Sunday, 23 October 2016

Moving Home

cottage Inworldz
Our New Home on the Charlesworth Estates
Long time no blog! Ayesha and I picked a bad time to move our virtual home, as we haven't had time at all to look at the wonderful Fall Fest Sims enhancing Inworldz at the moment. Luckily there is a little more time left to see everything.

As is often the case, real life and virtual are connected, and a change of finances meant we had to think hard about our spending limits inworld. I was off on a trip with my family, and Ayesha had a busy few weeks coming up, so the sensible idea, was to give notice on our sim rental, and sort out a smaller alternative when we'd had more time to think.

That was the logical plan. Again, the connections between real and virtual emerged, this time on an emotional level. Half an hour before I had to log off my pc, pre-trip, I found myself flying like a crazy woman round a half rezzing world, suddenly desperate to put down roots again. Too many changes, too quickly and I needed a home!

Ayesha was asleep half way round the world, and discussion was impossible. Then I remembered the beautiful cottages at Monkswood I visited back in May . Part of the Charlesworth Estates, many plots were cute wee cottages, offering budget rentals. I skipped down south, only to find that the sim was under redevelopment and was now underwater, oh no!

charlesworth estates, Inworldz
Old furniture, new home!
Then I spotted one of the cute cottage designs that I remembered, tucked away on the corner of a nearby Island. With only ten minutes to my deadline, I sent a message and was lucky enough to catch landlady, Cherry, just as she logged in. "Don't worry it's yours!"

 I have never felt so relieved to hit 'Set Home to Here'. Later that day I got a message via my tablet that Ayesha loved the new place, and had also set her home. Despite both our very sensible plans she was also relieved to have somewhere to belong. Phew!

Our previous sim, the Isle of Rum is currently available for rental . It is a lovely spot, with a great Landlord and friendly neighbours, and access via Magellan waters to the IW ocean, so great for sailors. It has been sad to leave, and we hope someone will enjoy the spot as much as we have.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Virtual horse riding in Inworldz

Inworldz horse riding
Yaquina Bay Inworldz
 I have been meaning to try virtual horse riding ever since rejoining Inworldz, especially as many sims advertise bridleways open to visitors.

 Unlike many vehicles, horses are a 'wearable'. This means you don't need rezzing rights, and can ride anywhere you might walk, which makes this hobby very flexible.

I chose a John Mahogany creation from Shenandoah-Wildlife&Fisheries. I'm not sure why for an english woman, but the western equipped saddle version felt appealing.

Inworldz horse
Our home the Isle of Rum Inworldz
 This horse comes with the name Joker, but I'm calling him Erasmus! Virtual animals of all kinds are very popular in Inworldz, from leaping dolphins to fireside kitties, another way to spark your imagination. Especially, if like me, life in a real saddle feels a bit too bumpy these days.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Inworldz photography, both challenging and fun

trees fairy inworldz
Connemara Inworldz
One of my favourite relaxing activities inworld is to hop from sim to sim looking for photo opportunities. It's interesting how some owner's designs are much easier to capture in 2D than others.

For instance I really love forested sims, with winding paths and surprises round each corner, but I find these particularly difficult to photograph. Some of this is due to technical limitations. It's hard to show small differences in depth, so a tree 10m away will blend into another which is much closer, and the resulting shot simply looks like a mass of leaves.

Advanced sky editor
One of the visual signs within real world scenes, which gives us clues about depth is colour saturation. More distant objects become bluer and less coloured as the light passes through the air in the atmosphere to reach the eye. This varies with weather and light levels, something which can be faked to a degree by tweaking the haze settings in the advanced sky editor. (find this under world/environment settings) but this has its limitations and doesn't work well for short distances.

The image at the head of this article was taken in a photo booth, which had a real world wrap around image to simulate a sunlit forest scene. Sun rays as shown here are not naturally possible within IW, but clever creators can fake this effect using semi-transparent animated cones, even swapping to a bluer moonlight tone for night-time.

