Wednesday, October 31, 2012


 Whoops, did I say something about last post for Halloween? I might have lied. But Siden is too good a place to pass up, and I was looking for something that might visually look like Haven, which is the beautiful beautiful game I'm in on DreamWidth.

 Now I haven't gone through the entire sim, which is somewhat funny because I've been here months ago and gotten the navigation HUD to explore the area. Ran away quickly enough when I fit the top level of the hospital and started getting attacked by the ghosts; ghosts everywhere!

I'm not sure if I can write a entry that would do this place justice, because this place is large and so complicated, and with so many different layers even though I mainly stuck to one level-- the city area. There's still the underground sewer system, many floors of the hospital, and I don't know how many other places.

 The detail here is pretty amazing, from foggy and rainy areas to places that are completely overrun with growth and negligence (not that you can neglect areas on Second Life; you actually have to work to make it look like that!), and little areas hidden everywhere with supplies for those who are wearing the HUD and role-playing there. Food, medicine, gas, etc, etc. It's all so complicated and all very, very impressive.

I got there just in time for a hunt event as well! Although this isn't exactly the hunt event that I'm used to, but rather one with more emphasis on hunt than most other hunts. I actually just arrived in the sim as they shouted the five minute mark before the hunt, and chatted with a few very friendly players there who were dressed and waiting for the event to start.

And what is this event? Well! As I started exploring the city, several other players ran right past me and about the streets, and being the curious bee I am, I might have panned in my camera to find out what they were doing.

Apparently this hunt is the hunt of the grid's very own Elizabeth Siden-- or at least for her head, which ran (floated?) from the players as they shot and cast spells at her. She has health and drops items as she's hurt, and the player who manages to kill her gets in-game money (not Linden dollars, but Siden HUD money).

Let that digest for a moment.

Now add in some zombies that spawn as you cross through certain streets that will attack you and you can kill, and this is practically a video game in itself. Not just Second Life. 

Now that's give some kudos to those maintaining this event, and this area in general. I got to talk a bit to Queen Sooden, who plays Elizabeth Siden for the hunt as well, who was patient enough to stay and chat for a while as well as participate in another role-play going on when a Time Lord landed in Siden and started asking around. I don't know if people understand how much work moderators do (and I'm looking at you, Blue, the super awesome moderator for Haven who somehow manages to be everywhere and run everything and still talk to everyone, do game events, and juggle all the suggestions for future stuff), but the amount of work? A lot.

After chatting a while, I decided to pick up the game HUD and give it a quick test spin, myself. So I walked around with the HUD on and was immediately attacked by a swarm of zombies, and then pumpkins just for Halloween. It was great fun taking out the zombies, though, since they're rather slow and I suppose it's for beginners to the game. They give a bit of EXP and I was on level three before they announced another game hunt. It's going on every few hours today, so if you have time... don't miss it!

Extra picture for when a Time Lord dropped in to see all the commotion.

And some extra pictures of inside that I just adored. There's a tonne more, but I think you ought to explore the sim for yourself.

Happy Halloween!

Just a quick outfit post, because busy-busy-busy~ And the next area I've got lined up fits perfectly for November. Not to fear, though, because I tend to like blogging about scary things at all times if I find them interesting enough (like how I watched Silent Hill Revelations last night and word-vomited all over my Plurk on the pros and cons of live action movie canon when opposed to actual game canon-- and I've got to mention again that I love the cameos that I won't mention because spoilers. See? Word vomit), so there's bound to be more Halloween-y style posts not meant for actual Halloween.

