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There’s good and bad news from people who are looking to raise money for virtual-world related projects through Kickstarter-style projects.

Bobbekins eBook

Firstly, the good news is that the Wall Street Journal has picked up on Tony Dyson and Chantal Harvey’s project, the new range of eBooks for Children, the BobbeKins – which I wrote about here: Supporting BobbekinWorld – a new case use for Second Life.

The article focuses on Tony’s server choice and while it’s a great plug for the product too, it’s a real shame there’s no link to Netdreamer Publications (see? that’s how you do it, WSJ!) or to the Indiegogo initiative to raise funds.  I’m all for built in redundancy, me (as regular readers may have noticed) but hopefully the article will lead to people following through to find out more.

At the time of writing, they have raised $744 of the $15000 they are hoping for, with 48 days left.  You can see more – including a great video – on the Indiegogo page. And here’s wishing them every luck with it!

Another initiative is coming to its end, and, sadly, seems unlikely to raise its funding – a real shame, I think, as it’s an interesting project.  Well, it inspired me to relaunch The Quest for the Golden Prim, and Darren Greene, who is behind it, has been of great help to us in thinking through the technical side.

Splintered Rock

Splintered Rock

He has been raising funds for his own webcomic, Splintered Rock, and using Kickstarter to raise £350 (US$545 approx) to enable him to work on a second chapter, as I wrote about here: Be part of the adventure of Splintered Rock.  So far, it’s raised £170 (Around $264) so, with two days to go, he still needs to raise just over half.

I hope he makes it. I’d love to find out What Happens Next in his story!

At some point, I’m going to look at these kind of projects in some detail, perhaps a Prim Perfect article.  What do people think?  What’s been their experience?

The Dragon Spire

The Dragon Spire

Designing Worlds returns tonight, with the first of two shows from the Fantasy Faire.  More on that shortly – but for now, let’s pay a visit to a region of the Faire that was stunningly bold in conception, but very hard to photograph. It was one of two areas (the other was Evensong Woods) where, I felt, the atmosphere you got from being there was really, really hard to convey in a photograph. For both, “You really had to be there” to appreciate them. And if you were in either, your likely response was … “Oh, this is cool!”

The Dragon Spire was constructed as a series of caves.  As such, it could be a little hard to navigate (and helpful arrows appeared on the floor rather rapidly). If you took a wrong turn, you were led deeper and deeper into the labyrinth. If you took the right (as in correct) path, you found yourself exploring some amazing shops – and all within this quite stunning (and quickly rezzed) sculpted cave environment.

Caves, of course, are an archetypal fantasy environment – and a favoured landscape for roleplayers everywhere – not for nothing is the Big Daddy called Dungeons and Dragons.  But caves are incredibly hard to pull off in Second Life – I don’t think I’ve ever seen it as well done as it is here. So kudos to Khyle Sion, the designer.

Let’s do a jigsaw.

Click to Mix and Solve

Inside the caverns of The Dragon Spire

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

I, and the American Cancer Society appreciate everyone who has donated their time, talent, and Lindens throughout all the years, and this year is no exception.  This year, I have seen some of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in Second Life.  I have heard from countless others who share the same sense of wonder and amazement.  In fact, I can quote one friend who said, “I’ve never seen anything like this in Second Life.”  And that’s from someone who is in Second Life every day, and has been for many years.
- Jeffrey Montegut, aka Stingray9798 Raymaker, American Cancer Society

We step across the threshold of two Fairelands once again, this time leaving the icy forest floor of Evensong Woods behind we step into an altogether more alien place. We have entered Titans Hollow, created by veteran Faire builder and creator of the alien and mystical, Elicio Ember.

Titans' Hollow By Elicio Ember - Photo By Beq Janus

Titans Hollow By Elicio Ember – Photo By Beq Janus

We enter from the forest floor to be greeted by a vast metallic stairway that rises to a platform out of sight. Beyond giant glass lanterns hang suspended on gigantic chains that are anchored into mysterious flooating rocks. A soft warmth of pink unearthly light permeates through the light mist. We ascend the steps…

Titans' Hollow By Elicio Ember - Photo By Beq Janus

Titans Hollow By Elicio Ember – Photo By Beq Janus

Below us lise a colourful swamp, dominated by alien plant life that is not entirely safe to be near, as Elicio himself discovered when they attempted to devour him during a Jail and Bail session. Each floating lantern, evoking thoughts of middle eastern charm and Art Nouveau elegance, houses a store or feature but getting to them requires an act of faith. In a peculiar parallel to the preceding Faireland region we find ourselves epxloring a multi-tiered land, yet the safety and solidity embodied by the sturdy wooden platforms and short vistas that rarely saw you looking down to the ground  could not be further from  experience in Titans Hollow.

Titans Hollow By Elicio Ember - Photo By Beq Janus

Titans Hollow By Elicio Ember – Photo By Beq Janus

Transparent  walkways carry you from store to store and level to level the only hint to their existence lies in the solid brass retainers and the subtle blue haze that emanates from the edges. It is very much an act of faith as you step out onto the air with meat-eating plants waiting hungrily below.

