“Unmindful” The Movie by Natascha Randt & Karima Hoisan

I will take a LITTLE credit for parts of this, mostly my expertise at not having any particular goal in mind :), and a nice “make a ball look like it’s rolling without risking actual physics” script that I did. It’s a great movie, and a great sim; experience both!

Digital Rabbit Hole

On July 16th, I posted here in my blog, about a new world that Dale Innis and I were beginning to build on Kitely – Virtual Worlds on Demand, called, “Unmindful” See post:
As I said in the post, it was an experiment, to prove or disprove something I had come to believe: “You don’t need an idea to create…ideas come…all you need to do is start.”

So we started off  with no ideas about what the world would be, just making sort of odd stone structures, with off-sim wind turbines, and a parade of wild animals standing on rugs moving in a figure-eight. That was our first part of the build, but then unmindful to how the focus even began changing, we shifted in a very different direction. I had the concept, but I promise you, if it weren’t for Dale, we would never have pulled this off. (Have…

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A poem, and a painting, come alive

It’s been my pleasure and privilege to be part of another of Karima Hoisan’s amazing Kitely sims, based this time on one of her lovely poems.  (See previously The Hudson Line, based on the Hudson line, and In Your Head, based on your head (well…).)

The poem is here, and the artist’s own posting on the sim is here; I urge you to follow both those links, and then experience the Kitely sim for yourself, if you do the Kitely thing at all. (And if you don’t, maybe you should; it turns out you’re still allowed to use SL, too! /grin ).

And in the meantime, here are a couple (more) pictures, as further incentive:

amb_003

lighthouse1_001

Doing the scripting for this sim was great fun, and I hope there is at least one thing that makes you scratch your head and think “How did they do that?”.  Most likely it is the result of Ms. Hoisan and I racking our brains for a few days trying to figure out how to get a particular effect, and then when it seemed impossible her saying “I don’t suppose we could…?” and me smacking my forehead.  :)

How old are Dales and some gnomes?

So yeah, How Old dot Net is all the rage, and I’m sure I’m not the first person to point it at various digital-realm avatars, but here we go!

Girl Dale and Boy Dale both seem to be mid-20’s, which is plausible:

Boy Dale looks 26?

Girl Dale looks 27?

Even drowed-up for Fantasy Faire (see Michele H’s very nice coverage although given how late I always am it is probably over by when you read this):

Drow Girl Dale, too

On the other hand Spennix is, well…

Spennix, on the other hand...

as is her alternate-realm self, the Arcane Mage Tashalorum (now level 100 also with her own Castle; I think we may have seen her here or on Flickr before, at like level 12; leveling is sooo easy these days):

Tashalorum, too...

The human PNC architect there is handled more plausibly, so probably we just need a different version of How Old dot Net for each of the races of Azeroth. (But what of the half-gnomes??)

Amusingly, the male version of Tashalorum (two words: Transmorphic Tincture) is apparently an even harder problem:

Male Tashalorum ; no face??

Maybe facial hair isn’t supposed to be pink?

That’s all for now. :) All various things have been occurring as always, but I have been lazy and not weblogging them or anything. Which means they didn’t really happen yet at all!!

Speaking of vanity…

Meanwhile, over in WoW, I’ve been playing various of my 90s through the brief pre-expansion quests to get the level 515 item and whatever achievement or title or thingie one gets (oh, right, it’s the “of the Iron Vanguard” title, and you really only need to get it once with one character and then they can all use it), and then doing other random things.

I played Spennix just a tiny bit, then my shadow priest for awhile (wicked DPS), and various others, then settled on Spennatrix the healer for some time, including trying to complete all of the Pandaren raids (at mere Looking For Raid difficulty) before the expansion comes out and makes all the existing content easy. (Still have just one to go! The wait-time for raid healers is always really short, I am just lazy.)

Y’all will doubtless remember Spennatrix’s simple white outfit from the other month (okay, the other year). As she went up to 90 and did Timeless Isle quests and got that gear, I didn’t re-transmog every upgrade she got, so eventually she was looking a bit more baroque again:

Spennatrix Ornate

although not awful; the Pandaren gear is much less bizarre-looking than the stuff that inspired her to do a set of transmogs in the first place.

But so anyway, I was in the white transmog again, standing around with a raid group buffing up to take down the Council of Elders in Last Stand of the Zandalari, when I notice this other Night Elf Priestess, and she’s wearing like omg TOTALLY the same transmog!!!

