Scare Me Silly 2019 in Second Life

Scare Me Silly 2019

Scare Me Silly 2019, in support of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), opened its doors on Friday, October 18th, 2019, and will remain open through until October 26th.

Organised by Team Diabetes of Second Life, the event features live performances. DJ parties, a hunt and a quest, tricks and treats, a haunted mansion, ghostly rides and – of course – shopping!

Participating merchants this year comprise:

::Pharmacist:: , !!Firelight!!, *DBS* Designs By Soosy, ANDORE, Bad Dragon Clothing, ChiC buildings, Chiffon, Cosmos Boutique, Couture Chapeaua, Halloween Delights, HJM Designs, ikr!, Just imagine… by Vita Theas, Just Ordinary, Kalani’s Designs, Kiliki Bikini, Kitty Creations, Kittycat Creations, Lady Dragons Design, LC Fashion, Lunar Seasonal Designs, Mara’s Mysteries Boutique, Muircastle Motors & Parts, Park Place Home, Pixelancer, Potomac Signature Homes, Redangel Designs, Roped Passions, Simply Shelby, Spyralle, Strawberry Gashes, SynCo, The Emporium, The Pumpkin Head, TRS Designs, TYLAR’S TREASURES, & Xplicit Designs.


This year the Evil Pumpkin Hunt offers a number of exclusive prizes available from a number of this year’s merchants. The prizes cost L$10, with 100% of proceeds going to Team Diabetes.

The Skeleton Quest can be joined for L$250 (all proceeds to Team Diabetes). Use the HUD to find the pieces of skeleton scattered inside the haunted house. Put him together again and claim a goodie bag of 15 prizes.

The week-long Scare Me Silly Photo Challenge includes a prize pool of L$5,000. Entries must be made by Wednesday, October 23rd.

Autumn Art Show

The Kultivate Autumn Art Show will also be taking place during Scare Me Silly, with the art display located to one side of the event area. Participating artists include: E Belua Broadfoot, DreamMakerXDreamBreaker Resident, ettalaineteichmano resident, Eucalyptus Carroll, ilyra chardin, IsarValdetaro Resident, Isis Desmoulins, Jamee Sandalwood, JolieElle Parfort, ladyonia, Marcel Mosswood, MTH63 (Matt), Sophie72 Congrejo, & Theresa Firelight.

As with the Scare Me Silly shopping event, all artists have at least one piece of art for sale with proceeds to Team Diabetes of Second Life.


Scare Me Silly includes music and entertainment – check the schedule for details.

About the American Diabetes Association

 Established in 1940, the American Diabetes Association is working to both prevent and cure diabetes in all it forms, and to help improve the lives of all those affected by diabetes. It does this by providing objective and credible information and resources about diabetes to communities, and funding research into ways and means of both managing and curing the illness. In addition, the Association gives voice to those denied their rights as a consequence of being affected by diabetes.

About Team Diabetes of Second life

Team Diabetes of Second Life is an official and authorised fund-raiser for the American Diabetes Association in Second Life. Established with the aim of raising funds in support of diabetes treatment and to raise awareness of the disease in SL, Team Diabetes of Second Life was founded by Jessi2009 Warrhol and John Brianna (Johannes1977 Resident), who serve on the Advisory Board along with Eleseren Brianna, Veruca Tammas, Rob Fenwitch, and Dawnbeam Dreamscape.

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A Shadowlands Retreat in Second Life

Shadowlands Retreat, October 2019 – click any image for full size

DylanShadows presents his Homestead region of Shadowlands Retreat as a “relaxing sim with series of photographic areas. Enjoy a walk around, horseback ride, a dance or cuddle with someone special,” and there is little to argue with in this description. There are number points throughout the region for photography, for spending time with friends and for enjoying that romantic cuddle or dance.

Surrounded by off-region hills that match the autumnal feel of the region, Shadowlands Retreat offers a series of areas within it that are very mixed in their individual attractiveness, from a beach through rocky outcrops with winding paths, to open grasslands offering paddocks and ancient ruins, to hints of fantasy and mysticism and which include woodlands, a high plateau, and more – all of which weave themselves into a landscape rich its attraction for exploration.

Shadowlands Retreat, October 2019

The region’s landing point – which is unenforced – can be found on a large deck area built over an artificial water close to the Western side of the island’s central plateau. It sits close to a stone cottage and alongside a tall windmill that points a blunt finger to the sky. A sea of late summer blooms washes across most of the plateau, flowing under the shade of trees to one side and breaking against islands of rock and water in what can only be described as a garden of wild flowers, waterfowl and restful spots, be they on the deck, under the boughs of trees or within the cottage or the gazebo keeping it company.

Below and surrounding this central flat-topped hill are the island’s lowlands that can be reached through several means: by the simple expedient of walking down the steep grassy slopes that vie with rocky cliffs to support the hill, or by finding one of the numerous paths offering a way down. Some of the latter are obvious – such as the worn, winding trails running down either side of the waterfalls to the south side of the hills; others are still rocky, but perhaps not-so-obvious at first glance, like the fern covered path running down the east side of the hill, or the aged blocks of rock close to it that offer more of a switchback route down.

