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IN WHICH I REVEAL THE LOCATIONS OF ALL THE CAPSULES!

The C-Me app is activated.

The C-Me app is activated.

Okay, so here I am at the main island in the Pierus Camping area, ready to continue MadPea’s Buried, Having gotten the C-Me app activated I am ready to begin the search for clues in the disappearance of Lily Morano, an author who was researching geocaching.

This is what the C-Me Capsule looks like. The green band blinks.

The C-Me Capsule. The green band blinks.

At this point the game changes from a sim-based puzzle to a grid-wide hunt through merchant sponsored locations, with one major change – no hints. The HUD is affected by lag and doesn’t always display properly. The “Help” diagram isn’t clear on what to do with the HUD, whether to press the display or the glowing green bar or bang your head on the desk. Many players are confused by this.

Although the C-Me application does tell the player to locate 25 C-Me Capsules, the player doesn’t really have a clue (pun intended) at to what to do at this point. There are no verbal or chat clues telling the player what to look for or giving hints as to where to look. The only clue is the wireframe graphic on the HUD. The geocache capsule is shown on the left.

For those of you unfamiliar with wireframe, it is “a mode of viewing the world by seeing only the edges that connect the vertices of objects, avatars, and terrain. The client wire frame mode can be toggled on and off in Advanced > Rendering > Wireframe (or via Ctrl-⇧ Shift-R).” I liken it to the chicken wire frame under a paper mâché sculpture.

Capsule location in normal view

Comparison of HUD location graphic in normal view

These photos demonstrate how to use the HUD graphics. Use your camera controls to look down at the area. Locate shapes or terrain similar to the graphic on the HUD. In some cases, switching to wireframe view may help.

Same location in wireframe view

Same location in wireframe view

As I stated in my first post, players have been chastised for cheating by using wireframe view as a search tool. However, I feel it is no more of a cheat than “camming” around locations.

When a location is unlocked one of the grey dashed lines turns green and an image appears on the HUD with red X. The display on the HUD is an overhead wireframe view of the general area where the C-Me Capsule is located. The red X shows the location of the C-Me Capsule. Click on the display to be teleported to the region. You will not necessarily land at the location shown on the HUD. If you wish to return to a previous location, click on the corresponding green dashed line.

Although the C-Me host asks questions, the player is simply a spectator.

Although the C-Me host asks questions, the player is simply a spectator.

Once you find the C-Me Capsule, click on it and a mystery host will speak directly to you. Or actually to the character you are playing. Although it helps to hear sounds from objects, the text will appear in local chat.

These comments are not clues. They help to explain and advance the storyline, but give no hints as to upcoming locations or information to assist your search.

Occasionally the player will be asked a question but your character will supply the answer. The player does not have to type anything in chat. By the time you locate the C-Me Capsule #9 things start to get a little weird, as they tend to do in MadPea games.

Half way through we get our first glimpse of Lily. She seems to be enjoying herself. We meet the player that Lily choose to follow and the game gets darker. By C-Me Capsule #16 the true nature of the game is revealed. The locations of the C-Me Capsules become more difficult to find.

The player learns that their character is a participant in a reality show and that viewers of the show are voting on the odds of survival. Not only that, but the player’s character must choose another player to “follow” and make decisions at to their fate.

045 Capsule 25b

Gameplay would be more fun if the player was actually allowed to make a decision and the outcome of the game was based on that. As it is, the player just walks through the scenario without affecting it.

End Game

End Game

The ending is sadly anti-climactic. The C-Me Capsule #25 is very difficult to click and you may have to repeat the animation several times. Once you get to the prize area you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. All 25 prizes are buried and you have to dig them up individually. It takes 5 clicks and 45 to 60 seconds per prize. And you don’t get your half million dollars either.

I’ve read that this hunt is the most boring MadPea game to date and also that it is the most successful. For me, it fell short of satisfactory. More interaction, more pertinent information from the C-Me host, clearer graphics, the ability to enlarge the Hud graphic, better explanation of geocaching and the capsules used, and finally … a point. There was just no point to this game other than finishing it to get prizes.

