12 April 2014

Meyonia - The Banana-Republic You Are Going to Love - Part 2

As promised here is part 2 of my journey through the Republic of Meyonia. If you missed the first part, I recommend you to read it up before continuing here - It's worth it!

So, where did we stop? Ah right. Randy picked me up with Taffy boxed up as trailer (wheeled suitcases are so handy!) and we went sightseeing!

Randy's workplace - the local Police Station.

With a outdoor cell for public punishment - no, she is not a sadist!

The memorial for the Vanilla-War. I think it wasn't about icecream though!

Visiting a happy tank-family at the the Meyonian Army Base.

Next to the army base is the restaurant Golden Dragon. Yes, its the asian-style building on the picture above.

From left to right: Taffy (boxed), Oiolossee (latexified), me and Randy (not nude!).

 Delicious! I'm going to post this picture on Facebook :p

I think Taffy was a bit concerned to be put on the menu (meals on wheels!) but he does a much better job as greeter slave actually.

After our dinner we explored the wild part of Meyonia. Its just north across the bridge!

The Meyonia Bridge is the oldest building of the country. I think they built it even before they had roads!

Since the Republic of Meyonia is continuously at odds with its Steampunk-neighbors they have heavily fortified the area.

The border - with the enem... neighbors' headquarter just in sight.

If you like cold-war-chic, you will love it here.

Going offroad. And yes, Taffy is still in the box.

Then we took a quick ride up to some installations in the sky...

...of course with a room-saving transport sollution for him!

The local zombie-town - if you are looking for a messy shoot-out with flying limbs and popping heads!

The Meyonian Ball-Cage field. All you need is a "volunteer" sitting in the cage and 2 player pushing it with cars - great fun!

The way back to the ground we took the helicopter again. There is a teleport available though if you are in a hurry.

We ended our trip at the Shark Fin Bar. Yes, there is a dog sitting in a rocking chair. He is the only male resident of the country!

Oh, and I took a close-up of Oio. Because she is a cutie and she hates it when I call her this way!

Meyonia (almost) in one picture! Click to enlarge. Download and share it!

If you ask me, the way a sim looks tells indeed a lot about the people behind it and Randy and her friend Kim did an awesome job with building Meyonia. It is welcoming, warm and friendly and full of whimsical little details which make you smile (or giggle like silly).

I hope you will enjoy discovering this wonderful little state as much as I did. Here is your tourist visa. There is so much to explore!

11 April 2014

Meyonia - The Banana-Republic You're Going to Love - Part 1

Second Life is full with sims where the owners try to create something personal and unique. Ideally a good sim is its own microcosm which captivates you upon the very first moment you enter it. Venice, which I featured recently is a good example and especially the sim my friend Randy calls her home: Meyonia!

Meyonia South - the urbanized part of the country.

The Republic of Meyonia is a independent tropical micro-mini-state and quite the ideal lesbian banana republic en miniature. It is a place full of wonderful, silly and twisted fun.
I wanted to write about this place for a while now and it was a very welcome distraction from building. So I grabbed Taffy and Oiolosse and did explore the place.

One of the first views you might get in Meyonia

But before you should be better get informed about the local customs - innovative and entertaining penalizations btw!

Strip-searches might also happen at the customs.

But at least you will get the chance to be naked beneath a portrait of their president. isn't that nice?

Coming from the immigration office you likely want to see the heart of the republic: The Sapho Plaza. A place as important and glorious as the Forum Romanum in ancient Rome, the National Mall in Washington D.C. or the Red Square in Moscow!

The Administrative center of Meyonia. The most important buildings of the state are gathered here.

Like Meyonia's Grand Hotel.

It is called "La chatte Ronronnante", which means "The dripping puss... KITTY"!

Quite a stately accomodation. Nothing dripping there though - yet.

The White House of Meyonia. Please note the Meyonian National Flag. Yes, it has a paw on it, why do you ask?

Now thats almost as cool as ECTO 1, isn't it?

Side-view of the White House. As you can see Meyonians value art very highly. Especially if its nude art. The lady is even animated.

Business in Meyonia: TV station, beauty salon, maid academy and a Attorney.

To comfortably explore the rest of the place, Randy offered us a ride with a Jeep from the Meyonian Army.

A pity we didn't had enough space to get taffy seated too. But you know me: I'm never shy about improvising something and apart from a few bruises he survived being chained to the Jeep pretty well.

To keep my postings not too long I make a cut here. Part 2 of my journey will follow soon. Stay tuned!

5 April 2014

Prometheus WIP, Catznip and SL Go News

Prometheus Class WIP

As regular readers may know, less posts here means lots of activity on other SL-related projects. Well, currently it is exactly one project: Meshing the Prometheus-Class Aircraft carrier. It is likely the most complex mesh I did so far and I'm making good progress on it lately. Of course there is still a lot to do on it - but its certainly going ahead.

I did lots of detail work on it (needless to say the basic layout of the Prim-version, didn't change!) Especially fine-tuning the layout and ensuring the modifications fit well to the overall appearance of the ship. There have been some things which didn't work out as initially planned - but thats part of it: You learn, adapt your plans and find an elegant sollution.

Design-wise the ship will - due to the use of radial engines - slightly tend more into the dieselpunk-direction. Though I'm considering of including a "classical" variant with steam-engines too. Its a pretty adaptable build after all!

Catznip R9 Beta

The next release of the Catznip Second Life Viewer (R9) is now in its beta-status - yay! The Catznip-team is currently looking for beta-tester. So if you are interested and have some beta-testing experience (some OCD is helpful, according to their site), check out their Beta-Test Website.
I switched from Firestorm to Catznip already over a year ago after being disappointed with the low FPS Firestorm has. Catznip is - at least on my PC - significantly faster with the same graphics-settings. I tried the latest Firestorm release a few weeks ago, hoping they would have fixed that issue, but still: the difference in performance was huge.
Catznip R9 will include advanced lighting (the materials-stuff) and fitted mesh. So hopefully no way-too-huge butts anymore. I can't wait till the release!

