by Ozymandius (0zymandi Resident)
After being warmly received by Star Raven who kindly took the time to show me around the immense multi tiered sim of INSILICO, I was looking forward to my next assignment. I had never been to the MadPea sim and was curious to find out more about the gaming company so I sent an IM to Kiana Writer, the founder of MadPea, requesting an interview. A day went by and I received no response until K’ess (Kess Crystal), who I can only assume is the press liaison for MadPea sent me a message explaining that Kiana Writer was too busy to return my IM but she was willing to answer my questions. This message had been left while I was offline, so I replied only to receive the following message… "(busy response): The Resident you messaged has activated Firestorm viewer's 'autorespond mode' which means they have requested not to be disturbed. Your message will still be shown in their IM panel for later viewing.”
The following day I received a message from K’ess, stating that she would drop me a notecard. I checked my inventory from time to time but found no notecard from Kiana, K’ess or anyone else from MadPea so I sent a message to K’ess explaining I had not received a notecard. The following day I received a notecard from K’ess outlining the fact that, over the last 8 years, MadPea produced over 60 different puzzles, adventures, hunts and games and they were currently promoting a Horror Survival Game called “UNIA”.
According to the notecard; "players find themselves abandoned in a small town where a number of people have gone missing...players find themselves having to solve puzzles, crack codes, fight monsters and survive booby traps in order to solve the mystery and escape their fate." UNIA launched on the 27th April, after 2 years of development, and has already had over 1000 players.
After reading the notecard I sent an IM to K’ess requesting the opportunity to photograph the sim where the game takes place. She was kind enough to send me a teleport to the starting point but explained I would not be able to enter the sim where the game was taking place. The starting point looked to be a junk yard in the middle of a dustbowl town and while the ambience of the sim intoxicating there didn’t seem to be much reason for the lag or the three crashes I experienced while trying to photograph a few signs, some rusting cars and a couple of turkey vultures flying over head. Finally I decided to adjust my graphics settings to try and reduce the lag when I began to received multiple notification from someone named “Lareda”. It was then I realized that a 2 month old vampire was trying to bite me.
“Hi Lareda,” I typed. "I'm writing a review of this sim for the SL Newser, are you trying to bite me?"
“ops ..if u dont want u can dont agree” She replied.
Clearly her command of the English language was not one of her strong suits, but she was a cute little blood sucker so I engaged her in a side interview and asked her how long she had been a vampire.
“yes.” She replied.
Perhaps she was from Eastern Europe.
“Why did you become a vampire?” I continued to interview her as a way of distracting myself from my growing disinterest in the sim.
“i like vampires.” Lareda replied with the kind of insight one might expect from a two month old vampire.
Then I began to think, maybe she’s a plant. Not like a plant because plants can survive without brain activity, but a plant like, maybe she is part of the MadPea game and I should let her bite me in order to gain entry into the other sim. What genius! After all this would explain the MadPea catch phrase; “Release the monster within”
“u know bloodlines?” She asked.
“No I never heard of them.” I replied.
“They are my clan, I take u to there.” She said.
This is it! This is the true brilliance of MadPea, they lull you into a false sense of security with a barren, lag filled environment then send a cute little vampire to lead you into the horror that awaits. So I eagerly accepted Lareda's teleport and soon found myself deep within the bowels of the Bloodline home sim.
With the regional wind light setting this is a dark and murky world full of daunting shadows and foreboding passages but if you readjust your sun direction to noon and it could easily pass for Disney Land. The bright light also helps to spot the night crawlers and it was then I was able to get a better look at Lareda’s clan who, aside from their pointy teeth, reminded me a lot of how my own middle class family would get together in a suburban park for a Sunday afternoon barbecue.
They were sweet, not very hospitable as they didn’t offer me anything to eat, not that I would have accepted, I’m a vegetarian, but sweet and affable folks all the same. As for Lareda, I was beginning to fall for that barely literate child of the damned and, now that I had met her family, it was time to think long and hard about what our next move would be.
“so u want be vampire?” She asked.
“That depends,” I hesitated. "Will becoming a vampire get in the way of my career as a Second Life photo journalist?” I tried to get my avatar to look her avatar directly in the eye when I typed this but our AOs were not in sync. This seemed a tragic metaphor for our relationship. We were crazy for each other but we were from two different worlds and our professions, me as a seeker of truth and knowledge and her as a destroyer of souls, had us moving in two different directions. Maybe that was the sign. That and the pentagram carved into the chest of her pot smoking skater cousin.
“Well Lareda,” I said with much regret. “It’s time for me to go.”
She sent me a friend request. Maybe she felt what I was feeling, maybe she was holding on to the desperate possibility of a future together, or maybe she was still trying to bite me. Who knows?
As for my review of MadPea’s latest game UNIA, I don’t really have one. The Gold Pea Game Pass costs 1000 Lindens ... Lareda bites for free.