IDOBATA 2.0 Freeware for Second Life

This is a tool for turning Skype and Second Life Viewer text chat to speech. The idea is that with this running you can multi-task and not miss business IM’s and chats in Second Life. This is apparently a two way chat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skJozy95SDs Yuzuru’s English is a bit broken. But, way better than my Japanese, … Continue reading »

The Beard Dilemma

Someone on my plurk timeline was saying, some time ago, about how they love hairy men with well-groomed beards – and yet it’s next to impossible to find avs that embody this in SL (I’d imagine the proportion is even lower in roleplay communities, where the focus on youth and smooth, slender beauty is intensified). I tend to concur: male avs in second life have a beard dilemma.

Myst1-small

It’s not to say that they don’t exist – they do, of course. Tattoo layers abound, in virtually every style one could want, and some are very well done. A few places – Deco and Spellbound come to mind – have even tackled mesh beards with excellent results. That said, there’s a difference between “a beard” and “a well-groomed beard.” It’s the difference between, say… Tom Hanks in Castaway and this distinguished chap who posed for Dave Mead’s “Magnificent Specimens” series:

davemead-magspec

Look at that beard! It’s trim, combed, clean, and it perfectly suits his… well, everything. Whether or not you’re a fan of the mustache he’s sporting, it’s nigh impossible to argue that the beard is impeccable.

Fast forward to one of the better beards I’ve found in SL:

Myst2

I like this beard. Nay: I like this beard quite a lot! It’s a combination of a mesh beard from Bastard, which I grabbed at one of the first few Men’s Department rounds more than a year or two ago, with a beard tattoo layer from Okara (the latter is no mod – beard makers, please never make your tattoo layers no mod!). The mesh beard does have a lot going for it – it’s easily resized so it can fit all sorts of shapes, and it can be tinted without too much trouble. That said, like almost all beards in Second Life… it’s a little clunky and it lacks the more natural feeling we get from hair that goes on an av’s head (or even elsewhere in the body – I’ve seen some stunningly well-done leg/back/chest/”other” hair).  There’s a sense that it’s supposed to appear groomed, but I suspect that doesn’t come through in the translation as a result of the medium (mesh and prim beards both simply seem difficult to achieve); like most mesh beards that come without matching tattoo layers, it also looks a little disjointed. It doesn’t make it a bad beard, I don’t think – especially when you consider that it’s the only beard of the style I’ve seen in world.

More importantly, Bastard paid particular attention to the actual flow and style of hair in a beard when making this, and it shows if you look at the others in the same collection. There’s an important difference between the hair that grows out of your head and the hair that grows out of your face – namely the latter is more coarse, wavier, and light will always reflect differently on it. Beards will never really be lustrous or glossy like the best hairs in SL (and RL) – nor should they be. But they can be neat, have the appearance of being combed and clean, and seem visually robust to the touch – I’d highlight existing beards by Spellbound and Deco, which (while not necessarily what I’d call “groomed”) certainly have the feel of thick, bushy beards. And while we’re at it – I’d love to see beard creators take a hint from Bastard and start making mesh beards in styles beyond “full on bear biker dude” and “Khal Drogo.”

And lest I get lost just in a discussion of beards, I do want to mention the outfit here – it’s from one of my favorite men’s medieval designers, Kahli Designs, and it’s going to be out shortly for March’s We Love Roleplay. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a Kahli piece that hasn’t been incredibly well done, and this one is the same – the metal textures on the belt and boots are just a little gritty, and the fabric everywhere drapes in a way that seems both thick and natural, like it was woven for a long, hard winter. KD also included a hud with the piece, so with every set you have the option to wear it clean, bloody, dirty, or bloody AND dirty, for when it’s just one of those days. There’s rarely anything critical I have to say about KD pieces – the slight nitpick I’d make here is that the belt feels a little high up on the tunic, but you can opt to wear the pieces as separates and use the unrigged belt that’s included, which I found solved the problem (at least for me). Definitely recommended for anyone in medieval or southern Gorean roleplay.

Credits

Skin: Birth – Milton Skin (Highlands) (out now at Men Only Monthly)
Eyes: Insufferable Dastard – Shine Eyes
Beard: OKARA – Beard (Mahogany & Brows Red) (no longer available), Bastard – Colonel Angus Beard Ginger
Clothes: Kahli Designs – Charles (Blue) (coming today to We Love Roleplay)
Pose: double take – steel alloy

Taken in the Realm of Mystara.