Shadowlands Retreat, October 2019

Whichever route you take, there is much to be found between the hill and the water’s edge. To the north, for example, visitors will find a barn, complete with tractor and a small mix of livestock. These add to the suggestion that cottage and windmill above were perhaps once part of a working farm. However, whatever animal husbandry is now performed is perhaps more about self-sufficiency than the setting being a working farm.

Just around to the west, and beyond a stone henge, the farm element continues with a small paddock of horses. As these are Waterhorse rideables, I wondered if they would be set to allow the horse riding described in the region’s description, but it would appear not. As we also didn’t find a horse rezzer in our wanderings (although we could have missed it!), this led me to conclude that riding required ownership of your own wearable horse.

Shadowlands Retreat, October 2019

A hint of ancient mysticism is enfolded into the setting as well. The region is bracketed to the south-west and north-east by the stern faces of Moai, for example. Looking inward, they appear to be keeping an eye on all the coming and goings by visitors. More hints of an ancient past are also awaiting discovery: old stone rings, the broken wrist and hand of what must have once been a huge statue (now converted into a cosy cuddle spot), the broken statue of what appears to be a elf maiden at rest… All of these add an air of mysticism to the region, while the numerous little seating spots and dance areas scattered between them present further reasons to tarry within Shadowlands Retreat and explore.

Nor is this all; for those who enjoy beaches and sand, these can be found to the south and east of the region, curving as they do around the island’s high point: a large table of rock rising on vertical cliff faces from the sand.  A path winds its way up this cliffs to the flat summit where can be found a gazebo kept warm by a stone built fireplace, sharing the space with more ruins of different eras, while a crooked promontory thrusts its way across the lower-lying plateau towards the cottage, a further path winding down it.

Shadowlands Retreat, October 2019

Ruggedly photogenic, finished with a rich sound scape and – as noted – plenty to see and enjoy, Shadowlands Retreat lends itself to a range of Windlight settings and to time spent in exploration and in enjoying the setting. Those taking photos are invited to share with through the region’s Flickr group.

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2019 Content Creation User Group week #42 summary

Summerland, August 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from my audio recording of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, October 17th 2019 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.


Project Summary

An attempt to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering both. The overall aim is to try to correct some inherent negative incentives for creating optimised content (e.g. with regards to generating LOD models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).

Current Status

  • Data gathering is continuing, with the intention of gathering enough information on different rendering operations to be able to update the current cost coefficients being using in the rendering cost calculations.
  • Normalising the settings across different client-side hardware is seen as a challenge.
    • One thing the Lab proposes doing is running the resultant model across a range of client hardware types and different ranges of settings.
    • However, if there are significant differences across hardware types (which is likely), then some weighting mechanism will need to be used.
  • One issue noted as a part of the work is a persistent spike – frames in every second that were much longer than the others in the Windows viewer. This was traced back to a call being made to an expensive API that wasn’t even required and has therefore been removed.

Environment Enhancement Project

Project Summary

A set of environmental enhancements (e.g. the sky, sun, moon, clouds, and water settings) to be set region or parcel level, with support for up to 7 days per cycle and sky environments set by altitude. It uses a new set of inventory assets (Sky, Water, Day), and includes the ability to use custom Sun, Moon and cloud textures. The assets can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others, and can additionally be used in experiences.

Due to performance issues, the initial implementation of EEP will now likely not include certain atmospherics such as crepuscular rays (“God rays”).


Current Status

  • The viewer is being merged up to the latest release viewer (version, dated September 17th, promoted October 15th). This may also include at least one UI issue fix as well.
  • There are no further simulator-side updates that are ready for deployment as yet, but work has been continuing in resolving bugs.

Other Items in Brief

  • Following on from the discussion at the previous meeting about object size and land impact calculations a feature request – BUG-227762 “Removal of Size from Land Impact calculation/Texture LOD/Adjustable LOD distance” – has been submitted, and has been accepted by the Lab for consideration
    • The Jira also touches on texture management and handling, suggesting a way the textures for an object could be manipulated / downscaled in real-time.
    • It was pointed out that Firestorm offers an automatic downscale of 1024 textures in its 32-bit versions (and the setting in optional in the 64-bit versions), but the suggestion is that be providing users with information in the viewer could allow them to make more informed choices when making adjustments to help with their own performance.
    • This JIRA will be looked at in reference to ARCTan.
  • Something of a companion idea to this would be to allow a texture upload to produce multiple versions of a texture (e.g. a 1024×1204 also produces a 512x512x256x256 and 128×128). This has been discussed in the past, and is seen as something that, will requiring input from the Product Team, might be worth exploring.
  • A suggestion to lessen the reliance on high-res specular maps is for the Lab to provide a set of default grey textures at (say) 128×128 against which specular glossiness and environment could be set. A counter to this was that the blank white texture could be used and tinted to grey.
  • There was also general discussion on PBR and its possible introduction to SL in the future (it is *not* on the roadmap right now!) and its potential impact on existing content were it to be introduced.