Friday, March 29, 2013

Ghostbusters Sim

By Grease Coakes
An iconic movie of the 80’s was the Ghostbusters with Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray. The movie where New York was terrorized by ghosts and the Ghostbusters busted the ghosts with laughs and chills. To most people it’s an entertaining movie. To Kheph777 Enoch he was inspired to take it one step further and create his own sim based upon the Ghostbusters movies.

 I warp in and land in the fire house and by dumb luck there’s the sim owner Kheph777 Enoch. I tell him I write for the SL Newser and he gives me a tour around the SL version of the firehouse where the Ghostbusters hang out at. Down in the basement is the vault of where ghosts are stored like in the movie and also where to buy my very own proton pack and trap. To do battle against slimer and his buddies costs 500L to buy the newest proton pack. There was also Kheph777’s friend Stabitha who helps build around the sim too.
I pay the 500L and Kheph777 shows me the tutorial. It’s simpler then it seems to blast ghosts and trap them. First you turn on your proton pack, (Everything is done in a simple HUD) then you grab you proton beam in your hand. You activate your stream and fire away! The tutorial only has you fight a class 1 ghost where you just zap to defeat. Kheph777 then showed me upstairs where there’s a phone where you click to automate a call. Kheph777 took lines from Janine’s phone calls in the movie typed out in text and then you know where to go to fight the fiendish ghost.
Fighting a mere spirit in the training was easy, but fighting a live class 3 ghost was tricky. It weaved and dodged my proton blasting for a few minutes hiding behind walls. Eventfully I got the bugger, but I still had to trap him! I had to bring in the ghost by walking my avatar close to the trap and then mouse click the foot pedal to trap him in the energy trap. The cash over my proton pack HUD went up some (cash within the game not Linden).
Now that I captured a ghost I have to return to the Ghostbusters firehouse to place the trap and drop off the ghost.  You flick the red switch and the drop box falls down, you insert the trap flip it back up and when the light it green the trap is clean. Fair warning you always want to clean your trap. 

Cash you use for upgrades from Egon’s equipment closet and also to recharge your pack. Kheph777 was telling me that your proton pack has an hour of real time charge so you always want to keep it off unless you’re fighting ghosts. He said it’s happened that Joe Birdsong was fighting ghosts and all of the sudden his proton pack turned off. That must be a pain in the butt I bet!
Various upgrades go to your trap capacity and goggles to act as radar to see the ghosts. Oh and fighting ghosts in New York is dangerous when you fight a class 6 or 7 ghost. They can attack you, causing you to lose in game hp/s that you see in your HUD. When you drop to zero and die, you’re penalized by having to recharge your pack for $5,000. Don’t have $5,000? Not to worry there’s a petty cash box in the fire house to help you out. You also have to recharge your pack when your hour of battery life is used up.
Kheph777 wants to create stronger ghosts like the staypuft marshmallow man to be a bigger challenge. Also there’s a lot of detail in the sim in not only the firehouse but all over like the keymaster and gatekeeper’s apartments. The call I took was at the hotel where the ghostbusters fought slimer. There’s also the library with the gray ghost lady. When I typed something I got a text message saying shhhh!
Kheph777 also says his sim is "light RP," meaning you can roleplay as a Ghostbuster or whatever you like. But it’s not required you can come in and fight ghosts by yourself or with your friends just being yourself. When you want to take a break from fighting ghosts there’s also a movie theater showing the first Ghostbusters film and Ghostbusters 2. There’s even the Ecto 1 car sitting in the firehouse for you to drive around to whatever location to reach your call. Zheph777 thought of everything to add realism to the Ghostbusters universe. There was even Zuul and the demon dogs.
There’s plenty to do here if you want to try something different even if you’re not a fan of the Ghostbusters. This is the right place for die-hards too who love the series as there’s even voice emotes you can activate from your proton pack HUD as the speech balloon icon. Oh by the way for kicks I tried to trap a ghost in my trap when I already had a ghost. There was a white explosion as my pixel Grease Coakes fell over and died. Luckily I had enough cash to recharge my pack Stabitha kept saying “I want to see him die!” To see my digital death I’d say it was worth blowing the $5,000 in game cash. 
The sim itself is loads of fun to play around in I recommend checking out this exciting sim.
The Ghostbusters sim and "Light RP" is at Slime Square, Whatever Burg (77, 92, 27). The group has a page on Facebook at: . The sim was also featured in a Ghostbusters fan website last month, (article here).
Grease Coakes