All these differences make virtual photography an interesting challenge, and a fun and satisfying part of my Inworldz experience. Some days, when taking real life photos I miss being able to move the sun just a little to the left!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Back in Inworldz after soaking my monitor!

pirate inworldz
Wyre Islands Inworldz
Last week I clumsily tipped a glass of water over my pc unit. Thankfully the tower unit stayed dry, the keyboard was soaked, but perversely seems to be working better now. Several sticky keys have unstuck :)

My monitor did not prosper though, despite surviving for a day after the incident. Maybe some water worked itself into the power switch.

Ebay to the rescue! It is always a concern buying used technology, but my new screen eventually arrived, and after working through the menus, and switching away from the glarey purple colour scheme preferred by previous owner, I am back inworld, and very grateful for that!

Swamp Inworldz
Wyre Islands Inworldz
I quickly celebrated by indulging in an afternoon of Island hopping, winding up in the beautiful pirate themed Wyre Islands to the North of Inworldz's navigable ocean.

Monday, 15 August 2016

My first inIW Marketplace buy for Inworldz, and it was easy!

inIW marketplace Inworldz
Marketplace product page
My first marketplace buy, and it was easy! (see my previous marketplace post and more info  here)

First I had to visit an inIW terminal in-world, create an account, verify it on the online marketplace, then deposit some money in the in-world terminal so I could make my purchase.

Wolf has added some useful search filters. I fancied an old style, non mesh complete outfit, for a female avatar, and it was a simple task to narrow down the clothing available and add to my basket.

inIW terminal Inworldz
inIW terminal
As a first try out I just put enough in my account to buy the outfit, but it would be even quicker if I had left a surplus to spend later.

You can call me impressed! I received a box in my inventory almost immediately, and this was unpacked and tried on in no time.

The outfit matched the photo and description, and was made by Sophia Larkspur, a creator whose store, 'Sophia Fashion' I hadn't yet discovered.

The complementary jewellery set was a real bonus and such good value for a complete look.

Inworldz purple outfit
Wearing my new outfit at Artworldz Inworldz
Marketplace listings include a teleport to store option, so I tpd over to have a look at the full range, and was very tempted by some cute swimming outfits.

You need the official viewer to get a one-step tp from a web-link, but you can simply use the inworld search box instead, once you know the store name you are looking for.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Busy doing nothing in Inworldz

Inworldz shoreline
Aussie Gyrl Sim Inworldz
There are so many activities available in virtual worlds, and I believe the enduring appeal for many is having several parallel interests, and switching between these as the mood takes. It can be a very busy virtual life!

However, it is therapeutic at times, to put away my own projects, sit back and simply revel in the creativity of others.

The peace and calm of standing to watch the clouds go by, see light sparkling on waves in the ocean, or taking time to see the sun set are simple pleasures.

Inworldz lake
Aussie Gyrl Sim Inworldz
I can be fascinated by a flutter of butterflies, or the movement of shadows beneath a tree.

When real life is stressful, or overwhelming, the tranquility of a deserted beach, and sound of gulls provides a safe space to escape, and simply be.

Inworldz is a sandbox world, no imposed schedules or tasks you must complete, and for many, like me, the ability just to sit and enjoy, is the best freedom of all.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Spot the difference, Inworldz

Inworldz view
View from cottage a few weeks ago
Inworldz view
View from cottage today
Inworldz Map
Inworldz Map Section Aug 2016
Spot the difference? Yes more new neighbours! A little bit of Cornwall has sailed up and docked near our Scottish Isle.
Of course in Magellan extra sims means extra places to sail, and as one of the incoming sims is a water scenic this is bound to make the locals smile.

The view-shots are taken looking in the direction of the red arrow from our home sim, the Isle of Rum.

