Terra Project-Specific Instructions

Now that you have completed the Introduction to Second Life you need to get to Middlebury’s hosted land as well as to perform some other small tasks to ready you for the simulation. Please follow these step-by-step instructions:

Terra Project Instructions


1. Joining the Terra Project Group as a Citizen:

Citizenship in the Terra Project consists of being a member of the Terra Project Second Life group. The land owned by Middlebury College is only open to members of this group so you will have to join before you can go there. To see the groups you are in click on the group panel under the “Communicate” button. In order to join the group you must be invited by an officer. To let an officer know that you need to join the group simply open up the “Search” window and under the People panel search for “Moondance Morpork” (yes, that is someone's Second Life name and no, they cannot change it). Open his profile and click the “Instant Message” button to open up an IM window. Send a quick note saying that you want to be added to the Terra Project group and you will be added as soon as possible.

2. Getting to the Simulation:

Click on the following Second Life link (SLurl) to go to Middlebury's hosted land. This SLurl will take you to an overhead map of Middlebury’s land shown on Second Life's website with a window that has additional information and a button that says “Teleport Now”. Clicking on this button will open a smaller window prompting you to open the Second Life program, click “OK”. If you already have Second Life open then a landmark box should pop up which will allow you to teleport to the Middlebury land. If you do not have Second Life open then it will be opened for you and after you have successfully logged it you will automatically be taken to the Middlebury Land. Either way, after a short loading screen you should appear in a small area bordered by water on two sides. Some large signs reading “Second Life @ Middlebury” should be located up in the air.

3. Setting the Terra Project to be your Home:

Once you have successfully arrived at the Terra Project, click on the world menu at the top left of the Second Life window and choose the “Set Home to Here” option. Once this is set you can easily teleport back here at any time by clicking the “Go Home” button in the upper right corner of the map screen.

4. Getting your Colored Political Indicator:


Now that you are at the Terra Project the first step of the simulation is to take a political questionnaire which will give you a colored halo to wear based on your answers. The point of this colored halo is to allow anyone in the simulation to easily get an idea of someone else’s political leanings at a glance. This will hopefully help to facilitate the creation of political parties. In order to take the questionnaire you must locate one of the blue boxes located around the Terra Project that says “Political Ideology Test” on it. Left-click (“touch”) the box to start the test. The box should turn red indicating that the test has started and a window with an economic or social statement will appear. Based on whether you strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree, or are unsure about these statements click on the corresponding button in the window. There are 24 statements to answer, once all 24 are completed you will be asked if you would like to accept an item (your colored halo) from the test box. Once you accept the item it will be in the Objects folder in your inventory. To wear the colored halo simply locate it in your inventory and then click and drag it onto your avatar. It should appear above your avatar’s head. To see where you fall on the political spectrum locate your halo’s color on one of the color charts located near the political test boxes.

Note: Once you click on a questionnaire box it will turn red indicating that a questionnaire is now in progress. To stop or restart the questionnaire simply click on the box again. Please do not click on 'a red questionnaire box unless you are intending to reset it as it may interrupt someone else's questionnaire if they are currently using that box.

5. Creating a political party:

1. Political parties are going to be created using Second Life’s built-in group system. Much like everyone in the Terra Project is a member of the Terra Project group, everyone in a political party will be a member of that party’s group. Groups allow you to give specific roles to certain members, easily send messages to all members, and bring up proposals for the party to vote on. Before you can join a political party someone must create a group for the party.
     a. In the “Communicate” window there is a group tab. If you can’t see the group tab at the top make sure you have the contact tab clicked at the bottom. If you click on this group tab it will list the groups that you are currently a member of and give you options on the right side to IM/message a group, see the groups profile, or create a new group. One member of the party needs to create the group and then they can invite additional members. It costs 100 Linden (the currency of Second Life, L$260 = U.S.$1) to create a group so the creator must have enough Linden (you will be provided with a small amount of Linden in order to facilitate this process). Each of you has been provided with 150 Linden to get started.
     b. During the Creation Process you must come up with a name for the group/party and you may add text to the group’s charter and give the group an insignia as well (both of these things can be done later). At the end of your party’s name, please put Midd in parentheses, to make your party readily searchable for our simulation. For example: Raging Donkeys (Midd). Make sure the “make group searchable” checkbox is checked so other citizens can easily find your group’s profile. Once you are done creating the group click ok.
     c. To add members to the group you need to get to the groups profile, which can be accessed by clicking the “Info” button in the groups section of the “Communicate” window. From the group’s profile the various options such as editing the profile, managing member roles, sending group notices, and creating proposals can be accessed from the tabs at the top of the window. Under the “Member’s and Roles” tab you can edit member’s roles and add new members by clicking the “Invite new Person” button. Then click the "open person chooser" and search for the person to invite by name. Once you have selected all of the people you wanted to invite simply press the “Send Invitation” button and they will be invited.

