Monday, July 15, 2019

The Kultivate 4th Annual Anniversary

By Marcel Mosswood

Today Kultivate Magazine celebrates the Kultivate 4th Annual Anniversary by holding an art exhibition. The art exhibition involves 25 artists on 2D art and two artists on 3D art.

Half of the Water Haven sim is decorated in a steampunk theme for this art exhibition. The artists are also given the freedom to decorate their own exhibition booth measuring 20x20 m. With this freedom, artists develop their creativity in decorating their booths.

List of artists:
Anouk Lefavre
Bellissa Dion
CybeleMoon (hana.hoobinoo)
DreamMakerXDreamBreaker Resident
Elle Thorkveld
EvangelinaBurroughs Resident
Fluer Heartsdale Chun
Freedom Voix
Hadiya Draper
ilyra chardin
Jamee Sandalwood
Marcel Mosswood
Matt (mth63)
Myra Wildmist
Nikolai Warden
Pam Astonia
Sheba Blitz
Sophie72 Congrejo
Syphera Inaka
talligurl resident
Veruca Tammas
Warm Clarity

At the 4th Annual Anniversary, Kultivate Magazine holds various events every day for 7 days with live music and giveaway.

You can win a prize too! The following is a list of events:

Sunday, July 14, 2019:
- 1 pm slt – Exhibition Opens
- 1pm slt to 2pm slt – live performer Lark Bowen
- 2pm to 3pm slt – live performer Melenda Baptiste
Monday, July 15, 2019:
- 4pm slt to 5pm slt – live performer Dimivan Ludwig
Tuesday, July 16, 2019:
- 4pm to 5pm slt – live performer Mavenn
Wednesday, July 17, 2019:
- 4pm to 5pm slt – live performer Wolfie Starfire
Thursday, July 18, 2019:
- 4pm to 5pm slt – live performer TBD
Friday, July 19, 2019:
- 4pm to 5pm slt – live performer Erika Ordinary
Saturday, July 20, 2019:
- 1pm to 2pm slt – Close party

List of Giveaways (throughout the week, you must be present at events to win and enter the raffle board, only one item can be won per person)

2 LumiPros, Serenade Photo Studio Pro, Tillie’s Pose Stand, 5,000L’s, Fotoscope FotoFrame Publisher, “Beachyhead House” 100% original mesh Version 1.1 from DAD Designs, and the Camden Photo Studio from Maven Homes.

Here is the LM:

Marcel Mosswood

Editor's Note: Neoma Vasilia was going to be in the event, but had to drop out.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

New Crux Avatars On The Way

By Cyfir (cyfiremmerich Resident)

Sovereign Wolf, owner of Cerberus, is an accomplished mesh and avatar creator who is working on bringing the original Crux avatar to a more modern shine. I recently had a chance to interview her and ask questions regarding this and more.

Cyfir: What got you started in 3D work and avatar making?

Sovereign Wolf: Maybe it's kind of anti-climatic to hear, but I was tired of relying on other people for mod parts! I realized I had a knack for it. I've always wanted to do avatar design and creation, even back when all there was were prims. I've been meshing for mainstream human stores for the past 7+ years, and now I've decided it's time to take those skills and try to get into full time avatar creation!

C: What have been your inspirations when it comes to your work?

SW: I used to be a huge Sonic nerd and I'm a huge Disney nerd too. Anything animated, 3d or traditional. Huge nerd for it and now here we are! Some of my in-world influences are Curious, KZK, and Mutation Industries. Just to name a few!

C: What got you interested in redoing the crux in modern mesh and bento?

SW: I loved my MI fox and MI crux, (I still have my original crux somewhere in the depths of my inventory, ha). I just felt like the following the crux had would appreciate a modernization, as I felt I would, too! I would have never stopped wearing mine if it had been updated to bento. The crux has influenced so many people. This is much more of a passion project for me. It's very nostalgic!

C: What have been the challenges of recreating the crux to "modern" standards?

SW: Definitely the facial structure; the brows and lids mainly. A lot of stylization of the original crux was sort of due to the limitations of sculpts at the time. And so trying to find a middle ground that doesn't change the look too much has been a bit of a task!

C: What does the original creator of the crux think?

SW: She told me, quote, "I think that if the folks who liked the sculpted version just want a mesh update without heavy design modifications that would be pretty ideal!"

C: Can you tell us what features will be included in the new crux?