Titans Hollow By Elicio Ember - Photo By Beq Janus

Titans Hollow By Elicio Ember – Photo By Beq Janus

Elicio’s creations embody so much of what is great about the Faire. Pure creative genius, drawing inspiration from our own history giving them an immediacy, a familiarity that is then placed at odds with the extra-terrestrial environment in which it is placed. Last year we saw the amazing Ruins of Nu Orne, inspired by the historic temple complexes of asia, this year an altogether different theme yet linked by a staple of Elicio’s design the bold coloration and etheral glow of his wonderful plant-life.

Titans Hollow By Elicio Ember - Photo By Beq Janus

Titans Hollow By Elicio Ember – Photo By Beq Janus

 

 

Glowing Plants: Natural Lighting with no Electricity

Yet there may be trouble ahead, perhaps in a world first I stumbled upon a recent case of Real Life emulating Second Life. A project on crowd funding website, Kickstarter proposes the following:-

Create GLOWING PLANTS using synthetic biology and Genome Compiler’s software – the first step in creating sustainable natural lighting

We know Elicio did it first though.

Titans Hollow By Elicio Ember - Photo By Beq Janus

Titans Hollow By Elicio Ember – Photo By Beq Janus

It is time now to hasten onwards to out next Faireland destination  leaving the man-eating, bio-luminescent flora and hanging lanterns of  opalescent glass behind; we now head underground into the caves and tunnels of Dragonspire. See you there.

 

 

Magnificat By Alia Baroque Photo By Beq Janus

Magnificat By Alia Baroque
Photo By Beq Janus

This year Fantasy Faire has been not only a beautiful place to visit, but also a hugely evocative one, stirring the imagination and leading many of us to reflect on what stories could be told about these lovely and mysterious lands.

Once the stores are packed away and the crowds have departed … what beings take possession of the glass lantern city high in the mountains that shines in Titan’s Hollow? What languid aristocrats return to their faded palaces along the canal of Magnificat to watch the little boats sail out eternally toward the sunset? What troglodytes or dwarves emerge, grumbling, from the lower depths of The DragonSpire to reclaim their caves? What heroes push their way through the blood-red roses of Crimson Fields, their eyes fixed on the looming Dark Tower ahead? And so for all the regions, each with their special tales to tell.

The Lanterns of Titans' Hollow

The Lanterns of Titans’ Hollow

We are sure that, as you visited the Faire, some of those questions occurred to you. These may be stories connected with the mythos of the Faire that the organisers suggested – but it may be that a region captured your imagination and you found yourself envisaging a very different tale. And we are sure that, like so many of us, you just wished these amazing locations could be on the grid forever so that you could have your own little piece of the Fairelands.

Well, the magnificent structures of the Fairelands will soon be gone, but the Fairelands team – together with Prim Perfect – have come up with a way to make the magic continue.

Lotus Valley Dream

Lotus Valley Dream

We are holding a short story contest for the best stories written about the Fairelands of 2013. The top entries will be published in the summer issue of Prim Perfect magazine, coming out in early August 2013.

You story can focus on one region – Evensong Woods, or Lotus Valley Dream, for example – and ignore all the others. Or you might use the juxtaposition of two regions, or even draw on more of the Fairelands, as a whole vast realm, perhaps surrounding an inland sea. It’s up to you.

And your story can be sad or happy, wise or witty. It can make us laugh, cry, gasp, nod with agreement … or do all of these things by turns.

Dragon over Lumenaria

Dragon over Lumenaria

While we don’t need long passages of description, the setting of the story should be clear. If it makes us ask, “Now – is this Ravenshard or Lumenaria?” it won’t be working for us.

Your story should be between one and three thousand words in total. While we love the idea of longer works (wouldn’t it be amazing to read a fantasy novel set in the Fairelands?), for this competition we want something that stands alone and that can be read as a complete piece.

We also want something that is completely your own work and written for this competition. You will retain the copyright, but in submitting the story you give us permission to publish the story in electronic format in Prim Perfect and on websites and social media sites belonging to Prim Perfect and Fantasy Faire.

Ravenshard

Ravenshard

The deadline for submission is May 31.

Send your story in plain text or in .RTF or Word doc format to: fantasyfaireshortstory@gmail.com

We will acknowledge receipt (although it may take a little time).

Results (and winning entries) will appear in the August issue of Prim Perfect magazine.

The Valley of Ish’Nar

The Valley of Ish’Nar

JUDGES:
The judging panel will consist of:
Zander Greene and Elizabeth Tinsley from the Fantasy Faire
Saffia Widdershins, Honour Macmillan and Aisling Sinclair from Prim Perfect
Ceejay Writer, Editor in Chief at Penny Gaff Publications

Judi Newall, Librarian

If you want inspiration for your story once the regions have closed, we suggest you refresh your memory at the Flickr stream.

