Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2017's Nightmare

Waiting for you in the dark.

So let's talk about how every year, Second Life's Nightmare takes me a bit out of my comfort zone. This event certainly plays with nightmares... and your deepest fears. I know last year I literally stood up from my computer and made my roommate navigate through a room because there was just this one area that triggered by trypophobia badly. Let's talk about how the Nightmare this year isn't for the faint of heart.

Halloween is a fantastic time on Second Life-- I daresay it's the best time to experience this platform in general, due to all the enthusiasm all the creators have for the holiday, and the cheer all the residents gain from experiencing the numerous areas, hunts, games, and so forth that are given to them. It's certainly the time of year with the most to do-- you could say Christmas has the most to collect, but Halloween has the most interactive stories for you to play. All of those stories, of course, are centered along either the theme of horror or a fairy-tale fantasy element to make it magical and fun.

The Nightmare takes the horror theme and runs with it. They're not here to tell you some whimsical story, they're not here for happy bubbly cartoon witches hunched over cauldrons wishing children happy holidays; they're here to scare the pants off you. Or if that fails, make you remember them. This is an area of blood and gore and no punches pulled. In fact, the starting area is nearly pitch black with giant broken doll heads who have eyes that follow you.

Get for setting up the mood, right?

So there's so trigger warnings in this post, because you should know what you're getting into before you go. I don't try to guess the phobias they're going for, but it tends to be... rather specific in nature if you relate. Darkness, monsters, spiders, dolls... whatever it is, if you want to experience the Nightmare, you better girdle your loins first!

The point of this place is mostly a hunt, though, and you're here to find a few keys and teeth this time. Keys to get you from place to place (sometimes you won't be able to progress without them, so always be on the lookout!), and 25 teeth will complete the HUD for you to unlock access to the shopping area... which has a gift from every vendor.

Every. One.

It's a lot, trust me! But keep in mind that the gifts can be in the theme of the Nightmare, so if you're disgusted by what you saw, you might not want to keep some of the gifts (like.... eyeballs... dripping out of mouths...), but otherwise there's some great stuff there that shouldn't be missed! I always recommend the Nightmare because it feels like the quintessential of what Halloween can be on Second Life-- and by that, I just mean pure Halloween spirit. No stories, no distractions, just atmosphere and a hunt that forces you to look in every corner you didn't want to look at.

So are you ready?

Do you dare?


Monday, October 9, 2017

Matsuri!


And now for something completely different!

For the month of October this year, Calliope is hosting the Matsuri, which is a beautifully done shopping event plus stamp rally hunt that's a little different than usual. How does it work, you might ask? Because it's a hunt that's.. not quite a hunt. 

Well, for one thing, in order to get any of the hunt / stamp rally items they've giving away, you've got to buy something from the event first. And not just any item-- event exclusive items from any stall will give you a no copy stamp HUD that will take you to the stores of the creators were you look for a giant red sign (seriously, it's bigger than me, they'e not trying to hide it, folks) and click on it for a stamp. 15 stamps from 15 different stores, and you come back to the Matsuri to rezz your stamp card on a weight that will tell you if you have enough stamps or not. Once you get enough stamps, you get to choose from one of the prizes they're giving away. Then your card disappears. 
So the more you buy from the event, the more prizes you can get! But you do have to go and collect stamps each time. 

Luckily enough, I was given a few birthday presents from the event that were exclusive to the Matsuri (Yesss, my birthday is coming up! But, like... next month. So this is pre-emptive!)  But less about the hunt and more about what I usually blog about, right? How beautiful and photogenic is this place, and will I be missing out on a Second Life experience if I don't make the time to come here? Is this place, a shopping district, really worth checking out if I'm not here to buy anything?

WELL. Even if you're not here for the shopping event and stamp rally, you'd definitely be missing out if you don't check this place out. It's beautifully done, with two parts to the sim-- the shopping district, and the area to collect your stamp prizes, which also happens to have numerous buildings all decorated by the creators who are selling their works here. 

Each building is impeccable and gorgeous, filled with little details that makes me really want to own everything made here. This place is adorable and beautiful at the same time, and it's really no wonder with the host of creators in this event.

To be honest, though, I came for the food!


Friday, October 6, 2017

Ironwood Hills


Okay, so I've got to apologise because it's been a really long time, and I've been to a LOT of places on Second Life in the meanwhile! In fact, the less of a week we're into October, I must have been to more than a dozen places to explore and play around. That just means I have less time to actually write about those places, which is a shame and something I should fix!

