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Friday, December 31, 2010

Blue World Style: Have a Fashionable New Year in Estelle Parnall's New Dresses

Let me start off by saying.... Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve is a night of fireworks, stars, champagne, and elegant party dresses. Estelle Parnall has been preparing for a big of a comeback after a designing hiatus, and she very conveniently released two new designs just in time to help me start 2011 off on a fashionable foot. This elegant ruched dress is my favorite of the two designs, due to the very detailed nature of the mesh. Every wrinkled and fold is both on the dress texture, and in the underlying mesh. It's a beautiful example of how far Estelle's designs have come since she started creating in Blue Mars.

Estelle frequently releases items in a broad and varied color palette, which is easy to take for granted until you find something you love elsewhere, in a color that you despise. Estelle's range ensure that for any design you like, there will be a color combination that suits your tastes perfectly. In my case, I'm wild about the color pink, so I snagged both of Estelle's new releases in this charming hue. If you'd prefer something more mature, shades of red, brown, black, and blue are also abundant; for somethign a little wilder, try a mod pattern instead!

If you love this dress as much as I do, or want to see what else Estelle Parnall has to offer, head to her location in Shade City (Blink teleport here).

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blue World Style: Start Out Stylish With a New Blue Mars Avatar for under 1500 BLU$

Building a beautiful avatar on a budget can be a tall order in many virtual worlds. Many people who are new or not entirely committed to a world yet may not be willing to buy the currency that a 5-star virtual wardrobe can often require. Thankfully for budding martians Blue Mars tends to hold contests, events, and promotions offering BLU$ rewards quite often. It's a snap to earn enough for a head to toe avatar makeover. Here's an outfit that in its entirety costs less than 1500 BLU$– with plenty of room for variation!

  • The most expensive element of this outfit is the shape, so if you only have 1000 BLU$ to spend you may want to skip it. I swear by my body shapes in Blue Mars, which give avatar faces more dramatically refined features that you can achieve through the facial customization tools alone. My favorites are from Moxxi in Port Town (Blink teleport here), in particular the Aida shape, which sells for 500 BLU$.
  • I didn't pick out an avatar skin for this look. You can expect a skin to add about 1000 BLU$ to your avatar costs, and while they are very pretty, the default skin is perfectly acceptable (especially once you layer your own makeup designs over it). While I didn't grab a skin, I did grab a pair of eyes from Adam n Eve in Caledonia (Blink teleport here), which are a must-have. It's almost unthinkable that such a small item could make such a big difference, a good pair of eyes can add real depth to your digital gaze!
  • The soft, glossy hairstyles at Shade City (Blink teleport here) are as easy on the wallet as they are on the eyes. Though most of them are blond, there's still a decent assortment from which you can choose. This long wavy style will set you back 250 BLU$.
  • The dress shown is one of several from Pink Fizzy Soda Designs in Gaia (Blink teleport here). They're available in simple colors like this sweet striped blue, as well as more elaborate floral and polka dotted prints. These dresses can carry an avatar from day to evening with a sweet, feminine flair, for 350 BLU$ each. If you don't mind spending a little more, pick up a strapless bra from Estelle Parnall or Role, both in Shade City, to preserve the nice open neckline of the dress.
  • The final touch are a pair of shoes. I love these strappy sandals from 8502.Bauhaus in GridRock City (Blink teleport here), which add a seductive edge to this charming outfit. If you want to save the 345 BLU$ cost, try the default strappy stilettos in your inventory instead for a similar effect.
Do you have tips for dressing your martian self while on a BLU$ budget? Leave a comment, or email me!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blue World Style: The Making of a Blue Mars Man

In an effort to get out of my habit of nearly ignoring the men's fashion market, I've created a handsome male doppelganger named Siris Ophelia (a name I've used for male avatar incarnations in Second Life, as well). I'm the first person to admit that my coverage of men's fashion has been rather weak– only a fraction of my daily blogging in nearly four months has dealt with the boys. While it's true that women's styles tends to dominate most virtual fashion scenes, menswear in Blue Mars is not as far behind as you might expect, so it's about time that I give the boys the attention they deserve!

