Thursday, July 15, 2021

Rayven Wolfmoon's Wild Wolves Club

By Bixyl Shuftan

Longtime readers may remember the Primal Passions club by Rayven Avalira. From 2014 to 2016, this castle made into a club was an adult-themed venue that had regular events and some special ones such as a band tribute that raised money for the Relay for Life under the Sunbeamers and two of Nydia Tungsten's "Twisted Christmas" events, as well as being the setting of one of her videos. Recently, she as Rayven Wolfmoon brought back the castle under a new name, the Wild Wolves Club. The venue is in the Belvedere sim.

When talking to Rayven, much of the time, it was in voice. So I could take only a few notes. She runs the place with the help of her partner, Nathaniel Wolfmoon (NathanLeonel Resident). Technically, the club had reopened on Sunday June 27, with Rayven breaking a personal DJing record of six and a half hours. But the place then was an open-air club. But friends kept saying how much they liked the castle, so she brought it back.

Rayven was saying she doesn't intend for Wild Wolves to be a seedy strip club, but she does aim for a casual atmosphere where those coming by can relax and have a fun and wild time, "plenty of rules in real life, people just need to let their hair down and relax." She does have a few hostesses and DJs lined up for events, "I already have DJs lined up ready to go. Now I just need dancers," but last I heard she was still open for a few more. And as before, the place is still open to avatars of practically any kind as long as they can fit through the front door.

Rayven showed me a couple cars to be raffled off soon, made by Fhionn, "a smokin hot job." Besides a car maker, he was also a DJ in real life and Second Life.

I was at a few parties (pictures not available as some had little clothing). For part of the time, Raven was on a stage in front of the crowd DJing for them. Other times, she was in the middle of them, her saying earlier she liked to "go out into the crowd and engage with them." The events a few furs and feral avatars mixed in with the human avatars. With a couple of the parties, wearing little to no clothing was encouraged, and the music a tad raunchy. There were plenty of pop tunes with a little metal mixed in.

But Rayven's talents are more than just DJing. She showed me a few dresses she had been making: wedding gowns. The four were distinct and different designs. She had been told by someone who saw what she could do, "you need to stop hiding what you make." So she planned to sell dresses for about 300L. Something she was working on currently was a butterfly dress with a harness in the back, so a girl could look "fun and flirty" without appearing loose. She was also working on some lace lingiere, "Rapture," which hid practically nothing.

Besides the club, the area had other places. Nearby, there was what Rayven called a market area, which stood before the castle like a village, "for content creators whom want to display their creativity." The stores were 225 Lindens a week each with room for 100 prims. Adult furniture could be sold in them, but it was against the rules for it to be used. 

Next to Belvedere was the Green Pastures sim. In contrast to the adult nature of the castle, this area was more family friendly, Rayven saying some wanted to bring their "littles" with them. One kind of breedables, Chimeras, could be used to fish. So there was Chimera fishing. There were also classes on how to better use Chimeras. There were also Battlebeast vendors. The sim also had a breedable market there, with anyone renting three weeks getting the fourth for free. There were also auctions, with those putting pets up for auction paying a small fee. Rayven and Nathaniel took me to a large skybox area over the sim. The place had been decorated a little by Damien Dusk, the owner of Obsidian Chimmeras.

There has yet to be a set schedule for the Wild Wolves Club. But the way things look, it has a promising start for those who are looking for a fun time and don't mind a little nudity. And with the club part of an area with plenty to do, and with Rayven getting into dress designing, it looks like she will continue to be active in a variety of things for some time to come.

Castle LM :

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, June 24, 2021

The RFL Sunbeamers Camp for 2021

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Relay Weekend is now history, and the 93 team camps on the 35 sims (not counting the American Cancer Society sim) have now been cleared. Among them was that of Team Sunbeamers.

The "Sunnies" as they're sometimes called have had a camp every year since the team was formed in 2013, following the folding of the Passionate Redheads: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 which won an award, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020

This year's campsite and build at RFL Celebrate marks the ninth camp. Shockwave Yareach and Cynthia Farshore were the main builders (each will say the other did more work). But some was done by team captain Rita Mariner, and Snowbuns (Skylark Lefavre) did some work on the garden area.

 With our team flag prominently showing.

What sets this year's exhibit apart is "The Prince and the Spot Game." The game in question is based on a single episode of Monty Python's "And Now For Something Completely Different," with some other elements of Monty Python worked in.

