- 1 Overview
- 2 2001 ~ Age of Beginnings
- 3 2002 ~ The Golden Age of Starbuilds
- 4 2003 ~ Progress and Corruption
- 5 2004 ~ The Darker Days
- 6 2005 ~ Healing and Isolation in the Labs
- 7 2006 ~ Discovery and Rediscovery
- 8 2007 ~ A Year in Reflection
- 9 2008 ~ The Great Age of Understanding and Advancement
- 10 2009 ~ Following the Dream
- 11 2010 ~ What A Decade Feels Like
- 12 The Way of the Starbuilder
- 13 Notable Buildings
- 14 Music Videos
Seiya (pronounced say-uh) is an Active Worlds citizen and builder who resides in various public building worlds, but mostly in Alphaworld. She calls her signature designs Starbuilds, which are usually found throughout 'the virtual wild' and in multiple cities. While Seiya doesn't actually belong to any city or group, she is however, more of an independent builder, building for different cities and assuming different roles. She is best known for her exotic designs and concepts, and for her massive technical contributions to structural building. Her virtual life has also been one of both infamy and intrigue.
2001 ~ Age of Beginnings
Virtual Baby ~ Sometime in February of 2001, I downloaded AW. I dont recall exactly how I heard about it, but my memory tells me I heard the url mentioned on the Oprah show. I then logged on for the first time, with the name Seiya. Now I picked the name because at that time, like most teenagers, I was going through a Japanese phase. If I remember correctly, Seiya is Japanese for starry mountain. So at first, the computer was very new to me, my family had just purchased one, so when I finally got my 'turn' I would look around for programs that would allow me to fly. After realizing I could fly in AW, I was absolutely content. Chatting with people and shifting through walls and flying around became boring to me about a month into my AW life.
Discovering a Passion ~ I had wanted to learn to build, I had heard about it, but it seemed so complicated to me. I only wanted to learn to build one simple thing; a sign, so I could write my name on it, and claim my piece of the internet. The internet being so new to me, as well as AW, it had never occurred to me to right click anything. Not able to find what to do, nor know who to talk to, I was just about ready to leave AW forever, until I met a kid named RC Dodge Viper. I met him in AWSchool and he taught me the very basics of building. He taught me how to build my first and most basic building. I vaguely remember what it looked like, I just remember it being like most first builds, semi square, poorly textured and misaligned.
The Conception of Starbuilds ~ RC gave me that good introductory lesson, enough to where I was able to go and learn on my own. To this day I wish I could meet him again and tell him thank you. So at that time AWSchool was my home, I spent most of my time there practicing my stone1 textured buildings. I dont know if it was because everybody had a signature name to their builds, at that time or what, but something inspired me to put on a sign the word Starbuilds next to my builds. It was nothing more than what I believe to have been a trend, but it is something that has stuck with me to this day as a signature to my designs.
Pursuing the Passion ~ The summer of 2001 for me was what I considered to be my first golden age. I had somehow discovered the vibrant communities of Alphaworld and AWTeen. I built in several different cities and by then my stone1 textured starbuilds had become popular among my friends. I spent alot of time trying to find the best builders, and see what made them great, I wanted to outdo them and be the best, my ambition far outshunned my talent. I remember I participated in various building contests back then, and competed with many talented builders too, as in those days building was very competitive, but I never was able to win any of them, I always came at second place and it fueled my passion to push myself harder and harder with each build.
The End of an Age ~ As fall rolled in, my parents made me stop using the computer lol. I left AW for a couple months It wouldn't be until I believe February of the following year that I would come back. And when I would come back, it would have been after the increased price hike, and the end of the early AW golden age. During that off AW time however, I first begun drawing houses on scratch paper in real life, and memorizing objects. It was clear that I was obsessed, and couldn't wait till I returned.
2002 ~ The Golden Age of Starbuilds
Awaited Return ~ I returned to AW sometime in February, I was fresh with new ideas and eager to get back to building. I still had alot of my friends around from my first year, though some of them did leave due to the price hike, AW as a whole was still a thriving community at this time. I remember being really excited seeing people there who were glad I came back, I felt that I was welcome, and this help fueled what I consider to have been my best year in AW.
Little Studios ~ Before I began developing laboratories (I will explain what those are in the next chapter) I would have what were these small studios. Basically I got it in my mind to step back and actually build something before I built it, just to see if I actually could build it. If I liked what I made, I would then go and rebuild it all over again on a different plot. This was a common method for me that took place often during contests. I would usually keep these places hidden for a while, and then invite in some friends, and those friends would invite in their friends, so I remember I always had these constant episodes of trying to find a place to build where people wouldn't find me. Now in these studios I was able to 'invent' little pole based toys and fixtures, which became popular among my circle of friends. These little inventions would later lead me to my first masterpiece.
Meeting A Life Long Rival ~ A contest held by a citizen named J o s h was taking place, I was entered in it, and so was a curious man named Ferruccio. Little did I know at that time, the impact he would have on my life. I dont remember exactly how it happened that we met, but he had this detailed build, and at that time in my virtual life, my starbuilds stuck out, and I was used to seeing the same old looking builds. But Ferruccio's builds stuck out too. I became instantly fascinated by his work, and I think he was fascinated by mine as well. We became really close friends at first and we shared eachothers techniques and ideas and whatnot. I owe much of my progress in building to the motivation that he inspired in me, we had a rivalry for years of which we both benefitted. It started out friendly, then for years became bitter, but at the current stage we have become close friends. I will talk about this more in the next chapters.
Starbuilds Factory ~ My first masterpiece I built was a place called the Starbuilds Factory. It was a place full of pole based fixtures and little inventions, it had an open layout, but it seemed like it was an inspirational place to the people that walked through it. Now I have always told people I originally started that whole silvmetal pole trend, but I am wanting my autobiography to have all the nitty gritty truth lol. So the truth is after all these years, no I never started the trend. My first rival, who I met in AWTeen in 2001, his name was TiberiumX, was the original inventor (at least that I know) he had all of those pole things in his builds and whatnot. Now yes my designs were original, but they weren't completely original, so all I did with the factory was take an idea from TiberiumX, and then perpetuated it. The factory no longer exists, it was actually deleted, but I will talk about that more in the next chapters. But for the time, my factory was a fun hangout, and I remember having alot of fun memories there.
Zion Epic Trilogy ~ After finishing the factory, I was still on a building high. What I did was develop this large environmental building that I called Zion Epic. Now basically what it was, was an interactive story, where you could choose what paths you go down, and invisible signs popped up which were supposed to be from the story. Revisiting it in my modern life, it is kind of embarassing, but for the time I received alot of praise for it. I figured since it was such a hit, that I would build a second one. Now the second Zion Epic was my favorite and best one in my opinion. I really was able to branch out my building style with it. It had environments for futurism, aliens, winter, Greece and so on. I think I inspired some builders to take up that interactive environmental building style. Like the environment wasn't just a static thing, but the actual build. Now after completing the second one I figured I would make a third one, and thus I completed my Trilogy. I think the triology is probably my most famed building. Most people that introduce themselves or comment on my work, always seem to mention the place. I kind of grew out of that style, but it is one of the few buildings of those days that I did not delete.
CYs and the Top of the World ~ October of 2002, I received a CY award for my Starbuilds Factory, in the area of environmental design or something. When I was first nominated, I was so excited and motivated to win, I put alot of effort into showing the place off and all of that, and when I did actually win (although I couldn't make the ceremony as I had to work) it made me feel I was at the top of the virtual world. I felt happier than I ever had been in AW. Putting that CY in my factory was one of my fondest memories for me here, to have been able to build something, receive the recognition and get the award was a dream come true. I didn't realize at the time, that while winning that CY was a real boost for my self esteem, it was also the beginning of my painful virtual end.
Many Adventures ~ I shared in many different adventures in 2002, I was in a bunch of different contests, I won some, I lost some, I remember the excitement of participating in different communities that were starting. 2002 really was the golden age for me, I designed alot of different starbuilds, and starbuilds had become a common name among public building worlds. I remember I would find alot of pleasure and fulfillment in just building. All good things come to an end, in retrospect, as I write this, I realize I spent many years of my virtual life here trying to regain and relive that golden age I experienced, once you get that fame, you dont want to give it up. And in those attempts, I led myself to the 'dark side'.
2003 ~ Progress and Corruption
Beyond the Dream The new year brought in a new understanding and perspective of AW. I had won the CY the previous fall, I had basically achieved everything I thought I wanted to achieve, and my time in the hot limelight had cooled down. Basically I was trying to find "what to do next?" Now I recall I had some kind of fascination with nature buildings, and I remember building a few things here and there under a nature theme. I discovered a world called TheBeans, which was a great public building world, and I had various contributions there. It was also a place that allowed the new all axis rotation, so many builders would experiment there.
Scripta Dreams ~ Out of one of my last studios, I came up with some new kinds of fixtures and toys that I fondly named "Femma" It was kind of like my own made up alien world, and it propogated me past that silvmetal pole trend I had for so long stuck with. I recall in those days I not only had an obsession with chasing the nature theme, but I also had an obsession with the alien theme as well, and I would always try to combine them. The place I came up with that attempted this was Scripta Dreams. It was basically an environmental build, much like Zion Epic yet a bit smaller and not as in depth. While the place was also deleted, I do remember that I made numerous attempts at nature realism, I tried to make fog through the nature section, and with the alien Femma theme, it was all coronas and masks. The nature theme and inspiration came from real life, as I live out in the woods, and have for most of my life. But the alien inspiration is something that has always been with me, and I am not sure why. I have always sided with the aliens in the movies and always rooted for them, and to this day most of my builds carry an alien undertone to them. So I think with Scripta Dreams, I really forged for myself what style I like. The place lasted only shortly, but Lensman did put one of his mazes out there, so it did receive some recognition.