  • I've started Siris, much like I usually start Iris, with a skin and shape from Moxxi in Port Town (Blink teleport here). Aaron is Moxxi's combo set for the guys, and I have to say that it's quite gorgeous. For a slightly more rugged look, you may want to swap the Aaron skin for one of the dashing men's skins from Adam n Eve in Caledonia (Blink teleport here).
  • I'm not usually a fan of white hair on young men, but I had to grab this hairstyle from Z#Road in Shade City (Blink teleport here). Z#Road is actually a men's brand from Second Life, designed by Yukimaru Koba. If you recall, I covered a blog post by Yukimaru about his adventures in Blue Mars, and pined for him to release some of the elements of his own gorgeously modeled avatar to the martian masses, so of course when I came across this hairstyle he released I just had to have it. I have to say that between the texturing and the underlying structure it is easily among the nicest hairstyles I've come across in Blue Mars to date. I'm incredibly jealous that this piece is just for the boys!
  • My next stop was Pink Fizzy Soda Designs in Gaia (Blink teleport here) for a preppy sweater and shirt combination top, along with a pair of black cargo pants. I love the straight-laced Ivy League look, but if you want something a little more street then you may want to swing by Electron Tri-D in Tharsis Estates (Blink teleport here), a brand I covered in October.
  • Finally, I checked in to Caledonia (Blink teleport here) for a pair of polished men's shoes from dapper gent Mako Magellan's menswear line. If you're after a more formal ensemble Mako's boutique should be your very first stop, and he even helped Hamlet recreate his signature avatar style.
So tell me guys, what are your favorite menswear lines in Blue Mars? Email me, or leave a comment!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blue World Style: Comfortable Cottage Couches from DRX Designs

Earlier this month I gushed about the chic and edgy interior design options at CarCus Creations, and as much as I love the modern feel of their pieces, the more snow I see on the virtual ground the more I long for some fireside furnishings. There's nothing like the feeling of curling up in a soft armchair with a cup of virtual cocoa. If you feel similarly, you may want to swing by Misty Hollow's mall (Blink teleport here) for a change of pace.

DRX Designs recently released these countryesque living room sets with coordinated trim and pillows. Each couch, loveseat, and chair set is available in a half dozen different color and throw-pillow combinations, including the rich blue with green plaid pictured. What draws me to these sets is how cozy and comfortable they look, as thought they would be right at home in a particularly posh cabin or ski lodge. They're simple and comfortably old-fashioned. DRX Designs has also released a few versatile lamps, plants, and coffee tables to help you finish your newly redesigned rooms.

If you're looking for a new excuse to decorate, fashion-forward martians may want to get ready for the new condo development that Estelle Parnall will be erecting in Fashion Esplanade, near her wildly popular shop.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Blue World Style Tip: Keeping Control of your Blue Mars Camera

Virtual world photography has become an integral skill for MMO fashionistas, including myself– a good outfit can be completely ruined if you can't get the perfect shot of it. It was a bit rough for Blue Mars fashionistas before the introduction of a camera control mode to the user interface in October, but since then it's been much easier to get big, beautiful, and balanced snapshots. However, these camera controls are quite different than those in most other MMOs, so it's about time that I share a couple of the little tricks that work best for me.

• The first thing to do is click the camera icon in your menu to go into camera control mode.

• Next, right click and drag until the thing you want to center your camera on is in the middle of your screen. Then, keep right-clicking and dragging so that you're aiming just slightly below your target below your target.

• Hold down alt+left click, then drag inwards to zoom in. If you want to zoom out instead, just drag outwards.

Right click and drag upwards until you're level with your target. Voila! A perfect angle, pretty as a picture!

If you want to center your shot a little more, hold down alt+left click and drag to either side until your target is where you'd like it. If you want to get a little closer or farther away, holding alt+left click and dragging up and down will zoom you in or out.

And there you have it, my steps for getting quick and perfect Blue Mars pics from head to toe. As a disclaimer, what works for me may not work as well for you. I'm a bit clumsy when it comes to panning my camera vertically for example, but you might be great at it. As always, a little experimentation will go a long way. For all the nitty gritty details about Blue Mars' camera controls, check out this excellent video tutorial by martian media maven Jasmine Spearing. Try following it along in-world while you watch, you may even find tricks of your own!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Blue World Style: 'Twas the Nightshirt Before Christmas...

