Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Grendel's Children and Avaria featured in new Nitwacket machinima + A chat with Flea Bussy

Posted by Bettina Tizzy

Perched high in the sky over the four Avaria sims in Second Life® is a place that holds as much magic as the virtual constellations that surround it, for within the Grendel's Children store are the seeds of imagination and playtime where grownups go to shrug off the stress of their daily real lives and explore other parts of themselves. This, the largest emporium in virtual worlds for non-human avatars, is the land of pretend... turbo-charged.

Flea Bussy, the founder and lead creator of this empire, didn't set out to provide tens of thousands of people with therapeutic tools, but I can personally attest to their power. To put it in purely quantitative terms, I must own over 200 avatars from Grendels (not including color variations) and I've worn every single one more than once.

It's been nearly 18 months since I last did a serious post on Grendel's, and Pyewacket Bellman's latest machinima - gorgeous! - featuring Avaria and several of their newest avatars prompted me to touch base with Flea.

I thought I'd kick it off by asking him to update me on some of the fast facts I published back then. His responses in italics:


* Rez day: 6/29/2006
* Flea is only 22 years old!
I'm now 20 years old! Wait, no, that's not right, how do we do this again?
* Works an average of 20 hours a day, 7 days a week
Works 25 hours a day, sleep was given up in the 24th hour! 365, all year!
* Was kicked out of art class
* First store opened on September 1, 2006
* Grendel's Children has produced more than 800 avatars
Grendel's has made way too many avatars to count. It hurts my little brain! [Note from Bettina: Many, many hundreds more]
* Average price per avatar: $150L to $250L, with many freebies available
Average price per avatar: $1L to $150L, with many , many, many freebies available

Favorite recent creations?

Flea: Does my staff count?

You and several members of your staff collaborated in-world while in Skype conference back then. Are you still doing this?

Flea: Oh, depends if we have to have little meetings on new ideas or such. Otherwise it's just normally us typing in the box actually. [Bettina: Working in Maya, plus Skype, plus the SL client is a formula for lag.]

How has the environment changed for avatar creators in the past year? Copybotting, more advanced sculpty work, a stabler grid, etc.

Flea: We wouldn't know, we kinda just stay in Avaria. I'd assume that those things like a stabler grid might exist, but, only in stories n song, you know, mythological stuff! We've never noticed anyone bothering to copybot what is almost all free here anyway. It's probably more work to copybot our stuff then just get like, $5L and buy it.

Avaria & Grendel's Children from Nitwacket Machinima™ on Vimeo.

The Avaria sims, were rebuilt in just 5 days and are now unified by a single river cutting through sandstone canyons and lined with hardwood forests and surrounded by drier pine uplands.

Terraforming: Flea Bussy, Ryan Snook, Psyra Extraordinare, Sanje Batra, Constant Riel, and Toady Nakamura

Rocks, sculpts, caves, tree and plant creation: Flea Bussy, Ryan Snook, Sanje Batra, RaptonX Zorger, Merlin Falworth and Toady Nakamura.

Prim installation: Flea Bussy, Ryan Snook, RaptonX Zorger, Sanje Batra, Psyra Extraordinare, Constantine Riel, Merlin Falworth and Toady Nakamura.

Village: Flea Bussy, Ryan Snook

Scripting - Craft System: Flea Bussy
Scripting - Drakelets: Piper Zuhal
Scripting - Geysers, sun dial, sound prims, rockfalls: Toady Nakamura
Waterfall and statuary particles; water and motion - Flea Bussy

Teleport to Grendel's Children directly from here, and don't forget to explore the Avaria sims below.

See also:

* Flea Bussy's empire: Grendel's Children, one wacky avatar at a time...

* Climbing walls, sky dancing (in HD!), and weightless sex/showers - Part IV in our Gravity in Virtual Worlds series

* Flea Bussy - Makin' stuff for the love of orks 'n goblins