Friday, March 14, 2014

Seraph City is Saved, Moved to New Sim

By Bixyl Shuftan

Just a few days after it was announced that the Seraph City sim was closing, it was leaked to Second Life Newser that plans were in the works to save the "Dieselpunk" place. We can now confirm Seraph City will go on, but at another sim called Symbiosis.

Nika Thought-werk (robotnika), whom goes about Steelhead in a small steampunk robot avatar, or "clank" as they usually call them, helped lead the effort to preserve the retro-future city area. In the evening of Wednesday March 12, I was invited to Club Seraph, along with several others, most I recognized from my times at Steelhead. There, I met up with Nika, in addition to several others, including Edward Pearse, the administrator of the old sim, "Come in and pull up a pew," and Baron Klaus Wulfenbach (klauswulfenbach.outlander). Nikia greeted me, staying in-character, "You must forgive me ... I do not do well with big words."

Asking them about when action began to save Seraph City, I was told talk among them had started right after the announcement of the closing was made, Baron Wulfenbach, "Nika and I were meeting about other matters and the announcement came in the middle of that. Then the event in the evening provided a convenient impromtu meeting of concerned citizens." Edward stated, "I think there were about half a dozen different groups considering things right at the start. They sort of coalesced into things as word got around."

Talk went to how some were around Seraph City since the start. Jedburgh Dagger (jedburgh30.dagger) stated, "I was the first renter. You could argue that my place was on the mockup." Baron Wulfenback added, "Fraulein Ceejay Writer was one of the first; Lady Breezy Carver and Herr Doktor Fabre had the Clarendon back then." Edward remarked, "The original founders were Pumpkin and Tesla Tripsa, and Kaylee Faulkner. I came in about 3 months after it went live. ... there's been a few faces come and go."

Gabrielle Riel told me, "Seraph City, like many sims, 'branched' off from another community. The original owners were all residents of Steampunk New Babbage. And several (all?) of us are/were New Babbage residents. So they made the transition from Steampunk to Dieselpunk." Jedburgh Dagger (jedburgh30.dagger) commented, "One thing about that have a lot of really talented and demanding builders. It is what helped give that 'feel' to the city." Annechen Löwey (annechen.lowey) gave an odd look, "De... oh, yes, 'demanding.' I thought you had said demented." Gabrielle grinned, "Well, that too."

So now that Seraph was no longer in danger, what were the plans for the place? Nika answered, "I believe we wish a slow period to think of layout ... and theme. I believe we wish a slow period to think of layout ... and theme. It will stay diesel-punk and decked-out deco ... But we wish to give people a true taste of what Seraph means and is." Annechen Löwey (annechen.lowey) thought, "There is a good bit of rebuilding to do, and with new tools." Edward seconded her motion, "Yes many of the old builds were pre-mesh and pre-64prim even." "3 years is a long time in SL in terms of building technology," Gabrielle commented. Edward added, "I've been looking at inspiration for a new City Hall. ... I want to try and rebuild the Hawksmoor apartments along something similar to its original style. The Hawksmoor was between here and the City Hall. It got accidentally returned after someone left a giant object on the street"

It was about this point that we were joined by Saffia Widdershins, "and there is our resident media mogul." Greetings were exchanged, and she joined in the conversation. Saffia told of having some buildings here, "at the moment I have three. There is the cafe - which I need to update to mesh. Then there are the offices of Harland Quinn - the detective hero of The Blackened Mirror. Those offices are currently furnished in 1960s style ... I need really to decide what to do about (them). That in part it depends on what the scripts for Series 3 will be .... "

Edward commented, "I'm hoping the Arcade can stay but that will depend on how we go forward with retail plots." He then slapped himself for using the phrase "going forward." Nika looked his way, "Mister Pearse ... its ok ... the mustache absorbed most of the blow, I think." There were a few chuckles in response.

Saffia continued, "And then I have The Daily Prim - which Jed here built, which is a great 1930s newspaper office." Jedburgh Dagger (jedburgh30.dagger) commented, "Which is due for a facelift most likely." Saffia suggested, "Well, I think we could meshify it. ... and I'd like to do more with it - make it a center for roleplay." She looked to me, "Bixyl - if some of the Newser staff would like to join in, that could be great fun." "Sounds interesting," I responded. Saffia added, "It has offices for journalists - advertising people - an office for me ....a small radio studio for news bulletins - a bull pen for staff reporters. ... Frau Lowey has an office there." Baron Wulfenbach looked at our conversation with amusement, "Sounds like he wants an office as well." "That could be arranged," Saffia answered him.  After a few chuckles, Saffia added, "We ran a murder mystery game based around there for a long time."

