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Check out the SL Flickr Pic of the Day, "Avilion Grove –Anniversary Masquerade Ball," by Osiris LeShelle . Visit inworld here.
Take advantage of this limited-time offer and sign up now. In addition to saving 50 percent off the regular price, members enjoy more rewards than ever — including exclusive, Resident-created gifts. You’ll also gain access to Premium-only Sandboxes — special areas inworld where you can build objects, rez purchased items and meet other new members — all on specialized land where you are free to express your creativity. Become a Premium member today and you’ll also get a sneak peak of the limited-time beta of Linden Realms, a quest-driven interactive experience created by Linden Lab at our Premium Sandboxes and Gift Kiosks.
Plus, you’ll get your own Second Life home to furnish, Premium-only access to Live Chat support, a L$1000 sign-up bonus and weekly L$ rewards to spend on whatever you like. Read more details about Premium benefits here — and keep your eye out for even more benefits coming soon.
*TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR 50% DISCOUNT
This limited-time discount offer is available only for memberships on the Quarterly billing plan. Discount will be applied to the first quarterly billing cycle only, and all future charges will be at the regular Premium price. To qualify, Second Life members must have an active Basic account or create a new Second Life account. Discount offer begins on Monday the 21st of November at 8:00 am Pacific Standard Time (PST) and expires on Monday the 28th of November 2011 at 08:00 am Pacific Standard Time (PST).
Your hosts for this special event are Second Life Residents with experience in gaming communities and/or blogs. They’ll be ready for questions, starting conversations and leading discussions next Tuesday and Wednesday. Here’s a list of the hosts, with the dates and times they’ll be live in the forums:
- XXander Snook -Tuesday, Nov. 29
- Aeon Voom - Wednesday, Nov. 30
- Oni Horan - Tuesday, Nov. 29
- Karsten Rutledge - Tuesday, Nov. 29 and Wednesday, Nov. 30
- Aries Oh - Wednesday, Nov. 30
- Loki Eliot - Wednesday, Nov. 30
Share Your Creations
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “Resident Hosted Event Idea” and tell us about your Second Life expertise. What are you already blogging and talking about? Share links to those conversations and show us you can lead interesting conversations about inworld fun in Second Life.
The Underground Base game was a sort-of test. For a while now I have been wanting to create games in SL and perhaps find a way to generate revenue from such games to help with the Tier costs. The Story of the Underground Base is in fact from an ongoing Role Play story on the Island between the resident Gang of misfits and an evil Lizard pirate called the Grand Master. The game was created for them to play and after I modified the game for anyone to play. What I would like is for Escapades to prove that a good story-driven experience can be made in SL.
2. Got any favorite books or movies from which you draw inspiration?
Too many to list here. I'm a full blown geek of the Spielberg era. I was brought up on classic 80's kids films such as ET, the Goonies, Labyrinth and Star Wars. Ask anyone on Escapades and they'll say “Goonies never say DIE!" – for the Goonies was a major influence for the friendship and adventures I’ve produced. But my inspiration comes from many many different sources. I have a great fondness for old folk tales as well as old traditions from my country, which I repackage and sneak into Second Life, such as the Great Burning Barrel race of New Babbage. We have held the Barrel Race five times now and it's loosely based on a real event in the south west of England.
3. What sims and games do you like to play inworld?
I don't actually get out much with regard to the rest of the Grid. Me and my island gang go on adventures to explore new places every first Friday of the month and we have come across some good mini games, but I find that actual interactive places with a story to tell and a task to complete is rare. We went recently to a Norse themed location called Folkvang which had a wonderful simple Chest Hunting quest “Frajas Quest,” it really added to the fun and we felt like we had accomplished something. When you say “PLAY” though, it could mean any number of things. The Steampunk Town of New Babbage is a second home for me and every autumn i return there to set up a role-play story that can last over three months. People there are proper role-players and within the great smoggy atmosphere it is so easy to start roleplaying.
Visit the Secret Underground Base inworld here.
2. What’s the story behind Greedy Greedy – which is a favorite of many residents?
On several of the aforementioned MOO games that I helped develop I had created a rendition of Greedy Greedy to play among friends, primarily with the other developers. When I came to Second Life, I decided that porting Greedy Greedy would be a good way to learn the scripting language. I made the happy mistake of leaving it rezzed when I went to bed one night, and awoke to two people who had stumbled across it in the night and insisted they must have a copy of it for their own land, and thus a very long learning process began for me in how to run a business.
