The End of the World in Craft

Doomsday Special Rocket2It was 9.30pm as we started to gather at the meeting point in the Sandbox. A big silver ticket machine and a coloured box stood ready for those arriving. We were invited to take a ticket and a spacesuit out of the box and we sat and waited until our transport arrived.

Doomsday StartFirst Officer Tao appeared and informed us that a Landmark had been placed in our tickets so that we could beam aboard the rocket. A comfortable rocket indeed with roomy seats and a film for us to watch during our journey. At the speed of light it took only 11 minutes to arrive in Doomsday.

Doomsday, inside rocketDoomsday is a place full of pyramids, surrounded by water and the black starry dome of night. At the top of the biggest pyramid was a large thone where I was told here would be a fortune-teller. On the grassy plaza in the centre there was a board game which some people were playing. It involved riding geese and throwing enormous dice. So this is how people spend the last day of their existence?

Snapshot doomsday_001

Just as the goose game was reaching its peak, we saw the first warning sign on the console. What did it say? The earth was going to crash? Or was it that a big meteorite was about to hit us? At first I paid no attention to it because I thought someone was playing a joke. But the signs were now coming thick and fast and suddenly First Officer Tao jumped off her goose and screamed we had to leave the planet immediately. She ran up the stairs of the big pyramid and pushed aside the throne. Behind it was a secret passageway to our salvation apparently.

The gate to the passageway shone and spat particles in all directions but the first of us who tried to use the escape route were thrown back violently. Officer Tao ran through the sparks and said she would be back for us. Communications were still possible and we heard from Captain Licu who told us that all was being done to ensure that we could leave the planet. Tosha and Settima resigned themselves to die on the Maya Island of Doomsday but the captain reassured them over the intercom that it would only be a few minutes now. Dade and Sheri, who had been playing the goose game continued to try to force their way into the passage but to no avail.

Suddenly First Officer Tao appeared back through the gate bringing the news that the passage had been opened. The faint silhouette of Captain Licu appeared briefly at the gate and said „go! go! go!“ so we entered, single file after each of our names was being called. „Minethere .. go!“, „Lumiere .. go!“, „Dade .. go!“.

One by one, we entered the escape pod and took our seats. Dramatic music from the Planet Suite was heard in the background and the blinds of the pod were raised to reveal that we were travelling at the speed of light. The soothing voice of Captain Licu told us that he was looking for a new planet for us and we should stay calm.

After sometime, the pod came to a halt and we were asked to leave. Single file we left the pod and single file we arrived in a kind of freefloat amongst the stars and planets of our solar system. In the distance we could see the rocket still firing up. No turning back now, here we were in the middle of the universe. We could not move forwards or backwards more than a few metres and the Captain scolded that we should all stay together and keep calm.

Doomsday2Suddenly, as if the floor had been taken away from us, we started to fall. We fell for an age it seemed, right through the sky. But it was a soft landing, directly onto a green meadow, covered in small shiny buds. At first we could not see much but eventually, our eyes became accustomed to the light and we saw the crashed rocket in the distance and that we were standing on a tiny island in the middle of a raging red sea. The island was sweet and fresh and I heard someone say that it could be a place where we could rebuild our lives.

Doomsday3In the distance we could hear – what was it? Disco music? Yes! It was coming from a large flying saucer hovering over the red sea and connected to our new island by a rainbow. Gingerly we walked over the rainbow and dropped into the saucer to find it was a disco which someone else had left there long ago. It did not take long for us to dust off and put the turntable on and then we celebrated the survival of mankind.


Uptown – The Roleplay Freebie Region

We thought that if there is one thing that Craft needs, it is a freebie region which is dedicated to roleplay. This region is one of the true cooperative efforts of Craft citizens. All who wanted to contribute in the building and stocking up of Uptown were involved in the making of this freebie place. Each section is represented by an element – earth, wind, fire, water – and in some places you can see the artwork representing some of these elements which was especially commissioned by Craft for this region.

The first thing you notice when you arrive in Uptown is that you are standing on a blue fantasy island in the centre of the region. 8 bridges stretch away from the centre in all directions of the compass. Each bridge takes you to a different roleplay genre to avoid confusion. You can see a flag at the entrance to each of these bridges which explains what you can find at the end of it. On the island itself is a strange-looking  container which is actually a lift which takes you up to the UFO in the clouds above you. More of that in a moment.

