Wednesday, August 27, 2014

In Between Spaces

By Gemma Cleanslate

I was invited to the opening of an art exhibit, In between spaces,  Sunday. The opening was hosted by Quan Lavender, the curator,  for two renowned artists Lilia Artis & Moeuhane Sandalwood. It took me a while to get there for the opening party due to the number of people there already filled up the region. When I finally got in Dj DD (DeceptionsDigital) was entertaining with her electronic music that fit the occasion well. Both artists were greeting visitors, many of whom were fellow artists. 

There were lovely pieces on both floors of the gallery. It was interesting that the artists used the gallery itself as a focal point of their pieces. Some of the pieces seemed to be coming right out of the walls, appearing and disappearing , re-emerging after a time. One piece struck me, a plank out of a window that reminded me of Trompe Loei’l art, which I love.  Several pieces needed to be examined closely, they were so embedded into the architecture. The artists themselves described this in their notecard, “In between spaces” is about this specific gallery room, rooms in general and what they mean to us, about walls and whether they protect, imprison, hide, or open up and about the question ‘what if there are worlds to discover beyond and between the enclosed spaces …” 

These two artists collaborate on many exhibits in galleries. I recall their build, The Machine in an  LEA sim last year. They also do solo exhibits in various galleries and events. I recommend you take a look at this exhibit . It will be open until September 19. There are some other  enchanting exhibits in nearby galleries you might like to visit while you are in the region. Enter the Gallery here.

Gemma Cleanslate

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

TS Creations

By Xymbers Slade

It's been a while since I went out exploring, and after seeing someone in a rather high quality dragon knight mesh I got a landmark for a place known as TS Creations. Reasonably priced at about $2000L apiece (with some packs going for about twice that), I went "Wow, I'm impressed and that's pretty hard these days." So I quickly contacted Topa Adamski, the owner, for an interview and we sat down briefly.

TS Creations specializes in armor/knight meshes and spellfire weapons, all of which are a solid 4 Dragon Hoards out of five to me because of the obvious level of effort put into them. There are a few Death Knight Arthas meshes that look remarkably well done, and I can say with some confidence that they're not just "game rips" (which is something I am surprised I am not seeing more of in Second Life, I know there are a couple Team Fortress 2 rips on the Marketplace, so) but built from the ground up instead.

Being from Serbia (which surprised me... SL really does have people from all over the world, doesn't it) his english wasn't the best, but that didn't slow down the interview one inch. I did clean up the grammar and spelling for the article.

Xymbers Slade: All right, to start off, how long have you had this shop? I haven't seen it before."

Topa Adamski: Since 2009, but it became really popular in 2011.

Xymbers Slade: Wow, and I hadn't heard of it. Maybe it's because I'm not terribly well versed in the roleplay scene on SL. At least you sell enough to stay in business. That's not easy to do anymore *smile* How long does it take to make these avatars? Is it just "throw together in Blender"?

Topa Adamski: Mostly i am working in the Zbrush program. Blender i use only for rigging and photoshop for texturing... it depends of complexity. I need a few weeks for one complete avatar or armor. I can say 3-4 weeks.

Xymbers Slade: I assume you don't do commissions then, because of the length of time it takes... or do you do commissions if someone has an interesting idea?

Topa Adamski: Usually I don't make custom armors. but I help many other creators to learn my skill and help them make their own business. i like to share knowledge and I do not charge money for that. For me sharing knowledge gave me a lot of motivation to make more.

Xymbers Slade: That's a good outlook to have, sharing the knowledge like that, and if it gives you motivation for more, so much the better. Maybe start up a class about it like the building classes they hold at Caledon... what are some of the difficulties of Zbrush? Anything you want to do that you can't due to the limitations of the program? I'm not a builder of any sort, so don't know much about the programs.

Topa Adamski: I can say that Zbrush is one of best tools for SL. For organic modeling... even texturing... anyone who tries Zbrush can tell you the same. It's more natural feeling when you're working. It's like you work with clay. Blender, 3DMax and Maya are more technical programs. But all have their advantages.

Xymbers Slade: Maybe I'll look into it one of these days when I have more time to kill. What are some of your top sellers, and do you have any favorites... a piece of work you're particularly proud of?

Topa Adamski: I am proud of many. Maybe my Phoenix Armor is one of my favorites (the one I am wearing right now) but original version is not gold. I have many "bestsellers" so far... Chaos armor, old Archangel... Soul Reaper is very popular today and its one of newest I made. I can say that many of my customers proudly wear my armors. Reviews on the Marketplace are great as feedback is important to me.

Xymbers Slade: If I had the $L I'd get a suit myself (probably the copper dragon ISC armor or that Savage Fury female avatar). Let's talk about Spellfire for a moment, as I see a lot of your creations are scripted to work with it. What sets it apart from the other combat systems that are out there, that makes you want to set your creations to be usable with it? I don't know a thing about the various combat systems.

