Archive for April, 2007

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Wasp Attack Droid

April 19, 2007

by Onder Skall

Never bring a knife to a gunfight. Well, in my case a sword, but the saying holds true.

Wasp Attack Droid

Second Life Games readers may remember the big Wasp release  event. Check that link out for the video.

Anyhow, he sent me a demo and, always a fan of the free stuff, I rezzed it and put it through it’s paces. I customized the colors so it looked a little more wasp-like, gave it some big guns (and a foam gun just for fun), and then told it to attack… hmmm, nobody’s around… well, attack me.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Dragon Slayer

April 18, 2007

by Onder Skall

Ysan Tammas plays Dragon Slayer

This is Ysan Tammas playing Dragon Slayer, which I just installed in the Games Park. She’s just started out in the game and is already seeing action. (Starting the game is done by paying L$25, L$50 or L$100 to the prim… the more you pay the better your armor/hitpoints are.)

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Feature: Dissecting Jack’s Lies

April 17, 2007

by Onder Skall via Kotaku

I feel for those who’ve been touched by the recent tragedy in Virginia, but I’m too busy being overwhelmingly disgusted at the twisted freaks who are trying to use this to advance their own agendas.

Not that I’m calling any lawyers twisted freaks in the above statement… and this picture of Jack Thompson is just here because of how handsome I think he is, not because I think he needs a major reality check and is making the rest of our lives hell in order to feed his own sense of self-satisfaction or anything…

Here’s a completely random quote from Kotaku that for legal reasons I’d like to remind you in no way is meant to imply that anybody is a twisted freak:

Just hours after the shooting on the Virginia Tech campus, Jack Thompson worked his way onto national television to attempt to tie the tragedy to video games – hours before authorities had released any information about the suspect or his motive.

Please read the Kotaku article entitled “Feature: Dissecting Jack’s Lies” to your mother, your grandmother, and especially to your teachers.

Now, the twisted opportunistic freaks of the world just don’t know when to quit. Not that I’m calling Dr. Phil a (possibly litigious) twisted freak for the things he’s said here, either. I’m just talkin’, ya know… theoretically…

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Second Life ARG Group

April 17, 2007

by Onder Skall

I’m scouting out the possibility of putting together a group in Second Life for people who love Alternate Reality Gaming. This would just be a group for sharing stories of our favorite ones, scouting out new ones, and general group play of the occasional mini-ARG that crops up here and there.

My time is stretched VERY thin, so I’m not going to do this unless I get some very enthusiastic feedback. If you’re interested write me (ruagamer at gmail dot com) with the following information:

  1. Have you ever played through an ARG? Which ones?
  2. Have you ever participated in making one?
  3. Do you have any special talents that you could bring to a player group? (ex: web, scripting, podcasting, artistic, etc.)
  4. What is the best part about an ARG?
  5. What is Neurocam?

Make sure the subject is “SL ARG Group” so I can sort my inbox properly.

If I get enough enthusiastic responses I’ll start the group, host meetings, help support a website, help form a community, the whole bit… but of course, that’s only if I hear from you. :)

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GBC News – Bridge Parade

April 17, 2007

profilepic.jpgBy Osprey Therian

Ida Keen covers the parade to celebrate the Shermerville Straits Bridge opening.

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Get Landmarked At The Games Park

April 16, 2007

by Onder Skall

Work continues on the retrofit of the Games Park. I’m focusing away from hosting games myself (although I will *always* have a bunch available!) and more toward featuring places to go around Second Life.

Games Park WIP

Behind me here you can see the beginnings of the project. Click on any of those pictures to get a notecard with a description of the place and a landmark to check it out yourself. For now I’ve just put in whatever notecards the owners have sent me, but I’ll be customizing them in due time.

The four categories I’m starting with are:

  • Arcade
  • Educational
  • Role Playing
  • Theme Park

Do you own a build that falls under any of these categories, or know someone who does? Send me a notecard with a description of the place, a Landmark, and a texture/snapshot for me to put on the panel itself when I make it. It’s FREE!

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Skiing With Seeker Gray

April 16, 2007

Seeker Gray By Seeker Gray

Now that winter is upon us (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere!), a person’s thoughts turn natuarally to snow. I’ve been an avid skiier for years (very much a la Arthur Conan Doyle!) but I thought I’d give myself a little challenge and try a snowboard; so I was pleased to find the Nakiska Ski Club.

