Islandz Virtual World (the Successor to InWorldz) Has Launched: Will People Come Back?

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If you missed all the excitement, here’s a link to all my blogposts about InWorldz and their sudden shut-down, so you can get caught up.

Last week, the owner of the former InWorldz grid, Beth Reischl, flipped the switch on its successor: Islandz Virtual World. Like InWorldz before it, Islandz is based on the same Halcyon codebase which forked off from the standard OpenSim software back in 2010. (Purists insist that InWorldz/Islandz is not a “true” OpenSim grid for that reason.)

Note that this grid, like its predecessor, is not Hypergrid-enabled; it is a closed grid. This bucks the trend where the overwhelming majority of OpenSim-based virtual worlds now allow their users to freely jump to other OpenSim grids via Hypergrid. (There are two main lists of OpenSim grids: one from the OpenSimulator website and the other from Hypergrid Business).

Islandz 3 24 Nov 2018.png

To add Islandz to your Firestorm viewer, all you need to do is open up your settings (Ctrl-P), and select OpenSim from the left-hand-side menu. Then copy and paste the following into the Add New Grid field, and press the Apply key: http://login.islandzvw.com:8002/

Islandz 1 24 NOv 2018.png

If you had an old account on InWorldz, you can transfer that avatar name over to Islandz Virtual World. Just use this log in screen. Please note that your InWorldz inventory has not been carried over; you are a default system avatar, although a number of people have kindly made free clothing, hair, and body parts available at the spawn point when you arrive in-world for the first time at the Islandz Welcome Center:

Islandz 2 24 Nov 2018.png

I picked up the Ruth 2.0 mesh avatar, some hair (a layered bob hairstyle freebie by Linda Kellie), and a basic clothing applier for the Ruth mesh body, and after about half an hour I had an avatar that I was fairly satisfied with. Here is Vanity Faire (with an “e’) in Islandz Virtual World:

Inworldz 5 24 Nov 2018

It remains to be seen how much InWorldz inventory that people frantically tried to save will be able to be resurrected and returned to them. I might never get back my inventory, but then again, I didn’t have much to lose, so it would be easy for me to start all over.

But the Welcome Center was, with the exception of one AFK avatar, deserted on the Saturday afternoon when I visited. The question is: will people come back?

The even bigger question is: will the content creators come back? Some of them, upset at the handling of (and communication about) the sudden shut-down of InWorldz, have since moved to other OpenSim grids and will likely not be coming back to set up shop in Islandz Virtual World. Others may decide to come back and try again.

Many of the original InWorldz residents have also moved on, mostly to other OpenSim virtual worlds. Whether Islandz can recover any of the lost glory of InWorldz remains to be seen. But they’re back; it’s now up to Islandz Virtual World’s new and returning residents to rebuild.

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Cryptovoxels: Taking a Second Look

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Cryptovoxels Logo
Cryptovoxels Logo

I’ll admit it. I was harsh. And sarcastic.

When I first took a look at Cryptovoxels, I thought that the idea would never fly:

It’s an interesting project, and I’m sure that it’s been fun to work on. But honestly, compared to what most of the other metaverse platforms are offering, Cryptovoxels doesn’t stand a chance.

But, this week, after aggressively cross-promoting my new Discord on various other Discord servers of which I was a member, the developer, Ben Nolan, contacted me and invited me to come back and join the chat in the Cryptovoxels Discord. I was expecting to be crucified for what I had written earlier, but everybody was very friendly, and we had a great, wide-ranging discussion.

You can now visit Cryptovoxels within your WebVR-compatible web browser. Cryptovoxels also supports the Oculus Go, Gear VR, Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headsets.

One thing I noticed right way is that Cryptovoxels is no longer a monochrome-only world: you can now have colour!

Cryptovoxels 1 24 Nov 2018.png

Cryptovoxels 2 24 Nov 2018.png

Cryptovoxels 3 24 Nov 2018.png

It would appear that Cryptovoxels already has a small but very committed community of builders, people who are enjoying the creative aspects of the platform and who are working with Ben to expand it further. There are already six distinct neighbourhoods, as well as a map which allows you to teleport from location to another.

