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24
out

Second Life – A good game for the players

By Nielsen

It’s been a long time since its release but it’s still alive and being controversial from times to times, in here you’ll have the opportunity to read a more detailed view of this sleeping giant.

Shall we go?

About Second Life

In the year of 2003, a Project from the Californian company, Linden Labs, has opened the doors for the internet public, the Idea was pretty innovating and vague in the same time; create a real life Simulator…

Due the amount of online crimes and addictions, the Second Life generated a lot of discussions and admiration in the same time by the small companies, which saw Second Life as a good opportunity to make their business grow.

Becoming worldwide known, the “game” counted with  4,5 millions of users. Brazil counted with the company Kaizen Games co-working with the Linden Labs, it brought advantages for all Brazilians; a national grid made the game’s performance far better than before, as the possibilities of buying Lindens with Reais instead of American Dollars; The HQ had a copy of Copacabana and other famous references, such as Copacabana Palace Hotel and the Great Sidewalk ( Calçadão ).

The time passed and Second Life’s biggest strength became it’s own curse… The liberty of doing anything brought the lack of perspective for many people, who couldn’t entertain themselves with the many available options… The boredom mood made lots of users to consider abandoning the game, Brazilians among them… The 600 thousand active users, went down to only 50,000. Due this huge loss, the Kaizen Games decided to finish its actions in-game. Not only in Brazil, but in many other countries, Second Life was losing its bright…

Grown up and changed, Second Life is no longer part of the mainstream, even though due the amount of players that refused to leave the game, Second Life reaches a peak of 75,000 of logged players every weekend.

Between the success and ostracism, the game still survives and promises re-invention, such as opportunities for 3D artists for the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012.

What can be done?

Second Life is a huge “online sandbox” that has lots of entertaining and business possibilities;

When you sign in, you have neither duties nor objectives. Your only duty is to follow the basic rules, and perhaps other rules inside Private SIMs.

To Build and create

Basically the whole 3D world is created by the users, combining sculpted shapes and textures, which combined, are able to create beautiful results that bring everyone’s attention from anyone passing by. A great exercise for the creativity and a good way to spend your time…

Everything is pretty simple, you Just need to visit a land where you can drop your own objects, then select the option “Build” with the right click on your mouse.

The result is a geometric shape of your choice, also called “primary object”, or prim for short, you can Edit this and link with other prims, creating your desired structures. Some others though, are rather using modeling programs for better results, but that’s up to you.

Combined with scripts, those constructions can be mixed and used for avatar’s accessories, vehicles and building structures.

A small, but very important item for every action to make prims move or change trusts the famous scripts. Requiring a base knowledge of programming, it’s possible to create things like a simple automatic door or an orbital nuke bomb.

Animations and gestures can be created using movement HUDs (systems), giving to the character a different and very particular movement.

All those items might give many users shivers, but there’s no reason why to get worried, everything is pretty basic and it’s not necessary to know how to use all those in order to enjoy the simulation. For people interested in learning about those activities, there are free  in-world school offering the opportunity.

Customize

Customization of your avatar is the main factor in-game, you can use multiple combinations, using those as it pleases.  There are modeling options especially for facial or physical features, such as height, shape, skin tones, clothes and even gestures, generating a very unique avatar.

However, those things are not always given for free or offered directly to the player, you should to search for these, high quality stuff isn’t always so cheap.

Yes, as much as in the real world, the capitalism is also applied on Second Life, having its own currency, the Linden (quoted as L$ 240.62 for each US$ 1, 00 nowadays) necessary for buying your goods.

There’s an alternative to acquire Linden, which is starting your own business…

Role-play & Combat

You don’t have to build or sell for having a good time; some users got many thematic islands proper for role-playing and combat action.

Bloodlines is one of the biggest role-play groups in-world, having a huge amount of 53,000 players. The main genre is horror, a war between vampires and lycans took place on Earth. It’s based on “Vampire: The Masquerade” franchise.

There are many other genres, some including fantasy and action, such as Final Fantasy and Resident Evil role-playing groups.

For those who don’t feel like reading or spending time with emotes and HUD, you can focus on action. Second Life also has warfare zones; One of those is Remnant State Militia, inspired by post-apocalyptical urban guerilla and Call of Duty.

A mix of HUD and weapons give you the chance to enjoy a very simple first person shooter, where all you have to do is load, shoot and play hide & seek.

