Friday, September 20, 2019

Review of Lab Gab Episode Two With Reed Linden


By Bixyl Shuftan

On Wednesday September 11, the new "Lab Gab" youtube program by Linden Lab featuring Xiola and Strawberry Linden had it's second episode, airing at 3PM SL time. The guest for this episode was Reed Linden, the Product Manager.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wcyTf79Z19s" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

(Click here if the video fails to play)

 Xiola and Strawberry admitted to Reed, whom stood out in his tiny penguin avatar, that he had been asked to appear as their guest at the last minute. But he didn't mind, especially as he was number one, "Am I the first one? Oh wow! That feels amazing." Reed told that he had been with the lab for "a little less than nine years." He started in frontline support, "so some of your viewers may have talked to me before." After three years, he was moved to the engineering team. Soon after, Grumpity Linden decided he would make a good product manager "so here we are."

Reed described himself as having seen Second Life from a few different angles. Of who knows the most about SL, he felt it's the users. Among the Lindens, he thought it's the frontline support team.
"The path I've taken is uniquely responsible for ... I have a very user focused perspective. Of his favorite thing about working on SL? He answered, "It's got to be the community, hands down." He enjoys stories about how Second Life brings people together, "Every week we hear a story about people that for whatever reason weren't able to make connections in their real life, but on Second Life they can. ... every time I hear stories about that, it makes my heart grow."

He described much of his work as a focus on web projects. Of what he called the the web profile "experiment," he stated it would "go away. and we shall no longer speak of it." He stated there would be a return to "old school" viewer profiles and "update them completely." He stated there would soon be further. changes to Marketplace, but wouldn't give any estimates of when they would be in effect due to the team working on profiles, destination guide, and events in the last couple months. He did discuss the recent release of a Marketplace feature, Shop Managers, which "allows you as a store owner to nominate other residents to be managers for your store," different abilities and manage them "basically allows you to have assistants." One upcoming feature was the Gifts Received Page, "something that people have been asking for for I think, forever." There would also be purchase notifications, specifically for store owners. This feature would be one they could opt-in or not, as owners of larger stores could be spammed with notifications. They would also be overhauling Marketplace for mobile use.

Other things discussed included the Last Names issue, which was "still in the works." Land pricing was also discussed, Reed feeling further reductions anytime soon were unlikely. Someone on the Youtube live comments asked if it would be possible for the viewer to have pop-out panels. Reed answered he wasn't sure how feesable it was, but it was worth pursuing a JIRA on if it hadn't been already. In the Youtube comments feed, Inara Pey answered that a third-party viewer had tried it, "It is *not* easy to achieve." Reed also stated the Lab was considering a level above Premium that would come with more benefits.

The Linden homes were brought up, Reed saying, "the response to the new Linden Homes has been absolutely just overwhelming and wonderful." There was some talk about the Bellisserian community, with some residents roleplaying certain community roles down to someone collecting the trash.

Of the recently released Bakes on Mesh, Reed stated he was, "super encouraged from the engagement we've been getting from the community ... already seeing a lot of mesh jumping." He was hearing about products in development, or already out and "excited about the flexibility this is going to give our residents." He felt content that was sitting around in inventories unused for years would soon be able to find new life, "our hope is that this will allow people to start making much more lightweight content ... in terms of graphic resources that are required to display it." He was looking forward to having his penguin avatar updated with BoM.

When talking to new people in real life, his "icebreaker" is that he works for Linden Lab, "The stories you can tell about working here, particularly in some of the fields that are closer to the residents themselves are just as wonderful and amusing." Of his real-life hobbies, Reed enjoys "miniature painting," or painting D&D figures and diorama.

No date has been set yet for the next "Lab Gab." Episodes have been on Wednesdays "every two weeks or so." So the next may be on September 25 at soonest.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, September 2, 2019

Rock Climbing in Second Life


By Bixyl Shuftan

Climbing up the face of a cliff in real life is a little too adventuresome for the majority of most residents of Second Life. Many of those whom wouldn't be detered by the strenous exercise and the element of danger can't face the thought of looking down and seeing ground hundreds of feet below. But there is a place in Second Life you can give it a try. At the Nitida sim on the mainland, there's a cliff one can scale, or head back down.