Glasses -- *Tenacio* Glasses (Free)
Hair -- *eha~ Eri (Free reopening gift)
Mouth - (-A-) Funtom Lollipop Orange (Past Kuroshitsuji Hunt)
Necklaces -- Pumpkin Necklace (Free) / !*Rebel -X-*! Pumpkins Juicy (Landmark expired)
Outfit -- NS:: Pumpkin Mesh_Dress (Free)
Backpack -- Halloween Bat Doll (Free)

And then there are the free earrings that I forgot to put on, oops.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ghosts of Halloween

So welcome to the Ghosts of Halloween, a grid-wide event and hunt that's... just about impossible to do. This was perhaps one of the hardest hunts I've ever done, despite it being such a short one. Reason? Well, for one, it's trying to find little ghosts in a gigantic area, and they move around. Not only that, but there are mass amount of decoy ghosts all around. Decoys? YES. A LOT OF THEM. (And hey, I figured out how to take narrower screenshots... just don't full-size my SL!)

 So despite my love of hunts, I'm not very good at them. People who know me in real life might remember one hunt (the Kuroshitsuji one last year) where I literally spent hours at one store making myself motion sick by camera panning everywhere before I finally threw in the gauntlet and gave my computer to a roommate who found the item in under five minutes after I taught him how to use the Second Life controls. And then I just made him do the rest of that hunt for me, so it was alright. He finished it in record time, too, but then refused to do ones for me after that. Said just one was enough for him. Too bad, huh? With the amount of time it takes for me to do hunts, I don't blog about them very often.

So! What's so interesting about this place? C'mon, I don't showcase hunts unless the actual place is pretty in itself, and I'll admit that the stores on the grid aren't super fancy for the most part. There are some, definitely, but what caught my attention were the ports around this area, all with ships and all ready to set sail.

(You might have noticed how there's so many ghosts about, I can't seem to take a picture without one flying right into my camera.)

I was very, very tempted to test out my windlight settings around here (who knew? I'd been taking pictures with just the natural SL day/night settings so far), but after playing around with it for a bit, I decided that it really did look best at its most natural-- set on midnight. And it really is set on midnight, seeing as it gets super bright the moment I step away from this area.I love the dark and mysterious aspect of this place, though. It's different than the blatant attempt at horror some places try for and a subtler attempt for mystery and ghosts rather than scary.

 Expect to put in some time for this hunt if you want to get all the prizes, since the first time I tried this I thought I got a good majority of items until I went back home and attempted to open things up only for a giant ghost to eat my head! And it ended up being ghosts in most of those folders, so I realized this hunt was going to be much harder than I had originally anticipated. But then I went back again and actually slowed down to appreciate the sights when I started getting frustrated, sitting down at little eateries and a pastry shop and even a beautiful sewing room. And I love sewing rooms. I probably shouldn't so much, but... it just feels like home! The dress I'm wearing clips a little bit around the neck area, but... well, what can you do?

Hunt @ Ghosts of Halloween
Cat -- :SEY Black Cat (Free Hunt item)
Hair -- Uw.St Gost Halloween Hair (Free Hunt item)
Dress -- AMERIE Halloween Dress (Free Hunt item)
Hands -- Uw.St Gost Scrunchie / :SEY Pumpkin Bag (Free Hunt items)
Socks -- Utilizator ($100 per pack)
Shoes -- S@BBiA Short Boots (Free Halloween Group Gift)
Poses -- **Ray Skin** ($1L for pack)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween items!

Alright, tiny post at the moment! Also, I finally found a link to *COCO*, so I'll go back and edit my old posts with links there as opposed to just writing out where my boots are from, haha. They have a great mesh outfit as well that I can explain how to work for the Avatar 2.0 in the next post!

One of my favourite stores in Second Life is *G Field*, and why not? They're made of super adorable; one of the only stores on SL with amazing classic Lolita dresses that's of appropriate length. And now they're getting into mesh. Now until Halloween, all of their items orange and black (and some purple) are on sale 50% off, including their mesh items! And as a Halloween gift, *G Field* has this gorgeous dress out.

