Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fishing for Linden $ in Second Life

While playing the game Second Life, sometimes one may want to have a bit of pocket money to spend in-world. There are many ways one can earn Linden dollars, but my favorite way to earn cash is by playing one of the fishing games.

There are four main fishing games inside Second Life. Two of them involve investing money in a rod or bait, entry fees, or waiting for scheduled tournament times. The two I recommend instead are Gone Fishing and Match Fishing, both made by Splash Aquatics. Nether require you to purchase anything, and everything you need to play is already there in the game.

Most of the Gone Fishing and Match Fishing games are set to cash prizes (some give gift boxes or other non-cash prizes). The game is simple to play, and does not require skill. Most simply - you find a Gone Fishing or Match fishing game, sit on a poseball or chair, and when the game tells you that you have a bite, you type the word strike in your chat window and push enter.

Gone Fishing Game
(click on the photos to see them larger)

The Gone Fishing game (pictured above) has two parts; The blue poseballs with fishing rods, and the trophy stand which is usually placed nearby. You can do a search in world for Gone Fishing under places or events, and here is a SLURL to a place to get you started:

Bethany Gardens Gone Fishin match and tournament fishing lakes

If you left click on one of the blue fishing poseballs, you will automatically sit. Or you can right click on one of the blue fishing poseballs and select FISH! A notecard will pop up with directions called 'Gone Fishing v1.0 - Tournament Info'. You can keep or discard as you choose. Your chat window will display the game instructions and notices as well.

When you first sit down, a message similar to this will be displayed:

"Gone Fishing v1.0 GAME whispers: When you get a bite type 'strike' to hook your fish and reel him in. If you take too long he'll get away so be ready!

Gone Fishing v1.0 GAME whispers: You are now automatically entered into the fishing tournament! Happy Fishin' and GOOD LUCK!!!"

Wait until the game gives you a message similar to this:

Gone Fishing v1.0 GAME whispers: Ooh! Kitania Writer has a bite!

Although it would of course say your avatar name where mine is.

Type only the word strike in your chat window when you get a bite and push enter. The game may not work if you try typing anything else such as STRIKE!, quotation marks, or shout instead of say the word in chat.

Your chat window will tell you if you caught a fish or not. If you catch one, the blue information window pops up and offers you an object called a 'Roach'. According to Wikipedia: "Fish called roach are members of the carp and minnow family (Cyprinidae)." I recommend not keeping them, as you hopefully will be catching many more, and if you're anything like me, your inventory is really cluttered as it is.

The trophy stand will tell you who the current leaders are. Most Gone Fishing tournaments end/begin once a day, and are ongoing. The largest fish you can catch is 50 lbs, and it ranks in the order in which the largest fish were caught if there is a tie. So if you catch a 50 lb fish, and then catch a second 50 lb fish five minutes later, you don't get two first prizes, you would get first and second. You can hold all three places on the trophy stand, and you can come and go any time throughout the tournament.

Match Fishing

(click on the photos to see them larger)

The Match Fishing game pictured above is similar to Gone Fishing. However, the differences are as follows:

Your score on the trophy stand is the accumulated total weight of twenty fish caught. So the trophy stand usually displays how many hours are left in the current tournament, and unlike the Gone Fishing game the $ prize amounts are usually displayed as well.

This may take you some time to accumulate 20 fish, so if you don't have a while to sit and fish, try Gone Fishing instead. For either game, if you set your avatar to busy or away, you may not get the notices that a fish is biting. But, if you do have an hour or so, then Match Fishing cash prizes are usually higher than Gone Fishing.

The chairs are a bit different for the Match fishing game, and do not have the blue poseballs. Usually there are lounge chairs with a bait box attached. Some places have tree stumps either instead of or in addition to the lounge fishing chairs. Again, you don't need to do anything but sit down to enter the tournament. Bait and rod are included and free.

The other main difference between Gone Fishing and Match Fishing is that in Match Fishing you can change the tackle and bait on your rod.

Sit down on the fishing chair or stump by right clicking. You can left click the bait box (attached to the chair) or the base of the tree stump to bring up a blue information window which allows you to choose your tackle and bait. Tackle can be light or heavy, and bait can be maggot, corn or bread. My suggestion is to use heavy tackle with either corn or bread. It may take longer, but you can catch larger fish that way.

Then sit, relax and look for the message that you have a strike. This game may say (avatar name) has a bite, or it may just say "you have a bite." Both Gone Fishing and Match Fishing also play the sound of a whirring fishing reel when you have a strike, so you have an audio and visual cue. I believe the largest fish you can catch in Match Fishing is 29.9 pounds, as I have not yet seen a 30 lb.

For either game, when the current tournament is over, the game will automatically send out the cash prizes to the top three avatars on the stand. You do not need to be online to get your cash. You can check your transactions history for your Second Life account, and if/when you are in world you will receive a notice in chat, and a blue information window.

Currently one of the quirks of both games is that the message you do get in world when you win may not indicate clearly which fishing game is paying you. It may tell you that (avatar name) is paying you $50 Lindens for the Bronze Trophy in the Match Fishing game, but if you fish in many locations, you may not know or recall which avatar owns which fishing game.

Also, if you are in first place (gold position) and someone else beats your score, you will get a message in world that simply says something along the lines of "you have lost your gold position in the Match Fishing game." It doesn't say from where, so if you fish in multiple locations, you may have to guess which location it might be.

If you're in world when you win, you may see a message in chat similar to this one:

Match Fishing Trophy Stand: You have won the SILVER TROPHY in the FISHING MATCH! You win L$50 in prize money. Well done!!

In later SL viewers you can click on where it says Match Fishing Trophy Stand in your chat window (as you might on another avatar's name to get their profile) and it will give you the location (SLURL) and the owner of the fishing game (who paid you.)