Mooncloth Robes

That’s me on the left.

Of course it’s not really exactly the same transmog, mostly it’s that we both have Mooncloth Robes, and generally non-ornate other gear. She’s got this High Councillor’s Circlet for a nice blue gem matching the blue hair, whereas I have hair matching the robes, and an unmodified Amaranthine Cowl of the Impatient on top (not really a cowl despite the name, more a little top extension with a hairpin) because it looks good, and matches the (also unmodified) belt.

Neither of us quite have the shoulders right, I’d say; I have the White Woolen shoulders or whatever that is, and they’re simple but kind of a weird shape, and actually too white for the white outfit. On the other hand her I think Shadow Council Mantle is a little too ornate for the overall look (although they do go nicely with the gloves). I’ve switched back to the Silver-Threaded Amice look for the shoulders since, and I think I prefer it.

I was thinking about some evil-looking dark transmog for the Shadow Priest, but then I realized that since she spends 99% of her time in Shadowform, no one would hardly ever see it.

And if no one sees it, what’s the point, eh? :)

Gotta ride it like you find it

(That’s actually about the Rock Island Line, and this is about a different line, but it seems apposite.)

Train crossing a bridge

That picture is from Karima Hoisan’s new Kitely sim “The Hudson Line”, which she has just announced over in her (much more frequently updated) weblog.

It’s a wild dreamlike re-interpretation of the RL commuter rail line of the same name; in one of those great SL synergies it started in casual conversations about the differences between various people’s living and working environments, and grew into this lovely impressionistic world. I helped with my usual small scripting contributions, and this time even some of the building!

It was wonderful fun to watch it emerging out of nothing (what an age we live in), and while you don’t get to have that fun, you can visit the announcement, and the sim itself (Kitely account or something required I guess?), and ride the train, and watch the movies, and find out what’s down there in the tunnel at the end (and it’s not Grand Central Station, muhahaha).

(Scripting note: llSetKeyframedMotion works very nicely in Kitely these days, and therefore I assume probably also in OpenSim; I do advise not entirely trusting that the moved object will arrive exactly where you expect it to, especially the first time after a sim reset, and setting at least a backup timer as well as the usual at_target() event. But it’s running the trains and cars and trucks and tugboats in the Hudson Line sim just fine!)

Meanwhile in Minecraft…

(Shout outs to the Burro who tends to use similar titles.)

Minecraft, and in particular Minecraft Portable Edition in single-player mode, which is what I do, is much lower-overhead than SL. Tiny computer that I always have with me, no noisy fans or tangly power cords to deal with, no other persons to worry about rudely ignoring or suddenly logging out on, usw.

Of course there’s also orders of magnitude less stuff to do, and no interesting people to interact with whilst doing it. :) But there we are. It fits nicely into the tiny slivers of time that I seem to have lately (in contrast to the richer but rarer larger chunks of time which favor SL).

Attentive readers who have read even postings that I may never have gotten around to writing may recall the problem we’ve always had in MCPE with animals going aquatic.

Aquatic Animals

That’s an old picture of some sheep and cows swimming about in one of the seas, where they are hard to shear or milk, and look silly. (I suspect a bug or roundoff error or something in the animal-wandering code in MCPE, that causes them to tend to stay near the edges of the map, which is where my seas are.)

The other day I got tired of this, as well as tired of mining way down deep in the mines for awhile, and built some fences and stuff. And viola!

Farm Pen

That is the brand new Animal Enclosure (or whatever the agrarian name is) out at The Farm, featuring a number of captured sheeps and cows and chickens. And the Enclosure out at Lonely Lake:

Lake Pen

which so far has just sheeps.

It is now Much Easier to collect eggs and milk and wool and whatnot (no more swimming or skindiving involved).

Known renegade animals include one Piggy seen deep in the interior the other day, and one last swimming sheep ‘way ‘way off at the edge of the map:

One Swimmer Left

They will be assimilated! Maybe eventually!

(Also, MCPE players who haven’t yet should try hitting a grassy ground square with Bone Meal. Woot! I did this by accident, and was delighted. Also, hitting the leaves of a tree with the Sheep Shears is good.)

Now in fact being able to more easily get Milk and Eggs and Wool isn’t necessarily a Good Thing, since I already have lots of stuff of all sorts, and not necessarily enough places to keep it. Sort of like SL! And RL for that matter!

