Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Playing with my mind

Not having any space in the house to do any painting until I can sort out a small studio in the freezing garage i've been using Brushes on my ipod to play with a few ideas that i'll hopefully bring together in a piece in March.

It's a pretty personal piece based on a conversation I had years ago that's been playing on my mind more and more, now's the time to get it out into a creative form that should put it to rest.

To keep myself balanced I bought myself a Trudeau JaqCat boat to take on the water, it's rare that I buy anything inworld (Prefer to make my own items) but this is something else! It's one of the few things i've experienced in SL that feels...interactive? Immersive? the feedback from having the sim wind changing and the sails moving is great. I've spent the past few days just sailing along near the mainland with no real aim, just very relaxing, good times :).

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

A bare nature

Almost every week a new sim hits the grid and everyone goes wild for the first peek but sometimes it's nice to just sit back, strip away all the work and glory in a vastly populated invisible world.......

Tempura Island

Chakryn Forest

Bentham Forest


Peeling back the layers of complexity, the multitude of prims, alphas and sculpties to a sim in it's most primitive form. Imagine being able to scrape back a painting to a canvas in an art gallery, what lies beneath and is it possible to relive the process of the artist in reverse..

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Simple homes of the near future

With the recent introduction of the Lindens home scheme there has been a fair amount of backlash from the community regarding the sim city style housing project sims and apparent cattle marketing of residents into homes. I appreciate where the lab is coming from with this, I myself was put of from becoming a premium member after the removal of the 512 land plot but at the same time wasn't the lab explaining almost a year ago that while premium membership was falling it didn't make a real difference since the majority of money was being brought in by land sales and rentals?

Which got me to thinking that perhaps by enticing residents back to premium membership and into homes they aim in the future to try and promote the growth of in world/xstreet sales? I mean if all of a sudden thousands of residents have homes and (assuming they use them) start furnishing them, they've got to get the product from somewhere?

I'm not against this move but in my head the idea of a sim full of resident homes would never be a flat down blueprint, I always imagined a number of layers variously disjointed yet never chaotic taking up the land and sky.

I've had various sketches of homes I thought would befit SL and recently knocked these up in a sandbox:

The open aired playful mansion

The idea behind this was to take a stately home and remove the elements not needed, the doors, the roof, walls etc but keep a sense of home still, the entrance, the horizontal and vertical and add the magical, the play on physics and scale. After building this someone noted it looked alot like a neko build, with scratch posts for seats etc, perhaps they have a point.

The Organic Home

This was really rough, but it comes in under 25 prims with seats and again plays with the idea of fantasy/scale/height, why not have a home as a series of flower pods that can be flown into?

The Alice in Wonderland

I liked this one the most :) it's house sized, has windows, the reminisce of doors and is open befitting an avatar that can fly. For me it's a sense of space and possibilities, if the walls are brought down how do you decorate a home like this?

I let the stairwell going to the roof/floor/top/room as I enjoy keeping part of the real alongside the unreal, it helps the brain agree to what it see's and also helps keep a sense of normality in a scene that's bizarre.

Tubes and Steel

For me aesthetically it's the weakest of the four but is again low prim and just a template to be built upon, I liked the idea of entering a home from all angles, flying up a tube from below, to a platform from above etc.

Viewing platforms for seating and building can easily be expanded upon, again try to imagine this kind of build in greater depth across a sim in vertical layers, the sea level land of the sim being used for...what?

These were pretty quick and simple builds using basic prims but i've made them available in sandboxes when I can with full perms (how do you get freebies into larger circulation?), if anyone wants a copy i'll be boxing these up and adding to a homes pack as a template to build upon, just IM me and i'll send one over :).

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Snowy Hoobinoo's not at home, welcome Snowy Hoobinoo

2009 ended...in a way I didn't expect, SL and RL disasters and emergencies all piled up in the last few weeks and pushed me the edge of a burnout, also being let down by people in/out world did not help.

So, how to make a new start to 2010? by breaking away from it all of course :) and making some drastic decisions:

Epistems is gone, really gone, the lands rented for a few more weeks and ALL my plants/tree's etc are in a freebie box for anyone to grab. It was taking up too much time trying to play at business in SL and paying rent/keeping people happy etc was really becoming tedious. The quick realisation that I could just say behind at RL work for half an hour and earn the same amount with dare I say it more pleasure, just killed it dead. Incidentally just after the announcement by the Lab to crack down on errant items on xstreet my sales were decimated.

I had been working on several contracts for people in SL/VW's with RL pay towards the end of the year and was feeling good, almost to the point of allowing myself to dream of maybe one day taking this off as a career path. Then it started to hit, constant harassment, miscommunication, non payment etc and all the other pitfalls of working freelance, again sitting back and thinking hard about what I was doing I realised that a lot of those in VW's, no matter how far up the tree or how many sims they own, don't know the first thing about business and in a RL situation I would of written these of as flakes a long time ago. Hey....a RL situation? where real money changes hands, yep, took me FAR to long to get there and so, gone, unless a decent contract or spec is drawn up beforehand i'm not interested.

My inventory, gone, 6000 items now down to under 2500, keeping my textures etc but the rest is history, backed up onto a drive but in 6 months time, if i've not needed it, gone too.

Snowy Hoobinoo, plant creator and plant avatar, gone.

Snowy hoobinoo, metamorphosis of stupidity/fun and goodwill, arrived.
Free from constraints and commitments has really helped me to enjoy SL again in the past week, I could of created an alt but deep down I know, Snowy really is a part of who I am even to the extent of the name sticking to me in RL. Changes like this to me are more akin to buying a new set of clothes, something not quite you but more a step towards what you'd like to be, same here too, changing slowly, trying to find a path/place in an emerging world.

Still exploring, Blue Mars and Caledon are a step in the right direction, i've not met many people there yet but it looks like the devs are listening . Ignore the buzz and just see it for what it is, content creation is a little fiddly but becomes routine easily enough. Not too keen on having to learn yet another tool in Google Sketchup so i'm waiting till blender support is fully integrated.
Took a look at the opening offers for stores in Caledon, great incentives and I bet there are a few queuing up to make the most of the initial rush for content once the monetary system is in place.

But good things for the future, creative fires are burning, art show booked for March which if I can pull it off should be something very different for me. Building a series of alternatives to Linden Homes and amassing a new persona for myself, hoping to get more involved in the community as a whole and to make a difference , perhaps i'll stop being such a hermit.....:)