To play the game, one had to touch a giver, receive an armband, then step into the staring square of the game. There you would be told, "You are an enchanted prince, who rules beyond the Wobbles!  One day, you find a spot on your face.  Do you see the Doctor, or ignore it?"

Assuming you decide to see the doc, you move to the next part, "You'd think a Prince wouldn't have to wait for a bus.  But here we are.  Do you have a way to get to the doctor?"

The American Cancer society can be of assistance to those who can't afford a cancer checkup, but surely you as a Prince can at least get a bus. Then comes the next part, the waiting room, "You must have means of paying to pass the ravenous receptionist of ARGH!  Do you have insurance?"

Yes, the American Cancer Society can help the uninsured. But surely you as a prince have that. And the next part is the doctor, "The doctor will see you now.  And you.  And you.  And you.  Don't be put off by him licking his lips. Do you let him examine you, with or without BBQ sauce?"

Proceeding with the examination, the doctor makes a discovery, "Oh dear.  A giant black mole is a sign of cancer.  Fortunately that can be removed fairly easily.  You need surgery.  Go to the Hospital?"

Assuming you overcome your fears, you're set to get to the hospital. But there's always a complication, "What, this again???  Can't a prince grab a taxi?  Do you need help getting to the Hospital?"

Yes, the American Cancer Society can help the less fortunate get to a hospital. But surely you as a prince can afford the taxi. But then comes another problem, "The Hospital receptionist is even meaner looking than the doctors!  Do you have insurance or a way to pay for this?"

Once again, the American Cancer Society can help the less fortunate. But surely you as a prince have no trouble with the payment. But what you may have a problem with is the hospital gown, "You are given a silly gown to wear that shows off your backside.  Um, doctor, the spot is on my face?"

But, you brave it, and go through with the gown, and the operation, "You are getting sleepy.  Sleepy.  Woops!!  All done.  That was fast!"

"You return back to your princely palace again and wait for the results of the Biopsy.  We shall hope it's good news."

Panning around, I saw the place one would have gone if they made a wrong decision, "Here Lies Prince Foolish. By his word, it's just a spot. Now he lies, in a plot." 

Nearby was some information on where to get help if one has cancer.

One of Nance Clowes team bears, personalized for the Sunbeamers.

A little further away from the road was the Hope Lodge.

Inside was more information about learning about and getting support for cancer.

And this camp being Monty Python inspired, a reference to the "Dead Parrot" skit.

Behind the Hope Lodge were the Memorial Garden and other parts of the campsite less visible from the front. 

Since the first campsite, there's always been a pink fox statue in honor of the late Artistic Fimicloud, a noted Sunweaver whom died of cancer. 

"We Relay for Fimi" has been a phrase long used by the Sunbeamers, and the Passionate Redheads, the team Fimi was part of.

There were other people in the Memorial Garden, mostly celebrities most Relayers are familiar with such as Dr. Seuss and Fred Rodgers whom passed away from cancer.

This year, radio talk show personality Rush Limbaugh whom died in December from lung cancer joins the list.

So does the late CEO Ebbe Altberg of Linden Lab, whom passed less than a month ago. Although the official cause of death hasn't been given, it isn't a secret it was cancer that he died from.

 Behind the Garden, there was more to see.

 A fountain and statue.

Not far away were first responders.

And for fun, a cannon to launch people from.

To the side, there was also a barbecue grill.

Team Captain Rita Mariner taking it easy on a lounge chair, or is it?

Another feature of the camp that's appeared every year for the past few years: the prayer tower.

Mention the name of someone, and the name will float up into the air into the heavens.

The back of the camp had a small castle.

And the Monty Python references continued.

Including inside the castle.

And what's a castle without a dragon.

Every team in the Relay has it's stories, and more often than not many stories. For this one of the 2021 Sunbeamer camp, special thanks to the other members of the Sunweaver team, notably those whom helped design and build it.

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Boardgame Beach

By Bixyl Shuftan

If you're looking for a place to play board games in Second Life, Boardgame beach is one of the best places to go, if not the best place inworld. There are dozens of games there from old favorites such as En Garde, to more recent favorites such as Greedy, to classic board games like chess and checkers, to SL adaptations of 20th Century board games like Life and Monopoly, and many more. Some of the games I had never seen anywhere else in the virtual world. The games are in two separate areas a little distance away from one another. If someone doesn't quite see what they're looking for in one, they can head to the other.