Neko Island:

How about taking a stroll with me? I think we can choose the one marked  Neko Island. Lets go!

                                           Neko Island

You can see straight away that this is actually a Neko playground. There are swings and an assortment of toys to climb and play on. If you look closer, you can see that the toys are actually available to copy or buy for 0$, plus there is an aray of animal avatars ready for you to take.

Infernal Dungeon:

Right next door to the Neko Island is the Infernal Dungeon.

                                        Infernal Dungeon

This is the creepy end of the region. It is not difficult to see that this is based on the element „fire“.   All that you need to play dark roles on Craft is to be found here. But in addition, there are some exquisitely designed clothes for men and women with or without fangs.

Temple of Eternity:

                                           Temple of Eternity

Ah yes, here is my personal favourite, not because of the Asian freebies within but because of the garden of peace at the entrance. This is a place where you can sit by the water or immerse yourself in the tai chi animation on the path. The freebies are not bad either.

Magic Temple:

                                           Magic Temple

One look at this tells you that it is based on a Greek temple with its large pillared entrance opening up into a courtyard filled with goodies. Here you will see the first of the commissioned artworks representing „air“, crafted by the French artist, Artistide Despres. Period costumes are the subject here and there is something for every taste. There is even a scripted ex-calibur if anyone needs one.

The Market Place:

                                              Market Place

Next up is the market place where you can get just about anything your heart desires: houses, furniture, hair, skins, shapes and textures. A lot of the things are not marked, so you need to have a good look around.

Mysterious Lagoon:

                                           Mysterious Lagoon

You need to walk through the waterfall to reach this one. You walk through a small glen and eventually you reach the lagoon with its galleon ship and wooden chalet packed with seamans and fairy freebies. Here there is another wonderful sculpture from Artistide representing water.

Wild West:

                                                 Wild West

It is not difficult to guess the theme of this section. Here you can get horses, saddles and western clothes.

Enchanted Forest:

                                             Enchanted Forest

Elves, Fairies, Fawns and Gnomes, a waterfall, a dinausaur, a stone circle and a magic tree dripping with freebies. The enchanted forest lives up to its name. This is the element earth when the world was still young and strange creatures ruled the forests.



Ah yes, there is that UFO. Let us go back to the island in the centre and take the lift onto the strange creation above us. If you are into robots and machine-men, this is for you.

Well that concludes the trip around the region of Uptown. As in many places around Craft-World, this is a work in progress, so we are constantly striving to add to our collection of freebies. If you would like to contribute, please contact either Licu Rau or myself. Thank you.

Aquarium – The Underwater Seaworld

                                                  Beach Bar

When you arrive on the soft sands of Aquarium, it looks like a small private resort in the Caribean with its palm trees and grass covered open huts. A Scottish flag betrays the ownership of the island.  It is what remains from the days when Tao was washed up on the beach with nothing but a toothbrush. There is a campfire with places to sit further down the beach and a badminton court behind the huts.

There is a sweet little quayside in blue wood with torches and little boats and the sign points the way down into the water where the aquarium is.

                                  Entrance to the Aquarium

A long spiralling staircase takes you down to the seabed. Ahead you can see the entrance to the aquarium signalled by a neon light. It is a series of glass domes joined by glass tunnels which enable you to see all the richness of the underwater world.

A bright fiery torch adorns the centre of each dome and there are some seats to watch the sealife in quiet harmony with the elements. Watch giant squid, octypus and oysters swaying in the current and enjoy the natural bubbles produced by the lifeforms on the seabed as they make their way to the surface.

                                   Aquarium teeming with life

At the end of the dome walk you could go straight up the stairs to the surface, or you can talk a walk through the caverns under the rocks. There are a lot of them but one of them is particularly big and if you are lucky you can find your way to the secret passageway back to the beach. Just as a hint, there are torches showing the way.

                                    Secret exit out of the aquarium

There is also a very secluded beach area behind the rocks with a small beach bar and picnic basket .

                                               Secluded Beach

In the distance you can see the hub of life in the city of Barcelona on the region of White Light but here on Aquarium you could be a million miles away. Lie back and dream!

           Descent to the aquarium and Barcelona in the background

Aqua – The Cruise Ship

If you teleport to Aqua you will land on the ships quay.

