Beat the summer heat with these cool August virtual events

Stay inside this month, in front of the air conditioner, and catch up on all the OpenSim events you’ve been missing.

Nara’s Nook celebrates new releases

The authors on the Nara’s Nook grid are celebrating new releases today, with a party on the Reader Cove region.

Naras Nook party

(Image courtesy Nara Malone.)

Teleport to world.narasnook.com:8900:Greyville via the hypergrid, then do a local teleport over to the Reader Cove region.

The party starts at 5 p.m. Pacific.

Read more about it here.

Virtual Paradise adult grid to hold grand opening August 15

Virtual Paradise, the new adult-themed grid, is growing fast, even though its official grand opening isn’t for another two weeks.

“We are up to 700-plus registered accounts in less than a month,” grid owner Keith Sparkman told Hypergrid Business.

(Image courtesy Virtual Paradise.)

(Image courtesy Virtual Paradise.)

The grid has also nearly doubled in size over the past two weeks, from 11 regions to 19, partly on the strength of its $5 region rental discount, which is still being offered, he said.

The grand opening party will be held at 6 p.m. Pacific on the grid’s Virtual Paradise region.

Exo-Life readies for August 17 grand opening event

Exo-Life Virtual World is preparing the grid for its August 17th official opening, grid manager Bryan French told Hypergrid Business.

“All that needs done on the webpage end is to upload our customized viewers, which should take place after a few more days of testing,” he said. “However any viewer can continue to connect to the grid until August 17.”

In other grid preparations the world’s money system is now active, he added.

“Our grid provider completed the ‘money module’ on July 25th and the Exo-Life staff thoroughly tested it over the weekend,” said grid associate Yael Yashan, known in-world as MaryJane Wilcox.

The grid staff completed writing and testing money payment scripts for the grid including vendors, camping, and sploder scripts, she added.

“The staff felt these scripts would be the best choice for starting the world’s economy,” she said.

According to Yashan, the grid currently has 3,550 Gs — Gonkbrunk Shekels — in circulation. General Wilcox — the grid’s equivalent of Second Life’s Governon Linden — has  an additional 2,500 Gs in reserve, she added.

Welcome Center on the new Exo-Life grid. (Image courtesy Exo-Life.)

Welcome Center on the new Exo-Life grid. (Image courtesy Exo-Life.)

 

The grid plans to post the total amount of currency in circulation twice a month in a notice at the grid’s Welcome Center.

Exo-Life Virtual World is sponsored by the non-profit organization Kol Ami Havurah which provides non-commercial radio stations and Jewish educational services in West Virginia.

Exo-Life is unique among other public OpenSim grids in that it plans to have hypergrid connectivity only to eight other grids.

Virtual Highway upgrades, begins Halloween prep

It’s a sure sign that the summer is almost over — the Halloween decorations are starting to go up!

“Work is progressing on a three-region Halloween build,” Virtual Highway owner Gene Call told Hypergrid Business. “This build will center around two horror movies and our resident creators are having a ball coming up with ideas and seeing them appear before their eyes. This build will be opening the first of October and is a must see for any and all who love Halloween.”

In other news, Virtual Highway has upgraded to the latest version of OpenSim, 0.8.

“We are excited that the upgrade allows the Virtual Highway community to set up variable regions,” said Call. “We look forward to the new creative opportunities this will open up.”

Variable-sized regions allows grids to offer larger area of land, usually at a steep discount over what the same amount of land would have cost in the form of traditional regions. In addition, because it’s all one region, there are no border crossings.

“This affords land owners the ability to have a larger expansion for things like sailing or driving vehicles without the interference of sim lines or crossings,” said Call. “Yet it still allows them to parcel the landed as needed.”

The new version of OpenSim also has a new default physics engine, BulletSim.

“Due to the improvements in the BulletSim physics, our residents are having a lot of fun running the vehicle scripts,” Call said. “Boats sailing, cars tearing around these large Var Regions… fun for all!”

Virtual Highway is best known for its music scene, with two to five events scheduled on any typical day.

(Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

(Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

This month’s highlight is a Kiss Tribute event on August 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. Pacific, organized by DJ Dark and DB Music Productions.

