Openlife – another alternative metaverse virtual world, like Second Life..

I was speaking to a virtual friend of mine (who runs a sim in Linden Labs’ Second Life called “The Village” which I blogged about recently) and over the course of time, the conversation (as with most conversations I have over IM) usually includes talking about SL, building stuff, having fun, shopping, meeting people, listening to music, watching video, gaming, roleplay, all that.. and having common interests or chores like owning a sim, we end up talking a bit about that.

Inevitably, the conversation moves to talking about alternative metaverses or grids besides Second Life, and she mentioned looking at Openlife. This is one I hadn’t heard of yet, so thought I’d give it a go, at least to check out their website.

Openlife’s website is located at http://openlifegrid.com/ and though I haven’t been there it looks to be a closed grid, meaning they manage everything (yes I have a earlier blog about that stuff too, hehe) .. anyway, they also have their own viewer of sorts, which is available for Windows (XP/Vista/7), Mac (legacy & Intel based OSX) and “major Linux flavours” which I will guess means Ubuntu, SuSe, CentOS, Debian, and the like.

It looks like their world is somewhat based on an OpenSimulator installation that they have tweaked for themselves. This is a growing trend, and I see a few grids that are doing this to fulfill the need of gamers who want something like Second Life to play, but with better weapons and faster framerates than what the Linden grid and LSL scripting provide.

Down to brass tax, Openlife offers your old-style 256sqm x 256sqm size regions which are on public (aka mainland) or private (aka island) sims, at a set tier price. You can use Openlife credits (like the concept of Linden dollars) or cash to pay for your sim(s). A mainland sim runs you around 19000-30000 credits a month, while a private island is $69 a month. There are no setup or hidden fees on top of that. You can also get a “lite” private island, I think this is comparible to a homestead sim, for $30 a month.

Speaking of money, you can get credits directly purchasing them from the viewer, or from the Openlife website, or by playing a game called POG inworld, which will earn you credits. There are easy and hard variations of the POG game. Oh, of course, other people can give you credits or buy stuff from you, like in Second Life. I am not sure what the real world dollars to credits exchange rate is, but judging by the land prices, I will make a wild arse guess and suppose 30,000 credits is somewhere between 30 and 60 US dollars.

Openlife has an interesting feature called “scene flip” where you basically can store 5 sims of data (5 OAR files basically) for one sim, then, at the push of a button, have it reload one of those 5 scenes and viola, new sim with unique terrain and objects. That’s a pretty cool idea, I don’t see anyone else doing this, as easy as it is to implement, so kudos to Openlife for thinking that up!

There are no megaregions (512 x 512 sqm) nor can you connect your own hosted sims to the Openlife  grid, by what I gather, nor can you hypergrid jump to other grids from Openlife .. hence, it’s a closed system.

As far as building constraints, you do get some of the benefits of OpenSimulator: A single prim on Openlife can have dimensions up to 100 meters in each direction or as low as 0.001 meters, there is no 30 meter link limit in OpenLife, and Openlife provides 45,000 prims for a region. On most OpenSimulator grids, you can build up to 256m in each direction and you get more prims per full sim (yes, I covered that in an earlier post, isn’t search grand?)

It sounds like they are off to a good start, the official wiki states (and I quote): “A little bit of information from Openlife’s Australian founder Sakai Openlife (Steve S). Openlife was first started in Oct 2007. The concept was to create a user content created virtual world oriented towards users, affordable ownership and community. Since our earliest days of logging into a single square of land with a barely functional avatar, we’ve developed a stable efficient platform with over 70,000 unique registered users from all continents across the world. Today Hundreds of user owned regions make up the Virtual World, with expressions of creativity found everywhere. tbc…”

Having not explored it myself, I don’t know how it compares to SL or other OpenSimulator based grids, but for those that want to check it out, please let me know what you find by  IM me inworld Second Life to “StarLord Scribe” or if you can find me in OSgrid or New World Grid (neither of which I frequent much) you can IM me “Star Lord” of course, my website is best heh.. hitting my contact page here and typing a message will get you the fastest reply.

I do hope whatever web trolls Openlife has to scan for blog posts about them reads this and sends me something more official or corrects any mistakes or sends me info that I haven’t included here, I would be happy to update this article with said information hehe…

Cheers!

The Village capture/RP sim in Second Life (and maybe elsewhere..)

The Village!

Avatar “Loretta Dallagio” has at least a full sim (on Caladan Island) which she has spent a good amount of time developing and making it a fun place for people to play, called THE VILLAGE — not to be confused with Linden Village, this one is subtitled: Slave Hunt, BDSM, Capture Roleplay.

It’s an RP type of sim based on some Gorean history, as per the “About Land” particulars you would see “Ruins of Heiban, Terre di Gor”, that of itself is a group which harkens to John Norman’s book “Rogue of Gor” page 63, where it is quoted: “Heiban grew up together with RI, AZDAK and TEIBAR to a City called and known as TETRAPOLI” — Yeah, I know, that may be a vague reference to start, but you do get a very good backstory notecard if you visit the sim (which, having not asked, I won’t copy and paste here without permission).

Here’s a bit of technical stuff —  If you don’t care, just skip ahead to the next paragraph 😉 We see that there is a second closed group (besides the land group “LAND GROUP CALADAN ISLAND”) named “THE VILLAGE of HEIBAN” — I am guessing this is for merchants, renters, guards, and the like. The main group “THE VILLAGE: Slave Hunt” is open enrollment and this is where you get either prey or predator tags — there are sub-groups for each.