Filed under: Everything, iheartslFeed, Men's Tagged: Bastard, beards, Birth, double take, insufferable dastard, Kahli Designs, OKARA, Realm of Mystara

Glamour

Glam•our or glam•or
1.  the quality of fascinating, alluring, or attracting, esp. by combining charm and good looks.
2.  magic or enchantment; spell; witchery.

Again an amazing glamour shoot by Graham. Remember - all Graham's pictures are untouched  and produced completely in-world.



















Here’s how to defeat graphics crashers

Way back in May of 2013, we wrote an article entitled Debug settings to make graphics crashers obsolete. It was the most popular link on the blog to date, and generated some good discussion. The method involved making changes to three different settings in the debug menu, but it had “side effects.” If you ever tried it, you know that it would cause floors and walls to disappear, and not in a consistent way. So I put my settings back to normal after enduring all of the problems, and I suppose everyone else did too.

After dealing with graphics crashers for so long, Second Life peacekeepers have tried many different ways to be able to stay in the same region as a graphics crasher so we can write an Abuse Report. Those with low end computers can’t stay around for long, and even high tech systems will crash after a long exposure. But finally we have discovered a way to minimize the effects of a graphics crasher. This will work for everyone.

In your viewer’s Advanced menu (hit Ctrl-Alt-D if you don’t see it), you will see a menu item called Rendering Types. Toggling these 13 different settings allows you to see or not see things in Second Life. To turn off your view of a graphics crasher, you want to turn off your view of Volume. You will see on the menu that the shortcut for that is Ctrl+Alt+Shift+9

RenderingTypesMenu

If you hold down the Ctrl, Alt, and Shift keys you will be able to hit the 9 key and toggle your view of Volume on and off. I knew that this worked for prims, but wasn’t sure whether it also works for mesh objects (and mesh graphics crashers). So we did a test. Here is my friend Lucy sitting on a mesh park bench:

LucyParkBench01

And here is the same screen after turning off the Volume view:

LucyParkBench02

You can see that the view of the floor and the other objects and Lucy’s mesh boots and the bench itself is gone. The only reason you can see the outline of the bench is that it is still being edited. That’s good to remember – if you are holding the graphics crasher in edit, whether it is rendered or not, you will see your speed decreasing, headed for the ultimate crash (using the Statistics display, Ctrl+Shift+1).

So that’s it! The end of the rule of graphics crashers over Second Life residents. If you turn off Volume, you can’t see them and they can’t crash you. Granted, everyone else looks weird with no hair or furry heads or prim boobs, but at least you get to stay online.

As always, if there are issues with this method or someone has a better solution, please post in the comments.


New SL/WoW documentary “Login2Life”

Draxtor Despres today uploaded a new documentary video called LOGIN2LIFE on his official YouTube channel which runs for 1 hour and 26 minutes. Second Life and World of Warcraft is featured in this new documentary. Woooot! :)

Elaborate digital platforms like Second Life and World of Warcraft offer novel opportunities for friendship, sex, employment, and aesthetic experience in virtual communities populated by cartoon-like avatars.

Centered around people who have found communities online, Login 2 Life profiles people deeply immersed in virtual worlds, including individuals who are homebound because of their disabilities, and attempts to understand what these individuals get from their virtual lives.

Apparently this SL/WoW documentary “Login2Life” will be shown at the Reel Abilities Film Fest in NYC at 10pm on Tuesday 17th March 2015. There will be a discussion panel in Second Life with a RL audience which sounds most interesting indeed.

More info here > http://newyork.reelabilities.org


Filed under: Second Life, SL Announcements, SL Breaking News, SL Coming Soon, SL Community, SL Cool Stuff, SL News Alert, SL Videos Tagged: Second Life, SL Breaking News, SL News, SL Videos

Twitch Reportedly Suspending Users for Streaming Second Life – Competitor Hitbox "Happy" to Allow SL Streaming

Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style Last week I wrote a few tips for anyone looking to stream Second Life or Second life content creation live for an audience. I mentioned that game streaming...

Firestorm TTT – Clean Install 2015

Hopefully by now you know TTT is Firestorm’s Tool Tip Tuesday. This week Jessica walks people through the process of performing a clean install. First step is backing up your Firestorm Viewer ‘s chat logs and settings. None of the steps for a clean install are technically difficult for the intermediate computer user. However, if … Continue reading »

MadPea Games History Trail Shows That Games Can Be Developed Within Second Life

MadPea Games New Home

Fans of computer games are seeing a lot of news coming out of the Game Developers Conference 2015 this week. Linden Lab aren’t there, as far as I know. They have been there before. However Second Life isn’t widely known for games of the interactive sort. Having said that, there are games within Second Life and MadPea Games are one of the best known developers of games within Second Life.