“This will be a concert presentation featuring band members in full Kiss attire and makeup, an elaborate stage and light show,” said Call. “Thank you for the creative contributions of Megan Cline, Danny Berg and Suzie Sak in making this show possible.”

Check out the grid calendar for more events.

Hypergrid Safari adds Sunday event

(Image courtesy Thirza Ember.)

In addition to their regular hypergrid trips every Wednesday, the Hypergrid Safari has added one more safari, Sundays at noon Pacific time.

They will continue their Wednesday events, which meet  at noon Pacific time on the Magica region on OSgrid, hypergrid address hg.osgrid.org:80:Magica.

For more information, check out their Hypergrid Safari Google Plus community.

Island Oasis begins offering mainland parcels

Island Oasis began offering mainland parcels on August 1.

“The mainland will be completely residential to foster a sense of community and will be available for purchase only as quarter sims,” Island Oasis marketing director Liz Harrington — also known as Alysin Paolino in-world — told Hypergrid Business. “This affordable purchase option will be available through our Land Store.”

The land will be added gradually, she added.

“Island Oasis will not be churning out regions just for the sake of inflating numbers of regions on the grid that are not occupied,” she said. “Instead, the mainland will begin with smaller number of regions and will only add on as needed. Keeping the integrity of our accurate numbers is very important to Island Oasis.”

Mainland residents will be able to move to a different parcel at any time, she said.

“This added benefit will make it easier for friends to have locations near one another without feeling stuck where they first chose their quarter sim,” she said.

The parcels cost $11 a month and can hold up to 1,500 prims.

Town Hall meeting space. (Image courtesy Island Oasis.)

Town Hall meeting space. (Image courtesy Island Oasis.)

The grid will be having its Town Hall Meeting on Sunday,  August 3rd at 1 p.m. Pacific.

For more events, check out the Island Oasis grid calendar.

DreamNation upgrades, adds own currency

DreamNation has upgraded to the latest version of OpenSim this month and has rolled out its own currency, DN Coins, or DNC$

“We also have successfully upgraded to OpenSim 0.8, and though we are still working through some of the problems of conforming our own proprietary engines to 0.8, we are all very impressed and what a giant leap forward it is for OpenSim,” grid founder Waki Janus told Hypergrid Business.

Anthony Art. (Image courtesy DreamNation.)

New tenants in DreamNation’s OBC Mall. (Image courtesy DreamNation.)

New retailers continue to arrive on the grid, Janus added, particularly after the upgrade and the rollout of the new currency. “The successful introduction of our own easy-to-use currency DNC$ has been embraced with enthusiasm by our members, and has been a big stimulant to the DreamNation economy. Among those who have joined us in the last fortnight is the very well known Second Life retailer Anthony Art and several of its partners who specialise in mesh products. These important retailers will undoubtedly also stimulate demand for other retailers who have been with us and stayed loyal to us for awhile such as Zanzo Skins and SMB Mesh Bodies.”

DreamNation’s currency is internally developed.

“We investigated alternatives to Virwox and in the end felt we would be no better off with an alternative currency provider so made the decision to establish our own currency,” Janus said. “It has a US$ monetary value and is redeemable. It was surprisingly easy to establish. One of our developers wrote the plug-in for the currency and worked on the principle of keeping it as easy and simple for our members as possible, while protecting the grid against issues of money laundering and fraud. However, because we are a closed grid, we felt they were unlikely to be a major issues.”

The grid does however set strict limits on buying and selling DNC$.

The advantage of having a local currency is ease of use for residents.

“There is no need for members to register for the currency or go through complicated steps to authorise expenditure in-world,” Janus said. “Members can easily buy DNC$ for use in world at their members page on our website. They can also redeem their currency on that page for US$, though requests for redemption must be manually approved before the funds are released.”

The grid also set up a separate reserve account to ensure adequate funding for cash-outs.

“Funds in these accounts must be maintained at levels above the US$ dollar value of DNC$ in circulation,” Janus said.

Music on Littlefield

As always, Littlefield grid is holding a number of musical events this month.

