Friday, March 27, 2009

Finally... Feverlast

Tonight at the gym, after our regularly scheduled bouts, there's going to be a brawl staged to support the rollout of probably the most important product Averlast has ever offered. It's going to change the game as we know it, and make an Averlast fight a much more exciting show.

We're bringing in new gloves.

Those of you reading this who are not familiar with how Averlast boxing works might miss the significance of this change. The current brand of gloves, the ones that got the gym this far, are based upon a pair of freebie "gloves" that one can find inworld without too much effort. They're easy to spot, looking like a pair of fishbowls worn over the hands. Karine took the basic script, tweaked it in order to make it more suitable for competition, and then built the current gloves.

Up until now, these gloves were the heart of Averlast boxing. They triggered the animations, and were loaded with push scripts capable - at one time - of knocking an avatar clean across the gym. Then Linden Labs changed inworld physics, but that's not important right now. The point is that the push gloves have pretty much been the brand ever since Averlast started in 2007.

The Feverlast line has been in development for months. Karine hired a professional scripter and animator to make sure the job got done right. And he did a hell of a job, too.

Here's what boxers and fans can expect from Feverlast:

Resizable: The old gloves had to be "one size fits all" to make sure everyone was on a level playing field. While looking a bit on the big side for larger avatars, they looked like sofa cushions on the hands of smaller ones. Each Feverlast glove contains a "resize" script that a boxer can use to make his or her gloves more proportional without changing the effectiveness of the gloves.

More realistic animations: The "sword strike" animation that composed the old gloves' "big punch" has been replaced with a genuine uppercut. This and other changes means that the boxing looks more like... well, like boxing.

Damage and tracking of hits: The rule as it now stands is three ringouts equals a knockout win. Not anymore. Those punches actually "hurt" you now. Take enough of them and you'll be a crumpled heap on the floor. If you manage to avoid getting knocked out but still take a hammering, the system tracks that too, announcing the winner at the end. Yes, I realize that this means that "judge" will be an endangered job description after this release. [UPDATE: Karine informs me that judges will still need to be on hand and have several tasks and abilities under the new system, including being able to pause or stop fights if necessary - what, you expect me to actually know stuff?]

So tonight's the big rollout. As a special incentive to come in, the gloves will be offered at a special "one night only" discount to all who come.

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