The World Grows Dim ~ As stated early, in retrospect, my downward spiral in my earlier years stemmed from the fact that I had received more attention than I could handle, and I didn't want to let it go. With that in mind, I would end up yelling at people, and putting them down, saying I was better, my arrogance was great. I dont think I was ready for the attention the CYs and my sudden success with Starbuilds would bring me. So I write the following chapters with a bit of hesitation, but hopefully my history can serve as a warning to others. Anyways, one of the people I had really come down on was my friendly rival Ferruccio. I wasn't the only one skyrocketting, he too had blossomed into an incredibly gifted builder as well, and I think the jealousy I had really got a hold of me, as he began to beat me at every contest. I dont remember quite sure what I said to Ferruccio, but I know that it hurt him enough to the point that he would block my grams and not talk to me for nearly five years. I had alot of friends at that time, but most of them I scared away, I dont really justify any of my attitude back then, but I do acknowledge it, and admit that I had no direction in my real life, and that it seeped through into my virtual life, and I regret not having the self control to stop. I apologize to everyone out there I hurt.
Amanda Laboratory, the First Lab ~ Fueled mostly by jealousy but also curiosity, I developed my first lab. Now I used to have studios, but the age of the laboratory begun. Basically with these places, they were incredibly secluded, I wouldn't let anybody in ever, and I would make no hint to their location. So I ended up having this first lab, which would also become my largest lab up until 2008, with the advent of the Amanda Lab 2. So I spent most of my time in the early stages of this lab, and I would design buildings, experiment more with them, try out different textures and whatnot. I believe I started it sometime in March or April that year, but I came out with alot of creative uses and ideas that inspire builders even to this day.
The Advent of Full Axis Rotation in Alphaworld ~ The advent of full axis rotation changed the way I built forever, much like it did for most people. Here I was able to, from the safety of my lab, experiment and research all to my hearts content, without having to worry about travelling to TheBeans or AWTeen. I think by this time, my jealousy had worn off, but it wasn't completely gone. My rationality at that time was that I wanted to outdo my rivals through extensive research. The age of lab building had truly begun, the process of developing a design in a lab for a set amount of time, and then all of a sudden building it, was the new way of building for me. I recall spending alot of time trying to figure out how to build a geodesic dome back in those days. For the first time in my virtual life, I had known the feeling of coming up with something structurally new in AW. Most of the designs I built prior, were all inspired off of previous designs, they revolved around different textures or funky poles and cute themes. But I was now able to find originality in structure. This is something that has stuck with me to this day as well. The greatest success for me in that lab, was during the summer of 2003, when I finally was able to achieve a full geodesic sphere, and with that I developed a mastery over linear curves, and those crappy pp01 spheres people make lol.
The Doghouse ~ Towards the end of 2003 however, I came up with a structural environment I called the Doghouse. Now the place basically showed off, for what I believed to be the first time anywhere, a creative application of these full axis techniques. I had these half dome landscapes that were all over, I had a giant sculpted dog, (of which the original still exists in the Amanda lab) and I had my geodome in there, and bizarre angled homes and curved homes. It wasn't really a purposeful building, but more of an exhibition, and was themed as such, with lights all over and whatnot. I remember I spent alot of time wondering in my lab, what it meant to introduce that kind of building into the world. Its not that I was so far ahead of everybody, but rather I had never experienced what it is like to pursue building from a structural standpoint, I wasn't sure what to expect. When I did release it however, I did get alot of positive feedback, most people weren't completely sure how I did all of it. The biggest problem for me, for many years, which stemmed from the Doghouse, is that I had not yet developed a way to handle people using my techniques or discovering their own based off it. For instance, it used to be all about textures and the right masks and whatnot, when people saw it, they copied and pasted it, you really couldn't guard against someone. But with structural building, you dont always pick it up right off the back, so I found an intellectual and creative security in that. I think that discovery changed the way I built, as well as make me a bit paranoid and insecure, as it would have been a few years before I had developed a philosophy to handle someone using my techniques or coming up with their own based off mine. Now the Doghouse was deleted the following year, of which I will discuss shortly.
The Beginning of Infamy, and the Making of a Villain ~ The following is a subject of both humour and intrigue. Before I go on, I want to mention that I am not trying to convince anybody of anything, or saying the perspective of my life is the correct perspective for others involved. But I know there is alot of infamy and mystery behind me, the major one being my gender. So I want to document this from my perspective, as I consider this my autobiography, and that it is in fact MY perspective. So I will thus explain why I got into the things I did, and what exactly those things were, and I will let any reader form their own opinion. So as the Doghouse came to completion, most people in my circle of friends were a bit upset with me, I had either yelled or attacked them, or someone they knew. I was desperate for attention, very desperate, that I thought the best idea for me was to claim to everyone that I was a guy. Now I have 3 brothers in real life, I am the second oldest and the only girl, I felt at the time, that the one thing I could pull off well, is the deception that I was a guy. So I began to spend alot of time going all through the internet, making male emails, and leaving my 'male' traces everywhere, and then I went and told the community that I was a man. I then released the Doghouse a bit later, and felt that I had established all the attention I needed in order to make this place a big hit. I had no idea at the time what all of that would do to my reputation, and in the end would become one of my biggest regrets of AW. I believe within a month or so after claiming all of that, I then went out and said it was all fake, that I was truly female. But all the traces I left on the internet in my pursuit to convince everyone I was male, would work against me. People no longer had any trust in me, and I became the laughing stock of all of AW, that even to this day I still get harassed. Again in my more mature perspective, it really doesn't matter to me what someone thinks about me, if you were to ask me what the truth is, I would tell you that everytime I check, I am a female, but if you felt in your mind that I was man, or an alien, or a furry or whatever, then I wouldn't try to convince you otherwise. The infamy surrounding me lies all in the perpetual stories and rumours and legends that stemmed from my big lie, but back then, my attempt to fix my mistake would lead to me the darkest time in my AW life, and turn me into a villain.
2004 ~ The Darker Days
A Villain is Born ~ 2004 would become my worst year in AW, and I really had only myself to blame. Now I did have some difficult things going on in my real life that I think might have fueled some of this, but thats no excuse for my actions. Now I do believe in AW there exists both heros and villains, and I do acknowledge that I was in fact a villain in these days. I dont remember the exact moment, but somehow I decided that since everybody sees me as this freak or joke, that I would just live up to it. I had given up on trying to fix my social suicide, and then realized that the only thing that mattered to me was getting everyone back. Now I participated in vandalism of tourist builds, as it made me feel better, and I remember I somehow got a ppw from a citizen known as AlaskanShadow, and I then went and deleted her build. Now I did pay a price for that from AWI, as I had my cit banned for a while, but in retrospect I have always felt really bad for doing that, its one thing to delete nooby tourist builds, but its another to delete a citizen's builds. They put their heart into it, and their time, and if I ever ran into AlaskanShadow again, I would offer her my utmost apologies for doing that. Among other things, I recall cussing out SW City executives for reasons I have no idea, but that was another big mistake in my virtual life, as I burned any bridges of having a healthy relationship with those guys who are now the most vibrant independent community. Alot of times I wonder how would my life had been if I had maintained peaceful relations with them, maybe I would have contributed something wonderful there. But the past is the past, and for all those who were infected by me back then, I am truly sorry. In my later maturity, of which I will tell, my darker days, years down the road would inspire me to push myself beyond.
Lonely Days, and Misguided Ambitions ~ I retreated to my Amanda lab, and would sit around and respond to forum threads or telegrams with the usual childish attitude. But you find when the whole world is against you, it can be awfully lonely. I regret the fact that I spent most of 2004 worrying and thinking about my reputation, and I gave too much into what people thought about me. Doing that caused me to really put a hold on the development of my own creativity, but I wasn't completely void. I had various designs and things built back in 2004, but many of them were misguided. Ferruccio in that year won a CY award for his mansion, and that made me more envious than before, he still was ignoring me (cant blame him) but I would sit and watch him build these gorgeous log homes and whatnot, and rather than pursuing my own idea, I went and copied all of his work. Most of my designs from 2004 were all attempts at copying Ferruccio's style. I didn't realize it at the time that my attempt to outdo him was in fact greatly stifling my own creative development. Those days were the worse, thats when all of the people in my life, former friends and whatnot began to really blossom and surpass me in everyway, socially they were forming stronger communities and I had realized my attempts to get back at people was only getting at myself, but I ignored it and kept trying and pushing myself to get back at everyone.
I Will be the Best Builder ~ I am pretty sure I actualized this mentality earlier in my virtual life, but it became a complete obsession in my virtual life in 2004 when I was a villain. Competition is not a bad thing, as the time of AW I was born in, seemed to me to be a really competitive environment. Competition was well beyond the healthy stage and was skyrocketting into the massive ego maniac stage. I really couldn't see what anybody was building, it was all tunnel vision for me back then, and I promised myself that I will outdo everybody and become the greatest builder. It wasn't in a healthy ambitious sense as I had when I first began, but in a bitter sense. I believed somehow if I were to outbuild everybody that I could then slam it in their faces and be like gotcha! I had a very misguided view on AW, and while I thought I was getting back at everyone, I was only hurting myself.
Building like a Villain ~ Now I did of course come out with a couple nice builds here and there, I definitly wouldn't say they were my best, as they were motivated purely out of a desire to outdo, and out of jealousy. I had stuck in Alphaworld for a good few months, and the cell space there was getting to me, so I moved to AWTeen for a while. Now I did create this curved building back then, as well as my own version of a log home, both of which were unique, but sadly deleted. I remember I also built this purple dome in TheBeans competition, of which was a large contest, and I think I got like last place. Nobody votes for the villain lol. I think I also participated in a contest where you build your own beach home, again I didn't place. I actually built quite a few things back then, but as I will soon explain, most of them were deleted.
The Great Starbuild Tragedy ~ The biggest highlight of my darker days, was when I went out and deleted many of my builds. Now at this time I did have a building index. The index held over 100 links to different starbuilds I had made over the years. I went to nearly each teleport and deleted what was there. Finding any builds of mine from 2004 or before is rare. I acknowledge this now, as the single most greatest regret in my virtual life, and if I had anything I could have never done in AW, it was this. I deleted not only almost all of my builds, but I deleted my history, the remnants of my time and my creative passions. And everytime I login and begin at my index, I am reminded of it. All the builds I mention on my autobiography being deleted, were all deleted by me. The Doghouse, Scripta Dreams, nearly a hundred starbuilds, and most regrettably, my beloved Starbuilds Factory, along with the CY award. I think I might actually be the only person to have ever deleted their own CY award and build. I might have actually had it revoked, as in modern times I cant seem to find any evidence of me ever winning it lol. I dont really know my motives behind doing all of this, I know that in my real life I had been going through a depression, and I think somewhere in my mind it made sense to go and delete all of them. As I said earlier, deleting other peoples builds made me feel great, but when I deleted my own, it made me feel even greater. It saddens me still to this day, not so much that I had anything great out there, but moreso that I would love to go back and see my earlier designs and reflect on them.