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Go Center

April 16, 2007

by Onder Skall

I got an email from Second Life Games reader Zarf Vantongerloo about a new Go Center:

Go Center

Thought you might like to know that the in-world Go group has finally
gotten big enough to start holding club times in SL. We’re starting
out with these times:

Monday, Noon – 2pm SLT
Thursday, 8pm – 10pm SLT

This coming Monday, the 16th, is our first event:

http://secondlife.com/events/event.php?id=550407&date=1176750000

We’ll be meeting at the still-under-construction Go Center of Second
Life, located at Vineland (58,93):

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Vineland/58/93

Check out the group “The Game of Go aka Wei’qi aka Baduk” for more information about the club. Or contact me.

Definitely check out the build, actually… has a nice airy feel to it.

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4 Corners Broadband: You Only Live Twice

April 15, 2007

by Onder Skall

I’m just starting to feel my way around the Gaming and Learning In Second Life group, and I get the opportunity to meet with them today in-world which is very exciting. They’ve given me some great tips, but this was just beyond. Check out these videos at You Only Live Twice.

This was awesome. I mean, a lot of it is for newbs only, but after the first five or ten minutes becomes quite brilliant. There’s a general overview package about Second Life (including an interview with Anche Chung), but it then gets into economic analysis and a real critique of what we’re looking at. One little bit of serendipidy here is that they, inadvertently, echo what I’ve said with “Onder’s Big Three” about what makes Second Life unique.

A little further down the page and you’ll see three mugshots. Click on them and you can get some straight-up interviews with three people who really like public attention… and are knowledgeable about something or other I guess.

Philip RosedaleWhile the first five minutes or so of the Philip Rosedale interview were very much “for dummies”, and you immediately get where the hippie references in the Herald have been coming from, we get some real numbers out of him here about population and actual content about taxation issues. There are some funny comments at the end about how the law is probably not going to affect anything in SL… so obviously this interview doesn’t mention ageplay or gambling.

Ted CastronovaProf Ted Castronova talks numbers and economics… and is very… stimulating… so like… call the guys and get some brew and get ready to jump off the couch screaming “yeah dawg” and high-fiving till your hand falls off cuz.. this stuff is… wow. *blink*blink* If you’re serious about business in Second Life, this is probably a good interview for you. Oh, and he says the opposite of what Philip said about taxes.

Clay ShirkyClay Shirky, always positive, upbeat, cheer-leading and optimistic… and HUMBLE, my GOD! Clay, don’t be so down on yourself! Summary: it’s all hype, barely anybody there, nothing new, and the amount of sex in Second Life is insignificant. Hmm. You’re right Clay. Closing the blog forever and uninstalling now.

I’ll admit, while I do think Clay’s perspective is more cynical than realistic, it’s nice to hear somebody taking the piss out of the PR. It’s why we love ya Clay!

Anyhow, I have no idea how long this will all be up for so check it out while you can.

[EDIT: forgot to add  - they also feature the odd perspective that if you were to attempt to cash out anything more than US$ 20 you'd ruin the economy... even though they ALSO feature people claiming to make a very good living in RL from SL business... it's an odd denial of reality by the experts that's always stuck in my craw.]

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GBC News – Bridge Parade on Monday

April 14, 2007

profilepic.jpgBy Osprey Therian

Join the parade – Ida Keen gives details on Monday’s celebratory event.

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Saturday Slaughter @ The Kill Club

April 14, 2007

profilepic.jpgBy Osprey Therian

 

ss14april07b.jpg

Combat Cards is a trading card dueling game that uses cards in a HUD, each card having values for things like block, attack, and even regeneration. Every week we have an event so you can get together and thrash out the tensions of the week. Saturday Slaughter is usually at Spangle Aerial Arenas, but The Kill Club hadn’t been getting much use for events lately, so we took our weapons over to Europa (thank you, Johannason, for suggesting it). A good turnout of really nice people, and the help of neighbor Delpha Deckard* made this a fun event!

ss14april07a.jpg

 

*Decka let us use his next-door parcel so we could rez a second anvil – then sat and watched the slaughter!

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The State Of RPGs In SL

April 14, 2007

by Onder Skall

Onder and Suzanna

You might accuse me of using this post as an excuse to post a bunch of pictures of Suzanna… and you’d probably be right. My review of her sim, City of Lost Angels, is going up this week on New World Notes. We got together today and talked about that a bit, and about the wall of RPGs that I’m putting together at the Games Park.

Suzanna Soyinka

If you don’t know her, Suzanna is one of the pioneers of RPGs in Second Life. She created one of the first combat systems, one of the first major builds, and founded the most respected RP we have. As we talked about the different sims that people have been building it became clear that she’d been ripped off a few times. There was even one sim that copy/pasted the notecard that you get when you land in the sim and just changed the name, with no attribution. (I’ll withhold names for now.)

