Breedable animals aren’t exactly new to Second Life. Chickens, bunnies, horses, meeroos, cats, dragons … we’ve had them all and more. We’ve even seen the odd legal punch-up between brands; never a pretty sight where cuddlies are concerned. They’ve been the delight – and at times the bane – of regions across the grid.
Strangelings are the latest offering to turn up in-world, and they’ve done so in quite a different way. Follow the yellow brick road, and I’ll tell you more – if you haven’t heard already, that is.
Strangelings are a kind of breedable fox (with elements of unicorns in some, which itself suggests some interesting interbreeding…). However, whereas other breedables we’re familiar with live in-world, Strangelings have an entirely different domain. Or will, once they’ve fully launched, because they are creatures of the web and iOS.
Strangelings is the first creation to come out of Flying Monkey Interactive, a company founded by two former Linden Lab employees – Chris Collins and Hamilton Hitchings, both of whom were apparently engaged in the ill-fated Second Life Enterprise product – and the people behind Ozimals.
The game itself is described as:
A pet breeding focused game for iOS and web. Strangelings are fantasy fox-like animals that have many different traits and colors. Breeding these animals will produce outcomes that are based on the genetic code with dominant and recessive traits passing through to the offspring.
Which is great. But what does that have to do with Second Life? Well, given the popularity of breedables across SL, it is possible that Strangelings could have a strong customer base in in-world keen to give the game a go as they are on the go. With this in mind, the team at Flying Monkey have developed a series of customisable, fully rigged avatars people can purchase and use to create copies of their favourite Strangelings and wear them in-world.
To accompany the avatars, the team have also created two neighbouring in-world regions: Strangelings and Magic of Oz. The former looks like it might be offering land rentals in the future, while the latter takes familiar settings from The Wizard of Oz and gives them a new and interesting twist in the form of a series of mesh builds. It features a munchkin’s village (store area for other merchants) the Emerald City (home of the Strangeling avatars) and the Wicked Witches’ castle.
Magic of Oz is very well executed and avoids all of the kiddie-toon feel of Linden Realms in terms of trees and flora. As such, it makes it an interesting place to visit and explore, and offers more than a few opportunities for photography. Exploration doesn’t take long, but it does show what can be achieved mesh-wise in world to create an attractive, fun environment.
I’m not one to have ever been attracted to breedables in-world (I remain firmly of the opinion that the best meeroo is one served roasted, with seasonal vegetables and a suitable jus). As such the Strangeling game is unlikely to appeal. Nor, if I’m honest, are the avatars (because I’m a boring fart and prefer sticking to a human form in-world). I am, however, a little curious to see how the promotional aspect of things works out for Flying Monkey and Strangelings – it’s an interesting approach.
as to the Magic of Oz itself, it is a finely crafted region and well worth a look around if you’re curious.