Saturday, August 24, 2013

Strawberry Singh 42 Groups Meme

Yep another Strawberry Singh meme, this one about 42 Second Life Groups

Have you reached the 42 group limit?

Yes, I have, and did soon after that limit was introduced.  Since then I've either been at or near the limit.  As I've said many times... I really could use 100 group slots...500 would be better.

Do you do a lot of group hopping to keep up with all the groups you want to stay a part of?

I have done so, at times, I try to not do it much.

What makes you want to join a group?

It varies so much. Sometimes it's wanting to support or be a part of a community, sometimes it's wanting to follow a designer's work, sometimes it's for fun.

A lot of store VIP groups have a group fee which you have to pay to join. How do you feel about paying group fees?

I consider my group slots to be valuable and finite... they should be paying ME!  That said, I don't mind a small fee, say L$250 or below.  But I would not join that group to just get a group gift and leave.

Name a few groups that you are a part of that you feel everyone should look into joining and share your reasons behind that.

Fashion Consolidated... a great way to get notices from lots of stores.

Fashion Emergency.  If you NEED something NOW, that's the place to ask where to get your NEED.  Fairly social too.

Vita's Boudoir, for the costumes and the burlesque gear and the hats.  The sisters are just so nice..and adorable.

Hair Fair Demo Group, for obvious reasons.

I hear Skin Addiction and Menstuff are good too.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

SSD Vixen mules with Slink mesh feet...and a CIA Designs summer dress.

It is still summer in my neck of the woods... summer events, summer cocktail parties, summer weddings.  They all need pretty dresses and pretty shoes.  I picked up this CIA Designs summer dress at the Love Donna Flora event, tis a perfect strapless floral "guest of the wedding" dress even if it's a bit slim hipped.  (LaDonna said that stood out to her a bit when she saw it on me.)  I had some fit/alpha  issues until I paired the Medium dress with the XXS/XS alpha which worked best for me.

But this post isn't about the dress... but shoes.   Shoes that made me buy SLINK feet so I could wear them with that dress:  The SSD Vixen Stiletto Sandals

Now personally, I would call that shoe a slide/mule rather than a sandal, but that doesn't matter because THAT is one of the quintessential summer shoes.  You can probably find similar shoes by practically any high end designer in RL because it's a classic shoe.   It's simply pretty, has a high, but not too high heel..just what you need.

The shoe in SL is designed to be worn with SLink "Medium heel" mesh feet.... at first I was a bit disappointed but I checked out the Slink feet and picked them up.  The feet themselves are reasonably priced, relatively easy to use and you can find skin appliers to match many skin brands.

The shoes are mesh, come in plenty of colors and cost L$399 each.  Now I've been spoiled by G Field on shoe prices so I wince at prices over L$350 still.  But... when you buy a single pair, you actually get 2, see that diamond on the vamp also get a version without that.  The shoes are also mod.  You just have to love the detail on these things... you can see the stitching that would be there in RL!  And the footbed looks like it should.

But the best thing is... fatpack is L$999.  No, really... the fatpack is L$999. This is when I laugh maniacally in total shoe avarice after a shoegasm This is the sort of shoe that having the fatpack in will serve you VERY well for your strappy summery shoe needs.  As I say:  "How many colors do you need?  All of them."  So don't waste your time on the singles and just get the fatpack.

And for those who want something a bit more casual or had a girlcrush on Catherine Bach of the Dukes of Hazzard back in the late 70's/early 80's, there are the new "Denim Duke" mules.  Again, fatpack em.


SSD Vixen Stiletto Sandals at Sax Shepherd Designs Mainstore

and at his Marketplace store

Slink Medium Mesh feet at: Slink

CIA Designs Summer Floral dress at: CIA Designs

Monday, August 05, 2013

A Critical Review of Minecraft

Minecraft, is the indie sensation that it seems everyone is playing.  I only jumped on the bandwagon starting last year.  In part after hearing about the Caledon Minecraft Server in ISC chat.  This is my single-player world:

I even have a blender render of my "base", this one was done via mcobj:

And another done using Chunky:

And here's a complete "map" of my world, made using the "minutor" tool.

