Egnog the Troll returns to Escapades Island with free gifts for all!

As with every Winter holidays in Second Life, Egnog the Troll has returned to Escapades island to give gifts to who ever can locate his secret Grotto.

Egnog1

This is a FREE simple little game to play with friends of by yourself. Just visit the Winter Engineer at the town centre on Escapades island. Click him and he will tell you to find 4 special crystal flowers thegong2at you will need in order to open the portal to Egnogs Grotto. There you will find the jolly troll who will either give you a gift or gobble you up!

Eggnog’s Grotto will be available until new year.

 

The game uses the Experience Tools to give a smooth fun easy experience, just click the engineer, find the flowers and stand next to them to progress through the quest.

Thank you everyone who has been supportive and encouraged me through the year. Have a great winter holiday and i look forward to bringing you more games and experiences in 2016.

>>> VISIT THE WINTER ENGINEER AT RICKETY TOWN CENTRE HERE <<<

 

T H E W E L L: INFIRMOS post mortem

It’s been just over a month now since i opened the 3rd chapter in the Well horror series, so how was it received and what did learn this time?

While i managed to finish and open Infirmos two days before halloween, it was not placed on the destination guide until the following week. How much this post halloween addition effected visitor count i won’t know, but simply being added to the destination guide as usual showed a massive surge in visitors. The power of the destination guide is undeniable and the way some friends find their places rejected while other destinations currently lead to empty regions, makes me wonder if Linden Lab could improve things in this area of discovery.

 

Visitor Counts.

I try to count visitors at various parts of the experience in order to cage the difficulty. How many people are interested, How difficult is it to enter and how difficult is it to get through. I placed a counter at the start and the end but forgot to place a counter at a key point to know how may actually got into the experience. Because of this i was unable to cage how many after using the hud actually ended up down the well.

Up to this point Infirmos has had just over 2300 visitors, thats up from the previous chapter and of those only just over 185 made it to the end. Thats surprisingly low completion rate. I don’t know if people found the game to hard, or they got bored, or crashed. It’s possible that people gave up because there were no clues to what lay ahead rather than being to difficult. Some people raced through the whole thing in ten minutes while others spent over two hours (Watch Draxtor loose his mind).

 

Things i think i got right and wrong

• No buttons: In previous HUDS when a dialogue pop up appeared you had to click an icon button to get rid of it and progress with the experience. I realised when people read these things they tend not to move, so decided to have the pop up vanish only when the avatar moves. This meant you never needed to click anything inworld while down the well.

• Location based events: Instead of having the user click objects to uncover secrets, i used co-ordinates based events. The HUD is constantly checking its position and comparing it with a list of co-ordinates. If the avatar is with a specified distance with a location it will trigger the appropriate event. This is not a sensor ping. It again allows users to trigger events by where they stand and not need to click anything inworld. Unfortunately i may have made some locations hard to trigger unless you were stood right on top of them.

• Mouse Look: Making the experience so you did not need to click on objects meant the experience should have been good for people who use mouse look and VR Headsets. Unfortunately some of the key story elements relied on Camera positioning which you can not see while in mouse look. Thats something i need to work around or keep in mind in future.

• XPtools: Using the new XPtools features allowed me to set up the most easy starting point I’ve ever done yet. It consisted of three buttons, 1.Joins you to the experience, 2. payed for a pass and 3. attached a hud to start the experience. While this was the easiest yet, some people still found it hard to cope with.  Some had trouble abandoning their ideas of how SL works, looking for a HUD in their inventory when intact they already were wearing it in temp form. Some had no idea what an experience was and why they needed to join it. Some thought they had to join a group. In future i would like merge all three buttons into one, but I’m not yet sure thats possible with LSL limitations.

•  It’s too hard/ It’s to easy: As with the previous two chapters people equally complained it was too hard or to easy. Perhaps i should have a way for people to choose to have a walk through or extra clues as an option. Sometime people don’t want the fuss of puzzle solving, they prefer to experience the story if there is one. It’s something i’ll consider next year.

