Monday, August 27, 2007

Midian City Tober's Diary #17

Tober's diary is composed in a small, hardbound book that she keeps with her.

The first thing I realized once I joined The Pack, was that they're not bad people. In fact, I pretty much like everyone and am already developing friendships here. There's a strong female presence here, and I like it. Right now, we are mainly nekos, but The Pack is open to any race. The only part of their rules I have an issue with is hunting humans. Angela told me that it wasn't necessary for me to hunt if I didn't feel comfortable doing it. Thank god, because I honestly don't think I could hunt anything that could talk back to me.

I did my first patch-up job yesterday, on Dethis. She's always getting herself into trouble; with people outside of The Pack, and with Angela. I swear she must be a masochist. I had to extract a bullet from her, stitch some cuts and treat some abrasions. Afterwards she acted as if nothing happened. I haven't had to be a medic since my time doing post-war was stressful for me to get back into it again. I don't know why, but sometimes it makes me cry afterwards. I think I just hate seeing people get hurt, and having someone's life in my hands is a huge responsibility. On the other hand, I feel that helping people is my purpose in life, despite the rocky road I've had so far. There's certainly plenty of people to help here.

Being in The Pack isn't all serious...we kick back, relax, have nip, get drunk...all that good stuff. I have to admit, I've been drinking a lot lately. I keep telling myself it's stress, and it probably is, but god I don't want to become an alcoholic. I've been hitting the nip pretty hard lately too. I need to maintain some control. I let things happen that normally probably wouldn't happen if I wasn't fucked up. The other night, my friend Chandra led me behind the Fun House to "talk", and all I can remember of the night is both of us being naked, our bodies pressed against one another, and her touching me. Otherwise it's all a blur. I don't even know how I got back to the den.

I keep thinking about Chandra now, after that night. Was it all a dream? Was I just too fucked up that I imagined it? It's not exactly like I can ask her "Hey, did we have sex the other night?" Ugh, that wouldn't go over well. God, she's so beautiful. Everything about her is graceful and delicate, but not fragile. I don't know what she would see in someone like me...I'm just a scruffy low-class neko barely out of high school, and homeless until recently. She was a model before she came to Midian, and you can tell just by looking at her. She's magnetic...perfect alabaster skin, eyes you can lose yourself in. It's the kind of beauty that will distract you from whatever you are doing.

Anyway, back on topic...I'm not really sure if I understand what is the cause of the animosity between The Pack and the Catwalkers. Maybe it's not for me to know. All I do is relay what I see and hear. Am I doing the right thing? I don't know. I'm just trying to get by. I think about the friendships I'm forming and then I realize that those same friends will probably come to hate me once I leave. It makes me very sad. I hope this is all worth it.

Dita & October
Dita and Tober, standing by the fire in The Pack's den.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Come see my photos at the Cannery Gallery!

October, Jezebella & Ashe

In another first, I will be showing several SL photos in-world at the Cannery Gallery, starting next week. The opening is on Wednesday, August 29th at 3pm SLT, and I will be there, of course.

More info: SLart at the Cannery (official website)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Land, ho!

Chloe & Tobie

Monday was a very significant day for me in my Second Life; it was the first time I've purchased my own land. I bought a 2032sqm waterfront parcel on an island that my friends Jez and Menno have also moved to. I'm really happy with my purchase, to say the least. All of the parcels are 2032sqm or larger, and cannot be added to or subdivided (but parcels can share prim limits if you buy more than one), so no worries about a bunch of 16sqm plots with rotating signs on them! The island has no lag, and it's very pretty and tropical-looking, as you can see in the above photo. Inspired by the tropical atmosphere, I'm keeping the ground level beach-themed, with items like a campfire, tiki torches, beach chairs and such. I plan on adding pretty vegetation and nice palm trees, as well as maybe a little hut and more places to lounge and hang out. Above ground level, I still have my mid-century modern-styled skybox up in the air, for those times when I need more privacy. With the lag on the island being nonexistent, Chloe and I were actually able to spend a mostly normal time together the other night, which is something that hasn't happened since she lost her broadband connection. Another bonus. =)

Best of all, it looks like Chloe will be buying the adjacent parcel. We will share our land and have a unified build, with areas for parties and such. It'll be really nice!

