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A showcase of some of the amazing things going on in Second Life - from snapshots, to gifs, to edits and landscapes. If you're interested in being featured, submit your pics to the Official Flickr Group. Looking for places to visit inworld for pics and adventures? Check out the Destination Guide for places to explore. 

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Linden Lab
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1. What inspired Olds Airforce Base?

At the time we planned Olds, there was no specific sim for modern jet combat. That was our first aim. As we started all places for dogfighting been World War II-themed.The ground combat part came a bit later into consideration as more and more residents asked for such a feature. The general storyline of Olds AFB is that of a remote US/NATO airbase in the mediterran to counter USSR/Soviet threats in the Cold War.
Our scenario is a late 1980s-early 1990s Cold War gone hot one. The Warsaw Pact and NATO countries engage in conventional non-nuclear hostilities and Olds is one hot spot in this war because of the strategic value of the base. This all got mainly inspired by things like: The novel "In the Eye of the Storm" by Tom Clancy, the movie "Red Dawn" and actual games like "Homefront" and "World in Conflict." The idea is appealing because in Cold War times, lines drawn in the sand been alot clearer. I grew up in West germany near the border and we lived allways under the impression that "the Ivan" might come around for a stroll. There been us and there been them. Likeweise on their side. These times are over, thank god. But nontheless this makes for a very clean and clear setup for a team-based gameplay.

Another question not directly mentioned here but which i got asked A LOT is: What does the name Olds mean? Short answer: The base is named after the famous air force fighter pilot from Vietnam, Robin Olds. The gentleman maverick with the mustache!

2. What can Residents do there?
Simply put: Engage other players with modern vehicles or as infantry within the VICE combat system

In our sims we got alot of manufacturers of VICE combat vehicles and infantry arms. A whole lot freebees are aviable as well and we got demo rezzers for all sort of things. This all takes place in 9 sims which get overseen by 9 admins and mods to make the gameplay as fluent and as enjoyable as possible.

The gameplay is team based with 4 base teams:
Team 1 is the NATO forces located in the mainsim Undine States.
Team 2 is the Warsaw Pact and Arab League troops in the Sim Undine Shore and North
Team 3 is the so-called Undine Liberation Front (for short ULF) which are a little ragtag rebel force located in Aeronautica Straight.
Finally there is Team 0, or Team 4, which is open game – just want to blow off some steam and blow things up. Just lock that team and go in – but be advised you, are on your own.

These teams come into importance with our interactive flag system. The capture-the-flag system has 16 sectors with 48 flags all over the estate. An interactive map shows progress of each team on how much ground they hold.

In our sims there is a multitude of vehicles aviable and to be seen in engagements. Foremost, naturally, all kinds of jets and attack helicopters, but also tanks, artillery and natually infantry. Unlike many places our gameplay is not very infantry-centric. In our sims infantry is quite vulnerable and you really need to get some teamwork going to succeed.

3. Have you remodelled the sim since it first debuted a few years ago?

As we opened Olds we did had a desert set up. It was very low-lag for jets and helicopters but it lacked the cover for ground forces. As this part grew larger and stronger in the community we decided to "green up" Olds and now feature a rich and flush green, Mediterranean setup with plants made by the extremly talented Uni Ninetails and her brand Forrest Floor. We allready plan a new outfit which most likely be the Estate covered all in snow. But when and how this will happen remains to be seen.

4. How large would you say the modern military combat community in SL is?

I am not shy to say that Olds kicked off some dust. After Olds opened and succeeded it showed the community another way to do combat games. Subsequently other sims came up: Gungnir/Prypyat, Oceana and the large Outcast community. Times where not allways easy but as a whole the modern combat community profited from the development. There are alot of small and large groups with different topics inside Modern combat, from more role-play oriented groups to pure combat teams and simple user groups. The community is live and prosperous, and usually open-minded to newcomers and help out with freebees, advising and training.

