Saturday, May 16, 2015

The thrill is gone

The thrill is gone. All that's left is Lucille and a load of wonderful blues songs...


Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Minecraft Difference II

Ok, one more post about Minecraft. From a SL point of view. It is still a fun world to explore, but as Orca said in the comments... it is fugly. Here's my attempt at building a beach house. The view over the ocean is beatiful - especially at sunset, but that's not the point. The point is that it took me like 5 minutes to build it and kids aged 7 can do it too.
Beach house in five minutes
Now, if you can disregard the lego feeling, then it is a beautiful day at the beach house. If not then I guess the bubble breaks. The water looks pretty waterish though not half as waterish as in SL. There are no waves, but downstream water will transport things. However, the water also comes in cubes.
State of the art interior
Inside the beach house you'll find state of the art furniture. Here's a shot with a view out the backside windows. It's raining outside in case you wonder what the blue things are. Table, chairs, stove in cube-design. There are two beds too. So it's a great hideout. Kinda like building a treehut. Except there's noone there to hide from. Well, there's always a few monsters around, and you can invite ppl to join your local game. That's why kids love it. It is their own world entirely. You can also join a public server, but the ppl there don't seem to be there for the conversation.
Wild life and sandy beaches
Where Minecraft is short on ppl it seems full of wildlife. Rabbits, cows, horses, pigs, donkeys, wolves, sheep, squids and loads of other known and unknow creatures will meet you if you ho exploring. The black things in the water are Spongebobs cousins... square-squids. Mountains, flatlands or oceans... doesn't matter... they are crawling with animals and spooky creepers. Here's a shot of a sandy bay with a pretty lil island. I've set up a few lighthouses to help me find my way around. The world is huge even though it only takes up very little space in my harddrive.
Here's a simple lighthouse. Complete with three levels, a door, inside stairs, windows, a tiny marina, light on top plus beds and bookshelves for a lonely night. It took me like 10 minutes to build. Amazing but very cubistic. Just like a Picasso, though I expect he spent more than a measly 10 minutes on his masterpieces.
Here's a closer look. Not too bad, huh? The cubistic thing in the foreground is a small marina, and the brown box there is... is... well, it's a boat. That's what boats look like in Minecraft. The mere fact that you can sail in a boat is fantastic, but then the fun stops. There are no oars, no engine and no sails. It just sails where ever you point it provided you tap on forward. Yes, I know there are other moving things in Minecraft... it's super easy to build an underground trainstation or a rollercoaster. It's fun but it's kinda like the sailing. Easy to build, fun to ride... for like five minutes.
Sailing in Minecraft
The inhabitants are cubistic too. That's a girl right there... sitting in the boat. I won't say it's me because it isn't. It doesn't look like me and it doesn't feel like me. Still, it is me sailing. Kind off. So what's the deal here? Why is Minecraft such a huge success? Hmm... it is fun to explore. It is supereasy to build. There is a built in gameplay, and there are other quests to be found on public servers. Deathmatch. For those too afraid to try Open Arena. Parkour is big too. Hunger games are also quite big it seems. The games are great, I am sure... but if sailing is your game, then consider the next photo...
Sailing in Second Life
The difference is inexplicable. To me it's the creativity that makes Minecraft interesting. The super easy building is the key. It gives you the feeling that MC is your world because you can make stuff so easily. Houses, railroads, marinas whatever... Sadly, I suspect sailing will never be big. The boats cannot be changed or improved on. I could build a huge pirateship, but I cannot bring it to life. I'll head back to SL for sailing. And for the ppl. A big part of SL is meeting ppl from all over the world. I conclude that MC and SL do not compare or compete... They are simply too different. Sometimes you feel like having an apple. Sometimes it's a pear. Both are good. I suspect the two games (if SL is a game) have very different users with different age and objectives. However, SL could learn something from MC... make it easy to build. Release the creativity. I bet that would make SL grow.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Blogging and stuff

To blog or not to blog... I dunno which is more fun: Blogging or playing SL. They are different things yet closely coupled. At least to me. These past few months I haven't had much time to play. Life! First Life that is... I am sure you all know what it is like. Sometimes it is just work, work, work. Luckily it can also be such an immersive experience that there is no time for other immersive experiences. Such as Second Life.
Blogging from Second Life
To be honest there are also times when I need a vacation. That goes for my Second Life too. I know there are other SLers that take time off the grid. Good thing that the real sailing season has started. That always restores balance in my universe. So here's me blogging again and I even went sailing. Tried out Anas International Folksboat. Nice lil thing... Different but nice. More on that soon. Oh, and happy International Workers Day. I will celebrate by sitting on my boat sipping red wine while eating nachos with cheese.
Cheers ;-)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Minecraft Difference?

