The nail-biting wait for Live

A nearly infinite world that would take you twenty-five trips around the Earth to cross…

A land with over 25 different climate types and sub variations of each…

Room to build civilization or stay in the wilds as you wish…

A near infinite variety of horses for capture, breeding, riding, sale or competition…

Clubs to join, friends to make, updates to watch, and games to play…

All this and more awaits me in Horse Isle 3.

I’ve said elsewhere that this is nearly the perfect game for me to play.  It’s going Live within the next few days and I’m going crazy waiting!

I didn’t make it into Alpha testing but I’ve been part of Beta since a few days before it went to Open Beta.  I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of my suggestions approved and I’ve helped test all the features as they were introduced.  Since May, I’ve built my game up from scratch twice as things have been reset for testing.

Now, at long last, we’re going Live sometime this weekend!  All my horses will stay now, and whatever I build, and whatever I discover.  I intend to create an incredible Club Village in the deep forest, somewhere, with all the amenities of home plus a few surprises.  (If you’re reading this, and want to join, it’s called TigerTon and will have a low in-game dues requirement.  Just a bit of wood and stone so we can make more buildings.)

I want to go find a pretty private island to build a ranch on, perhaps with a couple satellite ranches in other areas so I can more easily harvest the resources.  I’m going to breed miniature horses, but also try to get one big strong draft mare, for traveling in snow, and a couple slim legged runners, for general running around, and a small but fast pony for ice.  All of them in Mosaic or Silver Dapple Black would be lovely.  This can be done with a little time and work.

Now to make sure my four legged friends don’t have a very high stubbornness score, but are very brave.  They’ll need that!

Here are some recent screen shots so you can all see what the game looks like, and also I have quite a few tips listed here on the Horse Isle 3 Hints page.

Thank you, Durbin Development, for making such a great, family friendly, optimistic game!  You’re true gems among game developers.  I really appreciate the fact that they use mostly open source software and are a small family owned company, so that makes me want to support them even more.

Come on Live!  I can’t wait for the world to start anew!

dawn glowglowing stonemysterious bonessnow ghostssnowfieldsVista and not windows

Interrupting cow wh…(MOO)..o?

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Interrupting Cow.

Interrupting Cow wh..(MOO!) o?

 

When did it become okay to interrupt?

When did it become standard practice to finish other peoples sentences, too?

When did it become common practice to deny that there’s anything wrong with either habit, and even defend it?

Interrupting shows impatience with the other person, and lack of respect.  Finishing someone else’s sentences implies that they are too slow or too stupid.  Even if it’s seen as “helping” the other person, it’s also saying that the other person isn’t competent to speak.

Are we so impatient as a society, so used to instant gratification that we have forgotten how to speak or listen?

The argument that since it’s a common practice in many cultures, that makes it okay, doesn’t really work here.  All that means is many cultures consider it okay to be rude and dehumanizing.  Many cultures have a lack of patience.  Well, some cultures still have a belief that it’s okay to defecate on the side of the road too, but that doesn’t make it sanitary.   Some cultures consider loud smacking of lips to be a compliment to the chef, but that doesn’t mean you can do it at a fancy company lunch in the US or Britain or Canada or, well, a bunch of places.

When considered in an unbiased way, it’s clear that interrupting another person is a barrier to communication.  It also communicates the idea that the interruptor is more important than the one who is interrupted.  It can also lead to animosity and conflict, further degrading communication.

Besides, isn’t interrupting another person a sign of poor impulse control?  I know it is when I do it.  I turn into the Interrupting Cow.

We’ve known that interrupting others is rude for quite a long time, but just like when a person is called out for bad grammar or spelling, they either defend themselves or are defended by others.  Because, you see, if you have a REASON to be rude, you’re not really rude, isn’t that how it works?  Only it’s not a reason, it’s usually a rationalization.

Those things being considered, wouldn’t it be a good idea if we all tried to avoid interrupting?  Even if it still happens, which it will, we can chip away at the habit of it, and stop telling ourselves it’s perfectly okay to do.  It’s not.

Horse Isle 3: Money Making Guide

Many of these suggestions are scattered around my other posts and guides.  Here they are all in one place, plus a few more!  Soon you’ll be making plenty of Gold Dust, the currency of Infinite Wilds.

First of all, what is money good for?