Although many residents miss Indy's place, which was a grandfathered sim present since the very early days of this world, now that Indy Bluebird has moved on the space has infilled very quickly, and with many more sims.

We avatars love living near the navigable ocean!

The local changes affect us most of course, but I almost feel as if I can hear the sim city hammer and saw build sound effects as I tour around these days. If you haven't visited in a while check out the developing mainland builds, and of course the wonderful new docks and interactive features at Inworldz Desert island, including the horse drawn carriages we got to test earlier!
Inworldz IDI carriage ride
Inworldz IDI Carriage Ride

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Coming Soon "The Great Inworldz Discovery Tour"

inworldz tour
Great Inworldz Discover Tour Map
Trouble Mooncurser is full of great ideas, and the latest seems like an exciting opportunity for residents new and old to discover (or rediscover) our virtual land and waterways. There are hours of fun possible navigating ocean and water routes available in world, but not everyone lives on the waterside, or has a handy boat rezzing space available.

Even those fortunate enough to live in the Magellan cluster, with multiple free rez spots, can find themselves inconvenienced if they venture further afield, and need to re-boot their vehicle for some reason.

There are public places where you can do this, but if you don't know an area or where to find information it can be frustrating, and returning to base is demotivating.

inworldz brewster park
Brewster Park
Great Inworldz Discover Tour
So for new sailors Trouble's new boat rezzers, will really encourage exploration. He's asking sim owners to host these, along with information boards and hopefully some activity or freebies. The idea is that visitors can rez a free boat at any of these locations, and use a tour map to choose their route around the Inworldz ocean, with the ability to rez again and carry on once they have explored a sim.

All the details are described here in an forum post and Trouble already has twenty-one sim owners signed up a month in advance of the September launch date. Check out Trouble Mooncurser's profile picks for a link to the info pack location if you are interested in hosting a tour stopover.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Exploring and Inspiration in Inworldz

Motor Island Inworldz
Motor Island
This has been a very enjoyable week for me in Inworldz.
I took our motor-boat for a spin and explored the south-west corner of the navigable ocean. With its navy training base, ports and car themed motor island, these sims form a wonderful themed corner of our world.

It's satisfying to navigate by map, and arrive as the sun rises, switching off cruise control so I can squeeze into the smaller waterways and watch the water-side world flow by.

Little Big Chapel Path Inworldz
Chapel at Little Big
Further North I discovered the beautifully landscaped Little Big sims, and was touched to find a pretty little chapel which contained a candle burning, dedicated to a resident who was currently unwell. A reminder of the friendships formed here.

Inspired by the naturalistic planting styles, I took Ayesha to visit when we were next in-world together, and she was as impressed as I.

Linked Hearts Inworldz
Tamara's Garden Centre
 at Linked Hearts
We are currently creating a forest walkway on the north side of our sim, and the clever use of focal points, and rich planting at Little Big made us try even harder to create a naturalistic feel in our own home.
This of course led to a fun shopping trip, on this occasion to Tamara's Garden Centre at Linked Hearts.

Here we picked up ruins, a forest path, some lovely and bargain priced grasses, and I kept finding myself nipping back later for 'just one more thing'! While Ayesha couldn't resist a trip to Julia Hathor's Creative Fantasy shop for a beautiful twisted Maple with detailed gnarled bark.

Horse Carriage Inworldz
Testing Arkady's Horse Carriage
Most of my free time was then taken up back home virtual landscaping, and doing my best to make 'sight-lines' along paths to encourage our visitors to wander.

It was just as I was creating a hill-side stream that Arkady Arkright called with a mysterious request for my presence.

Forest Path Inworldz
Landscaping at our Sim
 Soon, I found myself being whisked around a field at a fast trot in a horse-carriage full of giggling avatars. Ark wanted to test the vehicle's behaviour under the stress of multiple occupancy as these were to be a new interactive feature  at the Inworldz newcomer's greet sim, Inworldz Desert Island.