The cliff, Nitida Ridge, is at the Nitida sim on the mainland continent of Heterocera. At the bottom of the cliff is the base camp. The table of supplies, rope and gear, map, binoculars, radio, etc is basically a reminder of what real rock climbers would be needing. What you need will be at the sign. Click on it to get a notecard and picture of the routes up the cliff and the descents (by rope), a harness clip that attaches to your belt, called an abseil harness, and the climbing HUD. The pop-up that appears after you click the sign will ask if you want it to attach. It's default position is the lower right of your viewer. The HUD is red when disabled, blue when ready, and green when activated and working. You can also adjust your speed to climb faster or slower, or your avatar to be slightly closer or further away from the rock. The latter can help you avoid looking like your arm is going into the rock or climbing through air.

The cliff before you is about 100 meters high. While walking that distance horizontally is no problem, climbing here is something else. It's suggested that you check the routes on the picture provided, though not necessary as I was able to go up a path that was labeled for abseiling down, just slowly. Climbing is best up vertical parts of the cliff. If you encounter an obstacle such as an overhanging section of rock, as you can't climb upside down you'll have to go sideways until you can go around it.

Some routes are to head back down. There are a few points on the cliff with a pile of rope. Click on them, and your avatar will abseil downward to the ground below. There are also a couple points in which your avatar will do a little tightrope walking. Also at one ledge on the cliff is a small tend your character can step inside and rest.

The rock climbing system and the cliff area were created by Yasmin (YouAintSeenMe Resident), with some sections originally made by Funatik Resident. The notecard stated there were a few other cliff areas the HUD is good for climbing, but this is the tallest one.

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Nitida/136/175/131

Hat Tip: Inara Pey

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Update on LEA 2.0


By Marcel Mosswood

The effort to return LEA to its function as a means for artists in SL has shown good development. Linden Lab (LL) has responded to the email sent by Tansee. I interviewed Riannah and Tansee about this effort.

“We are processing the feedback that we have received from everyone," Riannah explained about the work they have done so far, "We have put together in words how the new committee structure should be, regarding how many committee members and tenure. We looked very closely at the notecards we received and what the majority of the people think would be an ideal committee. We do have enough volunteers for the new committee but anyone can still volunteer. We also are looking at implementing a 'watchdog' group to guarantee transparency with the committee.”

Q: About the new committee structure, can you be more detail about that?
“We are looking at having five committee members each with a two-year tenure," Riannah told, "We are working on details of how the committee members will be appointed. We're thinking a voting system so that everyone has a voice.”

Q: The watchdog, who will be in that position? And how they will work?
“We have not discussed that yet. But they will be LEA members," Riannah said, " They will review the committee meetings notes and ensure the accuracy of what took place during the meetings. Such things as decisions made regarding grants and other things that affect everyone at LEA.”

Q: This is a good idea about the watchdog. How you can guarantee the transparency of watchdog performance?
“After the watchdog group has verified the accuracy, the information will be public," Riannah continued, "Anyone can read what transpired. And hopefully, easily understand why decisions were made. The watchdog will consist of more than one person.”

Riannah went on, “The current committee issues stem from not having anyone perform any checks and balances, to make sure the rules regarding the committee are adhered to. Because things like what we are facing now, just should not happen. They could have been avoided. Tansee and I are working very hard to ensure the continuance of LEA... but in the way, it was intended.”

Q: Does the previous LEA committee doesn’t have the watchdog?
“That is the difference," Riannah answered, "Tansee nor I have to be on the committee, that is not the plan. I will be if needed. But always, the priority is LEA itself. We are looking at resumes of potential committee members, and we have a variety of experiences involved. From technical to artist experiences. That will be required for the direction of LEA.”

“We continue to receive a lot of support. And it's very encouraging. We can not express enough how much we appreciate it. One thing we have heard a lot: people feel they are cut out of the process like they don't matter and that the administration of LEA is done in secrecy. That will no longer happen, the favoritism will stop!”

