Written by: Filipa Thespian
Images by: Vivienne Daguerre
Creator: Vivienne Daguerre of Black Rose
The sun rises over the sleepy little town and as the sun’s rays slowly illuminate its buildings and roads, residents emerge from their homes. Some set off for their daily routines: cooking, cleaning, milking the cows or simple mill about, while others are off to hunt. The shop keep opens his general store for business, toiling over his ledger as his son unloads a supply wagon and stocks shelves with goods. In the distance can be heard the din of the voices. They emanate from a crowd of merchants and shoppers haggling over food and other sundry items. In the distance a boy spies a knightly warrior returning from a quest on his steed laden with saddlebags full of gold and animal pelts tied to his saddle fluttering in the morning breeze. The boy does not seem overly surprised … knights and warriors regularly stop at his village to purchase supplies. Yes, it is an average day for this village – a village nestled in a role-play sim. A day possible only because of the scripted weapons, prim-structures, sculpted animals and textured clothing created by content providers, and without their contributions this RP world would be flat and without any visual stimulus and appeal. It’s through the imagination that we create our unique role-play experiences, and with amazing environments and accessories we gain ideas and building blocks to fuel this creativity.
In the virtual world of Second Life (SL), the content creator is king … or queen rather, as in the case of Vivienne Daguerre of Black Rose. From Gorean Tarns and exotic clothing to the more mundane, such as animations for wood carrying and cooking, Vivienne makes it all. “My husband teases me, ‘You have just worked a couple of days, to make it possible to cook and wash dishes in Second Life?’ It sounds funny, I know, but when you are immersing yourself in a role-play environment, having these interactive functions really helps create the mood, generate ideas and otherwise set the scene,” shares Vivienne.
Arriving at Vivienne’s home sim, the Vosk Woods, I discover how serious she is about role-play immersion. She invites me to travel down to the main level using a wonderful pulley operated cargo lift, “have a seat on a crate, or stand as you prefer.” Such a creative way to travel as opposed to the expected teleport pad. Likewise, Vivienne creates items for Black Rose that add to the feel of authenticity in a RP environment and fuels creativity.
Once we arrive at our wooded destination Vivienne reveals her soon-to-be-released animal/hunting system. The system features critters both harmless and small, like squirrels that get spooked and run, as well as the larger more deadly variety, which will attack avatars that get too close. If you’re wearing a meter … they can even take you down, unless you’re armed of course; in which case you can hunt them and return home with the spoils of your kill (all these animals deliver “loot” once killed). An amazing interactive feature for the wilder metered sims that while fun, also creates a role-play function around which you can build a story.
While the animal hunting system is incredibly cool, what’s coming next from Black Rose is just amazing. Sometime in August 2011, Second Life will be launching mesh across the grid.
Already available on some test sims on the main grid, mesh will seriously revolutionize everything from the clothing we wear, to the objects we use … adding detailed realism while streamlining prim count costs. Vivienne points to an existing kitchen set in her store as we discuss the mesh roll-out and explains, “This cooking hearth is 56 prims. The new mesh hearth I will be releasing soon is more attractive, more interactive and only has 16 prims. The savings is considerable.”
“Mesh is coming … it will enhance creativity which enhances role-play for everyone,” Vivienne gushes with excitement before adding, “I must stress though, just as it was when sculpties hit the scene, mesh is just one more tool in a builders toolbox, and I do not believe for a moment that it will make sculpts, prims or textures obsolete by any means.”
In the next few months, more and more objects in Second Life will be mesh-based, and while the old viewers will remain active, SL residents using the older viewers will only see odd shapes with colorful textures that don’t make complete sense without Viewer 2 technology. With the new viewer you will likely begin to miss out on marvelous role-play opportunities that these objects inspire.
So, how might a role-player using an older viewer handle a situation with mesh that they cannot see? “Role-play was born on table tops, with little figures and maps, moving to text only chat rooms online. People really used their imaginations, and I am sure that they will continue to do so. Probably the best thing I would suggest is when you see an odd object not fully displaying, realize it’s mesh and say something to someone OOC’ly ((can’t see the mesh, gonna wing it)) for example,” advises Vivienne.
“Nothing will beat the imagination. You simply cannot role-play without it,” Vivienne states. “I find the visuals are aids, not replacements. They are cues, things to bounce off of and react to. They help us to immerse ourselves more deeply in the role-play environment … to feel a part of it … see it … feel it … and almost taste and smell it.” Upon entering her mercantile, she walks up to the sales counter and begins to study her sales ledger. “A perfect example,” she says, “before I thought to put this ledger on the counter, I never thought about ledgers while I role-played. But since then, it has triggered me on occasion, to walk behind the counter and do something like this …” she begins to emote *I look up from my ledger at the woman who has entered, noting the blue and yellow of her garb. Flipping my fingers over the beads of my abacus, I write down the total of the debits column, wondering as I write, ‘what would bring a slaver to my trading post?’*
“What we see can inspire how and what we role-play and help us to pay attention to details that we might not otherwise think of. I could weigh out some salt for you on the scales, and wrap it in rence paper for example,” Vivienne shares with a grin. “The environment helps us become fully engaged and embroiled in the environment and inspires us to take it further than we might otherwise have thought of without it. THIS is the inspiration behind Black Rose,” she concludes.
From beautiful clothing to amazing fixtures and interactive role-play accessories, Black Rose certainly carries the full gambit of role-play essentials. Using well-made sculpties today and beautiful mesh tomorrow, Vivienne Daguerre remains on top of the changing technologies and provides her customers with amazing role-play attire, props and accessories. Her interactive mercantile in Tancreds Landing even offers a number of these amazing role-play enhancers for free.
So the next time you head off to begin a storyline – perhaps a smugglers plot – why not pop over to Black Rose and check out the nifty smugglers basket with the myriad of options of objects hidden inside it (all provided with the basket of course)? Oh the possibilities …