Posted in building, day-to-day, entertainment, events, RL, SL13B

This SLB…

In years past, I’ve explored SLB (Second Life Birthday) expos and excitedly reported back to you all about the true awesomesauce I witnessed.

But this year, I’m on the wagon. I’m fighting the pull to log back in, which is stronger this time of year than any other. I love me some SLBs. Just… everything about them (except lag) is just the culmination of everything I loved about SecondLife: the creative displays, the excitement, and the people I’ve met and friends I’ve made.

This year, I won’t be able to share a Green Guide with my favorites of the favorites to lead you to… this year, YOU have to tell ME.

So! Today was Opening Day. I long for some pictures and descriptions. I want to know what you were enraptured and fascinated by. If Mistletoe were there with you, where would you take her?

Posted in addiction, entertainment, events, Manic Elf, out of character, personal, recovery, RL, updates

I miss you.

So the next Second Life Birthday is in planning stages. 13 already. Damn. Does that mean that this June would be my 10th rez-day?

SLBs are the hardest time of year for me to keep away from SL, because they’re some of the best of what the grid has to offer all in one convenient spot: a font of creativity and genius, without the Lab putting their dirty hands on it. It’s hard not to miss that; I would be lying if I said I didn’t.

And there are people I miss a lot too. I try to keep up on emails, or chatting with them on Facebook or Twitter, but it’s really not as easy to keep that connection without the medium on which you made the connection in the first place. I want to, though. If you see this and haven’t heard from me in a while: I miss you.

I logged on my alts once, about two weeks or so ago, to shake them down for loose change. It was a little, just under a hundred bucks, and is helping us get through a tight spot. The spots are always so tight these days. My job isn’t going so great, but I’m working and trying to further myself in it. I can’t really afford my hobbies (SCA and LARP) anymore, either in money or in time.

I do have a Fiverr gig going on now, though. After playing Undertale (which a friend got me for Xmas) I’ve wanted to live in an 8bit world a while longer, so I fired up RPGMaker and now I make custom video-game greeting cards for five bucks a pop. Nothing too fancy, but cute as hell: a custom sprite of the recipient solves a puzzle, opens a door, and gets a personalized message from the sender. You should have a look! And if you’re on the evil Book of Faces, you should like my page and share the love!

I’m tempted, speaking of Fiverr, of doing machinima videos of firework greetings like I used to do. But that would mean investing myself in SL again and I don’t think I should do that.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on in my world. What’s going on in yours?

Posted in entertainment, events, performing, photos

Photos from “The Nut” – Ballet in Second Life

I got an unexpected invitation to see a ballet in Second Life today, something I’d never done before. The Rose Opera House put on a performance called “The Nut”, which was an abridged version of the Nutcracker Ballet. Under the cut you’ll find my photos from today’s performance. Click each picture to see a larger version.
Continue reading “Photos from “The Nut” – Ballet in Second Life”

Posted in day-to-day, entertainment, events, list, sl10b, travel

A Recipe for Awesome Sauce (and for Weak Sauce)

So this isn’t the first time I’ve done this, but once again I’m finding myself pondering what makes some exhibits at SL10B amazeballs and what makes others… less so. I first mentioned some things back at SL8B and I think some of the ingredients for awesome sauce remain timeless. Others, I’ve only considered recently.

Now, keep in mind, I’m no expert. I’ve only exhibited once and I’m hardly an authority. But, I know what I like, and I know how to be an observant visitor. So take from this what you want.

Ingredients for awesome sauce include:

