Friday, February 8, 2013

Laser Launched

The virtual Laser was launched a few days ago. Sadly, I wasn't able to attend the event, but I hear they had a wonderful race. As in full of wonders; Crashes included, teehee. Anyway, here's a few pics of the final version. So far.
Hiking hard in the afternoon sun...
There's a couple of things worth mentioning. First, the steering. I haven't mentioned it before, but on the test versions the steering was... shall we say less than optimal. Not flaky or bad, - just not precise enough to satisfy racers. In a boat this lively, you need to do small and precise adjustments on the direction. Continously. It's been fixed. Weeee.
Who's shadowing who?
Then there's the fittings. Look closely at the picture above. Can you see it? There's carbon blocks all over. Well, except for that thing there on the mast. The test version had Harken ALU fittings, but they (Harken) have a whole series of Laser carbon fittings including the tiller extension available at a bargain price. (Not). All that extra gear is now included in the standard virtual Laser. Woohooo.
Close race
These pictures? We didn't really race. It was more of a cruise. I know I had coffee while underway. Was looking for a cupholder. Dunno what Dutch had. We sailed from Tradewinds down south, all around the Blake Sea and then back home. Such a refreshing sail. The boat really sails very well. The feeling is great, and it's dead easy to sail. Still, it requires so much attention to sail it fast. 
Beating around the... island?
Bottom line? It's a really nice and fun boat. It has serious limitations when it comes to racing though. No windshadow, no bending, no currents and waves and no local windshifts. More on that in a future post. For now lets focus on the fun. Even with the missing WWC features, I'd say it is worth the money. Nuff talk. There's a free demo available at Dutch's hide-away. Go try it and decide for yourself. Then maybe come back here and share your thoughts. 

14 comments:

  1. The sail looks wrong. The starburst logo looks to be too big and too low. And the numbers are way too low. Didn't the designer even look at a picture of a real Laser sail?

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    1. I think he looked at lot at a real Laser. Maybe he was tired of looking, when he finally got to doing the sails. In any case, it is easy to fix. I also think your feedback is important. Why? We're so stunned by the accuracy in this replica, we tend to miss the obvious.

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  2. The logo isn't a starburst, it's a "laser" dot.

    The numbers don't have a required height btw. Every organization can put them where they like. Maybe if you look at a lot of pictures you'll see the difference from one sail to another.

    This might also be a good time to mention that texturing the sail yourself is really easy. I think they're perfect but if you want a different one, it takes about 15 minutes with the templates provided.

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    1. I'm confused. Are we discussing how to make a Laser in a virtual world that at least looks look approximately like a Laser in the real world? Or how to make some virtual creation called a Laser which bears little resemblance to a Laser in the real world.

      If the latter, please feel free to draw squiggly graphics all over the sail and make the hull 130 ft long.

      If the former, then the Laser class rules DO define the sizes of the numbers and where they must be placed. Sorry, I didn't make the rules. Just reporting on reality.

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  3. Jeez Tillerman, get a life. Does the boat sail well? Do you miss WWC compability? Those are 'important' issues. Who cares if a logo is too big, too high or crooked. In the Netherlands we have a word for people like you, (roughly translated) antfucker!

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    1. I agree that WWC is a much more important issue than the blister in the sail, but go easy on Tillerman. He is from RL. How would he know about the missing WWC :-D

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    2. I don't even know what a WWC is! I've just been sailing Lasers in the real world for about 30 years and thought you virtual people might be interested in my observations on what a real Laser looks like, since none of you seem to know.

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    3. Yes, thanx! It is always nice with RL input; There is so much work in building a good boat, we tend to ignore those small details. The Laser is raising the barre on the visual resemblance, and that is really nice. Incidentally, WWC means Wind, Waves, Current. It is a system providing a simulation of a sailboat racing environment. It is not perfect, but it's pretty good.

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  4. 2 points.... Isn't the laser protected by copyright? I don't think I will buy one, I have seen what Linden Lab finally get of their backside in cases like this.. The maker gets banned from SL and vigorously chased through the american court system. The suckers that brought their boats get their inventory impounded and inspected by the men from the Lab. All objects found to be copyrighted will be taken out. Copyright theft in real life is just as bad as copyright theft in Second Life. Don't bitch about copybots or people stealing your ideas if you buy this boat. Unless you have the copyright owners permission in writing its theft, plain and simple.

    Secondly why does the boat have the graphic on the hull?? X40 series?? on a laser??? wouldn't it be better just to have a plain hull?? Again the graphic is copyrighted.

    L$1500 is alot of money for a model of a boat that could be quite easily picked up and imported from Turbo Squid, an a poor sailing engine stuck in quickly.. I'm not saying this has happened but looking at the makers lack of morals in "borrowing" copyrighted materials I would have to hold my disbelief.

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    1. No. The Laser is not protected by copyright. But the Laser name and the starburst (sic) logo are trademarks whose rights are owned by the current Laser manufacturers in RL (or companies closely associated with those manufacturers.)

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    2. Good thing it's not the real logo on the version that's for sale then ;)

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    3. It is clearly a likeness of the Laser starburst symbol. It's just a bit too large and it's in the wrong place. I'm not sure that would be an excuse that would hold up if someone tried to make a boat like this in the real world and the trademark owner decided to sue them.

      But do real life copyright and trademark owners sue if someone infringes their rights in Second Life?

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  5. Firstly, search Turbosquid before you make these accusations. There's no Lasers there. Not this one.

    Second, the X40 logo isn't on the version that's for sale.

    Thirdly modern marketing strategies include allowing use of brand names in video games, because of the simple fact that it sells more of the real thing. For a company to vigorously *ssfuck someone because of this really wouldn't be in their best interest.

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  6. I had to look up that Turbosquid thingy. It seems there is no Laser there, but suppose there was. What difference would it make? AFAICS none. It's still just another Laser replica, and you can't be sued for copying a replica, or can you?

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Noodle says hi and behave :-)