Back by popular demand: the Linden Lab snowball fight

Winter Wonderland - race track, rinks and Ferris Wheel
Winter Wonderland – race track, rinks and Ferris Wheel – and a Snowball arena, where the Lab invites everyone to join them for a fun-filled snowball fight on Friday, February 6th.

On Wednesday, February 4th, Linden Lab announced the return of the Linden Lab Snowball Fight, together with the official announcement on the Fun Booth Fun Contest I’ve also blogged about under separate cover.

Ebbe, Get Your Gun! - my first encounter at the park was a snowball gun toting Ebbe Linden!
Ebbe, Get Your Gun! – my first encounter at Winter Wonderland was a snowball gun toting Ebbe Linden – now the Lab is inviting everyone to join them in some fun on Friday, February 6th!

The snowball fight announcement reads:

Come pelt some Lindens and fellow Residents with snowballs in a frozen field free-for-all at Winter Wonderland. That’s right – between 10 AM SLT and noon SLT on Friday, February 6th, we’re holding a meet-up in world at the Snowball Warzone. Get your free snow launching weapon, gather your posse, and prepare to say hello to some Linden friends for a full on flurry of snow-slinging fun.

The snowball fight, once a mainstay of wintertime fun involving the Lab and Second Life residents has been sorely missed over recent years, and the recent opening on the Lab’s new Winter Wonderland experience, which I previewed / reviewed  at the end of January, brought with it renewed requests – such as this one from bizpfeffer –  for the snowball fights to be re-launched.

Well, the Lab has heeded the requests!

So, don your winter woollies, get your weapons at the foot of the stairs leading to the Winter Wonderland Snowball Warzone, and then … lock’n’load with plenty of snowballs!

Related Links

Lab runs a photo booth competition with L$19,000 prize pool

photo-boothAt 10:00 SLT on Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 the Lab launched a new photo competition with a total prize pool of L$19,000.

The Photo Booth Fun Contest challenges SL users to submit their own photo booth theme pictures – the sillier the better – for a chance to win one of the following Linden dollar prizes:

  • Grand Prize – 10,000 Linden Dollars (estimated value at US$40.00).
  • First Prize – 5,000 Linden Dollars (estimated value at US$20.00).
  • Second Prize – 3,000 Linden Dollars (estimated value at $12.00).
  • Third Prize– 1,000 Linden Dollars (estimated value at $4.00).

To help inspire people with ideas for entries, Xiola Linden has scoured the web far and wide and set-up a Pinterest page full of images showing possible ideas and the use of props to make truly memorable / silly photos. But remember – the images are for inspiration only! The judges are looking for entrants to be as creative as as silly as they can get.

To enter, simply create your snapshot and then upload it to the contest page linked-to above and at the end of this article, using the Entries tab on that page (you must be signed-in to the forums for the button to work).

For full details on the rules of entry, general conditions, eligibility for entry, prize information and so on, please refer to the contest’s official rules and conditions.

In a new move for the Lab, winner will not be decided on the basis of a popularity vote. Instead, a specially selected jury, comprising a mixed panel of Linden Lab representatives from the Lab’s marketing and community relations team and a number of Second Life residents will judge the competition.

As noted at the top of this article, the contest is now open, and entries can be submitted between now and 10:00 SLT on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015.

So happy snapping and good luck!

Related Links

Firestorm Tool Tip: getting the most from Auto-Replace

firestorm-logoJessica Lyon was back on Tuesday, February 3rd with another Firestorm Tool Tip Tuesday video, and this one focuses on the use of the Auto-Replace function, and how it might well be more useful than people might appreciate.

As explained in the video, Auto-Replace can be found under Preferences > Chat > Text Input in Firestorm, and generally under chat in other viewer supporting the same Auto-Replace functionality. It is shipped with two lists: Spelling Corrections, which offers corrections for common spelling errors, and Abbreviations (which is the list I actually use and have customised myself).

The Auto-Replace function in Firestorm
The Auto-Replace function in Firestorm and the supplied lists

The Abbreviations list converts commonly used abbreviations such as bbl, afk, gtg, etc., into their long-hand equivalents (be back later, away from keyboard, got to go, etc.), just by typing-in the abbreviation followed by a space.