Predator vs. Prey
Mostly, this sim is a predator vs. prey game, the men are predators and the women are prey, the basic premise is men run around shooting the women with bows, eventually knocking them unconcious, whereby a net is thrown over and you bind them, then get to do whatever consensual adults want to do — this is very similar to how some of the Gorean Meter works, but she has created her own HUD and meter for the sim, and in so doing also loses much of the formalities or rules that a by-the-book Gorean sim may have. Looking for capture roleplay without all the book stuff? Then come here. Yes, you can be more by-the-book yourself if you want, but don’t expect everyone else to. I see lots of people running around in human outfits of all sorts hehe, and of course acting like humans or beasts of all sorts as well. There are some limits to characters/races on the sim, but nothing too drastic unless you are furry and can’t be something hybrid-human, e.g., neko or kitsune looking human. Moving along..

The women can throw rocks to fight the men, or even, once captured by the net, they can chose to be released, or not bound, to have their health restored and be chased again, hang out in a OOC area or other safezone, etc. A man can even chose to do a sort of catch and release to the girl, shooting, chasing, capturing, then letting them go and repeating the play with another prey.

Open Hunt
There’s also a variation called Open Hunt — Once a month, the roles are reversed and the women can then chase and shoot at men, capturing them and what not, or you can be a woman and capture another woman if you like. Stuff like that– again, there are notecards that explain the change in rules in easy-to-understand simple English.

All in all, it’s a lot of fun, and seems to be frequented by intelligent, aimable people along with a few random griefers of course, however monitored by guards which are posted around the sim to ensure everyone is having a good time. That said, there are some noobs there but on the whole there are mostly experienced players. This place doesn’t attract newbies like a free sex beach would.

Scripts
They have script counters before you enter the arena, to make sure you aren’t lagging the sim by wearing too many scripted items.

Scripts can be anything from poofers to gesture machines or wildly animated things, but sometimes you are lagging the sim without realizing. For example, I was wearing a self-adjustable sort of Damselfly hair once, which still had its scripts in it and my script count was way high! This is because the hair has over 100 prims in it, and each prim is scripted for scaling the size of the hair to your avatar’s head. Once you have your hair set the hair the way you like it, of course, you are supposed to tell the hair to delete all of its scripts, and it does, thereby reducing your script count. Most people, however, set it and leave it that way and never bother to delete the scripts, even though you can copy the hair, tweak it, and save it, thus leaving the original intact. The same can be true for any prim-based object that you wear as an attachment which may be scripted, like a cloak or shoes or some such thing.

Anyway, As long as your script count is below 50 or so, then that is very good.

Gestures
Another thing they don’t like is the use of gestures. A “gestures” is emoting of various sorts, for example, your hand raises and waves, and your avatar simultaneously types “hi” or your avatar goes into a laughing fit of animation and simultaneously types “lol” — With me so far? Now, all over Second Life, people use hundreds of gestures to do all sorts of things, and most of these gestures are like bad radio stations, which play way too often and create a lot of what I will refer to as “audible spam” you see, most gestures will include sound clips that can be up to 10 seconds long, and some longer gestures will contain multiple sounds or music clips. Gestures often also contain lines of text which scroll madly from the person doing said gesture — that may be funny once in awhile with a friend you are making laugh, but in a RP situation, it just floods the local chat with nonsense that doesn’t have much bearing on other people’s RP which may be in the area, so, I’ll refer to that as “chat spam” — both of these are frowned upon in most RP areas. Then there are also animations that may accompany gestures, well, you can imagine how distracting that may be, especially when the animation and text blurt first, followed later by audible spam which your viewer needed time to download and cue up before it could play it (now out of sync with said gesture).

What to bring
Of course, you will want to be wearing your HUD (which is a script) and your chosen weapon, normally a bow, which can be any of the ones listed in the notecard given as you enter. They do prohibit the use of cheater weapons, superstrong weapons, guns that do massive damage quickly or newbie freebie things such as a watermelon cannon, flight or superjump assistance, that sort of thing. It’s a no-fly zone so you can’t be riding a Tarn and shooting prey below, that would just be an unfair advantage. Also, I believe a man running around naked with his johnson hanging out is frowned upon (which also leaves nothing to the imagination) though, the same can be said about a woman running around naked or standing still for that matter (which, also leaves little to the imagination and makes for a very easy target.. is that fun, really? I don’t know, maybe some people like easy prey.. chuckles..)

Getting the lay of the land
There’s a main teleport area that puts you in a sort of sky mall, this is where everyone starts. You must walk from there through her marketplace/mall sort of area following a series of arrows which lead to a teleporter. There’s lots of great stores here! Be sure to check them out! You can use just about everything sold here in the sim below, so if you need something, from weapons to close to love HUDs and what not, you can probably find it there!

Once you reach the teleport area, you will find 2 stations — one teleport will take men to the predator hut, the other takes women to the prey hut, yes, each group has their own group which you must be a member of (membership is free) and you start at that spot, respectively. Each starting hut is at ground level where the “game” or main avatar interaction area of her sim happens.

There are lots of hidden areas to explore, and poseballs all over the place, some are for cuddles or relaxing while others are more erotic, including BDSM, sex beds, leashing poles, and so forth. How much you and your partner (for the moment or for as long as you both want) is up to you. It’s a great place to find a person and roleplay with them at random, no strings attached and no serious by the book stuff, it’s very open that way.