SW: So far, I'm trying to make a full facial expression AO. The tongue should have multiple states, maybe some animated ones. The ears will have an AO setting, as well as poses. There will be two selections for styles of teeth. I'm going to be including a full mesh body, and standalone versions of the parts and head (as fitments allow). I will probably offer multiple sizes of the limbs; toony proportions and maybe less exaggerated. I'm testing out various configurations for bento animating the tail, but will probably include static versions just in case! I'll be trying to stay as close to the original textures as possible, but offer multiple choices for things like teeth ( Clean or dirty ). Hopefully the final features will be too long to list!

C: Some original crux modders rely on sales from different color mods. Will there be a color palette chooser baked in to the avatar?

SW: I will only be covering the colors originally released. I will include shading PSDs with the avatar, as well as UV maps and everything else anyone will need to work on the av and modify it! There will also be an applier system! I will be splitting the original colorations into 3 packs of 6 (There's 18 original crux).

C: Is there a general release date window yet?

SW: Afraid not. This is in the pretty early stages. Avatar development usually takes me anywhere from 3-4 months (and I'm about 2-3 weeks in). I might decide to give it more time to add all the details and options I want to add in.

C: Is there anything else you would like to add about the new crux or your store in general?

SW: Yes. Please, all you die-hard crux fans out there, keep in mind that this remake will in no way stop you from enjoying the original. I know I'm not Malluch, but, I assure you that I too am a fan and I will do everything that I can to pay homage to this influential avatar! I am going to handle it with as much care as I can possibly give!

It seems that the new Crux avatar is in good hands. Those who have wanted to see a new version of the Crux will have to wait a bit longer, but it should be well worth the wait!


Friday, July 5, 2019

Oz And April Linden Summary, Last Names And Other Questions

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Tuesday June 25 at 2PM SL time, the "Meet the Lindens" event with Oz and April Linden took place. Saffia Widdershins gave the interview, with Patch Linden taking questions from the audience. As Oz is the Senior Director of Second Life Engineering and April the Systems Engineering Manager, this was the event of the week in which people would get the most answers about upcoming features and technical questions about Second Life. This included when will residents get the option to get a new account surname, which Linden Lab stated in March 21 last year they were working on.

To begin with April had been a resident of Second Life since 2006 before being hired by Linden Lab. She still has her regular account and has a couple regions under it. She commented she feels more of a resident than a Linden, saying at the end of the work day and after dinner, she goes to her computer and signs onto that account. She described her coming across Second Life as especially important as she came from a family where certain issues "were not to be discussed." The virtual world allowed her to learn more about herself and others, "I love working here, this platform is so important to me."

Oz in contrast had signed up years ago, but he was on an old machine at the time and didn't do much. While April had the benefit of her residency experience, Oz compared his learning experience to drinking water from a fire hose. Although he found his first days overwhelming, he liked working at the Lab as it was a fun place to work with great people, with fascinating "lore" about the early days. While April is at an office, Oz works from home.

What Oz liked most about Second Life were the stories about how the virtual world can help people in their real lives, "We get a steady stream of those. ... you don't get those working on web browsers or telephones." April stated it was the same with her, "If I'm having a really bad day, I'll hang out with some folks here to remind me what I'm doing here"

The challenges though were many. Oz commented the biggest one is usually how to update something or introduce something new without breaking something else. The "backwards compatibility" of making sure older things don't get broken is a neverending issue, "we often don't know about it until it breaks" April called the grid complex and diverse, built by many generations of Lidens over 16 years, additions made on top of another. And occasionally the way to fix things is when the Grid is offline. April stated it gave her no pleasure at all to do that as when she was a regular resident she hated it as much as everyone else.

Finally came the issue of last names (28:24 in the video). Saffia commenting,"Something we've been asking for for years." Oz's response was, Oz "I'll give you the short form quickly, and then we can keep talking about it. The short for is, last names would have been difficult, last names would have been easy. We still do last names, it's just that we give everyone the same last name.

"The hard part, and I may have contributed to making it the hard part, because I underestimated how difficult it would be. The hard part is allowing you to change your name. What we didn't want to do is say 'We're going to reintroduce last names, but you can't ever change your last name, which means all of you who got "stuck" with the last name "Resident" are just out of luck and you have to create new accounts.' That didn't seem fair. So we said we shouldn't just reintroduce last names. We should give people the ability to change their name. And that turns out to be the tricky part. It turns out that every part of Second Life, absolutely everything, was built with the assumption that your name can never change. And that means lots of things treated as something that can be cashed and the cash never needs to be cleaned up or updated and it has to be ... we have to go back and find that assumption everywhere in Second Life. And that's a *lot* of code.

