Steampunk Second Life machinima -- drop-dead gorgeous

Wagner James Au sez, "This is machinima of the Bogon Flux, a beautifully ugly, totally strange, self-assembling, self-destructing, steampunky city comprised of rusty pipes and metal chambers. It's located in the post-apocalyptic Wasteland area of Second Life, so the filmmaker used 'London 2026,' a customized version of SL's atmosphere renderer which literally turns the air into dusty sepia. (At least from the machinima maker's point of view.)"

Man, this is the first SL machinima I've seen that crosses the line from "extremely promising" to "Holy crap!"

Mescaline's View: Watch "Pipedream", and Get the WindLight Preset It Was Made In (Thanks, James!)


  1. That is gorgeous! Wow, I never really managed to enjoy second life, but some of the things people produce inside there impress me greatly! The atmosphere renderer mentioned works so well

  2. You know, I still maintain an SL account in preparation for the day I figure out what to actually do with it. I log in about twice a year to see if anything has really changed. Hasn’t so far.

    However, this is cool.

  3. Hmmm… so in our steampunk future we’re all going to live in hamster cages?

    Maybe I should spray some rust over the windy tubes of little Michael’s cage — and that person with that shotgun may help stop him escaping…

  4. My friends made the Bogon Flux! So weird to see something I’ve played with on SL pop up as the latest item on my Boing Boing feed. That machinima is the most awesome thing that’s come out of there so far. I wish being in-world could look this good all the time for everyone, but unfortunately rendering quality (and the possibility to be blown away by it) depends a lot on your set-up and broadband speed, and also those weather effects are sadly still client-side only.

    If you ever log on wondering what’s a cool place to experience, I suggest you check out the Wastelands community, starting out with the latest swamp addition, the Malady Bog sim: or one of the privately owned sims in that same area:

  5. Ouch. Some hate for SL…

    It was kind of cool four years ago. I’m really surprised that it still looks and walks and talks like something that came from the 90s. I’m also saddened that something better hasn’t taken it’s place yet. There are some public/open projects taking place but mostly they look more primitive than SL.

    I remain hopeful.

  6. It might be irrelevant, but I disagree that it’s dead or gone. Death of its overblown hype in the media might make it appear so to the outsider, but all I can say is it’s very well carrying on without the silly, unnecessary attention. Although I think we may just be entering the phase where people finally stop announcing Second Life as though they were reporting discovering a brave new world or some new Mecca, in a world where pretty much no physical land is left to uncover.

  7. Very nicely done, indeed. Beautiful.

    I also have to agree with Daemon @ 5. I’ve always wanted a reason to go into SL frequently, but never found it. There needs to be a much cleverer 3d engine in it, so actual games and environment based challenges might exist. Right now it’s just a 3d-avatar chat room.
    If you don’t know anyone, or don’t feel like getting-to-know a lot of people, all you do is wander around feeling lonely, in usually abandoned areas.. Decent vehicles or the ability to make games and puzzles on your land would make the one-player-mode infinitly more playable.

  8. I’m curious about the music as well. It sounds a lot like Thievery Corporation, but I don’t recognize the song from any familiar album.

  9. There are actually pretty decent vehicules, like those created by AM Radio (1912 plane: or a 1930 Rat Rod: ), or the miniature coupé by Pandora Wrigglesworth that has a funny animation when you squish your avatar inside it.

    You can play some games like Go (Lex Neva made one sold in Suffugium), chess (Harmpie Rhode made an awesome chessboard with huge sculptie pieces and Liam Tairov made one you can play on your own), plenty other traditional games to be found if you search the grid, and then a prominent game maker is Giuseppe Spicoli who has created a variety of card game tables and other types of goofy games. He even hosts games shows like a sort of Blankety Blank every saturday evening in the Great Fissure that are a lot of fun. And you can always create games of your own invention if you learn scripting.

    Now when it comes to playing PC type games, SL’s pretty limited and it mostly boils down to just RP’ing in chat and running around with basic scripted weapons, yeah.

    But I think one can certainly go have fun in SL every now and then, provided you get to find where the cool stuff/people are, which does take some time and dedication, or someone willing to give you some pointers to get you started.

    I do agree that it’s still to this day virtual reality in its baby steps and there needs to be SERIOUS competitors for it as development of the SL viewer and improvement of the user experience seem to have been stagnating for a while.

  10. I hate to be an ass, but im simply unimpressed by this. Perhaps it’s the Second Life Machinima genra in general that I find to be lackluster (especially everything steampunk)… It’s great that people are being creative and utilizing a social networking application in a productive way though.

    I guess what im trying to say is that the only thing working for me here is the short segment of the “city” breaking apart and coming together; which is neat the first time you see it.

    the saving grace of this machinima is the environment engin. I’d recommend cutting pretty much everything “indoors” and everything from a 3rd person perspective. 1 min of video would do nicely.

    admittedly the first shot is really nice in all aspects….what happened after that?

    I’ll stop talking before i cause any more trouble…

  11. one of the creators just told me that the bogon flux is no longer at the sim it has been filmed at, but will be set up at its new location, the China sim, within the next few days.

  12. Too bad SL is an artistic dead end. Cool artwork tends not to last due to the bogus “virtual real estate” model of SL that requires payment for an arbitrary amount of *virtual* space, plus object limits within that space. Not to mention that it’s all proprietary data formats and scripts stored on SL servers, so moving a piece like this to another platform would be problematic at best.

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