So let's get to what impressed me so much that I felt I had to come back and write something just for this.

The Ironwood Hills hunt. I got a few notices about this from a few groups I'm subscribed to, and I love hunts, and this one had a HUD with a storyline? Definitely my kind of thing. So I grabbed my SL family and we set off with the intention of enjoying a game and then getting a bunch of free stuff at the end of it.

And boy, did Ironwood deliver.

As a warning, I took a lot of pictures there, and had to narrow it down to the few that could fit in this post.

To put it gently, even if you weren't there with the promise of reward or interactive story, Ironwood Hills would be beautiful. It is detailed and it is extravagant at the same time. There are so many areas that are more than just the hunt, and if you speed through it, you're going to miss a lot! Say, for example with some tiny spoilers, at one point you're to talk to someone at the Asylum. This person is in the reception area right at the front, but the rest of the Asylum is fully furnished! There are so many rooms! There's an upstairs!

The same with just about every area you explore in town, and boy do they really make a town out there. Pubs, cafes, theatre, church, camp, cemetary, factories and such... it's all worth exploring, as there is so much care and attention to detail put into them. It's incredible.

I will also warn you: there was a lot of lag when when I went. I had to separate the storytime into two because the first time we all pretty much lagged out of the sim. There's a lot of interest in places like this, I'll tell you! An interactive story with prizes at the end? It's a goldmine if you want people coming to your sim.

The second time I went, it was much better, but still slow. I doubt you'll ever find a time when this place is empty of people, though, so go when you can before the interactive story ends!

Speaking of story, let's get on that: you're called in to look for a missing person by a certain Cyrus, who says that Alastor, the heir to the town founder, has been missing for a few days now. No one knows what happened to him, but he seemed a good sort and you're here to find him... or find out what happened to him. With the darkness and chaos in town, it really does seem like something bad's already happened to him... no one seems to blink an eye at the corpses strung in cafes or the bodies lying dead in pub bathrooms, after all.

It's very reminiscent of Silent Hill, and if anyone knows me at all, that's a strong compliment from me. I'm not sure the residents even see the true horror of their town, so used to it are they. It's like a personal purgatory of sorts.

Even more reminiscent is the direct homages they pay: the sirens drawing people to church, or even the Silent Hill theme playing in the mansion. The entire play is very atmospheric and draws you into the town like nothing else on Second Life. Even when the town is horrible and terrifying, there are parts that are somehow calm and beautiful as well. The pathway to the theatre is through a rainy forest with animals calmly grazing, and a treehouse hidden away. On the way to the carnival, there's a run down structure and lived in boat on the water.

I will admit I got lost a few times trying to figure out where things were, simply because I didn't realise Ironwood Hills was so immersive and large. If not for the lag, I would definitely go back to take more detailed pictures and maybe do a few poses. Heck, I might do that anyway in the next few days, simply because I just can't let something so beautiful slip away without photographic evidence.

I hope this place lasts for longer than October. Even without the prizes and interactive story, Ironwood Hills would be a place I would visit simply because. I'd love to see a Silent Hill roleplay here, without even needing the monsters.

I want to see more about this town, and more about the people of the town. The story HUD leaves everything ready for a sequel, but I'd love to hear more about all the other residents of Ironwood Hills. We encounter a colourful cast while exploring, and there's quite the history to this place. I feel like we've started this month's blogs with the very best already, and that might have been a mistake on my part.

Whoops?

(By the way, the prizes are definitely worth it.)

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Guardian Event


...If they had dance lessons on Second Life, you don't understand how fast I'd be all over that like white on rice! But for this image, I'm just here to showcase a few of the free gifts from The Guardian Event this month~

Free from The Guardians Event (ends April 30!):
Hair - AD - molina BLACKS
Forehead - Luas Natsumi Bindi Gift
Eyes - {DEMICORN} The Guardians April *Gift*
Nose Ring - *PROMAGIC*Una - Gift NoseRing
Earrings - Yokai - Star Earring GIFT
Choker - Contrax. - Meow Choker
Top - RAPTURE -Tee Kris- Maitreya - Taupe
Pose - ERSCH - Contemporary Dance #3

Background!
Fiasco  Woodshop Measure Sign Gift
[ zerkalo ] Spring Posters - GIFT
[V/W] Rag Hanger
NACH Starfish Wishes Canvas
{ DH } Craft Paper Basket
Day Dreamer - Watering Can
Kei's South Beach Clutter
darkendStare. Mini Baphomet Statue Gold
22769 - Jerry Can - free Gift
Mushroom 1 - Gift. BananaN
LAGOM-wheelbarrow, Guardian Gift
[Kres] Piece of my Heart - Radioactive
RAMA - #selfie_RAMA Art Showroom
Faida - Trippy Trap rug


NOT free (and not from TGE):
Skybox - Trompe Loeil - The Chatham Loft
Body - Maitreya Lara 4.1
Head - SOMEMORE / SaeBom Mesh Head
Shorts - Rasha Shorts Rustic Grey
Ring - The Celebration Ring - Women

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter


Sadly, I've had several drafts half finished for a while now, haha~ but here's a quick Easter post because it's been so long, and there are plenty of Easter hunts to do out there!