3. Are you surprised by the ongoing success of Greedy Greedy?
A little. I didn't create it with the idea of even selling it, much less selling a lot of it. I think it owes its success to several factors. Firstly, it is a very friendly game. It doesn't eliminate players and doesn't require a steep learning curve. Secondly, it is a very social game. It doesn't require an intense focus on the game to play it well. You can play your turn, switch your focus, whether it be to Photoshop or scripting or chatting with friends, and then come back to it again later without having lost any important information, so it can be played very casually. Lastly, it is a very competitive game, and hope springs eternal. You can be the last player on the scoreboard, but at any moment you could leapfrog the competition and come out the winner. It's that anticipation of a big score that could be just around the corner. You haven't truly lost until the game is over, whereas in many games if you are trailing well behind the leader then you are basically walking dead.
4. You also recently opened a new blog dedicated to gaming in SL at http://gaming.sl. What inspired you to start that blog?
It's not really a blog, in the normal sense. The primary function of http://Gaming.SL/ is to provide support for games inworld, to give them access to features that are impossible to create with Second Life alone. Things like persistent grid-wide leaderboards and player achievements. These features require a database behind them to work, and that is something that SL isn't capable of handling on its own. The "blog" aspect of it is more of a "Here is what's new about games that use Gaming.SL technology!" and has little to do with the broader gaming culture in Second Life. One of the more popular features of Gaming.SL is the ability to provide "DLC" for games that are connected to it, although they are known as "addons" on the website. This allows games in-world to have features added to them on-the-fly by downloading new information off the website.
Check out the SL Flickr Pic of the Day for Nov. 22, "Me and the gang hanging out," by Nevyn Hammerthall.
1. How did 7Seas Fishing come about?
Originally, we had a plot of land at our beach-style sim which wasn't renting. We were thinking of pet projects we could run there ourselves, instead of simply seeking a new renter. A fishing game had been something we'd wanted to try for some time, and now we had space to do it. And, well, things snowballed from there.
The game grew from a wouldn't-it-be-cool-if momentary lark to a bit of a juggernaut. Now, it's certainly beyond the boundaries of a little plot of beachside property! Fishing areas have popped up everywhere, offering fishing contests with great prizes, or amazing custom fish you can only get at their sims.
2. What kind of fish can you capture?
We have a wide variety of fish, from realistic breeds to living puns, along with catchable wearable items and crafting parts that assemble useful gadgets. There's tons of stuff out there – and that's just the official items.
There's a UNIVERSE of community custom catches at various fishing areas. We allow anyone to piggyback off our system, to create their own fish, items, prizes, and so on for people to catch with their fishing rods. In fact, twice every year we have week long festivals to celebrate our amazing community and all the great stuff they've created!
3. You’ve recently expanded into “wearable” fish pets and even breedables. Do those tie into the original gameplay?
All our fish double as wearable pets. The idea there was that once you catch a fish, you should be able to do something with it beyond rez a really high prim object as a sort of trophy. So, our pets swim around you once worn, and can be even be renamed to make them YOUR pets.
Fish breeding is another area we've expanded into, where catching parent fish and using fish food with them (also catchable) gets you baby fish with the traits of both parents. You also can earn BP (Baby Points), which have their own Hall of Fame aside from XP (Experience Points) you get from fishing in general.
The community also have made their own breedable fish. There's tons of great customs out there to catch!
4. Part of the success of 7Seas has been the fact that any sim can add a “fishing area kit” to their sim. How does that work?
Inside every Fishing Area Kit is a Gear Vendor. That vendor then, in turn, sells Fishing Area Kits. You earn 20% of every sale you make through your vendor, which encourages folks to set them up, to recruit more fishers and more fishing area owners.
The game spreads virally as a result. While we do have a "7Seas Fishing Headquarters," it's little more than a show room floor for our game. The real fun is to be found at any of the community fishing areas out there, which we list on our website at 7SeasFishing.com.
5. What happens at level 40 (for those fishers who accumulate over 50,000 XP)?
For starters, your chances to catch more valuable fish "max out" at Level 5, which you can reach in a day or two. When we started out, we didn't want the game to be a grindy, boring MMORPG. We wanted folks to be Super Effective early on, so that they feel that fishing contests and the like are fair for all involved.
