Advanced Boat Hacking – Prims

Posted by Atashi at 2015.05.06 10.00 in Customizations

Here is more information than you ever wanted to know, about hacking the Formula Wai racing boats. This edition covers the prims.

The boats are Mod / Copy (*) so you can play around and customize your boat. However, be warned that the only support available for broken boats is a new un-modified one.

  • Always keep a back-up copy of your boat in your inventory when doing modifications.
  • Take copies of your boat into inventory as you are working on it, incase something goes wrong.
  • You can rename your boat – handy for keeping track of which one is modified, or just to give it an unique or personalized name.
  • The (invisible) front and rear bumper prims, and the ring around the propeller cage, must not be unlinked! Further, any changes you make to the size, shape, or position of these prims will be un-done automatically. This is because these three prims make the basic shape and size of the overall boat, and we need to keep all the boats the same in this regard, to keep the races fair.
  • You can add and remove prims (other than the aforementioned ones, and the root prim) but if you remove prims that are used by the scripts, you may get undesirable results. See below for more info.
  • The scripts don’t care what order the prims are linked in (except the root must always be last). Every prim has a descriptive name, and it is the name of the prim which the script uses to determine the function.
  • Don’t rename the two bumpers or the cage ring, the script would perceive that the same as if those prims were removed.

The ‘stock’ boat comes from the factory using 26 prims. Some of them are vital, many are important, and some are just there for looks.

The following list is complete for the Formula Wai mark 2 (FW-2) boats, as of May 4th 2015.

Root Prim (FW-2 Racing Boat)
Cylinder. This prim appears to be a swept-back cylindrical support mount for the engine, but it is actually the heart of the boat. Do not delete, move or rotate this prim. You can resize it and change its shape, make it full alpha, that sort of thing. But if you move or rotate it, your boat will break badly. If you unlink it, your boat won’t be a boat any more. This prim is also the sit target for the skipper.
Rear Bumper
Box. Invisible / full alpha. Do not delete, resize, move, or change in any way. Also acts as the source for the ‘splash’ particles just below / behind the propeller.
Centreboard
Sphere. In M mode, this is visible below/behind the boat. In S mode, the centreboard is retracted out of the way.
Exhaust Pipes
Sculpt. This prim is passive and used for aesthetics only.
Passenger
Sculpt. This is the passenger seat prim, and is the sit target for the passenger. The prim description contains the passenger’s sit target vector. Can be removed, if you do not want to carry a passenger.
Indicator
Torus. Mostly hidden, the two ends are visible as the yellow and cyan indicator ‘lights’.
Lower Hull
Sphere. This forms most of the boat’s visible hull. The textures are set by script.
Bow Hull
Sphere. This is the part of the hull at the bow right infront of the cockpit area. The textures are set by script.
Aft Hull
Cylinder. This forms the stern of the boat, under the engine.
Cabin Floor
Sphere. This is the floor of the cockpit area. It is also the source for the ‘wake’ particle effect.
Engine Intake
Sculpt. This prim is passive and used for aesthetics only.
Control Stick
Sculpt. This prim is passive and used for aesthetics only.
Skipper
Sculpt. This is the skipper’s seat prim, but it is not the sit target for the skipper. The prim description however does contain the skipper’s sit position vector.
Front Bumper
Cylinder. Invisible / full alpha. Do not delete, resize, move, or change in any way.
Light Beacon
Sphere. This is the ‘tail light’ that sits on top of the propeller cage ring. It glows red during hard turns, white when reversing, and if you click it, the boat will try to fix any camera, animation, or physics glitches.
Exhaust
Cylinder. Invisible / full alpha, this prim is the source for the exhaust particle effects.
Propeller Shaft
Cylinder. This prim is passive and used for aesthetics only.
Engine
Sculpt. This prim is passive and used for aesthetics only.
Belt
Sculpt. The prim is passive / aesthetic but the texture is animated by the scripts.
KC1000 Part C
Sculpt. This prim is passive and used for aesthetics only.
KC1000 Part B
Sculpt. This prim is passive and used for aesthetics only.
Cage
Sphere. This prim is passive and used for aesthetics only.
Cage Ring
Torus. Do not delete, move, change, rotate, etc.
RudderPort
Box. This is the left-hand rudder behind the propeller. It is moved around and re-textured by scripts.
RudderStarboard
Box. This is the right-hand rudder behind the propeller. It is moved around and re-textured by scripts.
Propeller
Cylinder. The textures are controlled and animated by the scripts.

One final caveat: The boat is built entirely with ‘normal’ SL prims. The other kind of prim is Mesh. The boats, being non-mesh, have their ‘prim count’ (land impact, physics impact) calculated normally, where 1 prim = 1 prim.

If you add just one single mesh prim to an object, it causes the entire object to be recalculated as a mesh object, and this drives the effective prim count through the roof. The cut toruses and cut spheres etc. suddenly go from 1 prim to 100’s of prims in terms of land impact and physics impact.

So, don’t try and replace any of the prims with Mesh prims. Either the whole boat is mesh (and it isn’t) or none of it is mesh.

Have fun modding your boats, and remember to make backups of your boat!

(* Freebie boats are given away as Copy only.)

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