Of hellish rides, ashes and potty peas

Seven months ago, on Halloween 2012, MadPea Games opened Carneval, a phan-tastic series of rides, puzzles and games set in a ghostly fun fair which is itself an awesome and atmospheric build, and one presided over by none other than Cthulhu himself.

Now it seems that Cthulhu has had enough of the ghoulish revelry, and has decided to call “time” on the Carneval and the wickedness within. Perhaps it wasn’t wicked enough for his dark heart?

Already, fires are burning within the ground of the carnival, and Cthulhu’s minions are at work destroying parts of the build, and at midday on the 31st, we’re told the zombie hordes will arrive to wreak further mayhem before the entire place is swept away in a 48-hour Demolition Party focused on the Carneval main stage.

The fires are lit and the countdown has begun at Carneval
The fires are lit and the countdown has begun at Carneval

So, if you’ve not had time to visit the Carneval and drink-in the atmosphere (I’m not entirely sure how many of the rides are still operational, if any), you only have a few short hours in which to do so – so hurry; even without the rides being operational, the build alone makes this a worthwhile visit.

Nor is Carneval alone in facing The End. The Lost Treasure of the Inca Warrior is also closing (one that I’ve admittedly not had time to visit) after its own extraordinary run, in what the MadPea team are calling “the end of an era”.

Cthulhu's minions are already at work bringing the Carneval to a suitable end
Cthulhu’s minions are already at work bringing the Carneval to a suitable end

“Is This the End for the Potty Peas and Their Devious Developments?”

Not at all. New games and activities are promised, as the blog post announcing the closures states:

From the ashes and dust rises a brand new MadPea bigger and better than ever before.

Whole new games with immersion never seen before are on their way. We are creating together with the best of the best to take SL by a huge surprise.

To help fund their plans, the MadPea Games team are running a raffle which features a range of special items – some of which are from their well-respected hunts, others of which are one-of-a-kind offers. The raffle items are all on display opposite the Carneval stage, and will remain available through until midnight SLT on June 1st.

And a teaser has already been produced, hinting at what is coming in the future.

In the meantime, and if you’re up for getting some snaps of a truly inventive build and fancy an hour or two listening to music, dancing and blasting seven bells out of a zombie or three, why not grab your camera, put on your dancing shoes and slip into your favourite anti-zombie outfit and pay a last (or first) visit to the Carneval?

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A last chance to weave a Faire tale of your own

Friday May 31st marks the final day for submissions to the Prim Perfect / Fantasy Faire short story competition.

When I started exploring the 2013 Fantasy Faire regions, they struck me as so evocative that there were tales to be told about them – and this thought shaped my writing on the event, causing me to blog a series of vignettes of a traveller’s journey through the regions, rather than produce more review-type articles.

Lotus Valley Dream
Lotus Valley Dream

I wasn’t alone in feeling that there are tales to be told, for the organisers of Fantasy Faire have joined forces with Prim Perfect to present one last challenge for all those who wish to hold on to the magic just a little longer: to write a short story about the Fairelands of between one and three thousands words.

Tales can be set within a single region, or several, or all of them – the choice is yours. The subject matter for your story is also up to you, it can be sad or happy, wise or witty and make readers laugh, cry, gasp, nod with agreement – or do all of these things by turns. The only other stipulations (other than the length!) are that:

  • The region(s) you write about should be identifiable to the reader. There’s no need to explicitly give the name of a region in the story, or give long descriptions to make it clear where your story is set – but you shouldn’t leave the reader wondering “Is this Evensong Woods or is it Titan’s Hollow?”
  • The story must be an original piece, written purely for the competition, and not published elsewhere. By submitting a story, you retain overall copyright, but give us permission to publish the story in electronic format in Prim Perfect and on websites and social media sites belonging to Prim Perfect and Fantasy Faire.
Magnificat
Magnificat

Entries can be in .TXT, DOC or RTF format, and should be submitted via e-mail to: fantasyfaireshortstory@gmail.com.

Once the competition has closed (midnight SLT on May 31st), entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges comprising Zander Greene and Elizabeth Tinsley from Fantasy Faire; Saffia Widdershins, Honour Macmillan and Aisling Sinclair from Prim Perfect; Ceejay Writer, Editor in Chief at Penny Gaff Publications and Judi Newall, Librarian.

Results (and winning entries) will appear in the August issue of Prim Perfect magazine.

(view slideshow full-screen)

SL projects update 22 (2): SSB/A issues, materials, server issues

Server Deployments – week 22

The server channel deployments were delayed 24 hours this week due to Monday May 27th being Memorial Day in the USA.  This being the case:

  • On Wednesday 29th May, the Main channel received the server maintenance project previously on Magnum. This includes bug fixes, comprising two for crash modes and one for BUG-2424 (Overriding “Sitting on Ground” animation while sitting on the ground makes “stand up” button disappear). This deployment also included the LSL support to create and parse JSON-formatted strings, which also included the bug fixes for this capability deployed to Magnum in week 21 (see my SL projects update report from week 21). Release notes
  • On Thursday 30th May, the three Release Candidate (RC) channels received the interest list improvement project deployed to LeTigre in week 21. The core change in this update should reduce scene loading time when entering a new region (again, please refer to my week 21 report for background information). Release notes (BlueSteel, but applicable to all three RCs).

Server-side Baking / Appearance

As noted in these pages, the Lab formally announced the forthcoming arrival of SSB/A on May 29th. This has prompted questions of “when?” Again, as I’ve previously reported, the Lab is proceeding cautiously towards a server-side deployment, even though they are encouraging people to swap to a version of their preferred viewer which is SSB/A-enabled sooner rather than later.

Currently, the two regions for TPV testing have been enabled with the new service and TPVs are putting the new capability through its places – and this has already revealed a reason for the Lab’s understandable reluctance to give out firm dates, as a potentially major issue has been identified.

SUN-74, raised on May 29th, shows that if you are wearing a MOD skin, hairbase or eyes and you enter an SSB/A-enabled region using a non-SSB/A enabled viewer, an alert will appear on your screen which, on clearing, is followed by an innocuous-looking prompt.

The alert and prompt which are displayed when using a non-SSB/A enabled viewer when entering an SSB/A-enabled region
The alert and prompt which are displayed when using a non-SSB/A enabled viewer when entering an SSB/A-enabled region (image courtesy of Whirly Fizzle)

Clicking YES in reply to the prompt can result in the currently worn skin / eyes / hairbase to become irreparably corrupted, with a skin turning  a mixture of black / invisible and eyes turning white. Rebaking will not fix the issue. Relogging to an SSB/A-enabled viewer seems to result in the avatar rendering as a cloud, and / or ending up with a default skin and ruthed. Replacing the affected items (skin and/or eyes and/or hairbase, depending on which has / have been corrupted) with others from you inventory will fix the issue, but re-wearing the corrupted item(s) results in the avatar once more appearing corrupted (and again ruthed, if running an SSB/A-enabled viewer).

Whirly Fizzle demonstrates the result of the SUN-74 issue
Whirly Fizzle demonstrates one aspect of the SUN-74 issue – on a non-SSB/A viewer, her MOD skin has turned black / invisible and her MOD eyes have turned white as a result of entering an SSB/A-enabled region and responding with YES to the given prompt.

Continue reading “SL projects update 22 (2): SSB/A issues, materials, server issues”