Saturday, November 24, 2012

Community Library Fantasy Exhibit in Inworldz

Community Library Fantasy Exhibit


As part of the Intergrid Metaverse Arts Biennial 2012, the Community Library on Delphi in InWorldz is having a grand opening of their largest exhibit to date. Library board members, consultants and artists will be at the region at 1:00 pm PST / IWT to give tours or discuss the builds and book collection.

At 1:15pm PST, Storyteller Kaikilani KaLeoNani will read stories of fae and fantasy. From 2:30pm to 4:00pm PST, DJ Astoria Luminos will entertain us with Celtic and New Age dance music. Fantasy dress is optional.

The mission of the Community Library is to serve the InWorldz community's needs and wants. The Fantasy Exhibit is the work of several artists, builders, and librarians. For this exhibit we wanted to have not only books in the category of fantasy, but also several immersive fantasy environments built by artists and builders on InWorldz.

Our immersive environments built on over half of the sim are built by Tiana Genesis, Alizarin Goldflake, soror Nishi, Elwing Qendra, Strand Starsider, Miso Susanowa and Quadrapop Tree. Tiana Genesis built the lovely Elven forest, cave, and treetop terraces complete with a storytelling area.

Over 40 books were created and are on the third floor of the library building. Dawn Greymyst produced the bulk of the books and Amvans Lapiz, Jillian2000 Quintessa and Agnesa Capalini assisted. Dawn also created a number of cutouts in fantasy dress and two slideshows about fantasy. Snoots Dwagon of Elf Clan loaned the library his beautiful collection of Elven swords. Wolf Hartnell built a model and helped us get started. Strand Starsider built an underwater mermaid venue by the plaza that is complete with his Mer dances. There is more, but you need to visit the Community Library!

Updated events for this will be posted on the Community Library website:

YouTube video of the library by Adam01Time Time:

Links below are for past publicity about the Community library

** ACRL Virtual World Interest Group tour of library in August 14, 2012 - slideshow created by Valibrarian Gregg.

**Steampunk exhibit and tour at the Community Library - Machinima by Valibrarian Gregg in June 2012

The Fountain of Salmacis

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Guide To Tweeria, the Twitter RPG

Finally, Tweeria, the "lazy Twitter role-playing game" is out of beta and open to the public, so I thought I'd make a mini-guide & help page for it. There is some information on the Tweenk blog and some in-game but a lot of it is just discovery by playing.

Exactly what is Tweeria? "Tweeria is a game with minimal user's involvement. Every time you tweet, your alter ego finds adventures, kills monsters or finds items.Every tweet you post can change hero's life." As you Tweet, Tweeria uses the Twitter API to move your character around on a map and discover monsters, dungeons and other characters. You have the option to combat other players if you so desire (PVP).

You can check out my character here.

There are a couple rough edges and small glitches in the game but the amount of work Alex/Tweenk and others have put into this new game is amazing and they are very responsive to feedback from players and  get things fixed in good time.
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Inventory Management

In this version of Tweeria, Items will go into your Inventory automatically as you adventure. When your Inventory is full, you won't be able to pick up or buy any items unless you have free space in Inventory. One way to clear that up and make some gold is to sell the stuff you pick up:

To sell, you click on an item in Inventory and drag it to the bottom of your character, which will pop up a sales box. This part can be a little glitchy so do it slowly. If the sales box doesn't pop up, just reclick the item and drag slowly.At this time the report of sold items shows 0 or 3 or some low number but the actual gold gained is more; this is one of the bugs that are being fixed.
Of course, if an item found is something you want, you can drag it onto the gear slots around your character to start using it.

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Crafting Items

I've made a post on item crafting before but I'd like to add some more information in a step-by-step process.

If you played Tweenk, the predecessor of Tweeria, you'll find much familiar in this interface. One thing that is new is the ability to craft items and spells, with a healthy market in both.

In your wanderings you will pick up items and Ore or Enchanted Ore; these are your crafting materials.

There's been an explosion of items and spells in the last couple days, showing that most Tweeria players are crafting their own and having a ball at it. Except for one or three rude/obscene/druggie items (which  have been rejected), everyone is making  items for their character and taking the effort to write cool, whimsical & wry descriptions.

 On the Item Creation page, you use the standard slider-distribution setup for 8 attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, Luck, Hit Points, Mana, Damage & Armor. You get 3 points per level to distribute across these attributes. There is also another slider for Enchanted Ore, which adds 10 more points to be distributed if you have the ore.

