Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MiC and Vogue update

This is a post just to update some things from a month or so ago.  The machinima above was created by Mexi Lane for the Museum in Contempori (MiC)  of my work called Family Unit.  She did a wonderful job to record it which is great because I didn't get much footage of the build for myself.  The build was quite successful with over 10, 000 visitors to MiC.  I am sure they didn't all come to see my build but lets pretend they did.  Thank you Mexi for inviting me to show and it was fun to know it was being shown in Rome at the same time.

The other update is for the Vogue magazine article.  I still think it is pretty interesting that Bryn, a digital characters, was written about in a magazine for humans.  There was no mention nor inquiry into who is behind Bryn Oh and that acceptance goes in the opposite direction to where other social media demand a connection to ones real life.  Facebook for example no doubt demands our personal information because companies will not purchase info that will not lead them to a bank account.  What they don't seem to understand yet, is that anonymous accounts still  have bank accounts but they often are just used as barriers or filters to prevent intrusion into our real life.
   I have an email I use just for filling out forms online that may end up filling my email with spam.  So if I buy a new monitor from Samsung for example, they will require i fill out a registration to get help if I need it in the future.  I will give them my info but for my name I will put Bryn Samsung or Bryn Monitor.  Then if I get an email in a few months saying Dear Bryn Samsung we want to sell you so and so.  I then know it was Samsung who sold my personal info to whoever just contacted me.  My point though is that I create a barrier to filter everyone who is trying to get at my money from those who are important to me such as family and friends.  I think companies will do whatever they can to prevent this from happening but really the people have the power and they will do as we say if we end up pushing the matter.

It was just my luck that the article was printed in a special month where the magazines price was inflated to $65.  Sigh.  It is embarrassing to spend that much when I know I will just put it in a box somewhere.  I have attempted to place the magazine precariously on the edge of a bookshelf so that when friends come by they may accidentally knock it off thus starting a conversation about me being in the magazine.  Maybe if I bend it enough it may even open up to the exact page of the article when it hits the floor.  Sadly my friends are more coordinated than I am.  Anyway here are two jpegs of the magazine.  All joking aside I was flattered to be mentioned.  The translation can be read here if you would like to see what they said about the artists.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Game Mechanics

The other day Viale Linden gave me a landmark to a portal sitting in the middle of an empty region.  It would seem that Linden Labs are beta testing game tools for builders.  I asked when these tools might become available but alas no response.  This is kind of off topic, but one thing I have learned recently, is that business people never seem to respond, or sometimes answer different questions if they don't know the answer to something you have asked.  It is like somewhere along the line it has become taboo to say "I don't know the answer to your question".  I am not sure but I think people must go through dialogue training somewhere.  As an artist I just make things and as such I am not accustomed to this if it actually does exist.  I am not just talking about Linden Labs either just in general it seems to be everywhere.  It is hard to explain but here is a typical example of what I might experience.

Bryn- "Are there any apples in your bag?"
L-"Fruit may be made available"
Bryn-"hmm yes but do you have an apple in that bag?"
L-"Apples are nutritious"
Bryn-"ok well if there is an apple in that bag could you pass me one because I am hungry"
L-"We would prefer if you took the apple yourself"
Bryn-"yes but you are right beside.. and why did you say we?  It is just me and you here... ok nevermind I will come get one"
Bryn"This bag is full of Meeroos"
Bryn-"Why didn't you just tell me there were no apples in it?"
L-"It's not my bag, I have not seen inside it"

Ok that last part might be inaccurate since they likely wouldn't tell you they didn't know what was inside it.

So back to the real blog post.  I went through some of the game they were testing and it was pretty fun.  I ran around with PatriaAnne Daviau and Ziki Questi for a while and it was kind of funny seeing people rush past with an angry rock creature chasing them.  So essentially when you arrive a hud appears on your screen without you having to wear it.  That would be handy for hosting events or even forcing windlights.  I guess these are some restrained life viewer traits being used.  How naughty.  The idea was to collect different coloured crystals in order to make things out of them.  I don't know if you could actually trade them in for things but it seemed that could be an eventual goal.  I collected a stink load of crystals and then had to find a big cannon to shoot.  After I shot the cannon I received 1L and a link to marketplace.  I realize it was just a beta test but I sure felt ripped off for all that work.  The only thing I can compare it to was cutting my grandmothers grass with this old rusty dull motorless lawn mower when I was 12.  I loved my Gran and would have done it for free, in fact I think I thought I was doing it for free, but when she gave me a Loonie for all that struggle it somehow put an unfavorable price on my hard work.  And a Loonie is what we call a dollar here in Canada.  She gave me one dollar.
     In the end though  I think it is a great idea to put in game tools.  Not because I am itching to make a game but rather because I can imagine the tools being incorporated into experiences far beyond what they were originally intended.

Here is one portal to the game.
It is only open to premium users right now so if you have a basic account you can't get there.  It should be opened up to all users once the testing is done.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gretchen and Teddy

Gretchen and Teddy is a work commissioned by Thalia Heckroth for the Costa Rica Sims.  Thalia was wonderful in that she merely asked how much it would cost for me to build something, I told her and then she paid me within moments.  She just trusted that I would make something worth the money that she had paid me and hopefully I did.
I really do appreciate her faith in me and her support for the arts.  Second Life ranges from the the professional experience to those who mistakenly think you are talking in Linden Dollars rather than real life rates.  Thalia is definitely from the former category.  Over the years she had commissioned people like Dizzy Banjo who composed a soundtrack for her islands.  She has work from Patch Thibaud the architect and his mentor DB Bailey the legendary architect who built work for this medium rather than recreations that worry about silly things like ... well gravity.  Have a look at DB's island called LOCUS.  It is kind of funny now that I think of it.  Second Life is the place where architects can create without the structural engineers harassing them about collapsing this or that death and destruction.  She also supports music by hiring people like ColeMarie Soleil to play for her visitors.

     Gretchen and Teddy is an adaptation of a poem I wrote a while ago to fit in with the overall narrative on Immersiva.  Gretchen is away from home when a catastrophe happens.  She hides in the basement of an old theatre and writes letters, that she can't mail, to her mother reassuring her and herself that everything is fine.  She is scared and alone but wakes up one morning to find that her childhood toy teddy bear has walked across the city to find her.  A robot toy that she grew out of but who never forgot her.

it is also in destinations guide if you want to tp from there..

 Below is the start to an oil painting for Gretchen and Teddy.  I will post the finished work when it is done but just thought i would include this now since it is all tied in.  These colours are a bit off since my tungsten lightbulb died today.  So it has been affected by my yellow lightbulbs.  By the way if you are a painter and have the problem of yellow light bulbs affecting how you see the colours on your painting.  Meaning you do a painting and bring it to the gallery only to find the colours are way different than you thought because everything was tinted a bit yellow by your lightbulbs.  Well what you do is use one normal bulb and then buy a cool bulb with a blueish tint.  The combination will create light which resembles normal daylight.  Less surprises this way.  Anyway, it will be fun to have a first life art exhibit that is influenced by my second life art.  It used to be the other way around.
Gretchen and Teddy oil painting unfinished
I finally had the opportunity to play with mesh and this build uses a few tests.  I have actually made Gretchen and Teddy out of a combination of mesh, sculpts and prims.  The draw of using a sculpt which costs 1 prim for a simple shape seemed more economical then a mesh.  But it is also quite possible I could reduce the cost of the mesh  in prim equivalents so that it is on par with a sculpt.  Have to experiment more.  Anyway this is my first try.