The further revamp of Linden Realms in Second Life

The re-vamped Linden Realms and rock monsters. Credit: Linden Lab

Since it first opened in 2011, Linden Realms has proved to be an enduring game within Second Life. It’s seem various updates over the years, with the most notable (until now) occurring earlier this year when the existing playing regions were effectively fire-bombed as a part of an ongoing saga involving the wicked Ruth, she of the villainy in Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches (see my review here) and named for the original default avatar of Second Life.

On Tuesday, October 9th, linden Lab announced the latest revamp of the game, which sees it completely overhauled in looks and aims, building further on the backstory of Ruth and possibly – just maybe, perhaps – (I’m not going to give everything away) seeing the return of Old Boozehound himself, Magellan Linden.

In the new version of the game, the Linden Realms regions get a much-needed face-lift with much more modern-looking mesh items (most notably the rock monsters). In terms of game play, players must complete tasks and try to reassemble Ruth’s magical amulet … the breaking of which might have led to Magellan faking his own death in order to escape her wrath. (If this all sounds like the script from a soap opera, wait until Tyrah wakes up and finds Magellan stepping out of the shower*.  Just kidding! Although on second thoughts, I wish I hadn’t; the mental image of an undressed Magellan is now fixed in my head.)

Part of the re-vamped Linden Realms. Credit: Linden Lab

Anyway, I’m not going to go into great depth here, on account that LL have themselves with a veritable tome of documentation and images on the updated game. Suffice it to say, collecting crystals (exchangeable for L$) is still very much a part of things, so expect the new Linden Realms to be as popular as previous iterations.

I can say the new look is refreshing when compared to the old, and the detailing such that the locations spread across the 12 regions of each game area shouldn’t place too much extra load on things when avatars are running hither and thither in their hunt for crystals and amulet bits.

The game HUD has also been nicely updated, and looks the part – the old one really was looking long in the tooth.

The updated game HUD

As always, accessing the game is done via the Portal Parks (links below). As with previous iterations, those new to the game will have to accept the experience to gain access, but if you’ve previously played and have not revoked the game, you’ll be automatically granted access. And no, this isn’t anything to do with Project SSR 😀 .

More is promised by the Lab on Linden Realms, by way of an article on how this new version was developed and built, as a part of the Lab’s efforts to show creators how tools such as Experience Keys might be used.

*Yes folks, A Dallas reference!

Portal Park SLurls

Note the portal Parks and Linden Realms are all rated General.

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OSCC 2018: call for proposals and volunteers

Via OSCC

The 2018 OpenSimulator Community Conference (OSCC) will take place on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December 2018.

An annual conference that focuses on the developer and user community creating the OpenSimulator software.  Organised as a joint production by Core Developers of OpenSimulator and AvaCon, Inc., with major sponsors including  the University of California, Irvine, Institute for Virtual Environments and Computer Games and the Rockcliffe University Consortium.

Call for Proposals

The Conference for 2018 will feature a series of dynamic short presentations and panels that spotlight the best of the OpenSimulator platform and community, and a Call for Proposals has been issued to individuals or groups who are shaping the Metaverse.

The speaker sessions offer 20-minute presentations to engage the mind while the community-sponsored tours, and on the Expo regions, content give-aways and Hypergrid explorations take attendees to faraway places. We are particularly interested in speakers who dramatically tell the story of their work and employ great 3D examples as props and graphics. In particular, the organisers encourage presentations that span current innovations and activities, performance artistry, educational simulations, innovative business cases or  have a publication or track record of real world use.

Those wishing o submit a proposal, please complete the proposal application form. If you have questions or need more information, please contact the conference organisers.

