Name: Asil Ares
E-mail: asilemail-neovictoria [at] yahoo [dot] com
Title: NeoVictoria: A steampunk experiment in machinima and free-form roleplay.
Summary: SecondLife roleplayers need a place to act and directors need a place to shoot their machinima. NeoVictoria will be a unique roleplaying platform that brings these creatives together in a supportive and collaborative environment. The ultimate goal of NeoVictoria is to create a virtuous circle where role-play becomes machinima which generates value for the community of people involved.
Biography: Asil Ares in an avatar in SecondLife. The player behind Asil Ares is a writer and producer of theatre, film and video.
Support documentation describing roleplay, machinima and their applications. [Asil did not create this support documentation, but has posted it here as a resource for the reader.]
~ "The Final Frontiers: Space and Steam Punk as Machinima" An opinion piece by Sonicity Fitzroy on how machinima and roleplay can be used to create communities.
~"Is Second Life one of the few, true MMORPGs?" An opinion piece by Mark Crump on why SL is a true platform for "real" role-play.
~ "Roleplaying in Second Life: A Hobbesian Viewpoint" An opinion piece by Hotspur O'Toole on the problems and pitfalls of roleplaying in SecondLife.
~ Interview with Paul Marino Inspiring words on the history and future of machinima from the cofounder of the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences (AMAS).
~"[The] Vanishing Point: Spatial Composition and the Virtual Camera" Mike Jone's writes with great eloquence on how changes in the camera are effecting our understanding of what the camera is for. IMHO, this essay is a "must-read" for anyone interesting machinima as an art-form.
~"Knowledge Sharing and Collaborative Learning in Second Life: A Classification of Virtual 3D Group Interaction Scripts" From the academy, Andreas Schmeil and Martin J. Eppler present examples of interaction patterns, a description structure to formalize them, and classify them into four classes according to their design effort and added value.
~ "Meeting the Second Wave: How Technology, Demographics, and Usage Trends Will Drive the Next Generation of Media Evolution" Ian Lamont's essay based on the author's original presentation at the Media Grid Boston Siggraph Summit - July 2006.
~ "The Psychology of Cyberspace" Dr. John Suler's hypertext book explores the psychological aspects of environments created by computers and online networks.
~ "The User's Guide to Steampunk" Originally published to support the 2008 GOGBOT Festival, Bruce Sterling's essay on Steampunk is a worthy read.
Online Materials Developed by Asil
Watch some examples of Asil Ares machinima, developed in existing role-playing SIMs on YouTube. Visit the portal developed by Asil to support roleplay within NeoVictoria at http://www.neovictoria.net.
This page originally provided supporting material for the "NeoVictoria" entry for the 2010 Linden Prize.
NeoVictoria: Roleplay meets Machinima
The World of NeoVictoria
The physical constructions in NeoVictoria uses a Steampunk aesthetic and echos many of the themes found in the writings of Charles Dickens. Steampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that denotes works set in an era where steam power is still widely used ~think Victorian England~ but with prominent elements of fantasy or science and a lot less "stuffiness". It could be the "Time Machine" found in the works of H. G. Wells or real technological developments (like the computer) occurring at an earlier date. In this alternate experience of our earth's history, the fae and the other supernaturals never faded and Queen Victoria still sits on a throne with an empire that spans the universe. Our world is the planet "NeoVictoria" in the galaxy "VICO III" and the year is 2127.
~ The London of Charles Dickens ~
~ Unique Builds to Support the Roleplay ~
~ Skymall with gear for machinima makers and roleplay tools needed for the era. ~
Details on the environment for "NeoVictoria: A Steampunk experiment in machinima and free-form role-play"
Why Steampunk? Because I love the way it looks, and because it takes punk attitude and melds it to an era often associated with invention, polite conversation and enlightenment. This aesthetic allows for the creation of a rich virtual environment with fantastic settings that can support a variety of scenes.
What's machinima? The Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences defines machinima as "filmmaking within a real-time, 3D virtual environment, often using 3D video-game technologies". Machinima, short for "machine cinema" or "machine animation", is a cost-effective alternative to pricey video production. Machinima has a rich tradition in SecondLife, where creators use the 3D modding tools to make dramas, music videos and historical simulations. [Visit the SecondLife Machinima Artists Guild for a sampling.]
And free-form role-play is? Role-play is a kind of improvisational acting or story-telling, where the avatar represents a character in-play and the person controlling that avatar is its writer/actor. Free-form means there is no script; scenes evolve out of real-time character interactions. Role-play SIMs represent a significant population in SecondLife, by some estimation more than 20% of the active avatar population self-identifies as a role-player.
