LivCloser: A Look at the Avatar Customization Features

LivCloser is now in alpha version 0.33, and for a one-person company, the product is actually surprisingly fully featured (it’s currently based on the Unity game engine, although the developer is planning to move the virtual world to the Unreal engine).

I decided to take a three-minute video (no sound) of the female avatar customization features in LivCloser, so you can get a better feel for how it looks and how it works:

The avatar actually looks pretty good. However, there are still lots of bugs (for example, you can see that the focus doesn’t shift to the foot area when choosing shoes). But it is an intriguing platform. It will be interesting to see how it develops over time!

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Sansar Atlas Hopping, Episode 34!

Colossus Rising Atlas Hopping 22 Apr 2018.png
Atlas Hopping at Colossus Rising (Picture by Mijeka Munro)

Unfortunately, I had to miss yesterday’s Atlas Hopping with Draxtor Despres and Strawberry Singh. (I am now watching Drax’s livestream, and I am enjoying it immensely! Silas Merlin made Drax a wonderful blue dragon avatar.)

The avid atlas hoppers visited the following Sansar experiences, all except the last created by Sansar Studios, the in-house design team at Linden Lab:

Jason Gholston, the head of Sansar Studios, joined the group at the Colossus Rising experience, where Drax interviewed him.

Here’s Drax’s livestream:

And here’s Strawberry’s livestream:

Second Life Fashion Portfolio: Six Gowns from Silvan Moon Designs by Bee Dumpling and Solas NaGealai

I wanted to show off all the beautiful gowns I recently bought from Silvan Moon Designs (SL StoreSL MarketplaceFlickr), both the special designs available at their booth on the Aetherea sim of the current Fantasy Faire, and at their regular store on the Emerald sim! Bee Dumpling and Solas NaGealai, the owners of Silvan Moon Designs, do such outstanding work that I wanted everybody to see them!

Here’s a couple of pictures of Vanity Fair in the wonderful Le Carnivale Baroque gown in blush I bought at Aetherea (please click on each picture to see a larger version):

And here’s Vanity Fair in the Relay for Life special I also bought at Aetherea, called the Lady of Shalot in sapphire blue:

Vanity Fair in Lady of Shalot Sapphire Gown 19 Apr 2018

Here my medieval roleplay avatar, Scarborough Fair, is wearing the lovely Lady Ariana gown in white (click each picture for a larger size):

And here is the beautiful Daphne of Mistborn gown in green, which comes with a matching vest:

Scarborough Fair Daphne of Mistborn.png

And in this picture, Scarborough is wearing the Light of Sarin gown set with matching hat, in slate blue:

Scarborough Fair The Light of Sarin Gown 21 Apr 2018

Finally, Scarborough is wearing the Windsor Palace gown in gold (this last dress is also one of the special Relay for Life designs available only at the Silvan Moon Designs store on the Aetherea sim):

Scarborough Fair Windsor Palace Gown 2 21 Apr 2018.png

I’d like to thank Solas NaGeala for so generously giving me the Linden dollars to purchase these six exquisitely made gowns. As you can see, I spent the money well!

NeosVR is Launching an Open Beta on May 4th

A little while ago I first posted about NeosVR, a new platform for social VR applications. Today a new promotional video was dropped into the Vive subReddit, it looks very interesting!

The poster, one of the developers, says:

Neos is an innovative metaverse engine designed to accelerate the development of social VR applications. It is built on top of a novel scripting engine that integrates engine logic, synchronization and asynchronous job and asset processing into a seamless whole.

This gives creators, engineers, developers or scientists the ability to focus on the behavior of their creations and what makes them unique, with automatic support for a wide variety of VR devices, online collaboration/multiplayer and cloud functionality, both for the development and the project.

As an end user you can explore a rich virtual universe full of diverse creations with your friends, colleagues or classmates and use the virtual tools and devices you find for fun, art, education or content production.

It is built on a novel powerful architecture that offers engine-like flexibility while making multiplayer and cloud features the standard. We took a great effort to make a very solid foundations to build everything else on (which is why it took so long, but we believe it was worth it).

For non-exhausive list of features, see the Steam Store page!

If you can’t wait until May 4th, then support them on Patreon and you can get immediate access to the current closed beta.

The Sansar Store Reaches a Milestone: 10,000 Items!

The Sansar Store has reached an important milestone today: the 10,000th item has just been listed for sale!

Sansar Store 10,000 items 19 Apr 2018.png

What is the 10,000th item? Snow has figured out a neat trick to make your avatar body invisible, and so he decided to put it up in the store as a free item. Snow explains:

It’s just a rigging bug that creates really big attachments. Similar to the bug that caused the bunny ears, but it works differently. I made a cube attachment that’s too big to see. Because it encloses the avatar, the body gets culled when saving in lookbook.
Here’s a short video by Snow showing an application of this technique:

 

As you can see, it has all kinds of applications!

Second Life Fantasy Faire Has Started!