"So we're working on it. We're knocking it down one system at a time. You would have thought it was based on a key, it isn't always, and the trick is that despite the fact that it was maybe not the best way to do it, to be saving names in diferent places, it always worked because names could never change. So it's the changing part that's ... We are working our way through that process. We're getting there. We're making progress. We'll get it done eventually. Anyone who's been to one of my regular user group meetings knows that I don't talk about making predictions of when things will come out until it's so close, I just can't be wrong."

April commented, "As Oz and I sometimes joked, turned out this was a really hard problem. And we didn't quite realize how hard it was until we started actually trying to do it." Oz added, "We're working on it. We are making progress. It'll be out, eventually."

Saffia asked if one possible problem was someone who changed their name possibly loosing their inventory. April answered , "That's the kind of stuff we're trying to not have happen."

When the audience had their chance to ask questions, many were about last names. One was how did the Lab plan to make name changes? The current plan was that residents could pick from a list. The number of names on the list wasn't decided on yet. But like before the list would change time to time. There were no plans on making old surnames available again. There was discussion within the Lab of possibly accepting suggestions for last names.

There will be a webpage to go to for those interested in changing their names. For the first time, it was revealed that having one's first name changed is also part of the plan. But the combination of the first name and new last name will still have to be unique, "not used by anyone, ever."

It was asked if new residents will have the option of choosing a last name. Oz Linden answered there were no plans to do so. He reminded the crowd that when the Lab looked into the issue in 2010, they found people signing up saw it as an "unfamiliar thing." In fact, their rate of successful registrations went up when they took last names away. "You'd be surprised at how difficult, how many places there are in the user experience to give up<" Oz spoke,  "And it turned out that was one. People were bothered at having to pick a last name. So we'll give them the default name, which will probably remain 'Resident.' We don't want to scare people off by making them pick a second name."

It was asked why was the Lab planning to charge residents to change their names. Oz answered, ""It has a social cost within the world, and a complexity. Not something you want people to do too frequently. It creates trouble. One of the ways to slow down things we don't want to go too fast is charging people for it." As of now, there were no plans to have any other limits. Oz stated though if too many residents changed names too often, they could impose time limits such as no more than once a week.

It was asked if residents would be notified when someone on their friends list changed their name? Oz answered, "We haven't addressed that.That's an interesting question. I can see ... that might be a good idea. We haven't discussed it." The person would still be on the friends list. Someone asked would the name on whatever items the person made be changed? Oz answered that was the goal. But as names would be in caches, the updating might not be instant, but could take some time. He hoped that it would be a short transition period.

On how much would changing names cost, Oz stated they were no longer making guesses on how much the fee to do so would be until after they figured out the process on how to do so.

Another issue was Linden Lab moving Second Life's data to "The Cloud." Oz answered they were making progress on that. They hadn't been notifying residents about updates concerning it partly because there were so many components of data, April stated about 200. But another reason was people were blaming cloud updates for perceived bugs, "We will avoid telling you when we've moved something. ... We get lots of bug reports that blame that ... muddies the waters." It was April's team that was largely responsible for moving data to Cloud servers. Among the things in which the moving was done were most of the resident inventories, "We didn't tell you, and we didn't get the bug reports," Oz remarked, "Some months after we've done something, we might mention it." They hoped a result of inventories being moved to The Cloud would be to make them more stable.

There were other questions. Someone asked if there would ever be more than ten pics in a profile. Oz stated that was a likely perk to offer those on Premium accounts in the future. It was asked with so many events and places having multiple groups, the Second Life Birthday being one example, would there ever be a "sub-group" category? Oz answered, "We haven't talked about it," admitting groups ended up being used for a lot of purposes. He stated what the Lab has done mostly is work on reliability.

It was also asked if Linden Lab would work on a "web viewer" in the future. Oz answered, "Absolutely," but couldn't offer a prediction as to when it could be available. "We know enough about it that it's possible, works pretty well. ... There have been three or four experiments that other companies have done." He stated the Lab worked on one for a while, "What we haven't solved is how to make it affordable. We expect that in time." April called making one "not a small task, but we've done it before."

