MadPea’s UNIA: “it’s here!”

UNIA launches at 12:00 noon on Monday, April 27th
MadPea’s UNIA is now open for those of a brave disposition

MadPea’s UNIA has been two years in development, which is an incredibly long period by Second Life standards. So long has it been, that given all the setbacks, Queen Pea Kiana Writer herself wondered if UNIA might ever see the light of day, as the game about a living nightmare started to look as if it wanted to be a living nightmare.

But all good things come to those who persevere, and despite fate once again stepping in to force a final week’s delay on the original planned launch when as one of the key members of the MadPea team was taken in to hospital (they are fine now), the gates to UNIA are now officially OPEN!

The nightmare begins as you wake up in a barn ... somewhere ...
The nightmare begins as you wake up in a barn … somewhere …

I’ve had the privilege of witnessing some of the development of the game over the last two years, including touring some of the locations, but I don’t want to get into too many specifics on things in terms of gameplay; you can find a prologue in the MadPea blog, and the UNIA website provides you with all you need to know about how to play, and which also gives its own introduction to the game – you’ll be directed to UNIA website when you first arrive at the game’s starting point.

However, in summary, you are the principal character caught in an unfolding story played across multiple locations spread over the two UNIA regions. The story starts on the edge of the strange little town of Molimo, where your car unexpectedly decided to ruin what was otherwise a good day by wrapping itself around a roadside billboard. Things get worse when, as you attempt to find some assistance, someone kidnaps you, plunging you into a nightmare world through which you must travel if you are to survive and understand what is going on…

One you enter UNIA, quite where you are at any given time is for you to work out ...
One you enter UNIA, quite where you are at any given time is for you to work out … (image courtesy of MadPea)

Gameplay is a mixture of point-and-click interaction with objects and NPCs, and first-person (Mouselook) combat, making for quite a mix. Your progress is monitored by your HUD, as is your health, and items and weapons you obtain along they way are also recorded and held ready for use within it. HUDs are available to buy at the start point, and will cost L$400, L$750 or L$1,000, depending on the extra weapon lock pick and shields you opt to purchase with your HUD. All three options come with at least one UNIA uniform made by Damien Fate. Keep in mind as well, that the HUD not only enables gameplay, but also prevents you from cheating. Take it off while in the UNIA regions for example, and you die; attempt to teleport or fly, and you die.

The combat element of the game comes when fending off the less-than-friendly monsters you’ll encounter at various points along the way. Surviving such attacks is a mixture of ensuring you are properly armed, be it with a rake or other implement / weapon you obtain along the way, or by being suitably fleet of foot and doing a runner. Should you have the misfortune of dying, you can be restored by walking into the light – but it does come at a cost.

Nevermore, nevermore, nevermore ... UNIA touches on many things - including Poe - to add atmosphere ...
Nevermore, nevermore, nevermore … UNIA touches on many things – including Poe – to add atmosphere …

There is much to be found and collected as you progress through the game – and gathering items, surviving attacks, etc., all accumulate points (recorded by your HUD) which can later be traded for prizes (totals are also logged on the UNIA leader board on the website). As such, the various locations in which you find yourself require careful exploration – the items you may need will not reveal themselves to you until you are physically close to them, and some may animate your avatar – so don’t be surprised if this happens.

Be warned – exploring in this way also means you are vulnerable to attack from the aforementioned nasties, so always be on your guard! And remember, even the most innocuous object you find lying around and can pick up might have a use at some point…

Continue reading “MadPea’s UNIA: “it’s here!””

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SS Galaxy: a last cruise into the sunset

SS Galaxy
SS Galaxy

Update, May 11th: the SS Galaxy is set to return to Second Life as a result of an intersession from the Lab. See my update for details.

I’ve written about the SS Galaxy a couple of times in this blog, the most recent being in March 2015. The Queen of the Sagittarian Sea has been a staple of Second Life for many years,  being a destination, a venue and a home to many, as she sits to the south of Blake Sea, spanning the length of three regions from bow to stern.