Amanda Lab Opened, a Cry for Help ~ By then, all kinds of infamous legends and myths revolved around my gender lie, my obsession with being the best builder, as well as going off and deleting all my builds, I believe that I was probably the most hated and harassed citizen to ever grace AW. And I only had myself to blame. Now the only thing I had in my virtual life at that time was my secretive Amanda Lab, and I was about to delete it, my mentality was that I might as well delete it all and just sit there and feel sorry for myself. I remember I made a forum post inviting people in so they would come and visit me before I go and delete it. I continued building in that lab I think until the end of that year, I realized that my cry for help had really been a cry for attention, and what I really wanted was more people around to attack by saying, "look at what you are unable to build." I could only find happiness in AW through stepping over others and promoting myself. It would take me a few years till I was truly able to overcome myself.
The Dawn Slowly Comes ~ After opening my lab, and realizing that the attention that came with it was only short lived, I soon decided I would open up a new lab. The worse was over, and with the approaching new year came also a new lab. The daily grind of harassment and me harassing back really started to wear down on me, so I let up for the most part, though I beleieve I had some other smaller episodes. As 2004 came to an end, I remember feeling a great void and unfulfillment that followed my pursuits in those years.
2005 ~ Healing and Isolation in the Labs
Starting Over ~ Before I begin, I want to note that my memory isn't really the greatest in the world, so if I am off by a year, or have some event incorrect, then I apologize, and if it is drastically off then let me know so I can correct it. But I base most of my autobiography on the sentiment and personal progression behind the years, and my memory is not vague with that. That being said, I remember towards the end of 2004 and beginning of 2005, with the opening of my new lab, the Mandy lab, that I felt a bit of structure in my virtual life. Luckily there was structure going on in my real life as well. Now the Mandy lab didn't last for very long, as I made the mistake of inviting a friend, who then went and told some other people. Now my current state of mind back then, was I no longer cared so much about the harassment or how people perceived me, but the biggest struggle back then was my inability to get past my arrogance, I still sat around all day telling myself I was better, and I pursued it as such.
The Design Journal ~ Now towards the end of 2004, and the beginning of 2005, in my real life I bought a journal and started to draw out my designs. This for me was very fundamental, it was the first time in my life that I began to draw out house designs, and then attempt to build them. I found this to be very therapeutic in retrospect, because it forced me to focus more on my own designs, and I believe it got me out of the creative rut I was in, with copying Ferruccio's designs. I didn't realize at the time of starting my design journal, that it would lead to some of my greatest designs and discoveries, but I do recall taking it with me to work and all around and spending alot of time in it. I bring this up to say that these journals in a way function like an off-AW lab, a two dimensional place to draw up three dimensional designs.
Amy Lab and the Mystery of the Spiral ~ 2005 most notably for me was a year that I really begun to pursue more complex designs and forms. Now I went out and begun a newer and secret lab called the Amy lab. By now you probably notice a name theme, well my real life name is Amanda, and thus most labs are named off of deviations of my name. Anyways the Amy lab pursued spirals, and they became a real demon for me in a way. It all started back in the Amanda lab, sometime in 2003, I think I attempted a spiral, and at the time it was such a mystery that I put it off. I remember thinking to myself "why should I not pursue the spiral?" Back then, as far as I know, it was really only me and Ferruccio who pursued the spiral. He had a really nice way of doing floors, and his spiral floors predated mine, but I had a nice way of doing walls which predated his. I think to myself now how I wish we could have worked together on it, we probably would have really made alot of progress. But truth be told, back in 2005 my builds still had a Ferruccio style to them, they all had that rock2 texture and were all semi log home angled. Now when I really sat back and pursued this spiral, I came up with alot of things that didn't really make any sense, like building became a great mystery, but I was determined to figure it all out. Now all in all, I believe the only real actual techniques I produced through that, after all of my effort, was simply a better way to do spiral walls, and then I mastered Ferruccio's technique to do spiral floors. In that lab I also attempted some other stuff, but when I look back at it I really only can remember pursuing that spiral, and trying to find an overall spiral technique, but I was so off. Now I do believe people, mainly the SWians started using spirals in their infrastructure, but it was later into 2005, I think Ferruccio introduced that technique to them.
Lost Marbles in the Lab ~ Alot of times I ended up doing crazy experiments in my lab, things that in retrospect make no sense. One of them is in the Amy lab, where I have these pads, that when you step onto them, it will bring up a certain pattern. If you clicked on the builders name, the builders name of course was deviated, it would bring up their design. Now again while I wasn't so much into harassing and fighting the community, I still was on this quest to be the best, I still had that arrogance. What I did was visit different buildings, try to break them apart to their very abstract, and in doing so try and 'steal' a builders creativity. I think thats why I had such difficulties back then trying to understand spirals and whatnot, is because my mind was still stuck on such a warped view. Also I was coming out of my depression back in those days, so that may have led to some aesthetic nonsense lol.
The Age of Labs ~ Now back in 2005, I went on to make a couple more labs, these labs are all smaller labs, but I believed rather than having one giant, I would have smaller more dedicated labs, that way if it was discovered, I wouldn't lose everything. I produced a couple of nice builds after learning some spiral techniques in the Amy lab. Most notably the Neanderthal residence. I think it might have actually been the first spiral based house in AW. But for the time it was my masterpiece, it was relatively small, but it offered a very new and unique type of structure. It is one of the few buildings from back then that I am still proud of. So after doing these things, I then decided I needed to work on my landscaping techniques, so I opened up the Randulma lab. Basically it is this giant open field that has a hill built into it. I tested out some new landscaping techniques as well as what would spirals look like when implemented into the landscape. Another lab I opened up was the Randulma lab 2. This lab would eventually turn into my personal demon that caused me to quit AW for a time, as I will discuss in the next chatper. Now the Randulma lab 2 basically devoted itself to trying to really understand spirals, as I ran into so many different mysteries and concepts in the Amy lab, I wanted to start over and focus on just spirals.
The New Starbuilds Index ~ Now I actually decided to once again establish a starbuilds index, a place where I could take my buildings and link them all together at one place. The one I made that year is now the current one of today. So I spent some time salvaging what was left of my old and now deleted index. But I had only a dozen or so builds. From there I spent some time also building new ones for the place. At this time my philosophy behind starbuilds became something that made it into awnews.org. I had taken up the belief that a builder should advertise to the city, rather than the city advertise to the builder. This is what propelled me to go outside the lab, and move outside of my isolation and back into the community. I was a bit scared but it turned out fairly well.
Outside the Lab, and the Dying of a Villain ~ I recall spending some time in AWTeen, as I had spent most of the year in those new sets of labs, and becoming really frustrated with it, I really wanted to go out and build something publicly. So what I did was build this place called Residence Magnulma, in AWTeen. I also built I believe, a post office for Cypress Hollow. I think it was significant for me to do all of that, because I had given myself some time to heal. And while still alot of people had it in for me, alot of them also were eager to welcome me into their community. And those couple of builds I did make, they were more unique in their design, and weren't copying any of Ferruccio's style, as I had done for so long. So the healing came to me in the real world, for overcoming my depression, and I believe it also slowly came to me for healing my creativity. Going out and doing those builds was a blessing in disguise for me, as I was able to go back into the community, and see not all of them were standing there with their claws out. By then the villain that I used to be was bleeding out, and dying, and that was something I was really excited about. I remember the people I was building for back then being really accepting of me. I think it was Hyper Anthony and some of his friends, I am not completely sure, but I owe them alot of thanks to this day for just simply letting me build and not condemning me. It showed me that I am not completely ruined here, and that there are good people here who will forgive and move on. I think by them simply acknowledging me as being human, and not calling me an "it" as I was commonly called, pretty much destroyed and finished off what was left of that villain within. It only took a little bit of decency to convince me that deep down I am not a villain.
A Short Hiatus ~ Now I left AW for a couple months, I think maybe sometime in the fall of 2005, due to real world obligations and whatnot. But before all of this I remember feeling like I still had so much more I wanted to do here, and so while I did eventually leave for a while, I did plan on returning. My present state of mind that I can remember having when I left in late 2005, was that I was more content with where I was in my virtual life. I realized back then I wouldn't be able to re-achieve the golden age. But I still wanted to perpetuate and pursue my own creativity.
2006 ~ Discovery and Rediscovery
Returning and Rediscovering ~ Now I returned back to AW sometime in February or March 2006. 2006 was my shortest year in AW, and it was also kind of an odd year for me too. By then I was long past being a villain, and was now kind of lying on the neutral side. I settled into the Randulma lab 2, and spent most of my time that year in there. I was still a bit of a loner, but I had gotten past the stage of feeling lonely, and rather developed into being content with it. To this day I still feel most comfortable building alone and being alone.
From the Journal to the Virtual Part of what really propelled me to return to AW, was that since I had left AW the previous year, I had put alot of time into my designs in my journal. So for the first time I really began to try and build them. Now I discovered something very fundamental, but absolutely simple to most people. Having no more than an elementary level understanding of math, I discovered that two points are connected by a straight line. I recall even telling this great discovery to one of my friends at the time, and they laughed at me lol. But without that proper foundation, it came to me later in life. I had no idea the basic and fundamental concept I discovered, would eventually propel me to complete frustration, which would then become the demon of the labs.
The Demon from the Lab ~ So why this became a demon for me, was because with my newfound discovery of two points being connected by a straight line, I was able to come up with this funky little spiral. It consisted of wall objects, and it basically had a continuous smooth surface from beginning to end. So this time in my life I think was my first serious attempt at really pursuing complex designs, and I had various things there that were very new, but yet I had no idea what they were. While Amy lab did pursue spirals, I remember I spent alot of time unfocused and just messing around in the Amy lab. I really remember putting alot into this. It was a bit odd back then because the most complex thing I could build, was a spiral, and even then, it was a really simple spiral. What I was really looking for was an overall theory or concept of design. And I can really remember wondering what put everything together, how everything worked from a structural standpoint, I had become sick and tired of straight line curves and simple spirals. I had alot of designs now in my journal, of which consisted of forms that were beyond my ability at that time. Visiting the Randulma lab 2 you would see some odd things in there, that seemed to really be the spark of something new, but then ended there. It wouldn't be until next year that I would develop an understanding to pull it all together.