  • Being open and inviting from more than one side. I’m really good at finding precisely the wrong entrance to an exhibit and blundering in, and I can’t be the only one (can I?). If the exhibit really can/should only be entered from one point, it should be clear and easy to find from the other sides too.
  • Giving the avatar something to do. Be it a ride, a game, a hunt, or even just a place to sit and relax, I for one like having something to do when I visit an exhibit. Mind, that’s not the same as having to work for it. I don’t want to have to go through a maze if all I want is to pop in and get some pictures. There’s a fine line between encouraging participation and railroading. And by the way, is it me, or are there way fewer of these this year?
  • Beauty or awesomeness clearly visible at a distance. It’s not enough to be seen at a distance. There are countless (as Crap calls them) middle-finger towers that you can see at a distance easily. But that’s not enough. It’s the difference between “WHOA what’s that over there?! I must go see!” and “EW, what the hell is that over there? I must avoid!”.
  • Loading quickly. Awesome builds use fewer textures, smaller textures, and otherwise uses textures in a smart way so that they don’t take all afternoon to load.
  • Looking fresh, new, and innovative. That doesn’t necessarily mean looking modern. For example, a medieval village square that uses mesh is going to look better and load faster than one that’s still rezzing because it’s all sculpts. It may use newer scripts for firelight effects or sounds or in how it gives out information. Awesome builds wow the visitor by using things in new ways.
  • Good freebies. Freebies at all are not a requisite for an awesome build, in my opinion; but if you’re going to have them, make them good ones. Something that took some time and effort. Hell, at at least one exhibit, freebies are the whole point and so the build is loaded with amazing stuff to take home.
  • FUN!
  • What more can I say? If it’s dull, why bother?

Now, I mentioned, you gotta sift through a good bit of rough before finding the diamonds. Here, in my opinion, are the things to avoid when making an exhibit.

  • Nothing but an advertisement for your thing. It’s a fine line between telling people about your community/club/shop/what have you, and advertising it. Between “in case you were curious about us…” and “HAY LOOK AT ME!”. You can have an exhibit about your thing in a way that doesn’t feel like advertising (Bay City comes to mind as an example) but it’s tricky. Make it about celebrating the birthday/being in theme FIRST, then worry about letting people know who you are LAST (if at all).
  • Ugly textures. This is subjective, I’ll concede, but weaksauce exhibits were tacky in their use of textures. More than one had a blurry, poorly-tiled outer space-ish texture that looked like it was a last minute thought. If you really can’t let a certain texture go, at least tile it evenly and use some shading.
  • A Big Box of Boring. Crap hated the middle finger towers; I hate the big ugly fill-the-parcel-with-a-giant-box structure. It’s unwelcoming, it’s ugly, it make terrible use of the space, and it’s usually covered with an ugly texture (see previous) or else plain black. I think people use these because they want you to experience their exhibit, and only theirs, without any of the other ones in the background. But I’m of the opinion that it’s an expo and you’re supposed to see lots of exhibits at any given time. Dishonorable mention goes to enclosed spheres or hemispheres; they’re even worse use of volume.
  • Falling back on the past. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m a big proponent of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Also, given the theme of SL10B, there will be retrospectives. That’s not what I’m talking about here, however. I’m talking about making your build look like it was made in 2006, with clunky prims, bad texturing, obsolete scripts… really I’m just repeating what I said earlier. In addition to this, however, I was disappointed at seeing some builds that just did the same thing they did last year and/or the year before. They didn’t stretch forth to try something new.
  • A Subscribe-o-matic. Not only do those things use notecards– the lowest form of communication in Second Life– but they suck. I wish I could be more eloquent when I say how deeply they suck. They scream “advertisement”, they turn your exhibit into a recruiting tool, they’re a bitch to unsubscribe from, in short they’re horrible.
Posted in day-to-day, entertainment, meme, personal

Strawberry’s Weird Questions Meme

This week Strawberry Singh’s weekly meme is to answer the following weird questions:

  1. Which was the last sim you visited?
  2. Does your avatar look like the real you?
  3. Do you wear underwear/panties underneath your clothing when out and about on the grid?
  4. If you won a million linden dollars, what would be the first thing you buy inworld?
  5. Have you ever bought something in SL and then realized afterwards that you had already owned it from before?
  6. Have you ever done anything in Second Life that would be considered illegal in real life?
  7. If you could go out on a date with any other avatar, who would it be?
  8. Who, in your opinion, was the greatest avatar to ever slive?
  9. What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done inworld?
  10. If your avatar had a mind of its own, what do you think it would say to you?

Answers ahead…
Continue reading “Strawberry’s Weird Questions Meme”