Turtle! Turtle! Turtle!

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There aren’t enough turtles in Second Life, so Avatar Bizarre brought together a team of herpetologists to go slogging through reeds and woodland ponds to bring you a selection of Slider and Pond turtles.  Okay, so the team actually consists of me, the sole perpetrator and designer for Avatar Bizarre, but the selection of Sliders and Pond turtles is for real.  They’re 100% original rigged mesh, stand just over 0.5 meters tall, and could probably charm the candy from little kids with one well-aimed look.  Introducing the new Turtle Avatar!

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This little guy is available in a couple of varieties in about eight colors.  The Sliders, being of the mostly Red-eared variety — indigenous to the southern and eastern United States, and more appropriately to Burmilla region in Second Life — come in Purple, Green, Blue, and Silver Mist (light blue).  The Pond turtles are available in Clay, Green, True Blue, and Purple.  If there’s a demand for some other color morph, please let me know so I can go digging in the mud for more of these guys.

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At the moment they’re only available as male turtles.  I may try to dig up some females if enough people ask.  Or you can add eyelashes and hair, and a female turtle you can be!

These turtles are currently available at the inworld location only.  They should be on the marketplace in a couple of days.

He was always a foxy kind of guy…

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The Fennec fox is normally a tiny desert creature that eats bugs, lizards, and small rodents; however, the great thing about Second Life is you can find various species in any habitat, and it would be completely natural.  This Fennec, for example, has a knack for finding mermaid clubs simply by trying to get to the desert and failing utterly.  After falling into two underwater clubs in a row on two completely different sims, it seemed fate wanted this avatar to wander in a fantasy land even the most imaginative Fennec would never have dreamed of visiting.

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Given the fact that I have this habit of inflicting music on people every Saturday night at the Village of Nyght it was time to hit the decks at the mermaid club when nobody else was around.  What does the fox play?  Probably a bit of VNV Nation, David Bowie, and Gary Numan.  As a DJ in Second LIfe, I rarely sit on a DJ stand.  It’s far more fun to make my little cartoon dance and wear fun costumes.  Want to be social and dance to new wave, Gothic, and other fun genres?  Feel free to show up at the Village sometime.  Till then, let’s talk more about this avatar from Avatar Bizarre.

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The Fennec Avatar is 100% original rigged mesh, and is now available inworld and on the Marketplace.  There are 11 fun colors, including a version for Saint Patrick’s Day (he has a shamrock on the backs of his hands).  Each avatar includes a full body alpha.  And last, but not least, you can  tweak the shape of your Fennec by editing (or making) your shape.  I recommend making copies of everything before you tweak anything.  I know everyone in the universe says this, but it’s probably one of the most important bits of advice to actually heed in Second Life.

This little guy is Modify and Copy.  Rigged mesh cannot be resized, but you can probably tint it.  I make everything wearable in my store modify out of habit.  The cost on this avatar is 325L.

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Oh, and here’s a little tidbit that might save people a bit of annoyance:

If you notice a weird alpha glitch in your avatar (or any mesh), and you’re using a materials-enabled viewer with Advanced Lighting turned on, please right click>EDIT the mesh in question, hit the TEXTURE tab, and next to the little icon showing the texture you may see a drop down menu labeled “Alpha Mode”.  Be sure you have NONE selected.  If ALPHA MODE is selected, it does wonky things to mesh and makes for some seriously bizarre glitches that would not otherwise be there.

Dressage For Success – A Twisted Hunt Gift

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A friend of mine on plurk was pining for the Fjords while lamenting the lack of Dressage suits for men in Second Life.  I was vaguely aware that people riding in horse competitions wear something that looks a bit like a tuxedo with knee high boots, and it’s just the sort of thing I enjoy making, so a promise was made more or less sorta kinda.  After doing some research on the various Dressage looks out there, I decided on the classic tail coat version.

Since the pants on a Dressage suit tend to be skin tight, I figured this suit didn’t have to be full mesh.  The pants are a system layer, along with the system layer Dressage shirt, and leather gloves.  The rest of the outfit is mesh, both rigged and unrigged.  The tail coat is knee length and comes in the five standard male sizes.  The Cravat and the low Top Hat are both unrigged and can be resized as needed.  There is, of course, an alpha included for the coat and for the boots.

The rigged boots (included) are a special new addition to the Avatar Bizarre collection.  Not only are they superbly textured patent leather, but if you run on a Materials compatible viewer and have Advance Lighting enabled, you will see a subtle leather shine you wouldn’t otherwise see in viewers that aren’t materials compatible.  The shine has a slight color applied, based on the color of the coat.