Key Dates & Deadlines

  • October 22nd, 2018 – Proposals are due by 11:59 PM PST (Pacific Standard Time).
  • October 29th, 2018 – Proposal  acceptance emails and with conference information.
  • November 3rd, 2018 – Accepted speakers must register for the conference to create an entry in the conference schedule and the program.
  • November 10th, 2018 – Speaker Orientation & Training sessions and Presenter Booth Setup to prepare speakers for the conference.
  • November 17th, 2018 – Deadline for stage props and audio-visuals (beyond textures) for conference program.
  • December 8-9th, 2018 – OSCC18 Conference dates.
Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference

Volunteers

The conference needs volunteers to help in a range of activities:

  • Greeters / audience assistances
  • Moderators
  • Builders
  • Scripters
  • Social Media / Communications
  • Streaming and Technical Support

Those interested in volunteering can do so via the Volunteer Sign-up form,  Depending upon interests, volunteers can select more than one role if they wish.

Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference

About the Conference

The OpenSimulator Community Conference is an annual conference that focuses on the developer and user community creating the OpenSimulator software. The conference is a joint production by Core Developers of OpenSimulator and AvaCon, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the growth, enhancement, and development of the metaverse, virtual worlds, augmented reality, and 3D immersive and virtual spaces.  The conference features a day of presentations, panels, keynote sessions, and social events across diverse sectors of the OpenSimulator user base.

When you’re Nowhere Else in Second Life

Nowhere Else; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrNowhere Else – click any image for full size

Nowhere Else caught my attention through its apparently contradictory labelling: the region name refers to it being “under construction”, while the About Land description define it as a “fully landscaped sim to explore, take photos or just hang out.”

“So, it’s not finished,” Suzy Lekira (Suzy Brandi) says in reference to this apparent contradiction, before continuing, “It never will be. A special place. Drop in, if you like. Having visited the region with Caitlyn, I can confirm that “dropping in” is highly recommended.

Nowhere Else; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrNowhere Else

Currently sporting a rural setting that – to me at least – suggests somewhere in the north of England, Nowhere Else suggests a place on the edge of a lake surrounded by the peaks of the Pennines (albeit slightly tall peaks!), this is a place for hiking boots and a camera.  No set landing point is offered – or at least, one wasn’t being enforced at the time of our visit – so the SLurl given here is entirely arbitrary.

Located on the flat top of one of the higher points of the region, set well to the east, the location I selected has the advantage of offering views across the landscape whilst also presenting an ideal start to exploration: a small hamlet. It’s the kind of place hikers might start out from for a day on the moors. A broad cobbled road winds down from the chapel, running by the local shops and along which assorted vehicles are parked; vehicles which cast the setting perhaps in a more European direction, as do some of the buildings.

Nowhere Else; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrNowhere Else

From here, it is possible to strike out across the rough grassland to a thatched cottage, the garden overlooking the northern waters surrounding the region. The cottage, with its terraces, moorings for a rowing boat and outlook is the kind of place it is easy to imagine retiring to; a quite place, close enough to little shops for comfort whilst also offering numerous opportunities for walks without the bother of a lot of traffic.

It’s also, quite frankly, exceptionally picturesque in its setting.

Nowhere Else; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrNowhere Else

The cottage is just one of a number of houses scattered across the region outside of the village, although the other like across the body of water that cuts an “L” through the region. One of these is a country farm, sitting to the south-west. Again offering plenty of scope for photographs, the farm is linked to a camp site to the north with tents and opportunities for swimming.

One of the attractions of the region is the minimal use of trees, something that gives portions of it the feel of a moorland or high fell. This is further enhanced by the use of Cube Republic’s very excellent sedimentary layered rock forms across parts of the landscape, some of which rise tor-like from the grasslands.  These touches add an air of familiarity as well as realism to the setting that enhances its photogenic appeal, while the considered use of static figures in the village help to bring a greater depth of life to the setting.

Nowhere Else; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrNowhere Else

While travelling, keep an eye out for the little places where hikers might take a rest: the little deck built out over the river, complete with a barbecue; the Land Rover and its camp site, the rowing boat (and its suitcases!). Throughout the region, the attention to detail is a joy to see.

Simple in design, elegant in execution, Nowhere Else is a visual delight, a place well worth visiting and spending time within. So if you don’t go anywhere else, be sure to visit Nowhere Else.

Nowhere Else; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrNowhere Else

SLurl Details