                                    Teleport Centre on the Quayside

There is a gangway leading onto the ship and a teleport centre next to the entrance. One glance at the teleport centre gives you an idea of all the things you can see in this ship. It is very, very big so you had better be prepared for a day trip and take some sandwiches with you.


As you enter the ship to the left,  looking down you can see a big spider’s web. That is the ceiling to the jungle disco which we will visit later. Immediately on the left of the  entrance is an elevator with an amusing animation which will take you to all decks. If we pass that we find ourselves walking towards the casino with its roulette tables and one-armed bandits. Since we don’t have money on Craft, these are not working models but there is a realistic feel to the room, as indeed there is throughout the ship.


                                          Ship’s Theatre

Beyond the Casino is the entrance to the Theatre. The big silver doors open onto a majestic stage and rowed seating. If you walk left to the end of the seating there is a cloakroom which is served by a lady called Ellen. At the other end is a small bar for the thirsty guests who can’t wait until the end of the performance. Coming out of those big doors you can see a short corridor with four second-class cabins. I say second class, but I would quite like one of those for a cruise.

Jungle Disco

                                               Jungle Disco

Directly ahead is the Jungle Disco. It is full with hanging leanders and animals. Everywhere there are small corners to discover with individual features such as bars or seating areas, also an elevator. For now we will continue walking through and out the other side. There are six more second-class cabins, all comfortably furnished.

Wellness Centre

                            Entrance to Wellness Centre

The aqua coloured dolphin doors in front of you signal that you are entering the Wellness area of the ship. This is my personal favourite. Steaming blue water and rock formations with running water will greet you here. There are relaxing loungers and fresh towels. You can even have a glass of champagne while dipping your feet in the water. Beyond the pool is the real business! More aqua-coloured doors take you into an area with a changing room, massage animations and relaxing beds. On the far side is the entrance to the hamam with its steam slabs, footbaths and showers. Plenty of animations here too.

                                                    The Hamam

Main Deck

                                                  The Main Deck

A teleport disk at the door will take you to the main deck. There is a selection of freebie shops here and a cafe in copper and mahogony look. The shops are being renovated at the moment and there are some shops available rent-free for freebie goods. At one end of the main deck is the open air deck with views over the neighbouring towns of Victoria and Riverford.

First Class Cabins

                                       The Tropical Cabin

If you walk up the central stairs from the open air deck you will arrive at the 8 first class cabins. These are very spacious and each one is individually designed on a special theme, such as Chinese, Egyptian or Tropical. You can book one of these rooms to spend a holiday free of charge! Just contact Tao Quan or Licu Rau.  At the end of the corridor is the entrance to the Thai restaurant which has a magnificent buffet and the ambience is definitely Asian. There are wonderful views out on to the sea at the front of the ship.

Swimming Pool / Honeymoon Suite and Chapel

The Swimming Pool

Walking back along the hall with the first class cabins you will see elevators at the half-way point and a spiral staircase. Take the elevator to deck 5 and you will arrive at the open air pool. There are some things to do there like sunbathing or diving off the boards but did you notice down some steps is a gold-coloured fancy curtain? Behind that is the honeymoon suite.

                                   Reception of Honeymoon Suite

The honeymoon suite comprises of a reception room, sultry bedroom, golden leaf bathroom, fitness room and extensive terrace with lovers‘ seat and jaccuzi. The fitness room is fun because you can use some of the fitness equipment. At the entrance there is a teleport function to the chapel above. It is the perfect place if you are looking to tie the knot.

                                        Wedding Chapel

That concludes this little tour of the Black Angel ship. There is more. The best thing is to visit it for yourselves, or better still book a holiday. If you would like a long stay cabin for setting up a floating home, they are for rent too. Quite a luxurious place for only 5 Euros a month.

Agra – The German Wine-growing Village

                                       Open air cafe on the bridge

On arrival in Agra you find yourself on the steps of the bridge over the river. Walking up the steps you will see an open air cafe and dance area to the left and a large plaza on the other side of the bridge.

In front of you is a pathway. The big building on the right is the old Town Hall of Monsheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, real life home town of Tao Quan.

