Sometimes i think Second Life is getting harder, and in many ways it is. Features come in to open up new possibilities which ad more complexity to creating things in SL. Although perhaps contrary, these complexities once learnt can lead to ease of creation. Thus was the theme of my 2015.
January, February, March
The first quarter of 2015 was spent working on a mesh avatar and clothes for it, finally releasing the avatar in March for free. Since then i have periodically released new clothing the latest being my Parkas which were the quickest item i’ve made at the best quality yet. I think my clothes this year have improved a lot with material mapping , scripting and modelling. It’s just the fitting for old avatars i have issues with.
Right after finishing the Loki Avatar i moved onto to try out some Machinima creating the Achievement video. It was an experiment to how Second Life can look so different from how we have grown to expect SL to look. It was picked up by Draxtor who kindly presented it on his YouTube page.
In April my friend Pokute introduced me to the Xiasumi School Fest which i decided to take part in, mainly because it was way out of my localised area of SL and was a new experience for me.
I created school uniforms and a Retro Arcade Table, the latter of which i had made into a real world replica later in the year.
Almost directly following Xiasumi Fest was Fantasy Faire. I teamed up with the same gang as last year to create props and stories for roleplaying during the event to raise donations for Cancer Research. It’s possibly not realised that there are roleplaying stories going on during Fantasy Faire and not just shopping. I’ve put my name forward as a region creator for Fantasy Faire 2016 as i find it a very immersive festival.
This was the month Oculus announced it was not going to support mac or Linux. Since then i’ve been watching the VR hype from the sidelines while still awaiting for the arrival of motion sensors backed on kickstarter. Things looked quite bleak for me on the VR front as i still struggled to control or create anything in High Fidelity (still can’t). I ended up selling my Oculus DK2 on eBay for twice the price i had bought it for YEAHY!
It was in May i started to read a lot more blog posts about Content Creation and how some mesh avatars are sucking the life out of everyones computers. Linden Lab would later release a project viewer that replaced resource hogging avatars with giant jelly babies.
Escapades Island saw it’s 10th Wickerman. I never imagined when i did the first wickerman in Second Life that we’d still be gathering from around the world to watch it ten years later.
At the 12th Anniversary of Second Life i rebuilt the Childhood Dreams Exhibit i had created for SL5B. It’s kind of strange that there is now nostalgia for stuff i created nearly a decade ago. It was fun balancing the new building techniques with the old making sure it wasn’t so different as to loose the sense of the original. I also used the new XPtools to automatically attach a temp story hud.
During the festivities Draxtor also managed to nag me into taking part in Linden Labs “What Second Life means to me” a series of videos created by users describing their second lives. I was astonished but the response my video got and was very grateful for all the kind words.
In July XP tools was finally officially released. The problem here is that no one really understands what the tools are or what’s so great about it. The benefits it brings to experiences in SL are quickly absorbed into what people expect a game to do. It’s only the creators who know how hard it was to teleport people from one place to another and appreciate the hard work gone into XPtools. I love the XP tools, I’m only just now tapping into its full potential, so please all the Lindens Who worked hard on it, i worship you and am eternally grateful!
In this month i set to work rebuilding my Icarus Class Airship. It had been three years since i last build version 4 and that was after Mesh had just been released. This time i was armed with three years experience, Materials, and better scripting. I also incorporated it with my Battle Balloons game system for epic ship to ship aerial battles. This was also the first project were i used Substance painter, a new software that painted bumps and shiney onto the model surface. While unable to use most of these textures in Second Life it was the point in the year where i started thinking ahead to Linden Labs Project Sansar.
The 5th anniversary of Escapades island saw much silliness and fun as usual. Highlights being the moment everyone in the UK got logged out of Second life for half of the Tea Party. The epic Battleship Battle between The Goonies and the White Lobster Clan. The Battle for the bog of eternal stench when so many physical bullets were rezzed that the entire region slowed down like a scene from the matrix. You can watch the whole weekends activities here on dailymotion.
It was in this month i decided my clothing was terrible, not the actual clothing, but the way i presented them, sold them and named them. This lead me to do a survey which resulted in me making some big changes to how i make, size and present my clothes. These changes will not appear until 2016, although my latest Parkas and Halloween Costumes already have less sizes and include SMB.
October also saw Lindens Labs new Media Plugin Project Valhalla announced which allows HTML5 video and even WebGL to be displayed on a prim. Very excited by this but have yet to find time to try it out. My New Babbage Chronicles story used to use a HUD that displayed Videos telling a story. That of course broke. I plan to revisit the Chronicles and repackage them using XPtools and the new Media Plugin in 2016.
I also turned 10.
Finally got round to creating something specifically for the new XPtools. T H E W E L L : Infirmos saw users return to the well but only after exploring the mysteriously empty mental health centre. I wanted to do a scary halloween experience that was not a cliche mental asylum and tried to make something that was the most simple to use. In some ways i achieved my aims, and other ways i failed, but it was an interesting project that many said they really enjoyed.
The Burning Barrel Race in New Babbage did not disappoint. There was a wonderful festival feel to it this year as people walked along with and encouraged people to push the burning barrels. As an incentive to finish the route the residents had to get their barrels to the end in order to set alight the effigy of Morgawr.
New Babbage Fireworks & Burning Barrel Race… by lokieliot
Not soon after the Barrel race i was having to add snow to everything. This year however i decided to try and script my buildings so i could easily change the textures with one click.
Linden Lab announces Project Bento which will add almost 80 more bones to the Avatar Skeleton allowing for rigged wings, tails, fingers and facial expressions. Im far to deep into the christmas spirit to even look at this yet.
I managed to get some new clothes and items out before christmas and I’m actually feeling quite positive about most things. There is a new star wars film out, my clothing work flow seems to be good and thanks to 2015 I’m all set for another exciting year of creativity in Second Life. Next year is set to be more epic than this one and looking back 2015 was actually quite epic.
Hope everyone had an awesome time in 2015, see you in 2016!