If I can pull myself away from moving plants this way and that, I plan a visit to explore the new features at IDI, including a docks area, allowing new residents the chance to see how our waterways enhance this virtual world.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Prettifying and recycling in Inworldz

Inworldz ocean views
View from the cottage porch
New owners have created a quad sim diagonally opposite us,  so now we have a view east and some extra waterways to play in!

Of course we being being able to look out means our new neighbours have a distant view back, and this was enough to encourage some prettifying up of a somewhat neglected back corner.

I'm not in favour of off-sim add ons for semi-connected sims like ours, as it feels like intruding into others visual space. So this meant we had some unusable landscape items tucked away in inventory from our 'far flung ocean' days. Many of these are very scenic, and I was interested to see if any could be recycled.

Inworldz isle of Rum
Isle of Rum, Inworldz
 One of my favourites was a four waterfall off-tropical sim island, only really viewable from one direction. Could it be adapted into a temperate zone inland cliff?

I was delighted to find out that the build was modifiable, and slightly nervous to discover that it was no copy!

I deleted  palm trees, and took  the 'full-bright' off any tropical looking flowering plants. Retexturing the rock to match our sim terrain really helped as well. Adding a few ferns, and more native trees helped to blend the look further, as well as some terrain remodelling.

Without sound though, the cascades felt somewhat odd. Luckily I found some excellent water effects which fitted well, and dug out the ground to make a river where the original falls would have met the sea. The simple sculpty bridges were created from textures we already owned.

Whilst I played with water, Ayesha had found and planted a wonderful grove of trees. So now a neglected corner of our sim feels much more alive and interesting.

Monday, 11 July 2016

How do virtual worlds help build international bonds?

Inworldz sea sim view
Looking across the sea to my neighbour's sim
Most of you will know that the United Kingdom just voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, and this got me thinking about virtual worlds, and what part they have to play in building international relationships.

The total number of inhabitants of Inworldz and all other virtual lands combined is still quite a small figure compared to the global population, but on an individual level, the impact of interacting daily with residents from other countries is major.

When a natural disaster hits, or a misguided group attacks the citizens of a far away country it can be hard to feel involved, beyond a generalised human sympathy. When a friend is attacked, or under threat, emotions are much more keenly felt.

Inworldz Japan
Edo Nippon Inworldz

There is a real difference between meeting someone briefly, maybe on holiday or through business, and having years of regular interactions with someone, wherever they live. What happens to those people affects me and my life.

It was once said that the telephone would change the world. If we can pick up a phone and ring a person in a foreign land and ask them a direct question, then it wouldn't be possible for the rulers of that land to fool the rest of the world about what is happening there.

It isn't that simple though. Human beings do not naturally trust strangers, it takes time to build relationships. Virtual worlds give us the time, opportunity and the space to make real friends in places far away, and somehow, those places seem to get nearer every day.

Monday, 4 July 2016

How to meet other residents in Inworldz

In a previous post I asked why virtual worlds seem so empty to new users, and ended by asking the question 'how do you meet other residents when joining Inworldz?'
Of course everyone will have different ways of going about this, but it can be handy to have some ideas as a starting point so here goes!

1) Login on Sunday

Why? You can maximise your chances of bumping into other residents if you choose peak times to visit. Jim Tarber, Inworldz staff member posted the following on the official forum.
The last time I checked, the peak times for events were usually noon-2pm (probably more 1-2pm) and 5-7pm (again probably more 6-7pm). 
The busiest day is Sunday. Friday, Saturday and especially Sunday. Monday, Tuesday are lighter.
All times are PST. So if you live in California, lunchtime on Sunday is your best bet, for a Euro that equates to Sunday evening.
Inworldz events search

2) Attend events.

Why? Events are special times when residents get together to share an interest, attend a concert, or simply go dancing. This is a great way to meet people. Events are listed via the inworld search facility, and also on the official website.

