Entering The Vault in Second Life

The Vault – dare you enter?
There must be twenty ways to kill your avatar, twenty ways to kill your avatar.
Just slip off the bar, Lars, get hit by a ball, Paul.
Step on the grill, Jill, and crisp yourself dry.
Jump for the gems, Jen, just watch where you might land.
Then drop off the ledge, Reg, and get yourself dead.

(with apologies to Paul Simon)

This little ditty kept running through my mind as I took part in The Vault, the absorbingly frustrating and fun free-to-play challenge game offered by Crowley Corporation.

Located on Crowley Corporation’s home region, I was alerted to The Vault by Whirly Fizzle, who also supplied a video link demonstrating the game (just make sure you don’t have the volume set to high when playing the video!). It is reached via a teleport portal located at the region’s main landing point. Once you have done so, follow the yellow floor markings to an elevator that takes you down to the entrance The Vault’s entrance.

There are twenty rooms with obstacles. Just try to get through them without dying. For the more experienced, there are gems to be collected as well.

– CrowleyCorp, the designer of The Vault, describing the aim of the game

The Vault

As noted in the quote above, the aim of the game is to stay alive (and if the mood takes you, collect the gems which may be on offer in some of the chambers within The Vault). while this is a free-to-play game, to help cover the costs of the game and the region in which it resides, CrowleyCorp offers a flash-light and hard hat for modest amounts, which can be worn while making your way through The Vault’s 20 chambers although they are not essential to game play.

To get started, make your way to the first of the vault doors – large, almost daunting things in themselves, and then throw the lever to the right of the doors to open them. Each chamber in The Vault is presaged by similar doors, which may open directly onto the next chamber or form an airlock between two chambers, or provide access to a passageway that must be followed to reach the next chamber.

The Vault … “oh… balls…!”

The obstacles within each chamber vary in nature and specific skills are required to negotiate them – notably an ability to walk (or run!) in a reasonably straight line, the ability to jump accurately, together with a sense of timing and have a degree of patience in places, rather than just rushing at things.

The obstacles themselves come in a variety of forms, some individually, some combined, depending on the chamber you’re in. They include jumping between floating islands, walking along narrow beams, avoiding moving objects (rolling ball bearings, spinning and moving saw blades, etc), laser beams. Getting struck by any of these will kill you, or knock you into the bottomless pit or the lava, etc., over which the obstacles are built, also killing you. Death will result in you re-spawning at the start of the chamber you are attempting to cross.

THE VAULT: shouts: :::::::: Inara Pey fell to their doom! ::::::::

The Vault keeps you informed of any mishaps 🙂

The further into The Vault you get, the more challenging the obstacles become. Also, in some chambers time can be of the essence – stand too long in one place, for example, and you might find it falling out from under you.

The Vault: mind the blades

One point to note, if you leave The Vault before completing all 20 rooms, on your return, you’ll have to start over; thus it is advisable to try to complete all 20 – time permitting – on a single visit. However, if you have to log-out for any reason and have the viewer set to log you into the last SL location you visited, you can can log directly out from The Vault and then return to your last location within it when logging back into SL – but do note that if you are away from the game longer than about an hour, your scores (times killed and gems obtained) will be lost.

I am currently working on an expansion of perhaps a dozen more rooms, and should be completed within a month

CrowleyCorp on future expansion within The Vault to keep things fresh

And should you wish to relax after getting dropped, fried, boiled or zapped, you can teleport down to the ground level and partake of a round of golf. CrowleyCorp is the maker of the CC Elite golf system – which is my personal favourite when golfing in Second Life.

You can also enjoy golf while visiting the Crowley Corporation region

I confess to not having completed all 20 rooms in The Vault – the realities of life prevented me spending the amount of time needed to do so. However, I can say I found the game to be a fun, engaging and addictive (in the more positive meaning of the word), and I definitely want to find the time to go back and try the game again – and maybe even get to the end.

SLurl Details

  • The Vault (Isle of Innovation, rated: Adult)

Barbara Borromeo at Serena Arts

Serena Imagine Arts Centre: Barbara Borromeo

I admit that until I received I received an invitation to visit her exhibition at Serena Imagine Arts Centre, I was unfamiliar with the art of Barbara Borromeo. As such, visiting the exhibition – called simply Barbara – produced to be a delightful revelation: Barbara Borromeo is an exceptionally talented artist, who produces art that is stunning in its depth.

Reached via the teleport disk near to the art centre’s landing point, Barbara’s work is presented in an overhead gallery space, offering a total of twelve pieces of her work (13 if you count the furniture laden carpet, which is also of her design). These present the visitor with scenes that are by turn, beautiful, strange, haunting, nuanced, and rich in potential narrative.

Serena Imagine Arts Centre: Barbara Borromeo

Such is the diversity of styles on offer, it is clear that Barbara is not someone defined by one or two stylistic approaches; rather, she immerses herself in whatever genre best suits the story she wishes to convey. Thus is that some of the pieces here sit in what might be regarded as the genre of fantasy, others are perhaps based on and more abstracted approach to their subject matter; others are rooted in a form of avatar expressionism, while some embrace the use of a broad colour palette, while others are confined to more primary shades.

To offer interpretations on these pieces would in a sense be wasted; while each clearly stands apart from its neighbour, so too they are united in the depth of narrative each contains – although it is up to each of us to interpret the individual stories, whether it is relative “simplicity” of Vintage Car, or falling into the haunting depths of Prison or Dark and Gold or the captivating beauty of Princess.

Serena Imagine Arts Centre: Barbara Borromeo

That said, I found myself particularly drawn to Princess and Avatar (both seen above). These both contrast with one another, and yet are joined through their construction. Within Princess, there is a wonderful fusion of images from Second Life and the physical world, caught within an almost surreal fantasy montage that is simply captivating in its use of darker monochrome tones. Similarly, Avatar offers a somewhat fanciful, surreal image, but one that in a reverse of Princess, using white and grey, rather than darker tones, together with a delicacy contained in the pencil-like strokes of the background image, to form that strong but complimentary contrast to Princess, making them ideal partners in this exhibition.

It is this layering of ideas within the offered works that is perhaps most captivating: when looking at some of them, the subtle construction may not be immediately apparent, but reveals itself slowly. Take Boudoir as an example. The eye tends to be immediately dawn through the “hole” in the wall and to the woman dressing herself, and the ghostly face observing us. Through these were are perhaps drawn into the role of voyeur caught in the act. Both figures can easily dominate the focus of attention, and it is only after re-appraising the image as a whole that the true nature of the darker elements of the “wall” might become apparent, adding a shift in the narrative the image contains.

Serena Imagine Arts Centre: Barbara Borromeo

A captivating, entrancing display of art, Barbara remain open through until July 22nd, 2018.

SLurl Details