Monday, December 8, 2008

Breakthrough in turret development!

In the bowels of the shop, a special ship is being developed -- the MSS Cerberus, of British and Australian fame. Thanks to Mr.Scaggs for the inspiration to make such a vessel.

This ship has two turrets and each turret has two cannons which do a neat retract and rotate animation while also allowing individual fire control (one barrel? both barrels? you decide!). This is a major improvement and was a giant hurdle for us for quite some time...You only need to look at our older monitor class ships to see that it was quite difficult at the time to get something that complex set up. It is also the reason why we have not developed any REAL double cannon turrets until now, so expect us to make use of this technology in future builds.

On further note, with the 2.1 release of the Ironclad Combat System, expect updates to all ships sooner or later. For future reference, the seas are not always exploding on the surface...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bring out the cake!

Woot Woot! Murakami Steamworks is one year old now!
(technically older still, but I'm referencing around our Caledon residency from now on.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Script Permission Problems

We have discovered a, erm, uh, "feature" of the Burning Life parcel permissions system that gravely effects the Radio Controlled Ironclads at our parcel in Data, Burning Life. Gleefully, we reported success last week, and posted a few HOW TO videos, anticipating people showing up and playing with ironclads and having a good time... and that's the way it worked out, initially. That's when I started to notice that boats weren't working for people who are not members of the SL Group BURNING LIFE. Since everyone who tested it was in BL already, we didn't make this connection until BL opened for business. Then we discovered that the little boats just don't go for people without Burning Life tags over their heads. A couple of inquiries later, we discovered that the Public may not use parcel scripts in Burning Life parcels. Thus, even though the option appears to be checked in the land menu, I can't change it or mod it in any way. Apparently this policy is to prevent griefing. I have gone back and forth with a couple of the CORE people, as has MrBunwah, and the results were always the same... so if you want to play, and have a group open to play with, joing BURNING LIFE group. Otherwise, I apologize, but our intentions for this build could not be realized.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Appendix HOW TO: More Detail on the HUD used at the Wrath Oasis Burning Life Build

MrBunwah was not enthused at my magnum opus movie, "Radio Controlled Ironclads at the Wrath Oasis, a HOW TO Video". He felt that I had not adequately explained the workings of the HUD that moves, shoots, and blows up the little toy ironclads. Perhaps he's right. In any event, here's a little further explanation.

So there, MrBunwah!!!!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Radio Controlled Ironclads at the Wrath Oasis: A HOW TO video..

My last attempt was rushed together and somewhat botched, so I reshot how to use R/C Ironclad Boats at the Wrath Oasis, with the help of some friends.


Monday, September 22, 2008

A small review

I suppose that now we are designing more ships, it would be appropriate to review a bit of what we have done, what we are working on right now, and what we have planned for the future. This will help keep track of what types of ships we have already covered and which types we seem to be lacking. Our main goal is to get a good selection of ships out so that there is something for everyone, and to make battles more exciting and random. After all, variety is the spice of life! and if 20 people show up for a battle using the same 3 types of ships it can be a bit boring.

Ironclad Set 1(rotating cannon ships)-DONE
The first set of ironclads consisted of 3 ships that had the ability to rotate their cannons, allowing for accurate powerful shots. Two of them being monitor-type ships and a third being a mortar-type. All are available now at SLX and our shop at Caledon Cape Wrath.

Ironclad Set 2(Submarines)-DONE, BUT NEEDS TESTING AND ICS 2.1
This second set has not been released yet. These ships will be equipped with 100/250 HP cores and all three will have the ability to fire torpedo's as well as a unique secondary weapon. One of these subs will be able to place explosives that can be either proximity or depth charge types. Another will have 2 machine guns that can be angled upwards quite a bit, allowing for anti-aircraft fire. The third sub will have a giant dorsal cannon that can fire a heavy cannon round and can have it's power level adjusted for different ranges. We also released a non-combatant submarine, the MSS Auriga already, as it does not need to wait for any combat system updates.