If you win, it also may be helpful to look at the profile of the avatar who is paying you as many of them have their fishing game location in their picks with a lot more info. Another thing you can do if you're organized, is to keep a list of fishing locations along with the name of the avatar who owns the trophy stand. If you hold your cursor over the trophy stand, it will tell you who the owner is. Or an easier way I've found is to right click on the trophy stand, select edit, and then you will see the name of the creator of the trophy stand (Kaikou Splash) and the Owner's name of the game/trophy stand.

In the later browser versions of SL, next to the owner's name is a button link to their profile. You can copy and paste the name of the owner of the trophy stand into your fishing landmark title, a notecard, or something outside of SL such as Notepad, Word or Excel. Figuring out how to be organized is always my challenge, hopefully you'll figure out a system that works for you.

Bethany Gardens (SLURL above) also has a Match Fishing game, but here's another SLURL to the creator's Match Fishing game:

Splash Aquatics

There are also free strike gestures available in world (don't pay for these!) so you don't have to manually type strike all the time.

Have fun, catch the big ones, and earn some Lindens!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Spring has Sprung

A beautiful spring has turned into summer here. I've seen flowers blossom and every type of bird and animal had babies. I started attending the Dutch language and culture school - it's close to the end of the school year - but there's still a few more weeks to go before summer holiday.

I've also been busy with work; doing script coverage, writing animation and feature film scripts as well as developing a screenwriting website. So free time has been somewhat limited. But, I did manage to get a few pictures along the way to share.

First are the flowers. These are all local, just around the neighborhood. I don't know exactly what each type is, and a photo can't bring you the perfume that fills the air.

I suppose because I don't see that well, I am more sensitive to the scents of spring, the soft touch of the breeze that always has a bit of ocean to it. We're so close to the sea here, and ride along the big dikes whenever we can.

The photos above are from our garden. Jeroen's hand was broken and in a cast for a long time. Don't look to me to mow the grass or anything like manual labor. So a bit of a jungle grew up in the back. And you know what? I don't care. Where other people might see weeds, I see beauty. Our tulips from last year came up again too.

These two photos are from right next to the house. There are canals everywhere 'round here. I get to walk or ride on the motorcycle, so I really notice what's here. We don't have a car, so we're sorta accidentally living green. We walk to the grocery (or rode the tandem until it too broke) every day or two. I think I mentioned in an earlier blog about the food here. It doesn't have all the preservatives that US food has. They are all a bit shocked that Americans can go only once a week to the grocery. You can buy vegetables back in the US that last for weeks! I suppose that sounds kinda sci-fi to a Dutchie. Freaky long-lasting fruits and veggies.

These are the real flowers, grown by professionals. I couldn't decide which images I liked best, so I'm putting up a bunch.

There's me and Jeroen too. There's an old saying, something along the lines of "take the time to stop and smell the flowers" or roses. I don't think it's meant to be taken literally, but in this case it works. Many of us are so focused on the goals in life, that we miss the journey along the path. A lot of people like myself tend to see what we haven't done, or focus on the things not accomplished. How many of us keep a to-do list that never seems to be completed? It seems kinda silly that one has to "make the time" to go outside and just look around.

There are so many more baby animals I saw when I didn't have a camera. They have tons of miniature horses here. They call them ponies, but they are teenie tiny horses. Of course I saw a miniature horse baby - literally the size of a large dog. Boy was that cute! Sorry I missed getting that in a photo. Every life form had babies this spring. Lots of pregnant women around too. Not me, of course, just mentioning that.

Our friend Krul lives in Hoorn, which is pretty close by and a good-sized city. He's been in hospital recently, having spinal surgery on a triple hernia. He's doing okay now, but no bike riding for a while. It was really bad for a bit, but he was always in good spirits. While we visited him, I took photos around his place. The details on the buildings amaze me. What's really neat to me, is that most of the places here pre-date the USA by quite a few years. When nearly everything around you was built in the 1600s or before, maybe it doesn't seem that special. To me it's amazing. These aren't preserved historical monuments, they are just regular buildings around town.

This is the street my friend lives on. No wonder I'm having trouble pronouncing Dutch names! And yes, they would win in Scrabble every time.

Downtown Hoorn, evening rush hour time.

Also downtown Hoorn.

The sun was starting to go down, so it's a bit misty but we're still in downtown.

A typical Dutch city street, around dinner time.

Finally, another memorial. I've written before about the ability of the Dutch to remember and honor those who sacrificed their lives for the people here.

Below are photos of the memorial to a few members of the 49th Squadron Royal Air Force who died in WWII. The whole story is here: Berkhout, Holland

In 2007 the local municipality ordered the excavation of the site where they were shot down, and a funeral with honors was was held for two of the men in 2008. It's 2009, and there are flowers being left and still people stopping to honor those who fought and died before I was born. The four men were between the ages of 20 and 28. Maybe in heaven they know that they are not forgotten. Life goes on here, much as it ever was, and only because so many people from other places came to the aid of the Dutch. Every name, every place, we will remember.

To leave off with something else, here are a few photos from a recent bike bash. I took some time off to go and just... relax. No work, no Internet.

Just good fun, and good people.

If you click on the photo to make it larger, I think you can see what it says on his jacket. There are quite a few Christian bikers. Also - my favorite - a guy whose jacket said "Free Biker." I thought that was like, a gratis biker. I asked if we could take him home, but apparently he wasn't really free to just anyone.

A nice bike riding through a village, and a typical town street. That's a two-way road, and mid-day traffic.

My good friend, Senor Fuego - he's the best person to talk to. He knows everything! Oh, and my view from the ride along a highway. Cool, eh?

How the day ends at a bike bash. Rest easy tonight ya'll. And remember to enjoy your summer! :)