 

This is just a few of the comments i had about Infirmos.

“Scary but a lot of fun at the same time! So cool xD”

“Just had a blast, on this little adventure with a couple of friends best part was the cave. <3.”

“The way the sets changed was inspired, thanks very much for sharing this Loki.”

“Didn’t get any further than the first blue door, got tp’d back and forth. Explored every single room, got bored and left.”

“I really enjoyed this spooky mystery maze. I would love to have more of these in SL. I first tried this on my laptop but it’s not good enough to experience the graphics and effects of this “game”, so I switched to my computer that is more powerful and can handle ultra graphics and was able to experience the whole thing all the way through to the end. Yay for me! If you have a group, I’ll be joining it because I want to experience more of these!”

“This waas a great experience. My friend and I did it and it was scary and fun. Please keep these coming. Well worth the money spent. I suggest to anyone thinking of doing this, jump in heads first and watch out for the shadows lol….”

tw15-3ac_001Also received a nice review by Inara pay

 

 

The rewards of building an experience

It took me a month to build Infirmos and i made enough from it to almost justify that work. The more i make these things the easier it’s getting and the time spent building comes down. Trying to balance the work lowed with what you expect to get back can be tough and its hard to see big groups of people getting the returns of all their efforts in SL doing this. Of course i could leave it up now for as long as people keep visiting it, but a Regions prim count is precious and eventually ill need to remove it to replace with something new.

And there will be new things. 2015 has been an interesting year and 2016 should be even more fun as i start applying what i’ve learnt to new adventures. #FantasyFaire

T H E W E L L: Infirmos – An #SL horror

Since the last chapter of T H E  W E L L i have constantly had people asking when i would do another. Last Halloween i took a break from creating a horror experience because i was awaiting the Experience Tools. This year is different.

Snapshot_005

T H E  W E L L is a horror suspense game. I created the first a few years ago after visiting some haunted houses in Second Life and wondering if it was possible to make an actual scary experience.  The game centres around a vague story about a boy who fell down a well. A team was sent in to rescue him and also went missing.

This third chapter centres around the player waking up in a mental health hospital during a heavy rain storm at night. How they got there is unknown and its up to the player to explore the hospital to learn what they can while also trying to find some way to escape.

The experience is best viewed with advanced lighting and projectors and also with the sound turned up to hear the ghostly whispers.

The experience is located HERE and has a one time fee L$100 pass to enter the Well as many times as you want. 


T H E W E L L : Infirmos Teaser by lokieliot

I chose a hospital theme after visiting mental asylums last halloween in Second Life. After having discussions with friends about how cliche and terrible the use of mental Asylums were at halloween, i decided to try and base a horror experience around a modern mental health hospital away from the cliches. Although i should point out that my depiction of a mental health hospital probably does not accurately portrait actual modern hospitals very well.

Many of annoying problems with creating an immersive experience are gone now. In fact i was able to produce an experience where you only have to click on an object once at the start. The rest of the game is based on your position for things to happen and choices to make. For instance items of importance simply need standing next to in order for information to pop up. Then when you are finished reading you move your avatar for the info to go away and continue your exploration. Hopefully this will be intuitive enough for the user to figure out quickly and just enjoy the experience..

This experience was also created with VR headsets in mind. While i can no longer use an Oculus on my Mac, i am still thinking about it for the future.

Anyways, I hope those who try the experience enjoy it. Have a fun packed halloween weekend!

Where are the Seamless Experiences?

Some people might be wondering where i’ve got to with regard to the Experience Tools…. well, i’m working on it!

Two months ago Linden Lab finally released the Experience Tools to a flurry of Blog Posts. Since then  no ones really heard much about it. The Destination guide list nine places as Experience Tools ‘Seamless Experiences’. Only Facebook users get to comment on the experiences though, which probably leaves them vulnerable to Facebook looking through and deleting profiles of those users :-p.