There was also a mobile viewer in development. Oz stated there would be an alpha version available soon. But the first version would be limited to logging in and chat. It was commented it sounded like Radegast in how it worked. Oz called it a way to get in touch with SL without the graphical interface.

It was asked how come Second Life puts a low value on texture memory. Oz answered the main reason it's stayed so low, many users have older computers, and if it was allowed to be set too high, some of them would crash before they were even logged in. So old software "lies" about how much memory is available, "Don't run (SL) on Windows 98, really." He did say they were committed to making the number larger for users with more high-end computers.

One thing Oz brought up a few times was that Linden Lab has been trying to hire a senior graphics director, "please send them our way." The hiring of one he stated would speed up a few certain projects.

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There would be a few other questions from the audience. They and the answers can be seen in the video of the event.

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Behind The Scenes of the Second Life Birthday

By Gemma Cleanslate

I went over to check out the layout of the birthday sims.The opening is getting close so activity is going on behind the scenes to make sure your experience will be a memorable one. I always like to see the builders throwing their prims and never being satisfied or finished in their minds although to the viewer it all looks perfect.

I ran into Yavanna setting out her pods to take you on tours of the whole area and took a ride to check out the route . It is a great way to learn about the installations . As you pass by the pod tells, you left or right, what the creator had in mind. You can hop out any time to go through the parcel and hop back in again when you want. I like to take it all the way around its meandering to get an overview and then go back.

I spotted several moles working feverishly on the decor. Alotta Mole was suspended high above the trees as he worked. on another sim Squishy Mole also took to the air to look down on her job.

Squeaky Mole was down on the ground placing her decor. Someone had been eating ice cream and dropped it nearby.

I love to see some of the place holders that builders set out on their parcels to show they have been claimed . This one looks like the artist is really thinking hard about their work.. Sher told me she was!

The greeters’ class was in session off sims to get us all prepare for the onslaught of visitors , distribute gifts, guide them on their way to the stages or auditorium . There are many greeters ready to roam and help. Look for them anywhere to ask for help. We will be waiting for you ! I have that job this year.

The celebration will go on for over a week so save time to get to every part of the huge display. I was an exhibitor assistant for some years and never saw everything though I was on the sims for weeks before the openings each year. This year it looks like it will be a little easier to be able to keep track of where I have been and where I need to go . All the installations are to the west of the map. Take a look at your map and you will get the idea before you go.

Here is a large display of the Linden Homes where you can get to see all the models that will be available. Looks like one of the moles was in a hurry. I give the moles so much credit. It looks like double duty is going on to get more homes and houseboats out as fast as they can and also working on the birthday. If you see one thank them!! See you around the regions ....

Gemma Cleanslate

Editor's Note: Originally, this article went up Thursday June 13, after getting an okay from one of the moles. But when one of the Lindens saw the article, we were told to take it down

Friday, May 31, 2019

A Look At A Linden Houseboat

By Gemma Cleanslate

I thought I would bring you up date on my new Linden Houseboat.  Finally I was able to acquire one on the last release day. It was hard work as many hundreds who did not make it will attest. I actually brought my laptop to work to check on the release. There are many left waiting again so I consider myself so lucky!

I love the location too!! It is in the far northeast corner of ... right next to a spit that is unoccupied. It is next to ... beach . To the west of my boat is the bay. It is almost like a private island!!  I can hope over to the spit and take my horse for a ride all over the peninsula and check out the decor of the other decks.

I started with one model and was decorating a friend came to visit. We talked about the model and the sloping back wall. After going over and checking out his model I thought about it and decided to change. There is a lifesaver on the dock next to each house that gives one the option of 4 models. Just press and voila! Of course I had to move and reinstall all my furniture but I managed it.

With the prim allowance I have two boats in my boat slip. I rezzed some things I really like but don’t have room for at my other home in Thorstar. I found an SL14B kittycat in my inventory and rezzed her too!!  I had a few issues with finding her swimming under water when she was tiny but now that she is over 5 days and larger she seems to be stabilizing on the floor of the houseboat. My other kitty , Puffin, won’t be jealous since she lives at Thorstar.  I still have some prims to play with  when i can look at all the decor I have saved .