Does it fit the Avatar 2.0? Oh, yes. You don't even need to make anything invisible, things fit so well. There is the tiniest bit of clipping at the collar and the underarms if you don't put things on invisible, but you can also just take care of that by turning off arms. That's another fantastic thing about this store: it just fits so well, and even their bikinis fit!

Hair -- Magika [Candy Corn] (Free Group Gift)
Necklace -- Pumpkin Necklace (Free)
Dress / Hair bow -- *G Field* Vivian Halloween (Free)
Socks -- Utilizator ($100L for pack)
Boots --S@BBiA  (Free Group Gift)

Also, as an extremely important post... even with mesh, there are so many things that the Avatar 2.0 can't wear... because there are clothing that's partial mesh or mesh that just doesn't fit. Things keep clipping. A lot of things.

Mercia's Make-up and Skin Pack help a lot, but not enough to get all mesh items. Things still clip, especially parts of the shoulders and neck area, even though it'll help you wear most dresses. But what about other things? I still have to package about 80% of the mesh items I find because the clipping is just too much. Maybe it's because I've been more partial to warmer clothing now that autumn is here.

This is where Alice's Body Alphas come in so handy, you wouldn't believe it. What does it do? It allows the Linden Labs Avatar to seep through. If you want to wear a shirt under your mesh, the Avatar 2.0 can't wear clothing layers. The Body Alpha, however, allows you to wear parts of your Avatar 2.0. And this allowed me to wear the beautiful Umi Usagi items, which are partial mesh and made me very sad for a while to realize that I wouldn't be able to wear because of that clothing layer. Well, now I can wear it!

Hat -- ::DR:: at Beginnger's Luck (free)
Dress -- Umi Usagi Halloween Promo (Lucky Board)
Accessories -- Old Hunt items and gifts!
Boots -- *G Field* Halloween Will Boots ($86L)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Resting Place

Let's do something a little different today. How many people on Second Life have played games? Role-play, table top, or maybe something MadPea? Most likely, if you've been on Second Life for a while, you've indulged in a few games of Greedy or explored somewhere with a story behind it.

Well, for those fans of horror (and I do hope there are a few out there, especially now around Halloween!), there's an amazing game out called Resting Place, a survival horror by Pulse Events. This game is only open until November 18th!

It's about sleep and dreams, and let's just say it's not for the faint of heart. They take some pretty real problems and apply it in nightmares for the viewer to walk through.  

If you're a fan of horror? Of nightmares and stories and puzzles and games? This is totally worth a small look-see... especially when there's well over 50 prizes to be won through the game as well. Wear the HUD and walk through these living nightmares, and look for syringes and first aid kits to get free content from supporting stores.

Enjoy. Really! It's not often that a game like this comes to Second Life, and it's worth every bit of attention you pay to it. Turn off the lights, turn up the sounds, and walk through every nightmare you might have dreamed or dared to imagine before. I've found that most places in Second Life try, but for the most part there's a lack of something that makes it genuine, like they don't really want to scare people. Resting Place takes away that segment and really tries to get into your head, with your HUD narrating what happens to you as you walk through each dream and listen to people scream.

I was recommended this place by a friend who knew my love of horror and my love of hunts, and despite partially coming here because I was told there was a hunt going on, I eventually got so into this game that I nearly forgot all about collecting prizes. There were some fantastic references going on, and crossing boundaries with some frightening phobias. A girl who watched her sister die, a little boy who grew up in a mortuary, a man who only wanted to see again... each story is unique and not just a retelling of classic movies (although there are definitely elements being paid homage to). Nightmares don't come from nothing, after all. There's always a very real fear behind it.

Don't forget to check out their shops and stores after playing through the game as well! It's where most of the generous gifts have come from, and there's quite the landscaping project going on there. I did mention my love of Cthulhu mythos, didn't I? And while most of the gifts you can find in the game can't be used with the Avatar 2.0, there are a few gems buried there.

