Aug 302011
 

Grendel’s Children are in the news for their decision to downsize, now you may never heard of Grendel’s Children, or visited, but trust me this is a big Second Life brand and was one of the first places to appear on the revamped showcase. Prim Perfect, Tateru Nino, Daniel Voyager and New World Notes have all covered this story, there’s good commentary there, I decided to ask about a couple of other things whilst I had the ear of Toady Nakamura.


Grendel’s Children

Grendel’s Children has pets, dragons, jellyfish, full avatars, and new skins that can enhance (or completely change) your avatar’s appearance.

Visit in Second Life

 

Now I’m sure there will be speculation about the reasons for their decision to downsize, but Toady Nakamura of Grendel’s children contacted me to assure me that this is due to frustration with support and that it is nothing to do with the inworld economy:

Our sales are solid.  We downsized due to frustration with Lab non response to fixing sim problems.  We sold and got rid of the problem as it was taking too much time from staff making avatars.

Well having the ear of Toady I decided to get some more information, namely birthday parties and Mesh!

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Aug 302011
 

Whilst reading the epic JLU thread over at SLUniverse, with one eye open because it’s such a busy thread, my skim reading found its way to a conversation about Rod Humble (Linden Lab CEO), where someone thought Mr Humble created The Sims, however Stroker Serpentine corrected this person, pointing out that Will Wright created The Sims, and also pointing out that Will Wright is on the Linden Lab board of directors ….. WAIT! When did this happen?

Now I don’t know what the board of directors do, obviously some important stuff, possibly in the super secret hidden bunker of Linden World, but more likely in an office or the odd email or telephone call, the real impetus behind Second Life is from the management and staff, we don’t hear much at all from the board of directors, but they must do something!

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Aug 292011
 

The unseemly spectacle of the latest Justice League Unlimited hoopla is not doing anyone any favours. Allegations, counter allegations, revelations about contacting realtives of people on their deathbed, Linden off the record chat logs shared and the brainiac wiki itself. The men in tights have been caught with their pants around their ankles and are desperately trying to pull them back up to avoid further indecent exposure.

The JLU are not roleplaying superheroes, they aim to protect and serve within Second Life to make the Second Life experince better for all, the Second Life Wiki listing for them has noble aims and it’s not surprising that groups who have been thwarted by the JLU relish opportunities to embarrass them, howver the JLU make it all too easy. They appear to go way beyond their remit with some of their actions, especially with allegations that the brainiac wiki stores Second Life and real life information on people and the Deadly Codec incident really is beyond the pale, contacting a relative on Facebook, apparently out of compassion but how compassionate would you be if someone contacted you about a dying relative and you later found out they’d been fishing for confirmation of the condition of your relative for such a group?

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Aug 262011
 

Wade1 Jya over on The Merchants Roundtable (private forum so you may not have access) has pointed out that some new icons have appeared in search, that could well be an indicator that traffic may well gain some relevancy again. The icons have three symbols that seem to indicate whether a sim place is active, popular or busy, although I am yet to see any places with two out of the three icons lit up.

What are you talking about Ciaran? I hear you ask, well in search on the latest viewer you will see on some listings (a minority) things like this:

active location in Second Life

popular location in Second Life

Busy location in Second Life

What qualifies a place as active, popular or busy? I have no idea!

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Aug 262011
 

Mesh is still making a lot of noise in Second Life circles, but Mesh won’t be for everyone and there are times when the good old prim, the lovely wonderful prim is far more useful for creators and consumers and here I’ll give an example, a door. I decided I’d make a Mesh door, now doors in Second Life generally require some path cutting so that they open nicely, objects rotate on their centre so a door has to be half invisible to work nicely.

Bearing this in mind I created the door in Blender, I decided to do a loop cut so I could have one half alpha textured and the other half with my door texture, so it would be able to perform the spinning on its centre door trick, this didn’t work well but one point regarding all this is texturing, I created my UV Map and ended up with this:

A UV Map for a door

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Aug 252011
 

I got an email from my chief Elf on my Roleplaying Sim:

Dear Lord,

I’m going on holiday, so is the Potter and Human, all at the same time, see you in a week.

