The ENGAGE Educational Social VR Platform Has Been Selected for the Oculus Independent Software Vendors Program

The company’s website

ENGAGE, a social VR platform for education, has been selected by Facebook to be a part of its Oculus Independent Software Vendors (ISV) program, according to a recent article published in VRFocus:

VR Education Holdings, the group best known for the Apollo 11 VR and the Titanic VR experiences also released a  proprietary virtual reality (VR) education platform at the end of 2018 called ENGAGEToday, the company has announced that the platform has been selected by Facebook for its Oculus Independent Software Vendors (ISV) programme.

Working with enterprise developers and software companies, the Oculus ISV programme looks to accelerate customer adoption of VR solutions built for Oculus enterprise products. In conjunction with Oculus for Business, during 2020 VR Education Holdings expects to make ENGAGE available to Oculus enterprise clients via a special portal, accessing its specialised training and education solutions.

When I recorded my Metaverse Newscast interview with Chris Madsen, I confirmed with him that the ENGAGE is already a profitable platform. But to be part of the Oculus ISV program means even more opportunities to partner with various companies looking for training solutions in VR! Congratulations to the company behind ENGAGE, VR Education Holdings!

(You might be wondering when that episode is going to be released. Unfortunately, my producer and main video editor, Andrew William, is currently very busy with real-life work. We do hope to release the interview sometime before the end of this year. Sorry for the delay!)

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Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The COCO Designs Ball-Jointed Doll Mesh Avatar—And Two Free Alice in Wonderland Avatars!

One of my Second Life avatars is a ball-joined doll (BJD) made many years ago by COCO Designs. It’s a fully mesh avatar that looks like a china doll! The Bavarian dirndl outfit and brown boots I bought at the original COCO Doll Store, which is long gone. I had just assumed that COCO shut down that original store due to poor sales.

The hair came from a store that has since closed down, called Bewitched Hair, and although it is an older flexiprims style, I love it because it reminds me of a doll’s yarn hair!

Well, guess what? Today I discovered by accident that COCO Designs still has a BJD doll store (at this exact SLURL)! And the best part is, everything is at a discount! You can pick up a boy doll or a girl doll body for only L$99 each! Here’s where you buy the girl doll body:

And the best part is, you can pick up a collection of nine heads to match that body, for free, as part of an extensive freebie section for BJD dolls!

So let’s take a look at what we can put together using the L$99 body and several freebies from the free gift area:

This avatar is wearing:

  • Avatar Body: BJD Doll body by COCO Designs (L$99)
  • Avatar Head: Emily (one of nine different doll heads available free from COCO Designs; comes in both open and closed-eye versions)
  • Hair: Bounce hair in candy apple red by Bewitched Hair with matching Willis bangs (this store is no longer on the grid, but you can buy several styles of rigged mesh wigs to fit this doll for only L$99 each)
  • Dress: Slip Dress in red (free from COCO Designs; it replaces the upper part of the body that came in the BJD Doll body package above )
  • Shoes: red ballet shoes (free from COCO Designs; they come with legs and feet to replace the default ones in the BJD Doll body)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: Only L$99!

If you like, you can add an ornate, animated doll key to her back—yet another free gift from the COCO BJD Doll store!

But wait, there’s more! In the freebies section, there are also two mesh avatars from Alice in Wonderland, the White Rabbit and Alice herself! Here’s what the Alice mesh avatar looks like:

There’s even a Toto attachment, where she holds the little dog in her arms! And here is the White Rabbit, who comes in two versions, in or out of costume:

So, if you are still looking for Halloween costume ideas, how about going out as a doll, or as a character from Alice in Wonderland?

Here’s the SLURL to take you directly to the COCO BJD Doll store.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Multicolour Skins for Male and Female System and Mesh Avatars!

Dressed in my zombie outfit from yesterday, I decided to explore a few monster haunts by searching on “monster” under Places, and I discovered a great place to get skin appliers for your mesh avatar body, in a wide variety of otherworldly hues, at the spawn point for a roleplay community called The Old Road. (The packages include system skins for older, classic avatars.)

Two warnings: First, this is an adult-rated sim, but if you stay in the welcome area, you should be fine. Second, The Old Road sim is dimly lit by default, so you might need to adjust the lighting setting to something a little brighter (see Tip 3 in this blogpost for instructions on how to do that in Firestorm).

Just teleport in, and turn to the right, where you will see several rows of vendor panels, by a store called NM or Nephilim, which I had never encountered before:

You must join The Old Road roleplay group to use these vendors (the group is free to join). Just click the panel and select Deliver from the blue pop-up menu. You can also pay the vendor L$1, and your Linden dollar is automatically refunded.

Please read the symbols on each vendor panel carefully before you buy, as they indicate which mesh bodies and heads each package of skin appliers will work with. For example, some of the men’s skin appliers will only work with ADAM and Slink mesh bodies (and there is no Omega applier). All of the women’s skins do seem to have Maitreya, Belleza, and Slink appliers in the package, and about half of them have Omega appliers as well. Some of both the men’s and women’s skins have appliers for Catwa heads, Akeruka heads, Signature bodies, and Altamura bodies (but, strangely, not Altamura heads). The packages include system skins, so you can also use them with Bakes on Mesh-enabled mesh heads and bodies.

Here’s a zoom-in on a few of the male and female skins, to show you the subtle colour variations, something you can’t get just by using the skin tint HUD on your mesh body. The packages also include system skins for older, non-mesh avatars.

Here’s the male Drink Me system skin, shown here on an Altamura Romeo mesh body and head, which does require a couple of additions to support Bakes on Mesh:

  • A Bakes on Mesh relay for Altamura mesh bodies (which is available for free to Altamura group members at this exact SLURL in the store; please note that this relay only works with full versions of Altamura bodies, including the Romeo body which was a Valentine’s Day group gift earlier this year)
  • You do have to buy and install the Omega system kit on the body before you can use the Altamura Bakes on Mesh relay (it’s for sale for L$99 at this exact SLURL)

The skin comes in three versions of body hairiness (waxed, limbs, and hairy) and in versions with or without eyebrows and a beard. Lots of options! I tinted the mesh fingernails and toenails blue in the Altamura Romeo HUD to match the skin, and wore a pair of blue eyes as well.

The skin maker, Nephilim, does have an in-world store at this SLURL. They appear to have the same skins as those available at The Old Road in a special dollarbie (L$1) skin vendor in their store, as shown here on the right:

The other vendors in the Nephilim store appear to be newer skins, for sale for L$500 each.

So, if you are looking for a special skin colour for your Halloween outfit, or for roleplay purposes, drop by The Old Road or the Nephilim store!