So far so good, nothing especially exciting there. But did you know, using Auto-Replace you can:

  • Create a custom greeting you can use when working as a greeter or host, or simply on meeting people?
  • Combine abbreviation entries to create statements?
  • Use abbreviations to display SLurls and URLs in chat without having to type them long-hand?
  • Export  / import your lists so you can share them with friends or easily copy them between the computers you use with SL?

If you didn’t – then this video is certainly for you, as Jessica reveals all!

Note that you can use Auto-Replace like this in any viewer that supports the same Auto-Replace functionality as found in Firestorm, including the official SL viewer.

Of cliff tops and neighbours

Living on the island - the latest update sees me move the house to the south end of the island, on a plateau, and move the moorings to the north end
Living on the island – the latest update sees me move the house to the south end of the island, on a plateau, and move the moorings to the north end

We had a change recently in the little community where I now live. One of my immediate neighbours – who had been there for over two years – decided it was time to move on. As a result, her little island was up for grabs, and this being a popular location, it was long before it was snapped up.

My new neighbours – whom I’ve admittedly let to meet – set about re-working the land, and as a result got me thinking about my place.

Looking from the north end of the island and my little "marina / airport" :)
Looking from the north end of the island and my little “marina / airport” 🙂

As regular readers might know, I recently revised things at home in order to get a better fit for my burgeoning interest in SL flying and boating and to give friends room to moor their boats when visiting. While I was pleased with what I had, things still didn’t feel entirely “right”. That’s where the new neighbours come in: as a part of landscaping there island, they utilised cliff-like rock forms to assist in giving the land an elevation change, and that set a little light bulb off in my head.

Axel Bergan produces some low LI materials-enabled cliffs which are sold through Novocaine Islay under the InVerse brand. At 30×13 metres, copyable, resizeable and re-linkable and at an LI of 4 (8 if you want added vegetation on them) they represent great value. So, with my box of cliffs tucked under one arm, I set about fiddling with things.

I've kept the garden and expanded it a little. Morgan's marvellous little birds are still around as well :)
I’ve kept the garden and expanded it a little. Morgan Garret’s marvellous little birds are still around as well 🙂

Without wibbling on at great length, the outcome (which has taken the last couple of days to get sorted), is to flip the overall layout of the island around – boasts and planes now sit at the north end, the house at the southern end, elevated on a rocky plateau of cliffs. As my garden is important to me (I’m not at all green-fingered in the physical world, so I compensate for things in-world), that now sits between house and moorings, also slightly elevated above the latter, but sitting below the former, with a further small elevation sitting between it and the moorings, where I have a broad lawn and the helipad (the lawn allows me to indulge in a little SL skydiving).

The garden retains the terrace and gezebo, but the reworking has allowed me to add further flowers and wild plants. To link it with the other sections of the island “above” and “below” it, I picked up Alex Bader’s Mesh boardwalk set, and used that to create steps linking everything. As an added bonus, this also allowed me to add a little cliff top walk over a rocky promontory I added to the east side of the island, and include some additional piers for mooring the float ‘planes.

The promontory board walk & telescope
The promontory board walk & telescope

As a result of stunting things around, I also decided to retire the “frame house” I’ve occupied since moving to the USS regions. While I like the build and got the entire structure down to just 24 LI, I felt the repositioning of things warranted a change. So I pulled the Guest House out of my Fallingwater inspired build out of its box and set about re-purposing it. For some reason, the version I found dated from 2012, so needed a fair amount of work. Thanks to a little trimming and the used of convex hull, I reduced the initial LI from 109 to 44. With a little help refurnishing the house from Cory Edo,

All told, the LI for the “new” place is 885. When you consider that precisely 300 of that is boats and ‘planes, you can probably guess why I’m pleased with things. I might even leave it like this for a while!

The "new" house - a re-styling of the guest house from my Fallingwater inspired build of a few years ago
The “new” house – a re-styling of the guest house from my Fallingwater inspired build of a few years ago