As tempting as it was to write this whole post in verse ('Twas the night before Christmas and all through Blue Mars...), I decided to cut right to the chase instead. Christmas Eve always reminds me of soft, comfortable pajamas, and creeping downstairs in the wee hours of the morning to peek at the contents of my fluffy red holiday stocking. Naturally, in honor of this tradition, I had to do a pajama-inspired look to round out my week of holiday-themed outfits.

This long, barely-buttoned blue blouse is from Tirion Designs in Tharsis Estates (Blink teleport here). While you could easily wear this top with a pair of jeans or slacks, it also makes the perfect martian nightshirt. It's long and loose enough to be a perfect fit.

To keep the chill off my legs, I'm wearing a pair of tall, loose socks from BS! in Misty Hollow (Blink teleport here). The disheveled tops definitely add to the casual crawled-out-of-bed style of this outfit.

The final touch to this picture perfect sleepwear ensemble should be obvious– bunny slippers! These sweet little feet are available in half a dozen colors from Pink Fizzy Soda Designs in Gaia (Blink teleport here), and they're the perfect nostalgic touch to my Christmas morning look.

Gaia also happens to be the location where I spotted the festive little deer friend pictured in today's snapshots, so don't miss your chance to visit and get a few seasonal snaps while you can!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blue World Style: Seasonal Glamor in Blue Mars

While fashion revolves around holiday-themes and winter clothing at this time of year, there can also be a raised interest in formal wear. With RL and virtual holiday parties in mind, and New Year's Eve just around the corner, party dresses and more elegant styles can make their way into our virtual wardrobe rotation. I designed my outfit today with this slightly more formal side of the holiday season in mind. Keep reading for all the details!

  • My dress is by Estelle Parnall of Fashion Esplanade, though I snagged it from her branch shop in Shade City (Blink teleport here). I've had the tan version of this dress for awhile, but I picked up the black version for this outfit specifically. The black version has a satin-like sheen on the ruffle mesh that the tan version seems to lack (though perhaps it just shows up better in black), however I think I prefer the paler shades of this dress since the black seems to wash the actual details of this design away. However, if you need an LBD (little black dress) in your virtual closet, Estelle Parnall has a few different ones that you should try on, including this one.
  • Once again I've grabbed a pair of shoes from 8502.Bauhaus of GridRock City (Blink teleport here). These scintillating open-toed platforms come in three different colors with black soles and rosette detailing on the heel strap. While I like the style of these shoes (and they certainly scream New Year's Eve to me), you might notice the mesh and texture on the strap has a rather obvious seem where it meets with the front part of the shoe. Unfortunately the dark lighting of my screenshots exaggerates this problem-- in reality the difference between the two pieces is visible, but not nearly as pronounced. Remember, you can always hit the "Try On" button before you buy to see how they look on your feet.
  • My hair (which unfortunately looks a little sheer in the tricky but romantic night lighting at IDIA Lab) is also from Shade City.
  • My skin and shape are both from Moxxi in Port Town (Blink teleport here), however I'm wearing a set of Adam n Eve eyes from Caledonia (Blink teleport here).
What kinds of fashion do the holidays remind you of? Email me or leave a comment, and don't forget to check out all the festivities in Blue Mars!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Blue World Style: Warm Things Up With a Sexy Santa Suit

Christmas in a virtual world just isn't complete without sassy (and skimpy) Mrs. Claus outfits. Most fashionistas tend to want to make the best of a flawless virtual figure, and the sexy Santa look is an undeniable staple. For my flirty and festive look I went shopping in Cloud City (Blink teleport here), definitely one of the first stops for anyone in the market for cute costumes and quirky outfits.