Q: Some people see that the LEA committee is exclusive, not transparent, is this what you want to improve on?
Riannah explained, “Absolutely! We want to provide as much transparency as possible. Everyone matters. Everyone has a voice. Everyone is treated equally and with respect.

Tansee added some explanations, “We are still in the infancy stage of putting all the ideas into place and as we progress it will all become more refined and include everyone's ideas. And I also reconfiguring the placement of 29 sims to include some of the new ideas and suggestions we have gotten from the group. Together WE can make a change!”

Marcel Mosswood

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Rand Lupindo of Timber Wilds Industries


By Cyfir (Cyfiremmerich Resident)

Rand Lupindo (Randermander) is known as a talented avatar creator and a role play community owner within Second Life that has been around for the past ten years. I had a chance to interview him about the history of their sim as well as their next avatar release and future plans.

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Cyfir: How did Timber Wilds Industries start?

Rand: Timber Wilds started as a small, casual, wolfpack-themed roleplaying destination in 2009.  Myself and a couple friends; Rabid Ghost and Jackal Avril, had met earlier in 2009 while roleplaying as wolves on the Lion King themed "Lost Pridelands" sim.  We initially rented a small Homestead region (basically a lighter, less powerful sim that can handle fewer people, but is cheaper than a full region), and had a blast landscaping forests and mountains and caves and swamps and all manner of natural perils for Wolves to play around in.  But $100 a month for a hobby is a lot, especially as I was a student at the time. So, I thought, if I could make some kind of quadruped wolf avatar to synergize with our wolf roleplay area, it might help pay the bills and keep the sim running.  It took a few months but in August 2009 I released the first Timber Wilds Industries Wolf Avatar, and everything exploded. 

 It sold way better than I was expecting or hoping, but quickly got into controversy.  Another avatar company, which I won't name, thought I had "copied them" and made some pretty public accusations of theft.  I had certainly been inspired by the idea of their previous Wolf avatar, which was a quadruped body with its own Animation Overrider and a wide assortment of active poses and action animations as well as a marking customization HUD.  I was pretty naive at the time and could have made more effort to distinguish my avatar from their wolf, but what they seemed to be claiming was that I had somehow stolen their actual animation files or something, which is bogus of course. I hand animated everything, sometimes taking ideas for what kind of movement to animate from existing avatars (such as the left or right step to shift weight during an idle pose), but come on, you can't copyright "A wolf stepping left".

The accusing company published a whole youtube video lining up my avatar next to theirs to supposedly prove their case.  It wasn't very convincing, because it seemed to drive more skeptical customers to buy my avatar than the few of their loyal fans who came to make trouble.  A few vendor malls wouldn't rent space to me as a result of the connections of the accusing company, but I don't think that it significantly held back interest in TWI avatars.

 I didn't do anything to fight back, hoping the situation would eventually blow over, and it seems to have done so.  The company seems to have left Second Life at some point over the intervening years. I hope that I didn't cause them to leave. I really wish we could have just coexisted. Other companies have made competing avatars to mine, some with features that could have been references to mine and attempts to "one up" my avatars, and I never flipped out about it. That's how the market works. If someone else makes a better avatar than mine, the customers get a better avatar and I get fresh ideas of how to improve.

I feel like the whole ordeal taught me that it's really shooting yourself in the foot to get overly litigious and try to dominate a market through fear rather than simply making better products. Especially in artistic fields, where the quality of products is often subjective, and there will always be a segment of the population that prefers one or another for seemingly random reasons. No competing avatar is going to knock out 100% of your sales.

Cyfir: For those not in the know, what is TWI and the sim all about? What does it offer?

Rand: Timber Wilds is a place where you can be a wolf, or a fox, lion, eagle or a bear!  And soon, a deer!  Basically for people who love the idea of being wild animals (called Ferals on Second Life and in the wider furry/animal fandom).  Become one, get accessories and skins to make yourself unique, and meet & chat with other ferals who have done the same.

The avatars are I think the central inspiration, namely the TWI Timber Wolf, Red Fox, and Lion made by me, and the BRD-MRT Eagle and Bear made by long time sim staffer Raven Seraph.  The sim is primarily the mall for these avatars and third party accessories for them, but we also have a pretty popular but laid back sandbox/hangout area, and an expansive roleplaying/exploring area. 