Visit Olds Air Force Base inworld here.
Brett Linden
One of the most acclaimed and creative spots in Second Life is the Nemo trilogy, consisting of three distinct virtual world locations inspired by the three natural elements of water, earth and air. Designed by Sextan Shepherd, this impressive steampunk-themed creation takes inspiration from the works of author Jules Verne and even inventor Nikola Tesla. The Destination Guide's Brett Linden recently toured the Nemo trilogy with creator Shepherd, who shared his thoughts about this ambitious project.

Watch the video below to view the tour and hear the interview. There's also full text of the Q&A below.

 

DG: Your trilogy of NEMO areas has been among the most acclaimed and popular spots in SL. What inspired you to undertake this ambitious project?

SS: I have always liked the steampunk style in books with Jules Verne that I read when I was a child, and with movies such as "Steamboy" or "The Illusionist." So, when I started to build in SL I built steampunk stuff naturally. Concerning Nemo, it all started with the mechanical manta ray. I built it just for fun, then I thought it was cool so I built the shrimp and the horseshoe crab. Once the creatures were built, I decided to build a room to put them in, and then a tunnel, an entrance and then yet another room. Nemo 1 was born!

 

For the rest of the sim, each build inspired another one...and then another one. I don't plan anything. I just build with instinct. Once a build is done, I don't know what I will make next until another idea comes. I am lucky...I have a lot of ideas!

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4079/4930518768_4caf139348.jpg

DG: Jules Verne-inspired fashions and steampunk imagery seems to be particularly popular in Second Life. Why do you think that this genre has caught the interest of SL residents?

 

SS: My definition of the steampunk style is "a romantic kind of old timer science-fiction" and I think that it's what people like: the romantic side with that old-fashioned architecture -- the mystery of science and the imaginary part of science fiction.

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DG: In creating NEMO, did you work alone? Or, were there other developers and designers that helped out?

 

SS: I work alone as much as I can. I build and make all the textures myself but when I need a very specific item, such as a 45° gear wheel or a specific prim movement, I call on my friends who are talented sculptors and script writers. Morpheus Merimann has drawn some specifics sculpties for me, two gears, a column and a boat wheel. You can't miss those beautiful sculpts. I use them everywhere!

 

Christy Mansbridge, bestmomo Lagan, Lancelot Joubert, Tigerfly Wardark and Elenia Boucher has developed some specific and complex scripts for me and they were always by my side to bring me advice and support.

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DG: What other designers and developers have inspired you in SL?

SS: To be honest, I spend all my time building and I rarely "go out," but I remember that I had a real shock when I saw Grey Kurka's work and AM Radio's artistic projects.

 

DG: The level of detail within each of the NEMO areas is astounding! How long did it take you to construct each section?

 

SS: I have spent about 40 hours building each section, so it's about 120 hours for the whole SIM. I have a day job and a family, so I can rarely spend more than two or three hours a day on SL. I have learn to work fast, so half of the time involved in the building process was spent on Photoshop.

 

DG: Did you hide any secrets or obscure details that might be missed by casual explorers?

 

SS: Well, there are a few items hidden, some high-quality freebies, but you must have the mind of an explorer to find them. But this question just gave me the idea of building a secret laboratory hidden somewhere in Nemo!
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DG: What was the most challenging part of the building the trilogy?

SS: The most challenging part? Well...when I finished Nemo 1, I thought that I had reached my building and texture skills limits. Because of the success of Nemo 1, the challenge for me was to find the courage to start building Nemo 2, but I also had the feeling that I didn't have the right to make an error or to build something not as good as Nemo 1 was.

 

DG: The third installment of the NEMO trilogy only recently debuted in SL in mid-August. Was that design informed by any learnings from the previous two builds?

 

SS: Of course. The learning process is something that never stops. Each previous building showed me the errors that I must avoid to progress. There is always something to improve in a new build compared to a previous one. For example, I have improved the number of prims involved and the glass textures.
nemo-mirrors.jpg

DG: Many people have been commenting, in particular, on the "reflection" effect found in Alnitak's House of Mirrors. Can you shed any light on how that came about?