You can search through different categories and work out what you might fancy.

3) Join Groups

Why?  Groups are created by residents to gather together like-minded people, advertise clubs and generate interest in ongoing activities. Each group has its own chat facility, and many EVENTS will only be advertised within a group, rather than in the official listings. Some groups are busier than others, so keep looking if the first ones you join don't suit.

4) Follow Inworldz specific Social Media

Why? Many residents meet up out of world, and friendships can form by responding to posts, commenting on blogs or posting in the official forum. See this previous post to get some ideas of where you can find Inworldz residents posting online.

Ladyheart Hancroft Inworldz
Friendly Inworldz Mentor Ladyheart Hancroft  at IDI
5) Visit IDI (Inworldz Desert Island)

Why? This sim is the landing point that new residents find when first logging in to their account. There are often groups of residents around helping newcomers, fellow new users getting help, and of course the official volunteer mentors answering questions and chatting to visitors.

6) Use In-world Messaging

Why? Seen a great build and want to let the builder know? Need to ask something technical, or find out about a group or event? IMs are the answer. Friendships often develop from a simple query or genuine compliment.

 Sometimes it can take a bit of courage to step into the unknown, but Inworldz offers you many routes to interact with other residents. Remember, people are friendly and want to help, and everyone was new at one time.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Inworldz #nomakeup

Inworldz raspberry crystal picnic island
Picnic Island - Inworldz
Long-time no post...came back from a trip and landed in brexit! Here in the UK we are living in interesting times politically, but enough of that and back to the fun stuff.

I had posted on the Inworldz Forum  that I was having trouble finding skins with no make up, and the amazing Astoria Luminous wrote to let me know she was working on just such a thing, and would I like to try and give feedback. Oh yes!

Inworldz is so big, it isn't surprising that I hadn't yet wandered into AlaZ at Axis Mundi. Astoria asked which of her skins would suit me best and I plumbed for Silvia, which is already so pretty in all the variations so I got to try an early release of the new no make up model, so cool!

Skin vendor Inworldz Alaz
Silvia Crystal at Alaz , Inworldz
The new Crystal variant is fresh faced with no lippy, blusher or eyeliner and is now the skin I wear most often.

 Astoria told me she was considering creating some tattoo layer make-ups as a complement so users can mix and match their look at will. That would be lots of fun.

I'm enjoying taking photos with my new look, and feel more comfortably myself, as in real life I am sensitive to eye make up, and can only wear it for a few hours a week.

Check out the hashtag #nomakeup on twitter for some lovely natural shots of women young and old taking selfies, or read about Alicia Keys and how having photos taken with bare skin helped her confidence.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Why do virtual worlds seem so empty to new users?

Raspberry stands in deserted desert town
Eden's Lair Inworldz
 It is very common after entering a new world to pass through a phase of doubting whether other users actually exist. I shall call this the post nuclear fallout  phase. If you read back through my earlier blogs you will notice me panicking that everyone else in world is a bot.

 Virtual worlds have a great deal of freedom associated with them, especially places like Inworldz where most people leave their doors open to visitors, even when they are not at home. Most new residents will enjoy hopping from place to place looking at everything, but whereas in the real world those places available to visitors are all public spaces, like parks and shopping malls, most of the area in virtual space is given over to residential sims.

 So new users are effectively doing the real world equivalent of running around in people's gardens most of the time (don't panic, this is ok, residents like showing off their builds!) As you can imagine, a sim owned by one or two users will be empty much of the day.
Raspberry looks at shop empty of other people
Oak Harbour, JP Designs, Inworldz

 Ah yes Raspberry (I hear you say) but I went to a shop and nobody was there, and a shop isn't somebody's home! You are right, but unlike in real life, a commercial venue isn't really a social space. Avatars tend to dash in, get what they want and leave. You may see them, they will probably be friendly, but most likely you just missed them.