Have your own job or run your own business:

If Second Life fails to entertain some, they can also reach to work in-game. Not only Linden can be bought, but also sold and transformed into real world money, turning the game into an alternative income. If you don’t feel like buying Linden, you can also make them…

Earning Lindens aren’t that hard, it can be done through a lot of methods. Your character can be a model, photographer, dancer, DJ, host, builder and CEO, there are many available options, and wage/working hours rely on the place you work at, or merchandising if you’re a freelancer.

Many careers are linked to others; Clubs for example got their own DJ working with hosts during the schedule.

Nothing

Ironically, this is one of the ways to have  fun… Many lost users are found in huge numbers around mainland, Hubs or sandboxes. They’re generally sitting and watching people passing or working by, exploring and chatting. Using the interface as a IRC or voice chat is their passion.

What about the Furries?

A topic whose can’t be ignored is the massive furry presence on Second Life’s servers. After Furcadia, the game was shown as a good opportunity to migration for a fandom who was craving for spontaneous interaction.

Thematic clubs were increasing until 2009, when some furries migrated to MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft and Perfect World, seeking new opportunities.

Yet, fandom prevailed and stayed strong, slighty increasing during this year of 2011.

Places such as Furnation, Rainbow Tiger and Hydrolysis Club are known for their amount of furry costumers, who’re looking for a way to socialize.  It’s also important to highlight the Brazil Furry Island also known as “BFI” and currently administrated by Rogerio “SkunkSky”, We were pleased to talk to him about the in-world features.

-“Brazilian Furry Island is on Second Life since 2006; Felix was it’s founder;  During 2008, the name was changed to Vila dos Encantos (Charmedville) after Allirane was in charge” he told us.

Between moving from island to island due to the lack of financial resources, as well substitutions in the staff, SkunkSky says the island was prosper and grown to the point, they would eventually need extra hands, that’s how he joined the team

“She picked me up because I was the most serene guy around *laughs*” he jokes.

However, Allirane, the alias for Danny Fieron had to leave the team; that’s when SkunkSky was promoted and joined the administration team with Azirel, Ceno and others.

As an administrator, he reveals that the group was also on highlights because of na upgrade, bringing more space and entertainment options; He adds that a very patient and friendly team conquered furries during this expansion process.

Despite of being a bit isolated, he claims that the island wasn’t spared by griefers; However he kept his serenity in remarking that those attacks were random, and not promoted by hate; “It’s common for lands being attacked, but in here they’ll always have somebody to ask for help”

Nowadays, the island is being re-projected, however the due date is set to the ending of November, 2011. The plans include game platforms and a dancing club; About a big inauguration, Skunksky expresses his ambitions and makes an invitation for the readers

“I wish I can promote BFI and count with the presence of all brazilian in the fandom, they’re very much welcome and we would be pleased to see some new faces around” He friendly adds, showing to be disposable for helping interested people.

If you’re interested, send an IM to Rogerio Collins.

The prejudice

Furries and humans, as well other creatures can share the same place. However, it wasn’t easy from the start, in the middle of many controversies, furry haters were also found…

Despite of being very tolerant, the international fandom had issues around all Second Life. Prejudice against anthro avatars was pretty much common, as well accusations of zoophilia. Some terrifying rumors were spread, it was said Linden Lab was pondering about banning all furries from the grid. Those events contributed to the abandonment, previously explained and isolation. Not satisfied, hatred and spamming was spread by griefers in those land very often.

Soon enough, Second Life would become the stage of a series of curious events; In mid-2009, some furries attempted to show resistance and created their own militia, counter-griefing and protecting themselves from haters through the use of weapon scripts plus sustaining more rigid rules; Some of the islands wouldn’t even tolerate human presence. Those who avoided combat, would search protection through SLP (Second Life Police), a non-official group who aided reporting and supported peace.

Simultaneously, some open-minded groups such as Furmanity would preach a respectful and peaceful in-game lifestyle among furries and humans ; thematic events and ads took place, some of them lasting until today.

Then the breaking news; Linden Lab’s decision was not to banish furries, but to accept and protect them against violence like any other  user.

How to obtain a furry avatar?

This topic is very simple. There are many  furry stores both in-game and on marketplace (something like LL’s Amazon, allowing users to order items on a website and having it delivered after a couple of minutes)

Those avatars are generally prim-made, especially for some parts like head, paws and tail; However they do have a human torso with a modified skin. Animations and expressions scripts are also part of it.

Those who don’t feel like spending money, might get a freebie avatar. They’re high quality and can be acquired on marketplace or some furry islands.