The mall has, in addition to the main avatar vendors, about 45 third party vendors selling all sorts of skins, wearables, animations, sounds, and other accessories for TWI and BRDMRT avatars (and some others, but we try to enforce at least majority TWI/BRDMRT).

The sandbox is a kind of casual hangout, where people (of all kinds, human or animal we don't discriminate!) come to try out their new bodies or skins, or loiter while testing new stuff they are building/painting, or just shoot the breeze and chat with other guests. It has a real laid back vibe I think, usually with at least a few folks lounging about or running around and goofing off with toy guns or other items. It's a great place to come if you enjoy meeting new people, especially in a low-intensity peaceful setting, and especially people who like wild animals!

The roleplaying area is in my humble opinion one of the prettiest areas on Second Life, landscaped mostly by BRD-MRT creator Raven Seraph. It's got ice caves, glowy caves, scary caves, mountains to climb, hidden secrets to find, beautiful vistas and cozy coves. Our policy on roleplaying is to be less restrictive. We don't require any HUD or meter or anything, instead focusing on text roleplay or allowing guests to roll with whatever system they prefer. The area does have a fantasy backstory, and a free custom-built optional HUD with utility functions like dice, titler, Out of Character/Away from Keyboard indicators and some TWI avatar-compatible animations.

Cyfir: What were the challenges of starting a business and community in Second Life and what advice can you give to anyone looking to do so?

Rand: It's really easy to set up a business in Second Life, which is why I think almost everyone I've met who uses the software for very long ends up getting curious about creating content and selling it. It's a very simple process to set up a vendor in-world, and free software (Blender for modeling/animation, GIMP for texturing, Audacity for sound effects) and training/tutorials (via youtube) exist for almost all types of content creation. To become a large or successful business in SL requires a bit more time and effort, but is still very accessible to even a solo creator. You really only need a good idea, and time. My advice would be to spend some time exploring, and enjoying, the world of Second Life for a while in order to get a feel for what kinds of items are in demand or popular. Whatever cool stuff you find and enjoy using, you can learn to make yourself and maybe even make a unique improved version. 

Communities are often related to products; since it costs money to maintain a region/space, it can be smart to have some kind of product line in development to help pay your sim fees. If the products synergize with your community theme (like clothes/fashion accessories for a club, or animal avatars for a wild animal roleplaying sim), it makes all the more sense as those interested in your products will probably become interested in the community and vice versa. 

Cyfir: In a recent article I did on Albright, she mentioned that TWI would be releasing a feral deer avatar in the near future. Can you tell us more about that and is there an estimated release date yet?

Rand: It's true. I am making a deer avatar. I am hoping to have it done sometime in the next month or two but I can't put a hard date on it yet. I'm very slow with avatar work, I think partly because I have high expectations and I insist on continually re-doing things until they are as good as possible. I take inspiration from Blizzard Entertainment, which would usually release their games later than initially planned, but only because they always took all the time they needed to get everything perfect, never rushing unfinished work to release because they had set a deadline. 

Cyfir: Are there any other projects in the works that you are able to talk about?

Rand: We have a few other avatars of different species in production, as well as some animesh experiments in the works!

Cyfir: What do you enjoy most about being part of the Second Life community and is there anything else that you would like to bring up about the sim or store?

Rand: Hmm, I guess I just appreciate being able to see all the creativity coming out of Second Life, driven by the ease of content creation and monetization. A lot of the content created is questionable, and the nature of Second Life means it's sometimes hard to keep trolls and problematic content away, but I think the freedom in SL allows a lot more amazing and awesome things that wouldn't otherwise see the light of day. Every day I log in to Timber Wilds I see stunning new textures, wacky third party animations, and scripted toys and doodads that pique my curiosity.  We've even had an in-world theatre company perform plays at our sim using SL avatars (some TWI and BRD-MRT ones!) as the actors, which was a really unique experience. I'm just eager to see what the SL community comes up with tomorrow, and the next day, and every day after that.