Everything featured in this image (with the exception of my actual avatar and hair) is actually free stuff that I've gathered throughout the years. A lot of it, therefore, may not be free any more, but here are some of the things might still be there this Easter!

-- 
Ears - *katat0nik* [Magic of Oz Spring Hunt FREE] 
Outfit - !gO! Ragwitch Dress [last year's group gift]
Boots - **BE** Puddles Easter
Bento Pose - SarSari Project Se7en GIFT
Lanterns - Dysfunctionality [Great CasperTech Grid Hunt]
Mr. & Mrs. Bunny Egg - Swayland [Easter Hunt Gift]

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Walking in a Winter Wonderland


Sorry about the lack of updates recently! (Although if anyone knows this blog, they'll also know that I tend to update sporadically, haha...) It's been a long winter season (and we've just started!) and I've found myself too busy lately to go on the computer (is this the 21st century or isn't it?? I spent over four days in a row without touching my computer, getting everything off my phone...), so this is still going to be a short post because I need to get back into this!

Here's hoping everyone had a happy holiday season and that 2017's going to be a great year! (Let's not... talk... other things.)

I've mostly been going to really snowy / icy areas in Second Life lately half because it really has been snowing a lot in real life for me, and half because of my unholy obsession with Yuri on Ice lately (and SL really needs some beautiful skating outfits; I'd practically kill for them), so I've been looking around a lot of areas that include ice skating.

The pictures in this post (and this isn't a fashion post, so oops?) are taken in two separate areas, one with an actual ice rink (not to mention a heck tonne of snow), and the other in a little cabin more dedicated for quiet reading and writing than anything else (because I'm always looking for more places like that).

The middle two pictures are taken at the [ arts & letters ] literary salon, which is a beautiful little place that allows voice for discussion and reading. No, it doesn't have an ice rink, but it's currently sweet and snowy there for a very peaceful atmosphere. The other area (with ice rink!), is Nouvelles Aventures, which... well, I haven't actually managed to explore this whole place yet because the ENTIRE area is super photogenic and it's very very large so that allows for a crazy amount of beautiful pictures.

I'll probably go through a few more snowy areas before the season is out (and pray that I find more beautiful skating outfits-- c'mon, guys, nothing wrong with a little rhinestone and bedazzlement!), so look forward to that! 




Saturday, October 15, 2016

Images for Halloween!


So what have I been doing the past little while? I'm usually fairly active here around October, right? I love the scary stuffs, right?

Ding, ding! That's correct! The thing is, I finally got the rare mesh head that I wanted (that's why I had excess of the same face for Iphys), and decided to finally take the plunge and splurge for a Maitreya body, which tends to be waaay more than I'm willing to spend for just about anything. I think it's actually my largest purchase in Second Life in... well, ever. So it took me a while to stop cringing, to tell the truth. But I love it! I love the sheer amount of clothing made to fit Maitreya, and I love the crazy amount of alpha hiding. Now I can actually wear more than before due to the bits and pieces of the body that I can hide.

So what else have I been doing? Well, I've got my heart set on the FabFree Photo Challenge, so I've been taking pictures for that. I'll showcase a few here, and if you want to get the outfits, then just click on the pictures-- it'll take you to the Flickr page which will have the links to get all the free items... since that's what the Challenge requires!

Most of what I've been doing is testing my own photography skills, to be honest. I have a tendency of snapping a nice picture on Second Life and then throwing open Photoshop just to either crop or resize it a little without changing anything at all. I've seen so many other people with super amazing pictures that looks like the entire thing was created from scratch on Photoshop and never understood why anyone would want to take more than thirty seconds on it.

Well, that's what I'm doing now. Taking a bit more than thirty seconds. Granted, most of it is still definitely time spent on Second Life adjusting lighting to get the images right, now I'm doing just a bit more editting to get the colours just a little bit more eye-catching.

Maybe soon I'll learn to do more than that! Who knows?