Mesh

Mesh is the new Second Life’s most prospering tool, it’s catching the attention of many builders and artists; Mesh-made products are already filling Marketplace’s shelves and innovation is expected. They can substitute the old prim combination for a more soft and efficient, as well realistic production of avatars.

While a primary object is too much complex and demands time, they can also cause lag when exceeding limits. A mesh-made product can be modeled directly on Maya 3D software and whatever its size and complexity is; it will be counted as a single prim.

However, IceWolf ( the owner of the famous 1st Act Store, IceWolf’s Gym and  Final Fantasy’s role-play based SIM, “Jenova Crisis”) claims Mesh might not be all it seems; He told us a little about it:

Nielsen:  So, would you mind telling us, how was your first contact with the furry fandom?

IceWolf: Oh, jeez, it was weird… It was way back in 2000 – 2001, pretty much exclusively through Yahoo Groups and occasional IM’s. I was one of the first folks who started drawing my style of art. So I got pretty popular from that…  And then you know how most folks treat furry artists…

Nielsen:  What do you mean by that?

IceWolf: Most folks, to my knowledge, put furry artists on a pedestal and cringe them up like crazy fans.

Nielsen: Have you ever had any issues about being a furry or was it easy breezy?

IceWolf: No, I’ve never had troubles about being a furry-ish thing. I’m about 1/50th as bad as most are.

Nielsen: Can you tell about your first contact with Second Life? Did the Furry Fandom bring you there?

IceWolf: I always wanted to help folks enjoy my style in art and stuff. Second Life was great because I could MAKE bodies for people to wear… So, for like 1/5th the price of a commission, they could get something much more interactive than a picture. It has a lot more value to me…

Nielsen: And is that how 1st Act started?

IceWolf: : I didn’t decide that actually; See , 1st Act came around when I met one of my now best buds, Murgatroyd “Murgie”  Zauberflote… “Murgie” and I collaborated on some builds, and then… We just had so much fun doing stuff together. So, we kept on building and texturing, doing more and more and more together… We kinda had the joke that any time we got the flu, we got better; So we’d joke back and forth that our level of skill was directly related to our immune system.

Nielsen: And is he sick at the moment? *laughs*

IceWolf: Actually, I AM the sick one… *laughs*

Nielsen: Despite of that… Do you believe that Second Life brings good opportunities for artists like you? Does it helps to improve or brings any useful experience at least?

IceWolf: I REALLY believe it can do some amazing things. I’ve been called a professional texture artist by professionals in the Texture Industry… For a guy that could only do line work that’s a pretty damn huge step up…

Nielsen: Do you believe working with mesh will make you improve way much more?

IceWolf: No, not without the ability to create new bones; Avatar Meshing is highly limited and since the whole goal of 1st Act is to create MODULAR products it’s not going to be much helpful, because … well … Mesh isn’t exactly very Mod friendly… At all!

Nielsen: That’s a very interesting point. Does it mean that Mesh is actually reducing personal freedom of modifying your own avatar?

IceWolf: Depends on how you approach it. But let me put it to you this way… Mesh is … odd right now, not many clients support it. Worst yet, many of them, that do have horrible UI’s sometimes just don’t get along with graphics cards or PCs for some reason…

Nielsen: Would you like to say something to the readers, and/or artists in general?

IceWolf: Keep a level head. The internet is full of people that have an incredible sense of self entitlement… Make sure you’re one of the humble few that realize they’re just a bunch of normal people, no matter where you go in life.

After reading this article, maybe you’ll feel like questioning yourself about trying or not; Because all those issues, such as prejudice, overrated consumerism and social hierarchy present in some places will tend to the negative aspect of the game; On the other hand, there’s a possibility where “Each person is free to do as it will”. Everyone may well create their own atmosphere and watch it collide with others.

Learning about different cultures or specific knowledge, from post-edition to English language can make the attempt much more worth it and rich. It’s early to bet on innovation’s success, but Linden Lab will keep up on activity with their loyal users.

Useful it or not, the conclusion is that a simple simulator who started very simple in the hands of a small corporation, came up to be a monstrous big and complex thing when it comes to Second Life users. “A good play for players”, those who will decide the kind of experience and destiny they’re about to get…

Do you feel like trying?

17
jun

Brazilian furry website recovers from attack

This Friday, July 17th, the website FurryBrasil went through an attack that deleted all files in their server, including other furry projects in development and other non-furry sites. Not even log files survived to tell the tale. FurryBrasil has suffered loss of data before, but never under malicious attacks.