But this is review and criticism and I'm going to say a couple of things up front:

1. I don't think Mojang should be charging what they are for what is still a Beta product.

2. I don't think nerds should have been going around encouraging non-nerds to pay the full price for a game that is intentionally designed for the hardcore nerd audience.

Now some people might be thinking:

But CC, you find Minecraft enjoyable and play on the Caledon Minecraft server now and again.

Yes, but it is enjoyable despite Minecraft's Very Serious Flaws as a game.

Let me start at the beginning of my Minecraft experience:

I spawned in, saw some trees and tried to harvest them.  I kept failing and was wondering why...then I found out you have to hold the mouse button, not tap it.  By that time it was late in game, monsters spawned and I died.

That is one of the games most serious flaws.  It tells you NOTHING.  No explanation of controls and UI, not even a simple one line saying "Try going over to some trees and holding down the mouse button near their trunks."  This is bad game design at it's other game would have discoverabiltiy issues such as this tolerated.  Not Final Fantasy, not World of Warcraft, not Skyrim, not even Second Life.

Now there's some who are thinking:

But CC, part of the fun of the Minecraft Experience is figuring things out.

Oh really?  Did you figure out how to make an enchanting table on your own?  Did you figure out how to make food on your own?  Did you figure out how to tame horses and that horse saddles are only available in stronghold chests on your own?  Did you figure out that the only way to get those special music discs was to have a skeleton shoot and kill a creeper...on your own?

No, you didn't, you used the wiki.  Everyone does.  No one "really" figures this stuff out.  Not even the people who make the wiki figure it out...they use code tools to disassemble the code to figure out what things do!  In fact, it would be almost impossible for anyone to actually figure this stuff out in-game.  Game information that should be supplied in-game isn't.  That's a serious design flaw.

Some are probably thinking right now:

But CC, isn't it nice that there's a Minecraft community that figures this stuff out?  That's one of the great things about Minecraft.

Perhaps, but it's also one of the greatest weaknesses.  The existence of the community let's Mojang, the developer, off the hook to fix the serious UI and discoverability issues.  So Mojang has never given the game the proper "polishing and finishing" it so desperately needs.

The community is a weakness in other ways.  After I died and figured out how to collect wood I did some Googling on how to do stuff in Minecraft and here's a paraphrasing of some info I found that was supposedly aimed at newbies:

You need to protect your home from mobs, you should set up traps using redstone, pressure plates and pistons to dump mobs approaching your door into lava.

Yes I really did see something like that intended as newbie advice which is freaking hil-ar-i-ous.  I STILL haven't seen redstone, and this advice giver is basically expecting new and mostly non-nerd players to do some very advanced stuff!  How many people who aren't already programmers or electrical enginneers or perhaps hardcore nerds of some kind do anything complex with Redstone.  Not many.  Redstone is a feature for the hardcore, not the rest of us.

Besides, the best way to protect one's base is with a simple cobble wall and sufficient lighting, reasonably quick and easy.

 I saw something similar recently when trying to find out how to make a passageway for a rail that monsters couldn't go through.  I was seeing all kinds of advice given involving Redstone, switches, detectors and whatnot until finally someone said:

Geez people don't make things more complex than necessary, just make a 1 wide by 2 high passage and put a glass pane or wood fence piece in the top.
That is one of the weaknesses of the community.  Too many "Stop Having Fun" guys always recommending doing things in an overly complex hardcore way.

Not only that but the game designers themselves are catering to that hardcore community with new features and added complexity.    Jeb said that himself.... and that's another issue.  Prima Donna Programmer Notch says he's easily bored so rather than actually "finishing and polishing" Minecraft he's gone off to something new.... which is also a common happening in the open-source movement.  The Visionary quits because polishing the thing an d fixing bugs isn't as exciting as adding new features so they quit and leave the project to the second stringers.