This brings me to the Twisted Hunt gift for men (Twisted Hunt starts March 1 and runs through March 31)…

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The theme of Twisted you probably already know, if you read this blog regularly (or just look at the post below this one).  The color of this hunt is a magical purple.  Frankly, it’s one of my favorite colors, and lends itself well to a Dressage outfit, even though the traditional color is, well, black and white.

The Magic Purple Dressage outfit from Avatar Bizarre comes with two pairs of pants:  a black pair with a colored stripe down each leg, and a more traditional white pair.  This suit will be available in more colors at the end of the hunt, including the traditional black.

Till then, Tally Ho!

It’s a Kind of Magick – Twisted Hunt Gift

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When it rains, it pours.  In the case of Ye Olde Shoppe Blogge, I just couldn’t wait a week to tell you about the nifty new gown slated for the Women’s Twisted Hunt Gift in March.  Theme:  Magick.  Check.  Color: Purple.  Excellent. Stuff made:  Tons.  Perfect.  A case in point: One partial mesh ballgown.

The Magick Gown, modeled by a very lovely Phoebe, was built with an underbust rigged mesh corset.  Flaring out at the bottom into a sort of rig for a bustle style skirt, it has plenty of room for a wide range of avatar shapes.  The top of the corset sits just below the breasts, and there’s a matching bustier shirt layer to round out the natural beauty of the feminine shape.

The rest of the gown includes rigged mesh sleeves, a delicately laced magical purple skirt with velvet panels where it meets the corset, and a glitch pant that terminates in delicate lace near the mid calf, and misty lace ruffles on the sleeves for a little extra flourish.  The boots pictured are from Lassitude & Ennui, and are not included. The lace has a slight glow for that mystical magic feel, but since the gown is modify, simply edit out the glow on the lace if you prefer not to glow quite so much.

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This gown will be available in several other colors after the end of the Twisted Hunt.  Till then, if you want the purple version, you may need to spend time looking for it at Avatar Bizarre.

Main Store Location

Dragon My Feet

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As the Twisted Hunt inexorably marches into our lives (March 1-31), Avatar Bizarre is busy preparing gachas and hunt prizes.  As Gachas insidiously lurk, biding their time for the next addict to pop up and try for the rares and ultra rares within, I have been busily creating some fun items to fill my Twisted Hunt Gachas.

You already got a sneak preview of the Chinese Dragon Gacha in my previous post, not to mention possibly meeting one up close at the SLUniverse prom yesterday…

Hint:  That suit I’m wearing is a sort of unofficial sneak peak at the male Twisted gift.  I will be posting more about that and the female gift later on.

Now, as time speeds ever forward, I’d like to show you the latest updated mesh Dragon Slippers, available in ten snappy colors! With every color in the rainbow plus two, it was only logical to take the absence of color and the mix of all colors and make them the rainbow rares.  These are rigged, and should fit everyone because they’re big ol’ slippers  There’s an alpha included, just in case.

And don’t worry!  If you end up with twelve sets of red slippers, these guys are all transfer so you can sell, trade, or give them away.

Because Dragon – Twisted Hunt “Magick” starts March 1

You may or may not be aware that the Twisted Hunt is currently lurking in a dark corner, waiting to spring itself on people starting March 1.  This hunt, without a doubt and immodest about it, is the most difficult hunt on the grid.  If you are planning to hunt, and you expect to find the item (a Hellraiser style Lament textured cube, probably spinning, most likely purple or invisible…who knows?) in under a minute, then you are sadly mistaken.

Merchants are allowed up to ten visible decoys.  However, and let me stress this point, they are also allowed as many invisible (read stuck inside walls, floors, or otherwise not visible to the naked eye unless you are cheating) decoys as they want.  This includes renaming bits and bobs to match that of the actual item.  Good news, though!  If you don’t use wireframe and/or area search, you will likely find the box a bit faster.  After all, though merchants are not required to give hints, many do.

It is advisable to join the hunt group, as tireless volunteers give out the latest hints from the various locations.  There is really no hard and fast rule to the hints, apart from the fact that they can change daily (or more than once a day) as merchants move their items.  Most of the time, things get moved if someone blurts out the location in local chat or in the group chat.  Don’t do it.  Merchants and the organizers (of which I am one) get cranky and bitey.

The hunt is worth the hassle to most people, as often decoys will contain fun little gifts, or stores will put up their own instore mazes with lots of extra gifts scattered around.  There’s also the amazing and frustratingly evil End Game which, once conquered, gives you a whole pile of extra gifts, plus a “Twisted Survivor” tag, which many people wear with gloating pride.