Speaking of the prizes, I am not going to critique the prizes individually. As a creator, I know how difficult it is to please everyone. As a gamer, I am tired of blood, gore, dirt, and sadism as a reward. I appreciate most those prizes I can display in my General sim home.

I suppose that the real point is that the game earns funds that are desperately needed in order for MadPea to continue development. It would really make sense for Linden Labs to contract MadPea to provide user content and entertainment, but that would probably never happen. I also suggested they try Kickstarter but they removed that comment from their site.

One of the best things about MadPea games is the cooperation of the community. It is one of the few, if not the only, chat community of its kind, for the most part welcoming, polite, and helpful. The community contributes to the joy of the game.

A few notes: There needs to be a warning at the beginning that at least one of the locations (#24!) is in an Adult rated location. If you are not age-verified you cannot get the last capsule.

Who is behind C-Me? Who is watching this awful reality and how? And where are Morgan and the other “players”?

And, as promised, here are the locations for C-Me Capsules 1-24.

C-Me Capsules 1-12

C-Me Capsules 13-24

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MADPEA BURIED GAME ~ PART ONE

MadPea "Buried Game" starting point

MadPea “Buried Game” starting point

I always look forward to MadPea games, not so much for the prizes but for the challenge and the great resident community chat. The mad Peas are fun, entertaining, and helpful.

The games have great storylines, the prizes are above average, and the gameplay is usually challenging.

All of that is true for the latest offering, Buried ~ except the challenging part. Don’t get me wrong. The objects for which you search are downright hard to find, but not because the player has to decipher complex clues and solve puzzles. It’s because the graphics on the HUD are small and poorly defined and at the beginning there are no clues to let the player know what to look for. Listening to chat shows that this has led to great frustration for many players.

I enjoyed the game once I figured out the key to deciphering the HUD display. Although players have been chastised for cheating by using wireframe view as a search tool, I feel it is no more of a cheat than “camming” around locations.

That is game designer Kiana Writer in the background

That is game designer Kiana Writer in the background

So, on to my Buried experience. The first part of the game is good ole straightforward MadPea at it’s best.

Camp Bulletin board at start point

Camp Bulletin board at start point

Start by teleporting to the main island in the Pierus Camping area, once a public camping site and now home to super couple Lily and Joshua Morano. We know nothing more than that Lily went missing while researching a new book on geocaching and Joshua is offering half a million dollars for the first one to find her.

The Pierus Islands Camping Area

The Pierus Islands Camping Area

After a quick shopping jaunt to the camp store, I purchased a HUD/Tablet ($300L) and, following instructions, I boarded a small fishing boat and set out to explore the area.

The island environment is a joy to explore

The island environment is a joy to explore

With my usual middlin’ thoroughness, I circumnavigated each island before stopping to explore. There are things to find if you look. The islands are very beautiful, if dark and misty. There is a lot of gray.

Lily's Writer Studio Gazebo

Lily’s Writer Studio in the Folly

The first island to the north, Thelxinoe, contains little more than a shabby chic folly, obviously Lily’s writing studio. Josh has left it untouched, awaiting Lily’s return. Oddly enough there is a hatchet buried in the window sill. On the desk are two documents, a loving letter from Joshua and an unfinished letter from Lily, written in her native language, to her mother. Luckily my tablet’s equipped with a universal translator.

Faded Photographs, scattered now it bits and pieces

Faded Photographs, scattered now it bits and pieces

The Moreno’s beautiful home is located on Melete, the northernmost island. Josh hasn’t been able to bear being here and except for the dust, it looks like Lily just left. Books and pictures lie scattered about.

Arche is more important than it looks

Arche is more important than it looks

Avoiding the reefs, I swung south along the western coast line to the southernmost island, Aolde and then back north to Arche to explore Lily’s greenhouse. Lily is an avid natural gardener, having written a book on the topic, and evidence of her efforts fill the island.