And then those second stringers start adding features because it's more "fun" than actually polishing what's already in there.

Here's other things I seriously don't like about Minecraft:

While there is an in-game map, it's an item you have to craft and requires redstone to craft.  You actually have to hold it in your hand to have it update and use it.  While realistic, that is most certainly only fun to the Hardcore and the "Stop Having Fun Guys".  Other Modern games implement proper maps into the UI.

Melon seeds, used to grow melons to make healing potions, are only obtainable in strongholds.

The new "Regional difficulty" feature is designed to get players to explore more says Mojang, by increasing mob difficulty if you stay in one area. But...exploring beyond your bases range basically means setting up NEW  full bases every so often, thus making things more time consuming than they already are and punishing new (and more casual) players.

The increased Skeleton fire rate and knockback effect was designed specifically to appease the "hardcore" who were complaining that the game was too the expense of everyone else

The recent change in how health regeneration works was done for the same reason, and punishes new players.   Thank you ever so much, "Stop Having Fun Guys".

Thanks to Regional Difficulty and changes to Zombie spawning, you can lose the first village you find to Zombie infestation... making things even harder for non-hardcore players for whom villagers are sources of harder to acquire materials.  Not only that, but even FINDING a village is extremely hard.  Do you know what I've seen recommended:  Use your seed to create a superflat creative world and then fly around and note locations of villages...then go to those locations in your regular game.   So in other words....cheat...because the game tells you nothing and gives you no hints.

The Random Number Generator can simply screw a new player by dumping him in certain zones, like Taiga.  I have seen many recommendations that say:  "If you start in Taiga, delete the world and restart. You want grassland because it will be easier to farm and get animals."

The cult of worship that has sprung around Mojang, Notch and indie games in general.  Think about it, do you refer to any programmer of any of your other games by a cute nickname.  Heck do you even know any of their names at all?  If Bethesda or Squaresoft released a game that was seriously in Alpha form and wasn't ready to play and gave no information to players...what would happen?   There would be holy hell and demanding of refunds....but Mojang and Notch are given a pass because of the "cult of indie worship"   I don't think that's right.  Indie developers should be held to the same quality standards other developers are.  If the players of FFXIV think the game should be Free-to-play until the issues are fixed...then Mojang shouldn't be charging $27 for Minecraft.

So in conclusion:

Minecraft is like Dwarf Fortress or Nethack.  If you don't know what those's not really for you no matter what your nerdy friends say.

And yes, I'm a redhead in Minecraft too.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

CC and Flat Rodvik visit his mansion

Yes it's another Strawberry Singh Meme.

So I had my Flat Rodvik, so where was I going to go on my friendly date with him.... to his own mansion!  I mean after all, can't resist a guy with his own mansion.  I wonder if I could get Rodvik to switch genders for me.

I made my Rodvik smaller and attached him to me since Governor Linden's mansion is no-build.  IIRC it used to allow build but had enough auto-return time to rez some props and take pics.

The chair near the pool has no poses in it, sigh.  That one sign behind me thanks the early content makers.  A big thank you to them from me too! 

After visiting his mansion we went to one of the most popular regions in SL that I had never been to, I figured he had never been there either.  It's name had "Bliss" in it.  (The hard part was finding a spot and angle so that nothing naughty was showing!)


Post 7th Rezday Musings

7 years in SL.  I think I figured out why I'm still in SL, and it's not just the shopping:

It's the people.  The friends, the acquaintances, the interesting people I've only talked to once.   The virtual fashion is fun, but it's MORE fun with people to talk to and hang out with or do things with.  So I want to thank all the people I've met over the years, oh so many people.  The friends I have made.  The People of Caledon, the Fashionistas, everyone. To the Friends that are gone from SL as well, you are missed.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  I wouldn't be here without you.

And a shout out to Loken (on the left) and Gabi, who organized my rezday party.  Thank you ever so much, it was fun.  You also get to see the front of my awesome foofy gown from Vitabela Dubrovna's store, Boudoir!