A Beautiful Suicide in Second Life

Beautiful Suicide; Inara Pey, May 2016, on Flickr Beautiful Suicide – click any image for full size

Beautiful Suicide is an enigmatic region designed by Jaidens Rancid (Jaidens) which has been featured in the Destination Guide for the last couple of weeks, thus attracting my attention.

“Embrace yourself,” the Destination Guide entry reads, “for something has happened here.”  Quite what that something might be, is left to our imaginations to conjure: and there is certainly enough here to get the thoughts ticking over. Cast into a perpetual dusk under the default windlight, this is a place of dark mystery, offering some interesting photo opportunities.

Beautiful Suicide; Inara Pey, May 2016, on Flickr Beautiful Suicide

Everything seems normal enough on arrival; there is even a hint of romance about the landing point. This is a bridge on the west side of the largest of three main islands, softly light by lanterns and fairy lights draped over the branches of the tree on either side of the water it spans. There’s even a hint of mist to add to the atmosphere. But look again, and see how the posts from which the lanterns hang have a hint of the gallows about them; the first sign that things here aren’t always as they appear.

That this is the case can further be found under the bridge, where a great troll stands knee-deep in water. And here too, is something of a conflict: on the one hand, we tend to associate trolls with dark and bad things; but this one holds a gem within its cupped hands, as if offering it to us in friendship.

Beautiful Suicide; Inara Pey, May 2016, on Flickr Beautiful Suicide

This juxtaposition of the safe and friendly with the dark and dangerous echoes throughout the region. On the east side of the main island, for example, sits a private house. within it sit all the signs of a  comfortable home; in the conservatory, a table is laid for a dinner party. It all seems so normal – until one looks up on the roof.

And whilst the nearby ruin of another house might suggest an opportunity for snuggles or a quiet escape from the world, A look behind the stairs or a glance up on to the upper floor reveals this place also has a certain macabre edge, reminding us of the question posed by the region’s Destination Guide entry Where did all the people go?

Beautiful Suicide; Inara Pey, May 2016, on Flickr Beautiful Suicide

But it is not all darkness; the region is, as I’ve noted, quite photogenic, and there are places to be found where time can be spent in idle thought on in the company of a loved one: down on the pier of the inlet, or sitting at the pool terrace alongside the main house, etc. There are even opportunities for a little fun in the form of flying saucer and boat rezzers, allowing visitors to zip through the sky or across the water surrounding the islands.

If you like your visits and / or romance edged with a darker touch, tinted with a drop of the macabre and a drizzled suggestion of black magic, Beautiful Suicide offers a more unusual destination you might enjoy taking a look at. Should you enjoy your visit, as I did, please consider making a donation towards the region’s upkeep so that other might also enjoy it.

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SL project updates 16 21/2: server, viewer, Bento

Frisland; Inara Pey, May 2016, on FlickrFrislandblog post

Server Deployments Week #21 – Recap

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest information and updates.

There was a fast-tracked security update deployed to the LeTigre RC channel on Friday, May 20th. This update was also deployed as a server maintenance package to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, May 24th.

On Wednesday, May 25th, all three RC channels were updated with a server maintenance package which combines the security update plus a new crash fix.

The security patch was apparently a precautionary measure, rather than a response to an actual exploit

Week #22 Deployments

The current RC update should move to the Main grid on Tuesday, May 31st, and the RCs should all receive a new package comprising:

  • A fix for BUG-10979 [Bento] Scripted attachments attached to the new enhanced skeleton attachment points show as worn on “Invalid Attachment Point” in the script limits floater
  • More checks for per-agent script limit
  • Internal improvements.

More news on these last two to follow.

Project Bento

As noted in my Project Bento update, the plan is for the back-end of Project Bento to be enabled on the main grid during week #22, most likely on Tuesday, May 31st. This will allow content making use of the Bento extensions to the avatar skeleton to be uploaded to the main grid. However, Bento content requires viewer-side updates in order to render correctly. Currently these are restricted to the Bento Project viewer and those TPVs which have adopted the Bento code ahead of the curve.