There is a castle, a waterfall, open areas like fields, rivers, bridges, a little town area, a lighthouse, yeah just about whatever you can think of for this type of RP is around here somewhere, lots of great RP possibilities to give you ideas and get the sparks flying! 🙂

Now go get your Second Life viewer and login to The Village! It is located here (well, almost like an sURL for you, here’s the weblink!)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Caladan%20Island/69/240/1014/

Some notes on migrating open simulator sim regions across grids, platforms, and databases – Part II

Some MORE notes on migrating open simulator sim regions across grids, platforms, and databases – Part II

So, now I have decided to restore my OSgrid build on the PC running all 9 sims (I dumped the 4 sim diva distro for now).

All of that shuffling must have caused some issue, or, the grid itself is experiencing problems, as I can’t seem to get all of my 9 sims to appear at once on OSgrid, even though they were indeed running fine before. I can keep 4 or 5 of the sims going and for whatever reason, others disappear from view!

The sims appear to be running locally, when I look at stats they are happy and running, though to OSgrid it’s like they cease to exist after some time. They come back if I restart the sim, so I think it may be having some sort of connection issue, as if they get disconnected from the grid somehow with no recourse/recovery the only option is to retart whatever affected sims may be.. Even that doesn’t seem to work sometimes.

Moving forward, I think what I will do now is save new OAR files and then reinstall the new OSgrid build fresh, import the OARs to it, and see how that goes. I’m also going to change the database to MySQL, since I have just installed it when I loaded diva distro on the same machine.

Failing that, I’ll go to a 4 sim build similar to what I had with diva distro, or simply go back to that install entirely, thus calling it quits with OSgrid and its many random issues…

(even though some of these may be my own fault, it’s these problems I hear from a few other OSgrid-connected OpenSim owners! Granted OSgrid is the biggest of the OpenSim grids, and help is available — help I didn’t bother asking anyone for — but meh on all that for now, I just want something like diva distro or the standalone that I can run out of the box and have fun with it, hypergridded or not!)

I’ll report back whatever happens next.

FYI, with MySQL I can get OpenSimulator running very nicely (stand-alone or gridded) on the Mac OS X system, trouble with that is, as far as the hardware goes, it’s my personal laptop, so I can’t — or won’t — devote that powerhouse to being just a server running a sim.

Japan Tempura Island – Ballroom songlist

Yeah, I was the recipient of lots of free time one day and went about grabbing a sort of playlist of the songs used at Japan Tempura Island’s ballroom area (this is a parcel within the main sim that uses a different mp3 stream of tunes than the rest!) I got all but a few songs whose artists or songs I just couldn’t figure out… and here they are:

Tempura Ballroom Song List

  1. Kelly Sweet            “We Are One”
  2. Sting                 “Shape of My Heart”
  3. Kelly Sweet            “Ready for Love”
  4. Backstreet Boys        “Drowning”
  5. Harry Nilsson        “Without You” (by Badfinger)
  6. Kelly Sweet “Giorno dopo giorno”
  7. ?                    “Angel” (Sarah McLachlan cover)
  8. Il Divo                “I believe in you” (with Celine Dion)
  9. Enrique Iglesias        “Hero”
  10. Celine Dion            “The Prayer” (with Andrea Bocelli)
  11. ?                    “Your Song” (Elton John cover)
  12. Faith Hill            “There You’ll Be”
  13. Keith Urban            “Tonight I Wanna Cry”
  14. Ewan MacGregor    “Come What May”
  15. Shania Twain        “From This Moment”
  16. ?                    “You’re Beautiful” (James Blunt cover)
  17. Josh Groban        “To Where You Are”
  18. Kelly Sweet            “Love Song”
  19. Josh Groban        ” You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up)”
  20. Carpenters            “I Need To Be In Love”
  21. Christina Aguilera    “The Voice Within”

Anyone know who these missing artists are, or in fact, know the songs for their main theme (the stream that starts when you first enter the sim..)? I could only recognize a few of the tracks… Some are from Narnia soundtrack, some Final Fantasy VII soundtrack, some from Lord of the Rings soundtrack, and there’s all kinds of good songs in there I recognize but long since forgot where they came from LOL … Ah well! All good music at the main area, I think it is about 4 hours then it restarts itself, so it’s a predictable playlist/stream, like the Ballroom songs are… which I think is just cool hehe.. anyway… there ya go.

For those who have no idea what Japan Tempura Island is, it’s a virtual island in the metaverse, on the linden (Second Life) grid. Here is a URL to their main blog site, which gives some more background info and has a few cool pics (more pics in my flickr albums heh)

Japan Tempura Island in Second Life

I think it would be just awesome if the creators of Japan Tempura Island recreated the sim in some of the other OpenSimulator grids, that would rock.. just an idea heh, if anyone out there from Japan Tempura Island ever reads this and takes me up on the idea, would love to see it!

Some notes on migrating open simulator sim regions across grids, platforms, and databases.

UPDATE:

MY HYPERGRID IS CURRENTLY DOWN, AWAITING A FIX (BECAUSE I GOOFED IT UP, WHOOPS!)

IF YOU CAN REACH MY SIMS ON OSGRID, THEN THEY ARE THERE TO PLAY WITH FOR NOW 🙂

Some notes on migrating open simulator sim regions across grids, platforms, and databases.

To preface saying Open Simulator gives rock-solid performance is about as ludacris as claiming Second Life never has sim crashes, loses things off regions or inventories, or that it rarely needs rolling restarts to ensure some stability of assets for its residents.