Basic item/armor types are listed in dropdown menus. There is also a space for a 100x100 user-created graphic depicting the item; you must have an icon to represent the item or you cannot complete making one.

Obviously you're not going to put Armor on a blade, but less obvious is that certain stats aid different types. If you're a mage character, you won't be using (or able to equip) bows or axes; your defense is weaker because the Mage profits more from letting Dexterity and Luck be her shield. If you're going to be a Human Hunter or Orc Warrior, you will be wanting Strength, Damage & Armor on your items. All classes benefit from Luck, which can help you out in a close battle or find you that nice item in your wanderings.

Finally, there will be a cost to set in gold - Tweeria has a minimum cost-per-level so you can't set the price too low (to discourage twinking). You can, of course, always set it high if you think your item is that valuable.

Tweeria cautions you about making items - they should fit into a fantasy/RPG form; no gold-plated spaceships or ray guns. Tweeria will also reject items that are trolls, hate speech and all the rest of that crap.

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Crafting Spells

You will also pick up Magical Parchment for creating spells in your wanderings. The spell creation page is similar to that in many RPG games:

You can add up to three effects in any one spell and you get +5 pts/level to distribute. The restricting factor is similar to many RPGs - each point of the spell costs a point in mana, so high-powered spells will cost a lot of mana. There is a Spellbook where your spells collect; you can choose to have 5 spells on standby (although one of the small glitches is that you only can select 4 at this time).

This is a pre-buff spell to use when I'm going on a Raid. The word below the title of the spell [ward] is the key/trigger. As my current Mana reserve is at 325, this spell costs more than half of my mana but lasts for an hour, as do all other spells that aren't direct damage. The Intellect/Power boost is substantial as are the Endurance (an offshoot of health) and Dexterity buffs, so this gives me time to cast, pump up and withstand a few attacks while my mana recovers or I use spells with less mana requirements like a straight Fireball or Frost Nova attack.

The method of spell use seems to be this: if the spell is on someone/thing, it is invoked with a single exclamation point before the keyword that casts the spell [example: !fireball]. If it is on your character (a 'buff') then you use two exclamation points [example: !!ward]. It also seems that the spells work better/easier if added after the Tweeria hashtag like this: #tweeria !!ward. Everyone is still experimenting in these areas.

If you cast a buff/powers spell on yourself, you can go to the Abilities tab, highlight the spell & it will tell you how much time is left on the power-up. You'll also see the buffed attributes in green:

When you use the spell form "!spell" you will see it in your Timeline like this:

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I have my own Creation Center which lets me see my items and a sales report for any items I have made. There are pages and pages of interesting items people are using and selling in the 3 days Tweeria's been up, highlighting this as one of the parts of the games people are really enjoying. If you make an item other people like they will buy it and contribute to your gold stash.

Some things are ridiculously priced as a joke or to discourage other players from buying them and being equal to you in power stats. Most items are reasonably priced for your level, and some people (like me) are making low-level sets to help people get started in the game. Those 20-50gold items get to be quite a trickle at times ^_^ It's worthwhile to just scan some of the items in the Market for their neat, strange or humorous descriptions.

I highly recommend you experiment with making your own items as this is a great way to customize your character & gear.

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The Events menu will take you to a raid staging area. Raids are set up by time & will reflect your timezone settings in Twitter. I had a little trouble at first getting synced up because the timezone was 1 hour off (seems to be fixed now that DST ended). Once I figured that out, I started trying to go on raids...

Here's Alex/Tweenk from the blog explaining about Raids:

Along with usual dungeons like Tweenk’s, there are new dungeons with stronger monsters, better loot and higher difficulty level. Only large groups of players can manage those dungeons.
That is why we made the raid system where a player can gather a group or join an existing one.

Some words about current mechanics:
1) Raid is appointed to a fixed time and last about one hour. All tweets of its participants don’t score in the “main” part of the game, but have a direct impact on the success of the raid.
2) After the raid ends, every participant finds out its results.
3) If the raid is successful, every participant obtains loot regardless of the other players.

1) Players can’t attend more than one raid at the same time.
2) Players can’t be registered for more than 5 raids simultaneously

At the moment we are working on interface and features of the new system: there will be a detailed log of players’ activity and other improvements.