Shamera is wearing:
Hair -- Magika [Candy Corn] (Free Group Gift)
Horns -- .: Somnia :. Rawr Horns {Orange and Black} (Free game gift)
Eyes -- A Netherworld's Moonshadow Eyes in Anemic (Free game gift)
Hat / Ribbons -- ::DR:: Orange Munchkin (Free)
Dress -- .: Somnia :. Argylarian Dress {Orange} (Free game gift)
Stockings / Boots -- Utilizator, re-coloured (not free)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dress for Autumn

For the person who decides to go with Avatar 2.0 completely, finding things to wear isn't always easy. There's the Utilizator store, yes, but that's a limited selection of clothes. So what else? ColdLogic is fantastic for size, but they're so beyond my price range that it makes me cringe when I look at fatpacks. (That's not to say I don't have items from ColdLogic.)

And more than that, most mesh clothing that would fit Avatar 2.0 (which is not a lot at all when you keep trying on demo after demo and everything just rezzes through just a little... clipping on the shoulders, the armpits, the thighs, the chest, the arms... it really isn't worth it trying to wear mesh like that, then. So the oldies and freebies around? Is there anything affordable out there for the autumn weather?

Of course there is! And here are three outfits just to show.

Numero uno! The Bohemian dress, just for the Boho Culture Fair going on right now in Second Life. And what says autumn like the good and solid fall colours that don't really work during any other season without good reason?

The Boho Culture Fair is only ongoing from October 15th - October 31st, so be prepared for a lot of people and possibly heavy lag. But I've yet to explore all of it, and the few seconds I went got me this beautiful dress! Definitely worth it. Almost every store there has a gift for people, so if you have a regular avatar as well... it's a good idea to go!

Hair -- Magika Hair (Group Gift)
Necklace /Bracelets -- Past gifts from KJ
Dress -- Fatal (Free gift @ Boho)
Boots -- ALB California Dream (Free @ MP)

My love for NiNight Creations shouldn't be a secret just from my few previous posts. The have gorgeous group gifts, and they actually fit the Avatar 2.0 most of the time! As such, when the Gimme Candy Now Hunt featured NiNight... well, I went straight there first! 

Tank Top /Stockings -- Utilizator (not free)
Sweater dress -- NiNight (Gimme Candy Hunt)
Jewelery -- Stars! @ Womenstuff (Group Gift 50l to join)
Boots -- old S@BBiA lucky board
 Last but not least!

A cute Halloween style sweater from Bonne Chance as part of their small Halloween Hunt. Look for the little bats, and one of them is this sweater.

That's the bat that my avatar is hugging below, since you can find that one for free quite easily! The sweater itself is $10L, though, but with how well it fits, I'd say it's cute and well worth it for Halloween!

The socks are the animated experimental stockings from Utilizator, coloured orange. I may not be great with textures and such, but it's very easy to recolour a few things, which is what I do with the tank tops to make it fit under just about anything I need it to.

All the pictures were just taken at LOVELYs Photo Studio.


On the subject of beautiful storefronts in Second Life, let's talk PARADISIS. Talk about a store that's beautiful inside and out. If you've been reading any of the freebie blogs on Second Life, you've probably heard of their generosity by now. Walk into the store and see that wall at the very front of the store? That's right: freebies. You don't even have to join their group. The entire wall is covered with freebies, each bag containing from one item to an entire (or several) outfit. And when I say each bag, I actually mean each bag as opposed to each group of bags. And they're all great stuff, even if it's not exactly to my style and nothing the Avatar 2.0 can wear (oh, mesh stuff. How hard it is to find it free and fits our sizes).

Now in the past post I talked about photography and beautiful storefronts. Paradisis? Heaven to my eyes. Not only is the inside of the shop beautiful and covered with furniture and decor, but the outside is perhaps one of the most beautiful places in Second Life... or at least it is in my opinion. Maybe it has to be since the shop is currently running a weekly pumpkin hunt, and there are pumpkins scattered not only inside the store, but also all over outside of it!

