Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tinies Jousting In Raglan Shire

The month-long medieval festival in Raglan wrapped up this past weekend with one of Raglan Shire's most popular annual events--the jousting tournament! I, Lady Fluffytail of Acorn, joined milord Fluffytail Phin to witness these courageous tinies for ourselves...

The spectators lined up in the stands as tiny by tiny jouster fell from the blows of their challenger's lances...Snakes...on a horse! It came down to two brave tinies. ReignShadow waits for his turn in the deciding joust!Reign's horse thundered down at his opponent, the bobcat Iwanta Salamander, who unseated him for the tourney win! Iwanta wins it all!Zayn awarded the tropies to Iwanta and Reign...And after the excitement, I visited the main fair square and donated to the wishing well, whose proceeds are going towards RL animal charities. Until next year!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tinies Video: "Highwaybunny: The Trailer" & Machinima Festival Announcement

Oh my God, how did I miss this one Chaffro...how do you come up with these?

Chaffro also announced the first ever Raglan Shire Studio Films Festival. He is inviting Raglan folks to create or submit their already created machinima featuring tinies by Jan 31, 2010. It should be a blast! For more information, please check it our HERE.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Elle in Blue Mars: Community & Beta Testing

So Phin and I both decided to explore Blue Mars together yesterday. Oh dear God, look...at...us. We look like Blue M Noob Examples 1 and 2...
Our moment of laziness as we sat at a table in Beach City turned into a good discussion about how important community and social interaction is in a virtual world. As this is not a MMO where leveling up would be important and content is already created, to us it seems that having things to do (not just alone) and socializing will end up being very important. We will explore the world with our friends, talk, shop...whatever we want to do to feel connected inworld. So it is important to be able to find each other and like-minded individuals as well. I am interested in seeing how Blue M tackles this...There are some basic animations that you can do such as shaking hands. I'll admit I was like "Ugh" when I was offered a caress once. A caress...really? Well, at least you get asked first. Phin gave me a "lovehug". Hey, at least I know him! I "raced" Phin to the bridge. OK...it wasn't much of a race at all as Phin's computer's much faster. Due to the LOD, he'd disappear almost right away to me. Thought it was a fluke on my end, but Phin would get the disappearing too. We ran into Dale Innis and he mentioned the same thing. We ended up having a really good conversation with him about Blue M. One of the things we talked about was being a beta tester. To us, this is the time to be critical. Let them know about this or that feature that seems off or could be improved. That's what you are in there for. I joked about how I'm being like that little old lady who calls the police about everything. You wanted to know our feedback, you're going to get it!We all also talked about coming into it and trying to leave our preconceived notions based upon other VWs behind. It can be hard, as the bar has been set high and there are big expectations. It's just not there quite yet, so we'll just have to see once there is more content and more folks. Oh, and look...I've got on jeans. Whew. Who wears short shorts? Not me. Phin made a short video about his experience so far in Blue M, if you want to get a feel for it as it is right now...loads and all.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Steelhead Steampunk Animals Build Contest Entrants

After I managed to fall into the apple barrel last night, I headed over to the Steelhead Harvest Festival Steampunk Animal Building contest to see the entries...There were some really fantastic (and hilarious) ones...
If you've like to see these really fun builds yourself, head over to the barn in Steelhead City!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Apple Bobbing

Let's just say that bobbing for apples didn't go quite as I expected...

OK, yeah, I fell in. Somewhere I can hear Lunar laughing about this right now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why Tinies Shouldn't Have Magic Wands

I was sitting at home twiddling my paws for a moment, deciding what I wished to do next...What to do...what to do...
I rummaged through my things and found a magic wand. I pointed it at the ground, said a few arcane words and POOF!!! Waffles. Lots and lots and lots of waffles. YESH.

Elle in YoVille: Virtual Worlds and Ease of Use

Yes, that is me. And yes, I am in Facebook's YoVille. "What the hell Elle?" some of you might be wondering, but I'll tell you it was simply curiosity. See, in RL I have a favorite cousin who is one year older than I am. She never plays console or PC games or participates in MMOs. I couldn't possibly imagine her being in SL or Blue Mars and definitely not somewhere like WoW. So when I saw that she seemed to be really enjoying YoVille and had been for a while, I took note. I asked myself "Why?" and figured the only way was to see for myself.

I realized that it's because it was simply easy to use. Simple controls. Basic and straightforward and because it's based in FB, you already have your friends who play built-in (although you can interact with strangers as well). And for any of us who have gotten all caught up in playing simple games like solitaire, you can understand the appeal of a quick game of tic tac toe or fishing. There's no graphics card straining and trying not to implode. There's no complicated orientation needed or difficult user interface to master. You just jump right in and go off. For someone like my cousin, this was perfect. All she needed.