Every level from 6 onward earns you a new title, and when you reach level 40, you've hit the Hall of Fame! We list Hall of Famers on our website at 7SeasFishing.com. There's some fierce competition up there – some fishers have even become Millionaire Hall of Famers, and that's reflected in your level title. You can make your fishing rod
"Boast" your level to folks around you for bragging rights, too!
Overall, 7Seas Fishing is both a game and a community. We provide the game; our amazing fishers provide the community. We've got a lively chatroom in our 7Seas Social Chat group (free to join for all fishing rod owners) and there's fishing areas out there across a wide spectrum of cultures and interests. If you're looking for fun, you'll find it
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1. Many of the games that you’ve developed have an ‘80s retro feel – comparable to the original days of the classic “arcades” of the past. Was that an intentional design choice?
Absolutely. When I first started the project, there weren't many playable games in Second Life – "gaming" was limited to casinos and bingo-like gambling machines. I felt that the other side of gaming, playing games for the sheer fun of playing games, needed to be represented. The best way to do that was to try to mimic the golden age of arcade games... the 1980s.
Originally I started with re-creations of classic games, like Pole Position, Hogan's Alley, and so on. However, early on I realized that violating copyrights was not a particularly groovy business model... and it's far more satisfying to put an original work out there, something you can claim was 100% your imagination and skill at work. So, I made retro-STYLE original games instead.
2. Can other sims buy your arcade creations to include in their locations?
Yes! My games are available individually ($250) or in discounted packs, including a complete arcade pack. All games are copyable, so you can install them in as many places as you want. Upgrades are always free, as well, for when I make optimizations or fix bugs.
I also have a simple "ticket and prize system" available, similar to redemption games you'd see at an arcade. I doubt you could make money hand over fist from these quarter pumpers, but it's a great way to cross-promote your own business, for instance... or just show off some neat toys and wearables that feel like you'd earned them from an
arcade. (No prizes are included with the kit; you have to provide your own creations.)
3. What is your most popular game?
By far, it's my "alley roller" style game, Skeeball. This is a classic carnival game, which uses SL physics to simulate rolling a ball down the table, launching it off a ramp, and into various holes worth different scores. Using original art, it maintains the classic feel of
I've also got a great "lightgun" style shoot 'em up called Zombie Meltdown, which is just OOZING with 8-bit goodness. You even get a wearable plastic lightgun, which you can see in your avatar's hands as you gun down the threat of radioactive commie zombies from the 80s!
4. Is it difficult to play these games in SL?
SL's interface and prim-based systems don't easily lend themselves to action games, it's true. That's why all my games provide simple instructions for how to play them, available just by clicking the game. It takes less than a minute to learn the basics, then you're off
to the races.
Most of my games work in first person perspective ("Mouselook" mode). With games like Cruise Control, a racing game, this is great -- you get that feel of sitting behind an arcade steering wheel. You can look down and see the coin slots and pedals! It really helps your immersion, and keeps the games simple to play, once you learn to tap that lovely "M" key to zoom into first person.
5. What’s your personal favorite?
My favorite has got to be Fist of Discomfort. It's one of the more unique games in the bunch – a screen full of ninjas pops up, and you have to click on them to kill them. But to score WELL, you have to carve an efficient path through them... the shorter the distance between two clicks, the more points you earn. Maxing out your score means you have to be quick on your feet and think of the best way to approach the fight.
What's more... it supports four players at the same time! So while you're busy trying to take out ninjas, so are your friends, and if they get to the ninjas before you do, there go your points. It's a great competitive game.
A Simboard is a mix snowboarding, skateboarding, and hoverboarding, with a sci-fi twist. The FS model lets you customize nearly anything on it, with engine settings to change physics as you see fit. The CS Simboard is designed specially for SimBall, a sci-fi game concept of a high contact sport on Simboards with weapons. Thus “CS” model, or the Combat Simboard. The rules are simple. Grab the ball and score it for your team! Avoid opponents weapons and pegs. The game strategy comes from board types, and mixing board types to work together.
2. How can someone get started to play?
There is a free basic CS board available at Vetox HQ or at many affiliate vendors near public arena's around Second Life. These allow anyone to play in the arenas. Paid-for boards will have special powers and/or weapons depending on the type bought.