Cryptovoxels is also working on experimental portals to other social VR/virtual worlds! I visited an in-world portal that teleported me into JanusVR, for example.

Some of Cryptovoxel’s users are frustrated Decentraland investors and developers who are still waiting to receive invitations to join their closed alpha (I signed up too, and I’m still waiting.) One thing that Cryptovoxels definitely has going for it, is that it is among the very few blockchain-based virtual worlds where you can actually build something right now, publish it, and receive visitors! When this will happen in Decentraland is open to speculation.

Set-up instructions are pretty easy: it’s essentially prim-building, just like the old days in Second Life!

Building parcels is done completely in the browser, you don’t have to use your coding skills, just click to play blocks and build your parcel.

  1. Purchase a parcel from opensea
  2. Make sure you have metamask unlocked and then click sign in above
  3. Go to your parcel from the parcel list and click the refresh ↻ button
  4. Make sure the owner is your wallet address
  5. Click visit
  6. Press tab to bring up the menu, go to the blocks tab, and select a block
  7. You should now be able to click and shift click to start building

You can follow Cryptovoxels on TwitterDiscord, and Reddit, or just visit their website.

So I now take back my earlier harsh, sarcastic assessment of Cryptovoxels. It’s taken off quite nicely, and it appears to be thriving! Just goes to show you how wrong I can sometimes be. Please accept my apologies, Ben.

Cryptovoxels 4 24 Nov 2018
Nyan Cat House in Cryptovoxels

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Bento Mesh Head Black Friday Deals at LAQ and Akeruka

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“Mesh heads, mesh heads, multi-poly mesh heads…
Mesh heads, mesh heads, clean them up, some.”

(You can listen to the entire song here; it’s hilarious and absolutely perfect for this blogpost! Thanks for alerting me to this funny and clever parody, Bixyl!)

Well, if you’re in the market for some Bento mesh heads for both male and female avatars, there are a couple of Black Friday sales you should know about!

LAQ

LAQ Black Friday Sale 24 Nov 2018.png

First up is LAQ. Strawberry Singh does her usually excellent job of telling us how they are currently sold:

  • Head Price: LAQ bento heads are all L$1500 each and are available at the LAQ mainstore. The main bento HUD and the skins for the heads are both sold separately.
  • Main HUD Price: The main bento HUD is L$3000 and only needs to be purchased once for all Laq Bento heads.
  • Skin Price: The skin for each head is sold separately for L$990 for all tones.

But, only from now until Sunday, November 25th, you can buy any female LAQ Bento mesh head for only L$1,000 (a 33% saving). In addition, the main control HUD, which you only need to buy one time to use with any current or future LAQ head, is for sale for L$1,500 (a 50% discount). Note that the skins of LAQ heads are also sold separately, and these are not on sale (L$990). Also, you will need to buy LAQ body skin appliers to match your head (Maitreya, Belleza, Slink and Omega versions are available for L$300 each). So, if you were a first-time buyer, your cost for new LAQ Bento mesh head and add-ons would be L$3,790, but only until the end of this weekend. If you already own the main HUD, then your cost for a new head, head skin, and body skin is only L$2,290!

Akeruka

Akeruka Black Friday Sale 24 Nov 2018.png

Akeruka is also offering a great deal on all its Bento mesh heads. Both male and female mesh heads are 50% off during their Black Friday sale, running from now until midnight on November 25th. How it works is that you pay the vendor the full price (L$4,999), and it automatically refunds you 50%. So you can pick up a very nice Bento mesh head package, including the HUD and a choice of skin tones, plus body skin appliers, for only L$2,500!  The all-in-one-package approach is actually a better deal than the piece-by-piece approach used by LAQ.

So, if you are in the market for a new Bento mesh head and don’t want to spend L$5,000 or more (the new Genus Project Bento mesh head that everybody is raving about costs L$5,500), you should definitely come on down to Akeruka and LAQ and check out their weekend deals!

And, if you can’t afford even the Black Friday deals, there’s always free and inexpensive options for male and female mesh avatar heads. There are plenty of good options available even if you don’t have a lot of Lindens to spend!