Granted, the development cycles and teams responsible of either the Linden grid builds or OpenSim builds are quite unique, as well the motivations of the grid administrators and their sim’s residents can differ greatly in principle, opinion, and innovation.

For one, Linden Labs is a corporation whose currency is publicly traded along with the US dollar. They have paid staff, a HQ near downtown San Francisco, centralized server farms, that sorta thing. If somewhere things go wrong, you may be able to resolve them through a support department or by contacting others. You may even get a refund for something you paid for that didn’t quite work out.

Most opensim grids, on the other hand, are run by volunteers who exist in quite a decentralized way, coming into and going out of the picture at random, with servers scattered all over the world. Some stuff works, some doesn’t, and people just deal with it. If you break your server, it’s your own dang fault and you keep both pieces. Yes there may be community help for you, but then again you are a bit on your own, since the expectation is you wouldn’t be installing servers, configuring firewalls and creating databases unless you had some clue what you were doing.

There are exceptions to this, of course, but the very atmosphere of “seat of your pants” nonprofit, open platform, opensource, creative commons based public administration and development (e.g., OSgrid, NWG, 3Dworlds) is notably in contrast to the for-profit, closed, dmca based private administration and development of other virtual worlds (e.g., YAL, InWorldz, SL).

Then there are some virtual world models that fall somewhere between the commerce driven, big-brother governed grids and the creator-driven, unmoderated grids, such as ReactionGrid & RolePlayWorlds, where it’s a somewhat closed grid, yet exists more in the space-time fabric of openness than it does in intentionally closedness (if that’s a word..)

There is a point to these comparisons, in that a server admin has several options (like my earlier post stated).

Yes, you can manage things “on your own” 100% if you choose, or you can let “them” manage it 100% if you aren’t savvy enough to do it, or if money/cost is simply not a factor for you and you don’t mind paying and trusting someone to care for your creations.

Then there is the grey areas in between, where you run your own sim, but let a chosen grid manage the users, inventories, and maintenance of the interconnected systems itself, so you only assume partial ownership, or, you use a pre-configured distribution which basically runs itself out if the box with little configuration needed; You supply the hardware and bandwidth, and as a friendly consolation for putting your sim on their grid, they do the rest.

In all cases, scalability and portability becomes a factor. Some grids (even ones you may connect to with your own server, now linked into their grid system) may tell you that you can’t bring some objects or avatar data across to other grids, in fact some will enforce it, while others don’t mind, or in fact encourage you to openly share data across to other places and their users freely (as long as it’s legal).

Some grids wish to enforce content ratings as well, while others have no controls at that level. NWG for example is based in France and centers around educational or nonprofit use, so likes to keep it around the PG level.

There are elements within the hypergrid which can help to hinder or permit open sharing, but let’s skip that for now and just sum this entire post thus far to say it all really boils down to one thing: your choice.

You may chose where your avatar logs in, where you spend time, where you wish to build a virtual home, and if you want to share it with anyone else.

You also decide which sims or grids or people you wish to spend your dollars.

As you spend time, resources, energy, money, etc, so do you then propagate that grid to continue.

Even though much of the underlying architecture, scripting languages, and file formats are similar across server builds and their varied grids, the implementation of each is customizable to the degree that inconsistencies or incompatibilities may arise between versions. Not all virtual worlds use the same engine as Opensim or SecondLife, for example the Utherverse, GaiaOnline, the now defunct There.com and IMVU use different engines entirely.

This is true of not only the server level (which many end users just don’t understand, or won’t take into consideration), but also the viewer code, that which an end user uses to connect their computer into the virtual environment. Some worlds and MMORPG can be accessed by a standard web browser with some 3D plugins, while others prefer you to use their own client software (aka a “viewer”)

Take for example the features of the SecondLife viewer, where there are three distinct code bases; the older linden 1.23 client code base, the web viewer (which is in beta) and the newer linden 2.0 client interface; Each viewer may have its own menu structures, features, and plugins, which, although connecting to the same grid of servers, will offer differing levels of performance or interactivity. The experience of some aspects (like enhanced audio/video streaming, building tools, graphics options, or avatar structure) will exist in one viewer, yet be lacking of the other.

Some viewers allow you extra functions like exporting to hard disk, additional shortcuts to commonly used features, or the like, while other viewers use a very small footprint to only give the most basic functions.

Back to the sims though, and how well they manage things..

Some folks will say that OpenSimulator is just an older version of SecondLife, and that it sets you back a few years in comparison with today’s Linden sims– actually, we often find that the bleeding edge of technology in many respects belongs to the OpenSim engines, and the Linden grid is constantly trying to keep up with OpenSim.

Some examples include megaregions (which are 512sqm x 512sqm with no sim crossing issues), megaprims (which are limited to 256x256x256 in size, unlike SecondLife’s 10x10x10 building limits), hypergrid support, meshes, multilayer Photoshop PSD importing, and other features not yet available in SL.

On the other hand, SL uses the ever-popular Havok physics engine, and has touts some cool features you don’t have in OpenSim.. Uhm.. Trying to think of some.. Let’s see.. Did I say Havok physics? Oh yes, I did.. Hmm.. What else.. Well there’s the SL marketplace where you can buy stuff, of course in most opensim worlds, everything is free, so a marketplace wouldn’t make much sense..

Well anyways, I’m sure there are some great reasons people prefer SL over other similar worlds, other than pure ignorance.. Maybe it is because SL caters to teens and a less savvy group of newbies along with the hobo tech elite? Who knows.. Each grid has specific communities or groups that like to congregate in them, so that’s worth consideration when building your dream place. Why bother building a mature art gallery in NewWorldGrid if there’s nobody to come look at it? Why have an educational institution or nonprofit in SecondLife if the average person (and certainly, the lindens themselves) won’t cater to it?

