Tuesday, May 10, 2011

reign in your power, over all my dreams

I have no idea how much these will retail for, and essentially, they're still a headband with cat ears, but--Neurowear is claiming their new Necomimi ears respond to the user's levels of concentration (ears raise), relaxation (ears flop), and happiness (ears twitch). Might be fun, but I'd want to see more than one girl in a short promo.

It's an amusing blend of tabletop and LARPing, but it's a stupidly catchy song, too--Connor Anderson and Zac Smith's parody of Far East Moment's "Like a G6", called--appropriately enough--"Roll a D6". If you've ever played D&D or LARPed in anything, you'll want to see it at least once.

Some announcements that bespeak good and ill from the Lindens...first, Rodvik remains pretty clued in, overall, to who's in SL and who's willing to support the game, so yay for that. And some of the recent changes--including the much-despised 'Basic' mode--seem to have helped to put SL on the map again, with a 33% raise in new resident registrations, and a comparable lift in premium account generation. Go them.

But there are a few things that leapt out at me. Starting with:
The Refreshed and Fun Registration Experience
On the registration front, we’re knocking down the barriers that can sometimes prevent interested users from joining Second Life. If you haven’t checked out the Join experience lately, then you definitely should. New users start by picking an avatar in a dynamic, animated interface that immediately draws them in. We’ve also removed much of the non-essential information, that we used to require in the registration flow, to make it a quicker and more delightful on-boarding experience.
Okay, let's break this down. "Refreshed" in corporatespeak, to me, means "dumbed down for the dim set". Never a good sign when a game does that. "Fun" in corporatespeak, to me, means "dumbed down for the knuckledraggers to whom dim seems really really smart".

I grant you, I may be wrong in these interpretations.

Another passage:
When we first launched Basic mode, we started with a basic set of human avatars that helped get new Residents immersed in Second Life without having to worry about configuring their avatar to socialize and find cool things to do, in the integrated Destination Guide. But, we know that the beauty of Second Life is the diversity and richness of how we choose to represent ourselves inworld. So, we’re adding 12 animal and 12 Robots and soon we’ll have Vehicles too.
So, I don't think anyone reading this doesn't already know, or hasn't figured out, how much I loathe the Basic system. It's essentially the viewer version of crippleware, and it's crippleware deliberately designed by the company providing it, with few provisions (beyond downloading the Advanced viewer, or giving up entirely and going to a third-party viewer) for ditching the crippleware features. That seems very shoddy design to me.

I guess it's not paying them anything to turn out new residents who have all the bells and whistles, and still do nothing with them, but...it bugs me.

Another sentence I want to revisit:
So, we’re adding 12 animal and 12 Robots and soon we’ll have Vehicles too.
I sincerely hope I'm wrong in this, but...we're going to turn into cars? Y'know, instead of humanoids, fish, furs and clockwork? Seriously?

Who thought this was a good idea? (Please. PLEASE let me be wrong in this.)

Also, in unrelated perusing on the Marketplace, I found...the Tome Raider avatar! Nope. Not kidding. Also, this listing is NSFW. And...I don't think it's worth the asking price.

Of a Linden.

We move on! While I was still struggling to ditch the Inventory advisory, I discovered there was a 3D mode to the game.

(from the Minecrafting album)

I...do not recommend it.

(from the Minecrafting album)

And then, the thing that Notch had promised happened: it rained in Minecraft. I emerged from the third level of the pit and just wandered around, astounded at the look and sound of it.

(from the Minecrafting album)

Rain seen looking towards the mini-cavern to the north. Handy tip--if you ever want to know which way you're facing in Minecraft, as least from an internal game perspective: look up. Whichever way the clouds are moving--that'll be north.

(from the Minecrafting album)

Rain on the glass top of the pit build. At this point, rain was still going through glass as if it didn't exist.

(from the Minecrafting album)

Another view on the rain and the glass.

(from the Minecrafting album)

I was also somewhat taken aback that--at least in this texture pack--the rain was so much lighter in color than the rest of the water sources.


Fogwoman Gray said...

Miss Emilly, I think you are too hard on the Tome Raider creator (using the term loosely). He includes a free, realistic pussy with his horrible skins. Considering he has apparently never seen a naked female, the mind rather boggles.
But one supposes his customers may well suffer from the same lack of first hand experience. So to speak.

Emilly Orr said...

Indeed. I was, I will freely admit, unwilling to commit to the purchase to see the standards of 'realism' involved here.

Well, that, and I've seen other body parts (trust me, you don't want to know more than that) made by people who really shouldn't be making them, so I had a fair idea of what might be involved with such a claim.

samanthapoindexter said...

I'm still not sure whether Rod really meant that vehicular avatars would be added to the choices, or if the idea is that avatars starting out will also get free vehicles to ride/fly/sail around in. (It sounds more like the former, but the latter seems slightly more plausible? I dunno.)

That said, I dunno, a Sally Carrera avie might be kinda fun. :-)

Emilly Orr said...

Y'know, I hadn't thought about it that way. Or Transformers--when the first movie hit, several designers proved that transforming avatars could (if clunkily and slowly, and usually in overscripted fashion) be made. Forget the actual transforming--walking around as giant robots might be keen, too.