Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Calas Galadhon's Dark Moon

By Bixyl Shuftan

One place in Second Life noted for it's fine design and coming up with new things every year is the Calas region, owned by Ty Tenk and Truck Meredith. Usually Gemma Cleanslate is the Newser writer who takes care of articles there. But with their new Halloween area this year, she thought it was about time for a fresh pair of eyes. So I went ahead and headed to Erebor for "Dark Moon."

When one thinks of the moon on Halloween, it's usually the bright moon shinning over a dark and spooky forest. That wasn't the case here. Appearing in a purplish sky and shallow water on some crystal hexagons, over one were the words "The Portal." So I clicked on that. The next thing I knew, I was on some baren landscape with some circular structure ahead of me, and some figures around it. Getting closer, they were a mix of aliens and human astronauts. But looking closer, the astronauts were dead. All but one of the aliens appeared lifeless as well, except for one with a sign: "Dive in."

Going in, I found myself in a cavern with metallic space-age structures built into it, with water flowing on the ground in places. The detail, as usual for Calas, was very good. I had my headphones on, and it had detailed sounds of the water trickling nearby, and appropriate theme music such as that of the "Alien" prequel movie "Prometheus." Looking around however, there were some mixed signals about the aliens. While some were helping to point out the way for you to go, others were not so friendly to other humans.

Flares help cue you on which direction to go, You will encounter things such as light bridges, and you will encounter monsters. Unfortunately in this sci-fi adventure with horror tones, the reason they're not going after you is that they've sated themselves on various NPC humans ... or have they? At one point, you'll find yourself in an Earth library. The end of your journey? Nope, you'll still have further to go. Finding the right path may mean occasionally searching around a bit. You'll get an opportunity to float around weightless, though with some limited control. Eventually, you'll see some human kids walking your way from a flying saucer. But as they come closer, you'll see they're not exactly wanting to be friends.

The last cavern was very dark in places with few flares, so it took me a while to find the way out. Once I did, I was transported back to the purplish world. Looking around and noticing a spaceship ahead of me, I decided to walk over, wading through the water, to check it out. I saw a few creatures going just over the water. There were some stairs to the ship, and climbing on, I was greeting by the message, "Welcome to Calas Galadhon's "DARK MOON'S MOTHERSHIP... thank you and enjoy your visit." I found a schedule of some live music acts appearing here at times across the month.

I forget how long my journey took me, probably over an hour. With the monsters and blood, and inhuman cold aliens, the place isn't for everyone. But in my opinion, Ty and Truck have done a first class job in this sci-fi horror theme adventure.

Erebor (8, 51, 2)

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

More Travels In The Haunted Realms - Halloween Places Part Two

By Gemma Cleanslate

One visit you must put on your list is to the “Scare Me Silly” event in Water Haven. This is an event to raise money for the Team Diabetes in Second Life. There is a marvelous haunted house to visit if you can make your way past all the frightening creatures hanging around. I checked out  the Contagion ride and the ferris wheel. The kiosks offer many outfits, decorations and accessories for your pleasure. It is a worthy cause and a Halloween spot not to be missed. Check out all the events being held until the 31of October https://teamdiabetessl.org/2017/10/13/scare-me-silly-2017-is-now-open/  There is an evil pumpkin hunt going on there too with cute prizes. Get started here . http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Water%20Haven/141/135/22

”I'm Cordie, your dead guide for the hunt! Enclosed in this notecard is an explanation of how the hunt works and a hint notecard. There are prizes that I made and a prize from MAD Designs. I hope you enjoy the hunt as much as I did making it!” This from the notecard I grabbed at the entrance at Whymsee. The notecard makes it so easy to get going in the region. A very polite skeleton took off his hat to welcome me. 

I took a green blanket coffin guided tour of the sim and learned all that was offered. It is a great way to see and hear all about the offerings  and I recommend it !Three haunted houses wait for your visit, A spooky house ride, several gazebos and the cemetery too, There are games and rides in the town and if you want to stay, a motel. Enjoy! This is one I will revisit for sure.