Ironclad Set 3(Casemates)-30% DONE
This third set of ships will be all casemates, meaning their cannons will be fixed and have the ability to ram to some degree. There will be a small, medium and large ship. These will be balanced accordingly, such as giving the smaller ship better speed and turning while giving the heavy ship stronger cannons and ramming. The small casemate MSS Cuthbert is pretty much done, and with all the scriptwork and effects complete all I have to worry about is the primwork for the other two ships.

Ironclad Set 4(Spec-ops)-0% DONE
This fourth set of ships will be very specialized. They will be unlike any of the other ships so far. The first one planned is a Sub-hunter, equipped with machine guns and depth charges. The other 2 we are not 100% certain on, but some ideas of ours included a mother ship that can send out a smaller drone to attack other ships, a slow casemate that can drop mines behind it, a submersible type ship that can grab on to other ships and use a giant drill to inflict damage over time to simulate taking in water, and a ship equipped with a giant flamethrower that would also make use of damage over time.

After those are all done we might work on our flagships, which will be our own personal super ships that will not be for sale. These will mainly be for looks and will not take part in most official battles. We might also add some more to the monitor-type and casemate-type sets if we feel there is not enough variety.

I did not include our earlier works with the historical ironclads because I eventually would like to phase them out. They are old models and not worth the trouble updating every time there is a new system. I may bunch them up into special editions at really cheap prices before the phase out, not too sure. I also may go back and redo them all, but not likely anytime soon. Anyway that is where we are now.

Ironclad Game for Burning Life

So several days ago me and MrBunwah got a request by Mr.Otoole to help him with a little project he has planned for Burning Life this year. It involves a roughly 20x20 meter pool of water in which four people can battle with toy ironclads that would be radio controlled. It is pretty much done, so if anyone would like to try it out, it is located here. Look for the vendors on the sides to get your special HUD and instructions. If you have ever been in an ironclad fight with ICS, it is basically the same thing except with a fixed camera. that this is done, I can continue working on the casemates. I already have a small one complete and with all the groundwork laid out the other two casemates will be a breeze, I just need to do the primwork for the medium and large types. Also, they will come with the ability to angle the cannons a few degrees up and down just like the last set, so they should be able to hold their own against subs and monitor type ships.

Also still waiting for ICS 2.1, but from what I am hearing it will be well worth the wait. After that is released we can balance out the submarine weapons and release those.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The MSS Auriga is complete

We currently have to wait for the latest build of ICS2 in order to get out our three attack subs as they require a specialized type of explosive script not yet released, but in the meantime we worked on our exploratory model. The MSS Auriga does not have any weapons systems equipped, however you can stuff three of your friends in and take a tour of the deep blue. It is sold at our shop in Cape Wrath as well as SL Exchange

After all that we will either work on our Vengador battle cannon or the next three ironclads(casemates).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

(repost) Three New Steampunk(ish) Submarines

The Reek of Cordite, the Crash of Steel.. again

As the historic record in this journal would indicate, I have been playing around with ironclads and in world nautical combat for well over a year now. During that time, I've come to know the good gentlemen at Murkami Steamworks quite well, and always am happy to do a little beta testing for their new releases. I often bug them about the latest and greatest-- and shamelessly pester them to get cracking on more proper historical hulls. Recently they astounded me by taking ironclad combat firmly into a new dimension, under water. The HUNLEY had always been part of the lineup, that is certain-- but as a historical design she had to sail up close to her target to release the deadly spar torpedo attack. Often, this results in the Hunley going down with the target ship.

Fiskdale, Holland, Sturbridge

The recent release of THREE new hulls takes Murakami Steamworks in a direction both old and new... old, in that the three new hulls are the second generation STURBRRIDGE, HOLLAND and FISKDALE (the original three ships of Murakami Steamworks). New, in that these submarines will each feature a "stand-off" style weapon-- either a ship's gun, a mine dropper, or a torpedo attack. All of these hull designs could conceivable change the face of ICS combat. Imagine steaming into a minefield that wasn't there three minutes ago. Or being struck by a torpedo from a submarine firing from half a sim away. Or having a submarine rise up from the depths behind you, on your blind side, and fire into a vulnerable spot on your hull. Yes, these new hulls operate in a manner quite akin to a WWI level submarine rather than the ACW technology of David or Hunley.