Rediscovering Starbuilds ~ Now I had decided to stick with my whole starbuilds idea, and wanted to add more designs to my index. By then I had a couple friends who were glad to see me back in AW, and I advertised to them to let me build in their city, and they complied. So I went out to AWTeen again, and built a couple of nice builds there. But I eventually came back to Alphaworld, and made what would be my last starbuild for a long time.
The Demon Bites ~ I decided to start this lab called Sioneta lab, which would become my smallest lab. I really didn't make any progress whatsoever there. It was basically my last ditch effort at trying to finally understand what it all means in terms of structural building. It was really hard for me to find any creativity, because all of my creative designs from my journal required an understanding of more complex forms. And I was absolutely done with building those quaint novelty builds.
The Desert Begins ~ Now I had alot of things going on in my real life, and coupled with the frustrations and dead ends I kept running into in my lab, I decided I was done with AW. So sometime in April that year, I logged off AW for last time. Like all other times before it, I just logged off and never said goodbye, I hate goodbyes. I had no clue when I logged off that I had set my first foot into what would become my creative desert. The rest of the year, while off AW, I did keep drawing in my journal, and coming up with new designs. I remember very clearly, the second half of 2006, just being so busy in my real life, and wishing so bad I could come back and build, I needed the creative and intellectual fulfillment that only AW could provide. While my time away from AW was difficult, it did end up being one of the best things for me.
2007 ~ A Year in Reflection
Time in the Design Journal ~ Alot happened in my real life, the second half of last year, and all through this year. But in regards to AW, I had been very busy working on designs in my journal. Now as I said earlier, I really believe being away from AW that long actually was the best thing for me. So in my design journal I came up with alot of different designs, and also I came up with a bunch of different concepts and theories about form. For the most part, I had enough hypothetical ideas to keep me going for a while, that is if I ever returned to AW. That time in my life I never really knew if I was. My passion for architecture had long been established, but my passion for architecture went beyond the papers, and I felt that I would only find true fulfillment in that area, as a digital architect. So the first time in my life that I considered myself a 'digital architect' or 'virtual architect' was from this year, and its a term I use to this day. I mean dont get me wrong, I love AW, but its not so much the program itself I love, but rather what the program allows me to do, that is what my passion is.
Heartbreak ~ Now 2007 in terms of my virtual life, was uneventful as I did not exist, but in real life, it was very turbulent. I wont go too much into my real life, as this is my virtual biography. But I will document the following, as I think it will help one to understand a bit better. So I was actually engaged to be married in 2007. I thought I had my future all figured out, but what happened was my then fiance' cheated on me. I caught him in the act, and that same day I broke up with him and the wedding was off. It was a very depressing and difficult time for me, and I never knew what a true broken heart felt like until that day. I ended up getting myself into alot of trouble to try and get the pain out of my mind. I think I mentioned before in the forums once, that I had gone a long time sober. Well the history behind that, is that I had gotten myself into alot of alcohol and drug abuse. Due to support from my family and friends, as well as support from the AA program, I was able to break free from all of that.
Remembering a Passion ~ For the most part I had arrived at a place where I was feeling like I had moved on past the break up. I had learned how to structure my life and overcome addiction, so all things being considered, while I still felt some pain, my life was looking better. Now AW had been out of my mind for a while, If you were to ask me in those days about AW, I would have told you it was without a doubt, a closed chapter in my life. But in rediscovering myself, and overcoming the pain, I took a look at my design journal and thought back to a happier time. I began to start drawing again, and found myself drawing and conceptualizing as though I never stopped. I believe if you have a true passion for something, you never really lose it.
I Will Find a Way ~ After remembering my passion for architecture, and spending alot more time in my design journals, I realized that I had reached a point where I was no longer content drawing in the journal, and I began this undeterred motivation to come back to AW. For me it seemed so impossible, as I had serious financial problems. During my recent depressed time, I would go and buy ridiculously priced things, in hopes it would make me feel better, sadly it left me with immense debt. I wasn't able to conceive any way to come back to AW, till I remember very clearly, that I was in the shower one evening, and all of a sudden it struck me! Why dont I download AW onto a flashdrive, and then use that? And it worked! And to this day, it is still my current setup. Now I dont actually own a computer. Anytime you see me online, im either using my mom's computer, my work computer, or mostly the public library computer. So yes the flashdrive setup does make sense for my situation. So the excitement was on, I had found a way to get back to AW!
Anticipating the Return, The New Starbuilder ~ It would be a little while before I was actually able to test my flashdrive setup, and I remember being really nervous, and was thinking "please work, please work, please work!" The whole idea of actually coming back and building these designs from my journal was exciting. Now I remember promising myself sometime in 2007, that if I ever did have the opportunity to be a digital architect again, whether in AW or wherever, that I would not hold myself back. By then, I had a completely different mentality about my past philosophical and personal struggles with AW. Recall that in my earlier years, I was always stuck on this conquest to be the best builder. But by this time, I had become very exposed to the real world, and to the fact that everybody has a gift. So while I would like to say I had some great paradigm shift, and was visited by divine insight, the truth is, I just really did alot of growing up in the past year and a half. For example I remember in the earlier AW years, I couldn't bear the fact that someone could build better than me. But at this time in my life, for the first time, I was able to accept the fact that the subjectivity found in art and building, wasn't something to fight against, but rather something to embrace. Everyone is different, and the only real travesty is to not follow your own gift. That is why I found so little creative and intellectual fulfillment back in the day, because I was following Ferruccio's gift, and not my own. So I promised myself back then as well, that the new starbuilder would never forget this fact, which was forged during my time of quickly growing up. I didn't know at the time however, that embracing that newfound philosophy would propel me, to an unbridled passion for building, unlike anything I had ever experienced before.
2008 ~ The Great Age of Understanding and Advancement
The Return ~ So I walked into the public library, plugged in my flashdrive, and I logged onto AW for the first time under that setup, and it worked. Now initially I wasn't completely sure how long the setup would run for. So I spent a couple of days just exploring different builds and I am really glad I did that. I had fresh eyes. So I looked at alot of builds done by various builders, and I really was able to just take in the incredible achievements by other builders. It was a very humbling time for me, as well as a great opportunity. After seeing all this, I realized that the true best builders were in fact the ones that followed their own gifts. And that I would be sure to do the same.
Meet Finessa ~ Perhaps the only secret I had when returning to AW, was Finessa. Now initially I didn't logon to AW and re-introduce myself to everyone. I did that later into the year. What I did was logon under a new citizenship I named Finessa. I did this because I had so much motivation and determination to get back to building, that I didn't want to jump back into the social aspect of AW just yet. So this is the first place I have announced this. So to anybody who is wondering, while I said I came back to AW in the summer of 2008, the truth is I came back January of 2008.
Understanding ~ Now sometime in January, a few days after returning to AW, I went and created what would then become my largest and most advanced lab to date. The Amanda Lab 2. In here, I now had a place to finally test out all of the concepts and designs that I had been drawing for the last year and a half. And I was met with great success. Now I had such an overwhelming passion and obsession with building, it seemed like every day I was coming up with something new, and proving a structural technique as theorized in my design journal. I would spend hours every day after work, in the library on the public computers, and I would spend every weekend there for months. The biggest highlight for me at the early stages of my lab was when I finally reached the point to where I was able to understand all of the things from my previous labs, especially the Randulma lab 2, that had driven me to frustration. I had great excitement, because focusing solely on my own gift, and pursuing my own designs propelled me to have absolute clarity. I was then able to achieve what I wanted for so long, a universal understanding of all design. I was now able to clearly grasp all the problems that were first encountered in all the previous labs.
Meeting the Zhaa ~ Now I was a couple months into my return, and I had nobody whatsoever in my virtual life. I had been so busy working in the new lab, and I just didn't talk to anybody at all, I stayed isolated in my lab. I had of course trolled the forums daily, trying to get back into the loop of the community, and thats when I first heard about Bach Zhaa. I was somehow intrigued by his designs, to this day I really cant say what propelled me to introduce myself, but he had this mysterious curiosity about him. So I introduced myself to him. I didn't tell him who I really was at first, but he actually guessed it nearly right away. The funny thing about that, was that he too had a fascination with me, he had built some kind of outpost outside the original Amanda lab, in order to study my work there. We found eachother, and both had a mutual fascination for one another. That bizarre mutualism led me to tease ocassionally, saying that he "summoned" me back to AW lol. He went on to become my best friend to this day, as well as one of my most respected mentors. So up until I re-introduced myself to the community, he was one of the only few that knew I was around.
Advancement ~ So while I had finally figured out and solved all the problems that were discovered from my past labs. I had yet to push them further. Now I was ready to pursue more of the complex ideas in my design journal. An important thing that I wanted to mention, recall that in past chapters I said I only pursued structuralism because of its security. Well the mindset I had behind that had already been changed. I wasn't still pursuing all of these complex techniques so I could hide behind them, as I did in the past. But rather I embraced the fact that in order to achieve a design, I would have to first understand how to actually build that design. So what this means, is that my mentality was that the art and creativity was in the actual designs themselves, and not so much in the way the designs were built. A technique is nothing more than a means to a design, and the design is where my passion lies. Many new ideas were propogated, and I was met with success again in pursuing even more advanced techniques. After a couple months, I now felt ready to finally begin my first starbuild in two years.