Catching my breath before starting the search for Lily in earnest

Catching my breath before starting the search for Lily in earnest

After wandering around for a bit, I find the clue needed to start the search in earnest.

At this point the game changes from a sim-based puzzle to a grid-wide hunt through merchant sponsored locations. Although the C-Me application does tell the player to locate 25 C-Me Capsules, the player doesn’t really have a clue (pun intended) at to what to do next. The HUD is affected by lag and doesn’t always display properly. The “Help” diagram isn’t clear on what to do with the HUD, whether to press the display or the glowing green bar or bang your head on the desk. Many players are confused by this.

Continued in Part Two.

Bardic competition8th annual Elf Circle Bardic Competition.

RFL ~ A Personal Post

rfl 2014

Relay for Life of Second Life will be held this year on the weekend of July 19th and 20th, 2014. You can get information on events on their Facebook page.

By that time my real life partner will have had his first of 6 RCHOP chemotherapy treatments after being diagnosed with advanced Stage III Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma on June 6, 2014. Treatment is expected to last through October, 2014.

My time in Second Life is nearly non-existent. My computer and blogging time are even less so. My purpose in posting, for the few who actually follow this blog, is to urge you to support Relay for Life wherever you can, in real life or in Second Life. Although sponsored by the American Cancer Society, RFL activities raise funds and awareness to save lives from cancer in over 20 countries.

My mother had a hysterectomy in her 30s for cervical cancer. In her 70s she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within 4 months. At 17 my youngest daughter contracted HPV and was treated successfully for cervical pre-cancer lesions. Research and funding are so important. Whatever you do to support cancer research ~ be it RFL, Susan B. Koman, Cancer Research UK, anything! ~ it is so very important. Your contributions enabled my mother to live a long life and gave my daughter a chance at one. Thank you.

 

The Book Meme

Rose Likes Pretty Picture Books 2007

Rose Likes Pretty Picture Books 2007

My answers to Berry’s Book Meme:

  1. Are you a bookworm? – Yes. Unequivocally yes.
  2. Which do you prefer: hardcover, paperback or electronic? – I will read the back of a cereal box. Seriously. However, I was gifted a Nook last year and have replaced trips to the library (always a hassle) with checking out E-books (no more overdue fines). Favorite authors and/or series of the light reading variety come in paperback. Some genres still publish first in paperback. I am slowly replacing worn paperbacks with hardbacks as available. Special interest books come however I can get them.
  3. Which book is your favorite? – That is like asking which child is my favorite (it’s Sophie’s Choice all over again) (but that’s not my favorite book). There are books to which I return time and again, but it depends on my mood at the time.
  4. Which children’s book is your favorite?Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. Actually that was my favorite to read to my children and I still repeat phrases from the book inappropriately. When I was a child, I did not read children’s books (I was a strange child). As an adult, my favorite children’s book is The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett. At least today it is.
  5. What’s the last book you’ve read? – On my nightstand now are The Mindful Way Through Depression, The Camino by Shirley McLaine, Murder in Belleville by Cara Black, When, Why …If by Robin Wood (Robin Sojourner in SL), and Each Day A New Beginning by Karen Casey (I read this yearly).
  6. Name your top five favorite writers:C.J. Cherryh, Barbara Hambly, Jane Yolen, Ursula LeGuin, Agatha Christie   or maybe Dorothy Sayers.
  7. Name a book that had a strong impact on you:Podkayne of Mars by Robert Heinlien. From my Goodreads review  ~ “Podkayne of Mars was one of the most influential books of my youth. She, along with Dr. Susan Calvin from I, Robot (the Susan of the books, NOT the movies *shudder*) by Isaac Asimov, is among the reasons I am a nerdy and former technoqeek (former because I just can’t keep up these days).”
  8. Favorite & least favorite book genres? – I do not like most “chick lit” although I enjoyed Bridget Jones’ Diary  Good classic fantasy (The Lord of the Rings series and world), not today’s cookie cutter “I am a secret fairy/werewolf/vampire princess/hunter/detective” waste of paper. Classic hard science fiction (Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh). Cozy mysteries (Aunt Dimity by Nancy Atherton) and classic 1920-40’s mysteries (Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers). Popular science because I have to keep up with my techie family (Death by Black Hole by Neil Degrasse Tyson). Philosophy (The Twelve Wild Swans by Starhawk) and medieval history (1493 by Charles C. Mann). Self-help books are my secret vice (Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach). Essays on creativity (Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry).
  9. Favorite & least favorite book-to-movie adaptions? – Least favorite ~ David Lynch’s Dune Favorites ~ The Lord of the Rings (film series) and Cloud Atlas.
  10. Have you ever bought a book based on the cover alone? –I too like “purty” books mostly on landscaping (Brother Cadfael’s Herb Garden: An Illustrated Companion to Medieval Plants and Their Uses) or interior design (Celtic Design and Style in Homes of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales).
  11. Where do you usually buy your books? – Although I prefer local bookshops and used book stores, there are none (that’s right not a single one) in my area. Since I live 50 miles from the nearest Barnes and Noble, I shop a lot online at B&N mostly (because I get free shipping, 20% off, and frequently extra discounts). About once a month I “go to town” for supplies and a stop at the bookstore to drift among the shelves of favorites and new releases is a must-do.
  12. Do you go to the library? – Not as much since I got my Nook and use the online lending library. I used to practically live there, before I could afford to go to bookstores and BUY a book of my VERY OWN!
  13. How many books do you own? – Well over 3,000, most sadly in storage because I live in a smaller apartment now. It’s about time to go to the storage unit and rotate some out.
  14. If you were to write a book about Second Life, which topic would you focus on? A general How-To.