A little Gold Dust is needed when you build things, but really not a lot.  You also need it to buy things other players are selling, to identify the breed of the wild horses you have caught, to train your own horses so they can be better, and do other things like pay club dues.  You also need it to buy ranch land, though it’s cheap to do that for your first hectare.  Needless to say, money is good to have.

Ways of making money

Pick things up as you travel.  Logs, berries, stones, flowers, what have you.  You can then make things out of them, sell them to other players, or sell them to the Exporter.  Check the Sales board to see who is buying.

You can make big money if you keep an eye out for Pots of Gold, Meteorites, Pirate Treasures, and Mother Horse Stones.  They can give you anywhere from a few hundred to a couple thousand gold.

When you catch wild horses, read Global chat to see what kinds of horses are in demand at what club traders.  For example, the basic price to sell a plain horse is 200 gold, but if you have the right size, age, breed or level of moodiness, sometimes you can make a couple thousand on the sale.  So ask around.

Join a club and get a store.  Then you can craft things, or sell raw materials that are in demand.  You can also put your horses up for stud and sell them.  You can make a lot that way.  Again, use the Sales Board to make sure your prices are competitive.

Pan for gold.  If you save up enough Essence, you can get a gold pan and use it to get varying amounts of gold dust out of rivers and streams.

Join server contests.  There are Star Hunts, where you ride around trying to be the first to find a big glowing star.  There are card trading games where you try to get one each of four types of card  There are also water balloon fights, which are a lot of fun.  And they give you money if you win.  They are announced in chat and you can usually travel to them for free.

Achievements are a fun way to get gold too, and also Essence.  For example, if you sell ten horses to the Trader, when you sell the tenth one you’ll get a little reward.  Same for traveling, building things, making dyes, and various other feats.  There are multiple levels for each award.

Riddle Posts will test your wits and sometimes your patience.  There are several different kinds of questions, anything from riddles to math, with varying difficulty levels.  They are scattered all over the landscape, and they all pay!

Minigames are fun and diverting.  You can find Word Scrambles in Fall Forest, a stone sliding game in Swampland, rock stacking in Badlands, color sorting in Snow, music games in Stone Forest, snake charming in the Desert, a matching game in the Rainforest, and several other varieties of minigame.  They pay you when you win them.

There are other ways than this to make money.  I’ve found that selling dyes and bolts of cloth is pretty popular, as well as rare flowers and berries.  See if you can find something I haven’t mentioned!

pirate treasure chest

Ways of saving money

Keep a record of training prices at different Club Villages.  Those costs can vary widely.

Try to gather your own materials to make things, when possible.

If you need to buy something, always use the Sales Board so you can see who has what, and for how much.  It’ll save you a lot!

Groom and feed your horses yourself.  It’s more convenient to have someone else do it but it’s free if you pick your own food, and it increases your bond with the horse as well.

If you have a ranch, get the hay shed, hay fields, and water tower.  Then it’ll be nearly free, and also very easy, to feed and water your horses at once.

Be careful of where you put your buildings so you don’t have to tear them down and redo them.

med sea daytime.PNG

Horse Isle 3 Hints – Update on Ranches

With the game getting close to Live, I wanted to share more updates about ranches and things you can do with them, as well as give tips on finding gatherables to do all that building.

One of my favorite parts about Horse Isle 3 is the ability to go out into the great wilderness, find pretty much any kind of land, and stake a claim then build a ranch in almost any configuration you want.  Yesterday I was thinking about going into the foggy Spooky Forest biome and making a mysterious home among one of their creepy areas – like one of the new Ancient Graveyards – to surprise unsuspecting passerby.  I could even write a short and spooky story on a series of signs for people to read.   I’m still torn, though, between a ranch in a fertile valley on top of a mesa, or maybe a ranch near red rock cliffs by a saguaro forest.  Now that the desert plants have been vastly expanded, both are pretty tempting.  Or I could go nuts and find a sunny atoll and claim that…

This runthrough of Beta, though, I decided to have my ranch spread out on a small chain of islands, close enough to a Fall Forest biome that there are pretty red leaves drifting through.  Now that we have Planters to place plants and trees of our liking, I added some red maples to to go with the drifting leaves.  I also made a bridge over a waterway that was on one of the islands, and with the new Shedrow style of barns, I built a nice unified looking little barn near my stand of maples.  Here are some pictures:

ranch on island.PNG

Here are some of the maples, the bridge, my house, hay barn, water tower, and beyond that you can get a glimpse of my storage barns.