Now I tend to blog about the outside of stores, mostly because my themes tend to fit with outside beauty, so I'm going to leave the inside of the store a pleasant surprise for those who decide to venture within (and why wouldn't you?). Just the outside of the store, though, is one of the most photogenic places I've seen in Second Life. Perfect for Autumn, and I can't wait to see what the store's going to do when the weather changes towards snow and holidays. At the same time, I'd be sad to see all the beauty of falling leaves and golden pumpkins go.

Not to mention the horde of meeroos outside the shop frolicking about! Now I've had a pet on Second Life before, but it was just a little Pug named Lulu and she took quite the cost to feed and maintain each week. Now I've got a cat and a horse from my RP mom, but they're the eternal type who don't cost anything to keep... these meeroos, though? I see stats on all of them! I can't begin to imagine just how much it's taking to feed all those little cuties.

Shamera is wearing: (on the left)
Hair -- Truth Hair Kalista Streaked (not free)
Shirt -- Neo Heaven's Gate (Free) MESH
Scarf -- .:Glamorize:. ($1L)
Jeans -- Slink Bootcut Jeans (old hunt) MESH
Bracelet -- JPK Beginner's Luck (Free)
Shoes -- Utilizator (not free) MESH

And just in case people were wondering why my pictures are so wide most of the time, it's mostly because I don't exactly edit the pictures I take on Second Life, not really. Sometimes I'll crop them or clear up some small detail, but for the most part, this is actually what I see on Second Life. No enhancements!And it's even more beautiful when the everything's moving.

On shops and photography

Funny thing about Second Life is that a lot of the times you'll find some of the cutest or most thoughtful scenery just outside regular old stores as opposed to somewhere glamorous like the fantasy section of the Destination Guide.

...And then you realize that the Destination Guide also has a good amount of storefronts and the like. And just why is that? Well, it's mostly because store owners tend to not like leaving their land bare, I find. 

 Little details, lighting, and accessories make up whether someone should stop and wait for the prims to load or whether they should hurry on their way and get about their day. Is there a place to rest while browsing the store or are you just going to let your character stand around staring at nothing? Someplace interesting where you can try a few poses or outfits, perhaps? Or even in a store like *. emm { shop } & [ scribbled . hearts ] where the merchandise is skyboxes and homes, they seem to have filled just enough to make things interesting enough for people to not just come take a look at their products, but also to check out the scenery.

 What's so interesting about it, though? Oh, nothing. Just high quality textures and great attention to detail as opposed to numerous prims and whatnots. Everything here matches in its rustic look, and that's something not easy to pull off. Second Life has great places and great creativity, but there's a need for matching decor fashion sense to make everything just come together. And when you're a seller on Second Life, you probably already have that decor sense of style you want to go for. Something simple to cut down on prim count, but what can sprawl over the shop and make it interesting for people to wait, or for people to come in at all?

 While I was taking pictures around here, there were several other people standing around the shop in modeling poses... no AOs! Actual poses for me to know that they were taking pictures as well. Why outside a simple store and not outside, say, a photogenic hotspot specifically selected by the Lindens? I've been to those places, of course, and while they're pretty, it doesn't seem to fall together in the way that most small shops tend to. It's not that they try too hard, except... it really kind of is. Sometimes what you want is a homier look, and for those who like furniture shopping around the game as much as I do, they'll know that it's not easy to go for specific looks without spending a very large fortune. Great thing a lot of shops tend to make their own items, isn't it?

 Let's not forget the ambiance! Sometimes when it comes to photography, it's not the amount of pretty things you want in the background, but the simplest things-- mostly because you don't want a million items behind you to distract you from the actual picture... of you and loved ones, or perhaps of the mood you're trying to convey. Friends talking to each other or sitting around with each other... you can get that calm and serene picture if there are flashing lights everywhere behind you.