Topa Adamski: It is a good choice :)) About spellfire... that's the combat system I used for years back when I was roleplaying... that is how I started to build. First with Spellfire weapons, then I switched to armors... I am one of the sponsors of that combat system. The community is really active in my shop and events.

Xymbers Slade: That's good to hear, that the community for such a thing is still going strong. "When" you were roleplaying implies you quit roleplaying (which is understandable, I find it very hard to find a good RP on SL). Finally, since I know it's getting late for you... what do you think about the upcoming SL 2? I have heard Linden Labs is making a "newer" or updated version of SL, though I am not sure about if things will be able to be imported from SL 1 to SL 2. They say it'll be out in two or three years or so, last I heard. I might be wrong on that, though. I know they're making -something- to replace it...

Topa Adamski: I am sure you are talking about "highfidelity" that Philip is working on... I can't wait to get my hands on and yes I am realy informed about it. Just waiting for when it would be available for users.

Xymbers Slade: Waiting with anticipation I see. I'm not too thrilled about LL's track record, but maybe they learned from their mistakes and the next one will be better. That about wraps up the questions I had, so I'll take off and write the story up and send you a link when it is up.

Topa Adamski: "Ok thank you for your time; it was an honor to be interviewed for the SL Newser."

I'm impressed by the things in this store. Most avatars cost about $2000L, which isn't too bad; there are a couple of packs for $4000L. I've certainly added it to my list of landmarks to give to newbies I come across.

TS Creations can be found at at the sim known as Avaron (103, 162, 25), specializing in medieval armor (dragon knights, death knights, and a few others including a suit of Halo armor and Spellfire weapons).

Xymbers Slade

Monday, August 11, 2014

Woods Club Reopened

By Wesley Regenbogen

The Woods Club was created in 2008 and closed its doors in 2011. But in January 2014, the club reopened with a new owner, Leila Roddenham and a CEO, a Belgian with the name Viktor Galli (he speaks Flemish, like me), who was also the CEO in the Old Woods Club. The club recently celebrated its 6th birthday in Second Life.
The Woods Club was created by two people, Ezio Gears and Mercedes Auer.They also have an excellent team of managers and DJ/advisors. Club notices state you can find the best quality music there and also a good many DJs. They play different genres like : Techno, House, Electro, Hip Hop, Dubstep, Breaks, Tech House, Afro/Tribal House & Soulful.
They try to separate themselves from other clubs in Second Life by not having a lot of commercial music. They prefer to use more underground sounds. But they try to keep the traditions of the Old Woods Club as well. The owner and the CEO carefully reviewed, planned and put in place each step. If a DJ wants to spin within Woods Club, they need to possess something special, something that another DJ doesn’t have.
When you enter the club a voice says “ No Woods, No Life.” That slogan can be true if you are into dancing in Second Life.
The traffic of visitors varies anywhere between 25,000 to 36,000. They are open Tuesdays through Sundays between 10am and 10 pm. But soon they are going to change the opening hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 8 am to 8 pm. Soon there will be more information will follow shorthy.
Woods Club fans have their own group called “Element the 8th” which is also owned by Woods Club. They communicate via Facebook and other groups within Second Life. Our readers can find more information about Woods Club on these 3 pages :
I would like everyone to visit this club and enjoy your stay in the New Woods Club and hopefully you can dance with your friends and other people you have met and have lots of fun !
Checkout this nice new club at this location :

Wesley Regenbogen 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hoverboard Wars

By Wesley Regenbogen

Hoverboard Wars is a Second Life game where you need to ride with a hoverboard and try to get over the many ramps and shoot the opponents and try to eliminate them as soon as you can.
At the startpoint, you must first right-click on the hoverboard that is in front of you and select “Ride.” Then your avatar will glide down the mountain and the game starts. Navigation is done with the standard keys W, A,S,D, but also the good old arrow keys are usable to navigate throughout the game.

The object is to navigate with your hoverboard over the ramps and bridges and other blue structures on the sim. When hit by another opponent, you loose hit points ( HP ) and need to find health repairing objects to make yourself healthy again. This is easier said than done, because it’s sometimes not easy to get on the ramps using the arrow keys. Nevertheless, you can try to make the best out of your game and try to shoot your other players as much as possible.
When your health points reach the zero level, you are teleported back to the beginning point of the game and can start over. If you decide to give up the game, just click the hoverboard itself and you will give forfeit. Giving forfeit is not the best option, though, so try to go further as much as possible. So, it’s your skill, ability and keeping your momentum to keep your avatar on your hoverboard.

It’s fun and exciting to see your avatar floating over the water and getting enough momentum to get over the ramps. The competitive gameplay allows you to avoid getting hit by the other opponents and trying to stay alive at all costs. You can also perform some cool moves while you are in air. Avoiding getting hit, is one of the trickiest things to do, because your opponents will follow you at all times.
There's a spot on the sim where it looks like one cat is teaching other cats how to play the game. But no kitties went after me.
You can find this Hoverboard Wars at this location : Hoverpark (240, 239, 37)

Enjoy your ride at Hoverboard Wars and maybe we can challenge each other one day.
Wesley Regenbogen