I had a talk with Aries Oh, the owner of Boardgame Beach. The talk happened to be on the day there was a paintball event there in a skybox above the sim, followed by a band playing music. "We have around 100 different games," she told me with a smile, then chuckled, "I guess that makes me a game hoarder?" When asked where the idea of the place came from, she answered, "I started with Heart of Dragons, the neighboring sim. We played En Garde there, and had a lot of tournaments. And from that it went on to board games. I like the social part of nice friendly games. I guess that is why." Of the skybox, she would later mention it had only recently been set up for the paintball match.

I mentioned the variety of games, and Aries answered, "I have picked up some different games over the years. Mostly from getting suggestions from our guests. There are some great game scripters out there. (smile) I see that there is a small number of games that are most popular. But I can't help trying to show people some of the lesser known ones." I asked which were the most popular, and she replied, "I think Hand & Foot and Skippo are the most popular ones. But we have some dedicated players of RummiQub and On-A-Roll. I think my favourite is team version of Skipee. ... Skipee is a variation of Skippo. And in the team version you can use your team mates cards on the table, and also stack on their stacks, so you have more cards to play with. And it has some element of blocking, and it is easy to introduce new players."

I then asked which obscure games turned out to be hits with some regulars, or she personally found good. She thought for a moment, "I think it varies a lot over time, and with whom you play. Khet/Reflection is a good game, not many players. And one I don't remember name of, let me check. Oh - Shalosh, the card game too. Can't find the one I was looking for. It's an old Egyptian games, where you throw some sticks. It's a small game from K.R. Engineering. I can check downstairs later. And Can't Stop from Rifkin Habsburg, is great. K.R, also has a version of that. ... A push-your-luck game, he called it. He was also the maker of the SL version of En Garde." Another game of his, Frootcake, also came up, "Frootcake is of course a good game. I am using them as long as they work. Rifkin was a genius by making world and local rankings for his games. It made people addicted. He had one where you should fit tiles together ... Take It Easy. And he also had an obscure one - Danger Zone."

Aries went on, "The Egyptian sticks game was Senet. ... Oh: When I look down the list, I see Bug Dice too. I had a guest here for years, who played that almost every night. He passed away this winter, and I get a bit sad when I see that table. It was his place. Shows how you get to know people here is SL - over a nice little boardgame." She would describe the game, "The Object of Bug Dice is to get the best score on 15 dice (3 sets of 5).  You get 3 rolls to do this (the initial roll of all 15 dice and 2 additional rolls of all or some of the dice). For each set of 5 dice on the table  the allowable combinations are: BUG (five of a kind) counting 30. Full house (any three of a kind and any pair) counting 28. Large Straight (ie: 2-3-4-5-6) counting 30. Little Straight (ie: 1-2-3-4) counting 21. it's a Blue Brock game."

She also mentioned the sim has escape rooms, "You enter a room/house, and the door is shut, so you have to use objects avaiable to "solve puzzles" to find/make tools to get out. I think they are about the same in difficulty. I don't know many who have actually solved it. Less than a handful. One is a bunker, the other a cabin and the third is a library. So different backstories."

Eventually, someone else walked over to talk to Aries, Geeza Matfield. He had been out of Second Life for a while, came back, and seeing the crowd here on the map thought there was a tournament. Aries introduced me to him, "Geeza used to be one of the regular and very good En Garde players, from the earlier days. (smile) "Good place to come," Geeza told me, "Aries has been running this place for years." Of his strategy for En Garde, "it's a bit like poker and blackjack, count the cards and try to read your opponent. If you can do that, you have a chance." Aries grinned, "I think Geeza also liked to psyche out his opponents." Gezza chuckled, "I did like scaring that little bunny." Aries told me the fencer in question was orginally in a pirate roleplay, "but in the end, she was a tiny bunny." Geeza commented, "she just got scared by my costume a bit at first till she got to know me. I think she was in it more for the social than the serious competition some of us treated it like. She was usually delighted to win a game, then hang out." Another person joined the conversations, and there was talk about players in the past whom passed away, or stopped playing when they had kids or something else in real life demanded attention, "We lost a lot of players and friends over the years. Both to death, and to life." Geeza himself would say, "I wouldn't mind a little comeback but weekends are pretty much impossible these days."

Aries is a supporter of the Dragons Nightfall Relay team, and lets captain Darkstone Aeon use the sim for events. "And for the future," she told me, "I plan on having more competitions and tournaments for the boardgames. And for the future: I plan on having more competitions and tournaments for the boardgames. And I have some plans for some games that make players visit all three sims. (smile) Finding clues and solving problems."

Before I left, the band playing saw me and thanked me for coming by.

So it looks like people will continue to have fun at Boardgame Beach for some time to come.

Bixyl Shuftan