  • The belted and fur-trimmed dress that I'm wearing is from the women's clothing shop in Cloud City. While it's quite skimpy, the dress is an underwear layer, so you won't have to worry about finding a strapless bra to hide beneath it. The neck ribbon, which drapes quite realistically over the front of the dress, is built in rather than being a separate accessory, so this dress is almost an all-in-one ensemble.
  • You can also head next door to the accessories shop to pick up this Santa hat and hair combo. The hair is a very vibrant cherry red with a matte texture, so I've chosen a softer and less detailed skin from Adam n Eve in Caledonia (Blink teleport here) with some equally vibrant cosmetics layers for a more consistent looking avatar.
  • Finally, I've accessorized this outfit with a bracelet and a pair of strappy red stilettos from 8502.Bauhaus in GridRock City (Blink teleport here).
If you want to tweak this outfit for a more formal event, try a more modest red dress from Estelle Parnall instead! And, if you need somewhere to go once you're all dressed up, check out Blue Mars' holiday events schedule!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blue World Style: How to Keep the Cold out in Blue Mars

Today I've come across two new releases that are quite appropriate for the snowy winter treetops in Misty Hollow. As I mentioned yesterday when I wrote about the cute cropped vest from Electric Geisha, I love dressing seasonally in virtual worlds, regardless of whether or not it's necessary. I know I'm not the only one, either. The number of coats, sweaters, boots, and hats in virtual worlds always skyrockets in the winter months.

  • You can find this plush gray sweater in the new shopping mall at Misty Hollow (Blink teleport here). Released by Zuma, there's a gray sweater for the girls, and gray and green versions for the guys. It has more detail to it than the turtlenecks from Role, so it looks a bit more like a nice thick winter sweater.
  • These furry tan suede boots are the latest from GridRock City boutique 8502.Bauhaus (Blink teleport here). I'd love a slightly taller version of these cozy-looking ankle-boots, er even a few different colors-- in fact I was a little surprised that they are only available in tan, since 8502.Bauhaus tends to release three of four different colors of each product.
  • I've kept this outfit simple with some sleek hair from Tirion Designs in Tharsis Estates (Blink teleport here), hoop earrings from Sketchy Fever (also in Tharsis), and a pair of tried and true black leggings from irkmade in Caledonia (Blink teleport here).
Once you're dressed for the weather, don't forget to attend some of the festive events happening in Blue Mars this week. Click here for the full schedule!

Behind The City: 5 Minutes with Digital DNA Developer VRHacks

--Jasmine Spearing, Marketing Associate

The lush forests and cascading waterfalls created by Micaela aka VRHacks in Digital DNA are a mere sample of the abilities of this multi-talented Blue Mars creator. Micaela has been a virtual world designer for more than 3 years, starting off in Second Life (under the name Angela Talamasca) with a crime scene recreation project in a Digital DNA sim, and eventually finding her way to Blue Mars.

With Digital DNA in Blue Mars, Micaela plans to use the high-end graphics and large tracts of land to create a 3D build of a book she been working on. The book, as yet untitled, is a “blend of a poetry anthology (containing a collection of poems & parables that I've penned over the past 4 decades, of which a few have actually been published) and a story revolving around what I refer to in the book as "The Great In-Between” (where reality meets illusion)". Micaela first had the idea to write the book in the 1980’s after taking an honors physics course.

Micaela began her professional training in the engineering field, studying hardware engineering, physics and math, but she eventually returned to school to pursue a Masters degree in Forensic Psychology. When she isn’t designing for one of her digital projects, she assists with crime scene investigations as a criminal psychological profiler. She is also working on developing conversational AI in her spare time.

Digital DNA is an artistic endeavor for Micaela, rather than an entrepreneurial one. “For me, the virtuality is akin to a 3D canvas, where I, as an artist, can paint my imagination,” she said.

She designs with a rough idea in mind, but admits that she rarely knows that the final product will look like. “As with other artwork that I do, whether that be drawing, painting, or even writing stories, for example, I tend to approach it more from a free-flow, free-style,“ said Micaela.

Micaela is working on a second Blue Mars City, Confluence, which she hopes to release early in the New Year. Confluence became a winter wonderland when Micaela needed a place to test her new snowboarding script (which is now live in Wildwood in Blue Mars!), complete with virtual Northern Lights. Micaela also wants to incorporate themed museums into Confluence, and is looking into making rideable horses!