There was another victim yesterday (16th) morning, around 3am (Brasília time). Brazilian furry portal Fauna Urbana suffered a minor denial of service attack, that knocked the main site (and other shared furry and non-furry projects) for a few minutes. No invasions or data lost in this case.

Not long ago, Furry News Network alerts there’s a hacker group that uses the furry fandom as a bait. We’re going through times in which the most powerful nations and corporations are clashing in the online space, and the Internet is definitely far less secure than it has been.

At Fauna Urbana Network we’re enhancing our plans for data security, backup and disaster recovery. We also advise that one never uses a password that may be in a dictionary, plus avoid password re-usage.

FurryBrasil is already recovered, but unfortunately lost 1 month of data.

3
fev

Abando 2011 grows to its limits

Abando

The first furry camping-style event in Brazil, held near São Paulo, SP since 2008, sees a new high in attendance this year, almost reaching the local infrastructure limits, one month before the event.

Considering the pending subscriptions just awaiting payments, 46 furs will get together for a big camping time, with outdoor activities (such lake swimming, melee, water balloon football), fire camp, party and sleep in tents.

While this number seems small, getting all these furries together is a big step for such a young and still sparse fandom that we see in Brazil.

Abando brought new activities inspired on furry camping on North America such as Camp Feral!, and for the first time a conbook will be distributed to all campers, along with t-shirt and mug. Also, Abando starts to attract the international attention; Among this 46, one Canadian is joining the party, becoming the first camper from abroad attending a Brazilian con.

The numbers are exciting, but at this March 5th, the organization will be challenged at the highest level to provide a smooth and breathtaking event to all campers, to forge the “Brazilian Experience” (as they call on their website), an unforgettable “badge” that furs in the world want to have in the near future.

5
nov

Potoroo presents Camp Feral 2011

by Potoroo

Heya furry friends in Brazil! :) My name is Potoroo and I run Camp Feral, a furry summer camp in Canada that first started in 1998 and is about to have it’s 14th event! It’s a lot like Abando… except it probably gets a bit colder at night time up here ;)

Camp Feral! is held at a rustic summer camp, and we have all the traditional summer camp activities: archery, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and more! There is a water slide, a pirate swing, a low and high ropes course, as well as games like Predator vs. Prey and Capture the Flag! We also run workshops – art, writing, costuming and more – and hold special events like dances, musicians circles, and late night movie screenings…speaking of movies…

In 2011, Feral! has decided to celebrate the best of the worst: B-Movies! But we aren’t just celebrating B-Movies…we are one! Our theme is “It Came From Camp Feral!” and with games, activities, events and lots more we plan on making it feel like we’re all inside a B-Movie!

We have released a movie trailer (Feral! is…after all…a B-Movie this year!) that gives you an idea of what we mean:

Our Guests of Honor in 2011 are Kenket and Black Teagan…together well-known as BLOTCH :) We have also heard from some past guests of honour and close friends that many other ‘special guests’ may show up this year, so we are expecting it to be the craziest, strangest, and best year Feral! has ever had :)

Our official website – www.campferal.org – is under construction…until it is online you can follow Feral! on Twitter @CampFeral, subscribe to our YouTube account and ‘like’ us on Facebook at our Facebook page.

by Potoroo

13
ago

Jules Unboxing the World

Before we talk about this game, we must talk about the company behind it first.

“Sulistas Games” is a startup company run by two people, held on São Paulo, Brazil. One of them is an active member of the furry fandom. Bringing their background expertise in games, which includes Ubisoft, they are thriving to raise their startup company, and they have just released their first game: Jules Unboxing the World.

Released yesterday (Aug 12, 2010) on iTunes Store, the game is about Jules, a charismatic red-blue creature with long ears and tail, who one morning discovered that all people in the world were boxed! And now is up to him to release them, rolling and opening all boxes. But be careful! Some enemies will try to catch you, and of course, box you.

Fauna Urbana had access to the Beta version, kindly provided by Ikiepu (the furry behind it). As we tested, we fell in love with the gameplay and art.

With gorgeous handmade graphics, excellent music and making use of the iPad’s accelerometer, this game gave us a lot of entertainment and it was an excellent way spend time. As you see on the video bellow, we tested during a subway trip; some passengers got curious, of course.

This game is made for iPad, and you can play 30 levels + 3 endless challenges just for $4.99. Buying the game will not give you just fun, but will support this new startup and show to the world what our fandom has at it best!

