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Monday, March 5, 2012

The Twisted Hunt -- Pandora Drezelan reporting....

I have never been on a hunt, but after talking with Vasha Martinex the organizer of The Twisted Hunt™, I realized what a huge event it can be and just how much time and effort goes into putting one together.

Vasha talks about her early times in Second Life™ and how Twisted Hunt began:

‘I joined Second Life in May 2007, my Second Life rez day and my real birthday are exactly one week apart - so I usually take that week off from Second Life work to celebrate.’

‘At the time, I was working with someone who was into Second Life. He sent me a picture of himself at a club. He told me it was an industrial club, I love industrial and that convinced me to check it out.’

‘I really enjoyed exploring, especially once I figured out that everything I was seeing was created by the users.’

My partner Dysturbed Sins and I created DV8 which is a store - and it's how Twisted Hunt actually came about. We opened DV8 in December of 2008. We went looking for ways to promote the store, and finally decided on joining some hunts.’

‘As we began to look around though, we realized that all the hunts available were very... cute.’

‘A lot of our shoppers lamented the same thing - the hunts sounded like fun, but most of the prizes just weren't to their tastes. So, in March of 2009, we put together the first Twisted Hunt.’

‘We went to friends who owned unusual stores, goth stores, anyone who didn't fit the 'cute' bill and asked them to participate.’

‘It was our idea that it was time all us strange people had a hunt of our own, and 102 other merchants who were equally inexperienced not only agreed, but pitched in, over 7,000 people did that hunt.’

Vasha Martinex

And as far as what is actually involved in a hunt? Vasha tells us:

‘It starts with sending out the invitation to apply. We have a Twisted Designers mailing list at Twisted Headquarters, the invitation period generally lasts 2-3 weeks.’

‘We check every application, we're pickier than most when it comes to our criteria, but it helps us put together a star lineup of merchants for the hunt.’

‘Everyone works really hard to make Twisted a fantastic event. Once the stores are lined up and sponsors come forward, the details of the hunt are finalized.’

‘Signs with sponsor names on them go out, everyone's landmark is numbered and the prize box is created. Meanwhile, merchants are working on gifts (usually more than one), mazes and side games for people to play at their location along the hunt, souvenir items that make use of the hunt box, textures, or colors.’

‘When March 1st hits, the madness begins - hundreds of people start streaming through the locations, hunting prizes. The completely amazing Twisted Assistants immediately start gathering hints for the various locations.’

‘Most of the hint givers are just hunters who really enjoyed the hunt and stick around to help others get through it. And they do need the help - we didn't earn the nickname 'the hardest hunt in Second Life' for nothing.’

Vasha goes on to say what is accomplished in a hunt:

‘The accomplishment for us and many of the merchants is that it's an opportunity to provide a month of fun and prizes for all the people who keep us open the rest of year.’

‘As much as we started the hunt to give unusual merchants a place to shine, we also did it to give the people who shop those unusual stores an event to call their own, it's a way to show our appreciation for the shoppers who keep our doors open.’

‘Many merchants build mazes and puzzles and games with additional prizes for the hunters amusement. And, many merchants make yet one more prize for the endgame.’

‘Ah, the endgame.’

Twisted Headquarters

Twisted Endgame

‘The first Twisted Endgame actually came with the second Twisted Hunt - it was a boxy little maze and it took us a week to build it.’

‘Mostly we did it to add a little extra Twisted fun at the end of the hunt - a fun-house, actually. Moving walls, sliding doors, little tele-porters that couldn't always be trusted, as some moved you forward while others took you backwards, sometimes as far as making you start over again.’

‘This year's endgame is the most epic yet. It was built by Dare Munro - one of the hunt sponsors through Dare Designs. It is the largest ever, with four separate levels, it's a must-see.’

The Twisted website is just amazing. Vasha tells us more about it as well as the Twisted group:

‘I designed the website. Digital design is part of what I do for a living in my real life, so moving the hunt info to the website was just a natural progression.’

‘We do two Twisted Hunts a year - Spring (March) and Fall (September) - so twice a year I change the design to match the colors and theme for that season's hunt, update the information, etc.’

‘Once the hunt begins, we publish the entire merchant list in order, with SLurls linked - so it's a resource for hunters, too. If they aren't having fun at a location, or can't get to an adult sim, or just need to move on for any reason, they can open the participating merchants page, click on the name of the next store, and keep on hunting.’

‘We've added other things over the years, too - like Flickr™ Feeds, sponsor pages, and this year a Twitter™ feed using the hashtag #twistedhunt. We're also going to add a directory of Twisted merchants there - like, a business directory for any merchant who has been in the Twisted Hunt.’

‘As for the Twisted Hunt group... you kind of have to see it to believe it. Though the last hunt ended October 1st of 2011, we're starting the March hunt with nearly 4,000 people in the group - and they have been chatting on and off the whole time.’

‘We didn't separate the merchants into another group, we put everyone in one place, together - because we really wanted it to be one big Twisted family. And it is.’

There are many sponsors and people involved in the hunt Vasha says:

This year, these are the sponsors are:

Dare Designs
*Dilly Dolls*
+++ BLUE BLOOD +++
Avatar Bizarre
Kabuki Creations
Kastle Rock Couture
MiChiGaNs ShAcK
Yellow JesteR

Twisted Hunt Spring 2012 Promo Sign

‘We also have to mention a few people by name directly’

Samantha Zwickel, the Senior Twisted Assistant.

Dare Munro - who built the endgame, and custom designed the sign holder and special Twisted Hunt gachas this spring.

Snow Sweetwater (of Snow Bound)

BJ Barbosa (of Hearth & Home), and Paisley Dawes - all of whom have really helped with checking stores and signs and such - Their many hands have made light work, and they're awesome for it.

‘And, of course, my partner (first and Second Life) and co-organizer, Dysturbed Sin, who helped conceive of the hunt and has been with me every step of the way.’

Vasha speaks about the future of Twisted hunts in Second Life:

‘We will definitely keep doing hunts twice a year - and Twisted Krissmuss, the shopping tour we do in December to help people find good, holiday gifts.’

‘We've been told on multiple occasions that we're the best hunt in Second Life, and we appreciate those compliments. We plan to keep earning them.’

Vasha closes the conversation with some words regarding her real life:

I definitely spend a little too much time with my butt in a computer chair. I'd say the biggest way it's affected my first life... is that I met Dysturbed Sin in here.’

‘We started as casual friends in Second Life, but he just turned out to be someone I really connected with - and eventually, our relationship crossed into real life.’

‘Of all the things I've experienced in Second Life, that's still the best.’

Official Website:

Click on Lasombra to teleport

TY for reading,my name is Pandora Drezelan,reporting for The SLENquirer


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