A weakness has overcome me recently, dear reader, whereby I have been drawn away from respectable life, the day-to-day affairs of the world - my profession, even - and into the shadowy Other World, wherein one may play at having a "real job", though it is, truth be told, a poor imitation. After all, in the real world one picks an occupation which one enjoys participating in and produces items for the amusement of both creator and purchaser; resources and economic potential are distributed on a basis of mutual exchange of efforts.
In this Other World - bear with me, it is somewhat fantastical - certain folk are in possession of the means of production, and one must perform bizarre rituals to placate them and gain their favour, which is required to survive. I have heard such things referred to as "grinding" and it seems an appropriate term; carrying out tasks which one knows are pointless brings to mind the grinding of the gears of some immense, irrelevant machine. However, one can get into a state of mind where one is prepared to fritter away all the hours of the day not required for sleep upon such endeavours, and achieve nothing of note in the Real World.
Quite frankly I tire of this "game" - though its irrational adherents deny that it is any such thing - and I have made a personal decision to concentrate a little more on what is important. Recently I have been constructing - never one to actually produce something on time for any festive season one cares to name, but there will be snow on the ground for some while yet - a triple-barrelled Snowball Cannon, as well as an attachment which makes one vulnerable to the excessive chills of snowball assault.
(It must be said that somewhat exotic power sources were required to construct a machine which not only sucked in water vapour from the atmosphere but also froze it into ballistically-suitable projectiles - but the snowballs emitted are only slightly radioactive, and pose no real threat from brief exposure, except if one were to eat them, which I would not advise.)
The snowball victim attachment in fact detects any collision with an object having the last seven letters of its name "nowball", and with each one increases one's cold percentage, so that one moves from "Toasty Warm" to "Frozen Stiff" if one is not careful to evade such projectiles. This system allows for any sort of snowballs to be thrown, as long as, well, they are actually called "snowball" or similar. The Cold percentage can be reduced by moving through boxes of warming brandy.
The basic principle of this attachment is that it takes one's movement controls when one reaches "Frozen Stiff", and refuses to do anything with them, or pass them on. Thus one is paralysed. In addition to this there is a signal sent on a particular channel, which scripts can listen for to prevent their users from firing snowballs etc when they are frozen.
The system has been tested this afternoon and seems robust enough. A scoreboard prim is available to keep count of who has been frozen solid and how many times. I also have a less formidable Snowball Rifle, without quite the engine capacity of the larger version, and a simple hand-held Thrower of Snowballs (at low velocity and with a far lower rate of throwing than either of the preceding devices) will be available free, gratis and for nothing.
One issue perhaps of interest to Scripters is that the "cold victim" attachment, when taking controls, at times interferes with existing attachments that have previously taken controls before it is attached. For instance, if one holds a snowball rifle, then attaches the victim cube, occasionally, when frozen and then released by time, one will then be unable to fire the weapon. This is not very convenient and has no rational reason behind it that I can see, though if one attaches the cube then the weapon (or detaches and re-attaches the weapon) it does not seem to occur.
(Please note that none of the above are immediately available - I will post when I have actually put them up for sale.)
(Addendum 2006-12-31: blast it, due to everything I've been unable to get the things out this weekend; I will attempt to finally do so tomorrow.)
Steampunk Snowball Fights For Second Life...
Very worth noting: The intensely creative Ordinal Malaprop, one of Second Life’s most prominent Steampunk figures, is in the process of putting together “a triple-barrelled Snowbal