FantasyFaire

Today, the 10th Annual Fantasy Faire opened in Second Life. This long-running and popular benefit for the American Cancer Society is described as follows in their press release:

Celebrating its tenth year, Fantasy Faire 2018 is the largest gathering of fantasy designers, enthusiasts, roleplayers and performers in the virtual world. From Thursday, April 19 to Sunday April 29, treat yourself to eleven days of shopping, dance and theater performances, DJ parties, auctions, questing, Literary Festival, fantasy art, events and roleplaying as thousands of Second Life residents and creators bring their own visions together to support the American Cancer Society’s vision of a world without cancer.

Avatars, clothing, furnishings, gadgets and exclusive items are available from more than 200 of Second Life’s top Fantasy Creators across ten stunning shopping sims designed by some of the visionary artists behind many of the hottest spots on the Second Life destination guide.

In addition to the ten shopping regions, there’s also five whole Fairelands dedicated to various Faire events from Memorial Garden to the Fairelands Quest, from Literary Festival to Performance Stages, from Art Galleries to the Worldling Collection. This brings the Fairelands count of 2018 into fifteen sims, just waiting for you to come and explore them.

Of course, no big Second Life event would be complete without technical glitches! I crashed out of Firestorm just about every single time I tried to cross from one Fantasy Faire sim to the next on my journey today.  I almost literally had to crawl my way through the lag to get into the Aetherea sim, home to the Silvan Moon Designs store, where I bought this beautiful Lady of Shalot gown in sapphire blue for L$350:

Lady of Shalot Gown 19 Apr 2018

Here is Vanity Fair, wearing the Lady of Shalot gown, feeling every inch a princess! The detail work on this gown, like all the work that Bee Dumpling and Solas NaGealai do for Silvan Moon Designs, is astoundingly good. (The crown Vanity is wearing is the KrisCar Queen crown from Alienbear Design.)

Vanity Fair in Lady of Shalot Sapphire Gown 19 Apr 2018

At Silvan Moon Designs I also bought myself Le Carnivale Baroque Gown set in blush for L$450, just the thing for those days when I want to roleplay as Marie Antoinette at the Versailles court!

Le Carnivale Baroque Gown Set in Blush 19 Apr 2018.jpg

From the Oubliette store on the (much less laggy) Severina sim, I got my medieval roleplayer avatar, Scarborough Fair, the lovely Snow White Maiden Gown for only L$185! (The Varda roses circlet, necklace and earrings were from Illusions, a store that has since closed in SL, so it is sadly no longer available.)

Scarborough Fair in Snow White Gown by Oubliette 19 Apr 2018

The Fantasy Faire runs from today until April 29th, so you only have eleven days to take everything in! Here’s a link to their calendar of events, so you can start making plans.

Two More Blockchain-Based Virtual Worlds: Terra Virtua and The Deep

The following comparison chart from the Virtual Universe white paper caught my eye:

Virtual Universe Key Differentiators Chart 17 Apr 2018

I had already heard of (and was very familiar with) Decentraland, Rec Room, Sansar and VRChat, but what were Terra Virtua and The Deep? So, I went and did a little investigating…

terravirtua-logo-720x405_feature

Terra Virtua bills itself, “the first fully immersive, blockchain-driven VR entertainment platform.” According to their vision statement:

Terra Virtua is a unique virtual platform, focusing entirely on immersive VR entertainment, built around a strong community and social connection.

Supported by developers, run by industry leaders and secured by blockchain, Terra Virtua is the platform for the next generation and dimension in entertainment and engagement.

Terra Virtua will have its own robust, secure blockchain based economy. Zones, in-game items, skins, upgrades and unique experiences can be bought and sold within Terra Virtua, driven by our token, the Terra Virtua TERRA (TVT). TVT owners will be a vital part of the ecosystem, kickstarting the Terra Virtua economy.

There’s the requisite slick promotional video, full of all the appropriate buzzwords:

Here’s their white paper. At first glance, the project reminds me a little bit of VIBE Hub. They’re looking at a Netflix-type subscription model.

deep-logo.png

And The Deep (whose tagline is, “Build your unique eternal crypto town”—?!??) sure sounds a heck of a lot like Decentraland. According to their white paper:

The ​Deep ​(DEEP) ​– ​is ​an ​eternal ​virtual ​world ​based ​on ​DPoS ​tokens ​to ​create ​a ​decentralized, immersive ​world ​that ​is ​part ​game ​and ​part ​social ​platform. ​An ​immutable ​world ​where ​each experience ​builds ​on ​previous ​experiences.

And there’s this little nugget from their website FAQ:

Why is The Deep eternal?

The Deep will last forever thanks to decentralization based on DPOS technology and specially designed Deep five-level protocol. We do not depend on anyone or anything else for our world. Ruled by the democratic use of consensus, The Deep can grow and change according to the will of its users.

The Deep is planning an alpha launch sometime in the summer of this year.

The blockchain-based virtual worlds marketplace is now officially overcrowded! They are multiplying like rabbits!