Micaela believes virtual worlds can be a commentary on human nature. She thinks virtual worlds can be used to observe how people engage from a social perspective, and see territoriality and perception of self in action.

“One thing that I've noticed with regard to people who engage in virtual environments is that they tend to want to "nest" (territoriality) and engage (socialize). They also like to have control over how they look, as well as building up their "living areas" (perception of self),” she said.

She also believes that virtual worlds could be used as an institutional tool, to help orchestrate the transitioning process for people in mental health institutions or correctional facilities. Micaela envisions a virtual world experience that helps increase thought before choice.

“This would be akin to your quest-like games, where people would be presented a problem, make a choice, and the scene would unfold based upon their choice. The design would have no "wrong" answers, per se,” she said, “Rather, the goal would be to teach people to internalize the practice of thinking about their options, as opposed to reacting to whatever situations they face."

Micaela hopes to one day resurrect her crime scene recreation project, and encourages others to try their hand at designing for Blue Mars, but warns them not to expect a copy of SL.

“Blue Mars has a very high learning curve with a paucity of documentation, however, it is definitely a platform worth exploring if you're interested in developing high-end products. Some of my friends tend to compare it to Second Life. I try to disabuse them of that idea!” she said.

Visit Digital DNA in Blue Mars to see VRHacks' work for yourself! Be sure to take a ride in the speedboat and tour the City by air in the hot air balloon!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blue World Style: Electric Geisha's Hoodie Vest Will Keep You Cozy

'Tis the season, and if you have any doubts about it all you have to do is look at Blue Mars' seasonal events schedule. I love wearing cute coats, sweaters, and boots on my avatar, especially during the holiday season. There's novelty in wearing weather-appropriate clothing in virtual worlds. While the climate doesn't physically affect you, it gives your avatar a touch of humanity to pretend that it does. So what is it that I'm wearing today to keep away the chill?

I picked up this hooded red thermal vest from an otherwise empty shop in Shade City (Blink teleport here). This vest is made by Electric Geisha Pty Ltd, who also made one of my favorite skirts in Blue Mars, the Paper Ruffle Skirt available in Beach City. This cute cropped vest could do with a few differently colored versions, but beyond that it stands among some of the most well executed pieces of clothing in Blue Mars. The mesh as well as the shading and detailing on this toasty red hoodie work together to create a realistic and flattering garment. I would really love to see Electric Geisha develop their line further because the few designs that they've released show so much promise.

If you want to coordinate this vest like I have, I'd recommend heading a few doors down from Electric Geisha's Shade City location to Role to pick up one of their versatile turtleneck sweaters. They're yet another Blue Mars wardrobe staple.

Do you like to dress for the virtual cold, or wear your bikini in a digital snowstorm? Leave a comment, or email me!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blue World Style: Adam n Eve's Clover is the Perfect Skin for a Blue Mars Wallflower

Yesterday when I wrote about this ultra-realistic new short hairstyle at Moxxi, I knew it would be the perfect style for modern girl-geek look. Short, messy, and a little bit edgy, it was just a pair of glasses and a modest skin away from being the belle of the convention center. Something simple but not plain, pretty but not glamorous, distinct but not distracting. I found that perfect skin at Adam n Eve, among the array of skins released recently during their shop expansion in Caledonia (Blink teleport here). I picked Clover, a skin spattered with freckles. Adam n Eve skins are designed to suit the default female shape, but they look phenomenal on purchased shapes as well, which I usually wear myself. Clover is a very charming skin with matte, natural lips and red brows. Though it's technically a redhead skin, don't forget that it's easy enough to tint your eyebrows using a cosmetics layer (which you can learn about here). Speaking of cosmetics layers, I know some of you might be asking why I'm bothering with a freckled ginger skin if I can give myself freckles on a cosmetics layer. While cosmetics layers are versatile, they're not unlimited. You can only put cosmetics layers on your face and neck, leaving the rest of your avatar's body unchanged. If you really want to commit to a freckled avatar, getting a fully freckled skin like Clover means that you can have those cute little spots of melanin over more than just your face. Clover is the perfect skin for my geeky girl avatar look, but how would you wear it? As always, leave a comment or email me!