As is the case with most new scripting features of Second Life, Experience tools risks getting lost and forgotton in the sea of LSL Wiki pages like Pathfinding. It’s hard to promote a feature that requires the user to script it, unlike the Materials Feature which every user could learn to do by dropping images on a square in the edit window and see the result. To learn XPtools you need to find the tiny wiki page with bare bones examples of the scripts. Linden Lab don’t hold special developer keynotes showing off the new features with big examples or workshops to help creators   get to grips. They just throw it out there and hope someone picks it up and learns to use it.

The fact you have to script XP tools is one of the reasons why even though Experience Tools has been released you haven’t seen anything exciting yet from me. I used experience tools at SL12B for a simple task of auto attaching a hud to visitors but everything else such as story pop ups and camera overrides were simple actions that did not acquire XP tools. Escapades Island has a very basic implementation of the XP tools that auto attaches a HUD and teleports you when needed, but so far thats all it does and should not be taken as a great example of what XP tools can do.

It’s the 5th Anniversary of Escapades Island next weekend which means five years ago with the help of my friends i planned to make an island of adventure. But i’ve so far been unable to do the kind of experiences that really immerse people in an adventure. I know its possible now with XP tools, but i’m having to work hard to learn the extra scripting needed to do exactly what i want to do, especially regarding storing player data ‘Item Inventories’, ‘Leveling up’,’story Positions’ etc. But my goal is finally in sight as i work on the system that will allow me to quickly cobble together adventure stories.

Experience Tools is here, but you have to wait just a little bit longer to see what i’ve dreamed of doing for the past 5 years.

Battle Balloons Expansion : Battle Airships – Icarus Mk5 Pt3

Ever looked up into the Second Life wind light Sky dreaming of being a captain of a steampunk Airship, with a crew of friends manning cannons that can take down another in ship to ship combat, Yes? Then i invite you to try the new Battle Balloons Game Expansion – Airships.

I think it was two years ago i started working on a basic ship to ship star trek battle game for my friend Billy in practise for a Steampunk Airship Battle Game. I later released Battle Balloons, a team based aerial combat game that required a pilot and a gunner to defeat other Air Balloon teams.

Battle Balloon
by lokieliot
on Sketchfab

 

Those who have played it fall in love with it and can soon end up logged into Second Life longer than they usually do as they team up with friends and struggle to stay in the air while shooting down opponents. It’s a game that causes people to wish they owned land in order to own and set up their own games, highlighting the tragic effects of region tier costs on selling some types of games.

 

SellingGamesInSL

 

The Icarus joins the Battle for the Skies

So recently i have been working on a new 5th iteration of my classic Icarus Airship and decided to make a version that was compatible with the Battle Balloon game.

The NEW Battle Airship comes with four mounted cannons, each one can be manned by a friend while you pilot the aircraft. There are also nine pose sit spots for other friends to join the adventure as crew dotted about the ship so you can really get a pirate crew feeling (if you have enough friends in SL).

Gameplay wise the Battle Airships take more damage than the smaller Battle Balloons before they go down in flames. Strategy is needed by Battle Balloonists in order to defeat the Airships such as teaming up or finding blindspots. As the airship takes damage it’s cannons start to fail making it easier to take down if unable to get to a repair crate.

 

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Item_Packaging_BattleAirships2.1Item_Packaging_BattleAirships3

 

The Battle Airship comes as a Vendor Rezzing Game like the Battle Balloons which a region owner can place on their land for anyone to rez ships and play. There is also a Single private Battle Airship version and a peaceful explorers edition that has no cannons.

And if you want to find new friends to test your battle Balloon & Airship skills against, there is a Battle Balloons group to join.

Check out the NEW Battle Airship expansion for FREE at the Escapades Island Sky Pirates Platform in Second Life!!