27 August 2012

The Great And Seedy Zindra Bane.. well "Bike" Tour - Part 10

I took so many photos on my journey, that I decided to split my post in two parts. It's really interesting to explore as bane. Everything looks mysterious from the vision obscurer and the lack of maps and teleporting makes you remembering your path very well. I didn't wanted to literally lose "track" on where the road lead to...

A small japanese-styled wooden house in front of a giant overpriced eyesore.

I just love these wooden frame windows!

And they allow nice reverse-shots!

Seems I stepped into a fairy-tale somehow...

Looks a bit Londonesk with the restricted vision. And the clock shows of course the correct time.

I found even a dungeon!

And eventually the road agian - where I took my rest.

Due to the banishment-restrictions I wasn't able to take the Slurls, or even take a screenshot of the map to document my path. So my actual route will be a mystery even for me ;-)

However Emma gave me the coordinates of the place where they picked me up eventually: Click

23 August 2012

The Great And Seedy Zindra Bane.. well "Bike" Tour - Part 9

What to do when its a rather dull evening and you have left your creativity and motivation somewhere at home? Time for a change I'd say.

So did it happen. I was sitting with my first sub Emma at "Domme a Domme" - a BDSM hangout - and after a while something was just in the air. Well, the name of the place might betray already that I didn't picked it by accident...
One word led to the other, keys changed their owners and suddenly I found myself inside the pretty confining tightness of a bane-suit. Locked in for a week.

The Beginning: Just seconds after the helmet closed around me. Leaving me helpless and totally at her mercy.

Kneeling for her at Dark Wishes.

Since my last post of my zindra-tour is already a while ago (dating from February) and I mentioned before that I want to continue with it, my first task was it go on where I stopped last time.

A bane, a plane and a big box of Dari's Junk...

Even banes like enjoying a nice view.

Well, sort of...

A few meters above me I found a treehouse.

With decent furnishing.

Not far away from the tree-house I spotted the inevitable castle.

Which offered me some very nice photo opportunities.

But is pretty empty besides that.

Back on the road...

More coming soon!

17 August 2012

SL goes Steam

I have to say I was a bit surprised to read these news on the SL-Blog: Second Life is going to be featured on the game-platform Steam!

"As some sharp-eyed developers have speculated, we’re going to make Second Life available on Steam in the next month or so.

Many of us have friends who are avid Steam gamers, but if you’re not familiar, Steam is a very popular online game platform that offers a wide range of titles (and will soon also offer other software as well)."

It feels always a bit odd for me to see Second Life related with a computer game. Sure on the first glance the similarities are striking. And there is a large community of active role-player using SL. But SL by itself is also a social media and a platform for communication and arts. Just located in a virtual world and with the visual appearance of a computer game as consequence.

Of course LL has a vital interest to keep SL alive. And for this they need active members - the more the better. So I can totally understand LL's move to Steam. Especially when it means a quick and simple access to SL for a broad range of users.

But access is only the first step. What can a newbie expect in SL? Even with my early days in SL being a half decade ago my experience with helping newbies gives me the following impression about two very critical things:

First SL is very complex. This is often enough simply a result of its past. Innovations getting added, but don't replace the "old way". Clothes are a good example for this:
If you have to wear 4 or more single parts just to put some new boots on (shoe-base, alpha-texture and at least 2 attachments) its not exactly what you understand of simplicity and usability.
The use of premade outfits helps in this regard. At least a bit. If you want to mix and match you have again a lot to attach.

Secondly: There is no goal. Many people log in SL the first time and wonder what the hell they can do there ("Everything" might be a quite true, but not really helpful answer). There are no missions, no goals, no enemy to defeat (ok, not counting the occasional griefer).
You see I aim again on the gaming-aspect here. You have to give newbies at least some little goals or prizes to keep them hanging on for the very critical first hours/days. And if LL is using Steam for getting new users, it is likely the newbies expect some kind of "gameplay". In the past LL has missed hard to motivate and keeping interest for newbies. I hope this will change.

There are some more aspects which are unnecessarily complicated like the horribly outdated primcount, the UI, intentory management, chat-windows in the LL viewer etc. Lots of these things have already improved and I strongly welcome the recent innovations (with mesh at the first place) and performance improvements but its still lots of work to do for making SL more accessible.

So Steam by itself won't do the trick. It needs to be (and I assume it is) part of a larger strategy to make SL more attractive. The people not using SL simply don't know what they have missed yet.

LEA - Selfcurating Museum

One of the things I like Second Life most for are the amazing works artists create and share here. A very democratic, low-level approach on art and sheer unlimited possibilities to express themselves.

You can imagine how happy I was to discover the LEA-sims. LEA stands for Linden Endowment for the Arts and is basically a program where artists can apply for getting a full sim for the duration of 5-6 months to feature their projects.

LEA currently consists of 20 sims with various colourful art-installations which are a joy to explore.
On my discovery I had the luck to find a lovely steampunk-themed exhibition featuring the work of a number of SL-artists:


Again pictures say more than thousand words. Feel free to check the place out! Here is your taxi to A Rusted Developement and here you find some background information about LEA.

10 August 2012

New Airplane - Fokker D.VII

The Fokker D.VII was arguably the best fighter plane of World War One.

Introduced in May 1918 it was instantly loved by its pilots. Famous Aces like Ernst Udet, Erich Löwenhart, Lothar von Richthofen (the Red Baron's little brother) and Rudolf Berthold scored many kills while flying this machine.

The D.VII was fast, sturdy, yet highly maneuverable and could outclimb any opponent. It is said that it could "turn an average pilot into a good pilot, and a good pilot into an ace."

I'm very happy to present my latest creation. Its been on my to-do-list for quite a while and I'm proud it now has the level of detail and accuracy this excellent airplane deserves.

You can find it at my store at the SL-Marketplace!