Lotus Valley Dream

Lotus Valley Dream

I’ve posted several times about Lotus Valley Dream, but mostly in association with the Explorers’ Club (Oriental Branch) that we created there for The Question for the Golden Prim.

But that was unfair of me, because it is the most stunningly region, rich in character – as this picture shows.  It’s created by Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee of The Looking Glass, and it is really one of their most stunning creations ever – which is certainly saying a lot!

The Faire has been extended by a day, but don’t forget that today sees that most exciting of events, the Live Auction.  Even if you’re not bidding yourself, it is exciting to see how much beautiful items that you have loved sell for – and who buys them!

But, before you head over there, let’s do a jigsaw!

Click to Mix and Solve

Lotus Valley Dream, photograph by Judith Lefevre

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

L$6,158,196 . That’s $24,674 US. And that brings Fantasy Faire to a five year total of $100,000 US.  It is a measure of many things.  And the greatest of these is love.At L$6.3 Million this will be a record Faire, a goal we will certainly reach together.  But the highest goal we should aspire to now is to cherish these realms and one another.  Celebrate the Fairelands and your fellow Fairelanders.  Soon, that magic must return from whence it came. Soon, it must again lie fallow.Soon. But not yet…

Good news! In response to suggestions from a number of merchants (and threats of fish-slapping from a certain Fallen God) we’ll be keeping the shopping sims open for an extra day. More shopping! More awesomeness*! Go Relay! – Zander Greene

And so we leave behind the desolation and cold darkness of the Crimson Fields, stepping across the border into a completely different type of chill. We enter the elven homeland of Evensong Woods created by Searlait Nitsche.

A light blanket of snow frosts the forest floor, it is night and all is quiet and serene. Resting high in the treetops above us is the elven enclave of Yuale Nura. Bathed in moonlight, the homes glow warm in the deep blues and purples of a winter’s night. The winter holds the forest in stasis, none of the colourful flora that we saw in Fairelands junction have remained to see the winter through. The forest is frozen and barren awaiting the rebirth of spring.

Evensong Woods by Searlait Nitschke - Photo by Beq Janus

Evensong Woods by Searlait Nitschke – Photo by Beq Janus

The elves of Yuale Nura are traditional woodland elves, few of the grandiose trappings of some of their cousins, who many would condemn as having lost their touch with their ancestral roots. Simple but well crafted wooden steps lead us up to the first level of the settlement, their village nestles discreetly in the upper branches at one with it environment.

Evensong Woods by Searlait Nitschke - Photo by Beq Janus

Evensong Woods by Searlait Nitschke – Photo by Beq Janus

As we rise higher into the towering evergreen forest canopy the shops and homes grow in size yielding finally to a ceremonial area at the very top of the forest. The platforms seemingly hewn from trees, a decorously carved and adorned with simple ribbons that hang between carved pillars topped with sparkling globes.

Evensong Woods by Searlait Nitschke - Photo by Beq Janus

Evensong Woods by Searlait Nitschke – Photo by Beq Janus

The cold, moonlit scenes evoke a feeling of calm but also of solitude, the cleverly designed build never makes you feel precariously stranded high above the ground, yet the occasional grand vista shows that towering beauty of the elven architects.

Evensong Woods by Searlait Nitschke - Photo by Beq Janus

Evensong Woods by Searlait Nitschke – Photo by Beq Janus

 

And now we must move an apace for having dallied during out tour I am now running behind schedule. Our next destination is Titan’s hollow, which as you will find has remarkable parallels to Evensong Woods, whilst being as starkly different as can be imagined.

Wanted: Dr Ephemera Wirefly

Wanted: Dr Ephemera Wirefly

Join us today, Saturday 27th April, at a party at the Explorer’s Club (Oriental Branch) from 2pm – 5pm to celebrate the relaunch of the Quest for the Golden Prim.

And – as the party begins, we suspect that some – at least – of the Fugitives will be safely under lock and key!

Wanted: Professor Andrew McMinn

Wanted: Professor Andrew McMinn

We’re combining a party to celebrate the return of the steampunk/gaslamp fantasy webcomic, The Quest for the Golden Prim with a Jail and Bail event to raise funds for Relay for Life at the Fabulous Fantasy Faire.

Followers of the web comic may recall that the three academics were falsely accused of murder in Steelhead but were fortunately able to escape from jail – only to find Steelhead threatened by a massive volanic eruption.

Wanted: Miss Hortensia Primm

Wanted: Miss Hortensia Primm

Volume 1 ended with the majority of the Quest attempting to fly before the explosion … their fate left hanging in the balance … and their destinatuion somewhat hazy …

Now we will be serialising Volume 2 on our new website at www.goldenprim.com – and we are planning to release a new installment each week, accompanied by games and contests.

So do come and join us from 2pm – 5pm today, to celebrate the relaunch of the comic, to explore the amazing Explorers’ Club, and to donate some Lindens to a very good cause!

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