Interview by Dagmar Haiku
Rynn Verwood and Encaitaron Korobase of -=Solarium=- have been participating in the Fantasy Faire for years, but this year is their first year sponsoring a sim. Solarium is a store for HUDs. They range from magic HUDs to jump enhancers. They cover nearly any kind of HUD which is needed in roleplay. As it’s their first year as sponsors, they finally get a chance to do an interview.
1. This isn’t your first Fantasy Faire but its your first year as sponsor. What are you looking forward to the most at Fantasy Faire?
RYNN – Cruel, I can’t choose… there’s too many things I’m looking forward to but…The atmosphere, it’s amazing how much that alone can make you smile, can’t wait to see what the sim designers have managed to create this year..along with all the events and the radio it’s really a great week.
ENCAITARON – The jailbird event <.<
Absolutely loved the previous one, hope this year’s at least as good if not even better.
2. Solarium is a store which sells HUDs which can be used in roleplay. Are you roleplayers yourself and how do you get the ideas for the things you build?
RYNN – I roleplayed for a while and still like to now and then. Being a roleplayer it helps to give ideas for the HUDs and what they’ll be used for, cause you’d just think -oh if only I could throw a fireball, or vanish in a swirl of petals… and from those thoughts I’d normally build a HUD around that. A lot of the time we get customers giving us feedback and some brilliant ideas which we’re more than happy to talk to them about and create.
ENCAITARON – Even though I had stopped roleplaying for a while (waiting for a rp sim to catch my interest again), I still consider myself as one, which is sometimes a big help when doing the HUDs, specially when it comes to testing them. As for the ideas, they come from various sources actually. Although most of them come simply from a “sudden inspiration” (“hey what if I made something like this???”), others appear from videogames, tv series (usually the ones I get addicted to) and, of course, users’ opinions, since sometimes their comments or even questions about the huds actually reveal some possible ideas for updates or even new products/concepts etc etc.
3. How did you start building in Second Life? Do you remember the first item you ever sold?
RYNN – Well I actually started in Second Life by making roleplay clothing, which looking back at them now aren’t all that great, but being persistent they became better through a lot of practice with photoshop. Then gradually my interest moved on from that and into the area of magic/combat HUDs, with much help from Encait I slowly learnt to script and began putting HUDs together, they started off small and simple, the first HUD I created was the Dagger of Light HUD, but gradually over time they became what they are now.
ENCAITARON – I’d say my start as a “builder” came in 3 phases. In the 1st one I just tried to build stuff because: 1- it was the closest thing to lego I had 2- it seemed something fun, judging by what I could see from my friends at the time (didnt last long, though it was in this phase that I sold my first item, a devil may cry 4 based sword)
Then, in the 2nd phase, since I was learning how to program at the university, I decided to try my luck with scripting and therefore, started building again. It allowed me to create some “funny things” namely dummies, tools and some weapons.
Finally, the last phase, when I started making HUDs, came out from a challenge made from a frustrated friend. Basically she felt “stolen” for a product she bought and challenged me to make it better…. and I actually made it better, had fun doing it and started making HUDs.
4. Solarium belongs to the two of you. Do each of you have specific responsibilities and projects or do you do most things together as a team?
RYNN & ENCAITARON – Most of the time we have our own separate projects. This way we can usually release more products, or at least a larger variety of products, trying to keep people interested, and us entertained. However, even in these separate projects, we tend to work together, either by helping with scripting or creating textures more often it’s usually testing (aka Enc being the punchbag dummy to test the damage of the attacks) or simply provide feedback about attacks, effects or ideas overall.
5. Do you remember the reason why you joined Second Life? Does it offer you ways to be creative you normally would not have?
RYNN – I join Second Life just to see what it was all about, and almost 4 years later (and several hundred hair changes) I’m still logging in. It’s definitely given me a new way to release my creativity through ways in which I wouldn’t normally be able to, such as how one chooses to combine outfit pieces to create this amazing fantasy creature or in my case creating magic effects.
ENCAITARON – Well I joined Second Life because of 2 friends who annoyed the hell out of me until I finally accepted <.<. Although it didn’t hold my interest immediately, I confess I got impressed with the great focus on customization and user created content, a feeling that fed my curiosity into exploring several sims, based on several topics of interest (animes/cartoons mostly) and, later the interest of building content and having fun doing it.
As for the the 2nd question… yes. Though there are plenty of tools and technologies one could use to express their creativity on similar ways that we do here (idk, flash, blender, poser etc etc), Second Life indeed provides a set of SIMPLE tools that allow one to do ALL sorts of things (… well… nearly all sorts of things, I confess I feel sometimes limited <.<… though sometimes it ends up being a good thing, it forces me to come up with solutions and new things :P).
6. Back to the Fantasy Faire. Do you already know what kind of Relay for Life donation items you will create this year and will you be jailbirds?
RYNN & ENCAITARON: We’ve already begun work on the donation items, like most things it can take a long process but with HUD building you really have to think hard about the things it will do, the process of building, texturing and scripting it all takes up quite abit of time as you can imagine. We will be Jailbirds again this year, and we’re both really looking forward to being locked up and trying to raise as much as possible when the time comes, like last year we’ll have small surprises for those who come to bail us out.
7. Fantasy Faire is an excellent way to educate and inform people about RFL. What would you like to see people take away from the Fantasy Faire?
RYNN – Naturally greater understand that no matter what they do, big or small it all adds up to make a difference. Along with making some new friends and getting their hands on some nice goodies.
ENCAITARON – The Fantasy Faire is not only a great idea as a great example of the power of this media called video games. Although most of the people involved on the Faire (both developers and customers) are certainly older than the average Second Life player, I expect that the Faire gets visited by some younger audiences and though most may just join the Faire due to the cool products and fancy stores, I hope/expect that some of them leave the Faire with the alert about cancer as a general issue as well as what is done to fight it.
8. What was your own favorite moment at the past Fantasy Faires?
RYNN – I’ve got two favorite points… the first being the Faire opening, waiting a year to participate again had built up so much excitement to be at it again, my second favorite moment and probably my most favorite thing was taking part in the Jail and Bail event, seeing just how generous people are and chatting with them was great, combining that with the radio DJ it because like a little party, I didn’t want to leave the jail. I’m already excited to take part in it again.
ENCAITARON – without a doubt, the jailbird event.
Despite being a nice guy (at least as I’m told so), I’m a bit of a scrooge <.<. So, though I never had a problem with doing the products for the Faire, or doing some donations I may kinda have imposed a self control mechanism to prevent me from being “to much nice”….. well… that was my plan at least <.<
However, during the jailbird event, seeing all that great mood, all that “spirit”, people donating, chatting, donating, telling jokes, donating, having fun, while listening to a cool radio transmission (and I never listen to the radio)…. “oh, I’m going to donate a bit….” …. “and again….”….” and again….”…..”oh there’s only 3K left to achieve the (can’t remember the amount) mark?… yeah why not”….. and at the end….”bah whatever, this is cool, I’ll cover this….”
… And finally, at the end of it…. “O_O!!! hmmm how about that? I’m not that stingy as I thought I was”…. So yeah, it was a great, revealing moment
To see more of rynn and Encaitaron’s work check out -=Solarium=- Thanks for the interview guys! And thanks for being creative script geniuses who give us superhero powers!