Monday, June 15, 2009

Just Some Snapshots…

Once again I find myself trying to find time to keep up with Lou's Clues—what with all the stuff I'm doing in Second Life, I haven't found as much time to sit down and write about what I'm doing in Second Life! It's a bit of a viscious circle—the more I do that I could write about, the less time I have to do it. So, this is just going to be a quick update…but first, some snapshots!

Lou stares up as Godzilla (Maelstrom Janus) stomps on trivia at Double Standards!

So the other day I pop into Double Standards, which is a well-established trivia venue running games during the afternoons (SL Time) as well as special games on the weekends—and the owner, Hummingbird Forster, has also put on two "Smartasstermind" events emulating the well-known Mastermind TV quiz show, which so far as I know are unique in SL. When I arrive, there's a big purple mecha standing on the stage behind the host Cully Andel…and then Maelstrom Janus suddenly morphs into Godzilla to do battle with it! At one point Chaddington Boomhauer puts on a giant dragon/duckling avatar—and I tried to get pictures of all three of these giants futzing around each other, but they didn't stay still long enough for my slow computer to get a snapshot—and the avatars (Chadd's in particular) were so tall they were too far away from me for my computer to draw! But I did get a picture of Mael menacing the trivia game as Godzilla—and the most amusing part of all this was that Cully kept the game going more-or-less as normal the entire time!

Rebuilding the sky platform

Another project I've been working on is rebuilding the little workshop that I use in public sandboxes. I've had a sky platform for a while; I'll teleport into a sandbox, zip up to 512 or 1024m above the ground (so as not to bother anyone—remember, in Second Life everyone can fly!) and essentially unfold my own little hovering spot where I can work on stuff in private. I built my original platform back in November 2008 and revised it again in December…but it wasn't working for me anymore. Most of the time, the platform was more space than I needed, but other times it was too small! And I'd also built a little abstract teepee-thing at one side with some simple couches where I could meet with clients or work on small stuff like jewelry, but increasingly it just bugged me. The colors were too garish, the textures too harsh, the surfaces too flat…it just wasn't fun to be there anymore. I realized the look and design of the place was kinda blocking me from getting things done: I'd be more likely to pop to a concert or a trivia game than do work if I didn't want to be on my platform.

So, I spent a little bit of time redoing my platform: the default form is smaller and simpler, but I can give it little commands to get bigger (if I'm working in something sizable) or put out some furniture if I'm working on something small or having people over to chat. So now I have a cooler platform with more features, and the ability to add more components to it easily…and I'm looking forward to using it.

Lou pedals a blimp-bike in the skies over Armada Breakaway

Finally, I managed to take some time to explore a good portion—though certainly not all—of Armada Breakaway, a role-playing-optional sim with a steampunk theme, based to one degree or another on the fiction of China Miéville. I've never read Miéville's work and probably wouldn't have found Armada on my own if Mako Kungfu hadn't started hosting a trivia game there. And Armada is a brilliantly-designed sim: the surface level is basically a collection of ship hulls lashed together into a kind of floating town…and above the surface are derigibles and airships! And below the surface…that's the realm of the mer: mermaids and merman who seem in kinda contentious relationship with the surfacefolk!

Normally role-playing sims are distinctly not my thing, but the folks at Armada have been very open and welcoming to me and my jeans-and-tennis-shoes trivia gear…and the sim is simply ingenious. I attended a synchronized swimming event there (Mako as a merman!)…and I guess Armada must be welcoming because they convinced me to attend a goth music event! It was too much to pass up—some of the avatars in Armada are among the most impressive in Second Life, and the thought of seeing them deck out up for a gothic ball was to much to pass up!

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