2015 viewer release summaries: week 16

Updates for the week ending: Sunday, April 19th, 2015

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version updated to version 3.7.27.300636 on April 13th (formerly the Maintenance RC viewer) download page, release notes
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Experience RC viewer updated to version 3.8.0.300963 on April 17th – provides support for viewing and managing Experiences and for contributing content for Experiences (download and release notes)
    • Tools Update project viewer updated to version  3.7.28.300918 on April 15th – builds Windows and Mac viewers using the new tool chain and autobuild process and also incorporates the revised viewer log-in screen (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • Attachment fixes project viewer (Project BigBird) updated to version 3.7.28.300856 on April 17th – core updates: a number of fixes for various attachment issues (download and release notes)
    • Viewer-managed Marketplace project viewer updated to version 3.7.28.300920 on April 16 – allows Merchants to manage inventory associated with Marketplace Listings from within the viewer + sale of items which Merchants do not have the right copy will now be supported with the Direct Delivery purchase mechanism (download and release notes)

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • UKanDo Viewer updated to version 3.2.27.28099 on April 16th – core updates: parity with LL 3.7.27 code base and RLV 2.9.8 (release notes)

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

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Of puppets and art

PimperPuppets® Being Beautiful in the Art Scene
PimperPuppets® Being Beautiful in the Art Scene – LEA 9

Open now at LEA 9, and running through until Sunday, April 26th, is a new BubbleTheatre® play by d-oo-b (Eifachfilm Vacirca). It’s a delight to see. Shows commence every 5 minutes throughout the day, and last for around minutes.

PimperPuppets®: Being Beautiful in the Art Scene runs for about 20 minutes and, as the title suggests, is a piece of puppet theatre, beautifully executed with the help of some tidy scripting. The puppets are avatar-sized creations, and the story unfolds across a series of skyborne sets the audience is carried to by means of automatic teleporting, with cameras specifically placed to follow the story.  To watch the show, simply sit in one of the numbered chairs set out at the landing point and tap ESC a couple of times to free-up your camera; a countdown will inform you when the show is due to start.

Serge learns he's been selected as the featured artist in the Grand Hall show..
Serge learns he’s been selected as the featured artist in the Grand Hall show…

The story is a satirical take on the world of creatives, and I rather suspect that elements of it might ring uncomfortably true for some involved in SL if they see it! I won’t dwell on the plot too much, as it is fun to see it unfold. Suffice it to say it takes place in the art world, where one artist, offered the opportunity to provide the focal art piece in an upcoming show, struggles mightily with his art (and his angst), such is his need to impress, to create pieces that “give
new dynamics” to the places where they are displayed; meanwhile, another artist finds her work isn’t regarding as needed for the exhibition, and as she considers the first at best over-rated, sets to work on a Machiavellian plan to ensure her art is selected…

It’s a story that is beautifully told, both rich in humour and also darkly prickly in places. Both artists central to the unfolding tale (although not the only characters, the cast is quite broad) are equally pompous when it comes to their own work.

Lucia learns she hadn't ...
Lucia learns she hadn’t …

For example, In one delightful scene, the “disregarded” artist – Lucia – sets about describing her work in a manner befitting Arthur Dent when asked to describe his thoughts on Vogon poetry: “It was a physolactic entrocalypse of the etheric dimension … an animophobic introclecstate of profane dialectics, a submorphic frame that stimulates subcutane erections that induce in the cervocularic consciousness a feeling of reanimation.” Later, as the play draws to a close, the other artist, Serge, reaches his point of enlightenment via a soliloquy worthy of Hamlet, one delivered under the an arch formed by two curved knives which themselves carry a strong symbolic undertone…

The puppets, created via a combination of Blender, GIMP and the magic of SL scripting are marvellous creations in and of themselves; they move as required within the individual scenes, and their movement, combined with camera  shifts within some of the scenes helps draw the audience further into the play. They’re also available to buy on the Marketplace.

""It was a physolactic entrocalypse of the etheric dimension ... an animophobic introclecstate of profane dialectics..."
“”It was a physolactic entrocalypse of the etheric dimension … an animophobic introclecstate of profane dialectics…”

The end of the show will carry you up to an events area, where you may well encounter d-oo-b himself, along with the cast. Live entertainments are scheduled to take place here throughout the show’s run; please see the d-oo-b’s blog for events and times. Should you wish to re-trace your steps through the story, or re-visit individual scenes for the purposes of photography, do note there’s a manual teleport system available as well. Look for the teleport tablet on each level.

As noted, this is an excellent little show, perfectly executed and making clever use of a number of SL capabilities – scripted camera control, teleporting, etc., and all without Experience Tools. I have no hesitation in recommending it for a visit, particularly if you are familiar with the art / creative scene (there are a few of what might be regarded as “inside jokes”) – but do remember, the show ends on Sunday, April 26th.

