The Rising Sea node
This node (TRS for short) is a collaboration between Daniel Murfet, Ziling Ye and Lucas Cantor. On this page you will find some eye candy and comments on our experience running events. This is also a place to cite some influences: Grothendieck (innocence, play and all that), Gwern, Jonathan Blow.
The Knot (note how the shadows give a 2D projection, with darkness serving as a marker of over and under-crossings):
Office hours at the peak of the Island:
The Weiqi board at the Island. There is a video of this being constructed:
Here are some of DM’s thoughts:
The potential for beauty in virtual spaces, using a combination of visuals, interaction design, music and art, is much undervalued. In my view, a metauni node should aim to synthesise this kind of beauty with a sense of play and an unapologetic commitment to serious and difficult intellectual activity. That is the ideal we are trying to model with TRS.
In Event 2 (the Build Your Own Node event, video1, video2) we spent hours helping people get through these instructions. If this had been done on Zoom I’m quite certain the ambient mood would have been one of bitter frustration, but my sense was that people were having a good time even when they were stuck due to the spirit of play that pervades a well-designed virtual world (people would take breaks from following the instructions to try knock over signposts and kick them down into the Well of Past Events, for instance).
metauni on an iPad is pretty great. You can run both Roblox and Discord on the device, and the former runs well since recent iPad hardware has very good performance in 3D games. Moreover if you have an Apple Pencil you can use it on the in-world whiteboards, and although it is a bit laggy it is definitely usable for short mathematical conversations.
Discord is a functional replacement for Zoom with respect to sharing screens, but just like the free version of Zoom has certain limitations, so does the free tier of Discord. If you upgrade your server you can unlock higher resolution screen sharing (the free version is OK but you find it unusable depending on what you are doing) and higher audio quality. It’s possible to mirror an iPad to a Mac and then screenshare, but it is probably better to just use in-world whiteboards which are already quite functional with an iPad, or a native app like GoodNotes with collaborative sharing.
Apparently there is no dedicated GUI for kicking players from your Roblox world. However this can be done from the server console: press
fn+F9on a Mac) and on the
Server. Then at the command line type
PlayerNameis the Roblox username you wish to kick.
You can access a free floating camera with
Left Shift + Pif you want to check out what is going on in your world.
If you’re using
GetChildrento build a slide deck, so you want the order of images in the Explorer to be the order they appear in, you might be disappointed because the order returned by
GetChildrenis the order the
Parentproperty was set (roughly speaking, “who got added first”). A workaround is to make a Folder, drag all your objects there, and drag them back into the Parent object in the order you wish them to appear in
If you’re trying to use the TRS Weiqi board you should
Enable Studio Access to API Servicesin Roblox Studio.
Notes from Event 3 (Lucas’s talk). The speaker was great. Another thing that helped the talk feel engaging were the parallel streams of communication involving both the speaker and the audience. There was the in-game chat, in which people were not only asking questions but also cracking jokes, as well as the Discord channel were some people were sharing memes. There is no doubt in my mind that this (whatever it is) feels closer to the natural form of an online event than Zoom (thanks to Will Troiani for bringing this point to my attention).
Adding existing places to a game is a bit awkward. Here’s one way that works: publish your Roblox place
place1as its own game, add a place to the existing game (in
Settings > Places) and then use
Publish to Roblox Asto overwrite that new place with
Decals can take up to 48 hours to pass through the Roblox filtration process (before which the creator will see them in a live Roblox world, but everyone else will see a blank image). So if you are giving talk events, make sure you upload the slides as PNGs well before the event and have a backup plan (e.g. presenting through Discord). You should also test the slides using a different account (as your primary account will not be able to tell that the decals have failed to finish processing).