I know that the Moles are overburdened right now with the SL16B and  getting more Linden Homes ready for those panting for them.  Ihear that there is also a new model of Linden Home to be introduced at the SL16B Have faith and maybe some patience! It is worth the wait! The community is forming groups for various activities I must check into. My home is called Peace.  If you would like to visit let me know.

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, April 15, 2019

First Annual International Photography Festival

By Marcel Mosswood

    The “First Annual International Photography Festival” will be held on April 13th – May 12th. It is to bring together real-life photographers in one place and allow them to exhibit their photos in Second Life for one month.

    “The festival will allow people who are interested in the photo real-life to discover more easily the work of the photographers present in Second Life by grouping them in the same gallery. Currently, they are scattered in several galleries with other artists (painters, sculptors, art designers, etc.). I am convinced that SL is still a good way to promote photographers in the real world,” said Nils Urqhart, the avatar behind the event.

    The Annual International Photography Festival will be organized every year with more photographers, this year they are twelve. “It's already a good start,” said Nils. There is no charge for the photographers and they are allowed to sell their photos during the exhibition.

    This event was inspired by the photo festivals in real life. For example in France: Montier en Der, Bourg en Bresse, Hauteville-Lompnes, or Namur in Belgium. Montier en Der and Namur are international festivals. It’s also held on April - May in same reason, it is the moment of the photo festivals in France.

    For the event, Nils work in a team with Annie Scott-Siegel (claera). This event also supported by Chia (volchia.ferduccio) the owner of the Art'e Gallery which provides a gallery for displaying photography for free during the festival.

    Nils Urqhart (Paul Maurice in RL) is a French landscape photographer in real-life. He takes photos mainly in French Alps and other French mountains (Vosges, Jura, Bugey, Aubrac). He is present on SL since December 2007, opening his 1st gallery at Isla Victoria in 2008, and since 2010 he shows his photos at Helvellyn (Art gallery Rill'Arts).

Here is the LM of the First Annual International Photography Festival:

Marcel Mosswood

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Primtionary Games

The Primtionary Games: Challenge Your Building And Language SkillsBy Marcel Mosswood

Have you heard about Primtionary? It’s a cool and fun game in Second Life. I remember, one day when I was in the middle of the games, my friend asked me over IM, “Hey, what do you do?” I answered, “Playing games.” She said, laughing, “Of course, I’m in the games too. It’s called Second Life!” But I was too busy playing Primtionary to explain to her.

Primtionary was established in 2004 and has been played since, the copyright is owned by Yummie Olsen. “Primtionary may just be the longest-running, most popular game in Second Life,” said Peace Dragovar, the manager of one running Primtionary game at Creations Park and The Palace.

The Primtionary Games at Creations Park
“The rules are simple: the contestant puts together prims to build out a secret word, while the audience tries to guess the word within 10 minutes. The audience member who gets it right earns 25L and the privilege of building the next word. Primtionary is a challenge for both your mind and your building skills,” Peace explaining on my interview with her.

There are four levels word: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Evil. The Easy level can be built with 1 prim. The Medium level is a concrete word for everyday kind of objects or obvious symbols. The Hard level is a common word that is an object or concept and takes creativity to build. The evil level is a common word that takes a lot of creativity or uncommon words. So Evil should be hard to build, but could be easy to guess.

So, who are the avatars behind these great games? As mentioned earlier the copyright owner of Primtionary is Yummie Olsen, the scripter for the timer and word catcher is Lum Kuhr, Hooten Haller created the theme manager, and Aisuru Reiko built the stage (he is the winner of the Design-a-Stage contest). The avatars who keep it running are the hosts: Gardendancer, Technus Grayman, Hooten Haller, Peace Dragovar, Buck Enoch, and Ololo Petya. Yummie is the head host.

As a game, Primtionary makes benefit for the players. According to Peace, “Personally, I enjoy guessing what is being built. Once in a while, I like the challenge of building the word given to me. As a host, it's amazing to see how builders build clues. I often get surprised by how creative people can be. I also find it’s a relaxing game, there's pleasant chat among players.”

And what are the other hosts said about the benefit of this game? Technus Grayman said that “Newer folks learn new building techniques. Also, non-English speakers learn new words! Actually, some English speakers learn new words as well!” According to Ololo Petya: “We have fun! Also, an incentive to make people learn to build.”

If you are interested to participate in the game here is the schedule:

And here are the LMs:

Creation Park:

The Palace:

Marcel Mosswood