The Elf

Now I must say that my first reaction was “Never trust a Hobbit” and then I remembered there are no Hobbits involved… although I still maintain that Hobbits are to be handled with caution, but this is an Elf, they’re supposed to be all sweetness and light…. which also probably means you should treat them with the caution.

Now the problem I have here is that as Evil Overlord of said sim, I may now have to speak to the inhabitants, in character! This could be a long week.

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Aug 252011
 

What on earth is this shining project on the Jira? Alexa moved my Jira about the region setting that allows or disallows Mesh on a sim not working to the shining project …. a rather disturbing looking project complete with an icon of someone doing a “Here’s Johnny” impression!

Anyway Mesh is the talk of the Second Life related forum and blog crowd at the moment and I’ve been having a very slow dabble with Blender, seriously, can we have bigger days to go with these bigger prims. The tool of choice I’ve decided to use for Mesh is Blender, this is largely because as a hobbyist Blender gives me the most options, I’d love to have Autodesk Maya but unless Autodesk sponsor me that ain’t happening, there’s no way I’m buying such an expensive tool with my artistically challenged hands at the mouse and keyboard, maybe one day if I find I can utilise 3D builds nicely I will. However for those with large pockets and good skills, Maya is highly regarded but it’s not really suitable for noobs.

Anyway I’ve been looking at a few video tutorials on Blender, they are handy but I like to read instructions at times rather than pausing videos and I’ve gone back to a handy resource I looked at a while back when I was considering trying my hand at sculpties.

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Aug 232011
 

I’m playing around on my site with Google Affiliates, so things may look a bit wonky, Second Life has an affiliate program, I’ve signed up to the Linkshare deal on another blog of mine, I didn’t realise they’d started a Google affiliate program until I saw a post from Inara Pey that mentioned it, you need to get approved all over again so I don’t know how that will work out. Inara’s post also pointed out a very useful community resources portal too, which has plenty of information for communities. Linden Lab are posting lots of information on the forum and Wiki, I just wish more of it was being promoted via the blog.

However the blog is being used and today it annouced the Mesh rollout. I’ve played with some very basic Mesh creations and it’s not easy to get into, but for the patient it will be worth the effort. Full perm mesh objects are appearing for those who don’t have the patience but even then, you’re going to need to get your head around UV Mapping if you want to get into textures, although items that can be textured will in some cases come with a UV Map for you to texture. There are limitations on who can upload Mesh, although this is where full perm Mesh creations will get into that market, which may raise a few questions but anyway.

If Mesh seems all a bit overwhelming, there is something far more simple to get your head around, big prims!

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Aug 202011
 

Happy days are here again, Aston Villa are top of the league for at least few more hours until the Sunday games are over, order is restored with the greatest team the world has ever seen at the top of English football, as they should be! I enjoyed my afternoon at Villa Park today and shall shortly be off to watch match of the day to relive it. However this has nothing to do with Second Life, Mesh however does have something to do with Second Life so let’s talk about that and the new region setting to allow Mesh on your sim or not.

If you are using a Mesh enabled viewer, such as Second Life beta 3.01, and if you’re on a sim that is on a channel that supports Mesh, and if you’re an estate owner (a lot of ands there) then you can get to a screen like this:

mesh estate settings

The only problem is, it doesn’t work!

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Aug 172011
 

Good grief what in the name of all things holy is going on, the official blog is allowing comments, this won’t end well! Such has been the sorry state of affairs with the official blog that I’d largely stopped looking there for information and it’s still not a good place for information, however they have unveiled a some interesting concepts, blog posts about resident blogs, such as this post about Honour McMillan’s post about Raven’s Mist, then there are posts about places, such as this one about The Crossword Gallery and they have also been running these flickr pic of the day posts, it would be better if they tagged them all but still, there’s life being breathed into the blog.

However when it comes to information and news, that’s still thin on the ground, Hamlet Au to the rescue then with a couple of interesting posts, one about content speciality roles and one about the product team. There are some potentially exciting developments here, but there’s also going to be an issue of communication and it’s not really clear what channels are going to be open here.

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