When I wrote about the ability of Blue Mars to depict your avatar from a god's eye view high up, I didn't know you could control that view, and take it pretty much anywhere around you. But in Grid Rock City, you now can -- just by hitting F3. Behold, especially around :12, when the camera zips past my avatar:
While most Blue Mars cities don't enable this detached camera (least those I've visited), the code to do it already exists: "[T]he camera is actually available in the City Editor," Grid Rock's lead developer, CoreyEvans, tells me. (Corey's known in Second Life as whyroc Slade.) It's an incredibly fun feature, and far as I can tell, the camera can rove all over the local Blue Mars area, even a mile or two away from your avatar. As it happens, it's in Grid Rock pretty much by accident:
"I had experimented with it a few months ago and had totally forgotten about it," says Corey. A colleague named Dude Starship (oh yes) pointed this out, and it's now a publicized feature. "Since it's so popular I think we will leave it in, we are planning some games [in Grid Rock] that would be hurt by it, to be honest, but for the time being its a good way to get around and gain more exposure for our city."
Thanks to Jasmine for this pointer. So what about Blue Mars should I write about next? Email and let me know: hamlet at bluemarsonline dot com.