Back to what happens on your sim though, each one is just as fallible as the other, really. I’ve lost objects from my SL inventory, they are simply gone and unable to be restored. I’ve also lost things on OpenSim grids, either by my own human error, or because technical issues arise when running several different builds of open simulator on various platforms..

Yeah, I’ve run OpenSim 0.66 up to the recent 0.71 development builds, and used pre-packaged installs of New World Grid, OSgrid, Diva Distro, even compiled my own binaries from the source packages on opensimulator.org, I’ve owned linden mainland and private islands in SecondLife as well.

Migrating data between sim builds, worlds and even minor changes in version can be tricky, as well, I have changed my database and inventory providers a few iterations along the way.. Some XML captures, some OAR files, some SQLlite, some MySQL backend.

Most recently, I’ve just moved 9 sims of data (4 of which were earlier standalone builds) from OSgrid’s custom opensim install, into my more recent Diva Distribution of a hypergridded stand alone sim, which already had 4 brand new sims installed by default.

The OSgrid terrains were saved as .raw files, as well the objects of each sim saved to .oar archive files, and my user inventories were backed up to .iar archive files.

Although saving the files appeared to go well, loading them all back into my new sims didn’t go as planned. I’ll detail what went wrong, along with what I did to resolve the issues as they arose.

For some background, I started with some objects and terrains in SecondLife, then exported them to files which were imported to opensim on the mac. The mac ran opensim on mac os x with sqllite, then windows xp via bootcamp, back to mac os x on opensimulator standalone, then mac new world grid to pc new world grid, to pc osgrid, and finally moved to a different pc running windows xp, osgrid build, then finally mysql with diva distro. The reasons for so many version iterations and changes of platform were my own experimentation. Nevertheless, stuff migrated fairly cleanly up to the last few versions, where there are significant code changes.. and these code changes caused things like object imports and teleporting around my sims to break.

First I created a diva distro with four fresh clean sims, they are the NW, SW, NE, and SE corners of one large region called “Islandia”

I took my standalone avatar inventory and saved it to several .iar inventory archives.

Next, I took my 9 OSgrid regions and backed them up, each sim had a .raw terrain file and a .oar object archive file (which includes a .raw terrain as well). The logic was, if object export fails, at least I will have the land the way it was and add the objects in later.

Most of the sims imported successfully, though some simply bombed out, crashing the sim in the process!

When I logged in to look at the sims, they were not all there, in fact some land was now transparent for whatever reason!

I created a 1 sim moat around the islandia regions, placing my 3×3 grid of 9 sims just west of the 2×2 islandia.

When trying to teleport, it ended up in a strange zero point instead of one of the 9 sims, and most in fact were not reachable at all (either by walking, flying, or teleporting over to them.)

So, next I moved the sims together so there was no moat of water between them.

I was able to import all the raw files and observe the sims rendered the land correctly.

Upon importing the object archives, some worked, some threw errors (though appeared to complete) and a few couldn’t import and just threw an exception, crashing the entire opensim.exe

Next up.. I’m going to try and put the osgrid regions back online, save the archives again, then try to reload them into the diva distro one more time. My guess is, it was a bad oar, so hopefully doing it over will resolve things.

Hypergridded stand-alone up and running, starting to import older sims there

UPDATE:
Sorry, the hypergrid is currently down, you can still reach the older sims on OSgrid if the thing will let you login to them!

Running 4 sims was easy.. adding 9 more to the build gave me a few crashes… so all the old stuff isn’t there yet … but working on it .. If you want to take a peek, it’s here… 4 sim viking steampunk with 2 objects so far LOL … off to the west are the 9 sims from the OSgrid install, though, they aren’t all quite there it seems and was having some teleport issues , so just rebooted it all today hoping that would fix it …

Say hello to a new avatar on RolePlayWorlds grid!

I’ve started exploring The RolePlayWorlds grid, an OpenSim based grid which uses PayPal as their virtual economy. For each US$1 you get OS$100 for use in their world, the exchange rate is about 3x the going rate of US to Linden dollars used on the Second Life grid, though people adjust their for sale item prices accordingly. The RPW grid has basically 4 themed “mainlands” which are interconnected, yet somewhat confusingly referred to as individual grids– here’s a quick rundown of each theme:

1- The Fantasy Grid consists of Fantasy/Elf, built around a massive terraformed Labyrinth, with something like Jared’s castle in the center of it, which doubles as housing for the elf folk, and resident “monster” avatars (e.g., minotaurs) who have their homes placed within the maze. This setup encourages some unique role-play scenarios!

2- The Vampire grid centers around a Avalon style castle, not much is known of the realm or its inhabitants, but wonderfully dark vampire role-play is to be found here 😉

3- The Gor grid centers around the City of Ar, a completely massive 10 sim build, and other cities from John Norman’s series of about 30 books. The Gorean worlds are part high-tech sci-fi, part medieval era “counter-earth” and are spread across other huge sim builds, of varying terrain and environments, which follow the elaborate caste and dual government systems as taken from the stories, mainly consisting of warriors and slaves, yet also priests, merchants, assassins, doctors, builders, wild tribal people, outlaws, etc.