Catznip Viewer Website


Linden Labs did introduce this new service for mobile devices already in March and the idea is really good: Unlike other mobile clients which calculate the 3D environment on your tablet or phone (with the usual result of rather basic and slow graphics and high power consume) SL Go sends the already pre-caculated graphics in a quality you only would get on a desktop PC.

A real show-stopper however was the ridiculously high fee of 3 US$ per hour (!) Now they reduced the pricing to realistic 9,95 US$ per month. Definitely a step into the right direction.
SL Go is available in the USA and most European countries (notably exception is Germany - for what reason ever).

SL Go Website

26 March 2014

2 Billion Dollar Deal: Facebook Buys Oculus

I was quite surprised yesterday when reading that Facebook actually bought the company behind the Oculus Rift VR Headset. For quite a steep price of 2 billion US$ - especially if you take into account that not long ago Oculus did rise 2 million US$ at Kickstarter. A not-really-subtle way of showing the importance virtual reality has for big players Google and Facebook.

They are actually in quite a buying "arms race" in the recent months, with huge deals every few weeks. Its quite obvious that they try to gain as much ground as possible on the develpement of future technologies. I really wonder if these huge amounts of cash they invest will actually pay off in the near future: Facebook just recently paid 19 billion US$ for Whatsapp. The 3 billion US$ Google paid for Nest (a company specialized for internet-compatible termostats and smoke detectors) seems to be quite a bargain compared to - but lets be serious: thats totally insane amounts of money!

So either they expect huge growth rates - perhaps in the scale of another digital revolution - or they simply try to best each other in a huge speculation bubble. Perhaps both actually. Ok, there is a legitime interest in companies which offer exclusively internet services to have products in their portfolio you can actually touch: Its expanding their range dramatically. Just think of the quite-religious-hardware-cult Steve Jobs was able to establish with Apple. Google is trying the same now with their Google-Glasses. The future will show us how this turns out.

For Linden Labs the purchase of Oculus can become a serious drawback in their ambitions of bringing Second Life to a mass-market. I am sure they were speculating of having SL as a avant-garde-product in the new virtual reality-hype, which is now quite doubtful.
Will Facebook continue supporting platforms like SL at or are they focusing on exploiting the Oculus Rift for their own products only? Perhaps with their own virtual world? A kind of Facebook 3D? Or will they even buy LL next?

Another big questionmark is simply Facebook's reputation of being the world largest commercial surveilliance company. Or as the Minecraft-creator Markus Persson said via Twitter when learning about Oculus being sold:

"We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out."

Further reading:

Things to come in 2014 (background info to Oculus Rift)

High Fidelity appendix (more on VR)

LL's new CEO Introduces himself

22 March 2014

Because You Can't Do Enough Airship-Tours

And this time it wasn't over good ol' Blake Sea, but the - also pretty large - Fruit Islands sim group (they claim its 100 sims, but I think the actual number is a bit lower).

Taking off exploring the Fruit Islands!

My friend Oiolossee took the helm this time. And a fine job she did! Ok, first we got stuck on a full sim (not her fault!, but after that the journey went very chilled and without any further disturbances.

Skipper Oio and her passengers.

The skysetting I used (TOR SCIFI - Phlogiston) is intentionally not a realistic one. I picked it for its beauty and strong light effects.

Your favorite Drow Scientist - wait... your favorite Drow in general!

And her Sunshine :-)

This picture actualy show you some of the Landscape! Not that you could see much of it anyway :p

My Fairy-Pet Boudicca of course did accompany us.

Talking with Goat about - Wrestling Action figures from the 80s! Seriously!

Our skipper wearing the most fun backprint I've seen in SL.

These are the voyages...

Want to take a trip over Fruit Islands too? Take a ride!

20 March 2014

A Quick Project Update: Prometheus-Class Refit

I am currently deep in the redesign of the general appearance of our favourite flying aircraft carrier. It will certainly be a elegant vessel. With a more streamlined shape and some clever improvements in the room layout, resulting in a significantly increased usable space.
But no worries: Its overall look will not step away from the original Prometheus-Class. I simply can do now all the things I had in my mind for it all the time. So it will be a better ship than ever before!

Preview-time! The current status of my remodelling-project. Human Avs for scale of course.

It is not simply a mesh-version of the old one. The new ship is built completely from scratch, and in the following days and weeks I will be evaluating and improving and redesigning (if neccessary) every aspect of it to achieve the best possible result.

Again I won't and can't announce a release-date. But the project is progressing nicely and I'm looking forward to see it taking the skies :-)

14 March 2014

On A Cup Of Cappuchino In Venice

Having a lazy afternoon in SL I went to the digital recreation of Venice. It is a lovely whimsical place and really caught the spirit of its real-world counterpart. I just had to show it to Veronica too :-)

We both are admirers of this city - she however knows much more about it than I do. So we had a nice cup of cappuchino at the Rialto Bridge and I had the opportunity to hear some more gritty stories about the historical Venice - far away from the mental tracks the usual tourist wanders on.

No, I won't call this picture "having some cappuchino" ;-)

The Rialto Bridge overlooked by the St. Mark's Campanile.

A friendly Gondoliere took this photo for us!

Every picture gets nicer with fairys on it.

The Canale Grande with Gondolas on it's shores.

If - after these pictures - you don't feel like going there and exploring the place by yourself, there is definitely something wrong with you ;-) Here is your gondola.