Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fun with the Frenchies

          What keeps a grid alive? A sense of place, a sense of purpose. That is the secret behind Francogrid's longevity. The grid is founded on good old French ideals like Liberty and Fraternity, and they mean it. Freedom is paramount on the grid. A free exchange of knowledge. Creativity given the freedom to grow. And free space. The grid has an impressive history of sims donated to creative people. Freedom too from the humdrum cookie cutter architecture of the past.
Accueil, Francogrid's welcome area, with TP parlor. Build by DJ Phil and Cherry Manga

          The English language is, obviously, a crushing force for communication in the metaverse. In Francogrid, just about everyone makes an effort to speak English if they meet a non-francophone, however, this grid does a little bit to push back and remind us all that there are other languages out there. For some people, this may mean stepping
out of their comfort zone, but that is extremely healthy for you! Isn't that why you came to OpenSim in the first place, to expand your horizons?
          Francogrid is run a bit like a republic. They have a president, and town hall meetings in which people propose schemes and ideas and people vote on it. Just 30 euros a year earns you the right to be a voting member of Francogrid.
Levillage meeting area

          Francogrid is quite ancient in vw terms. It began in May 2009. It's a bit like a lovely old chateau. The plumbing doesn't always work right; notoriously, Contacts get backed up, lost, and generally make a mess all over the floor; but it is full of lovely unexpected corners, sudden vistas, useful places, and most of all, lots of serene space. When the HG Safari sim on Metropolis began to have serious problems, gill beaumont of Francogrid immediately donated a brand new sim, and enabled us to make our  group's second seamless migration. It's a tribute to the generous family of OpenSim grids and residents that our weekly Safari trips have been able to continue uninterrupted for nearly a year now, despite the dramatic ups and downs that the platform has experienced.
safari pre-gridjump chaos

            This year Francogrid launched three projects that should make life more fun on the grid and provide some practical help for locals and visitors alike.
       1: Promotion of free content with a Freebie-finder
       2: Promotion of francophone regions via a HG machine
       3: Promotion of the making and sharing of new avatars at Fest'avi
The Freebie Finder
Imperator Janus is in charge of this.
Imperator Janus: There are, in fact, a lot of regions or zones of regions with freebies, scattered about all over Francogrid. the idea is to create a network of these freebie regions and color code them.  A color for each area and a portal that would allow you to get to the freebie zones.
Imperator sits on his Freebie Finder, while Claudius looks on with gallic stoicism
Cherry Manga: Currently we have  Freebies Garden, which has trees, plants and vegetables. Then there is 4 seasons, which is all about furniture, HomeSweet Home; then there is Wallonia, which has a bit of everything, and Claudius Utopy and cendres magic are planning a free script region.
Imperator Janus: There is also gill beaumont's Ile aux freebies.
Cherry Manga: Yes! that has all kinds of things.
Imperator Janus: And then there are areas on other sims, like the shop on leVillage, and Le Pingouin Elegant on LaCaldera.

(just a tip: sim names on Francogrid never have spaces in them. So it's Levillage, not Le Village.)

The second project you may find interesting is the one to link up all the french-language regions and grids of the metaverse. This is the brainchild of Claudius Utopy. The name is a bit confusing, most people would never guess that a CMVO had something to do with hypergridding, but go figure the French, right?

Claudius and the machines

Jack Jacksweb came up with five different designs for the machine. This is the one they plumped for in the end.

It shows you a website, which lets you know where the regions are. Participating sim owners rez a copy of this board inworld, and you can see in real time which regions are currently online or not. The load of the device is relatively light, just 33% script inworld, with the other 67% of the action happening on the website end, and the machine is customizable to blend in with the sim's theme or color scheme.

Add to all this Francogrid's new HG arrival point, Hypergrid, with its multitude of destinations. The HG addresses were collected by Praline B and the overall construcion is by Cherry Manga.
Praline and Cherry model some fun avies

Last but definitely not least, the second annual Fest'Avi!

After last year's triumphant success, Francogrid is again holding a series of workshops to get people to make fresh new avatars, and the whole thing ends with a big party, a 'fashion show' of the final results, and then the new avatars are put out as free items on Francogrid for everyone to enjoy.
TP to the tutorials, next to the free items
Many of the unusual avies you see when you're out hypergridding were made in last year's event, including the Tree, the Owl and the ShadowMan avies, (they no doubt have better names than that, but you'll know what I mean) so it's an important contribution to the whole of OpenSim, not something exclusive to grid members.
Inspiring Yann Minh build
Sim Avatar has free items you can copy, and also many display items that are there to inspire you to make something good for yourself and others.
The help ranges from how to make a skin and baked clothes, to rigging mesh, and making tinies and furrys.

The workshops are held on sim Avatar on Fridays, 21.00 European time. There are loads of step-by-step picture guides and Cherry and Praline both speak good English if you need some help.
Fest'Avi ends at the beginning of May, so there is still plenty of time for you to make your dream avatar, and share it with the world!

URI: hg.francogrid.org:80:avatar

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