This also doesn’t mark the end of the Bento project; at this point, enabling Bento on Agni, is to expose the capabilities to a wider audience of content creators and allow broader testing.

Bento Viewer

The Bento Project viewer updated to version 5.0.0.315657 on Thursday, May 26th. This version includes the following significant updates:

reset skeletionA “Reset Skeleton” option, intended to fix cases where an avatar is distorted in your world view as a result of incorrectly applied joint updates. For example, a non-human avatar may show as “crunched up” because it is still in a human pose. Note that this option should also work for non-Bento avatars when become deformed as a result of swapping shapes / forms / animations as well.

Right-clicking on the affected avatar (your own or another) and selecting Reset Skeleton from the avatar context menu should correct the avatar’s appearance in your view. As this is a viewer-side update, it will not affect how anyone else sees the affected avatar until they use Reset Skeleton. The Lab has requested feedback on the capability if it fails to work as intended.

The viewer also includes a few late-breaking changes to the slider support for mesh avatars, including jaw shape and head shape. Sliders that affect the scale of mPelvis now also alter mHindLimbsRoot, to better keep the front and hind legs synced up.

SL Viewer

Other than the Project Bento viewer update, the list for official viewers remains as per the first part of this report.

 

Red, White and Blue in Second Life

Red, White Blue Event PosterRed, White and Blue is the name of a week-long event being held by Creations for Parkinson’s in support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

It opens its doors on Friday, May 27th, 2016, and will run through until Monday, June 6th, 2016, and features live performers, DJs, tribute concerts, shopping gachas, a hunt, a carnival and a special art auction.

The event takes place on a specially constructed sky platform over Creations Park, to help reduce lag issues, and is sponsored by Windlight Magazine, Azul and Chop Zuey Fine Couture Jewellery.

The merchants participating in the event are: Alme, Azul, Entice, KL Couture, Like Design, Meshopotamia, Miss Darcy, Paris Fashion, %Percent Furniture and Lighting, Soyralle, Tashi, TRS Designs, Whimsical Happenings, and Windlight Workz.

The art is displayed on the terraces either side of the main performance area, and features pieces by Barret Darkfold, Carleey Noonan, Cherrycarr Resident, Eleseren Brianna, jamie86 Resident, Johannes1977 Resident, JolieElle Parfort, KodyMeyers Resident, Muse4u Resident, Myra Wildmist, Otoc Resident, Rage Darkstone, Rinzlerkitty Resident, Sheba Blitz, Syphera Inaka and Theda Tammas. All are available for auction via the Creations kiosks alongside each piece.

The carnival includes a host of rides to enjoy, including a roller-coaster, bumper cars, pirate ship swings, a gravitron ride, a Ferris wheel and many assorted side-shows and games to enjoy.

Funds raised  through bids for the art, via the Team Fox donation kiosks, the carnival ticket machines and the gacha machines will all be donated to Team Fox, the fund-raising arm of the Michaeel J. Fox Foundation. The participating merchants also have items for sale through special Creations for Parkinson’s vendors.

The Red, White and Blue event stage and part of the art auction, beyond
The Red, White and Blue event stage and part of the art auction, beyond

About Creations Park

Creations Park was established by Barbie Alchemi after witnessing the beneficial effects Second Life had on her mother, Fran Seranade, a Parkinson’s sufferer and who first became involved in the platform, along with Barbie, as a means for family members to keep closer contact with one another across the breadth of the United States. Creations is dedicated to raising donations for the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF).

As well as running a range of fund-raising events and activities, the Park offers support groups and research into the positive effects of Second Life for people with Parkinson’s Disease. 100% of all donations received through events at, and visits to, Creations Park go directly to Team Fox and the MJFF. All costs and expenses associated with the region are met directly by Barbie’s family.

You can read more about the story of Creations Park in my 2013 article on Barbie and Fran, or by watching a Drax Files video.