Barns in daytime.PNG

Here’s one of those epic barns – consisting of 2 straight sections and 2 corner pieces.

barns at night.PNG

At night, so you can see the lights working

Crafting Sheds.PNG

My crafting sheds – crafting, textiles, and my furnace – and two storage sheds.  On the left you can see a planter with a maple in it, on the right, you can see a naturally occurring coconut tree.  You can collect a coconut from it every couple of days, or cut it down for wood, and it’ll eventually regrow.  Beyond is a beach.

Pasture and feeding items.PNG

One of my favorite new features is the Pastures.  They are like the Show Pens, except the horse can be petted and such while standing in them.  I like how they keep the horse fed and watered while in them.  I typically use them for displaying my foals while they are growing up and I can’t do much for them.

Gardens and tree.PNG

Garden plots near yet another tree.  I wanted to create the effect of having sparse trees all over the island, to explain why there are red leaves floating in the air, and to add some color.

Ranch wide angle.PNG

Here I am on my horse, and you can see roughly how spread out this ranch is.  It actually takes a while to cross, just as it would in real life.  According to game size, I have four hectares in a rough L shape, but there is a hectare of protected land between each plot where only I can gather things, so if I had this in a forest for example I wouldn’t have to worry about my surroundings being denuded.

New Updates and enhancements:

Storage sheds that increase your inventory by 100 each

Pastures so you can now display horses out in the open on your ranch

Planters for putting trees and plants

Barns that come in shedrow versions so you can make courtyards and rows

Lamp posts to light up areas, that can be turned on and off

The game devs say that more ranch and club decorations and features are going to be coming out for quite a while.  In Horse Isle 2 you can have everything from castles to tipis, so I’m confident that there will be some great options in the future.

Time Update:

There was recently a big update to the way horses grow up.  Because of the fact that a horse takes so long to grow up in game, it was decided that they would grow two times as fast until they reached the age of 4, which is breeding age, then slow down after that.  So a favorite horse, even without having their age slowed or anything like that, should have a natural lifespan of at least a year real time.  There are also amulets you can get that will slow down, speed up, or even stop the aging of a a horse.  The only caveat is, if you stop the aging of a horse with an amulet, it can never breed again.  But you don’t have to lose that favorite horse, you can keep training them, competing with them, traveling with them, and doing everything else.

Horse Injuries:

There has also been an update that allows you get a preventive check at the vet, that will prevent one injury while out in the field.  This is helpful if you only have one fast horse (or one horse for that matter) because that way you can ride longer before having to go back. Injuries don’t happen all that often but are more common when riding on lava rock, ice crusts, or near cacti.

Biomes:

There are some more neat sub biomes now, like Winter Wonderland near Snow, Spooky Graveyards in Dark Forest, Beaver Chewed Trees in Bamboo Forest, and others.  You can also now collect driftwood on beaches to add to your stock of wood.  So it’s entirely possible to build a ranch without cutting down any trees at all.  Trees grow back pretty fast, but it’s a nice addition.

There are lots of new plants to discover too, like tea and coffee plants, sugar cane, different flowers, mushrooms, and much more.  I hope you decide to check out the game and see just how awesome this is.  Soon, little critters will also start populating the land, and not just rabbits.

If you are new and want a hand, feel free to contact me in or out of game.  My username is SandTiger and I’ll be maintaining a club in one of the new Jungle Biomes, so if you want some in game help, I’m there.

See you in the Infinite Wilds!

Jungle Path.PNG

The second and third days of Obon

Note: One of the more difficult things to do is to pin down exactly when this festival actually is.  Some parts of the country list it as “August 15.”  Others list it as “July 15.”  The difference comes from whether or not you follow the old Lunar calendar.

Now, I started these entries with the idea that one of the festival dates was August 15 in the Tokyo area, which logically should mean the last day of Obon would be on the 17th.  But Japan Talk lists it as ending on August 15!

So here I am, a little late to the party, but there are other years and perhaps one day I’ll get to celebrate the festival in Japan itself.

On the second day of Obon, the party really gets started.  There is dancing and drumming and good food and games.  It’s a colorful, summery event.