Martian Holly Daze in Blue Mars!

--Jasmine Spearing, Marketing Associate

It’s been a big year for us in Blue Mars. We’ve come a long way in the last 12 months, adding new features, improving our platform, and watching our developers as they expand their talents and bring some truly wonderful content into Blue Mars.

We want to celebrate the accomplishments, enthusiasm, and pioneering spirit of everyone in Blue Mars by launching our first ever Martian Holly Daze! Running from December 20, 2010 to January 2, 2011, this two week festival will feature new wintery themed events, prizes and contests, and allow us to show our appreciation to our developers and members!

See below for a complete list of events, and make sure to check out the first ever live music performance in Blue Mars! Famed virtual world musician Anekretia will perform on Wednesday December 22, 2010 at 4 pm PST in the Welcome Area!

Be sure to check back in at this blog post, we are still adding new, exciting events every day!

Mon Dec 20, 2010

Long Weekend Bowling Challenge
Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt
In the Sock Golf Challenge (The Sands)

2pm Learn Blender and GIMP for BlueMars with Bohny in Misty Hollow
4pm Liza's Holly Daze M&M Trivia 4pm PST, 7pm EST, midnight GMT in the Welcome Area
6pm Sage's Snow Dance Party in Gaia 6pm PST, 9pm EST, 2am GMT

Tue Dec 21, 2010

Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt

2pm Holiday Makeup Contest in the Welcome Area 2pm PST, 5pm EST, 10pm GMT
4pm December Celebrations Around the Worlds Trivia in the Welcome Area 4pm PST, 7pm EST, midnight GMT
5pm Misty Hollow Holly Daze Fun Tuesday in Misty Hollow 5pm PST, 8pm EST, 1am GMT

Wed Dec 22, 2010

Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt
In the Sock Seaside Golf Challenge

2pm Holly Daze Character Scrambles in the Welcome Area 2pm PST, 5pm EST, 10pm GMT
3pm Pierre's Postcards from Around the World in the Welcome Area 2pm PDT, 5pm EDT, 9pm GMT
5pm Anekretia Holly Daze Musical Performance in the Welcome Area!
6pm Toyland Ball in the Welcome Area 6pm PST, 9pm EST, 2am GMT

Thu Dec 23, 2010

Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt

2pm Reindeer Games in Wildwood 5pm EST, 10pm GMT
4pm Musical Tastes with URRadio in the Welcome Area 4pm PST, 7pm EST, midnight GMT

Fri Dec 24, 2010

Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt
In the Sock ShadySide Golf Challenge

Sat Dec 25, 2010

Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt
In the Sock Front Nine Golf Challenge
Lucky Strike Bowling Challenge

2pm Pool Party with Ilko and Jamt in the Welcome Area 2pm PST, 5pm EST, 10pm GMT

Sun Dec 26, 2010

Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt
In the Sock Front Nine Golf Challenge
Lucky Strike Bowling Challenge

2pm Ilko and Intox Happy Birthday Party in the Welcome Area 2pm PST, 5pm EST, 10pm GMT

Mon Dec 27, 2010

Lucky Strike Bowling Challenge
Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt
The Sands Golf Challenge

4pm Liza's Holly Daze M&M Trivia in the Welcome Area 4pm PST, 7pm EST, midnight GMT
6pm Sage's Hits of 2010 Party in Gaia 6pm PST, 9pm EST, 2am GMT

Tue Dec 28, 2010

Lucky Strike Bowling Challenge
Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt

2pm Snowy Fun in IDIA 2pm PST, 5pm EST, 10pm GMT
4pm Snow Trivia from Around the Worlds in the Welcome Area 4pm PST, 7pm EST, midnight GMT
5pm Holly Daze fun in Misty Hollow Tuesday 5pm PST, 8pm EST, 1am GMT

Wed Dec 29, 2010

Lucky Strike Bowling Challenge
Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt
Seaside Golf Challenge