                   Ramon’s garden and Monsheim town hall

On the left is a very special place. It is dedicated to a dear old friend Ramon123 Babenco whom we lost (real life) a few years ago. He was a poet, well known on Secondlife having published several poetry books there and special friend to Licu and myself. The picture in stone represents our last evening talking together as a group in front of a campfire. You can see some of his books around the square. Unfortunately they are only in Italian. It is high time we had them translated for the English speakers amongst us. By the way, „vietato lavorare“ means „working is forbidden“, one of his favourite sayings.

Looking up and down the street you will see various typically Rheinland-style houses and wine-makers, a restaurant and opposite is a stable where you can dance, eat or just enjoy the horses. If you can open the doors to the buildings, you are welcome to look around.

                                       Inside the stable

Turning right onto the main road you will arrive at the plaza on your right. There is a stargate and some instructions for beginners.  Here you will find a musical tree. You just press your mouse button onto the tree and you should receive a drop-down menu asking you to choose your preferred style of music

                                                    Musical Tree

To the left of the plaza is the Luna Park, designed and built by Vicus Serenity. It is a fairground and has some interesting rides and things to look at.

Turning back and crossing over the road, you will see a path which takes you to the skating rink. You can take some ice skates for free there. These include some skating animations so you can have fun showing your ability on the blades. You might also have time for a pizza or fresh bread while you are there.

Finally, it is worth walking back to the bridge in front of the town hall. There are benches at either side of the path with a selection of freebies of all kinds. Beyond that is a small campsite and some nice walks along the riverside. Plenty of things to do in this sim.

                                        Freebies on the bridge

Hydra – The Welcome Sim

Now you have personalised your avatar the best thing to do is to go back to Hydra and have a look at what you can see there.

Stand in the middle of the dome and have a look around you. On the floor next to one wall are some presents which someone left for you to open. They are just some extras which we thought might come in handy. Pressing the left mouse button onto one of these parcels sends a file straight to your inventory which contains the goodies.


                                                Teleport Boards

Turning round to the right you can see some teleporting boards. Teleporting, or TP as it is often abbreviated, is one of the wonders of virtual worlds. It enables you to transfer instantly to another region. The engines which run these boards are called scripts. We will talk a lot about scripts another time. The way to use such boards may differ from region to region. In Hydra when you click with your left mouse button on one of these boards you will see a message on your screen offering a teleport. If you check the chat history (sometimes you have to press a „history“ button, depending on your viewer) you will see an address which is underlined in the text. Pressing this underlined text will immediately send you to the desired region. All the boards inside the dome will send you to destinations within Craft-World.


                               Hyperporting Boards and Stargate

Just to the right of the TP boards is an exit along a short path. If you stand in the exit you can see some more boards to the left and a stargate on the right This is a different kind of transport and it will take you to other worlds outside of Craft. If you can imagine a lot of planets floating in an infinite space, that is like the universe (or Metaverse as we call it) that Craft belongs to. Each world in that space has a different owner, different rules and a different atmosphere. Some of these worlds have money some do not. Craft does not use money. Using these boards or the stargate you can travel to another world with your Craft avatar and inventory, look around or even collect some free items. This is called Hyperporting. You can return by pressing the „go home“ button on the map in your viewer. Of course it is necessary to set a home first. You can do this by finding the appropriate command in the menu at the top of your viewer. It is most probably in a menu point called „World“. Look for „set home to here“ and press enter. Now you are set for your first adventures in foreign lands. If you get lost or can not find your way home, do not worry, just log off and log back into Craft-World again.

Getting help:

                                        The Help Board

Turning further to your right you will see a further exit which has a longer path and a kind of orange gazebo at the end. If you walk along to the bar at the end of the path, you will see on your right a panel which shows a row of photos. These are residents of Craft who are there to help you if you have any questions. If there is a green light under the photo, that person is in-world. A right click on a green light should open up a window which will enable you to leave a message to that person. Look for me, Tao Quan, on the second photo from the left. If there is noone online, please send your message or question to me.


Walking back to the dome you will see some teleporting boards to regions which have free content, furniture or clothes for example. If you left mouse click on one of those you will receive a landmark which will go straight into your inventory. Landmarks are instant teleports directly out of your inventory. Now you can use your „recent items“ button  on your inventory and there you will find what looks like a drawing pin. This is your landmark.

That is the end of the tour of Hydra. Keep an eye open for new things there. It is the place that we advertise coming events and other news.