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You can check out the TWI store here: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/32831 and their sim here:

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Silent%20Hills/172/32/2

Cyfir

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

LEA 2.0 - An Effort To Save The LEA


By Marcel Mosswood

LEA (Linden Endowment for the Arts) is a place that is the hope of almost all artists in Second Life because LEA can provide a full sim for artists to create freely! However, Linden Lab will close the LEA in August. Some avatars reacted, they decided to act so that the LEA could be returned to Second Life artists. Two resident, Tansee and Riannah Avora started a movement to return LEA for the artists. 

Who are Tansee and Riannah Avora? How did they connect to LEA?

“I joined LEA seven years ago and can contribute my artistic, creative and personal growth as a direct result of my building trials and errors at the sandbox. From that point, I have been fortunate to be awarded both AIR and Core Grants which has enabled me to keep growing and learning. Along with the Grants I have been able to hold several art exhibitions, events, and educational displays. For me the experience has been priceless and continues,” said Tansee.

Different from Tansee, here is what Riannah said, “I came to LEA November 2018, so I have not been here that long. I had never heard of LEA before, as is the case for most people. Someone found me playing with light and shadows in a public sandbox and suggested that I come to LEA. Since I started Second Life, I have loved to build and create things... and I'm not the only one. When I came to LEA, it was like I found my "home" of sorts. I felt accepted. I am fairly shy about my work. I never really wanted it to be so public. However, others at LEA have been very encouraging. Bringing me out of my "shell" so to speak. I just got my first land grant at LEA... and it will be cut short because of the closing. But nonetheless, I will give it all that I have to give.”


Group joiner and notecard dropper at LEA Sandbox (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA5/215/149/21)

Well, we feel sad about the LEA closing, what do you think about this?

“Sad, very sad. It doesn't surprise me because LEA has been going on for so long and I fully understand that people get tired and need a break. Being in Second Life for nearly nine years now, I've seen places come and go. But if something can be done to save it, I'm all for it. Creating things, (objects, scripts, textures, and particles) is very therapeutic. And the atmosphere in LEA is very calming and people can do their work without fear of being ridiculed,” said Rainnah.

“It was not a complete surprise to me when I heard the news, and like so many others I felt a deep loss. In my heart, I knew that I would only have myself to blame if I did not take proactive steps to see that this would not happen. With the help of fellow LEA supporter Riannah Avora, the Group was formed,” according to Tansee.

Tansee Resident

Why do you think that LEA should not be closed?

“LEA plays a huge importance in the development of Virtual Art and creativity in SL as well as provides education on many levels. It provides positive social interactions with other like-minded online individuals. Those new to Second Life can come to see and learn the endless possibilities of creating in a virtual world. Friendships have been formed as well as the sharing of skills,” said Tansee.

And according to Riannah: “It provides a vital area and environment that enables people to express themselves via the things that they create, much like real life. There is no other place like LEA. Period. I know so many people who would love to learn, but they have no idea where to start. There are places to help you learn some of it... but they are not like LEA. No one really judges you here. They just want you to succeed in whatever it is you are creating. It's really a great "family" of sorts. And there's always something different to learn from looking at each other's work. No one can be great at everything that they want to do. But with the help of LEA, you can consult with others, learn, and figure it out. That's what LEA is about.

What are your ideas to persuade LL to turn LEA back for the artists?

For this question, Tansee decided to include her ideas along with all the others who are sending her notecards. “We're not exactly sure what it will take, to be honest. We are gathering ideas from our fellow artists. It's not just us, Tansee and me, in this. And we have gotten a very good response so far from other people in LEA. LEA is alive. LEA provides so many things that help people in so many ways, in Second Life and real life. There are opportunities that, without LEA, most people would never get to enjoy and experience. It's freedom. It's like the chains have been undone by being a part of LEA. And with LEA, there's nothing that we can't do!” said Riannah.

She continued, “The world is going to the 3D, VR, concepts of doing things. It would be an advantage if Second Life could say, "We helped". SL has always been great in showing support for many different causes. Their ability to support other real life organizations is amazing. Like with the Fantasy Faire... that totally rocked! Our cause might not be as obvious as some might think. But the people who make great builds, like at the Fantasy Faire, need and deserve a place to be. Most of us work and play here without any expectations on what we create. And a lot of our own money goes into what we build. Not to mention the time involved. We just need a bit of help with the "place" part. SL is great because of the people in it. And LEA is no exception to that. We create things that make SL better for everyone.”