 So where do I find the people then?? I hear you ask. I don't see people walking about, there's no work commute here, so no traffic queues or transport stations, no schools, so I don't see parents at the gate, help!

Raspberry at bottom of tropical sea with tropical fish
Under the Black Powder Sea - Inworldz
 You are right! So many real life places where you would see crowds don't exist in virtual space, and whereas in your own town or city 'everybody's got to be somewhere' in IW, if residents are at work, or busy elsewhere they simply don't appear in world.

 So it's hopeless then, I'm doomed to wander alone like a lost spirit? Not at all, it's much better than that! Virtual space acts as a filter. How do you mean? Well do you talk to everyone who walks past in the main street of your town? Of course not, why would I do that? Exactly, the empty spaces are empty, because of all the people that aren't here. Wut? Consider the gas station attendants as an example. Pardon?

Large frog on beach with jetty and shoreline behind
Clare Island - Inworldz
 Well let's say there are 100,000 gas stations in the USA. I'm not sure where this is going. It's a Raspberry explanation, things can get a little tricky, hang in there. OK. Imagine if all the staff, from all those gas stations were in Inworldz right now. Hmm. What if you wanted to chat to somebody in IW, but 99% of the people you met were in the middle of taking visa transactions, or promoting some weird gambling scratch card, that would be annoying wouldn't it?

 It would be ridiculous! Yes it would. Hang on, so what you are saying is, there aren't as many people, but everyone I do meet is actually here! Now you've got me confused. They're here because they want to be here, in their leisure time. Virtual reality takes away all those people you don't really want to talk to , or who aren't actually available anyway so it's actually a time saver! Exactly, now you are getting it!

  ..and how do I meet them then? Aha, that's a whole new blog I think! Oh what??

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Virtual worlds, who could benefit?

  Many new users joining Inworldz have previous experience of virtual worlds, but it is equally true that many do not. In fact the IW Founders are actively seeking to attract new residents who haven't considered trying out the metaverse before.

Fishing in Sims 4
  Where are these potential new customers to be found, and what are they doing right now? Could they be gamers currently operating in an online community who would like to hang out with their friends in a new environment? Those playing simulation games like the sims franchise, who already enjoy creative activity and would enjoy a larger environment to work with?  Or simply friends socialising on Facebook who would like to expand their ways of interacting online?

  Maybe architecture, or film students would welcome the opportunity to try our their blossoming skills in an environment where financial risks are low, and demolishing an experimental building is only a click away.
 Could they be recent retirees, missing the social environment of their workplace, or 9 to 5ers working to earn a living, but secretly yearning for an alternate career, possibly as an entertainer or retailer?
 Are there role players out there whose needs and environment aren't being provided by the big game companies, or artists who struggle to find an audience in their own community?

Fishing on Picnic Island, Inworldz
 What about inlanders who miss the sea, and long to have a boat? Or a stay at home parent who would love a space of their own, and conversations with folks their own age.

 There are millions of  city dwellers, dealing with noise and a crowded environments. Would a beach hut on a peaceful sandy shore provide a mental break from the endless bustle and stimulation of overwhelming urban life?
 Conversely, many live in more isolated rural environments, where the challenge can be to find others who share your interests.

  The possibilities for play and experimentation are just as wide, from the fun but trivial..."I wonder what I'd look like blonde?"... to the fundamental and life changing, such as meeting a life partner, or re-thinking a career path.
Gulls flying at Mimi's Choice, Inworldz

 In a changing world, the health benefits of virtual reality are already proven. Imaginative interactions are the building blocks of adaptive behaviour, and are as appropriate for adults as children.
 We already know this, but how do we share that good news with those who haven't experienced it yet? How do we explain the difference that interacting in a 3d adaptable environment makes, compared to chatting in a forum, or within a combat game? Is it even possible to predict what any particular individual will need, or find satisfying in virtual living.