Seeing Me for the First Time ~ At this time, I then stopped my subscription on my Finessa account, as I was ready to logon to my real account, Seiya. So I began my upcoming builds on this account, as well as continuing the rest of my new lab. Seiya had finally officially returned. And with that, was also the implemenation of custom avatars, cavs. Cavs would change my life forever. Originally I knew they were coming, and I thought I wouldn't ever bother, I was perfectly content with my Jenna av. But when the cavs finally came out, I thought "why not try for fun?" So I decided to model my cav after myself. I remember when I finally completed my virtual self, and looked at myself standing there in 3d, it absolutely changed me. I really dont have words to describe it, but I felt like, as odd as it sounds, that after all of these years, I was finally looking back at myself. This fueled in me an almost uncontrollable drive to push myself. Seeing myself in AW, walking around, and all of that, just became this obsession. I really cant understand all of the psychology behind it, but to this day, actually seeing myself in AW, motivates me everytime. I think the reason behind it, as best as I know, is that in real life, I always look at myself in the mirror, and at the beginning of each day I say "you can do this, you are gifted, you are strong." And I think seeing my virtual reflection somehow reiterated this in my virtual self.
Orgasm Versus Crystal Crush ~ I needed to find some land, to start my new starbuild island that I would call 'Orgasm vs Crystal Crush.' I originally had planned on doing an island with three builds on it. I only ended up doing two builds on that island, and fondly said they are versing eachother. So I founded the place, and I was successfully able to implement my newly developed landscaping techniques here, the island itself was looking good, and it was ready for its starbuilds.
Crystal Crush ~ If you were to ask me today what my personal favorite, as well as most difficult build was, I will tell you it was this one. Crystal Crush for me was the final starbuild to an age. I put more thought into that design than any other design I had before. It used alot of angles, and free form techniques. It was bizarre building it, in the sense that I had for so long wanted to actually be able to build something like this, and here I was, actually doing it. The design came straight out of my design journal, it was really strange walking through it too, because this particular design had been in my journal for a couple years now, and it was often a surreal feeling being able to walk through this thing that only existed on paper. Now I was also able to implement my own 2 bit adder. I consider it my first artificially intelligent build, as the 2 bit adder, based on how you entered the home, would determine what the interior crystals looked like. Very simple stuff, but I thought for someone who doesn't do any programming whatsoever, it was a quantum leap. Now while I say it was the final starbuild to an age, is because the scale command came out within the same week I completed it. And building for everyone, would never be the same.
Re-Introduction ~ I technically re introduced myself three times since I came back, the first one was with Finessa, the second one was when I logged onto my old Seiya account, and the third was when I did it publicly. I had not yet publicly reintroduced myself. But most of my closest friends knew I was around. Now I was finally able to meet Ferruccio again. By now, he had perpetuated himself into the most advanced and gifted builder I had ever seen. I was absolutely fascinated and mesmerized by his more recent designs. I was really excited and relieved to see that he forgave me for the years of harassment I put him through. We actually developed a close friendship, and he offered me alot of encouragement to build. I was really excited to show him my new builds when I finished them, and I was really happy to no longer have him as a nemesis. I jokingly call him my rival, but we both arrived at an understanding that our styles have diverged so much, and that we both are our own individuals. We have a great appreciation of eachother, as we both propelled eachother to push beyond ourselves. He will always have a place in the development of creativity. I then by this time reintroduced myself back into the community, so officially I had returned, and for the most part, people were glad to see me back.
The Advent of Scale ~ Scale, was without a doubt the single most greatest feature added to AW. If you look at any building after scale came out, compared to the years before, you will notice immense change. It was something that changed every builder out there. It came at the most perfect time for me. I had just finished Crystal Crush, and though I was very tempted to go back in there and scale everything, I didn't. I wanted to leave it as it was, to say goodbye to the age before scale.
Orgasm ~ Now the second build I did on the Orgasm vs Crystal Crush island is, you guessed it, Orgasm. Now this build in particular was very new, just as Crystal Crush said goodbye to an age, Orgasm said hello to the next. This is mainly why I left it as two builds rather than three on that island, I felt it was most appropriate. Now Orgasm used free form techniques I developed in the Amanda Lab 2. But scale just really helped me out alot. Scale in general changed my buildings forever. But particularly with Orgasm, free form prior to scale, I already had developed a good understanding of how it worked. But it was so imprecise and choppy looking, and used alot of cell space. But with scale, I was able to fix this and upgrade my current free form so that it was smooth and didn't overlap. Now Orgasm also came out of my design journal, and building it was really alot of fun and a real bizarre thing as well. Honestly, while I was building Orgasm, I felt like I couldn't believe what I was building, seeing this design come to life straight out of my journal just mesmerized me. I had never built in that way before, and I used a very exotic set of textures and themes. So upon completing Orgasm, and being able to reflect, I was then able to see that no matter what anybody ever told me, that I was in fact unique and creative, and that I truly was able to push myself, beyond myself.
Starbuilds is Back ~ At the end of the year, after completing Orgasm vs Crystal Crush, I then eventually released it, and it would be the first starbuild anybody had really seen since I returned. I didn't receive a whole lot of attention at first as I released it around the holidays. (Bad idea by the way lol) But over the new year, it would receive more attention. I wasn't really too disappointed by not having everyone praise me over it. I think for the most part, people enjoyed it, though the place does have a bizarre and off look to it. The most important thing for me however, was the fulfillment I had found in completing it. I promised myself the year earlier, that I would push myself hard when I came back, and I did. And I had alot of pride in myself for being able to persevere and push beyond myself to start and finish it, and to finally feel that I did things the right way. I wasn't motivated by any kind of negative ambitions, I had no problem holding my virtual tongue when I would get harassed in modern times. I felt that I had passed through the crucible, and that I in fact had my head on straight, and was able to see that it was better than it used to be. All in all, it is better to be good, than it is to be bad. I wouldn't consider myself a 'hero', as the real heros here are the ones who devote their time to making AW better for all. But if an independent builder could ever transform herself from a 'dark side' villain, and into a reformed 'good side' hero, then I believed I had achieved it it.
Ready for the New Era ~ The end of 2008 was the beginning of a new era for me. I was back in the community, and back to making starbuilds. I was also equipped with what I believe to be the maturity to handle anything here. Truth be told, the real world offers enough drama for me, that I only take the time to give the love and accept the love. My mentality then and now, respect others, and they will respect you, if they dont respect you, then dont waste your time trying to earn their respect, as I said, the real world has enough drama. I still am harassed every now and then, but frankly, it doesn't get under my skin. I was ready for the next chapter in my virtual life, and my passion was still on fire.
2009 ~ Following the Dream
The Dream Continues ~ Before I go any further, I wanted to clarify that when I talk about my dream and my passion, I am not referring specifically to AW. AW isn't the dream and the passion, but its the digital architecture that is the passion. And I wanted to clarify that is what my dream is, virtual architecture. AW to me is a design program, as well as a place to meet and chat with friends and see their designs. Continuing, as 2009 came in, I spent most of my time in the lab, the year would bring in alot of new challenges and exciting adventures.
Progressing and Advancing ~ I spent alot of time early in the year, writing down all of my techniques. I had never really written down how I did things in my lab. But as the techniques became more detailed and complex, I found that I should write down everything, and their steps. This is something I am really glad I started to do, as I would have have been lost today lol. I found myself with alot more advanced structural mysteries, stemmed from building Orgasm. As I was building it, I realized there was alot more to free form than I had thought. And I spent the first couple months developing several kinds of free form as well as other new structural techniques. It wouldn't be until later into the year that I would develop a greater understanding of form than ever before.
Bridgetown ~ A curious little phenomenon that took place early in 2009 was a grouptastic build called Bridgetown. Now grouptastic accounts were these citizenships that multiple users could login to, and build as though they were all under a ppw. Bridgetown was one such town started under one of these grouptastic accounts. It didn't last for very long, but I had a great time working in it. I think for me it served as a proving point for alot of my techniques. What I mean by that, is that all of my techniques were used on buildings done soley by myself, I never really had a chance to use them in other virtual world situations. Working in Bridgetown would eventually propel me to pursue a new set of techniques. Now Bridgetown was an adventure for me, and it really allowed me to see into the world of other builders. It was great to see other builders opinions and ideas as they approached design themes. It is a fascinating thing, finding builders who have been here for years, and seeing their methods, it truly is a treat to build in these kinds of scenarios. I still hope to see more grouptastic stuff done in the future, I think it was alot of fun!
AWTeen GZ ~ The first major contest I participated in, in a long time, was the AWTeen GZ contest. I was a bit hesitant to join in, but I felt that I was ready to challenge myself. Now I did end up winning that contest, and it was great to once again feel success. I put alot of thought into that GZ, and I wanted to introduce a new kind of GZ, while also retaining the tried and true method of an open GZ. Winning that contest fueled in me a romantic ideal. I had always wanted to design a GZ that people would use. I remember first being in AWGates GZ way back when I first came to AW, and to this day I still remember it. I had a more passionate and romantic outlook on design, and for me the greatest reward I could ever receive, was not the recognition, nor my name plastered somewhere, but rather having that opportunity to construct a person's memories. People fondly remember places in AW, and during conversations with friends, they remember their surroundings. Anybody out there that rekindles a fond momement in AW, and looking back to their moment, if one of my designs ends up being their backdrop, then that is truly the greatest award I could ever aspire for. To be not just a digital architect, but an architect of sentiment.
Back to the Lab ~ In the following months, I found myself in the lab alot more frequently. A couple months had passed since I really built anything, but I had so many ideas and progressions on techniques that I stayed in there for a while. As I mentioned earlier, Bridegtown inspired me to pursue some more real-time techniques, techniques that would work outside of my own environment. Now I had also been searching for an overall design concept, the one prior was becoming too generalized and type specific, and I needed something that would cover a whole spectrum. If you were to visit my lab, you would see alot of chaotic pattern in terms of keeping notes. I write notes for just about everything, and alot of things began to contradict the next, and it all became confusing, so order was definitly needed, and I had to apply myself like never before. Now after a few months I finally achieved, through much trial and error, a more complete understanding of form than before. Now that is not to say that I have now achieved building perfection and whatnot, but rather, the one thing Amanda lab 2 has taught me is this; The more you understand, the more you realize you dont understand. And it is very true, I dont care how good anybody builds, it applies to every aspect in every area of life. With that in mind, I almost stopped pursuing my structural research, but rather I made it more specific, I realized there is just so much out there, that I really have to try and focus on what I want to learn, and then pursue it. This really worked out for me, as I was able to advance my understanding of free form, curves, and natural chaos, much more efficiently than I had before, when I simply set out to understand it all.