Per this article from the Huffington Post:

“The second day of Obon is spent celebrating the spirits’ homecoming. Towns build stages in the center, where dancers perform the Bon Odori, or traditional Obon dance. Although this dance varies regionally, it’s usually accompanied by traditional Japanese drums. Along the stage, booths of Japanese treats, games, and shops provide a festival-like atmosphere. Since Obon occurs in summer, many attendees wear traditional yukatas (light-weight kimonos).”

Sounds like fun to me!

For another perspective, and lots of great pictures, here’s an article from Japan Talk:

https://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/obon

Also, here’s a wonderful blog called Just One Cookbook, and the dedicated page for summer festival foods!  The instructions are great, so maybe you’ll want to try one soon.

https://www.justonecookbook.com/japanese-summer-festival-foods/

The last day of Obon

This is the day when the famous floating of the lanterns happens.  In many parts of Japan this now happens in ponds with no outlet, rather than on the rivers.  This is done for environmental reasons, but in the places where lanterns are floated down the rivers, it’s a truly beautiful sight.  See the two articles above for more details.

As the lanterns float away, spirits of beloved family members are bid a fond farewell, until the next year.

The first day of Obon

Obon, the Japanese festival of Souls, is one that I try to do a better job of observing every year.  It contains a lot of meaning that resonates with me and that only increases as more of my loved ones pass from the mortal realm.  This is a solemn but joyous festival that marks a time when beloved spirits are able to reunite with their families.

Three friends of mine have moved on this year, one I enjoyed talking to and worked with, one I was inspired by, and one who I loved as my own daughter.  So in my own way of honoring the Obon tradition, I will be posting links to good articles about it and making my own suggestions of ways to celebrate it.

Other names for Obon are the Ghost Festival and the Lantern Festival.

I have a couple of links with more information and will continue to post more.  I hope you enjoy them!

My first article comes from the Huffington Post contributor section and gives a good overview of what is done on each day.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/celebrating-obon_b_5991ab53e4b0ed1f464c0c88

In the days before Obon, the house is cleaned, flowers are arranged for beloved dead, lanterns are bought or made, and figurines are made out of eggplants, cucumbers, and disposable chopsticks.  Four disposable chopsticks are stuck into a cucumber to make a horse to symbolize the spirits coming quickly to the home, and the same is done with an eggplant to make a cow to symbolize the spirits leaving slowly.  I find this tradition very cute and a little funny.

From Haikugirl's blog.PNG
Borrowed from Haikugirl’s blog, click to go there

Here’s a short article about the horses and cows:

Obon – horses and cows?

From the Huffington Post article:

The first day of Obon is spent welcoming ancestral spirits home. Families place offerings of fruit, rice, green tea, sake and lotus-shaped sweets at the graves or family altars. Paper lanterns are hung round the house to help guide the spirits home. Some families carry lanterns from the graves back to their homes.

 

Some ideas about how to celebrate the first day of Obon:

Check out Youtube videos and articles about the festival

Visit a grave of someone you care about, and bring flowers

Light candles or lanterns and put them in the window

Hang paper lanterns

Tell happy stories about people who are gone

Display photos of people who have passed away, so you can see them and smile

The amazing pineapple cure!

There is an amazing new cure that has been discovered, which will bless all humanity.  The results speak for themselves.  In the words of Jane Shirtwhistle of Toledo, Ohio:

“I used to weigh 462 pounds on a 4’11” frame.  This was caused by eating fast food all the time and never using anything but the drive through.  I had acne everywhere, I didn’t want to leave the house.  I was tired all the time.  I couldn’t digest my food properly either and I was bloated for most of the day.  My life was miserable!  I tried doctor after doctor, medication after medication.  By the end of 2017 I was taking 23 pills a day with no relief.  My dogs were bored because I wouldn’t walk with them.   I wasn’t sure where to turn.

“Finally my best friend, who is a raw foods advocate and has an organic pineapple farm, convinced me to try the pineapple cure.  She sold me a juicer and showed me how to shave the rind and crown leaves into strands fine enough to consume.  It was pretty fibrous but I persevered, drinking lots of filtered water along with it.