 What would be a valid answer to the question of why Inworldz is different to Minecraft sandbox?  An interesting challenge.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Inworldz seo curries and googling necronautics

Finding your way in Inworldz
Looking towards Midgard
  Since re-joining Inworldz after a couple of year's break I've become interested in catching up with with the history of our virtual home, both to fill in the recent gap in my knowledge, and to discover the earlier history of this online platform.

  If google's search engine is to be believed then *this* blog is front page news when using the search term Inworldz. I try to produce an interesting read, but in this case I'm attributing the over helpful 'this is what we think you personally wish to see' functionality for that result. In other words, I doubt very much it is what YOU see when searching the term, maybe your own site instead?

The southernmost tip of the sailable ocean
Jamesport Inworldz
  The official Inworldz website gets a front page feature (in my search), and it is possible that result is not algorithm led, but influenced by a paid google promotion. It is only on page two that I see the first relevant resident blog, and this link is given less priority than a discussion thread on a forum not connected to IW, and an out of date article by a non resident comparing Inworldz with another grid.

  How exasperating! I began to think that fellow IW folks were having so much fun in world that none of them thought to write online before 2016.

  Luckily for me, my asus memo keyboard spell checker is even more 'helpful' than google, and leaps in to change my search terms just after I look away from the type box to check the results. A friend who was interested in the IW furry community asked me some questions I struggled to answer, so I braved google again. Due to the random way these searches are handled it took me a while to note that there was a *curry* theme to the list.
Helpful Mentors at Inworldz Desert island

Inworldz CURRIES!! Stupid bleeping tablet!!!  I was so distracted by composing an imaginary irate email to Asus so it took me a while to realise that this ridiculous search query produced more relevant results than any other combination of keywords I had previously thought of.

 So I tried some more randomish combinations, and to my amazement and delight, a raft of older IW blogs, articles and relevant information surfaced. I even discovered founder Ele's infrequently updated site which held some fascinating insights. Result!

 Of course that blog is easy to find, now I know what I am looking for, but it's the generalised search terms which are so intractable, the most obvious words that a potential new user might try when researching grids.

 Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Purple is the new black - Shopping and Sewing In Inworldz

Ooh La La Chelsea Boots in Eggplant
OCD Signature Bag Lavender Croc

 In celebration of my new craft and sewing cabin, I have been raiding my inventory for sculpty clothing blanks which have been gathering dust on a virtual shelf for several years.

 I can and do make my own fabric, but as a treat I bought a box of 21 mix and match aubergine patterns from Cupid's huge warehouse stock.
 It was fun to just grab and go, make things for myself, without worrying about stocking a shop.

 This will stretch month's virtual clothing budget, and allowed me to buy mesh accessories, which are beyond my skills to create.

  Ooh La La is one of the premium boutiques which line the pretty streets of The Lanes, a shopping experience very much worth visiting.

Over in Honeywood, OCD, or Oh Cute Designs seem to have a shop full of items I'd like to buy, including some lovely home and garden items.

Not wanting to create an unmanageable mess in my inventory, I'm hoping to stick to a few coordinating colours in separates which can mix and match for different looks.

 My schedule makes it tricky to attend evening and weekend events, so it makes sense to focus on a mix of casual and smart day wear.

I have resolved to throw away any items which don't suit me, or which feel dated, and to make the inventory sorting more enjoyable have been searching out radio shows to listen to while I work.
Fabric: Cupid's Texture - Carried Away

 This DRAX Files podcast about virtual currency had me fascinated. Will we have a global currency for virtual worlds, how could that be managed without a Bitcoin style disaster? Something to ponder.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Two avatars, three houses..developing our virtual home.

Breezy Builds in Dyonisos

 I spent a good part of my in world time this week looking at houses. We have a gorgeous cottage created by Leanna Caerndow. This occupies the quietest corner of sim, and faces the void ocean, with swallows dancing the only decor against that big sky.
This corner is my sanctuary, with minimum furniture and a very restful feel.