4- The Oasis grid is a collection of romantic, tropical themed islands and retreats for humans to relax, rejuvenate, or do other loving things with friends and loved ones, as well provides a neutral area for people of the different species or races to coexist OOC 🙂

There’s an interesting twist about Land ownership on RPW in that most areas are governed by a ruling clan or group which has to completes challenges or battle other prospective clans to maintain their “position” and in-world status, the results simply are that a victorious clan becomes (or maintains) ownership of said land, while a losing clan or group loses title! Thus battles of good role-play are not only encouraged, but are somewhat required to obtain and maintain good plots of virtual land (as I understand it..)

In order to login to the 3D world of RolePlayWorlds, you need to create an avatar account (similar to setting up one for Linden Labs’ Second Life, yes, the client/server relationship is a close comparison)  at their website http://grid.roleplayworlds.net. After you confirm a valid email and get activation, you may login to http://roleplayworlds.net/ directly to manage your login account, though mostly you’ll be logging into the world with your chosen viewer (like other OpenSimulator based grids, the “Impudence” viewer is  is highly recommended).

Your initial avatar (noob) appearance will be that of a female “Ruth” and this comes regardless of your chosen race or sex.

Not to worry, some good freebee areas abound and you’ll quickly find suitable body parts, clothing, and attachments to customize your look.

There is a central shopping center (The Sunset Mall) as well, builders and merchants check this out: You can pick your own 100 prim storefront there and sell your wares completely free, no initial fees or monthly tier payments required! 🙂

RPW Network is new, and they just went through a massive update from the earlier 0.6 to newer 0.7 server, but with the scope and quality of the builds, as well good availability of items for residents, this may very well be the best grid for roleplayers since Second Life.

Granted, since the use of real-world money is enabled and encouraged in RPW, it is a “closed” type of grid.

(By the term “closed grid” I mean to say: 1- you can’t take your own self-managed server and connect it into their grid, 2- their inventory system and regions are managed by their own admins, and of course 3- like SL, you can buy and rent one of their managed sims)

Closed systems are generally done so to protect the copyrights/commerce of their merchants, as well, since real-world money is involved, the grid needs to protect itself from those who would want to hook into it for the purpose of fraud or self-generating virtual money which may then be exchanged into real world currency..

Note that by default, OpenSim avatars are given OS $10,000 upon account creation, which would easily mean US$1,000 to an unscrupulous hacker (if the monetary exchange worked in both directions, which in this case it does not.. AFAIK!)

Greetings to the hypergrid … now what?

Enter now the HYPERGRID

Well guess what I just did? Yes, per my earlier post I’m pleased to report a successfully installed Diva Distro on Mac OS X with MySQL, four regions up and running, woot! One feature of the Diva Distribution (a custom modified build of OpenSimulator) is that it has hypergrid support. In a nutshell, hypergrid enables you to pop over to some other OpenSimulator grid from any other hypergrid-enabled sim, region, or grid! LindenLabs was experimenting with the idea earlier, but like other closed grids, has since dropped it. That’s ok, because a former Linden is pretty much behind the whole thing (hehe, cool eh?) but, before I get too ahead of myself, I will leave all of that for another post…

This install is great, and also supports IAR’s and OAR’s … basically these are .tar.gz archives of a user’s inventory or an entire sim (respectively) … so I’ve managed to import two IAR’s into my new sim thus far — I do think IAR and OAR archives are the best thing to happen since sliced prims (LOL)

Do I have other plans for this thing? Why, oh yes I do! Next, I could plan on exporting everything permitted from OSgrid and other “open grid” regions into my hypergridded installation, and if possible, provide hypergates from/to other regions, wee! But nah, I really want to just have my own builds (or completely new builds) on there as much as possible.

So, what am I calling this thing?

So far, as with earlier sims (as found on OSgrid and New World Grid), this one is called Islandia.

Earlier builds of Islandia were rather random collections of stuff I had worked on before. But now, I am going with a theme (gah, finally!) So, there is a predominantly (ancient) Norse theme going with these sims, as one may gather from engraved signs written in a sort of romanized Futhark, which serve as guideposts and provide informational tidbits about the sim.

Can anyone reach this sim? Well, no, not yet, but soon…

All related to this new install, visitors to this website will be seeing more objects, terrains, and most likely a few IAR and OAR files for free download 🙂 Of course, some content will be copyable or otherways distributed inworld by myself or counterparts in various places 🙂 Geez, that all sounds pretty random eh…

Alas, residents of Second Life and other “closed grids” (like InWorldz, The RP Worlds grid, YAL, etc.) won’t be able to make much use of the IAR or OAR archives files.. but at least they will be able to download and import stuff posted to this website or, if I have some sort of storefront given to me in SL, I will be happy to post freebies there for people to make use of. Too bad onrez, xstreet, and the old freebie promotion isn’t in SL anymore.. sigh.. I’m not paying the Lindens to give away my stuff free, that just seems a conflict of interest (HAH!)

Well I am way off on all sorts of tangents now so just going to stop..

Cheers!

Installing Diva Distro on Mac OS X 10.5 (OpenSimulator)

Installing Diva Distro on Mac OS X 10.5 (OpenSimulator)

Today I went about downloading and installing the Diva Distro on my Mac. I had been using an earlier OpenSimulator build in standalone, and then into the OSgrid build of OpenSimulator (with a few caveats), but was largely dissapointed with some aspects of the 0.7 build and some current issues OSgrid is having with it. Of course, other grids that are going to the later 0.7 build are running into the same problems, but that’s misnomer for the topic of this blog post …

I wanted to have a stable standalone which was grid-accessible, and one way to do that would be to enable hypergrid — after some research I found that the diva distribution includes this as well some other useful bits, and runs on Mac OS X using MySQL as the database (since Mono still has some database library problems with the new .NET routines, and hence breaks SQLlite which OpenSimulator uses by default… one workaround is to use a different database provider, and MySQL is one of those free databases I could use on Mac, so here I am…

Back to the install…

Off the top of my head, I am not so experienced with using MySQL on the Mac with OpenSimulator, so this will be a new experience for me, and I will just blog away my experience as the installation goes..