And now it seems that she is embarked on her final cruise. On Sunday, May 3rd, the mighty Queen will make a final figurative return to port as she is removed from the grid.

The news came on Sunday, April 26th, in the form of a post on the SS Galaxy blog, which reads in part:

Dear Supporters and Friends of the SS Galaxy,

The Management and Crew of the SS Galaxy would like to thank each and every one of you for helping make the Galaxy community one of the most thriving, vibrant and welcoming on the Second Life grid.

Together with your help, we have been building wonderful memories since February 2007…

For us as the Crew, the privilege has been ours to meet and interact with each of you over these eight years. The memories we have from these experiences, will continue to inspire us and our values, long beyond 2015.

Many of you have become more than our cabin tenants – we consider you a part of the Galaxy family as well  :-). In the many diverse strands of life stories, God has granted us the blessing of having our respective stories intertwine, at least for a time. As we prepare to go on beyond April 2015, the Crew wish you that the strength in bonds will continue to sustain each and every one of you, along life’s way.

From all of us here at the SS Galaxy,

A heartfelt thank you.

SS Galaxy
SS Galaxy

The reasons for the closure are complex, and are not related to problems of tier, but rather have arisen as a result of a number of unfortunate incidents over the course of the past month.

As someone who has always enjoyed my visits to the Galaxy, I know that I will miss her presence in Second Life enormously. It was while exploring her in 2009 that I first discovered the fun of skeet (clay pigeon) shooting in Second Life – and i think there was a time back then when my name could regularly be seen on the Leader board 😉 .  I also thoroughly enjoyed skydiving from the launcher on her stern deck, and frequently used her as a venue to introduce friends to the fun of skydiving – the last one being Strawberry Singh.

Saying farewell to a much-loved venue, destination and home in Second Life is never easy, particularly for those closest to something that has, over the years been a labour of love. Commenting on the Galaxy’s forthcoming departure from Second Life, DBDigital Epsilon, the driving force behind the great cruise liner said, “as hard as this is, I know it is God’s timing and time for her to go with dignity and grace as she always has.”

Events aboard the ship will continue up until she returns to port on Sunday, May 3rd, so if you haven’t visited her before or in a while, while not schedule a visit around one of them, and both tour the ship and enjoy her unique atmosphere? Because once she is gone, I doubt we’ll see the likes of her again in-world.

SS Galaxy is a unique environment; a highlight of Second Life
SS Galaxy has been a unique location; a highlight of Second Life since 2007 now heading into the sunset

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2015 viewer release summaries: week 17

Updates for the week ending: Sunday, April 26th, 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: 3.7.28.300918 April 23 (formerly the Tools Update RC -uses the new tool chain and autobuild process and also incorporates the revised viewer log-in screen) 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):
    • Avatar Layer Limits RC viewer updated to version 3.7.28.301019 released on April 20 – allows users to wear up to 60 wearable layers (jackets, shirts, tattoo, alpha, etc.) in any combination  (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • Importer project viewer updates to version 3.7.28.300878 on April 22 – this viewer uses a modified mesh uploader which can (optionally) improve debug output, perform name-based LOD association, and handle models with many materials, allowing models with more than 8 unique faces to be imported (download and release notes)

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • Black Dragon updated to version 2.4.2.2 on April 25 – core updates: bug fixes, post effects added to Preferences, chromatic aberration rendering, keybindings (change log)
  • Kokua updated to version version 3.7.27.35441 on April 23rd – core updates: parity with LL 3.2.27 code base and RLV 2.9.9; fixes and tweaks (release notes)
  • Restrained Love Viewer updated to version 2.9.9 on April 21st – core updates: minor fixes (release notes)

V1-style

  • Cool VL Viewer Stable branch updated to version 1.26.12.40, the Experimental branch to version 1.26.13.9 and the Legacy branch to 1.26.8.93 all on April 25th (release notes)

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

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