Of particular interest is a live music event at the Sound City Nightclub, where acclaimed guitarist Joaquin Gustav, live from Argentina, will perform a relaxing hour of tango, Latin and jazz music.

Teleport in via hypergrid to lfgrid.com:8002:Littlefield East at 3 p.m. Pacific on Sunday, August 10.

(Image courtesy Littlefield  Grid.)

(Image courtesy Littlefield Grid.)

For a full list of events, check the Littlefield grid calendar.

 

Friday parties at Dorena’s World

It’s too late for today, but set your calendar for Fridays at the Rock House on Dorena’s World, where there’s a themed music night every week at 8 p.m. CET — 11 a.m. Pacific.

Rock-House. (Image courtesy Dorena's World.)

Rock-House. (Image courtesy Dorena’s World.)

Hypergrid teleport to dorenas-world.de: 8002:Nihilon.

Grid Calendars

Many grids have calendars showcasing their events. If your grid’s calendar isn’t in this list, please send an email to [email protected].

We’ve also added some calendars from hypergrid-enabled grids on the Hyperica site. To be added, a calendar must list only hypergrid-enabled events, and have an iCal export function. Google calendars, for example, are perfect for this.

Also check out the Hypergrid Events and OpenSim Virtual communities on Google Plus!

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Waki Janus

    Great Roundup as always Maria. Thank you.

  • I love the calendar! I bookmarked it to add events as I can and to share it around sometimes.

    I also love you highlighting both Nara and the HGSafari…these both are doing some wonderful things in the hypergated Meta I love-)

  • Wanted to clarify that Island Oasis is not offering Mainland rentals. Instead 1/4 sims are SOLD and the resident has land ownership.

    • I’ve never understood how a virtual land rental can be called a “sale” when you have to pay a monthly amount to keep it active, the minute you stop paying you lose it and everything on it and — especially on closed grids — you can’t pick it up and take it elsewhere if you want.

      That’s why I use the word “rent” whenever possible, unless something is actually, in fact, being sold. Or, at least, licensed in a way that at least somewhat approximates an actual sale.

      As far as I can tell, grids using the world “sell” in connection with virtual land — and this includes Second Life — are using the word purely for marketing purposes, or to distinguish rentals directly from grid owners to rentals from intermediaries.

      When I think of “buying” a region, I think of buying the license to an OAR file. Or I might buy a grid from someone else, where I would be buying the rights to the databases and content.

      • lmpierce

        I’d like to add to your comment Maria by adding that much of the angst over grids comes from this very issue. Linden Labs alienated a lot of people early on by marketing ‘ownership’ and then demonstrating that participation in Second Life was completely contrary to any common and reasonable use of that word.

        • I’ve long been confused by why some grids make it as difficult as possible for people to give them money. I understand Second Life kind of painted itself into a corner — the $1,000 setup fees and the complicated “tier” system (which I STILL don’t understand! Hah!) — allowed the grid to manage growth back when it looked like it was going up like a rocket.

          Plus, on top of that, Second Life outsourced much of its sales channel to land resellers — an unfortunate (for SL) side effect of the complex tier policy and high setup fees.

          The number one rule of business should always be DON’T OUTSOURCE YOUR SALES. You want to own your own customers yourself. If you outsource your sales, so that some other person owns the customer relationship, then there’s always the possibility that this other guy will find a new supplier for whatever it is that you’re offering, and take all the customers with him.

          Plus, your goals are going to be different. For example, a land baron in Second Life might find it more profitable to get customers by luring them away from other land barons, or from SL’s default homes, or some other internal channel, instead of going after new customers outside the current SL ecosystem.

          The same goes for marketing, of course. Don’t outsource your marketing to the media! (That includes me!) The media are after NEWS, VIOLENCE, SEX, and FUNNY STUFF. That’s what readers read. Nobody wants to read a story that says, “Everything is going just fine. Everything is the same here as yesterday. Click here for more details.” And the media doesn’t care about your branding strategy.

          This applies to me, as well. I want to bring in readers — especially new readers — so that they can find out about OpenSim. That’s my number one goal. If that makes a particular grid look good, that’s a nice bonus for that grid but it’s not guaranteed.

