Particles at Burning Life

Sunday, September 30, 2007 Sunday, September 30, 2007

I've never been to Burning Life before (mainly because I am not old enough!) So I thought I would pay a visit. I am fascinated by interesting builds, and there is no better place to see the envelope of ingenuity pushed than at Burning Life. My visit to Burning Life today turned out a lot better than my first attempt - no griefing in sight today!

Since I am sure others are reporting on Burning Life in general, I am reporting on Particle Effect builds at Burning Life. I am not sure if anyone else is doing so. Basically, I tromped around the site looking for interesting particle effects. While there are many wonderful physical builds, I have to say that there really are not many particle effects present. I suspect some shun particles for fear of generating lag, or perhaps there just isn't many people able to build them. Lag doesn't really happen, of course, unless you build massive particle bursts as are often found in freebie particle baskets.

JT Dagger built this amazing creation, called the "Atom Spinner". Perhaps I should have taken a video of it, since it is quite animated. This item rotates, changes colors and emits multi-colored shape-changing particles. Particles need not be like anything in the physical world. It's cool particle sculptures like this that I admire.

A friend of mine, Carrie Cronenwerth, is refitting a mall and is wondering how best to attract more traffic, as many landowners do. She and I toured several Burning Life sites the other night (pictured) to get some ideas. I suggested she might consider placing some fascinating sculptures in her mall to attract visitors - they seem to attract me, so why not others too? And what better way to find builders than to visit Burning Life? It's almost like a trade show for builders.

This one is quite basic, but it certainly collects your eyes! It seems to be made/owned by TheDreamingDragon Nighbor and Legith Fairplay. In fact, there seems to be several "eye" oriented effects at Burning Life for some unexplainable reason.

My friend Jopsy Pendragon has perhaps the best particle display I've seen. The display includes not only the amazing lightening particles, but also sound and animated textures. You can't see it in this picture, but it includes a dancing fountain, like a simplified version of the Las Vegas Bellagio fountain - all made from particles.

And of course, the most notable particle effect was the Burning of the Man that took place today. It was probably the biggest fire I've seen in Second Life so far. Well done, Burning Lifer's! The fire proceeded for many minutes and then gradually died out to the applause of the hundreds present.

But that was not all! After the burning died out, the toasty near-the-fire participants were handed the "Dance Effect Orb", which as you can see produces an iPod-commercial-like appearance. Everyone danced with more particles flying above. Sweet!

Griefing Attack at Burning Life?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 Wednesday, September 26, 2007

After toiling at my laboratory building new particle effects tonight, I thought it would be a good idea to visit Burning Life. My friend Jopsy Pendragon has a very cool display there, as do other legendary builders. And I was not disappointed, there are some truly interesting parcels. I am always amazed at the ingenuity of Second Life builders. Tonight was no exception... in more ways than one.

One parcel seemed a little strange. It had some rotating blue cubes hovering above it. Of course, weird stuff is the order of the day at Burning Life, so I assumed it was part of the site's display.... until I noticed the same cubes at another parcel. And another. And...

Well, you get the idea.

Before long, I was seeing wacky blue cubes and hearing their rather annoying scream on various parcels. Not all, but several. Probably it had infected more than I could see, and I couldn't stand the noise any longer so I did not investigate further.

I did manage to check the provenance of a nearby cube and guess what? It was made by an avatar born today! Who would have thought that something that ingenious could be constructed in less than a day by someone with no experience at all? Or at least, no brain at all. Sigh.

I'll try Burning Life again tomorrow.

A Few More Particle Effects...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In my quest to achieve and even exceed 100 products I am announcing these new items, bringing my total at the shop to over 90 particle effects:

Solar - An effect very similar to "Eclipse", except without the Eclipse! It's just like having your own personal sun. Very big and bright.

FireSparks Wearable - This effect is similar to "OnFire", except that it is positioned lower so it makes you appear as if you are walking through fire! "OnFire" makes you look like you are on fire. Oh, FSW includes sparks too.

HeartsFog Subtle - A completely new installable effect that emits five kinds of tiny colored hearts that gently flow along the floor. Ideal for weddings or other romantic situations.

DanceKit Ultimate and DanceKit Ultimate Auto - Two new collections that include both personal and gang-sized effects in one package. The Auto kit includes emitters that automatically rotate between 14 effects, while the not-Auto kit includes separate emitters for each of the 14 effects.


Insane Way to Increase Traffic to Your Second Life Parcel!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Somebody MUST have already thought of this, but I certainly didn't.

