16 June 2010

Thanks, Ex-Lindens!

It was a sad farewell party yesterday at Dublin 2 for those Lindens who lost their jobs last week. Touted as the "Ex-Linden Independence Day Party" and kindly hosted by Ham Rambler, it drew a throng of well-wishers. I wasn't there at the very outset and so I may have missed a few appearances, but was glad to see Aimee, Babbage, Byron, Lotte, Molly, Teagan and Teeple Linden pay a visit, along with Whump who came as Whump Stickfigure. A couple of older ex-Lindens also stopped by—Neuro Guillaume and Hamlet Au. (I'm sure there were some of whom I wasn't aware!) Bittersweet for many, I'm sure, and cathartic for me. (I found myself in tears at the end, silly as that may sound!) Thanks, all of you, for helping to build Second Life, and best wishes for your future endeavors. There are some more photos on my Flickr stream.

14 June 2010

Greenies, but not for long

For a long time I had considered blogging about Greenies Home Rezzable, but then I'd think, "That's just so obvious. Surely everyone has seen Greenies already." Then came this past week, with the horrible and staggering layoffs at Linden Lab (see here, an article by Tateru Nino at Massively for the best take on that I've seen), and on top of that came the chilling news that Greenies was going to close. As Rezzable, the creators of Greenies, had already closed all their other SL sims, this wasn't entirely a surprise, but it's terribly disappointing—Greenies is a crown jewel of virtual worlds, and has been such a fixture in Second Life it seems a shame to see it go—it's really very upsetting. June 23rd looks like the death knell for Greenies in SL. But today, at least, people were still celebrating ... above I'm next to my pal Naxos Loon, dancing the time away with a prim on his simian head.

What, you may ask, is so cool about Greenies? You'll soon discover when you arrive, at first in a tunnel (above)—where are you?—that the Greenies are tiny little creatures that have been spacewrecked, but fortunately all survived and have ended up ... here. Turn your draw distance way up (at least 300 meters) and head down the tunnel, but even here begin clicking on things ... you might well discover some surprises! As you exit the tunnel, and find yourself in a small house ... well, hmmm, I shouldn't divulge too much, because as you exit the house you're likely to experience quite a shock.

But read on if you must. The shock is, as you'll discover, that you're in a house that's the size of a sim ... it is a sim actually! ... and that you're now about the size of a mouse—perhaps a bit larger than the Greenies, who seem alternately curious (releasing the bird from her cage or plucking the guitar string), mischievous (look under the sink (photo below) and in the drawers around the room) or unfortunate (ummm, the bottom of the iron, anyone?). The whole place can't help but bring a glowing smile to your face, and it's conceptually brilliant, just amazing. Down on the floor you will find what is surely the iconic symbol of this sim: the black cat suspiciously eyeing a Greenie.

Find the bottle rocket? The safe? Keep looking. There are often car races around the floor (watch out!) and some general craziness going on. (If there were a good candidate for the Linden Endowment for the Arts this would be it, but I'm not sure Rezzable, which has built its own virtual world, Heritage Key, would be too keen on the idea.)

Greenies is the kind of place where you can spend tons of time, and it includes many hidden away spots such as the one below ... can you find that one? If you head into the store, you'll find a ton of Greenies items for sale—mostly small things like little avatars and such, but also bigger works like the entire cat sculpture and the dollhouse, both of which have a proud place in my inventory. (It's important to patronize the arts, you know!) My outfit in these photos is a complete avatar from alpha.tribe called Monsieur Rousseau's Panther, with added hair from Helena Stringer's The Stringer Mausoleum (Thunderdome).

04 June 2010

Nemo II Sneak Peek!

The incredibly industrious Sextan Shepherd, master of steampunk textures and creator of Nemo, has been quietly at work on a new project: Nemo II! It opens tomorrow, Saturday, June 5th, but Sextan was kind enough to give me a sneak peek of this great new place. It's on the same sim as Nemo, and exists largely above ground. Pictured above is a centerpiece of Nemo II, a massive new creation, the Nautilus—Captain Nemo's submarine!

Access to Nemo II is actually through the tunnels of Nemo—you can see above that Sextan and I have entered Nemo II in a mine, the Orichalcum mine. Orichalcum, an especially rare substance that—according to Plato—powered Atlantis, also supplies the energy for the entire Nemo installation. Trams lead you out of the mine and around Nemo II, and one of the destinations is the planetarium, crowned with a massive telescope (below). I can't give a landmark from Nemo II (no way to get there right now!), and I'm not going to post more photos yet, but when it opens you can find it by visiting Nemo. Enjoy! (P.S. Sextan said to me, "Then I will start to build Nemo III!")

02 June 2010

Minute Papillon

Anyone who thinks magic can't be created with the 3,750 prims available on a homestead sim needs to head over to Minute Papillon, right now! This enchanted spot, the name of which might be translated as "little butterfly," is owned by Jade Koltai. Turn your draw distance up when you arrive, as the sim might remind you at first of the vistas created by AM Radio—a far off horizon of purple mountains and skies encircles Minute Papillon, and you won't catch the effect with your distance on the low side. The landscape here, mesmerizing fields of dried wheat, is beautiful and quiet, the chirping of crickets punctuated by the occasional hoots of an owl. The bronze, copper and russet hues of sprawling wheat fields give way to the darker earthiness of the ground in spots, out of which leafless trees rise. But that's not all that's here—there are signs of habitation, a few buildings and small structures dotting the sim, including something that might pass as a saloon, although its permanent inhabitants comprise a giraffe, a giant rabbit and an elephant. (Try climbing on them and clicking on everything else, too.) Far off in one corner of the sim is an apparently deserted chapel and graveyard.

Listen carefully and you'll hear other sounds ... off in the distance ... like a carnival ... and if you search you'll find the source. Incongruously located in the sim is something of a cave containing nothing less than a miniature amusement park, featuring very colorful little toy cars rides and flying vehicles (try them!). (I must admit that I had to clear out of there after a while because of the incessant amusement park music haha!) Every corner of Minute Papillon is lovely, and every spot the best of photo opportunities.

My outfit in these photos includes the New Yippie Orange top by Baiastice, Brown Suede Pants from Ce Cubic, Han Hana beads from (luc) fashion jewelry, and Real Toe Studded Wedge Sandals from J's (sadly not visible in the photos, but a nice match!).