          SL needs to be putting a lot more effort into actively creating and promoting a brand identity, instead of leaving it up to the randomness of journalists. And it probably needs to start taking control of the land sales process as well. Maybe baby steps, so the land barons don’t all flee en masse to OpenSim (though, of course, I wouldn’t be opposed to that — but I also want to see SL grow). Like having the land sub-leases go through some more official SL process, so residents of developments feel more like they’re renting from SL, not from the developer. Although it’s unlikely that they’ll start playing around with their business model, now that they’re working on SL 2.0.

      • KeithSelmes

        Absolutely right. I think of it as renting server space, and if there’s a purchase price, that’s a set up fee.
        That’s more accurate, it just doesn’t fit the dream SL were trying to sell.
        A quarter region parcel at Island Oasis is $11 a month, according to their website. I’d call that rental.
        To be fair, I don’t see this as a particular problem with Island Oasis, but part of a general confusion with terminology in VW.

      • Yea, I do agree. Of course from the marketing aspect, if they can “sell ownership” it imparts a sense of real ownership, even despite that a realistic appraisal would tell one otherwise.

        Some people will buy anything if it appeals to them, even that Brooklyn Bridge I just sold [several times].

        Then, of course, there is a sucker born every minute [wrongly attributed to P.T. Barnum, btw].

        Frankly, with cost coming down across the Meta it continues to surprise me people would pay such rates, even when “sold” on the idea it is less than SL. They apparently just “stop there” and do no further research…though that is changing quickly, regardless of whatever they do.

        With low and current trending in pricing, such that Zetamex and Kitely are doing, it hardly seems worth the waste of time and effort to pay more, for less authorities [i.e. OARs and/or IARs, etc.]

      • Sugar Paolino

        Maria, Traditionally the word sale vs rental in virtual worlds has been used by in world residents to distinguish the difference between purchasing land directly from the grid vs paying inworld currency to a another resident for temp use. I would like to point out that our original press release to you did not include the word sale nor did it include the word rental. This is the direct quote from what we sent you for our press release.

        “As of tomorrow morning, August 1, 2014 Island Oasis will be opening the option to purchase Mainland. The mainland will be completely residential to foster a sense of community and will be available for purchase only as 1/4 sims. This affordable purchase option will be available through our Land Store.”

        I am questioning why out of all of the many articles and references that the word “sale” is used for regions and for the years it has been used, why you would choose to suddenly now change to use the word rental?

        Your past articles have not used the word “rental” but instead have used the words “sale” or “offer” in reference to virtual world land (regions/sims) that are available to obtain directly from the grid.

        Instead of quoting our original press release or instead of changing the wording to “sale’ or “offer” (as you have used in the past) you chose to use the word “rental”, which I have never seen you use in any previous article that I am aware of. Not only did you make the conscious choice to use the word “rental” you chose to post that in the title of the article. You could have entitled it “Island Oasis begins offering mainland” and maintained consistency in your reporting.

        I personally would like to know why you would change and have changed many times in the past any and all news that we have sent you. We have sent you numerous grid updates, press releases, and news over the past 3 years. Numerous times we have been excluded from your reports or you have mis reported the information that was given to you entirely. Yes, we know that we are not the only grid who has been subjected to your erroneous reporting, but I do question why on such a consistent basis Island Oasis has had such issues with getting the correct information posted on hypergridbusiness without having to request corrections. We do not have this issue with any other publication that reports on Island Oasis.

        While I agree with the terminology you have used, as it does more resemble a rental than a purchase, I have no problem with the sudden change in terminology as long as the approach is used from this point forward equally and fairly for all grids when referencing the transfer of virtual land to residents as a “rental”. I look forward to reading more of your articles regarding “rentals”.

        Thank You
        Sugar Paolino

        • I slip and use the word “sale” plenty of times. When I notice, I fix it. It’s a personal pet peeve that I myself am guilty of.

          I have no problem replacing the word “rent” with “offer” in the heading and am about to do that now…

      • I like the term “lease” myself, for the same reason. You never “own” the land, you are only a “tenant” so long as you pay your rent.