Congratulations Sulistas Games, and we already bought our copy! :)

More:

Teaser video at Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/14005322

1
jun

Fauna Urbana after 7 months

Fauna Urbana completed 7 months of existence, celebrating the extreme success of the portal and the acceptance of all the Brazilian furry fandom.

With more then 15,500 authentic unique visitors, generating 43 thousand hits on our servers and 900 comments on articles; the portal is experiencing a quick growth, much more then the owners imagined.

On this 6 months (late) anniversary, Fauna Urbana became relevant for all the external media (TV and journal) on Brazil, and more then this, became relevant to all the Brazilian furries.

The main goal of Fauna Urbana remains: Provide relevant and reliable information to all furries and non-furries and give a place to all furries get in touch and publish what they know.

Thank you all furries and partners like Flayrah to helping this anniversary been possible!

23
abr

Fauna Urbana launches blogs and podcasts hosting

For the first time in 10 years, all the Brazilian furry fandom will earn a fresh and high quality place to host their furry related blogs and podcasts, totally in portuguese.

Fauna Urbana announced yesterday a new service that plans to gather all the Brazilian furry material now spread throughout the web, such podcasts, comics, chronicles and blogs. Everybody could have more then one collaborator, making this idea more social and fun!

With the same login, all users could comment on their friend’s blogs and on Fauna Urbana’s articles. Eventually, Fauna Urbana will pick interesting posts to put on the spotlight on their home page.

The service will start this Sunday, 25th with two blogs (and two more coming). All creations will be on the same domain “faunaurbana.com.br”:

“Why split? Let’s join our fandom community together with us: On faunaurbana.com.br. In some months I believe that our fandom will relax and apply more for their blogs, everybody have something to say.” - Said Tanuki Gokuhi, the current administrator of Fauna Urbana.

In six months, Fauna Urbana got more then 5,000 visits (2,000 uniques) and still growing 11% per week.

22
abr

Caldeirão do Huck finally announces the furry show date

Caldeirão do Hulk - Lata Velha Furry

Lata Velha, by Globo.com

After Fauna Urbana announced a TV Show using furries for a prank, everyone think the show would be aired on the last Saturday 17th April, but it wasn’t.

An anniversary was aired instead, celebrating the 10 years of “Caldeirão do Huck” (the TV Show that is going to use furries on the segment called “Lata Velha”).

However, the official website Globo.com (the broadcaster) released date and time for this specific program where furries will appear.

April 24th, 2010 at 4:15pm (GMT-3). With this official announce (and not rumors) we can finally seat on our sofas and check it out.

Fauna Urbana will cover this moment and when the first video recording of the program is released, we will put it here.

Check the official announcement (translated by Google): Dani Suzuki will be complicit in our debut of Lata Velha 2010 Archive.

14
abr

Furaffinity tries to catch more audience

Less then a hour ago, the public twitter profile of FurAffinity announced an alternative version for its website with clean artwork. Safe For Work, the URL http://sfw.furaffinity.net/ will attempt to keep they audience browsing even during the work.

It’s a good choice for who don’t want to see Yiff all the time, mainly during the work. But considering that the community have to rate their content between General and Adult artwork, it’s not a hundred percent guarantee that we are going to see only clean images.

So even during the SFW browsing, be careful :)

15
mar

Popular Brazilian TV show to use furries in prank

Some hope for good publicity, others fear misrepresentation

Fursuiters playing with Luciano (in the light brown costume). Photo by Lucas.

This morning, Brazilian fandom members received breaking news from Fauna Urbana (written by Zutharr) about a TV show to be broadcast on April 17th.

In January, a famous Brazilian news channel (Fantástico) did a short feature on furries. Two months later, a popular TV show called Caldeirão do Huck decided to use a furry theme in the their first prank of the year. This TV show is broadcast every Saturday on Globo (which also shows Fantástico).

There is a segment of the program called “Lata Velha” (“Beater [cars]“) in which they pull a prank on a car’s owner — sometimes using the car owner’s family as accomplices — confounding him until the big revelation: the appearance of the presenter Luciano Huck with the message that he will fix their car completely after an outlandish challenge is accomplished, such as finding homes for thirty abandoned dogs.

For the year’s first “Lata Velha”, the production team decided to use fursuits and contacted Zutharr and his friends, who helped them understand how furry fandom works, how to act in fursuit and, of course, how to perform with Huck during the prank. (mais…)

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