Old Hull namesakes and New submarines

These steampunk subs should be on the market as you read this.. how they will effect battles remains to be seen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The new ships are rolling out

The third generation of ships have arrived. We now have three new ironclads for sale and they improve greatly on previous designs. The MSS Tyrann, MSS Kotetsu and MSS Lavanco can all be purchased at our shop as well as SL Exchange. These ships and the ones that follow will not be of historical design. We found that can be a bit limiting in terms of creativity, although in the future after we get a good number of 3rd gen ships released we may go back and remake some of our historical models.

So now with all the groundwork out of the way, ships will take far less time to complete. In fact we have already started on the next batch of ships. The MSS Holland, MSS Fiskdale, and MSS Sturbridge (we seem to always release our ships in sets of 3...not sure why that is). These will be submarines that will be armed with torpedo launchers as well as a unique secondary weapon. The MSS Holland will have a pair of machine guns that can be utilized against ships and aircraft. The MSS Fiskdale will have a set of depth charges that it can deploy, great for ambushing both surface vessels and submersibles. The MSS Sturbridge will have a large dorsal cannon it can use when it surfaces.

Here are some pre-textured designs of the MSS Holland and MSS Sturbridge.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

ICS2 and You

Courtesy of the amazing work of Ms. Kandace Commons, we have managed to rework the old ICS1 into ICS2. This is good news for you, as explosives are now actually implemented, it works faster, and it's easier to deal with. Also included in this is a flag system that allows you to change your flag on the fly with a push of a button.

Here are some of the other exciting new features:

-Fewer listeners

-Better damage calculation methods

-Locational damage. There are now four areas of the ship that can be damaged(starboard, portside, bow, aft) if any of these receive 100% damage your ship will be destroyed

-Regeneration. Ships now regen hitpoints slowly, and there are also repair dock scripts which increase this

-Ramming damage based on speed and mass of ship as well as ram type

Take note that this latest version of ICS was entirely the work of Ms. Kandace Commans, thus if you have any questions or comments about ICS2 refer to her. Murakami Steamworks will not be directly involved with development of the system anymore but will still beta test new versions and share our insight. This also means that we will be concentrating our resources mostly on our ships, old and new.

Due to RL concerns we have not been as active as we would have liked, however now that summer break is here we will be updating all the old ships for ICS2, as well as touching up some bugs. We will be working on mostly non-historical ironclads from here on out, but we may rework some of the older models as we experiment with sculpties.

Here are some non-historical ships we started on. MSS Lavanco and MSS Tirano left to right.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Havok 4 and Flags, tweaks and awesomeness abound!

So, Linden Lab, makers of Second Life recently busted out a really special update, changing the physics backend to Havok 4. What does this mean to you, revenue (I meant customers!)?  Firstly, it means we will need to tweak all the ships to move correctly under the new setup.  As noticed, they go really fast now.  Secondly, flexi-prims can be attached to physical objects.  So what does that mean, mr. mechanic?  It means we will be adding totally awesome flexible flags to all our ships!  All the ships will be updated to have two flags, a larger top-flag, and beneath it, a pennant flag.  Each flag will have four choices of texture, choosable by hud, and editable by you, the user.  The top-flag is meant to indicate such things as what country you hail from, and whether you are at a state of combat.  The pennant will indicate things such as what system (ICS of course!) and other things, such as being AFk and the like.  Adding to the total awesomeness of this, we are adding in a number of other assorted tweaks and awesome fixes.  So keep those cannons thundering and ready yourself for the big 6.0 update!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Thrilling Ironclad Action at Antiquity Lagoon!

Murakami Steamworks Ironclads get a workout at the Intersim Naval battle between the Middlesea Fleet and the Antiquity Fleet.