Mountain Rose is delightful though spooky. It is not easy to take a picture of a ghost but I tried. Get a hud to find the 12 pumpkins in the maze, and wear your flashlight. Make sure you bring a friend to try the pumpkin bumper cars.  This is small compared to some of the other venues but deserves a visit and is fun!

There is a two tier scary place at Pal Park. One is “family friendly” and the other more of  an apocalyptic area that is truly frightening. To reach the first just walk out the door surrounded by bats and get into the playful activities. Visit the homes, camp next to the cemetery with Dracula, picnic with skeletons. I enjoyed that! Some strange creatures stay here. 

To get to the apocalyptic land, TP, but beware. This is not for squeamish people. Those who love gore and disaster are going to love it! However, you will have a chance to visit heaven and hell. Visit both then you can decide. This region took a lot of thought and work and is worth it. Skip the forbidden fruit if you want to skip hell. There is a chance to repent if you do get to hell. I think the worst is the area of decision.

Nancy Clowes has a marvelous Halloween site. I have been going there for years and it is great fun. “FUN FREE FOUR MAJOR Builds - Insane Asylum  50s Thrill Ride  ZOMBIE HUNTING  tribute Disney THE HAUNTED MANSION GCS zombies two scary haunted houses, three Carnival AMUSEMENT PARK Rides plus horror EVIL DEAD midnight mania PIRATES hunt GREEDY Oculus Halloween shops “They are all reached from the landing point. My aim was The Haunted Mansion. This house has an unnerving entry way where you see your own tombstone and awaken the spirits yourself and are a “foolish mortal” for doing so. Listen for directions once you get inside.Then sit and try to enjoy yourself (lol)! This ride will take a while so plan ahead. I would recommend a friend go along for the tour with you . The commentator gives you a lot to think about along the way.  

Seen along the way....

There have been 1900 visitors here since the first of October. Try the scary rides at the other entrance while you are there. I did the great pumpkin drop!

Get started at your own risk here. Keep your hands inside the car! http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LandOurs/120/106/601

Look for more if I can do them!! Getting pumpkined out!

Gemma Cleanslate 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Halloween Places: Part One

By Gemma Cleanslate

Halloween is always a treat in Second Life. Creators and designers go out of their way to make spooky , scary places. There is a poster around that gives five pages of haunted places to visit. It makes it easy to visit the most before the real day if that is your favorite thing to do. I picked out some to visit starting with the fifth page. I will never get to all of them in time to write about them before Halloween but you can pick the lists up at most of the places I visited. Check out the hunt hints too and watch for gifts. 

My first trip was to Deathly Halloween at Aldergrove. On arrival it looks like a lovely countryside with homes and farms. A skull with green eyes changes your opinion when it watches you move up the hill.  It is not as lovely as it seems and then name fits it well.  Dead bodies litter the place. Little islands with cottages and ghouls to visit too.  

Take care to move around and don’t miss the ghost ship! http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aldergrove/159/130/26

My next visit was over to Mieville Shelley-Magnum where there is a hunt going on in the picturesque village. You are hunting for hidden pumpkins . Before you leave the entrance room pick up a hud that will register your points for each you find. At the end you can use the points to buy gifts that are also in pumpkins that are placed around the towns . There are more pumpkins in the town than I have ever seen so it is not an easy hunt! Welcome to Foxwarts ! This is a fun walk around a cute steampunk town and you can do some shopping while you go hunting. Visiting any Mieville region is always interesting and you meet interesting people in town too.  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mieville%20Shelley/217/52/1035 

Palenia. When you land here take the tp to Hallow Haunts. This is a scary place with more pumpkins!! Enter the little witch houses set around to see .The zombie bus will give you something to think about. There are many wondrous creatures roaming this little town so watch out!  Near the cemetery there is a horse drawn coach that offers an opportunity for picture taking with several poses. Don’t miss it. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Palenia/134/152/23

Echoes warns you DO NOT ENTER but of course we will . There is a great cemetery . I saw a poor skeleton trying to get out of his grave and tried to help him.