So I was at one of those couple dinners, except we were three couples. The guy next to me asked if any of us played Minecraft with our kids. I didn't really wanna talk geek, so I mumbled something about having tried it on the iPad. He was very much into it, so I ended up saying that I really prefer Second Life. Weird reaction... He went like: What! Isn't SL dead long ago? I said it is alive and kicking; We're just over the hype. So he asked me, what the fun is in SL. Easy, right? Not so easy after all.
A rainy day
So we can login and meet friends, play games and build stuff. Ahem... that's excactly what they do in Minecraft - except they can choose who they wanna meet by using a private server. Oh, and five year olds can build a complete house in like 10 minutes. Hmm.

Some people have animals in SL, but hey... I have horses in Minecraft and I can even ride them. BTW I also have rabbits, and there are all sorts of animals and creatures out at night. Ok, so cars and boats and planes? Minecraft has a boat and railroads too, but no cars and no planes. Not really a big deal. I mean, if I wanted to drive a Ferrari, I'd probably get one or tap Realracing on the iPad. Then what?
Futher up the mountain it's snowing
 While I was thinking, my friend proclaimed that Minecraft had to be better because it was sold for like 14billion or something. Ok, games... In SL we can play games! Oh, but they do that in Minecraft too. They have all sorts of games with puzzles, races, parkour, battles and what nuts. I was having a really hard time convincing him that SL is great, but then it struck me. There's one thing we have in SL which they don't have in Minecraft.
After rain comes sun
That one thing is XXX. Really? Is that the most significant difference. Oh well, we can make much better looking items like cars, houses and rollercoasters and more, but it takes like forever, and I have yet to try a rollercoaster in SL that feels like a rollercoaster; We do have very nice 3D boats that act like they sail using virtual wind, but that's far too technical an argument. I ended up asking for more redwine and turned the discussion elsewhere; This was way too complicated and that Zin in the glass made me dizzy. So here's the question for everyone: Is there a key difference that makes SL better than Minecraft, or are we all just idiots because we like to spend days building a house instead of minutes?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Volkboat II

SL never sleeps. While I've been busy with RL, Ana has been busy building something really cool. Check it out:
Ana's Volkboat
It's a pretty decent piece of work, and it is only version 0.8 or something. This is a little bit exciting. Not only does it look like a very real boat, it will also come with a superinteresting sailing engine, but let's get back to that in a future post...
Shape nailed 
For now I'll just be amazed by the accuratesse of the build. This time it is not the artists impression of a boat. It is a close digital replica. I think Ana nailed the shape pretty good here.
Wish list
Christmas is far away but still... Santa (and Ana too ;-) , this is on my wishlist. Definately. I can't wait to sail this around the northern islands - maybe even dock in Nyhavn and have a virtual beer. Woohoo... it's just like RL, hihihi.

PS: That other Folkboat I saw is here...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

There is a big rock here!

Transcript: The helmsman said "Check this out". Then someone climbed up to windward and said "What is it"? Then silence and then booom. Then someone climbed back down and looked to leeward: "There's a big rock here.
I'd say game over. Insert coin.
OMG what a nightmare. They won't forget that crash the first few days. Probably never. Also they'll probably never again forget to zoom in and check the course on the chart. Have a look at Captain JP's experience with electronic charts.

So it was visible after all. I guess a simple lookout with binoculars could have saved them. Pretty low tech standard equipment when I go night-sailing. Even works without batteries.

Video of the crash here. Hefty stuff that.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Major who?

Sailing Anarchy has received a letter about the Team Vestas Incident. It says what everyone else has refrained from saying till now: It was a fuck-up of the highest magnitude.
Major F*ckup
Read about it here: Letter to Saling Anarchy.

Daylight? Currently the sun sets at 1837 near Mauritius. They reported the crash at 1510UTC. As far as I can figure, Mauritius is UTC+4. Assuming they didn't report the crash immediately, they would have crashed less than a half hour after sunset. Meaning: It wasn't even dark. Scroll down for details and photos.

So we're looking at a pretty well known set of islands. It's around sunset. There is a lighthouse. There are houses and trees. Obviously the navigation failed somehow. The lookout also failed. How about the standard precaution when sailing in unknown waters: Depth alert!?