See the ships in Action! Simply push on the "Go" button.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Consolidation of Location

As known, we have our main store and showroom in Caledon Cape Wrath.  Lesser known, however, is that we have a parcel in Caledon SteamSkyCity (  Due to the marginalization from Cape Wrath, we have decided to sell the parcel.  To inquire, please notify me (MrBunwah Murakami) or have Justinian Huszar harass me if I'm not immediately available.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Welcome to the shop!

Thanks to the excellent work of Mr. Fleef Fimicoloud, The shop at Caledon Cape Wrath has been reborn! Thanks to the new design, we have an excellent large dock capable of servicing even the more grandiose designs of ship, naval and air. Also, Hello everybody, from Employee Number Three, MrBunwah Murakami!
Come visit the Shop! -

Saturday, March 8, 2008


So now that we have gotten the latest ICS and Ships out, we can start planning for the future. But first we should look at what we have now.

Currently ICS is at version 1.3 and it has been implemented into all the vessels. This version is quite an improvement from the earlier ones.

It features different types of ramming strengths as well as differing cannon rounds, and even includes a machine gun round. Also now included is a script that displays your Hp count in hovertext, great when you want to know exactly how much damage you have taken. You can throw it in your HUD so only you can view it, or place in someplace on your ship so anyone can see.

The ships themselves have had some drastic changes as well, currently at version 5.0 they now have a new control mechanism that makes operating them much smoother. Sadly the torpedo boats still use the old control scheme right now.

Now for ICS, we are working on some interesting improvements. Most of these ideas are already coded into ICS technically, they just need to be activated.

First off is the ability to repair. We are not sure how exactly we will implement this, but one idea is to have a docking station that consists of a repair script that constantly searches for a ship with ICS. When a ship comes within a certain distance, the script would do reverse damage and slowly heal the ship. The repair station could also be set to only heal a certain amount over a period of time, to protect against abuse. The only thing I'm uncertain of is if we can get it to recognize only certain ships, so that one ship can't use an enemy's docking station. Something i will look forward to...

Next off is bombs. Everyone loves them, but how do we implement them into ICS? A simple way is to simply take a cannon round and just drop it... But that is quite boring. We currently have some prototypes in the works, but are not sure how to use them. What we will probably do is have 2 different types, one would be a cluster of small bombs that do a respectable amount of damage each, as well as give off some nice explosions. The other would be one single bomb that does an enormous amount of damage. Another factor is whether to have them explode on impact or maybe have some kind of timer? This will obviously require some extensive testing...

Finally we have mines. We currently have a nice prototype of a submersible mine that can be detonated upon collision. We can also fine tune this to be proximity or even timed. The main problem we have right now is getting a good splashing effect when the mine explodes...

Now as for the ships themselves, scriptwise they are almost perfect. I may do some slight balancing but right now they are splendid to operate. The next major update to the ships will be visually.

Whenever havok4 is officially out of testing and integrated into the main grid, I will start working on adjusting the sizes of some of these ships, such as the CSS Virginia which should be much larger than it is now. I will also try to implement flexiprim flags into every ship, so that people may customize their ships further.

There is also one idea that has crossed my mind on several occasions, which is to forgo the 31 prim vehicle format completely and make high detailed ships and use some kind of non-phys movement like so many other vehicle builders are doing these days. I have some problems with this method though. First off it takes away the realistic movement of the ships currently and would require an entire rewrite to the scripts to complement the non vehicle type movement. Second, it kills ramming do to the fact that the ships are not physical. I have seen some people making attachment based vehicles that you wear that supposedly don't incur the disadvantages but I alas have little experiences in that field. I only wish that along with havok4 they could increase the prim limit of vehicles. That would make my day.

Along with updating the regular line of ships we have, we will also start on a new line of ironclad ships that are fictional, as in not historical but of our own design. This will allow us to create some unique ships and not worry about properly replicating real ships. Expect some of them to be over the top and flamboyant.

And also not long after that we will be constructing some airships. We already have some basic prototypes ready so all we need is to get cracking on some more models. Here below is our first prototype airship. Very cute I must say.

In any case you will see a considerable difference in the next batch of ships, complete with new snazzy textures, flags and particle effects. Wow quite a lot of work ahead of me, I had better get started!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Life on board a Monitor Ship

We all know what these ships looked like, and how fun they are to play with in Second Life, but what about the experiences of the RL crewmen of these historic ships?