“Help A Brother Out: Gemma please, oh please help me out of this grave, I will tell you where all my gold is hidden if you will. ... Gemma, thank you so much for helping me out of this grave, You will be rich with all my gold after I get out. ... Gemma where did you go? I need to tell you where the gold is. ... Dangit Gemma Stop hiding? I want to fullfill my part of the deal. ... Oh well, I guess they were just being a good samaritan. Thanks again Gemma! I'm outta here.”

I was not hiding I was underground taking his place in the grave so be careful at this place!!!!

I broke off from the list at that point to check out the Chedderbarrel Maze and Fair. I found lots of mazes and a haunted house full of skeletons having a wonderful time. I played a few games I have not seen in a while too and rode one of Torgon Woodget’s rollercoasters, If you like mazes this is well worth a visit! You have your choice of many different ones.  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Shedao/184/174/54 

My next trip was to Gotham Island to see what was going on there where Creations for Parkinson’s . There will be events going on all month and all proceeds to to the Michael J Fox Foundation. I was greeted by a marvelous skeleton band on the stage. I walked to the haunted house next door to check that out. Farther on up a long stone stair case is a more scary haunted house where I found very unhealthy family portraits on the walls. 

I walked through the cemetery safely this time and down to the town streets. Here you can do some shopping while you explore. Watch for candy corn as you go. It contains gifts for 10L .I saw some great Halloween decor and outfits and of course spent some money . I like the items that donate all of the proceeds.  I found some raffle boards with some really nice wares for which to take chances and auction items .A good deal of donations come to the Foundation from sales here .I really enjoyed my visit.

One of my favorite places to visit every year is Halloween Town where Laura Liberty of Townies sets up a wonderful experience for everyone. The town is set up with shops just full of decor for the holiday, and loads of costumes for adults and kids.At the bottom of the hill enter one of the best haunted houses you will ever enter , or try to leave. Follow directions and prepare for the worst. When I was there the place was full so I did not get to go through the house but I know how good it is and will go back again. Inside is based on horror movies of the past that I am sure you will recognize. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Townies/116/104/99 

I plan to visit some more  sites from the wonderful lists and some not on the lists too . I will be giving you my impression of the places during the month. 

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, October 6, 2017

More On The Sunweaver Estates Expansions And Other Changes

By Bixyl Shuftan

It's been a time of change and growth in the Sunweaver/Angel community's land. In August 1, Nydia Tungsten who owned Sunlight Bay and Cynthia Farshore who had Pacific Waters agreed to swap sims. Then several days later, there was a new sim on the map: Sunweaver Eclipse. A little more than a week later came another: SunWaterOne. These new sims meant open water to boat around in, and beach area to relax on.

But if there was a SunWaterOne, would that mean a SunWaterTwo? Finally, on September 29, it arrived, located south of Sunlight Bay and east of SunWaterOne. Rita Mariner, the Sunweaver's leader, invited me over for a look. It was a mountain rising out of the sea, with a small volcano nearby at the time.

Rita told me the sim would soon be changing, "Maybe hollow it out and put in a bunch of secret tunnels, and cool maze, with stuff for folks to explore and stuff to find, and with the height of the hill here, could have multiple levels. We have 5000 prims to play with, I am sure we can come up with some fun stuff." She also mentioned the possibility of trading the sim with Oriana Sun, who had rented SunWaterOne since I first wrote about it, "I can suggest the secret tunnel maze to her and maybe get Shocky to assist. She wants folks to visit the sim, and what better way."

Two days later on Sunday October 1, SunWaterThree would arrive, west of Sunweaver Eclipse and north of Sunny Beach. The main body of the Sunweaver/Angel sims was now ten sims large, Sunweaver Isle a little to the east and the Purrfection Estates sim far away. Rita told me these new sims will likely be the last new ones for a while.