“At first it was really hard, eating a whole, organic pineapple a day, and the strings kept getting caught in my teeth.  I wanted my burgers and pizza and french fries and everything else I was  used to.  But in less than a day, nearly all cravings stopped.  I added lemon to my water and the rest of them stopped.  I started sleeping through the night and my acne was gone within a week.

“After the first week of eating one whole pineapple and a gallon of a day, I noticed that my hair stopped falling out and my blemishes were going away.  My body felt nourished.  I started having energy.  My friend guided me to adding salads for my evening meal but she reminded me not to add anything else.  She explained that I started moving around more.

“It’s been six months since the pineapple cure.  I’ve lost over a hundred pounds and am still losing.  I’m able to just eat half an organic pineapple a day, along with a gallon of water and triple washed, organic vegetables and fruits that I grow in my garden.  I’ve learned that the skin of the pineapple and the leaves help replenish the nutrients that we no longer get with our nutrient poor, Westernized diet.  I am off all my medications and I’m once again enjoying walks with my dogs.  I feel energized, revitalized and like I am in control of my life again.  Thank you, pineapple cure!”

You, too, can be like Jane.  If you want to eat a whole organic pineapple a day, you can, and it will have incredible benefits.  But you no longer have to.  For just a few dollars a day, you can use our freeze dried and purified pineapple powder, certified to contain all parts of the plant for a nourishing, whole health solution.  It comes in easy to use packets that are convenient for work, home, and travel.  You will enjoy lymphatic purification, whole body fat reduction, a cessation to cravings, stronger, healthier skin and hair, and a revitalized outlook on life.  It is the easiest, safest, most convenient way to gain control over your health and your life.  Some of our successful patients have also reported that mood disorders have disappeared, and they no longer need psychiatric medications.  We offer a money back guarantee, but you won’t regret trying our pineapple cure!

Of course, this is not something I’m truly suggesting.  It’s an example of what happens when quack cures are supported by testimonial based “evidence.”  I wrote this up out of whole cloth to demonstrate the key warning signs to look out for when trying to avoid quackery.  It’s getting harder to avoid, too, because quacks are getting better and better at slinging believable sounding medical terminology.

Here are some things to look out for when watching out for quackery:

Authors who only have degrees outside the medical profession.  For example, one totally quacktastic book I just read was written by someone who started out as a chemist and then had “thirty years in private practice” with no mention of medical credentials.  Chemistry is important to biology, of course, but you also need a good knowledge of physiology and a host of other subjects.

Textwalls containing lots of big words that don’t necessarily go together.  Some quacks will try to dazzle you with twenty dollar words that they hope you won’t analyze.

Testimonials.  If there’s no mention of peer reviewed studies, watch out.  Testimonials are often just made up by an imaginative writer but they can be strangely convincing.

Mention of parasites.  For the sake of good taste, I didn’t include passing a giant worm as part of what my “patient” went through, but that often comes up.  When in doubt, gross ’em out!  It deactivates the logic centers in your brain.

An overly restrictive plan.  Most of the time when someone says “you can lose x amount of weight by only drinking some exotic shake, eating some exotic fruit, etc, you can look out for the sound of ducks.

Hearkening to the “golden age.”  The fallacy of the golden age is commonly used.  Though there is a grain of truth to it, there’s usually a lot of exaggeration meant to scare you into opening your wallet.  Basically, it boils down to “we eat and drink nothing but poisons now, it’s a wonder we’re not all dead, when just a hundred years ago the soil was clean and the air was clean and everybody was happy and the kids were all well behaved and nobody was fat and there was a rainbow every day.”

The “Cure” being an exclusive line of products.  Obviously, this is a clear sign that someone’s main interest is selling you something.

Medically significant conditions cured by insignificant actions.  Again, there is sometimes a grain of truth to this, but in general you aren’t going to cure a significant disease just by eating a certain food or taking a certain supplement.  Especially if that supplement only provides testimonials as proof.

Any mention of homeopathy.  Again, for the sake of good taste, I didn’t put that in the testimonial, but take a really hard look at anyone who advocates homeopathic remedies.  You can see why by looking at the history of the “remedy,” and The Economist featured a good article about it here. 

Remember – don’t believe me just because I said it, think about what I said and the examples I gave and see if it make sense to you.  We all owe it to ourselves to evaluate what we do with our own health, get a good understanding of what’s involved, and question things if they don’t make sense.