Passion ~ I set forth with my more advanced understanding of form and structure, and decided to build what would be my single most longest build to make. Now it was relatively small, but it just took me so long to make. I discovered this with Orgasm vs Crystal Crush, that it takes me longer and longer to make a nice build. But I pushed forward, and I eventually produced Passion. Now I named it that, to commemorate a personal achievement in my virtual life. Orgasm, my first build to use scale, looked really odd, and funky. I discovered what I believed to be multiple new techniques, but I was yet unable to really make them look nice, at least in my opinion. But Passion came out looking good, and no its not perfect or anything, but it symbolized the fact that a passion for something shows, that if you really put your heart into something, it will show, and you will advance. I think as an artist, and an aspiring digital architect, I am never really content, I want to always outdo my last design. And Passion really did that for me, I was able to grasp and understand all the mysteries that I discovered from building Orgasm. And I realized I was driven by pure passion.
Embracing my Ignorance, Before a Vast Ocean ~ As stated earlier, after realizing that one really cannot grasp all there is to geometry and form, I really began to take a mentality that if I wanted to design something, I would simply just have to develop the technique for it, and that I couldn't figure everything out. I think this really took a burden off my shoulders, as I was beginning to become more and more stressed, as my designs grew more and more complex. I was able to wield the benefits of humility and embrace the fact that I dont know everything, and that while I dont know everything, I can definitly learn alot about little things here and there. It is to say, that just because you cant drink the whole ocean in your life time, doesn't mean you can't still work on specific parts of it, one cup at a time. Now by this stage in my life, I have a pretty thorough and rugged overall concept and set of building techniques. I feel I have the understanding to build most things that would come up, but definitly not all things, but at the very least a good technique for guessing lol. I think for anybody pursuing structural building, they should look for a rugged repertoire of techniques that allow them to know a little about a lot. I think I really didn't realize it up until now as I write this. But what drove me crazy in the previous labs, was I lacked the humility to honestly tell myself "I do not know all things." I have never mentioned before, anywhere in this long auto biography, what originally and perpetually inspires me. So I will say it now, it is God. I seek to find a shadow of His shadow in geometry and form, and I believe when I am up against these infinite 'oceans', that make me feel so small and ignorant, it is then that I have found those shadows. I feel driven to pursue original designs, because if they are original, it is like they were first seen by God, and then by you. All good gifts are borrowed from God, so in using those gifts, your being handed down something from God, and in them you can gaze into the smallest hole, that which shows a glimpse of Him and His thoughts.
The Age of Micro Starbuilds ~ Now as I said before, it took literally months to make a decent build. I felt that while I now could build many designs from my journal, I was still not feeling happy with the low output. The age of micro starbuilds had begun yet again. I say yet again, because micro starbuilds had existed before. I used to build these designs back in my earlier years that took only a couple of weeks, and they looked nice, and that was the standard time it took to make a good build. At that time I didn't call them Micro starbuilds, but rather just starbuilds. So now I wanted to spend more time making these designs, but making them smaller and more time manageable. It is not to say that I am completely done with making those multi month long builds, but I figure that you dont have to eat all the meatballs before you eat the spaghetti. I developed alot of smaller builds in my design journal, ones that focus around being made in a few weeks. One of the first attempts was a design I called Intestine, of which it was turning out as planned until I became Ill. And yes the rumours are true, most of Intestine's design was inspired because of my illness lol.
The Swine Flu ~ I had become ill with the swine flu in real life. And I was gone for about three weeks as I was bedridden. Now I came close to losing my life to the flu, but I overcame and made a full recovery. But during this time I reflected a bit on my life as of the last two years. I felt a sense of guilt. The guilt revolved mostly around the fact that I had put so much of my life into AW, yet I haven't given anything back. Now this guilt has been around for the last few months, but I really began to analyze it and ponder it now.
Pondering the Release ~ Now I recall a moment with a citizen I met a couple months earlier. He was a very gifted builder, but as I began to talk to him a bit more, he soon told me about his frustrations with not being able to build what he wants. I asked him what does he want to build, and he goes on to say it was structural forms that he believed to be impossible. They were very simple and basic stuff, but he lacked a good foundational understanding of how form worked, and how you can make just about anything in AW. Now this perpetuated my sense of guilt, I thought about how I had developed all kinds of structural techniques over the years, and yet had been keeping them all to myself. Now recall that my philosophy of today no longer hides me behind my techniques, but that it uses techniques only as a means to a design. So I began to realize that I no longer have any reason to hold on to these techniques just for myself. I ran into a good friend of mine named Chris Seferi, and he approached me with a simple question about spirals. I gave him a private lesson and offered him a good founational solution to spirals. He was overjoyed, and it brought me alot of happiness to see him so excited about it as he went on to make his own spirals. So my current state is that I am seriously pondering the release of my lab. My only reluctance lies in the fact that I dont want to give up my private location, as I am still a private and independent builder. But that I also dont want to go out and make some kind of 'how to' yard, as it would take me a long long time do do. I have talked to Kenny McC, a great teacher, and even greater friend. And I proposed to him the idea I had, where I would love to open up my lab and offer personal lessons on the concepts in there. He thought it was a great idea. I just have yet been able to develop an understanding of how to overcome my need for privacy here. I think alot of what inspired this whole autobiography is that I want to get myself out there more publicly, and not be so secluded.
A New Look for the Labs ~ My index includes a list of teleports to all my labs, excluding the Amanda Lab 2. I then offered a new feature, that feature basically being a sign that says I am offering private lessons on any of the techniques or ideas found in these labs. I am hoping to help builders like the one mentioned above. While my passion is digital architecture, and teaching really isn't my thing, my passion leads me to give back to the community, and my heart went out to the person who was unable to fulfill his own creative ambitions, because of something that I could easily have solved. I must follow where my passion leads me. Now I dont expect anybody, anywhere to really benefit from my private lessons. I dont mean to say it as though I have life all figured out and I am so ahead of everyone else that I am doing a great service to them. But rather every builder is gifted in their own areas, and those that lack in different areas can then be mentored by those who excell in those areas, and vice versa. Also I dont mean to say that I am done with building, and I am now going to be some kind of teacher, I just dont think I will be getting many requests for anything developed in my labs. You hardly see anybody ask for help in the structuralism department. So I think for me, its more of something I want to leave open to the community. If say another citizen comes along with a question like earlier, then they will at least have some kind of direction, or place to go. Perhaps in the upcoming year, the lab will be released, and I will be able to make available, the techniques I have developed over the years.
Towards the Next Decade ~ As the decade came to an end, there was another Extreme Builder Talent Show contest that took place. I decided to build my self portrait there, but sadly I didnt even receieve a score, I think they didnt even see my entry is why (Thats what happens when you build in the far end corner lots lol). I also built Casa Caliente, my last starbuild of the decade. My 9th year in AW was complete, and I was anticipating the new decade, as well as being able to approach my own virtual decade of existance. The future looked bright, and there was still so much more to do.
2010 ~ What A Decade Feels Like
A New Decade ~ As the new year and the new decade rolled in, I was at a place of content. I had finished my last starbuild of the decade, and I didnt have any projects pressing me, so I could simply relax and reflect. Now at this time I was 9 years old in AW, and I knew this new year would be a significant one for me, as I would be turning 10. The new year would bring in new things that would challenge me like never before, and I would learn many lessons through it.
A New Name for Starbuilds ~ I spent some time in the lab again, working on simple stuff here and there, but I felt this need to put together some kind of collaboration of my last couple years in AW. What I did was ended up making my first music video, while its not actually a video, it is rather a montage of pictures. This wasn't much, but for me it was a big deal and it expanded what I already had. Basically starbuilds was just a name for my designs, but with the release of this video, I realized that starbuilds was no longer just a name for my designs, but rather an overall label for my various artistic endeavours. Whatever it is I am doing, building, drawing, or making videos, it will now be covered with the label of starbuilds. So while I made only this one video (which can be seen at the bottom of this page) I do plan to make more in due time.
New Starbuilds Popping Up ~ Some of the new micro starbuilds I made this year were Brokenheart, and the Cobra City Cube. They weren't anything spectacular but they were built in small cities and promoted those cities as best as they could. Now the first half of this year was mostly uneventful, I made some progress in the lab, and I designed a couple of new buildings, but ultimately it wouldnt be until later in the year that I would really get anything done.
A Girl and the Ocean ~ The effort I made this summer in the lab allowed me to come up with a technique to design something I had pondered for most of my life. Many years ago, when I was a younger and living in California, my father took me to the ocean for the first time. I must have been like 10 or so, but I was fascinated and though we were there for only a short time I wanted to pick up a seashell and take it home, but my father wouldnt let me. Days later while I was at school, and several miles from the ocean, I decided I would skip school and walk to the ocean and pick up that seashell, and then make it back in time so my parents wouldn't notice I ever left. I made it to the ocean, and picked up the most beautiful seashell I could find, I held it up to my ear and heard the ocean in it, and I fell asleep, as I had become so tired from my long walk. When I awoke, it was evening, and I knew I was in trouble, I knew I had to get back as soon as I could, so I clutched the seashell in my hand and I headed back home. It soon became very dark, and I became lost, I remember being so terrified, as I lived in Oakland, a city renowned for its crime, and I lived in the Spanish area near East, so I would have to make it past those places my parents warned me about, those places I was never allowed to go through at night. As I walked from the shore back home, I became more and more frightened, so I ran as fast as I could until I ran out of breath, I wanted to cry but I felt so exhausted, and I pushed the seashell to my ear and listened to the ocean in it. I didnt know why I heard the ocean in the seashell, as I thought that only happened near the sea, I then believed that the sound coming from the seashell was the voice of God, and I felt as though He was with me. I clutched onto the seashell as hard as I could, and felt like God was holding my hand through the seashell, and I ran as fast as I could down those dark streets, with those ambiguous and terrifying people watching me from the shadows, when I made it home, I was crying, and exhausted, and could barely breath. The police were there and my parents were furious, I was punished and grounded for the rest of my life it felt like, but that seashell, of which God inhabitated, I put it in a secret place and never forgot what I learned that day.