But wait, there’s more!  In addition to all the fantastic gifts hidden across the grid, stores are encouraged to participate with gachas!

If you’ve been living under a virtual rock in the shopping and fashion world of Second Life, a gacha is rather like one of those gumball prize machines where you stick in a coin and get a fun random prize.  Gachas usually contain a variety of fun prizes for chump change (generally around 10L – 50L per play).  Most of the time, these items are transferable, so you can trade, sell, or give away any extra versions of things you get.  But wait, there’s more!  Gachas usually contain rare prizes, and some even have ULTRA RARE prizes!  Oh yes, they are addictive.

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Funnily enough, Avatar Bizarre, which is a notoriously evil participant in the Twisted Hunt (in spite of giving copious bread crumb trails straight to the hunt item) will have two special gachas set up in time for Twisted.  The first gacha will be the “Chinese Dragon Shoulder Pet” collection; a mass of 21 different mesh Chinese shoulder dragons.  There are several rares, and three hidden Ultra Rares (Smission, Pyroclast, and Tyger).

As if that weren’t enough, there are seven gachas all sitting in the front of the store containing everything from boots to avatars, and all between 15L – 50L per play.

Stay tuned for a sneak preview of the actual gifts:  A lovely purple gown for the women, and a formal suit inspired by Dressage for the men.  Both are partial mesh.

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Say My Name

I am the one who knocks…

One of the fun things about Second Life is you can be anyone or anything you want.  As a Second Life creator, I don’t really get to play as much as I’d like; I’m always in some sort of working frenzy, whether stuck in Blender, Photoshop, or DJing at the Village of Nyght on Saturday Nights.  I generally enjoy making things, and try only to make things I want to make, as opposed to stuff I think other people will like.  It’s not an easy balance, and like most other people, I sometimes lose focus and get a little burned out.

Avatar Bizarre is taking a bit of time off for this week’s creating frenzy. Instead of showing you the latest thing I have for sale in my store, I wanted to show off an avatar I created, based on Bryan Cranston’s character in the AMC series Breaking Bad.  As this is a copyrighted character, I will not sell this avatar; I can only give you a style sheet and turn a blind eye to whatever people want to do.  I do not sell other people’s creations without permission, and other creators should keep that in mind when they put things on the market.

I don’t want to turn this blog into a diatribe or a soap box, but I have seen a lot of folks — Big Name Creators, in fact — who have been making and selling copyrighted characters without permission from the original sources, and it kind of pisses me off.  It gives the rest of the creators in Second Life a bad name.  Second Life gets a lot of bad press in mainstream media, and when I hear people make the claim that the virtual world is only about stealing other people’s creations, having virtual sex, and being a loser living in Mom’s basement, it really chaps my hide.

Guys, if you want to make stuff from your favorite movies or TV shows, do it for your own pleasure.  It is really bad if you choose to make and sell things that do not belong to you.  I’m not going to be the one to blow the whistle, but bear in mind there are a lot of people out there who would.

That said, my Walter White avatar is for me.  I am not selling it.  Nor could I, if I wanted to.

I created the shape, eyes, sunglasses, pork pie hat, and facial hair (Facial hair on a chemo patient?  Well every story has some weird hole in it).  The hair base came from KMADD as part of a freebies package.  It’s a white, tintable hairbase that I simply applied a bit of greyish brown to, to get that freshly shaven head look.  The skin is part of the Aero Maxwell avatar, available in Second Life (inworld only as far as I can tell).  The package comes with eyes, several versions of the skin, shapes, and a few odds and sods and costs around 2000L.  I only used the Gin colored BH skin in the box for this avatar.

Simply put, Breaking Bad is one of the best fictional bits of TV I have ever seen.  In spite of feeling a bit rushed in the last five or six episodes, it was very well written, and the acting was superb.  I’m inclined to agree with Sir Anthony Hopkins when he said that Bryan Cranston is one of the most amazing actors out there right now.  When someone of Sir Hopkins’ caliber says you’re good, then you’re good!

From the amazing cinematography and editing, to the excellent music, to the stubble on Mr. Cranston’s head, this was a fine bit of entertainment; gripping, tense, darkly funny at times, and…well…as addictive as the blue meth Heisenberg created.

It was time for Heisenberg to appear in Second Life.  He may only be around for a couple of weeks, but you can’t deny he’s got a powerful presence.

Normal operations will resume next week.  Till then, Walter “Heisenberg” White will be DJing at this week’s Village of Nyght “Adult” party.