I went on a couple raids with a lot of low-level peeps just to try them out... and all failed.  Raids are definitely harder than dungeons and even if you have a full party of 5 (or 10 for higher lvl dungeons) you will fail the raid if everyone is not tweeting at the time. You might also fail it if you just aren't strong enough as a party.

This isn't too clear from the description so I will emphasize it again:

You will not get points or a bonus item if you are merely leeching; it takes all the party to be active. You also really don't want to go on a raid until you have at least a couple of higher-level peeps (I just finished one finally [Raid to Great Salt Lake] and I am a level 16).

On the Events page, you'll find listed all of the upcoming raids and a place to create another one. You'll see the time (in a 24-hr format), who is the group leader, the other party members and the location of the raid.

You'll see any raid you signed up for at the top of your timeline and below the small map. The result of the raid will be posted in your Timeline approx. 5 or so minutes after the raid ends. Tweeria only pings the Twitter API every 15 minutes (to keep the hit on Twitter down) so you might have to wait up to 20 minutes to see the result. You'll also be able to tell by your Inventory, which now might have an elite weapon with very nice stats tied to your level.

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Frequently-Asked Questions

1. "I am seeing [yourname] was killed by [yourname]"

 This means you have lost all your Hitpoints. Every encounter, whether you win or not, will cost you HP. To slow down your encounters, stop Tweeting so much until you have sufficient HP.  You get HP with every level-up or from items.

2. "I am not updating on my Timeline although I've been tweeting for 20 minutes."

  This is probably becauseTweeria must query the Twitter API for updates, and Twitter announced they would lengthen the amount of time between updates for third-party programs like Tweeria. Tweeria can do nothing about this. The current wraparound time is about 30 minutes or so for Timeline changes. Not the same as:

3. "I am not updating; Tweeria doesn't seem to be doing things for X hours"

This is most probably the Tweeria code being updated; patches, bug fixes, new features, etc. Usually the fixes are done in 24 hrs or less. If you see your last events on the Timeline in terms of "hours ago" this is what is happening. Stay cool; all the "missing tweets" will restore when Tweeria is open again.

4. "How do I party with other players?"

Parties at this time are only for raids; you and your friends can all sign up for a raid at X time.

5. "Here's my spell tweet -  !blizzard !blizzard !firearrow !death" - [Multiple Spells]

Multiple spells like this on a single tweet are only a waste of mana - Tweeria will only apply the first spell. Doesn't help in encounters either.

6. "I'm a bit confused by how PVP works."

PVP, at least for me & a few experimenters, decreases the amount of loot or encounters. You get PVP points instead of regular. It also seems to slow up leveling. Experiment.

7. "I made an item but I didn't get it back/get a copy."

Either you had no space in Inventory to hold it (in which case, make items after clearing out your Inventory) or the item was rejected for not following Tweeria's Creation Guidelines as published in the Tweeria Help File.

Please note that Tweeria reserves the right to reject any item without reason given. Most often, the reason given is "does not conform to Tweeria item creation guidelines." There has been an avalanche of stupid, nasty, hentai, sexual, ugly hate & similar items, which has caused a massive slowdown in the approval process.Don't be stupid - if your item was rejected, you already have a pretty good idea why.

From the blog:

There are several restrictions on user created things:

1) An item, a spell or an artwork must properly fit into a typical fantasy medieval environment. Tweeria is not a place for spaceships and blasters.

2) We do not object humor, but do not turn Tweeria into Please know the limits when it comes to humor.

3) When creating items, artworks and spells, you are allowed to use only the images created by you or by a person who gave you permission to use his/her creation.

4) You must provide a reference to a source of a picture if it is required by its author.

5) Violating the terms of using images belonging to other people is prohibited even if you provide a reference to their source.

6) Images, text descriptions, objects’ titles must obey ethical standards and moral principles.

7) It is forbidden to use images and texts that offend, discriminate or violate the dignity of other people. Your materials do not have to call for racial or national discrimination, nazism, extremism, violence, drug abuse or anything that is not accepted by a normal society.

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Nyms Guild

This is our presence in Tweeria; it's an open league so you can join it or make your own. We have a Facebook presence also thanks to Wizard Gynoid, where you can hang out, drink some mead and be part of the glorious Nyms, tweeting to save the world from abominable abominations or whatever.

There's a lot of backstory on Alex/Tweenk's blog if you are interested; some of it is written by other players.

You can sign up to play Tweeria here. Come join us lazily playing Tweeria!

 Two of my popular items