2pm Catch up Cafe Cookie Swap in the Welcome Area 2pm PST, 5pm EST, 10pm GMT
3pm Pierre's Postcards from Around the World in the Welcome Area 2pm PDT, 5pm EDT, 9pm GMT
6pm Holiday Themed Midweek Musicale in the Welcome Area 6pm PDT, 9pm EDT, 1 am GMT

Thu Dec 30, 2010

Lucky Strike Bowling Challenge
Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt

2pm Holly Daze Fun in Wildwood 2pm PST, 5pm EST, 10pm GMT
4pm Holly Daze Musical Tastes with URRadio in the Welcome Area 4pm PST, 7pm EST, midnight GMT
6pm Holly Daze Movie Night in Tharsis 6pm PST, 9pm EST, 2am GMT

Fri Dec 31, 2010

Lucky Strike Bowling Challenge
Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt
ShadySide Golf Challenge

2:30pm Happy New Year Europe in the Welcome Area! 2:30 pm PST, 5:30 pm EST, 10:30 pm GMT
5pm Holly Daze Musical Performance in the Welcome Area
6pm Shining Stars/ New Years in the Welcome Area
8:30pm Happy New Year in East Coast US in the Welcome Area
11:30pm Happy New Year in West Coast US in the Welcome Area

Sat Jan 1, 2011

Lucky Strike Bowling Challenge
Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt
Front Nine Golf Challenge

1:30am Happy New Year in Hawaii in the Welcome Area
2pm Pool Party with Ilko and Jamt in the Welcome Area 2pm PST, 5pm EST, 10pm GMT

Sun Jan 2, 2011

Lucky Strike Bowling Challenge
Blue Mars Holly Daze Weekly Treasure Hunt
Front Nine Golf Challenge

For more information on any of these events, visit our Blue Mars Event Calendar!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Blue Mars Client and SDK Release December 16, 2010!

Jasmine Spearing, Marketing Associate

It’s release day again in Blue Mars! Our artists and engineers have been working hard to put the finishing touches on our final release of 2010! The main focus for this Client and SDK release was improving the overall Blue Mars experience through optimization and bug fixes. We listened carefully to our users and developers and worked to implement as many of their suggestions as possible. But, we did manage to sneak in a few new features:

Apartments: In addition to Residences, you can now lease and decorate apartments in Blue Mars! Developers are able to create one structure with many individually instanced apartments inside so they are easier to make, and more efficient to place inside Cities than single family homes. Learn more about apartments here.

Auto Patch Feature: If you already have Blue Mars installed on your computer, you'll no longer need to download patches from our Client Download site. When you run Blue Mars, it will look for any updates and will ask you if you want to download the latest version.

Client Wide Announcement Window: To notify users of upcoming and/or emergency server shutdowns, or to make worldwide announcements, we have implemented an announcement dialog window that will open up regardless of where you are in Blue Mars (including game levels and Places Browser).

We modified the Animation Editor, so animations can now be up to 2 minutes (or 512K) long, fixed a bug that forced tenants to be removed before a block file could be re-uploaded, added the ability to remove groups and friends and eliminated the bug that caused lag and freezing if you had a long friends list! These are just a couple of the countless fixes done for this release that will improve Blue Mars for users and developers.

To read more about the release, check out our Client Release Notes and our Developer Release Notes.

Blue World Style: New Hairstyles from Moxxi Will Blow You Away

I tend to like to change my hair to suit my outfits, but because hair design is somewhat intimidating to content creators, the options aren't always as diverse as I would like. So of course when I spotted a cute little cropped brunette style on someone's avatar in a screenshot, I immediately had to know where it was from. I can't say I was surprised when I was told it was a new release from Moxxi in Port Town (Blink teleport here), given their track record. It's no secret that I'm a fan of just about everything at Moxxi, so I had to grab a couple of these new hairstyles as well.

The first style, pictured above, is only available in brown, but it has quite realistic textures, complete with stray strands and pieces that add to the natural look of the style. The overall effect is a character that would look absolutely at home in a 3D rendering program-- and an avatar a lot of us could only dream about before.

