Ciaran Laval

Mar 282015
 

Stella's Adventure Game System

Estelle Pienaar used to review games in Second Life on her blog : Second Life Play Instinct. Then her blog went quiet, so quiet indeed that I did not notice her Resurrected post back in February :

Well, here I am – writing another post almost one year after my last one. You might ask what I have been up to? I didn’t want to review SL games and experiences any longer, I wanted to do create games myself. Interactive adventure games that are non linear, that build a real relationship between the player and the non-player characters.

The result of Estelle’s work can now be seen in the shape and form of a new interactive adventure game entitled “Free Wilma”. Estelle blogged about the game when it launched earlier this month :

Prepare to embark on an interactive adventure game in Second Life. Situated on Escapades Island, a place of childhood dreams and mayhem, the play scenes of this point and click game will immerse you into the world of an anarchic children fantasy. Solve a series of little quests to finally save the elephant Wilma, who is held hostage by the biggest mouse ever: Modsno the ferret.

“Free Wilma” is based on a new game system in second life that breathes life into the NPCs (non player characters). The characters will react differently to the player depending on the game progress. This feature caters to a more immersive experrience than traditional linear Second Life point and click games.

I’m not going to review the game, I haven’t finished it for a start, but the concept is an interesting one. To play the game you will need to buy the Hud for 180 Linden Dollars, which isn’t very expensive in real terms but obviously some people like to try before they buy.

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Mar 272015
 

Corona Palace

When I noticed that Linden Lab’s latest blog post about The Destination Guide featured a place fit for royalty, I knew I would have to visit, being a Dwarfin King and all that. I wasn’t disappointed, Corona is definitely fit for a king.

Corona Royal Guard

First of all though, make sure you sneak past the Royal Guard, they look a tad menacing. However if you successfully jump that hurdle then you will find yourself in an opulent 18th century royal setting that contains gorgeous buildings, beautiful sculptures, wildlife and more.

Corona Garden

The gardens provide serene spots for you to gather your thoughts and plot virtual world domination for The Dwarfins …. or umm whatever takes your fancy. The Dwarfin plot is top secret so pretend you didn’t read that part!

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Mar 272015
 

Second Life Image - Enjoying Music

Feel the city breaking and everybody shaking,
And we’re staying alive, staying alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, staying alive, staying alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, staying alive.

Good Magazine have an article that is rather cheery : Second Life is Staying Alive. The article, penned by Mark Hay, takes a rather sensible, for the most part, look at a little known fact about Second Life, it’s staying alive! Hurrah!

The article deserves credit for the good use of Second Life images for a start. The headline photo features Draxtor Despres, Jo Yardley and the one and only Superflufee (AKA Flufee McFluff)!

The article touches upon a point that is oft missed by people when they wonder why platforms stay alive long past what one would consider their sell by date, the power of communities. The article by Mark Hay does not miss this point :

In truth, Second Life remains quite alive, clocking a million active users per month as of 2013 and up to 13,000 new users ever day. The site may actually have a larger, more stable population as of today than it did at its 2006-to-2008 peak of popularity and respectability. Yet we don’t hear about this continued vibrancy in Second Life, mainly because it’s no longer thought of as a space for general populations to enhance their lives. Instead it has generated a second life of its own as a uniquely attractive hub for globally dispersed subcultures to join together. These groups can create whole worlds that unite them, transcending role-playing and turning their ideologies into a comprehensive society.

Those communities are of course, not to everyone’s taste in Second Life and they are an odd mix, as the article points out :

This allowed the early, rapid development of groups and sub-groups ranging from activists and educators to more alternative and niche identities. As of the end of 2014, some of the most active subcultures on Second Life appear to be: cyberpunks, elves, furries, goreans, steampunks, Star Wars enthusiasts, satanists, wiccans, and various fetish groups.

However the common denominator is that they are all groups of people who find fellow like minded people from all over the world to build their virtual 3D space, hopes, ambitions and dreams with and that’s a very powerful tool.

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Mar 262015
 

Taure Ru Town

Like many roleplaying sims in Second Life, Taure Ru has rules. The best way of avoiding rules for the casual visitor is of course to pay attention to the rules that inform you to pick up a visitor tag and wear it! However even then you should be mindful of your surroundings and try to dress in character at least.

Taure Ru is a mysterious kingdom, its origins are said to be dark, but no one seems to want to talk about them. However there is plenty of information around to give you an idea of the kind of roleplay that goes on in this mysterious land.

This is classic fantasy adventure territory with guilds, factions and characters who will be mages, warriors, assassins, musicians and dancers. The latter two are probably an example of where Second Life roleplay differs from more mainstream video game versions because dancers and musicians in Second Life are quite important when it comes to entertainment.

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Mar 252015
 

Xiola Leads The Dance

It was a normal Wednesday, I was sat in a building in Meauxle Bureaux going through my to do list, plan for Fantasy Faire, take photos,plot virtual world domination, you know, nothing out of the ordinary, when my peace was rudely shattered by a dancing flashmob led by none other than Xiola Linden!

There’s only one thing a self respecting Dwarfin King can do when faced by a mob like this, run for your life!

Shaman Linden

I hid in a top secret location (The top of the stairs) and watched as the hordes arrived. Shaman Linden in particular appeared to be up to no good.

Michael Linden

However my suspicisons that this was a really secretive meeting were really raised when the leader of the Linden Department Of Public Works, Michael Linden, AKA The Mole King, arrived.

Inara Pey

However I quickly realised this wasn’t just a meeting of Lindens, the presence of the likes of Inara Pey raised my suspicions that this was a meeting of the Second Life illuminati!