 

 

Lots of good stuff here! The Cookie Jar is one of my favorite shopping venues.

The Cookie Jar!

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The Strawberry Box

AL FRESCO BENCH SET

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BEACH FIRE CHAT

Michigans Shack

_Finishing Touches_  Summer Garden Gazebo

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_Finishing Touches_  Summer Garden Tiered Dessert Tray & Table

_Finishing Touches_ Summer Garden Trio of Vases ~ Roses

_Finishing Touches_ Summer Garden Trolley

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Garden Sale - Dandelion

Garden Sale - Saigon

Garden Sale - Sunnys in vase

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WRD-Simply Patio

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WRD-Strawberry Bench

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Adirondack Chair with Multiple Sits - summer green AD

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Hammock - Cream & Red AD

Cuddle Rug Flower Green

Zoe’s Garden

Promo Zinnias _Entrada_ Rustic Wood Console Table

Promo Zinnias Boho Baby Wardrobe

Promo Zinnias Devotional Set

Zinnias Frida Love Embrace of the Universe Chest of Drawers

Zinnia’s

Custerd Cream with Scones

Wine Rack with Bottles

Baby Topiary Plant  Boy blue bear on blue

Baby Topiary Plant Girl pink bear on pink

Charmed Creations

garden caddy

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nature gnome

SLHunts Resource Centre

Animated Fish Bowl

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Menu Driven Mesh Wind Chimes

Menu Driven Potted Starflower Arrangement

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Lunar Seasonal Designs

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chimeneatext

Purple Flowery Loveseat, Mesh, 3 prims, C_M

Spring Loveseat

therockpool

HJM Designs

Flower Groupings 512x512

_Lok's_ House Plant [A]

_Lok's_ LadyBug House

_Lok's_ Pencil Cup Plant Grouping A

_Lok's_ Reading Quilt (512x512)

Lok’s Low Prim Living

home sweet home throw pillows ad

ladybug floor pillow ad

seasonal flagw_ hud ad

no place like home stepping stones ad

spring cushion crates ad

PDN’s PotPourri

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Living Vintage Southern

Abundance Table  Morning Star Gallery

MorningStar Gallery

CLEO DESIGN-GARDEN LOUNGE

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Cleo Design

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