SS: I will tell you my secret.. I didn't know it was impossible to make a mirror, so I just did it! The idea came while I was searching and working on some glass effects and textures. The idea was so simple, was right in front of my face! So, I tried it.. and wow! It was working! I was the first person surprised by the result.
nemo-jewelry.jpg

DG: What's next for you and SXS Design in SL?

SS: I am gonna leave the megaprims and big structures for awhile to focus on something smaller..much smaller! I will launch a Steampunk Jewelery Collection in a few weeks, so for now I will just explore the world of nanoprims.

 

Looking for more cool places to explore? Check out our Destination Guide or submit your own!

Grant Linden

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We are thrilled to announce that the SL Marketplace is the new destination for online shopping for all things Second Life. We invite Second Life Residents to visit the redesigned site, check out all the new features and start loading your shopping carts with the amazing things only our creative community can deliver. The purchasing functionality on XStreetSL is being disabled as of today. So, if you’re shopping for avatar skins and fashion, home and furnishing needs, scripts and objects for getting your groove on, or almost anything else  you can think of....you’ll find it on the SL Marketplace.

We’re just getting started
When we set out to reinvent XStreetSL, we looked to emulate the experience of other online shopping sites that provide a smooth and enjoyable  experience for the customer. Looking at XStreetSL, we realized we needed to revamp it completely and create a brand new site as well as develop a new process for building cool, new features in a more rapid way moving  forward. We are committed to giving both merchants and shoppers the  tools and functionality necessary to have a great experience on the new  site and we’ll be adding new features weekly. Today’s launch is just the  starting point; the new SL Marketplace is poised to become a more integral part of the overall Second Life experience for everyone.

Notable features and what’s ahead
New features we love include the modern, clean look and feel, which makes the flow of the shopping experience better than it’s ever been before.  Also, customized online merchant stores allow shoppers to easily find  all the creations of their favorite designers. And the new shopping  cart! XStreetSL had limited capability when it came to loading up the shopping cart full of goodies, which is now totally streamlined. Over the next few weeks we will add the Favorites feature and we will migrate over the Favorites list from XStreetSL. We will also be adding an easy way for shoppers to find the purchases they have not reviewed.

SL Merchants... the key to our success
Our commerce team has worked very hard to make the SL Marketplace a professional and modern hub for Second Life sales, but the merchants who participated in the beta truly made this effort come together. While we were working hard evenings and weekends, the beta merchants were there to help test and provide feedback. We look forward to continuing this partnership as the SL Marketplace becomes more and more central to the Second Life experience.

What will happen to XStreetSL?
The XStreetSL Exchange will continue to operate independently of the new SL Marketplace through the end of November. This means merchants can continue to access history, sell L$ and cash out as they do now. The XStreetSL website will remain up for several months beyond the closure of the Exchange, and all non sales and exchange features (including history) will remain available during this time as well as the ability to redeliver items. When we close the XStreetSL Exchange, L$ and USD balances will be moved over to users’ Second Life accounts.

We hope you enjoy using the new SL Marketplace and look forward to hearing what you think!

Sincerely,
Grant and the Commerce Team

Quick Links:
SL Marketplace Help Pages
Deutsch
Français
日本語
Português

Melissa Linden

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Thank you to everyone who participated in making over Philip's avatar. Philip reviewed all the avatars and is amazed at the creativity that went into the submissions.

The winner is Resident creator, Mars Absent. To find more of Mars' work, check out The Abyss inworld or the SL Marketplace. We invite you to check out the finalist entries on Flickr.com.

Philip is thrilled to have a new look.  Here is the result of his first photoshoot.

 

Philip_2.0.jpg

 

Special thank you to Mars Absent!  Your designs are amazing!