Ayesha, my sim sharing friend loves the feel of this peaceful retreat, but she has a much more eclectic,
personal decorating style.  Although she really was quite happy camping out among the plywood on our build deck I seemed to feel the need to drag her down to ground level to make a shared den on the more public side of our sim, so she could feel at home there.

 This new house is meant to be a cluttered up space, where we can, hang out, watch the world go by and not feel the need to tidy up every five minutes!

 I had seen a few Breezy Builds houses around the Calia estates, and decided that one of these would do very well, and at the extremely low price of 99$iz it seemed worth a try.

 This build has the dual purpose of being a boathouse, which works very well as this is our closest point to the IW Ocean.

 Ayesha and I had some fun with the furnishings, and we will probably add to it as we go.

 This left me wanting a space as my craft / sewing room, something I would love to have in my home here in the UK, but space doesn't allow for it.

 Hey this is Inworldz, we have a whole sim to play with, why not have a dedicated building? So I raced off to Offbeat Mainstore in Midsommar to pick up the Gardener's Retreat cabin and a few more things besides...oops!

  I'll keep the internal furnishings minimal, to allow camera room, but maybe pick up some themed items as I find them.

 It would be nice to find some suitable ambient sounds also, as these really make a difference. A waterside sewing cabin needs the sound of lapping waves!

 Have a great weekend, whether in world or in RL.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Inworldz on the move.. keeping in touch via tablets and phones

Oztotl East Inworldz
 Like many others, I spend more time on the net using mobile devices than I do on my Inworldz capable pc. So how do you stay in touch while on the move?

 Your first stop could be the official Inworldz website.  Here you can pick up messages, buy currency, organise inventory backups, discover events and many other administrative tasks. The forums are an important part of the website, offering residents the chance to interact, get help, catch up with group news and discover the latest releases by Inworldz creators.

The Lumiya Viewer
  If, like me, you use an android device, then I find Alina Lyvette's Lumiya viewer quite helpful. Currently costing £1.80 in the google play store, this app allows  to log in to a range of virtual worlds. The visuals are limited, but you can reply to messages, teleport, change outfit, interact with objects, pay bills etc. It isn't suitable for exploring, but if you forgot to pay your rent, or need to contact someone urgently it can be a lifesaver!

  Of course you can follow blogs and track and news feeds while out of world, and twitter has a good selection of posters using the #inworldz hashtag, including the founders and staff.
 If you check out my twitter profile and see who I am following that could give you a good start.

Unofficial Inworldz Advertising group on Facebook
 Most social networks will have IW fans, Google+ has some active posters, and of course Facebook has several groups, unofficial as well as the regular company pages.
 One enterprising user has intitiated the InworldArtists group on Deviant Art , and encourages anyone who would like to join up and post there.

 Flickr is a very popular site for all sorts of virtual world image sharing, and Inworldz posters have a choice of groups to join there, from those dedicated to IW alone to wider virtual world image collectives.  I'm told that Instagram have an active group of posters, but I have yet to visit!

  Several large social sites, based around virtual worlds,  have a section dedicated to 'other grids', and members can be helpful, but beware that a certain amount of misinformation, or out of date facts can be posted from users who don't regularly use IW. However, many issues are common to all grids and it can be worth persisting!  Don't forget that viewers such as Firestorm, and Alchemy have their own websites with helpful information (The official IW viewer is based on Alchemy)

 One of my favourite sites when I'm missing my Inworldz home is the IW region map . This map is interactive from my android device, so it can be fun looking for new sims, or plotting my next sea voyage!  The sims are spread out a long way, so keep grabbing and scrolling.  Similarly, is a live updated login screen, where you can see how many avatars are enjoying themselves online while you are stuck in a traffic queue, or doing laundry :D

 I am sure this is not a comprehensive list, and if you have discovered another mobile friendly site please let me know. Comments are welcome.