A festival for live action role-play in Second Life

Courtesy of SLarp Fest

On Sunday, March 21st, Second Life will play host to SLarp Fest, a one-day celebration of live action role-play (LARP). The event is a co-production by IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games and the Playable Theatre Project, and is the latest in a series of events traditionally held in the physical world to leverage the potential of Second Life as a means to provide attendees with a unique digital experience.

For those unfamiliar with it, IndieCade is the only standalone festival for independent games in the United States. It was founded in 2005, and held its first showcase event at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2007, with its first festival following in 2008. Between 2009 and 2015 the festival took place in Culver City, California, moving to Santa Monica City College in 2018. A “sister” event, IndieCade Europe was held in the UK between 2007 and 2009, before being rebooted in 2016 as the IndieCade Conference and Expo, held France.

Regarded as “the video game industry’s Sundance“, IndieCade gives invited independent video game developers the opportunity to showcase their work alongside of a conference track featuring classes, panels, workshops and keynotes related to games development. In doing so, it has become a major attraction for independent game developers and others in the industry.

As with so many events the world over, the SARS-CoV-2 situation forced the IndieCade organisers to “go digital” in 2020, hosting events and activities through various on-line mediums. As a part of this IndieCade 2020 Anywhere and Everywhere festival, a presence was established in Second Life: IndieCade Oasis, which for 2021 will play host to SLarp Fest.

Part of IndieCade Oasis – the in-world venue for SLarp Fest 2021

Conceived by IndieCade and the Playable Theatre Project, SLarp Fest is an experiment in adapting live action role-playing games – a long-standing part of IndieCade’s repertoire – to a digital format, the idea being to allow experienced and novice role-players alike to join is a series of specially-adapted live action role-play scenarios, and to participate in a number of other activities.

A live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically portray their characters and enact a plot of the game. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world environments while interacting with each other in character. The outcome of player actions may be mediated by game rules or determined by consensus among players. Event arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting and rules to be used and facilitate play.

– Live action role-play definition, via Wikipedia

SLarp Fest is curated by Celia Pearce (Artemesia Sandgrain in Second Life), one of the co-founders of both IndieCade and the Playable Theatre Project. She is also the author of a number of books and papers on viral worlds, including Communities of Play (MIT Press 2009). Working with IndieCade Oasis region designer Jenn Frank (Nova Conundrum in Second Life) – herself a long-term Second Life resident through her main account and a writer focused on games and technology – Celia has sought to provide an environment that is more interactive and immersive than can be achieved through the more “traditional” approaches to digital engagement, such as Zoom.

I was growing increasingly frustrated by the limitations of the Zoom proscenium, so I invited some of my favourite LARP designers to experiment with avatar embodiment to see if we could adapt their work for a virtual world. Jenn and I worked with the creators to take advantage of the capabilities of the Second Life, along with the massive amount user-created content, to build something truly unique and immersive. Our play testing thus far has indicated that the experiment is working!

– Celia Pierce (SL: Artemesia Sandgrain) on the origins of SLarp Fest

SLarp Fest will feature four live action role-play scenarios attendees can play, including Angel Falls, developed specifically for Second Life and the event
Commencing at 09:00 SLT on Sunday, March 21st, SLarp Fest is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Throughout the day the festival will present a range of activities for attendees, including card games, a carnival, pirate ships, the chance to play MadPea’s Escape Room and, of course, the opportunity to participate any of the four live action role-play scenarios that are the focus of the festival. These are:

  • 09:00-11:00 – First Impressions (aka D&D Speed Dating): find your fantasy character their own adventuring group in a speed-dating-style event! A fast, zany take on conventional fantasy tropes. Game by Marc Majcher, Adapted for Second Life by Evan Torner (UC Game Lab).
  • 11:00-13:00 – Angel Falls: players attend a funeral as conflicted humans and comforting but flawed angels in a scenario about seeking resolutions when it is already too late to resolve anything. Developed specifically for Second Life and SLarp Fest by Celia Pearce, Jenn Frank and Annika Waern, and inspired by the film Wings of Desire.
  • 13:30-15:30 – Romancing Jan: a racial, orientation and gender inclusive take on a Regency era matchmaking game, played in full costume at a fancy outdoor tea dance in a period pavilion. Game by Athena Peters, who also adapted it for Second Life.
  • 16:00-19:00 – The Sleepover: play as adolescents learning and sharing knowledge about sex, sexuality, and gender identity at a sleepover party during summer camp” From the IndieCade 2021 Finalist anthology Honey & Hot Wax by Julia B. Ellingboe and Kat Jones (Candyland Games), and adapted for Second Life by the authors.
SLarp Fest will include a range of activities, including the LARP sessions, arcade games, MadPea’s Escape Room, a carnival and more

Those wishing to attend the event should register their intent to allow the organisers to get a feel for the potential number of attendees. In addition, registration will provide access to the sign-up forms for the LARP scenarios. Note that registrations will close at 23:59 SLT on Thursday, March 18th.