Brett Linden
It's time to celebrate the winter holiday with friends -- both old and new -- in Second Life. The Internet's largest, community-created virtual world is filled with cool attractions, events and themed parties that capture the true spirit of the season.
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We're rounding up some of this year's holiday highlights for a new Winter-themed category in the Destination Guide, set to debut later this month. You'll find plenty of places for snow-filled fun (think ice skating, snow sledding, and skiing), as well as holiday-specific attractions and events (such as parties and live performances). In addition, December is filled with numerous grid-wide scavenger hunts, where you can join others on massive quests to seek and find free holiday-themed virtual goodies.

 

There's also the annual Winterfest, a week-long, snow-filled celebration with live music performances, winter sports activities and even snowball fights, hosted on the Global Online Hockey Association's wintry venues. Look for highlights of this year's event, which begins Dec. 10, to be included in the new Destination Guide category. A full schedule of activities will also be published on the Secondlife.com Blog soon -- so stay tuned for more info!

 

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You can help us round up this year's hottest (or should we say "coolest") spots. We'll be monitoring our official Facebook page for suggestions from Residents about their favorite places, but venue owners can submit their own locations or events for consideration using the Destination Guide Suggestion Submission Form. Our editorial team will review all entries for possible inclusion in this category.
Terrence Linden

When we announced that we would be closing Teen Second Life and bringing our under-18 Residents to the Main Grid, we also made clear our intention not to compromise the experience that teens have access to. Today, I’m happy share our plan to create rich and enjoyable Second Life experiences for teens, while keeping in mind their security and safety when joining the Main Grid.

A Rich and Secure Experience for Teens

Our goal is to provide a safe, secure, and rewarding experience to all Second Life Residents, no matter their age. Accordingly, we are putting safeguards in place on the Main Grid specific to the following teen age groups:

For 13- to 15-year-olds:
  • 13- to 15-year-old Residents will be restricted to the estates of a sponsoring institution.
  • These Residents will not have access to inworld search, nor will they be able to purchase from our Web-based Marketplace.
For 16- and 17-year-olds:
  • 16- and 17-year-old Residents will have access to all SL regions rated General (i.e., containing content appropriate for all ages), on the Mainland and private islands.
  • These Residents will not be able to enter Moderate- nor Adult-rated regions, even if they have payment information on file and/or have used our Web-based identity verification system.
  • These Residents will be able to communicate fully with and befriend all other users on the Main Grid. This includes local chat and IM.

With nearly 5,000 General-rated regions in Second Life, the area that will be accessible to our 16- and 17-year-old Residents will dwarf the 100 regions currently available on Teen Second Life, giving them far more space to create, explore, and experience their online environment and what they can do there.

Our 16- and 17-year-old account holders will also be able to communicate fully with all other users on the Main Grid (unless they have been muted or otherwise restricted). This was an important decision for us, and one we think will make Second Life richer for all Residents.

Welcoming Teens in the New Year

Bringing teens to the Main Grid is now less than two months away. We plan to shut down the Teen Grid and transfer accounts to the Main Grid in early January, once the holidays have passed. Here’s what to expect:

  • When the teen grid closes, 13- to 15-year-olds will no longer be able to register for Second Life unless they are brought in through an affiliated organization. On the Main Grid, these younger Residents will not be able to travel outside the estates of their sponsoring organizations.
  • 16- and 17-year-olds registering for Second Life will be directed to the Main Grid rather than to Teen Second Life.
  • We will transfer all 16-17s remaining on Teen SL to the main SL grid, as well as those 13-15s that are affiliated with TSL Resident institutions. This includes all the inventory of those accounts. (The accounts of our other 13- to 15-year-old Residents will become inactive, but will be automatically restored when they turn 16.) All of the land on Teen Second Life will be transferred to the Main Grid. This includes teen mainland, teen private islands, and teen organizations’ estates.