I mentioned in my last post how important usability and community is for a virtual world to not be static/stagnant. Folks need to be able to easily get in and stay in and see what everyone else is seeing as well--for their experience while inworld to be no less different. For instance, I have no idea what glowing things look like inworld. I don't even use glow because I can't see it and would probably blind everyone or something. Sorry, my card won't render it and it's as upgraded as this card gets. No one wants to feel like they need to seriously upgrade their computer just to participate--especially if they don't wish to be a power user.

Knowing me, I'll get bored of this very quickly given what I've been used to and YoVille isn't exactly my cup of tea mainly because of its simplicity, but I'll admit that I'm looking forward to hanging out with my cousin in it. Perhaps that is the appeal.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Elle in Blue Mars: New Venice, Static Worlds & Content Creation

Finally able to get into Blue Mars again and explore some more. OK...I'm not sure if the sky's supposed to be neon pink or the water dayglo turquoise, but this is how my piece o'crap computer with its piece o'crap card renders it. In my case, I'm laggy as hell due to my computer being a POC, but I'm in here. Today I visited New Venice, which actually is really beautiful. Blue Mars in general right now reminds me of the excitement I feel when a new sim lands in SL--that feeling of "Ooo...what now?!" For now, I see it as a complement to SL. It's like apples and oranges in a way though.

Phin and I recently had a discussion about how Blue M is developer-centric as compared to SL and its user-created content. "Will that create a static world?" he asked me. My answer was that it was too early to tell anything. To me, a virtual world's only as static as the communities within it. There are plenty of folks who are more than happy to not build/create a thing and buy from others and socialize with friends. A part of me feels like Blue M might have a lot in common with Sony's Playstation "Home"? Anyone out there who has visited both?

For many of us used to console games and other MMOs, that is the norm anyway. You're not creating. It's already there and you are free to just be a participant. I'd like to imagine that it also creates more of a sense of a control within a region, but I think about the fact that SL griefers didn't create flying freenises. They just figured out how to use already available content in...unusual ways.

As a content creator myself, it brings up other questions. For those who are successful in SL as content creators, Blue M could be somewhat daunting in a way. You'd have to set up shop under a current developer (if you can), it might be a totally different skill set for you to learn content creation-wise, and would your popularity in one world transfer to the other? Many things to think about, especially if SL was my RL living.

In another post, I'll talk about something else that I thought about while tempted to kick my computer: basic usability. And oh, I think I'll refer to this world as Blue M instead of its acronym. Sorry...but expect cracks along the lines of SL's whole "Get a first life" in the future...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wafflelujah! Live Music to Hype Tinies

Live musician Gina Stella stopped by Raglan Shire yesterday to perform as part of its Medieval Festival. We tinies love live musicians and they enjoy performing for us as we are a really fun crowd. She also found out about our obsession with waffles and had fun performing this special cover song just for us. Thanks Daveypup for recording this! Enjoy "Wafflelujah" in all its glory:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tiny Fun at the Raglan Shire Medieval Festival

I love the Raglan Medieval Festival. Now in its third year, it is a celebration of all things tiny and medieval and fun. There was much fainting, waving of foam fingers and tossing of waffles onstage during a performance from Raglan's very own cover rock band, the Fuzznutz...
Live musician Gina Stella then performed for us, with Anek Fuchs keeping her company onstage. Her performance of "Wafflelujah" really brought down the house...Tinies were in the stocks. Freeing them helped go towards an animal charity...
We all lined up at soothsayer Clowey Greenwood's tent, nervously awaiting our turn...I held out my paw and was told that I needed to write more so that others could read my work, and that although being a fluffytail was my true self, I struggled with wanting to be biggie. I was given a "Don't Be A Biggie-Sicle" to combat that and sent on my way...

Into the Woods

Since I was squirrelly, I thought that I would explore the beautiful sim that makes up Chakryn Forest...I roamed through the lush woods and came upon one of the sim's founders, arts maven Bettina Tizzy of NPIRL (Impossible in RL) group preparing for a new show. She was wearing a fantastic mechadoll wireframe-inspired AV by Cutea Benelli of Grim Bros. It was very nice to see her again and we chatted for a bit before I went off to get lost in the vegetation again. I was only knee-high after all...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Children of the Steelhead Corn

I've done my share of mazes here in SL and last night's dance in Steelhead, you had to go through a corn maze first...
I got there at the very very end of the dance, but wanted to see the maze build for myself. And promptly got lost...And found an eyeball. Yes. An eyeball.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Underwater in Steeltopia

