Once upon a time I created the MetaHarper Show Tools for myself, to help manage a complex show that had outgrown my ability to frantically click buttons. Later, the tools helped a circle of friends with their own artistic performance pursuits. When we fast-forward to today, many users are people I have never met before, drawn together only by a common interest to see live multimedia performances flourish in Second Life.
As our list of creative users expands, the features and capabilities of MST and ChoreoHUD and even Immersive Theater have outgrown my ability to use every feature myself. As a result, I now depend on fearless people to tell me what is working well, what could use some additional layers of loving polish, and what might need to be a future feature.
I know that the people who send this feedback do this tread a more difficult path. We all have a choice in what tools we use. When faced with the unknown, it is often far easier to quietly use another tool, or find private workarounds, rather than go back to me and invest the time to dive deep into the technical details and pursue improvements. This is not in any way surprising, it is expected. Most people want to focus on sharing their art and choreography and not focusing too hard on where their technical tools came from, and there’s nothing wrong with this.
Having said that, there are some of you that do take the time and effort to choose MST and push me with feedback when you need improvements. Maybe you like our non-commercial roots, or you like our interoperability, or perhaps you had a positive experience with myself or someone else who helped develop MetaHarper tools. Regardless of the reason, I cannot overstate how important this is for our success. I and all the MST users owe a debt to the people who have gone out of their way to help troubleshoot complex issues, contribute documentation, share ideas for improvements, and commit to trying new features during high stakes, live performance on regions overloaded with eager audiences who might not be seen again for another week or even month.
If you are one of these fearless pioneers, know that you make working on show technology rewarding. We’re part of a community of people pushing the boundaries of what is safe, prudent, and possible. This is a fine place to be.
I want to recognize some of the people who have especially helped our Show Tools evolve over the last year. In no particular order:
- Blaze DeVivre
- Meegan Danitz
- Sho Kyong
- Jenna Dirval
- Subversive Vavoom
- Gloriana Maertens
- Honey Heart
- Cherryblonde Scribe
- Kareen Magic
- Fifi Oh
- Diawa Bellic
- Chewie Quixote
If I’ve left anyone out please do let me know! I can only hope the list will be as long next year. Thank You!