What Are Your Secrets Seashell? ~ That seashell has been a subject of fascination and inspiration to me for many years. When I was older and in AW, I spent alot of time trying to build that seashell, I wanted to know what its secrets were, but time after time of trying, I never was able to. I think for the most part I didn't have the humility to know its secrets, I once said to God, "Dont show me the secrets of this seashell unless You give me the humility to handle it." As I said earlier, the technique I developed this summer seemed so within their capability to handle this seashell, this mystery. So beautiful, so simple, too simple it is complex. I sat down after work by a tree near the lake, on a sunny day, and I stared at that seashell, and yet nothing came to me, I felt as though it was another failed attempt, that perhaps God heard my prayer and realized I didnt have the humility. What I didnt realize is that I didn't have the humility, and I never would, yet God would show me humility by showing me the secrets of the seashell. After staring and staring at it, and pondering it, and going over my new technique, the world instantly slowed down, to where it almost stopped, and I saw the seashell in my hand, against the lowering sun, it began to become formless, all in timelessness, and then I saw what I swear to be a hand roll up this formless puddle into a seashell, it happened so slowly, yet so fast, and I felt like there was a flash in my mind when it happened, a literal white flash in my mind, and I began to cry and hold this thing in my hand tight, just as I did years ago.
A Glimpse of God ~ After this flash occurred, I then got into my car, and drove straight to the library to where I could get on AW. Skipping dinner as I have done many times before, I began building this seashell in my lab. It was so simple and elegant and it worked out so easily for me, I stared at this completed seashell in my lab, this simple thing, up until the library closed and I was kicked out, as they knew me by name and said "come on Amanda, time to go." I sat in my car there that night, and looked back at the real seashell, and I cried again, I felt like I had arrived, that I had accomplished something great. I couldnt help wonder why the Lord showed me this secret if I wasn't humble enough to receive it?
A Large Ego Crushed by a Small Thing ~ Shortly after, I became arrogant, just as I always have, and I had no clue my large ego would be crushed by this small small seashell. Through this seashell, years ago, God held me by the hand to safety when I was a child, and now He would do the same, except this time he is leading me to safety from myself, the arrogance, the pride, and the darkness within was the danger. I realized the secrets and the structural concepts behind the simple seashell would lead to more advanced forms, and I began to pursue them, and in this pursuit, I hit a brick wall, one far worse than anything I ever hit before. It was absolute torment, and this wall was mathematics. I began to realize the more complex the structure becomes, the more higher levels of math are needed, and I only have the math I learned in elementary school, I never was educated with math beyond that. The seashell was a gateway to a structural and geometric world that I would never be able to visit. I felt so close yet could not climb.
The War of the Axes ~ Now there was a new feature added to the program, which basically made the object axes annoyingly large and cumbersome. Initially I had spent alot of time and effort trying to explain to the powers that be, that this would interfere with small scale precision building. And for the longest time I was receiving no support from AW. It was difficult for me as I felt as though I had no credentials to my name, that nobody out there took me seriously, and that I was seen as someone who does not know how to build correctly. This was difficult for me as I was already struggling with the barrier of math that I could not overcome. After some time, other members of the community, of which had respect by the powers that be, mentioned that these observations I were making were in fact true. So the axes were fixed in turn, still annoying, but enough to where it doesnt completely hinder your view.
A Lab Desperately Needs Cleaning ~ As the days went on, I couldnt give up on this pursuit of what was inspired to me through the seashell. See, my lab towards the end of the year had over 300 original techniques, systems, and theories and concepts, I lost count after 300, and about I assume half or maybe a third of them are documented. Most of them are different versions of the same thing, or more developed versions of the same thing. But what was ultimately needed was a unified structural theory, one that would take all the techniques and combine them into one form of thinking. While I know that nobody can understand how to design all forms, I do know that there are methods that could be used to define all forms, and I felt so close to discovering it.
The Lab Grows Dark ~ In my pursuit of this unified theory, I became very depressed. I felt so close to it, I felt I was just on the verge of a great discovery, never before had I felt this close to it. It took such a toll on my real life though, I began missing meals, coming home late, staying up late. I wasnt able to sleep, as I would be up all night pondering this. I spent so much time in my lab for weeks on end, relationships in real life took a toll, work and even God took a backseat. I had been addicted before, to drugs and alcohol, and I saw this manifesting itself in AW, yet I couldn't stop. My mind I was no longer in control of, it moved on its own, and I sat back and watched this happen. AW had become my god, and I felt as though I was imprisoned, and I felt so worthless, so pathetic. I cant explain this feeling, but I would sit there, and an idea would come up, and I wouldnt be able to control myself from thinking about it, I would end up letting this idea fester in my mind. These were very dark times for me, times I thought I would never see in AW, times that made my earlier dark years in AW pale in comparison. Why does something like this happen to a person? I was once a rational and controlled person, yet I was no longer in control of myself, I would stay up and stare at the screen, and reality became bleak to me, I was withdrawing inside, and I was becoming physically ill and mentally ill, this has just gone too far, and I needed help.
I am a Prisoner ~ What happens to a person when they become a prisoner to themselves? I realized I was on fire with addiction. While I was addicted to AW, it wasn't actually AW itself, but rather the fire of addiction took place in the form of AW, and I had to get out. I realized I had to get out, yet I was so ashamed to tell anybody, how can I explain to someone I was addicted to something like this without being laughed at? I went to the church and I sat there for some time, and cried out to God, as I have many times before, and explained to Him what was on my heart, and that I couldn't just let this go, it had become more than just some technique, but a struggle against my very self. Everything was put on the line, and I needed the Lord more than ever. I had a good look at who I really was, and how little I really know, I realized then that by asking for the secrets of the seashell from before, that I was really praying for humility, and the Lord brought it to me. I dont want to struggle with myself anymore, I literally felt as though there was this thing in my head that was taking over, it felt so cold and void in my brain, just a machine hitting the same error button over and over. Would the Lord save me from this mess again? Small as it is, what will I do?
And then it Happened ~ I went out into the forest one cold crisp Fall evening, and I sat there, I wanted to just close my eyes and try my best to conquer this cold and dark intruder within. As I sat there and watching my warm breath against the cold Autumn air, I noticed the sunset going down shined a light on my breath, and instantly as before, time began to slow down, and I saw my breath turn from fog into a smooth surface. I then looked at the trees where the light was shining, everything still moving so slowly, and I saw the leaves shimmering in the light so slow, as this bronze leaf fell, it moved so slowly and yet as it dazzled around, I saw another flash in my mind and I began to cry again as I saw how the leaf was formed, how the whole forest was formed, how everything in sight was formed, I felt as though my cold and dark mind had become warm and light again, I felt as though I was being saved, and yet something so simple was in my mind, something that would change everything.
The Structural Theory of Everything ~ I immediately went inside, praying for the Lord to free me of this burden, and I put together over the course of a couple days, staying up ridiculously late, what became my structural theory of everything. What made this theory so wonderful wasn't so much in the theory itself, but rather how it unified all my other design concepts and techniques so that they could all be used in conjungtion with themselves. Years ago I had theorized about how any form can appear under certain conditions, yet those conditions I did not know how to find, and with this theory, I had found them. You see there is no such thing as a technique that will build anything, and again nobody can truly understand all forms, however it works much like a blank paper, you want to draw something, yet you need a pencil, and this theory is that pencil. Just because you have a pencil, doesnt mean you can draw everything, however, everything you draw, will need that pencil. This theory showed how all techniques, systems, concepts and theories I developed all work within themselves, and it unified them. In other words, I had a theory that allows me to guess any form, and whether or not the form is done correctly, it will appear as though it is done correctly. This makes sense of all my years worth of concepts and theories and brings them all together, I now have a true overall theory and system that I could put together as a rugged homemade design program. If I could take all that knowledge and speed it up past time constraints, and cell space and AW imprecision etc, I would be able to publish my own version of a design program. Now truly, the actual theory in and of itself works, it is however very flawed, and this is what the Lord has given to me, imperfection. My years of work are imperfect, because I do not know the math, and I never will, yet with my elementary math education, the Lord has given me something that works, but is not perfect, what is most ironic is that anybody on the street can understand, and has understood this theory, yet it escaped me. It is like saying my vision is poor, so very poor, yet I can see. All of this has led me to see what I have wanted to see for so many years, I now see everything, yet I see nothing. A glimpse of You is all I ever wanted. I cried for many days after developing this theory.
The Advent of Shear/Skew ~ A new feature came out called shear/skew which allows you to manipulate objects in a way that they require less cell space and look much smoother, and it is much faster to build when done using free form design. This was very difficult for me at first, as I became a bit burdened and depressed. If free form and complex design was so easy, then what was the point of my last several years of research? This too added to the Lords plan to bring me humility. This method had been out for a few weeks, but I never had time to play with it as I had been too busy with my structural theory of everything. But once playing with it I realized there is no difference between me and the normal builder.
What Was Mine Never Was ~ As I mentioned, I realized there was no difference between me and the normal builder, I was brought to the same level as the other builders. You see the easier it is to build something, the more creativity is required. Technique, and my efforts to develop them over the last several years was all for the purpose of "a structural means to an artistic end". If say you have a design, and want to build it, you have to develop some way to build that design, and if the way to build that design becomes easier and quicker, then there is only one thing left, creativity. Where it hit home for me was the fact that AW was moving towards free form so quickly, yet I had no impact on it whatsoever. I realized because I had spent so many years in solitude, sharing my structural developments and discoveries with nobody, that progress was moving past me, and without me. I realized that I truly am not unique when I found that everybody always has been able to build the way I build. This mountain, this inability, it was given to me by God to overcome, and when I overcame, I realized something more important than any other discovery I had made, that what was mine, never truly was. God allowed me to understand these things in my own way, so I must share them with others, I may have a gift, but it is not mine to keep. What I mean though is that while everybody can do what I can do, they never actually have done it, and now that I have done it for them, I must show it, it is because the Lord gives the weakest and dullest person the challenge only to glorify Him through it. I can no longer hold onto my lab, and my discoveries, they are not mine.
Dragon by the Sea ~ After some time, I had come to terms with the new addition of shear and skew, and how it impacted me. These impacts all then settled, and I was then able to complete my build called Dragon by the Sea. Now I had started this design earlier but put it on halt several times while the breakthroughs were taking place in my lab. I decided I would then finish this starbuild, but it does have an odd property to it, for one, it was designed before shear and skew, so it is in part made of old fashioned free form techniques based on 4 right triangles, then in other parts it is made of 2 triangles which represent any triangle through shear, then lastly it is made up of seamless sheared free form. So all in all it is made up of 3 methods of free form, truly representative of the technological changes in AW. It was an old build before it was even finished, I then completed it and was proud of it either way.