Congratulations from Chloe
This is why I'm the luckiest kitty in SL.
Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can read it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Interfacing your human to your avatar with a game controller

Saitek P2900 controller
Saitek P2900 Wireless

The gamepad pictured above just may be a godsend to those of you who are interested in controlling your av without having to use the arrow keys. I purchased my Saitek P2900 last week, after doing a lot of research on controllers that could possibly be useful in SL to control avatar movement. Every button, the two joysticks and the D-Pad are completely programmable and can be mapped to keyboard presses (even combos) or mouse controls. In fact, all of Saitek's "P-Series" controllers are fully programmable. I opted for the P2900 because I wanted the convenience of a wireless controller. That way, when I go to type in chat, the wire will not be in the way. Now, all of this sounds fantastic on paper, but how does it work in the real world (and more importantly, in SL)?

Well, I only just got around programming it yesterday, using the "FPS" setting as a template to start from. The D-pad is mapped to arrow keys, the left joystick works as the wasd keys, the right joystick acts as the mouse. I have set up various buttons for pgup, pgdown, left mouse click, right mouse click, esc, m (mouselook), and ctrl+r (running). Then, I decided to try it out in-world.

First, let me start by saying that it works...quite well, in fact! The left joystick works extremely well for controlling avatar movement and is much smoother than using the button keys, and this is coming from someone who always uses "advanced walking" (left mouse clicking on the av, using the up arrow and steering with the mouse). Using the buttons took some getting used to, as I had to remember which button did what, but obviously that would become second nature in time. Some tricky things: If I forget to get out of chat mode, it fills the chat with things like "wwwwwwdddddddddddsssssssss", so that will take some getting used to, and using mouselook is a bit more complicated than usual. While in mouselook, the left joystick will still control avatar movement, while the right joystick will control where your camera is looking. Coordinating the two can be very, very tricky, but this will probably be of concern only if you use mouselook a lot.

I think some of my settings need a little bit of tweaking, but in the meantime, I can honestly say that trying out one of these controllers is certainly worthwhile for someone sick of using arrow keys. When you also consider the low cost of these controllers (they start at around $7 US for the P220) they really become a tempting purchase.

I should mention that there's some other options available other than the Saitek controllers. Here's some links to either DIY projects or controllers that are known to work with SL, at least in some degree:

DIY Controller Box
Using a Wii Controller with SL
Making a SL Controller
3DConnexion's SpaceNavigator

If anyone knows of any other DIY solutions or commercially available products, please leave a comment and I'll add it to the list of links at the bottom of this post.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Midian City Tober's Diary #16

Tober's diary is composed in a small, hardbound book that she keeps with her.

Lindsay took me off of the Hounds assignment because she had something new she wanted me to do. The Catwalkers wanted a set of eyes and ears inside The Pack, and apparently Lindsay thought I would be good for the job. I asked her what was in it for me, and she replied by asking me what I would want. I told her living on the streets was no fun, and she told me she would see what she could do about that.

The next day she got back to me and told me that I would be a full member of the Catwalkers for completing my mission. That was an offer I couldn't refuse, and it was what I really wanted. I feel myself drawn to the Catwalkers, even though I have had problems with one or two of their members. Anyway, that day I got in contact with Angela, The Pack's Alpha, and told her I would like to join her group. She accepted me immediately, and took me on as The Pack's medic.

At the very least, I am off the streets and in a warm den with cushions to sleep on, food, and company. I feel guilty about being a spy for the Catwalkers, but...I don't know...I have to do this. I don't want to miss out on my chance to be with the Catwalkers. I know I would feel at home with them. I just hope I don't get caught by Angela in the meantime.

After having talked to Lindsay several times now, I think I may have misread her at first. Her appearance is intimidating, and so are her abilities, but she has also seems to take a genuine interest in me and cares about my welfare. She's bought me food, given me advice, and has actually even told me more about herself. She told me if I run into any trouble with The Pack, to immediately call her and she would bail me out. I hope that's true...and I hope I won't have to find out.

October, The Pack's Medic
Tober inside The Pack's underground den

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy Monthiversary! Chloe and I! It's been three months today since Chloe and I have been together as a couple. I can't wait for her to be back on broadband again so we can go on our little adventures and have fun.

Chloe & October
Chloe and I on the sofa in my skybox.