I was having a conversation with my parcel neighbor (and all around great person) Aspasia Arliss (pictured at my Particle Shop) and she commented that she often receives many uninvited guests. She had a theory that because her parcel is located directly in the sim's center visitors accidentally drop in.

It turns out that this is actually true! If you are in SL using the MAP function, the default coordinates upon searching for a sim name are 128,128,x. This means that anyone searching for Caso Milo in MAP and hitting the teleport button will drop right onto her property. That's why she receives many uninvited guests.

This got me thinking.

Each sim has the same special effect, unless the parcel owner of 128,128,x has set a specific landing spot. This means that the parcel located at 128,128,x in most sims will automatically get some amount of random visitors over and above other parcels within the sim. Therefore, these 128,128,x parcels should be more valuable than others - if your goal is to attract traffic.

However, I don't see these parcels priced any differently - but perhaps they should be. Darn, I wish I would have thought of this earlier! SL Business tip # 64: if buying land to set up a store, make sure it contains coordinates 128,128,x.

Why RL Businesses Fail in Second Life

Thursday, September 13, 2007 Thursday, September 13, 2007

I've had more thoughts about the Infamous WIRED article about RL businesses failing in their attempts to conquer Second Life. I first wrote about this earlier in my post rebutting the WIRED article.

First you must understand the difference between Augmentation vs. Immersion in Second Life. Basically, “Immersionists” go to Second Life to create a new reality for themselves, while “Augmentationists” go to Second Life to aid some RL activity. An example of a typical immersionist would be a club-goer or perhaps someone who builds/buys themselves a castle, unaffordable by them in RL. An augmentationist example would be someone who uses Second Life as a means to collaborate with others to support a RL charity group.

The immersionist tries to create an environment they cannot easily achieve in RL. Perhaps it is a big house, a circle of friends, kinky activities, blingy clothes, role playing or something else. Slavers, Star Trekkers and Steampunkers are all types of role playing immersionists. They are immersing themselves in their own particular fantasy world. That's why they are there.

Sometimes individuals exhibit a bit of both characteristics, but in my limited experience avatars tend to be mostly one or the other. What type am I? After some consideration, I realized I am primarily immersionist. No, I'm not into role-playing or bling – but I am into creating and running a standalone business that makes things for people to enjoy. That's something I'd like to do in RL sometime. That's my fantasy world.

There are debates whether Second Life residents can truly be classified in this way, but I believe that such a classification is useful in understanding why businesses fail in Second Life.

So what does this have to do with RL businesses? I alluded to this in my previous article but here it is in more words: I believe the simple answer is that there are more immersionists than augmentationists. Of course, augmentationists exist (and some immersionists even become augmentationists from time to time) but augmentationists seem to be fewer in number. Or at least the number of people "augmenting" seems to be lower at any given moment.

So let's see what happens:

A RL business sets up shop in SL, perhaps selling RL-analogous products, trying brand-recognition schemes like offering games of some sort. But they receive little traffic, and conclude that Second Life just doesn't work. Worse, they spent $100K's to do so, and presumably expected to gain their investment back somehow.

Meanwhile, these RL businesses are often out-trafficked by in-world businesses. My own particle shop sometimes beats major RL players on certain days. Why is this so?

It's because the in-world businesses are implicitly addressing the actual needs of the most numerous avatars: Immersionists. Immersionists need virtual artifacts to enhance their secondary reality. They typically do not need analogs of commercial RL products. They need products that fit into their secondary reality. They especially do not appreciate brand recognition schemes (er, advertising), since its presence greatly disrupts their immersion experience. Indeed, branding that interrupts an RPG experience would obviously be viewed quite negatively.

In other words, in a mostly-immersive virtual world, the RL companies often have little to offer. What should they do? I have some interesting ideas, but let's save them for another post.

Astro-Effects, and More

Monday, September 10, 2007 Monday, September 10, 2007

I've been playing with making a "Galaxy" effect, but it is turning out to be more difficult than I had imagined. I always want to make the effect look just right, but I haven't managed to get it to appear and move correctly yet. I thought I was crazy, but after a discussion with Jopsy Pendragon, I now believe I've bumped into bugs in LSL. I've got to take another approach to this particular design. Back to the drawing board!

However - while I was thinking about astronomical things, I realized I could make other Astro-Effects. And so I did. These new products are now available at Electric Pixels:

Eclipse is perhaps the most amazing Second Life particle effect ever (pictured). Just wear it and suddenly a massive total eclipse of the sun appears around you. The corona boils yellow and white flames, while you remain in the dark, black core. Like some of my other effects, you'd better be careful where and when you use this one!