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Day in Second Life

By Grease Coakes
One day Xavier Thiebaud, one of the owners of the A-List, asked me to write out what I did in Second Life as a blog. Writing a blog constantly would be taxing over time. Xavier had a point though that people may be interested in what goes on in a furry’s doings on Second Life, especially one who hops between human and furry hangouts and activities.
So I figured I’d write about a Saturday where I had a few things lined up. For starters on a Saturday morning is brahma yoga class at 4 AM SLT which is 7 AM my time east coast time. The morning class on Saturday is the bajons or spiritual dancing with some meditation. I woke up on time and was frustrated that my Guru Pramiil Magne wasn’t online. 
Not that I can blame him he’s been busy with his job in real life. Despite that my fellow classmates and I decided to meditate without him. Aldaida said she liked my shirt with a picture of Watabou from dragon warrior monsters 1. She called it an alien, but it’s really a tree spirit from the video game. I was in meditation for a short while and I snapped out of it refreshed. I stuck around though and I wanted to prepare a notecard for a tailsale later in the day for IYC. 
I explained about tail sales in an earlier article. I talked with my friends after they got out of meditation for a bit. Celtic wanted to talk about things in her real life so I stopped and listened. When she logged off I warped to AX for a fave event I like to attend. I warped there and left my avatar there as I went afk to grab some breakfast.
After grabbing a bowl of cereal and a soda, no one is at AX yet. Do I look at my notices and DJ Starfall is playing at IYC. I warp over and I hear some awesome trance. Even at 5:30AM SL time, the dance floor is filled with various avatars shaking their tails. Not a lot of them are talking though, so I IM the DJ Ohni Starfall and say a lot of them are afk or in IM/s. He agrees with me. I let his trance relax me as I do my dailies for neopets. When it’s close to 6AM SL time,  I warp back to AX and see Dj Aurora Avila dance with one of her friends Jamaris Pawpaw.
DJ Aurora, in my opinion, is the queen of video game music as she plays a wide variety of video game remixes along with Asian music. She was the first person I reported on for the SL Newser when Bixyl hired me back in January last year. When anyone tips Aurora you’ll get a surprise if you haven’t been to her DJ sets before. DJ Aurora starts her set and suddenly I get an IM.
Spencer Mactire asks “Wait, were you just holding fire?”
I say, “Yes that’s my chat AO. I have lots of them."
Spencer says “That’s cool…” He also says hi to the readers when I tell him his comment is going in my article. I bring up a comment about Iron Man versus Samus Aran (the woman bounty hunter you play as from Metroid) Aurora has this to say as she’s a big fan of the Metroid series. 
[06:09] Aurora Avila: But I know Samus, and Lord knows that if she fights Iron Man, she'll be walking out with about half his modifications customized into her suit, and with a shiny new Repulser Beam. 
I think Tony Stark will have a bad day if he fights the Metroid hunter.

Listening to Aurora’s video game tunes, I decide to play Hubrid’s Hero heist. The worst game you can play in neopets if you want to earn neopoints as quickly as possible as a full game takes a ½ hour or so. It is fun to play in my opinion though, and I have a gold champion trophy in that game sitting on my neopets user lookup as greasy711. Sadly I play a lousy game. But it’s not all bad as I still hold the top score in rink runner of 534.
With expert mouse clicking while listening to Aurora’s music I do much better at rink runner. I asked a lady in a wild crux avatar named Sonicblue Dudek to slow dance with me. She says sure.
Over time the club fills up with various furries as I multitask chatting with people in the club and playing various neopets games earning neopoints. Fun is had by all while everyone hangs out listening to Aurora’s music.
At the end of Aurora’s DJ set I start playing Extreme Herder off neopets, and wanting faster music I warp over to Dance Island. When I started my Grease Coakes account I used to go Tj Icey’s a lot for the club music. Today it’s now Dance Island which features a bunch of DJ/s playing various genres. Dance Island is known for a lot of gestures but it doesn’t bother me as I’m used to Dance Island being an emote fest along with the music.
I click a dance a ball as I say hi to Deirdre Masala who hangs out a lot there. I jam to the trance being played by Bel Air and I start playing more Extreme Herder. My highest score in extreme herder was 353 today which is a good score but not high enough to reach the top scores. I see a notice at Book Island the sim dedicated to books and promoting your own literary works. The event is Jackson Arthur hosting a book discussion at 10am SLT. I leave Dance Island and wander around Book Island instead.
Using my mini map I find a bunch of green dots and hear a man’s voice over voice chat. So I join in and see a group of people sitting around a round table. Looking at Arthur’s top hat makes me think of Simon Linden. He’s one of the Lindens I met in SL and I found his teddy bear. He also asked about moles in SL and Olivia Whitsend answered that moles are a group in SL headed by the Lindens as a public works group.
Brokali, a blue alien, mentioned he was organizing 75 stories about food. Over voice chat he was geeking out about vegetables. He said that the definition of geeking was to be focused on a hobby or interest as their thing. I said jokingly then I geek out about neopets. Olivia said her kids also play neopets so I said my grey neopet will destroy their pets! Arthur said that doesn’t sound good and I joked no it doesn’t ha-ha!
I discussed my children’s book with the group and how I had to rework my book on lulu a few times to get it right. Also how I found an artist to draw for the cover as Arthur was saying he didn’t want to work with covers. A lot of the book discussion covered writing and ways to get published.

