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Monday, September 5, 2011

got excited and made something

OK... so i know I said i was going to blog about my gaming. And I know I was supposed to talk about things that I got excited abut and made... AWHILE AGO. I know. But I have been busy. Summer in the Hotel is busy here. And I have spent a lot of the Summer making things. But I don't know if all of it counts... cause most of it is cut-n-paste. Or drag-n-click. But still its my vision come to life. And some of what I have been making is an ass of myself. I think I totally fucked up something that I wanted to make. But we'll see. I think there is something salvageable if I spring some totally Captain Jack Savvy on the project. Cryptic yes... but the intro is supposed to be so you will keep reading. So KEEP READING!!!

Technically the world I am playing in is not a game. We use avatars, there are places to explore, things to  collect, and while there is not any WoW or Warlords of K'aaa things happening the whole thing is animated and has the "live action" limitations of the real world. It is billed as a social center. True story. But there is so much more to it. But at its basic "game play level" it is like playing Barbies, Paper Dolls or Dress Up. Sometimes Barbie plays with Ken and sometimes with G. I. Joe. And.... Barbie gets a cool house. I'm sorry if that offends anyone who "plays" or who created the "game". Essentially that is exactly what we are doing. And yes... sometimes I want to take my things and go home. But i am absolutely fascinated with the part of the game that was so appealing to me playing Paper Dolls and Barbies as a kid: I may be an Interior Designer after all. In my game I am building a Castle.

Enter Erholsam Schloss:
This is  the view from the entry. You can see the brick walls and the marble floors which establish the coolness and the hardness of a fortress. But to soften it up some of the walls and the carpeted platform are wrapped in a warm red tapestry. Dark blue granite beams and borders frame each area. The Middle Ages Castle theme continues with the Templar Shields and Armored Suit.

You know you've walked into a fortress of some sort. Rather than name it Fortress of Solitude, which would have been a bit on the nose, Erholsam Schloss means Restful castle. This is where I go to be by myself. And after yesterday... I think that might have been the best call I could make. But I digress: after working on this place for a few weeks the view from the front room looks like this:
Immediately to the left of the entry is the Palme  Garten leading into the sitting area. The garden's water feature is a fountain with a custom texture and animated water globe. The dog is not yet animated, sadly. The seating area needs work. Schwerin castle appears in portrait and flanked by two shields. The sitting area is where the puns happen...
My favorite thing when you walk in is the view over the door into the kitchen and dance area. I am trying to look at the props less literally so that I can make better creative choices. As much as I like this place to hide out in, it is my learning place. And the best thing about my schloss is through this door...
This balcony was rescaled to hold a rescaled version of a clock on the street of Virtual Vancouver. Rose vines, applied as etchings on the blue granite wall soften some of the hard edges. And through this door the real magic happens.

The kitchen needs some work. The prop menu selection is rather limited and the appliances I want to see are not there. So I think that means I will have to treat it like a bar. I just wish there was an authentic Italian styled espresso machine with the whole steam punk tank thing. You know me, I'd rather hang in a coffee bar than a regular bar. But I love the dining area. The window was replaced with a custom sign. Candles are custom and animated and the water feature on the table mimics the feature in the garden from the other room.

Colors pulled from he tapestry pattern are not as limiting as it would seem. The harlequin tile and natural marble leave a place for the eyes to rest. I covered the plain windows with a stained glass from the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain. It was designed by Gaudia. If you have never been you should totally go. It is magic all by itself. And be prepared... its been more than a hundred years in the making.

Palm theme is carried through with the details on the dining furniture. The artwork on the wall is a collection of venetian masks. The connection to the whole German castle theme is not going to be obvious to anyone who is not a Reim fan. He has a song called "Maskenball" that talks about the masks that we wear in relationships and how wearing the wrong face can really fuck things up.... if I understand the song correctly. Anyway, it came on my YouTube play list while I was trying to figure out how to fill the walls. It seemed perfect. And I found so many that took my breath away. Wow!

This next shot is what I am most proud of. I decided to suck up my courage and just play with the prop editor. After all there is always the delete button. So since I wanted to enliven the space and bring a bit of whimsy into what could be a very static environment I made a dance floor. The floor itself is Mayan glyph tile from and above it.... my interpretation of Holst's planets.

This is me in my gypsy skirt and suede top dancing on the glyph floor. The planets spin above the dancers.

 Each sphere spins at its own rate as they hang from an inverted street lamp. There are globes spinning independently of the post. In the background you can see another of the Sagrada windows flanked by two torches animated with bright flames. Under the window is a shelf with a custom texture. If you click on the shelf you can listen to SWR4 out of Baden-Wurttemberg. And if you take a closer look, you will see that the photos make a bit of a shrine to Matthias Reim.... whom I am delighted to say is getting the airplay that he so richly deserves.

Which I find hilarious. My friend @starstuff on twitter was teasing me that I was "15 years too late" because the Matthias Reim fan-train had left the station, "they don't play him on the radio anymore". I told her that he was too good to stay quiet for long. Within the year the new CD comes out and he is headlong down the comeback trail. He is now everywhere on TV and radio. He won't be the only one. I am hearing lots of familiar voices here.

But again... I digress. At any rate. This may all seem really easy to the computer geeks. And it is child splay for my friends who are here and have made adjustments to there homes. But this is a huge thing for me. To invest so many hours of time learning the system and figuring out what works for me and what doesn't. Last night my friend Dominick came over for a tour. He's had an avatar here for years and told me that he didn't know that you could make things spin like that. He was impressed. And honestly, even though it is "tooting my own horn".... I'm awfully damn impressed with myself. totally made this possible. Of course if it were not for DreamSpirit I would not have gone there in the first place. All of my friends there have given my lots of ideas... just the way life is supposed to work.

ART: the watercolors had been coming quick for a long time. But then the busy season finally kicked in and I couldn't find the temperament to sit and paint. And what is done I couldn't get photographed. So the one thing that I have done this Summer that sounds really stupid given the finances, but will let me take full advantage of is to buy a digital camera. Yea Office Max! Yea Labor Day sale!!!!!

So now I will have to learn how that one works. It doesn't have a lithium battery which is a concern. I do not know how long AA batteries will last in this thing. I think I will have to invest in a battery charger. Because this thing will take pics like Michelle's camera does. So THAT means better photo... BETTER print.... BEST chance to sell print material. Woooo Hoooooo!!!!!

That also means that I can keep my promise to show you guys the city that I live in. Since I will be leaving within the next year, I am going to want to do a scrapbook feature of Traverse. I have regretted not doing so and I still live here. Plus.... James' Dresden pictures are just fabulous. And there is no reason not to clelebrate the town that you live in. In the long run, it makes it easier to live somewhere when you remember to appreciate it.

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