3. Are there advanced tricks that one can do once they get comfortable on a Simboard?
Yes. Simboards have an open control system. This means you can mix any set of keys, up to about four at once, and get a result that changes how the board reacts. Typically the best way to think of it is that holding the E or C keys (Page up and Page down) will change the primary control which are WSAD to a new actions. Turning left or right becomes spins or rolls for example. These effects are instant and only active while holding the E or C keys down, which allows for fast action and reactions. There are also weapons, or powers, in the CS model that are active only during an arena game. By pressing Page up and Page down at the same time. These weapons are usually AOE (area of effect.) And anyone nearby will be affected.
4. What locations do you recommend for the best simboarding?
For Simball, there are new arenas that pop up every week. There are too many to keep track of at the moment! However, there is a list of recent games at this global log here. Note that this feed may soon change over to our website at www.Vetox.biz. Also, some locations can be found on all arena servers in the pop-out community panel. Currently SIA is one of the top arena's ran by SLTV in the Japanese community, run by mato Jetcity. There are also the JBall tournaments. There is also a small example arena located above the Vetox HQ store. There is a Simball Network panel located there as well. The Vetox HQ is at this location. I do not own a Sim – rather, we let the community build arenas as they see fit on land they own – another reason to own land?) – and then network their games to the global log. Soon there will be a list of top used arenas which we will feed back to all game servers inworld.
1. Neo-Realms Fishing is one of the very first games in SL! Yet, it remains quite popular. What inspired you to develop the game originally?
I joined Second Life in 2004 because it sounded like a cool place to create games without having to do a lot of the complex graphics coding that would be required on any other platform. I was an avid fisher in other MMORPGs at the time, and my friends and I thought that Second Life needed a fishing game too! It turned out Second Life was in fact a great place to make games, and after a few months of development the first version of the fishing game was up in December 2004!
2. How has it changed over the years?
In 2004, fishing started as a game where players packed together in a sim while their rods talked to a local buoy that ran the game, but over the past 7 years, Neo-Realms Fishing has evolved with 5 major updates into a global fishing system. Nowadays fishers can participate in daily global tournaments and minigames at any fishing location on the grid, enjoy a personalized fishing page on our web servers where they can track their real-time rod stats and catches, join fishing leagues and more!
One thing that has not changed over the years is the awesome community surrounding the game. We still have many fishers that were here near the beginning. It is our community of wonderful fishers that really keeps fishing going!
3. How many types of fish are there to catch? Any secret or rare types of fish?
There are 5 different categories of fish to catch, plus quest items. In all there are about 450+ fish and other items to catch, plus custom fish that the community has created and distribute at their own fishing locations. In addition to fish and quest pieces we have fishing charms that grant xp to your rods, reward points that can be traded in for prizes like arcade tickets, and XP crystals that have the chance of triggering global double XP days for all locations.
There are several super rare fish that only spawn at certain times, or are only
available if other fish are not available. Our highest tier of fish, the Super Epics, are only available with special Super Bait that has to be won or earned via quests and rewards.
We also have a fishing quest where the reward is a "Spawnometer" that tells you if some of our rare fish are available or not.
4. How does one get on the “leaderboard” to show off their accomplishments?
To make it on the leaderboard, all one has to do is place in an official Neo-Realms tournament. Official tournaments are global tournaments run at a certain time every week with guaranteed prize money. We have run over 10,300 official tournaments since fishing started!
We also track lots of individual achievements on our Hall of Fame page, where super rare catches, highest rod scores and the latest daily best catches and minigame scores can be found.
For fishers who are more team-oriented, we also run the Neo-Realms Team Fishing League. Players compete in 2v2 matches over the course of a season, with prizes going to the league victors. Our past team leaderboards are available at tfl.neorealms.net
Other ways of showing off their accomplishments in-world include Achievement Hats, which display fishing badges earned by completing achievements.
5. Explain the “Gold Camps” concept and how other locations can participate.
Gold camps are a premium service that expand the features of the standard fishing camp. With Gold Camps, we offer a higher commission rate on sales (25%) as well as our popular mini-games with a ton of daily prizes for the winners provided by Neo-Realms. These minigames include Crabbing, Depth Charger, FishGolf, Simwide Small/Medium/Best Catch, and our newest minigame: Clamming!
Gold camps are also entered into a twice-daily drawing for XP Happy Hours which grant double XP bonuses for catches to their sim for an hour. Gold owners are also eligible to host Global Fishing Tournaments based in their sim, which acts as a central hub for all fishers to register and receive prizes during the competition.