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Mar 242015
 
Banner Should Be Here

Fantasy Faire 2015

Fantasy Faire 2015 is about more than gorgeous buildings and magical items, it’s also about entertainment, music, storytelling, poetry and bringing magic to the virtual world of Second Life, as well of course as being an excellent participant in the Relay For Life fundraising effort in Second Life.

Last year Fantasy Faire raised 5,955,893 Linden Dollars ($ 23,824) for Relay For Life and part of the reason that so much money is raised is thanks to those who entertain us, which is why they are now looking for DJ’s, Storytellers and poets to help with this year’s event.

Please note that despite my enthusiasm, I am not part of the organisational team, so please don’t send your applications to me! Follow the links guys and girls, follow the links.

Da5id Abbot

In terms of DJ’s, The Fantasy Faire team are Searching For Song Spinners :

Fantasy Faire Radio is now accepting applications for DJs who would like to be part of the on-air team for 2015. 

If you follow the link to Searching For Song Spinners you will find more details and the application form. However if you prefer other art forms, do not worry, there’s space for you at Fantasy Faire 2015 too.

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Mar 242015
 
Banner Should Be Here

Fantasy Faire 2015

If you want to blog about all the fun of Fantasy Faire 2015 then you can happily do so without being an official blogger. There is no requirement to be an official blogger, nobody will tell you off for blogging about Fantasy Faire, unless you’re an Elf or a Halfling, never trust Elves of Halflings. Ok even Elves and Halflings are welcome to blog about Fantasy Faire 2015!

However if you do want to be an official blogger, then applications are now open.

Dwarfins Wizard

Blogging Fantasy Faire can be a lot of fun, you get to meet interesting and magical people. Sometimes there’s mead involved, sometimes this can upset your blogging, you have to tread carefully.

Fantasy Faire encourages bloggers to take challenges, but does not force you to. That being said there are three optional challenges for bloggers :

Faire Folk – Create a character from the Fairelands. Pick one of the Faire sims as their home, make a look mostly from Faire items, make the character come alive. Take at least one picture of that character in the chosen home sim and blog away! The more roleplay-style bloggers are invited to write about the character as well, but even those to whom pictures speak more than words can let those pictures speak loud and clear! Sim exploration stories encouraged!

My New Shiny – Find a shop in the Fairelands you have never heard of before and blog something of theirs that you love. This is all about finding and showcasing the hidden talents, the newcomers, the surprises you can find when you explore the Fairelands thoroughly instead of just going through your already familiar favourites. If you know every single shop in the Faire, pick one that you think should be in the spotlight more.

Why I Relay – This challenge is for those who do have a personal reason to support Relay for Life events and who would like to share it. Obviously if you don’t have any personal tie to the charity or if you’d like to keep your reasons private, there is no need to do this. But those who would like to speak out for the charity, for RFL and for their reasons, they are invited to do so.

 

Please note that you are free to blog about these challenges even if you are not an official blogger, so don’t feel you have to apply to cover these themes.

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Mar 242015
 
Banner Should Be Here

Fantasy Faire 2015

Fantasy Faire 2015 is still a month away but I’m about to embark on three Fantasy Faire 2015 related posts. The first is with relation to the sims for Fantasy Faire 2015, which have this week been announced : Ten Shopping Sims Of Magic.

The sims are intended to be unique, but still part of the Fairelands as a whole. Some of the names of those who are involved with creating these sims are familiar to me and those who have attended previous Fantasy Faires.

Some of the names are of the wandering chief Elf variety, whom evil Drow Wizards may still be seeking.

Some of the names may be Dwarfin related superstars who paint a stunning landscape.

Together they make up the whole. The links take you to further details of each sim, including designers who will be displaying their wares on said sim and are subject to change as more designers are allocated their spots on sims for this year’s event. The list itself can also be found here : https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/designers-2/

So let’s get to those details of the sims for this year’s event, with thanks to Sonya Marmurek for posting this information on the Fantasy Faire website.

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Mar 232015
 

Meeting Of Great Minds

The importance of a conference such as Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education should not be underestimated when it comes to putting virtual worlds on the map. Most of the chatter I’ve seen has, unsurprisingly, been about Ebbe Altberg’s keynote speech. Nalates Urriah has taken a very interesting and in depth look at Linden Lab’s nextgen virtual world based on this speech.

Meeting Of The Minds

Avataric looks at VWBPE from other perspectives, including how even in a virtual world being shy has its challenges as she braved being a host, as well as a participant, at the conference. There’s even an inworld/real world crossover with a husband hitting a wrong button. This wasn’t as painful as it may initially sound!

Beyond that the conference touches other parts of the virtual world sphere with links to OpenSim and Unity 3D demonstrating that education and virtual worlds are willing to tackle new technology when opportunity arises.

Vwbpetourutep

The conference also involved communities such as Chilbo and Seanchai making their mark in the education space. Interactive storytelling as a teaching tool is a development I’m eager to see progress, but Seanchai play an important role in bringing storytelling to new audiences full stop.

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Mar 232015
 
OnLive logo should be here

OnLive

SL Go from OnLive have today given the Firestorm Viewer team a major voted of confidence by announcing : Firestorm Mobile on SL Go! At first glance you may not think this is much of a vote of confidence, I mean after all Firestorm is already a choice for SL Go users when it comes to the desktop version of the app. However when it comes to mobile, there’s one glaring difference, choice is not an option :

OnLive is thrilled to announce today that due to overwhelming demand from our community of SL Go users, we are making the Firestorm Viewer available for mobile devices including Android and iOS. Due to current technical limitations, we are only able to offer one viewer for mobile devices. Our studies have shown that the SL Go community prefers the Firestorm Viewer, and now they can enjoy the same rich experience on their mobile devices.

Please note that desktop users will still be able to have a choice of whether they use Firestorm or the official Second Life client, but when it comes to the mobile version, all roads lead to Firestorm.

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