6. Viewing a Party's Profile/Joining a Party:

All political party groups should be searchable from the “Search” window. You can also view any political party that another person might be in by right-clicking on them, choosing to see their profile, and then seeing what groups they currently belong to. You can also double click on any groups/parties that they are in, from this window, to see the party profile. When you find a political party group that you would like to join you need to be invited by an officer. Simply instant message an owner of the group by double clicking any of the bold names listed on the group’s profile and clicking the “Instant Message” button to send them a message stating that you want to be let into the group. Even if the person is not currently online the message will be stored and resent to them when they next log in. They will also have a small button appear in the lower left corner of their screen to let them know that they missed your message.

7. Building:

Almost everything in Second Life has been created for users by users using the program’s built-in tools. The building tools in Second Life are fairly easy to start using but offer a lot of options and depth for people interested in learning to create more complex objects. To start building you can either click the blue “Build” button at the bottom of the screen or you can right-click on an object and choose “edit” from the options wheel. Either way it should bring up the build window on the left side of your screen. There are five buttons along the top of this window that will allow you to create and manipulate your objects and change the different options available directly underneath them.

•    The button with the magnifying glass with the plus sign in it on the far left gives you options to change your view of what you are building by panning, orbiting, and zooming. Clicking one of these options and then moving the mouse with the mouse button held down will adjust these various features.

•    The next button with the hand in it will allow you to click and drag your objects into various positions through moving, lifting, and spinning.

•    The Third button with the small box and arrow in it will give you options on how to manipulate your object’s shape. You have options to change position, rotate, and stretch your object. When the position option is chosen your object will feature colored arrows that will allow you to move your object along the various axes by clicking and dragging on the arrows. When the rotate option is chosen your object will be shown with different colored circles around it. By clicking and dragging on any of these circles you can rotate your object around the various axes. When the stretch option is chosen your object will feature small colored boxes on each of its sides and grey boxes in its corners. By clicking and dragging on any of the colored boxes you can stretch and shrink the object along the various axes. By clicking and dragging any of the corner boxes you can stretch and shrink the object while keeping its relative shape the same.

•    The Fourth button with the magic wand is what you use to create a new object. The different buttons with pictures of shapes on them allow you to change the initial shape of the object that you want to create. To create an object simply click inside the world where you want the object to be created.

•    Besides these four basic buttons and the options for each that are displayed below them there are more options in the panels that take up the bottom half of the building window. These options include changing the object’s name, adding textures and scripts, and manipulating the object’s position and rotation more precisely using exact measurements in units of length and degrees. These options are beyond the scope of this tutorial and more information on how to use them can be found by searching the web.

Building your first object: a billboard

•    Making the billboard shape: To create your billboard first open the build window and select the magic wand from the top row of buttons (fourth from the left). Then make sure the image of the cube is selected in the options below. Now click anywhere outside of the window (in the actual Second Life world) to create your cube.


Now that you have your cube you must stretch it into a billboard shape. Click on the button with the arrow and the box from the top row of buttons (third from the left) and click on the stretch option that appears underneath.


Now click and drag one of the red or green boxes on the sides of your cube to stretch the cube to the length you want for your billboard. Then click and drag on one of the boxes on the other side of the cube (red or green, whichever color you didn’t click on before) to shrink the width of your billboard.


Now click and drag the top blue box on your cube to change the height of your cube to the height you want for your billboard.


Now you should be finished with the final shape and have a tall, wide, and thin billboard. If you want to change the direction in which your billboard is facing simply click on the rotate option and then click and drag the blue circle around the billboard to orient it the way you want.

•    Uploading a texture for your billboard: Now that the billboard shape is done you can upload a texture (picture) to slap on the side of it to advertise. To upload a picture simply open the file menu at the top left of your window and choose the “Upload Image” option (Note: uploading an image costs $10 Linden per image). This should open up a window allowing you to browse to the file of the image that you would like to upload (.jpg files are the best for images). You can grab an image off of the Internet using something like GoogleImages or you can create your own image in Photoshop or some other graphic design software. Once you’ve chosen the image file that you would like to upload, you will be shown a preview and given the chance to name the image before uploading. Once you click the upload button the image will be uploaded and placed in the textures folder in your inventory. From here all you have to do is click and drag it from your inventory onto your billboard or wherever you would like to place it (you can click and drag images into your personal and group profiles in this way also). This image will stay in your inventory and you can apply it to as many objects as you want.

•    Placing the billboard in your Inventory: Now that your billboard is complete and you have uploaded your image onto it you will want to put it in your inventory and take it with you. First you will want to give it a name by clicking on the “General” tab in the bottom half of the building window and changing the name-field from “Object” to whatever you want to call your billboard. Next you will want to right click on your billboard and choose the “Take” option to place it in your inventory. Your billboard will show up as whatever you named it at the top of the items in the object folder in your inventory. To take it out again simply click and drag it from your inventory to wherever you would like to place it in the virtual world. Once it is in your inventory you can place as many as you want (but please try not to annoy everyone by filling up a whole space with your billboards). You can always edit the rotation, size, etc of your billboard by right-clicking on it (it has to be in the world, not just in your inventory) and choosing the edit option. To save any changes simply right-click and choose “Take” to put the new edited copy in your inventory as well. To delete extra objects that you don’t want lying around simply choose to edit them and then hit the delete button on your keyboard.

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