Our Gold Camps are a great way to draw traffic to an area with contests and prizes run by Neo-Realms that take place around the clock.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions about Neo-Realms Fishing please contact Sweegy Manilow or visit our website at fish.neorealms.com.
1. Despite some of the technical challenges, combat gaming in SL seems to have a good following. Why do you think that is?
I think we have a strong following because of two main factors. One, the combat system is solid and provides a really awesome experience. I constantly get IM's from new players telling me, "I didn't know SL could do this," which really motivates me with pride. The other main factor is the players. We've been lucky to have a strong and devoted following through all the ups and downs over the last 3+ years we've been running MCM.
2. Tell us a bit about how you got started in SL.
It's an odd story, actually. I used to play a lot of MMO's, and one day back in 2005, a friend of mine told me about this game that had no point called "Second Life.” I was confused by his statement and asked, "What do you mean there is no point?" He said I would have to download it and check it out. This was back then you needed a credit card to set up an account, and so after getting it all set up, I logged in for the first time and realized that it wasn't really a game but another universe. I was hooked shortly after that and started exploring.
3. What do you think are some stereotypes about the combat community in SL?
Stereotypes? Well, since I've been running MCM, most of the cliché stereotypes I originally had have been shattered. I used to think that SL militaries were just drama junkies who would pretend fight each other, similar to flaming on forums, but my assumptions have been proven wrong many times. I don't really think that there are many widely held stereotypes, at least in the community that plays in the MCM sims. There is always bickering but that's the nature of competitive combat systems — people don't like losing. As a whole, I've been rather surprised by the majority of people.
4. Any changes or new features we can expect in the coming year?
MCM has been growing for almost four years now, but we try to include new features whenever we update the combat system. There was a planned patch roll-out around Thanksgiving, actually. This update is very technical — mostly centered around saving memory in the scripts by converting from integer flags to bit-wise flags — LOL — without sounding too nerdy. We have also been working on a very ambitious clan-ladder system, aimed at being a web-based mini game that plays out in world. It's a hugely complex system that has become like the "Duke Nukem" of MCM. In other words, we have been working on it for almost year :matte-motes-big-grin:. We plan to have it out soon though, before the end of this year.
5. What advice would you give a new SL resident to help them get started in this community?
We've spent a lot of time trying to make the learning curve as smooth as we could, because early on we realized that the system — with all its levels, gear, perks and Mechs — could quickly become daunting. So, for new people we have a training area, training videos, a player-run academy, and countless notecards and walk-throughs on the web and inworld. What I normally tell new players is to read the notecard that comes with the system first, and then go play in the training areas for a little while. It's pretty intuitive, but veteran players know all the tricks, so there is something for everyone.
1. Your firm TRP360 does quite a bit of development in Second Life. What made you decide to choose racing as a theme for your game?
We have all always liked the idea of racing in Second Life, it's fun but we were hoping to do more than just race on a race track on the ground. We wanted to use the 3D element to race on, over and around anything without getting stuck.
2. What is a “zipper car” and how does it work?
The zipper and zippa cars used in 360 Global Racing are named because they do not drive they zip along — whoosh! They work using a combination of speed — fast but not too fast, extremely sensitive steering to turn sharp corners without slowing down and collision attraction to drive on any surface even if that surface is upside down.
3. How do people typically find out about your game? Do you advertise it heavily across your various builds?
We can not advertise 360 Global Racing across our other builds as the majority of them are private educational builds. The students use Second Life for education however we do provide links to our simulation and from there they can use any of our many teleporters to find the race. We occasionally host races for prizes but our main draw comes from the Second Life Destination Guide.
4. Your team also develops “virtual emergency exercises” for educational use in SL. Do any of the gameplay elements and mechanics play a role in these simulations?
We use the idea of role play for our Virtual Emergency Exercises but we do not role play per say. The idea is for each student to learn the protocol for all first responders, city coordinators and public relations. We provide all clothing and tools with instructions of their use and their individual educational institutions provide their lesson plans as required.
Exercises are carried out for a week until all understand the entire situation then they are to hold table top exercises in Second Life using the exercise they learned as their subject matter, (e.g.: Series of events, logistics, media, witnesses, restoration). There are no actual gaming elements in these exercises, they do not win or lose, they are marked on attendance and their individual written portion of the table top exercise.
Visit 360 racing inworld here.