At that point, Teen Second Life will be officially closed -- but the experience of teens in Second Life is only just beginning. We strongly believe that teens have as much to contribute to the Second Life community as their adult counterparts, and we do not want to restrict the flow of ideas and information between the two groups. We all have much to learn from each other.

As we continue to focus on making the Second Life experience faster, easier, and more fun for all Residents, we’ve also made a number of improvements to search to provide teens with additional security and control. We look forward to seeing the new kinds of creativity and community our teen Residents will bring to the Main Grid. Welcome, teens!

Delby Linden

Are you ready for the best (and busiest) time of the year? Be sure to mark your calendars for some fun this holiday season at Winterfest 2010: Friday, December 10 through Saturday, December 18.

Hosted on the Global Online Hockey Association’s (GOHA) six wintry regions, and featuring activities and events put on by numerous communities from around Second Life, Winterfest offers plenty to do, see, and pummel with snowballs. Whether you like snowboarding, playing hockey, ski jumping, cross-country skiing, ice skating, scavenger hunts, winter carnival rides or simply listening to some live music, we think you’ll find just what you’re looking for to get you in the spirit of the season.

By popular demand, we’ll be bringing back the annual Lindens vs. Residents snowball fights. If you’ve ever had the desire to throw something at a Linden, this is the event for you. Bring it on, everyone. We’ll be ready!

Need a new pair of ski pants? Got some for sale? The Winterfest category on the Second Life Marketplace is a great spot to look for new items to help you get outfitted for the season. Merchants with winter-themed content are welcome to post their wares to the appropriate sub-category for gift-giving and retail therapy enjoyment. We’re offering 13 different sub-categories under Winterfest for easy searching:

Curious about what else is going on in Second Life to celebrate the season? Take a look at the Winter events channel on the Destination Guide. If you’ve got some ideas for more wintry fun to add to the channel, then take a look at our call for submissions blog post for winter activities.

We’ll be announcing the full schedule of Winterfest 2010 events very soon. So, until then, bundle up, lace up your skates, and get ready for a full-fledged winter extravaganza!

Delby Linden

Lace up your skates, grab your favorite ear muffs, and get ready for some wintry fun! Winterfest takes place Friday, December 10 through Saturday, December 18 with a variety of activities—from ice skating to live music—hosted on the Global Online Hockey Association’s six regions.

Check out the full schedule of events below (all listings are in Pacific time), and browse the Winterfest channel on the Destination Guide. We’re also featuring a Winter channel, which highlights Resident locations and activities related to winter fun and holiday culture. If you’ve got other events this season that you’d like to get into the Winter channel on the Destination Guide, then take a look at our winter activities call for submissions. If you’re in the market to buy, sell, or browse for winter-related goods, then check out the Winterfest category on the Marketplace, including 13 handy sub-categories for easy searching.

We hope to see you at Winterfest 2010! (And we’re looking forward to meeting some of you in cold combat at the Resident/Linden snowball fights!

Events Open All Day, All Week

Special Events Throughout the Week

Friday, December 10
Saturday, December 11
Sunday, December 12
Monday, December 13
Tuesday, December 14
Wednesday, December 15
Thursday, December 16
Friday, December 17
Saturday, December 18
Delby Linden

Deck the halls and jingle those bells! It’s time for Winterfest 2010, a week-long tribute to wintertime activities in Second Life. Winterfest starts today, December 10, and runs through December 18. Join us at the Global Online Hockey Association’s six wintry regions, complete with games, free shopping, live music, and good times. Start by dropping in at the Neutral Zone anytime.

So, what’s happening at Winterfest? The kick-off party begins at 12:00pm Pacific time today, December 10, with a live concert by Mankind Tracer, followed by a snowman-building contest, ice fishing, and more live music. And that’s just today! Check out the full schedule here to find your can’t-miss events and activities. And if you’re looking to buy, sell, or browse inworld winter gear, then take a look at the Winterfest category on the Marketplace.

Wishing you a happy Winterfest!

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