Start Of The History Trail

MadPea Games have also moved into a new home, on the Consignment sim which they share with Wavie Haller’s Consignment brand. This is a sensible arrangement as the two brands have been collaborating on recent projects such as Buried and Blood Letters.

However one very fascinating aspect of this collaboration is the introduction of a history trail on the sim. The trail contains signposts of previous MadPea Games productions, which when touched, give you a brief glimpse of a moment of MadPea Games history in local chat along with links to youTube videos of their work and a real sense that games can be developed within the virtual world of Second Life.

Respite

For a start there are a lot of signs. They are extremely informative and inform the trailblazing explorer of such matters as :

Before MadPea we were known as Beyond Imagination and brought our first game out in February 2008 called Where the Hell is Harvey Wayne? It was one of the rare grid-wide hunts back in the day, leading to a full sim with puzzles and ciphers to solve.

Since 2008 MadPea have introduced plenty more games and interactive experiences. They have also moved to different places and collaborated with plenty of other brands.

Boat Escape

We learn a little bit about their collaboration with Orange which started with Firefly :

The first collaboration with MadPea and Orange was to create an immersive game for their Create programme. Firefly was a haunting love story of a lucid dreamer who lost the love of her life. By living the dream that has turned into a nightmare, the players would find clues and solve puzzles to discover the secrets eventually leading into an unforgettable discovery.

Orange are more famously known for their mobile phones. Eventually Orange left Second Life, but a generous benefactor stepped forward :

Dusan Writer generously sponsored two islands for us when Orange left SL.

Dusan eventually left Second Life too, which was a shame because he had a fantastic blog. Orange were not the only company with whom MadPea have collaborated over the years.

History Trail

In 2009 an educational game entitled “Notes from the Voyage” was created for the Nature Publishing Group and MacMillan Publishers :

An educational game about the travels of Charles Darwin

The year 2009 marked two important landmarks in science; the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of his seminal work, On The Origin of Species.

The game was released to celebrate these important milestones. MadPea Productions created a HUD that looked like Darwin’s Notebook. In addition to this HUD, the players also had a toolbag and compass to help them on their way to solve many fun puzzles.

The storyline and tasks were designed in close collaboration with the client. MadPea provided assistance on the general handling of the player’s interface.

There’s more, much more.

Ice Cream

The trail is also scenic, to say the least. Although if you’re feeling a little hot, you can stop off for an ice cream.

Party Area?

MadPea Games current venture is a game called Buried, you can read more about that here. The game runs until March 31st so there’s plenty of time to get involved with that.

Consignment

However if games aren’t your thing, then I have to say that Consignments designs are pretty damn impressive in their own right.

We’ve heard before how Second Life isn’t a game and of course that’s true. However games can be developed within Second Life. MadPea Games are far from the only brand developing games in Second Life, but their history trail really does make for some interesting reading as to what can be done on the game front within Second Life and that may open some people’s eyes to the possibilities.

SLURL To Consignment : http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Consignment/107/127/24


Exciting events during March 2015 in Second Life

There are many exciting events to look forward to during March 2015 in Second Life and yay spring is around the corner. These events are the ones that I know of at the moment and if you know of any others please share them in comments.

  • Paint SL Purple is still happening in Second Life until 7th March 2015
  • The Full Perm Fair is still happening in Second Life until 22nd March 2015
  • RFL of SL 2015 season officially starts from 7th+ March 2015
  • VWBPE 2015 starts on 18th – 21st March 2015
  • Fashion for Life 2015 officially starts on 21st – 29th March 2015
  • Burnal Equinox in SL 2015 starts on 27th – 29th March 2015

Spread the word :)


Filed under: Second Life, SL Coming Soon, SL Community, SL Cool Stuff, SL Events, SL News Alert Tagged: Second Life, SL Events

Pirate Bay

Now open at MetaLES, curated by Ux Hax, Lanjran Choche and Romy Nayar, is Pirate Bay, a modest installation by Igor Ballyhoo — modest not only in scope but also in time, having opened yesterday and being scheduled to close on Friday, March 6. Visitors arrive at an ocean platform in the darkened sim, facing a pirate ship illuminated by spotlights ... and ... that's it. The ship is a reference to The Pirate Bay (TPB) (in fact, it replicates The Pirate Bay's logo), an infamous torrent-related website that has had a history of legal issues, particularly with the Swedish government. Click on the red button at the landing point to learn more.