Before long, Saffia had to depart. Nika had to head out as well, "I am sorry - the ghost wishes to exit as well ... she had a long day.  Might I be excused, please?" We answered by wishing her good night. Before leaving, she gave one last comment, "Thank you, one and all ... for letting me be a part of this!"

The rest of us were soon going our separate ways as well. With a unique area in Second Life now in safe hands, we would sleep a little easier that night.

*Addition* - Second Life Newser was later informed that the name of the sim was changed to Seraph City once the old sim was gone.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Trade Winds

By Joshua Xaxier

Back from Davey Jones' locker, Josh was feeling keelhauled by his search for a new adventure, until he decided to weigh anchor and search for new seas to sail.

Praise Neptune! We found "the Sea Serpent mk5" and it was free. Surely, this was the perfect, "one of a kind", mode of transportation for a showman that would be hidden beneath the waves. Returning home, he thought it wise to take it for a test run in Sunweaver Bay, before heading for open waters. As luck would have it, Rita had just drained the bay, to locate property lines for the placement of the new Club Infinity, the reincarnation of Little Dove. Albert, the captain of the bay's fire department, was in a panic, because his beach was now high and dry. We assured him that work was being done and the water level would return on the next day. We opened the world map, to see if there were any nearby water sims, that might have space and allow us to rez the submarine for a test drive. About seven and a half miles West of Sunweaver Bay, there is a group of water sims, dotted with small islands. Zooming in, we noticed one of the isles was named Cartagena. Long before becoming a reporter, Sha had visited an island by that name and had made friends with a pirate there. The pirate took her for a ride on his ship and planted the seed that would, one day, lead her to sailing the Blake Sea. She had forgotten where Cartagena was located and hoped to re-discover it.

 If this was the same, lost island, it would surely make Josh's adventure a double hitter. If it was the same island, we knew that the area's administrators had set rules that would need to be followed, including only using ships from the 17th and 18th centuries, dressing in period clothing and talking like a pirate. Knowing there were no submarines back then, we hoped that, being beneath the waves, would keep us below the administration's radar.
Knowing that Sha had spent a week exploring the Blake Sea and reported finding interesting places on the sea floor, he goes to the Marketplace to see if they had any unique underwater vessels that could be purchased with his limited budget.

We selected the Sabres Edge sim to begin a zig-zag course that would take us through all 11 sims. Ultimately, we found that rezzing ships is allowed on all the sims, but within the first 300 meters of the stealth voyage, we received an IM from Amber Murfin, one of the Estate Administrators. Somehow, she knew I was an outsider and piloting a forbidden vessel. I explained that I was a reporter for the Newser and researching for an article. I said, if required, I could switch to my HMS Phoenix, an 18th century frigate, with 18 cannons, or, with her permission, stay beneath the waves for this one time to finish my research. She granted permission and provided me a notecard with rules of the estate and the web site that listed approved ships

I covered the majority of the sims, using the mk5 sub, but then had it returned to my lost and found, when I lost my connection and got knocked off SL. On returning, I TPd to each of the remaining sims, to confirm that all of them allowed rezzing objects. I enjoyed sailing the estates and will likely return using my frigate.

When going to RP sims, it is polite to follow rules regarding staying in character, based on known history. Keep in mind though, history, like all sciences, is not completely known. If only humans are allowed on these sims, that does not mean there were no furry pirates. It only means the historians didn't write about them or the readers skiped those chapters. After all, how many pirate fans know that the skull and crossbones was used on ships in the Americas, before Columbus got here or that, before they were called pirates, they were Knights of the Temple?

Josh X 

Editor's Note: It looks like officially the rules state "humans (and mers) only," but it seems this rule is seldom enforced. I had gone about the Trade Winds grounds myself as an anthro mouse in a buccaneer outfit ("I be a pie rat") without complaint. That is until Monday March 4 when the place was being filmed for "Designing Worlds" when exactly one resident IMed me saying my avatar was a problem. This could be an issue to some furs, whom would rather take their avatars, and money, somewhere else where their presence is no problem. On the plus side, Trade Winds group chat is full of lively chatter and jokes with playful banter and not an ounce of drama.