I met briefly with Oriana at SunWaterOne, which was now hers and was different from when new and the temporary location of Nydia's "Margaritavile" hangout. She showed me around her place in the middle of the island which had been enlarged in size a little and shifted to mostly in the southeast corner with a thin part sticking out into the southwest.

There was a tunnel to a cave underneath, which she had yet to decide what to do with. The main build was some island huts built around a tall rock, linked by a wooden walkway lit by tiki torches. There were a few macaw parrots flying around. She showed me the games that were placed here and there for others to come by and enjoy.

In a visit later, I would find more things there that were either placed there later, or perhaps I was to focused on Oriana's tour to notice. In the middle was a tiny island with some lava bubbling in the middle, though still had sand and trees along the edges.

At the western tip, there was a gazebo people could sit in. Not far to the south was a stone head that reminded me of the ones at Easter Island, with some proportionally sized stone hands and feet nearby, placed as if there was a body in the sand.

At the other end of the island north of the island huts was a rusty derelict submarine beached on the shore.

The inside had been furnished to make it look like people were residing there, made into a hangout people could relax in. One time I dropped by, a couple visitors, at least one a friend of Oriana's from outside the Sunweavers, were there.

 Rita would show me SunWaterThree and it's builds before I saw the changes at the second one.

On it's first day, there was one sizable build. Rita had set up a complex of tiki huts the same kind as Oriana's, though there was no tall rock in the center.

These huts were all on stilts, with the wooden ramp going from the ground and around to successively higher ones until one reached the top. With one's viewer set to 1064 meters, which my Firestorm allowed, there was quite a view available of the surrounding land. Maybe it was me, but the macaw parrots flying around seemed more numerous than at SunWaterOne.

There was one addition to the place. There was a rope that one could climb up from the ground to one of the higher huts, or make their way back down.

Checking a couple days later, the mountain looked volcanic, with bubbling lava and smoke plumes, and a bit rockier.

Back at SunWaterOne, I saw this under the water. More Easter Island humor.

In a few days, SunWaterTwo had changed. The island was in the middle of a renovation that as of the writing of this article is still going on. The place was also Oriana's. I would later hear from her she was moving to here.

A few places looked complete, though may change as the building goes on.

Pretty and attractive (virtual) natural scenery.

Sunweaver Eclipse, which is under Shockwave Yareach, has a smaller island than the other new places. The main build is his skybox, which we won't publish any pictures without an okay.

The Lone Star flag of Texas,Shockwave's home state, flying overhead. Behind it is a tower in Sunweaver Space that I first thought was Jenni Greenfield's tower relocated, but it's a different design. Further back is Pacific Waters, now under Nydia Tungsten.

Pacific Waters is now the home of the office of White Vixen Enterprises, which has under it the Angel sims, including Purrfection which is some distance away from the Sunweaver sims, and the Happy Vixen Beach club. Further north is Nydia's manor and her theater set up in the water, described as the "float-in theater."

Nydia's guardian angel statue, standing guard.

The work on the new Sunlight Bay, under Cynthia Farshore, is close to done. Farshore Field is all laid down, with lights that shine at nightfall, and what look like tire marks on one of the runways.

The northeast corner of the sim, the port area with docks, has a store with Victorian-era clothes and other goods one can buy. There's also a 7Seas fishing spot. There were also a few trees with a swing and a couple cuddle spots.

Cynthia (picture from an event at Sunlight Bay's Goblin Cave), told me the 7Seas game would soon be joined by something called Neo, "Zorro (Wuramunga) says Neo is college compared to 7-seas." She went on to say, "Now that we have the new sims, I will have to see if I should run the rails through or the road. The railroad track is pretty much done to the sim border of Sunlight and Space."

Cynthia did say she's had to adjust her plans, "My plans got a bit changed with the new sims. That caught me by surprise." She may add some forest in places. Her train needed some repairs, but, "as soon I get that done I hope to have the train running, at least (the) short line till I get the other sims railed."

It's been an active time with sims being added and sims already here changing. And the changes aren't finished yet. Stand by for more developments.

Bixyl Shuftan