Amanda Lab 2 Released, Passing the Torch ~ I then went and prepared my lab for it to be opened, I simply went over the techniques, and made a couple modifications here and there. This was good for me to do, as I found that alot of my techniques were wrong, in fact of the many hundreds that are there, I would say none of them are correct. What I will do with the lab, is keep it the way it is, meaning I will not change it in response to the people who would correct me on how flawed it is. It will be a relic of what I have developed, not a constantly updated yard with the latest greatest techniques. Critique will be welcomed, and future developments by me will still be made there, but ultimately it will serve as a foundation to current and future generations who seek after the secrets of structural building, and it will serve as a foundation for future structural techniques developed by other builders. And I am finally completely happy and content with that. What I developed there was never mine.
What Does it Mean? ~ I spent alot of time wondering what does it mean to release my lab? I found that over the years, I had been making too many discoveries, way too much development, and ultimately I realized this wasn't because I was a genius, or had some incredible insight, but rather I had developed a new way to structurally build, and with the structural theory of everything, it all became complete. Now it doesn't mean that I am done with the labs, not even close, as there will always be things develop, and honestly I haven't even begun to build. But rather it means that I have baked a pie from scratch, and it is fully ready to be enjoyed, one pie is not every kind of pie, and one pie doesnt stand in comparison to every pie ever made. The Lord has given me this proverbial pie, and I will give it back to Him, by giving it to those who are hungry. Many are not hungry, and many have already made and dined on more pie than I could ever bake, but this is my pie and I will give it to whomever is hungry, and the Lord has made me a slow and simple baker. If that made any sense.
A Year Ends, A Starbuilder Turns Ten ~ When I was younger, a decade ago, as I sat there building in AWSchool during my first couple months as a builder, I once asked myself "what would I build and become here in AW in ten years?" I somehow knew that I would be here for a long time. I have far too many thoughts and feelings to describe on this page. But I feel that while my decade here was not everything I wanted it to be, I do acknowledge and fully can attest that what I did become, was everything I ever did want to become, only the journey to get here wasn't the smoothest. The Lord was with me all along, and He has plans for me in the future, maybe it will still be here, maybe it wont. I only know that through my journey into AW thus far, the talents I developed and the lessons I learned were all done through means that only God and life can teach. I will be here for as long as I can, every opportunity the Lord gives me as a digital architect, I will embrace, and I can attest that in my pursuit for knowledge I found only ignorance, and in my pursuit for greatness, I found that I was a legend in my own mind. Here is to 10 years, and here is to 10 more, the spirit of a Starbuilder is forever! God is good.
The Way of the Starbuilder
The way of the starbuilder is a complex virtual creed and lifestyle with several meanings and seeming contradictions. It is characterized after the virtual life of Seiya, and while her designs are called "starbuilds" the actual meaning of a "starbuilder" has nothing to do with starbuilds at all, other than the name. While the way of the starbuilder has multiple aspects to it, perhaps the most notable characteristic of the starbuilder is their extreme discipline and dedication to their craft.
The way of the starbuilder encompasses compassion for those of lower stature, in terms of either social status, actual skill level, or both. The starbuilder uses their finely disciplined abilities as a voice. It goes beyond just designing something in a virtual world, but taking the voice behind the build to a higher cause. The starbuilder believes that behind every build is a "hidden build" a hidden voice that speaks about the motives behind the craft. For example the tier of the starbuilder contradicts alot of traditional ways of thinking, the tier is as follows; It is okay to build in an established community, meaning it is neither frowned upon, nor is it praised. It is then better to build in the "virtual wilds" as this can either bring life back to a dead community, or leave a foundation for a future community. Lastly, it is considered the best to build in a community or city that is of a lower stature, meaning they are the underdog. The way of the starbuilder embraces an almost heroic sense of servitude for the underdog, a hidden ally for those in need.
The starbuilder uses their attention and "fame" from their craft for generally good purposes. Though not all starbuilders are considered "good" most of them however hold to this perviously mentioned creed. Alot of times the starbuilder can come across as misunderstood, or having misguided motives, as they put their craft ahead of anything else in their virtual lives. The way of the starbuilder encompasses absolute and extreme drive behind their craft. It is not frowned upon to spend one's life pursuing a single perspective of their craft according to the starbuilders way. The most powerful and famed weapon of the starbuilder is their dedication. To most people, dedication is a simple motion to a means, something that they use. But to the starbuilder, their very beings are behind their dedication, they allow their dedication to move them, not the other way around. They embrace that objects that make up their craft are not just objects, but parts of their very personality. One should not take for granted the objects in their craft, but embrace them and hold them dear, as they are a part of you, not a lifeless block of memory.
"Between reality, and virtual reality is a thin line, and dedication is the sharp sword that cuts this line, which allows the sword bearer to perfectly and completely express their purest emotions." - Seiya
This quote from the founder of the way of the starbuilder shows that while dedication is a starbuilders greatest weapon, that ultimately expressing the contents of one's emotions and feelings without any kind of barrier is the most honorable of all acts. Where you actually perform these honorable acts reverts back to the starbuilders tier of honor.
A starbuilder is characterized in both innovation and creativity in their craft. It is frowned upon to build something not of your own mind, as that is seen as not following your heart and emotions. Most of what the dedication propels, is these two virtues of innovation and creativity. Innovation to a starbuilder mostly encompasses the design, but also the means to the design. As the starbuilder pursues innovation they have to be capable of actually bringing that design to life, through means of form. This generally means that most of a starbuilders life is spent mastering their understanding of form, and pursuing it further and further. Generally a starbuilder has a very formidable and deep understanding of form and design, while not all starbuilders have the same level of understanding, they are however always pushing themselves to better understand it. The starbuilder sees no shame in using another's technique in ways of achieving their design, and while spending one's virtual life pursuing a deeper understanding of form is considered an honorable life, it is however more honorable to use this deep understanding of form to actually create a design.
"Creativity is the blood that spills through the fine line that is cut by the sword of dedication, this blood is in the purest sense a transitioning of ones mind in reality, spilling into virtual reality. Both emotion and heart are then manifested through the objects behind the craft, and these objects follow the understandings of form." - Seiya
The special bond between a starbuilder and the objects they use to achieve their design is not looked upon negatively, as it is to the traditional builder. The starbuilder "trains" under extreme conditions, such that they will build large and laborous things, without any expectation that they will ever be seen. In essence a starbuilder does not need a large audience or crowd, they are constantly training and improving themselves, regardless of many observers, or none at all. The starbuilder pushes their craft, and will intentionally do things the hard way just for a better understanding, or they will spend months just to observe a new angle of their craft.
"The starbuilder never takes the easy road, through the travelling of the difficult roads, one will encompass new territories, new places not seen by others before them. To approach as a pioneer to these new frontiers is to look back at oneself and have a deeper understanding of both oneself, and of the laws of nature and of God." - Seiya
The starbuilder in the social sense strives for higher virtues, as the pursuit of these higher virtues is difficult, and goes hand in hand with their views on their craft. While not all starbuilders exhibit perfect virtues, they are however encouraged among fellow starbuilders, and inversely those with flamboyant inabilities to control themselves, are frowned upon in the lives of other starbuilders.
"One must be able to control themselves, just as the starbuilder strives for complete control of their craft, so also they must strive for this in their personal lives." - Seiya
The starbuilder pursues honor first among the social world. It is better to be honored, than it is to be famed or liked. As the starbuilder has a hidden build behind every build, this hidden build must have respect and honor behind it, so that it holds true. One cannot be a hero to the lower statured, if they are not both a hero inside and outside. The starbuilder however stands up for their craft and will not let it go unnoticed. There is a very fine line between arrogance and pride for the starbuilder, as they strive to be humble, but also to take pride in their craft. they must be able to stand up for their craft and inform those who would not completely understand. The starbuilder pursues an almost leadership role in their craft, and as a leader, they are expected to speak up when needed, as well as keep quiet when neeeded. A starbuilder has also a fine line between openness, and flamboyance. This means that the starbuilder, while striving to be humble, is not going to keep quiet with their craft and never show anybody their builds. So they are expected to make it almost public knowledge of their work, as this will strengthen their "hidden builds" and better stand for the underdog. When a starbuilder speaks up, they can back it up, and a starbuilder will keep to themselves when they cant back it up. though the time between speaking up, and backing it up might be prolonged. The starbuilder also is not quick to reveal the secrets behind their craft, unless there is a great need for the starbuilders knowledge. In other words a starbuilder wont share a secret with one who does not have the dedication to first pursue it for themselves.
"Each must pursue mastery over the sword of discipline and dedication, as this is our fundamental weapon and most basic characteristic. Others may swing their swords in aid of another, but ultimately each must wield their own." - Seiya
The starbuilder is a hero to the underdog, a hidden voice that will always exist and honor those in need. The starbuilder is both humble, as well as terrifingly skilled, and ready to take on a challenge. The starbuilder is dedicated and will push themselves beyond what any other has to say. The spirit of a starbuilder is not contained within a single individual or design, but exists freely for anybody to utilize. It is there in dire times of need, as well as times of peace, it is a virtual lifestyle that is unrelenting. The starbuilder should never underestimate, nor should the starbuilder ever be underestimated. The starbuilder never intentionally intimidates, nor are they ever intimidated. The starbuilder is never content with their craft, but can also appreciate the progress they have made. There is more honor in failing but continuing on, than there is in succeeding. The starbuilder does not compare themselves to others, yet they appreciate the crafts of others. The starbuilder overcomes insecurity with discipline, as a starbuilders greatest enemy is themself. The starbuilder never gives up, and will live on in those who push themselves. The way of the starbuilder exists in a great portion, as well as in a small portion, and appreciates the great beauties, as well as the small ones.
"The way of the starbuilder exists in all of us, waiting to be called upon. It is to bring honor to God, to others, and to oneself, through means of one's craft." - Seiya
- Starbuilds Index - AW 2530S 4960W 0A 0