The second style released at Moxxi comes in a few different colors (but I'll always be a brunette at heart!). The texturing on this style is much sleeker and glossier than the first style I mentioned. While that hair is a more mussed and natural look, this one is immaculately groomed. This soft-edged bob is a pretty versatile design that could go with just about anything, while the messy short style would likely go best with casual wear. I'll admit I don't usually wear many short hairstyles, but given the quality of these lovely 'dos I'm clearly going to have to make an exception!

Do you want to top Moxxi's styles? Check out these instructions to create your own luscious Blue Mars locks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blue World Style: Make Your Blue Mars Home as Fashionable as Your Avatar with Furniture from CarCus Creations

In any world, fashion doesn't end with what you wear. There's fashion in your surrounding too, and in particular in your home. Furniture and decor are like an outfit for each room, they should reflect your personal style as much as any dress or pair of shoes. This is might be first post about Blue Mars furniture, but don't expect it to be my last! The furniture market in Blue Mars is expanding steadily as more martian residents consider their own residences. Today, I'm taking a look at CarCus Creations, a furniture shop in Tharsis Estates (Blink teleport here).

Most of the designs at CarCus are very modern, including the two dining sets shown. What I like in particular about the style of these items is that they often have nostalgic little notions and throwbacks built into the design. The classic vintage wood cabinets peppered throughout many of the different room settings are a good example of this, my favorite being the one topped with a clean and modest bar set. The sleek dining set pictured above has a very retro and mod feel to it, as well.

The bedroom sets are definitely the most conservative items at CarCus, and they would look quite at home in a catalog from a RL furniture brand. There's something very simple and cozy about these beds in particular. Like most of the content in this shop, they have a good balance of modern and vintage elements in the design. In particular I love the storage trunk at the foot of the bed, which is printed with an antique map pattern. The

On this bookshelf, you'll find a copy of "Anna Karenina" among other charming baubles. I'd like to see a lot more trinkets like these for sale-- if the content available for homes in Second Life and games like The Sims has taught me anything, it's that people absolutely love clutter-- little knick-knacks to full your shelves and pile on your coffee tables, every one of which says something about the homeowner. If a couch is like a dress, clutter is an earring or a necklace.

All of the items pictured are from the first floor of CarCus' store, but if you visit, be sure to check upstairs for a second bedroom set, an elegant pool table, and a couple of gorgeous cars!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blue World Style: Put a Chill in the Air as a Blue Mars Ice Queen

After yesterday's super casual ensemble, I was craving something a little more fantasy-inspired. I decided to take a few notes from my casual ensemble in picking my dress for this look, including a dramatic collar and belted waist, then took them to the other end of the fashion spectrum to develop this chillingly pretty ice queen ensemble. Keep reading for all the details, and some tips on modifying the look yourself!

  • I started with the high-collared icy blue dress from BS! in Misty Hollow (Blink teleport here). If the style looks a little familiar, it's because I used the red version of this dress for my Halloween succubus look back in October. The blue version feels a little more ethereal than its red counterpart, in my opinion, even though the cut of the dress is still red-hot.
  • The ornamental belt slung around my hips is an early gem from Tirion Designs in Tharsis Estates (Blink teleport here). When you're wearing this particular item, make sure it's layered fairly far from your avatar body, so that it won't clip your other clothing layers as much.
  • I've opted for a greyish-white hairstyle from Hair Today Gone Tomorrow in Cloud City (Blink teleport here) which is essentially the place to go for exotic hair colors. Next, for my skin choice, I've chosen Adam n Eve's new geisha inspired look, along with a pair of their eyes in a pale blue tone called Frostflower. I like the contrast of the pale face of this skin with the vibrant red lips, which in the context of this outfit makes my avatar look elegant and frozen. For a more dramatic look, try makeup contest winner Cyclic Gearz' Geiko makeup over Adam n Eve's blue-toned skin, available in Caledonia (Blink teleport here).
  • The final touches on this outfit are a pair of snow-white pumps from Mako Magellan's shop in Caledonia, and a simple mother of pearl bangle from 8502.Bauhaus in GridRock City (Blink teleport here), though the silver version would work just as well.
I took this picture in the ever-snowy IamTown city, but keep your eyes peeled for seasonal decor popping up elsewhere in the coming weeks!