Serge, in the midst of the "Hamlet moment" ...
Serge, in the midst of his”Hamlet moment” …

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“Come at once, if convenient…” – a visit to 221B Baker Street

221B Baker Street; Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr 221B Baker Street, circa 2012-2015, as seen in the BBC’s series Sherlock – and in Second Life (Flickr) – click any image for full size

“Come at once if convenient. SH.” So reads the text message on the ‘phone. A few seconds later it is followed by, “if inconvenient, come anyway. SH.”

Thus, Doctor John Watson finds himself being summoned by his new flatmate, the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes, in the opening episode of Sherlock, the BBC’s re-imagining of Conan Doyle’s famous duo The show sees the pair transplanted to London in the 21st Century, getting a suitably modern make-over in the process, whilst still remaining true to their roots (Watson, for example, sustained a wound during the recent conflict in Afghanistan, just as the original Watson received his wound during the Second Anglo-Afghan War).

The series has aired around the world to much acclaim, each episode retelling one of Conan Doyle’s famous cases, again cleverly updated for modern times. And if you haven’t guessed already, I’m quite a fan – just as much as I enjoy Conan Doyle’s original short stories and novels.

221B Baker Street; Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr A certain website recording, among other things, 43 different types of tobacco … (Flickr)

So when Strawberry Singh IM’d me about a place in Second Life which apparently recreates the flat at 221B Baker Street as seen in the BBC’s series, it was something I had to see for myself. And I have to say, it really is the most remarkable reproduction.

Almost everything that anyone familiar with the show would expect to find in Holmes’ flat is here. The same untidy mess, the same flock wallpaper and poster on the wall, the kitchen-converted-into-a-lab; there’s even the expected severed head in the fridge and the hand-drawn target on the wall, complete with bullet holes, put their by a “bored” Holmes…

221B Baker Street; Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr “The wall had it coming…” What happens when a certain S. Holmes, Esq., gets bored … (Flickr)

The flat is the work of Darius Godric, who is clearly an aficionado of the show; not only has he recreated 221B Baker Street in extraordinary detail (as shown in the top image, it even sits above Speedy’s Sandwich Bar!), he has incorporated many touches from various episodes of the show.

Fore example, on the table sits a laptop displaying Holmes’ website, The Science of Deduction. Close by, on a chair, sits a pink travel case, taken from A Study in Pink (a play on A Study in Scarlet, the novel by Doyle which introduced Holmes and Watson). Between the two lies a page of ciphers, alluding to the episode The Blind Banker, which in turn draws on The Valley of Fear and The Adventure of the Dancing Men.

221B Baker Street; Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr The pink travel case at the heart of A Study In Pink, which introduces audiences to the BBC’s Holmes and Watson (Flickr)

While visiting 221B Baker Street, Berry and I had a little fun dressing-up in a Sherlock style (we actually debated going for the complete look and male avatars, but while there is a lot of stuff for Sherlock to be found, John Watson seems to be less well catered for), and you can see the results of our fun over on Berry’s blog, as a part of her Monday Memes series.

221B Baker Street; Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr
Darius as Sherlock (Flickr)

Darius has also gone to great lengths to recreate Sherlock’s looks with his avatar, and the results are stunning.  I had the opportunity to chat with him when he dropped by the flat after Berry and I had finished shooting (literally and figuratively, as you’ll see on her blog!).

“I made the avatar, then I got bored, so I built the flat,” he said as we sat by the fireplace, Darius in Sherlock’s trademark coat and gloves. “I suppose it’s for fans of the show, and homage,” he added.

He’s hesitant to suggest it could be used for role-play, as it retains the dimensions of the original, and thus is on the cosy side when it comes to having too many avatars present, and he’s understandably concerned that visitors popping in and out might spoil the atmosphere. The flat is, however, open to any and all who wish to visit.

Anyone who has enjoyed Sherlock’s three (thus far) seasons via the BBC (and their world-wide partners) is going to love the version of 221B Baker Street Darius has created in Second Life; it really is a marvel to visit. The many touches within it will have fans of the show smiling happily (I know I was).

And if you need reminding of the appearance of the flat in the show, check the video at the end of this piece, courtesy of the BBC.

221B Baker Street; Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr Watson: “There’s a head in the ‘fridge!” Holmes: “Yessss…” Watson: “A bloody head!” Holmes: “Well, where else was I supposed to put it?” … what you might find in the kitchen-turned-Lab at 221B Baker Street (Flickr)

Related Links

Special update: It appears that Holmes and Watson, as portrayed by Benedict Cummerbatch and Martin Freeman in the BBC series will next be appearing in  … 1895! To find out more, and to understand the layered significance of this date, read the news on the BBC website!

With thanks to Darius Godric for his time, and to Berry for the invitation!