Further details on SLarp Fest and IndieCade can be found via the links below, and I’ll have more on the event, including the SLurl, ahead for the opening.

Related Links

Firestorm 6.4.13 release

On Monday March 15th, 2021, the Firestorm team released version 6.4.13 of their viewer.

Regarded somewhat as a maintenance update more than a major release, the primary am of 6.4.13 is to hopefully move Firestorm into its quarterly cadence of releases.

That said, as well as fixes and updates, this release includes a number of additional and new capabilities added by the Firestorm team, and these form the focus of this overview.


  • There is no need to perform a clean install with this release if you do not wish to.
Table of Contents


  • Do, however, make sure you back-up all your settings safely so you can restore them after installing 6.4.13.
  • Again, please refer to the Firestorm 6.4.13 release notes for additional details of all changes and updates in this release.

Linden Lab Derived Updates

This release brings Firestorm up to parity with the Lab’s Dawa Maintenance RC, which focused on bug fixes. This viewer became the Lab’s default viewer on February 1st, 2021.

Menu Updates

Avatar Menu: Recreate  LSL Bridge

If you encounter issues with the Firestorm Bridge, you can now recreate it via Avatar → Avatar Health → Recreate LSL Bridge.

Note: you must be on a script-enabled region / parcel for this to work.

World Menu: Bulk Windlight Import to EEP

With Firestorm 6.4.13, it is now possible to bulk import Windlight .XML files directly to inventory as EEP settings / assets.

  • Go to World → Environment → Bulk Import
  • Select the EEP type you’d like to use for the import process (days, skies, water).
  • A file selection window will open. Use this to navigate to the folder on your computer containing the corresponding Windlight .XML files.
  • Use SHIFT-left-click / CTRL-left-click to  highlight the .XML files you wish to import and click Open at the bottom of the window.
  • The window will close and the import process will import the .XML files and convert them to corresponding EEP settings and assets using the original Windlight file name, placing them in the Settings folder in your inventory.
Bulk import of Windlight .XML file to EEP settings / assets

Side notes:

  • You must ensure you select the correct import type / .XML fly type for this to work. For example: if you click on Skies, you must import .XML static sky files. Selecting the wrong import option or the wrong file type will result in a file validation error.
  • Remember that the viewer already includes around 200 of the more popular Windlight .XML files already converted to EEP settings .
    • These can be found in the Library Environments folder, and can be copied to your Settings folder (or a folder of your choice) in inventory and used from there.
    • It  may be easier to check this folder for the more popular Windlights, as you may find those you have on your computer.

World Menu: Asset Blacklist Sound Button

The Asset Blacklist floater now includes a Play Sound button. When a sound item you’re added to the list is highlighted, the button will be enabled and can be used to hear the sound in question.

Build Menu: Mesh Uploader

The Mesh Uploader now includes a new tab: Preview Settings.

Mesh Uploader Preview Settings

Preferences Updates

Move & View: Avatar Rotation Speed

  • Movement → Avatar Rotation Turn Speed slider: alters the rate at which your avatar responds to turning. 0-100 as estimated percentage of the maximum turn rate. Note that high values will be snappy/jerky.

User Interface: Use Small Camera Window

With the introduction of Camera Presets, the standard camera floater was revised to include buttons for setting and using the Presets capability. However, some have found this revised floater intrusive.

When checked, Preferences → User Interface → Interface Windows → Use Small Camera Window will replace the revised camera floater with the “old” pre-Camera Preset camera floater. Unchecking the option will display the revised window floater once more.

Using the “old” camera floater


  • The revised camera floater can be resized to something approaching that of the “old” floater, for those who would like to retain the new floater but wish to reduce the amount of screen space it takes up.
  • If, for any reason, you revert to an earlier version of Firestorm (while available) with this option enabled, the next time you use Firestorm 6.4.13, you will have both versions of the camera floater displayed. Toggle the setting to correct.

User Interface: Time Format

  • Preferences → User Interface → Top Bars → Time Format: a drop-down allowing you to set the preferred time format (12 hour or 24 hour notation, etc.), as displayed in the top right corner for the viewer.
Time format options

Continue reading “Firestorm 6.4.13 release”

2021 viewer release summaries week #10

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

This summary is generally 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.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current release viewer: Project Jelly viewer (Jellydoll updates), version and dated February 5th, 2021, promoted February 17th – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers



Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links