Autumn pictures, I find, are the best to take when you set the world to sunset. Then it's a bright, warm glow turning everything golden and dusk, reflecting off the red of leaves and the drying yellow grass. There's a certain calmness reflected in that light that can't really be captured for midday or midnight... when most people want pictures, because it reflects an avatar the very best.

Shamera is wearing:
Tank top -- Utilizator (not free)
Overshirt -- NiNight Creations (Group gift)
Jeans -- R.icielli Anna Mesh Jeans (Halloween Hunt)
Boots -- *COCO* (Group Gift)

One more thing! Avatar of the day... week... month... um, or just someone I thought looked extremely interesting with their Avatar 2.0! (So I've never done this before, but maybe I'll do more as more catches my attention?) Shoutouts go to Alice (aliceann.alter) for her gorgeously simple hetero-chromatic avatar. Isn't she pretty? I'll be doing a post all about Alice in a little while since I happened to run into her yesterday and I just had to tell her how impressed I was with her sense of fashion. Dual coloured anything is something I appreciate a lot, mostly because it's nothing something you can just decide to recolour, but actually have to pull out the textures for most of the time... or at least, that's how it is to me. It could be different for people who are very good at this kind of thing, though!

Still, shout-outs go to Alice for being super nice and patient and allowing her picture to be taken and put up on this blog~

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


As beautiful as Autumn is... the turning of the leaves, the morning dew bringing that chill of oncoming winter... let's not forget one of the greatest marks for Autumn: Halloween!

And what better to celebrate than with Arkhamville, open only this month with its beautiful scenery and spooktacular sights? (...Yeah, I can't believe I wrote that. Carry on!) Any Lovecraftian fan would be well impressed with the time and effort that must have gone into this sim, from it's small town with people and children, hotels and prisons, to the grand mansion up the hill with the ghosts and cemetary just yonder.

No, really, it's super impressive. You don't realize just how much effort is put into it until you pan out... or until you need to search for something on the sim. While I may be biased because I am a devout Lovecraftian fan (why Arkham? Why not Innsmouth?), this place is a great little find on the Second Life grid. I mean, just look at it... mansion or Arkham Asylum? You decide!

Now this place can be a little prim heavy, but I've found that it's not too bad considering there aren't too many people there at a time unlike in other Halloween grids. Not to mention, once more, this place is only going to be open until the 31st of October, so it's always worth a look knowing that it's fleeting!

For something so notorious for horror, this place can be quite beautiful from the right angle. Let's forget about the spooky ghosts and the mansion/asylum at the fringe of the mountains overseeing this entire place, and take a look at the town itself and the areas surrounding it. Colourful trees and fallen leaves cover just about everything in this town, and there are waterfalls and windmills hard at work while pubs and schools carry on with their day to day livelihoods. There are children out playing and houses dot the sim all peaceful and serene as any old town should be. Gorgeous, isn't it? How calming. Except, you need to take a little closer look at things and I love how this sim combines both the beautiful and serene with little dots of horror.

A dead body over a hopscotch chalk drawing in the children's playground. Skeletons peaking from behind buildings or perhaps even just minding their own business sitting around as it they had been there and died there the entire time and no one had noticed. Spiderwebs covering areas that few people explore, and secret passageways into underground caverns and rooms under manors.

How cool is all of that? For those who love exploring, this is definitely the place to be. Find those little nooks and crannies in this sim and maybe you'll go the way of most Arkham residents... insane.

(Look at that, even the Weeping Angels want out of this place! ...Okay, maybe they're not actually Weeping Angels, but it's close to Halloween and I can pretend.)

Last but not least, let's leave you with some goodies! Having a hard time finding a costume for your Avatar 2.0?

School uniform -- Edelweiss (Group Lucky Board) MESH
Chainsaw w/ AO and sound -- Free gift at Falsmouth Hotel
Eyes -- Poetic Colors in Pond (Group Gift)

Happy hunting~