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.