Most of my Chests are scattered here and there around the world, and full of unsorted and unlabeled Stuff (mostly Cobblestone). Here is the rather cluttered storage area of the Main Desert Base, for instance:

Messy Boxes

(At least we have double-size chests now!)

Finding anything in them is hard, as is trying to move stuff between them in order to give some semblance of organization so as to make it easier.

Walking down some long bare-walled hallway the other day, I for some reason pictured to myself an amusing scene in which the hallway was lined with little Shopping Mall style stores, with windows and doors and display cases and signs and stuff. (H&M Lonely Lake; big sale today only!)

I started fiddling around and actually building one last night just for grins, and once I’d done that and stepped back from it I was suddenly (thunder) struck with the realization that this could actually be Incredibly Useful for organizing things!

So here is what that first store looks like now:

Paper and so on

and you can guess what is in the chest inside. :) The little Nether Reactor Core to the left is just for decoration.

And having done that and been Extremely Pleased, I started making and filling more spaces in that long hallway (between the Desert Mine and Lonely Lake, the long way not the shortcut) with other marked chests, f’rinstance:

String and Bones

and now the upstairs chests are no longer all cluttered with string and bones (and I’ve reserved a big area down there for chests full of Cobblestones), and I can eventually get rid of some of the chests up there so as to have more space for Palatial Thronerooms or whathaveyou.

Woot! :)

Almost inspires me to start boxing up stuff in SL, rather than carrying all eighty-five thousand (literally) things in inventory all the time.

But only almost…

Three Poems

My RL self did National Poetry Writing Month in April; 30 poems in 30 days. I thought I’d post three (at least) of them here, because they have some Virtual World content.

This first one, from the 29th, is notable for having inspired a machinima as noted the other day.

Dactyls are Dharma, too

Here in the midst of the ten thousand thingummies
Hearing the voices of ten million throats,
Feeling compassion for those who have aching knees,
Those who build bridges and those who dig moats.

Sitting in zazen and counting the in-and-out
One and a one and a one and a one,
Mind somehow caught in this insistent rhythm, I
Tick like a clock sitting here in the sun.

Dharma is silent but Dharma is noises and
Dharma is stillness but Dharma is speed,
Why should I think that the circling second-hand
Isn’t precisely the sound that we need?

One commenter (commentor? commentator?) somewhere said they’d learned two new words from it; I’m guessing “dactyl” and “dharma”; both good words to know.

The second one, from the 9th, is very relevant to lil Spennix:

A long way from Kharanos

Well it’s a damn’ long way from Kharanos
To th’ Gate o’ th’ Settin’ Sun,
But the beer is good an’ the beds are soft
When th’ daily slaughter’s done.

I left a dagger in Thermaplugg,
All those long hard years ago,
Took a bit of his gear as a souvenir,
Of Gnomeregan below.

But that crazy old coot was nothin’,
‘gainst the things that they’ve got ‘ere,
Bugs an’ Mogu an’ lizard men,
And hungry ghosts o’ fear.

Someday I’ll go back t’ ol’ Col’ridge,
An’ sit on the porch with ‘em all,
But ’til then I’m out here in the Vale,
Killin’ bugs up on the wall.

Well it’s a damn’ long way from Kharanos
To th’ Gate o’ th’ Settin’ Sun,
But the beer is good and the beds are soft
When th’ daily slaughter’s done.

… and here is an Action Shot of “Killin’ bugs up on the wall”:

Fightin' bugs up on the Wall

(Click through to the shockingly-redesigned flickr for the same picture larger, and in a confusing interface.)

And to close, this one from the 17th. Note that it’s not actually about Second Life, since that has real people in it, not just simulated ones. But still…

Walking Cross-Country

He says he’s writing a computer program
to simulate
walking cross-country
in an unknown place.

Where you might follow a brook upstream
and be surprised by
a forest lake
sparkling in the sun,

And follow a path around it
to a ramshackle house
at the end of a dirt road
where a woman with dark hair and soft eyes
opens the door
and smiles a welcome.

And I say that that sounds cool,
and I also say,
that the real world has surprises like that, too,
and even soft-eyed women,
and he should maybe go for real walks sometimes.

He turns to me,
like he’s about to say something,
but then he just shakes his head
and goes back to the keyboard.