Life on board an Ironclad could be distinctly unpleasant. Imagine being inside a thick heated metal pot that could reach 155 degrees in some areas, eating rather heavy food, and having to perform very hard physical work even in non-stressful situations. An excellent overview of daily life for an Ironclad Sailor is presented at the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Virginia. THE MONITOR CENTER (more on her in a future article) has elements of the actual ship MONITOR (risen from the depths off North Carolina) as well as an extensive museum on ironclad ship construction, combat and daily life. A very nice of artifacts taken from the Monitor wreck allow the visitor to garner a glimpse into everyday life for a 19th century sailor.

The web presentation for LIFE ABOARD A MONITOR SHIP is worth a view.

Here is a nice web presentation on the Construction of the Monitor.

Middlesea Fleet Appreciation Sale!

In appreciation for all the brave men and women of the Caledon Middlesea Fleet, Murakami Steamworks is offering a 10% discount to fleet members.

This applies to inworld purchases only, at the store in Cape Wrath, located HERE.

Wear you group tag ON when making a purchase. The vendor will sense you are a member of the fleet and automatically make the required discount.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ship Profile: USS Essex

This is the first in a series on this journal. We will be outlining the historic ships that we are offering up as product lines, their build history, combat records, and ultimate fate.

Union Casemate Ironclad


USS Essex, a 1000-ton ironclad river gunboat, was converted in stages from the steam ferry New Era. Originally constructed at New Albany, Indiana, in 1856, the ship was purchased in September 1861 by the U.S. Army for its Western Gunboat Flotilla. Modified into a 355-ton "timberclad" gunboat, and retaining the name New Era, she took part in an expedition up the Cumberland River in November 1861. Renamed Essex soon thereafter, she received iron armor and other changes and was then actively employed in operations during early 1862, engaging Confederate gunboats near Lucas Bend, Missouri, on 11 January. On 6 February, she was badly damaged by enemy gunfire during an attack on Fort Henry, Tennessee.

During subsequent repairs, Essex' Commanding Officer, William D. Porter, spared little expense (albeit without official authorization) in upgrading his ship into one of the most powerful ironclads on the Western Rivers. Lengthened, widened, reengined, rearmored and completely altered in appearance, Essex was back in service in time for operations against Vicksburg, Mississippi, in July. On the 22th of that month she ran past the enemy fortress city, engaging and damaging the Confederate ironclad Arkansas along the way. After joining Rear Admiral Farragut's squadron as the only Federal ironclad on the lower Mississippi, she helped repel an attack on Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on 5 August and was instrumental in the destruction of the Arkansas the next day.

Essex was formally transferred to the Navy in October 1862 and remained active on the rivers through the rest of the Civil War. She bombarded Port Hudson, Louisiana, and helped with the occupation of Baton Rouge in December 1862. In May-July 1863 she participated in the capture of Port Hudson. She took part in the Red River expedition in March-May 1864. Essex was decommissioned in July 1865. After her sale to private interests in November of that year, she reverted to the name New Era. She was scrapped in 1870.

Murakami Steamworks' USS Essex fighting an Aphid Aether Frigate in Second Life

Welcome, Travellers!

Welcome to the aetheric journal of Murakami Steamworks!

Who are we?

Murakami Steamworks is a small company located in Second Life's Caledon micro nation, at SteamSkyCity and Cape Wrath Waterfront. We specialize in building and selling quality historic ironclad ships at an affordable price, as well as distributing the (Open Source) Ironclad Combat System (ICS) to prospective ship builders.

Company Principles:

MrBunwah Murakami Coder and Builder
Justinian Huszar Coder and Builder
Nowher Meili Ship Breaker

Occasional PR Flack and Beta Tester:

Hotspur O'Toole

Informal, Demented Beta Testers:

Amplebeak Tinlegs
Virrginia Tombola

This aetheric journal is our way of keeping the general public informed of progress on projects, new products, and signficant events for Murakami Steamworks.