When I asked her about getting sim owners together to trade ideas she was hesitant, which I’m sure you can understand. As we discussed stories of back-stabbing and drama-queens gone diva it became clear that I’d have an uphill battle on my hands if I wanted to get these people together.

Still, it was also apparent that sim owners are very genre-centric. She knew all of the dark RP sims, for instance, but had missed several of the more fantasy, western, and post-apocalyptic sims. They all share radically different philosophies and could lend each other ideas about how to get things done.

Eventually the sun came up and, being a vampire, that meant she had to go. Still, I remain optimistic that we might be able to make something happen here.

Suzanna Soyinka

MEANWHILE… I have five sims on my big RPG board in the Games Park. Send me a notecard in-world that contains a snapshot and landmark if you’d like to be up there among the greats!

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A Deck of Cards – OF COURSE!

April 14, 2007

by Onder Skall

When Rifkin wrote me about this I had one of those smack-your-head-with-astonishment moments. Why the hell hasn’t this already been built?

You have got to admire Rifkin Hasberg… the guy has vision. (Previously he built Frootcake, Danger Zone and Zingo).

Playing Cards

You can get your own copy here. From a business perspective there’s a bit of genius to it because all he has to do in order to sell more decks is re-texture the back of them.

It’s kind of beta at the moment but you can play Hearts and Spades. MANY more games are promised. If you and three friends want to give it a try I have it over at the Games Park. If you can’t find a fourth, try your hand at 52 Pickup. Seriously. Couple more pictures after the fold… Read the rest of this entry ?

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Masquerade Ball in the Legendary Toxian City

April 14, 2007

Toxian City Masquerade

When: April 14th 7pm -12 am SL time

Hosts: The Kindred Alliance – formed to strengthen the vampire community and welcomes all vampire clans into its ranks. This is an event to celebrate unity in Toxia.

Who is invited: All races and groups supported by the Toxian mythos: Vampires, Lycans, Supernaturals, Dark Elves, Mutants, Demons, Angels, Machines, and Humans.

Toxian city is a dark urban live action role playing game. The city’s setting is what is left of a blue collar town after major disaster hit. Toxian city is a forgotten legendary place where races of all sorts may roam free without retribution. The build was designed to evoke a sense of horror and give the characters a variety of interesting settings to roleplay within. The mythos of Toxia is created in a way so established characters in other games could cross over without having to change.

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SLG Exclusive – HiPiHi & Areae Insights!

April 13, 2007

by Onder Skall

Since posting the latest iteration of “Alternatives To Second Life” late last night, new details have come to light. To be honest there are dozens of things that can wait until I do the next iteration of the list, but these are too hot to wait:

First, Bruce Chen, Business Development Director at HiPiHi was good enough to get back to me on a few points. Answers are sic so excuse the esl:

  1. Is your in-world currency open to real-market trading? – Definitely it is. The residents in the HiPiHi World would push the exchange between in-world currency and real money.
  2. Are residents able to upload textures and other content? Is there a review process like “There” has, or is it immediate and open like “Second Life”? – The residents can upload textures and other content under a manageable mechanism.
  3. I’ve noticed several resident videos already on your website. Is there a video recording tool in the client? – The videos you mentioned were made by the residents themselves. HiPiHi World client has not a video recording tool yet, and it is really cool a feature which we should consider later.
  4. Will there be a version open to the West? – The multi-language versions including English, Japanese, are under planning.

Thank you Bruce Chen! I can’t wait to play HiPiHi myself!

Also, Raph Koster of Areae Inc. (thanks Torley!) did the whole “well you don’t really need Onder’s Big Three in virtual worlds” thing, and was brilliant and insightful about it as usual (even if I’m not talking about all virtual worlds Raph, just SL). In so doing he let a few hints slip about what we might find in Areae as far as real-money trading:

#1 is probably the most problematic (do you become a bank, terrorists laundering money, tax implications, illegal business activities, and on and on and on).

[...]

FWIW, I think that #1 is a bit of a red herring. The point of a metaverse world, or indeed any sort of world including the real one, is not to make money. Money is an enabler, a convenient tool. I suspect that the current explosion in “metaverse service bureaus” is a sign that RMT is not the key ingredient involved in making big bucks with a virtual world.

So from the sounds of it, we’re not going to see much in the way of integrated RMT in Areae’s plans for the future. It’s still up in the air if this is going to be a “send some folks to jail” policy like WoW’s, or a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy like There’s. Either way, for those of us who love the way Second Life handles the issue, it’s a bit of a shame.

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