STEP 1 – DOWNLOAD

First, I had to download a few things. I already had Mono installed but not MySQL, and I already had OpenSim 0.6.5 installed, but we would be going to a newer build for the Diva Distribution (most likely… a 0.7x build I would guess)

So, first thing I did was download MySQL. Since I am on a MacBook Pro with a Intel Duo Core CPU, and I am running 10.5.x of the OS, I got mysql-5.5.8-osx10.5-x86_64 (the 64 means its a 64bit version, just like my Mac is).

Next, I downloaded the Diva distro package from github, currently this is in the D2 directory, even though it wasn’t updated since Sept 2010 I am told this is the latest build? Ok, so off I went and got the “diva-r13981.zip” file as well she had a nice IAR so I grabbed that while I was there. Stuff like wifi (which isnt about wireless internet) is included in Diva Distro so I am looking forward to that.

I unpacked the MySQL tarball to a directory and stuck it in /usr/local/mysql but didn’t touch the Diva ZIP file yet, so I guess at this point I am ready to install (I had to give permissions to the directory since it seems by default Mac OS X doesn’t have write access there from that level of the GUI)

STEP 2 – INSTALL (this wasn’t quite right, scroll down for more..)

Following the MySQL install-binary document I opened up a terminal window and typed in my commands…

shell> groupadd mysql
shell> useradd -r -g mysql mysql

OOPS, of course, this doesn’t work in Mac OSX so I will use the System preferences pane to do this.. no wait, it says the user is already there with that name so can’t create a group. Perhaps the OS X preferences aren’t really telling me everything that is there?

shell> cd /usr/local
shell> tar zxvf /path/to/mysql-VERSION-OS.tar.gz
shell> ln -s full-path-to-mysql-VERSION-OS mysql
shell> cd mysql

OOPS, well I already did this when I unpacked it from the GUI… looking at the next series of commands… Hmm… yeah, I got a better idea, instead of mucking with the command line let me just find some pre-configured installer and run that … (searches … finds something)

Look at this!
(mysql-5.5.8-osx10.5-x86_64.dmg)

STEP 1 AGAIN

Yeah, that’s more of what I am looking for! (deletes other archive and directory.. downloads the DMG, mounts and opens it..)

STEP 2 AGAIN (still not correct, we’ll find out why in a sec)

First I ran the MySQL 5.5.8 community installer package, typed my password and away it went. Success.

Should I install the startup Item? Hmm… SQL pref pane? Hmm… Well I am just doing this instal as a test, not sure if I really need to start it up each time the computer boots up, but it’s easy enough to change later. I guess I will go ahead and do both for now.

Runs the MySQLstartitem.pkg … typed password, clicked blah blah blah, done.

Double-clicks the mySQL pref pane thingy .. oh, it doesnt work on a intel based mac, great 😛 right clicks it on the system prefs, removes it.

opens up that readme.txt file lol…

ok it says to run this command:

sudo /Library/StartupItems/MySQLCOM/MySQLCOM start

It says “Starting MySQL database server” — all looks hunky-dory so far. (but it wasn’t… scroll down for more..)

I already have the directory aliased per the DMG installer and don’t think I will need the extra command line aliases so skipping that. Now onto the diva distro part! Yay!?

STEP 3 – Installing OPEN SIM!

First, I unpacked the zip file to a folder.
moved this unpacked folder to near my opensim install…
/opt/diva-r13981/

Next I read the text files..
IMPORTANT.txt (doesnt apply to me)
INSTALL.txt (sorta applies.)
MONO.txt – I’m good with Mono 2.4.2.3, yay!
MYSQL.txt – some important config stuff here

OOPS! gets an error..
ERROR 2002 (HY000): Can’t connect to local MySQL server through socket ‘/tmp/mysql.sock’ (2)

Hmm what’s that mean? permissions? thing not running? ok, started it again.. Nope that doesn’t help.. hmm..  sql doesnt have rights to the directory, I guess… scratches head…

well this brings my install to a screeching halt, doesn’t it?
maybe a reboot is in order eh? (reboots..)

Well, right at reboot I get a message that “An item in the Startup Items folder (“/Library/StartupItems/MySQLCOM”) does not have the proper security settings.” — AHAH! do I decide later, disable, or fix it? decide later..

Googled the net, I found problems with MySQL 5.5 with suggestion to go down to 5.1 to fix which works fine.. so thus DOWNLOAD and INSTALL from 5.1 DMG image again!!

STEP 1 (third time is a charm!)

download and install mysql-5.1.54-osx10.5-x86_64.dmg here we go..

STEP 2

installed, installed startup items… and..
$ sudo /Library/StartupItems/MySQLCOM/MySQLCOM start
Password:
Starting MySQL database server
$ /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or g.
Your MySQL connection id is 1
Server version: 5.1.54 MySQL Community Server (GPL)

RUNNING! YAY!

I put those aliases in too..
$ alias mysql=/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql
$ alias mysqladmin=/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqladmin

Back to OpenSim stuff from Diva notes..