Starry is a very subtle effect, in which twinkly stars slowly appear in your vicinity. They don't move and gradually fade away.

StarMaker is the installable version of Starry! Instead of wearing it, you install the emitter in your site, click to start and those subtle stars appear and fade. The effect really changes the look and feel of the area. I think this one will be very popular, since several were purchased immediately after I placed them for sale.

Snower Personal makes snowflakes land gently around you. I had thought people only wanted snow to place on their land, but several folks asked me for a personal version. Some people just can't get enough snow!

Fireworks Spray is my first attempt at fireworks. Just place the emitter in the sky and touch for five beautiful minutes of multicolored fireworks explosions. It's derived from the fireworks I provided for a benefit concert in Furumachi last month. Make sure you watch the show at night!
You'll find these items at the store marked with a "New Product" sign. Enjoy! As always, please provide any ideas or suggestions for new effects.

More from Rezzable / Greenies ?

Friday, September 7, 2007 Friday, September 07, 2007

Everybody's been to Greenies, and more recently The Cannery. Both are fabulous builds that you just want to keep going back to. I wondered who made them, and found an elusive organization known as Rezzable. I am not exactly sure what they do, other than build wonderful sims, but I really appreciate their work.

Meanwhile, my interest in exploring led me to investigate Rezzable more directly - and I discovered that Rezzable seems to own quite a complex of islands, including The Cannery and the original Greenies. Why so many islands? Perhaps other things are under construction? I just had to look.

Many of these islands are not open yet, but it is possible to peek at amazing stuff under construction. So I did. And here's the photos:

This appears to be a gigantic Philodendron... suggesting another "Land of the Giants" / Greenies area? The tree-sized plant is housed in a massive planter far below me. In the vicinity were other rather large items suggesting that a large-scale build is underway.

Why another Greenies? I can only speculate that Rezzable believes that anyone going to Greenies would likely also go to the new sim. Double the sims, double the traffic? I will definitely visit the unnamed area again once it is open.

In a completely different sim, Rezzable seems to be working on a massive ice-world. It is completely shrouded in ice and fog with walls and towers of pure ice everywhere. This area is much more complete than other areas I visited. Here we see a towering ice mountain that dominates the central portion of the sim.

I managed to get close to a very special item, reminiscent of the famous Greenie's cat - perhaps the first Woolly Mammoth in SL!

By the way, the Greenie's cat turns out to be an incredible place for impromptu dance parties. I wish someone would build a club where you can sit or dance on large structures, animal or otherwise. Alas, most clubs in our virtual world lack imagination and simply reproduce real-life analog clubs.... sigh.

This problem is, I think, another indication of the widespread lack of imagination of many builders. Second Life is virtual - things do not always have to correspond to real life! While many complain of restrictions, policies and bugs in Second Life, I still think the major barrier is our imaginations.

Another area is apparently the beginning of a massive underwater fantasy. Of course, the items are all larger than life, particulary the as-yet-untextured wooden Lobster beside the anemones and octopus. Rezzable likes them big!

These guys seem to be marshaled in an area and have yet to be placed in their final positions. Nearby there is what appears to be a sunken pirate ship and beach area.

No one but Rezzable knows what these areas will turn into, but my guess is that they will meet the incredible build standards already established at Greenie's and The Cannery. Good work, Rezzable - who ever you are.

Technorati Tags:

New Effects This Week

Saturday, September 1, 2007 Saturday, September 01, 2007

Five new products are available at Electric Pixels this week.

Sleepy! Yes, it's corny, but it can be very useful. Just wear it and a stream of lazy "Z"s drifts away from you, letting anyone nearby know that you are snoozing, or just about to! I spend a lot of hours in SL, often dramatically decreasing my RL sleep, so I can tell you I will be using this one a lot. I'm using it in this image, sleeping by my lab under a tree from DEForest Beck (thanks again, D!)

Eu sou Brasiliero! (with much help from CRISTIANE Repine) and Ich bin Deutschländer, two national poofers.

The two new national effects are accompanied by ring versions, Anel de Brasil and deutscher Ring (thanks, MythX Hax) and join the growing collection of national particle effects.

In this image I am testing the deutscher Ring effect at Electric Pixels. If you have any comments about these products, please add them here.

After looking at Linden Lab's recent usage statistics, I am thinking of building effects for France and UK next. Would anyone like to assist me?

Related Posts with Thumbnails