So you may be wondering what exactly I happen to be writing about. Well I will tell you to the best of my ability! In a nutshell it’s science fiction in an interstellar setting. The main characters are (which include my avatar) are artificial intelligences that inhabit humanoid bodies. It’s a meta kind of avatar in an avatar deal. The main characters travel the galaxy exploring new things and keeping the peace. The main characters are Ravishal, GoSpeed, Abba, and Kona. Other SL residents will be featured in cameo roles pending their approval. I don’t know if I’ll get around to creating images based on the stories as that would consume a lot of time I am already devoting to writing. I do have a few images I’ve made in Space Engine I can share.
My inspirations are from various media. Second Life gave me the characters of course. Other games include Eve Online, ARMA, and Star Wars:TOR. Movies include the Matrix, Akira, Star Wars, and Alien. Of course we can’t forget Star Trek in all it’s iterations and media.
The writing is getting a little easier the more I do it. I’m more than half way through my first short story. I think I am at least. I know how it’s going to ends but the path keeps changing as I write it. Then of course when I finish I’ll have to go back and do rewrites, make sure the timeline agrees, and edit my grammar. I think in a month or so I’l have something finished. From there I’ll share it and see if there’s a consensus as to whether my writing is publishable.
Some 3 or so years ago I went to visit a friend on an OS Grid called Inworldz. Can’t say I was too impressed at that time as every time I logged in I kept floating upwards in the air!. Flash forward to 2014 and I decided to go back. Why? Mostly boredom with SL and also to see if there were opportunities there. Appearance wise it is much prettier now as the improvements in graphics and rendering has kept up with the SL grid. Plus it helps that a lot of creators have migrated over. The sole welcome area is staffed with genuinely helpful people. There are a fair share off, how can I put it, fetishists also present but they are well behaved and also are very helpful to new arrivals.
Setting up your Avatar to somewhat resemble your SL one is difficult due to a lack of content, especially if you prefer a darker skin. If you’re white you’ve got lots of options. I was able to find a fairly close tone match for my skin, so I am was satisfied in that regard. Hair was a lot harder for me I’ve yet to find anything remotely similar to my SL style in appearance and quality. Eyes took a bit of searching to find one I liked. Just about every style I found had all those reflections in them, blocking out the much of the color of the iris! Clothing is pretty decent in my opinion. There are a lot of stores offering a wide variety in styles. Like skins and hairs, finding a style of clothing you do want will take a bit of searching to find. There are freebie places, but the pickings are slim compared to SL.
I recommend that you use the Inworldz provided viewer at first. I have been using the OS version of Firestorm, but a few things don;t work well with it like buying currency inworld or search. I use both. IWZ for transactions and Firestorm for general use. One glitch I have noticed is making changes stick. A few times I have updated my profile, only later to see they didn’t stay. Or I would modify the texture on a freebie hair and the colors would revert back the next time I log in. Eventually if you keep at it, they stay permanent.
Perhaps the biggest negative is the lack of people there. One of SL’s criticisms is that it’s mostly empty. The same can be said of Inworldz. At best there can be up to 1,000 people online at it’s peaks. Once you leave the welcome are it’s hard to find anybody at all. Fortunately there are event boards all over the place with a calendar of events. Click the board and it TPs you to the location. With all that being said I still recommend you visit. Perhaps the best analogy I can come up with is to compare Inworldz to a remote colony of SL. The infrastructure is the same, the builds are familiar, but the economy and social life reflects a low population and a slower pace of life. If you like peace and quiet with less drama, then this is a safe haven. Look me up if you’re ever there!
Codie and Paypaback are there too!
My look so far.
Since the last post about ARMA 3 and the new island of Altis I’ve made more journeys around the island.
The skins are very lifelike and the clothing is made of mesh. While there are female skins made by modders there are no female shapes in ARMA. Hopefully this changes soon. Women do serve in combat jobs around the world and also as paramilitaries.
A scenic view from a hilltop
Beautiful volumetric cloud
I saw a friend post a commissioned artwork portrait and loved the style of the artist. Here’s Inspector 97’s take on my Second Life avatar:
As you may recall from my last post I have been playing with the ARMA III alpha (now a beta) and marveling at the size of the maps. Up til recently all that was available was the Stratis island map which had about 20 sq KM of land area. This past week Bohemia Interactive released the Altis map (which is based on the real life island of Lemnos in the Aegean Sea).
Now for those of you familiar with island sizes in SL let’s begin a comparison. A sim in SL is 256 sq meters, that is, 256 meters on a side. 4 of them together is a bit over 1 sq KM at 1,024 sq meters. So 20 sq KM in SL would be equal to 20,000 divided by 1,024 times 4 equals 78 SL sims. This is comparable to the Blake Sea region in SL. The island of Altis has 270 sq KM of land area but if you include the adjacent water and bays it is 900 sq KM. In SL sims that is 1055 sims and 3515 sims respectively. This dwarfs even the Blue Mars maps which ranged up in size to 64 sq KM in area.
Here’s a few pictures from the island I’ve taken the past few days on my solo explorations:
A helo is a quick efficient way to traverse the island. I stink at flying helos! Ground vehicles are more my style.
I am on a hill west of the major airport about 3 kilometers away. Beyond it are 3 towers for solar power plants a further 2km beyond the airfield.
I prefer to drive an 8 wheeled APC due to its durability. If I lose control in a pickup or jeep I could wreck and be faced with a damaged vehicle or die!
A salt flat on the eastern side of the island.
Recently a new beta of Space Engine was released with a set of new features. The results are spectacular, but sadly I encounter a lot of cashes with it. These will be worked out in time but menawhile the imagery it crates is amazing.
A new feature I love is Aurora.
Keep your feet on the ground and your head in the stars –Casey Kasem
This seems to be a theme recently, picturing myslef with a different skin or shape. Today Gorgeous Yongho posted a very nice pic of new “Liz” shape and I commented to her that it was a very nice picture. She then gave me a copy and I tried it on:
I must say the change was very dramatic and pronounced. This shape is very similar to Gogo’s own personal shape. Her shape is very unique and it transcends even skin tones. With this LAQ skin (Claudia 2) GoSpeed now takes on a more Middle Eastern or South Asian appearance.
Here’s a side by side picture for reference:
Sometimes it’s more sensible to walk away for a while. If it’s worth having it will arrive.
While you’re waiting dig up some dirt on someone’s medical background ;)
Just don’t tell Santa though!
This past weekend marked the passing of 6 years in SL. What a long strange trip it has been.
Hey, even Linden Lab gave me a rez day cake! It was a nice gesture :) . I doubt many people noticed as I haven’t spent much time in SL the past 6 months or so. I’ve been going through many changes in my real life and those matters occupy more and more of my time. Sometimes they slow down and I can pop back in world for a short time.
Time enough to pose for a picture with Tessa:
Or just for myself:
I notice that the PC client for Blue Mars is still working. There are still 36 “cities” up and running there with hardly anyone using them. Here’s a crazy idea. Linden Lab could buy all or part of Blue Mars and open it up to Premium users. There is a steadily growing base of creators in SL who work with mesh and many of their products could either be ported or recreated for Blue Mars. These cities have been up and running 24/7 the past few years so they can’t cost very much to maintain. One of SL’s weakest points is its horrible physics engine and its grid system. Vehicle enthusiasts would certainly enjoy no sim crossings and maps up to 8000 meters per side.
Speaking of wide open spaces I am still cruising deep space with Space Engine. It’s still a few years away from having a game framework tacked on to it but in the meantime the exploration is still fun.