So how will NeoVictoria work? The in-world platform has been constructed and consists of a two-SIM estate crafted in the Steampunk-style to represent this alternate reality of Pax Britannica. In the NeoVictoria universe, the Sidhe (fae) never faded and Queen Victoria (a Sidhe herself) still sits on a throne with an empire that spans the universe. Our tiny slice of this fantasy realm is the planet "NeoVictoria" in the galaxy "VICO III" in the year is 2127. The Steampunk design of the SIM-chain also lends itself to more traditional storytelling; with this in view, an adaptation of Charles Dickens' short story "The Goblins of the Chimes" is currently in production.
The main SIM (NeoVictoria) is the role-play SIM, and has a cathedral, castle, tavern, public square, role-play shops, bridge and an extensive underground and sewer system. A second SIM (Machinima) supports an out-of-character Skymall with a CCS practice arena and residential housing on the land-level which includes public parks, 7Seas Fishing and a very amusing CCS-enabled maze. The entry-point is the Skymall, which provides era-specific avatar clothing, accessories, role-play and machinima-making tools. Because SIM-lag is the machinima-maker's nemesis, scheduled shoots on the main NeoVictoria SIM may be closed to the public, but the residential housing/Skymall SIM on Machinima is always open for commerce and roleplay.
Roleplay in NeoVictoria uses the Steampunk aesthetic and the character archetypes of the Community Combat System (CCS). NeoVictoria has its own history and backstory, its canon is unrelated to CoLA and the other CCS SIMs. We do not cross storylines here. If players roleplay in other SIMs, we ask they not bring active storylines from those worlds here. Players do not have to wear a CCS meter to engage in benign roleplay, however, they must wear the CCS meter to roleplay fighting. CCS is free; there are dispensers in the Skymall.
You must be adult to play in NeoVictoria. Players must be at least 18 years old in real life. NeoVictoria, while not dystopic, is a "dark" roleplay simulation. Activities regarded evil are here. Slavery, rape, murder, theft and random violence are all appropriate to this world. Demons, vampires, lycanthropes, creatures from other planes, rapists, serial killers and similar creatures roam the streets. This means that *characters* often act in aggressive, predatory, criminal and/or plain uncomfortable ways. This is to be expected given the nature of the simulation.
However, absolutely no sex-based age play is allowed. Engage in sex-based age play and you will be estate banned and reported to Linden Labs. Child avatars are NOT allowed in NeoVictoria without the written permission of Asil Ares. Approved child avatars must wear the *NeoVic Child Avatar* group tag whenever they are rezzed in the estate. Child avatars are not allowed to wear weapons or participate in combat or any other violent act. Breaking these rules is grounds for an immediate ban. Child avatars may NOT wear or use the CCS combat system while in the NeoVictoria estate.
Two in-world groups are used to communicate with the community. Adult avatars may join the "NeoVictoria Roleplay Group". The NeoVictoria group (used for land management) is by invitation only. Machinima SIM has been opened for commerce and role-play since May 2010. NeoVictoria SIM opened to roleplay in September 2010. While avatars in good standing will always be welcome, only players who demonstrate a collaborative spirit and agreement with the production model will be invited into the production group.
NeoVictoria will achieve tangible, compelling results outside of SecondLife including a community portal built on the NING platform which chronicles the work of the SIM and provides each resident with their own personal page and character blog. All machinima produced in the SIM chain will be featured in this portal. The main page of the community portal is visible to anyone on the Internet, but its underlying content is restricted to members only. We encourage avatars interested in this project to play in NeoVictoria and if they enjoy the community, to apply for membership in the website.
The ultimate goal of NeoVictoria is to create a virtuous circle where role-play becomes machinima which generates value for the creatives involved. If we can acquire funding, the best works will be compiled into a DVD to be sold via the Amazon platform. Online services, like Blib.tv, which offer revenue opportunities, will also be considered. Profits will be funneled back to the in-world production group.
NeoVictoria presents a new way for an inspired community of artists to collaborate in-world, and demonstrates how web and virtual world technology can be incorporated to support the creation of content for use outside of SecondLife.
Second Life® is a trademark of Linden Research, Inc., HOUSE OF ASILS and NeoVictoira are not affiliated with or sponsored by Linden Research.
Taking the Work Off-World
NeoVictoria demonstrates how web and virtual worlds technology can incorporate to support people working together to create entertainment content for use outside of SecondLife. Asil plans to pursue funding to: increase the size of the SIM chain from its current size of two SIMs to a four-SIM square, produce a DVD to be sold via the Amazon platform, stream machinimas using pay-per-view schemes and to compensate the core team of actors, writers and designers for some of their services.
- The World of NeoVictoria
- Taking the Work Off-World
- Details on the Environment
- Online Materials
- Support Documentation