Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wizard of neko refinement: eko Merlin

Posted by Alpha Auer

Quite surprisingly, given the immense quality of his design output, eko Merlin is from a non-visual background. An electronic music producer in Real Life, eko describes his venture into Second Life object design as follows:

"When i started to play with prims, someone asked me to build a belt. I had a wonderful time working on this and since I enjoyed the process so much I proceeded to make several others , trying to push the details a bit more each time and aiming for better and better texturing. So, Second Life® is my first experience in object design and I love it.

"My first inspiration in Second Life was urban/neko/punk, but I didn't even know enough to call what I did by these labels. I was just stunned by the level of detail that I saw on some of the neko items, especially the things made with tiny prims. So, I suppose my first inspiration was not a style but the detailed building practice concealed within the style itself.

I have not yet designed too many items, since it takes me a very long time to complete a project, with the amount of detailing that I like to put into my work. However, I can see that my output can already be divided into two broad categories: Possible and Not Possible in Real Life. I am really not someone who can stick to one style only. It is just like music. I need change and diversity."

And indeed, along with all of his highly NPIRL objects, eko is also the designer of my much beloved Builder's Belt, a highly possible in Real Life item and as such really not at all suitable content for this blog. But besides this cherished item I do seem to have bought most of what eko has on display in his shop.

This headset has a lid, which when popped open reveals the brain inside. All components are color changeable and furthermore the object has a menu driven play list of tunes.

The Mechanics Belt: And what is so NPIRL about this you might ask? Well... What do all of these gauges measure exactly? My virtual blood pressure? hhh...

The crazy steampunk watch would need a machinima, which alas, I have not yet ever attempted in Second Life: The arms of this watch move completely randomly - backwards and forwards, unsynchronized and at great speed...

The first generation of the neko-backpack TV held a static image. I still loved it...

The new version will playback a slideshow of your choice.

eko is very much my kind of content creator: Unselfconscious, subtle and very very refined. One for whom the journey of creativity itself is what is paramount - over and above whatever the results of it may turn out to be. His creations do not scream out their self-importance in a bellowing voice but wait to be discovered, in all of their splendid detail, in a quiet corner of the metaverse - a wonderful neko shopping island named Blitzed.

Blitzed Island. whether it is truly NPIRL, I am not sure - however, truly lovely it most certainly is.

All in all, a truly delightful person is eko Merlin:

"Second Life is the most wonderful thing I know... The creativity is amazing - the scripting, in combination with objects, the fact that people can think, build and insert scripts, and thus get their creations to work, to do things... I find the whole thing so crazy... I see such clever creations (especially HUD's I love them), like a software in the software.

I think with all the things we are hearing now, several grids are in the process of being created and then in time will surely be integrated... We are just at the beginning of the story. We are the pioneers, our kids will see things unimaginable and I will be proud in 20 years time to say "I was there when it all started, I was in Second Life..."

You can teleport to eko Merlin's shop at Blitzed directly from here. You can also see larger, close-up images of his objects here.