Riannah Avora

You only have less than two weeks to gather ideas and coordinate with Linden Lab about the return of the LEA, is this enough time for you? How will you work to make it happen?

Tansee answered, “As we know viral can happen in an instant. I hope that anyone who has "positive" input will pass it on to other like-minded LEA supporters. So that we can compile a variety of suggestions. Spread the Word! Join the inworld group to stay informed. URL: secondlife:///app/group/4fec0f5b-ae2d-8cff-3b38-b8763bf2ca68/about

“It will just have to be enough time. We can only do what we can do. And if you don't try, you will never know. We can do a lot of things here, but we have yet to be able to control time. However, you never know when that might happen! There are some really great creators here, never underestimate them,” said Riannah positively.

Many people think that your efforts will be in vain, how do you deal with this?

“That is a great question. I respect and appreciate everyone's point of view and opinion however and I am determined to have a solid focus on taking swift "positive" action. (I can not use that word enough) to the best of my abilities. It is easy to be a critic. My real life background is in business and along with that management and problem-solving. I love the quote by Eldridge Cleaver and have used it many times with others: "You either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem." I invite all critics to share specific suggestions to be a part of the solution,” said Tansee.

“That may be true, having a reason not to do something is easy. But I have never been one to back down from a challenge though. People can say "that can't be done" or "that is too much work"... eh... It's not that I disbelieve them, it's just that I'm a firm believer in "you can do anything you put your mind to.'' To not try at all, is certain failure. To have tried and failed, well, I will take my experience from trying and learn from it. Failure is a part of learning. I'm not afraid of it,” said Riannah.

Has Linden Lab reacted with this plan?

“I don't really know, actually. We are to meet with Patch Linden and Derrick Linden to present our case after they have read over ideas and comments that we collect from our fellow members of LEA. We feel there is a good chance we can reach an agreement. We have to start somewhere, and this is as good of a place as any. We'll go wherever the path takes us. Sometimes just starting somewhere is the answer,” said Riannah.

According to Tansee, “At the present moment, the group was formed to find like-minded positive people who are willing to share specific suggestions. Riannah and I are accepting those in Notecard format and will be credited and presented to Lindens in two weeks. My greatest hope is that they will give us a big thumbs up so that we can move to the next level of Keeping LEA Inworld!”

Do you get help from other avatars to make this happen?

“I have developed a friendship with another avid LEA supporter and Second Life creator Riannah Avora and it was a natural collaboration to work on this as a TEAM effort as we both love LEA and its future. Many who have joined the group and are offering some fantastic input already on many levels. Keep them coming!” said Tansee.

“Yes! We do! There are some truly awesome people in Second Life. Chelo, Rory, Earthling, and Roxy just to name a few people.

This is uncharted territory for us all. Even folks that can't help with the technical inner workings of things are doing a lot to help just by their support and encouragement. But we do need more support! So everyone should contact us that wants to be a part of it.”

“Ending this interview with a bit of philosophy that I live by:

"I'm fearless at times because the only alternative is to be terrified."
~Me (Riannah)

"The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." ~Walter Bagehot

"Kindness is more persuasive than force." ~Aesop,” said Riannah closing the interview section.

Marcel Mosswood

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:
aht1981
Anouk Lefavre
Bellissa Dion
captainofmysoul
CybeleMoon (hana.hoobinoo)
DreamMakerXDreamBreaker Resident
Elle Thorkveld
etamae
EvangelinaBurroughs Resident
Fluer Heartsdale Chun
Freedom Voix
Hadiya Draper
ilyra chardin
Jamee Sandalwood
KodyMeyers
Marcel Mosswood
Matt (mth63)
Myra Wildmist
Nikolai Warden
Pam Astonia
Sheba Blitz
Sophie72 Congrejo
Syphera Inaka
talligurl resident
Veruca Tammas
ViktorSavior
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: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Water%20Haven/141/129/22

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!

Cyfir