What started out with a chat with Steel about a new personal uniform for him led to my asking him about the water quality in Steeltopia. "It's not as bad as Babbage's, but it's...OK," he said. I cringed, thinking about Babbage's notoriously unclean waters. One word: wiggyfish. I wasn't taking any chances and figured that compared to Steelhead's pristine waters, I'd still need to wear a filter this time...
Obsidian Bay turned out to be a fun place to swim around in as a mer. Steel has a great sense of humor and seems like he has a tendency to sink things too, so there were things down there to see such as these eels. Knowing him, I assumed they were electric or something, so didn't get too close to them...I was exploring some large wreckage and all of a sudden three large tentacles sprang to life. "ACK! TENTACLES! What the HELL?!" I said. I should have known...Steel, being alien, came and joined me underwater. Seems I found his pet kraken by accident...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Steampunk Mermaid Elle

I actually love being a mermaid as much as being a tiny. I find swimming through SL and seeing it from an entirely different perspective to be calming. I found this gorgeous steampunk mermaid fin set and was like...this is it. I've found my ultimate mer look. I swam around Steelhead's waters. I think it would be fantastic if Port Harbor had an underwater place of interest to mer folk...
After all of that swimming I was a bit tired and thought I would go and relax in my bowl on the lawn. I am looking forward to exploring the waters of other places.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Get Out the Eye Bleach...

I respect the right of other SL citizens to be able to be and look like anything and I've shown some skin before at a themed party...but damn. I'd love to say that these are all dudes pretending to be women, but I've met way too many women who like the "ho-chic" look in here. A guilty pleasure of mine is the SL site "What the Fug?" Looking through my pics, I realized I actually had enough to do a homage post of sorts. Can't say I didn't warn you...

While out shopping a while ago, Lunar tried to shield my eyes from the one on the right, I couldn't help but notice the one on the left too..
I'm all for curves and think voluptuous women are gorgeous, but this old pic I took is like "Attack of the Blinging Oiled Badonkadonks"...Saw these two last night. The one on the left speaks for herself, but what you can't really see from the woman on the right (who I actually thought was pretty) is that you can see her prim nipples under her prim top because it doesn't fit close enough. For the love of God, WHY? OK, we get it. You are neko BDSM twins and like to spank or be spanked. We get it...Now I'm going to need some eye bleach...And yes, Tensai clicked on this pricelessness below...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mont St Michel in SL

I have been very busy and haven't been doing one of my true loves in SL: exploring. Tonight, I thought I'd go and visit the re-creation of Normandy, France's medieval Mont St Michel finally...
I made my way upwards, past the charming buildings of the island's village, which contain shops...I was chatting with Lunar via IM. "Isn't that the one with the parking lot?" he said. "Parking lot? Do you have the right window?" I asked him--thinking all of that building had finally gotten to him, and then I turned around and saw it...I wound my way through twists and turns and corridors and made it to a courtyard at the very top, where upon entering a doorway...I found a beautiful and well-built Norman chapel inside...
I took a break on a bench among the trees on one of the lower levels upon my descent. If you'd like to visit yourself, click HERE.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Empress Elle

Sometimes I feel like getting all dressed up just for the heck of it and went through my large collection of cultural and international clothing. SL makes it very easy to find traditional and historic clothing from around the world. Tonight, I thought I'd take a picture at the Shanghai Pagoda wearing my new ensemble from Legends of China. I am dressed as Tang Dynasty Empress Wu Xetian, China's only female emperor who ruled the country for almost 50 years. Was she ruthless in her acquisition of power? Perhaps. Did she successfully and peacefully rule? Definitely.As I am usually in 19th c. clothing, I totally enjoy wearing things that are beautiful and fantastic such as this...


Coming across this oldie-but-goodie Lainey Voom machinima reminded me of how much I love to shapeshift in SL. Some folks are cool with being "themselves", but I love the concept of being able to be anything:

Avatar (Mini Project 1) from Lainy Voom on Vimeo.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Life On Blue Mars

Seeing all of the other posts about Blue Mars lately, I'm finally getting around to posting this as I took this a while ago now and someday I will look at this 1st day pic and laugh at my utterly fresh-faced innocent noobishness before I became corrupted and jaded and so forth and so on.

I've had my Blue Mars account for quite a while now, but now that my RL travels and SL inworld life's a bit calmer, I just started being good about actually truly figuring out how to run it all on my piece o' crap computer without it either a) imploding, b) exploding or c) both.

Here's a news flash: It's still beta, folks! There isn't much to do or see or buy yet because the development phase is still going on. However, if you are willing to be a pioneer and just check it out, then hey. Even my laggy POC (piece o'crap) still brought up great graphics and I love my bouncy swingy hair. Avatar customization isn't what I'm used to (although tweaking the makeup and selecting clothes is a breeze). I can't wait to change my avatar's face shape and features. Right now, I look like singer Toni Braxton or something.

If anything, I just remember what SL was like once upon a time. Even when I joined, SL flexiprims were brand new and like "WOW!" Innovations will come soon enough, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to exploring it and telling more about it in the future.