectations are getting higher, as new options are being introduced to the consumers. There is a danger of some entitlement on behalf of of the Home user, but I think many of us can still appreciate good design without having to include some crazy bells and whistles at the same time. After all, these new items just have to work together with the previous items and the future ones which have yet to come.

These new items and abilities are very cool, and we have been clamoring for them for a long time; patience has paid off. It is a great credit to the Home developers — all of them — that they have managed to stay positive and optimistic in developing for this platform and have seen it grow along with its consumers.

From day one, Home seemed to be filled with great potential for me, and I am very excited about the prospect of what is still to come. This sparks a tremendous level of competition for developers as well, and we the community of Home users and consumers are getting greater and greater options. With those options come ever greater expectations. But a little healthy competition just sparks a higher level of creativity that pushes the boundaries for the designers behind the cool content coming into Home.

Home has never been this cool before, and it was pretty awesome before. But what has grown from the user-generated content through ingenuity and creativity has now expanded into developer-supported win. It doesn’t stifle the creativity users have shown up to now, in resourcefully developing our own options for entertainment, but merely enhances our abilities to make great things happen. Things in Home are really looking up.

September 27th, 2012 by | 7 comments
BONZO is an editor and artist for HomeStation Magazine.

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7 Responses to “It Begins: the Dawn of Custom Locomotion”

  1. KrazyFace says:

    The emotes sound great, I’ve still to see one in action properly though. I’m waiting to see them actually being used before I put beardy-Benjamin’s down though. And after my massive splurge on my new space, I’m hesitant to spend.

    The thing that worries me though is that I might become spoiled by my new space; being able to drop off a ledge and just start flying in Home is really cool. Not awesome, awesome implies something like the comprehension of the size of our sun, AWE-some, in AWE of its sheer size. To say that an emote is awesome is a bit like saying we should erect 50ft statues devoted to their monumental contribution to humanity, y’know, awesome! Sorry, not having a go at you here Bon, just the way the word has become a pathetic shadow of itself from over use.

    Aaaaaaanyways, where was I? Oh yes! Being spoiled by Juggernauts new space; the problem here is that after being able to truly FLY in a space, these emotes are kind belittled to a kinda posey float. Like Superman on stabilizers. I’m not putting nDreams down here, I think they’ve done a great job with them (from what I’ve seen) but maybe something more grounded woulda been better, like a go-cart or roller-skates or something. Leave the flying till public spaces can properly accommodate them maybe.

  2. NorseGamer says:

    I’m going on record right now with this: we need the Ministry of Silly Walks.

    (Damn, that should be a Wishlist Saturday article…)

  3. SealWyf_ says:

    This reminds me of when Companions were introduced. (I think my first was the stuffed zombie kitten.) From those small beginnings, we now have life-sized realistic wolves, lions and tigers, wonderfully detailed dinosaurs, robot animals and animated strips of bacon. I have no doubt that we will be seeing a lot more custom emotes, motions and dances for sale over the next few months.

    Now what I would really love to see are shape-shifter add-ons: for instance, your normal avatar would turn into a wolf on command. Another command turns you back into a human. The alternate avatar would have all motions appropriate to its form. The wolf would run like a wolf, and make wolf-like gestures while idling. It would look like a Companion until it started talking, or stood up on its hind legs to do the Casual Dance.

    Would this even be possible? Perhaps not yet — it would require storing the equivalent of a full second avatar in the Companion slot, plus the proper transitional animations as one form changed to the other. But I never expected Companions or custom animations either. Who knows what Home will come up with next?

  4. SORROW-83 says:

    it’s just the beginning, i’m pretty sure n’dream is thinking to re-adapt their “dancer outfit” to this feature! and other devs will show us very soon their propositions!^^
    can’t wait!

  5. Scott says:

    I loved the ice man one, i paired it with the free chrome costume from Loot. Perfect marvel costume.

  6. Baron Brain says:

    A few of these are indeed rather cool -- I quite like the flaming one myself -- yet I doubt I’ll ever purchase any.

    Why?

    #1) Because I frankly think the asking price for these (and indeed, for most Home items) is ridiculous considering it’s merely a virtual item with a limited lifespan (i.e., when Home eventually shuts for good, it’s permanently gone). For $0.25-$0.49, I’d pick up the flaming torch; but @ $2.99-$3.99…not a chance.

    Overall virtual item pricing continually creeps ever higher, as Sony & Home devs bombard us with nearly non-stop pushes toward purchases. The innovation Home once strived for has given way to greed, and we’re being microtransactioned to near-death. I’d become so fed up with this trend, I no longer do ANY Home purchases (I’ve made only 1 purchase during the past two years…and that was a year ago. And no, before any of you ask, I’ve no objections how the rest of you spend your own quatloos.)

    #2) I’m certain that by the weekend, I’ll be tired of seeing these appearing everywhere. And with so many identical-looking users roaming about, any appeal these once had for me will have forever evaporated. (It will be exactly like Granzella’s recent “Cat Lady” release in Japan.) What can I say, I like my individuality…

    To those users who do decide to purchase these items, I hope you get much enjoyment out of them (really)! Just try not to run over us slower folk, ok? Please…?

    ‘Nuff said.

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