When the event was over I was invited to another book Island event, but I declined saying I wanted to go IYC for their tail sale event at 12noon SLT. The sim had to restart but I warped back with ease. A while later IYC got their tail sale under way as I warped through a ball to a waiting area. I joined a separate group IYC tail 4 sale when I was accepted to be sold as a tail for IYC.  

At 12 noon SLT things were still being sorted out as everyone waited for the first tail to go up for sale. The tail sale got a late start as Havok Muircastle wanted to grab more buyers into the sim and kick off the afk avatars. At 12:30 SL time they finally got the tail sale started as Havok spoke out the rules over Voice chat. One thing about tail sales it take a long time as each tail being sold is stretched out being bid on going once, twice, and then a third time.
Many furries ahead of me went for various amounts of Linden of 3k or so. A majority of the sales were offering art work or adult services like the article I wrote earlier on the AX tail sale. Atheu Blindside ahead of me was offering scripting and building weapons was bought by TeiTei for 2,500. I went up next and I can’t move! The sim screwed with my avatar so I could not sit on the podium to be sold. However amazingly, I had high bids and I was finally sold for 5k to Dragonheart. I warped to a sim on my picks then back and I IMed Dragonheart about what she wanted and she was interested in my writing ability. Then DragonHeart kept going and bid on KJ, a girl furry for her artistic ability, for 32,000L!
Jenny of the Sunweavers asked for a DJ for Club Cutlass, so I volunteered. Rita needed my DJ stream so I sent her the DJ information I bought from shoutcast. Then I checked my friends list and my Guru Pramiil Magne was online! Cool. I was excited that he was able to come online for class as I enjoy meditation class with him. I had an intense meditation but I quickly left class to set up my DJ stream with Rita and Jenni of the Sunweavers.
I played a good balance of disco/70’s/60’s and what I usually play for the Sunweavers crowd. I made a fair amount of tips as I played songs like "Hotel California" by the Eagles and "American Pie" by Don McLean. I played a few video game remixes and some House, but I also remembered the audience I was playing for and played disco etc. But the last song I played was a video game remix based upon the first Mega Man.
All in all it was a busy day for me as Grease Coakes in Second Life.  There’s many things to do and experience here on the Grid. Don’t limit yourself to one club or one thing. I guess that’s the moral of this article, if there is one, is just enjoy life and do what you enjoy.

Grease Coakes

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Heart of Gold Club

by Grease Coakes
In the club scene of Second Life it’s hard to find one that stands out in the thousands on the grid. One does simply by its design and the name reference. "Heart of Gold" created by Ezrin Sabre and Saros Eclipse is a cozy club made for furries, but of course humans and anyone else are also welcome. Heart of Gold has been around for a year and half and it’s still going strong.
 The ship name is from the popular book series the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy from the late Douglas Adams. Heart of Gold is the starship with the improbability drive.  And yes the ship actually has an improbability drive that Saros built in. There’s also Marvin the depressed robot downstairs as the barkeep.
Saros also owns an anime series called Hi No Tori which in Japanese translates to firebird or bird of fire. Ezrin told me that the series is about (surprise) a phoenix or firebird that travels the universe and teach various lessons to people. The ship itself is also a starship shaped very much like a bird with fiery feathers but also with a mechanical steampunk look. The dance floor itself is clear so you can look down below in the inside of the star ship. The starship itself is also set in outer space where the Heart of Gold/fire bird travels through. The graphics are wonderful as you dance or hang out the upper deck as the ship travels slowly. It seems like you’re actually in outer space but not inky blackness but a colorful environment that seems like nebulae in an explosion of color. 
Saros built the club herself as it helps her relax and Ezrin says the original club him and her owned was called Ari-Sen which had a big mushroom in the middle of it. When they moved to a sim with a naughty name, they put the human clubs out of business as they drew in a consistent crowd. DJ Aurora Avila was one of the djs at Ari-Sen until she moved on to AX (also known as Anthroxtacy).
Heart of Gold is active at night when their dj/s come out to play for a small but growing crowd that comes to hear live dj sets. Amurtigeress Korobase, a griffin dj, plays a wide variety of music from trance to movie theme music and various other genres as she is also the head dj at Heart of Gold. She djs Tuesday and Thursday 6-10 SL time and every other Friday 6-9 SL time. Sylys Sable a friend of mine also djs here.
I also like Heart of Gold as they were the first club to hire me as a dj in Second life. A club turned me down having no dj experience so I went to Heart of Gold instead and Ezrin and Amurtigress hired me right away wanting to hear what I played. I play a mix of dance music mixed in with video game remixes aimed at the dance floor. I dj Monday night 5-8 SL time and also 3-6 SL time on Wedsday night before Ezrin on the same night. The same night I wrote this article I held a contest that whenever I played a life force or mega man themed remix then someone tell me through IM or main chat and that person won a dj mix I just made that day. Hoppy and Zzri both won a dj mix from me for iming me when a megaman song played.
You want to see an amazing club and hear great music? Heart of gold is a great place to hang out with your friends and or dance the night away while you get lost in space.
Grease Coakes