STEP 3

Now for some post install configuration (this is step 1 of the INSTALL.txt doc for the diva distro, now going through the doc/MYSQL.txt)

mysql> create database opensim;
ERROR 1044 (42000): Access denied for user ”@’localhost’ to database ‘opensim’

HMMMM…. Seen that before! I’m not logged in as root or under sudo, so fixing..

$sudo ./mysql

(running..)

mysql> create database opensim;

Query OK, 1 row affected (0.01 sec)

mysql> create user opensim identified by ‘PASSWORD’;

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> create user ‘opensim’@’localhost’ identified by
-> ‘PASSWORD’;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> grant all on opensim.* to opensim;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> grant all on opensim.* to ‘opensim’@’localhost’;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

So far so good!

STEP 4 (diva’s install.txt step 2)

Now I just need to setup DNS for the sim. I had my DynDNS service setup for the sims I have running on OSgrid, but I’ll need to setup another one for this installation..

haha, I got hypergrid.dyndns.org to go with the starlord.dyndns.org 😉

Anyway, I already have my 2wire DSL router configured for use with Open Simulator and New World Grid, so that is good to go. Checked the configuration to make sure the ports were properly assigned to this computer, and they are.. so continuing..

STEP 5: Moving on to step 3 on the install.txt note.. looking at WIFI.txt

Hmm, I need a gmail account for sending email notifications? Ah, I see why, because it uses google’s secure smtp to send emails. Ok, I will use my SL bot account to do that, since bots love to do tasks like that. Hehe..

Gosh, I am almost done?! That was EASY so far! Now on to step 4 of the install.txt doc, going to run Configure.exe .. I guess it’s safe to minimize that MySQL prompt that’s been there since the earlier step 😉

Ran it, entered stuff it asked.. and it finished saying:

Your world is Islandia
Your loginuri is http://hypergrid.dyndns.org:9000
Your Wifi app is http://hypergrid.dyndns.org:9000/wifi

And it also said to go and modify ‘bin/config-include/MyWorld.ini’
but I’m happy so far and won’t mess with it 😉

STEP 6: UP AND RUNNING!

Next up.. running OpenSim.exe, this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for! I’m already in the bin directory with a prompt in the Terminal (console) window, so here goes…. holds breath and cringes a bit while typing this command… crossing fingers…

$ mono OpenSim.exe

It started up, entered in my region estate info [no, StarLord Estates] and gave it my first and last name for owner 😉 … looks like it created four regions Islandia 1 2 3 4, and now I am staring at a nice Region (root) # prompt, yay! It’s running!

Ok, I will need to create the master avatar account (that’s me!) and 3 accounts for the default avatars…

Oh… DUH it already created the master account login in that configure.exe step.. Hmm, what about those default avatars? I will need to make those, one for male, one for female, and one for neutral as they say 😉

I’ll load up Imprudence and poke around this little sim hehe…

OOPS!! ugh, it grabbed the FQDN configuration but it didn’t connect properly because of my NAT loopback perhaps, I will need to mod my hosts file or some such workaround…

So I poked in 127.0.0.1 instead of the domain and I am looking at my little default splash page. Woot! Wonder if anyone else can reach me though? Hmm, shrug.. Well here I go into my little world now… (plugs in login details to Imprudence and hits ‘Log In’ button…)

Took awhile for initializing multimedia stuff (though the console output says ‘All clear. Sending login response to client.’ then sits waiting for region handshake.. OOPS! Hmm.. having trouble connecting the viewer says..

Maybe I will take a look at that configuration file after all… Nothing needed to change here …

STEP 7 : Default avatar accounts (on the W.I.F.I. webapp)

I went ahead and created the Male Avatar, Female Avatar, and Neutral Avatar accounts (for default appearances),

STEP 8: FIXING NAT LOOPBACK

Yes, I had to edit my hosts file…

assigned 127.0.0.1 to hypergrid.dyndns.org

STEP 9: LOGIN TO YOUR WORLD!

Trying Imprudence again…
YAY! I’m in and Ruthed… LOL but I’m in… woot 🙂

Now I just wonder if anyone else out there can reach the thing heh..

This was a very random seat-of-your-pants install blog, if you need help or have comments, questions, feel free to contact me via this website and I will do what I can to assist or help you test and troubleshoot (even though I am not Diva nor do I have any official status with Imprudence or OpenSimulator projects) … I am primarily a Mac user but the install is fairly the same regardless of the platform 😉

Tusk video posted to Vimeo

In memory of Second Life’s Tusk sim (as created by Amberly Kinsella) from Christopher Calhoun on Vimeo.

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this project, especially Amberly Kinsella, the original creator goddess of the world of Tusk!

Backstory:

Shortly before Tusk closed up, I began a machinima project to capture the beauty and roleplay experiences at Tusk (once a virtual world/sim in LindenLab’s SL grid)

However, the island was hit by a large meteor and sank into the virtual Linden grid oceans..

to rest somewhere in the abysmal depths..

along with hundreds of other forgotten worlds..

whose days are also lost to the madness of time…

Tusk will always be remembered though, her magick, her power, and the memories set there, that and the loving memory of my priestess Satoria Exonar, who has also since left the virtual worlds, seemingly never to return..

Thus, since a full-motion gorgeous HD Machinima extravaganza can not be finished at this time (sigh..)

may I present you the nearest equivalent — a motion slideshow set to an original score.

Music composed and performed live by me, editing by me in iMovie on the MacBook Pro.

Screenshot “photos” submitted by several Second Life residents for this project.