2013: Our year in review (Part 2)

This is the second part of our review of Z&A's 2013. You can find part 1 here.

July started out with the announcement that we'd started a project to make copy-permission versions of our newer products available in the main store. This was a project that would happen in the background for the next couple of months (and all new devices and furniture would be released with a copy-permission version available at the same time).

This was also the month that SSA (previous known as SSB) came to Z&A and Raven Park. It came and went a couple of times, as things were tested, but caused us no obvious problems and was well received by those of us who live and work on the region.

The product releases for this month were a set of reboots of our original sphere cage.

Behind the scenes more work was taking place on planning The Femdom Hunt IV, and we were working away on the three gifts we'd be making available (two from Z&A and one from Raven Park).

Raven Park dances this month included Second Life SNAFU (in celebration of SSA coming and also in celebration of those times when SL goes horribly wrong) and Star Trek.

We also sponsored a dance over at The Velvet Thorn. The theme was Mad Scientists so we built a gift for the theme.

August kicked off with the official announcement of The Femdom Hunt IV. Much of the background work at Z&A this month related to organising the hunt, building for the hunt and handling applications to be in the hunt.

That didn't stop us making product releases though. Releases this month included a rebooted kneeling post, a rebooted holding cell, rebooted flying kneel displays and subbie thrones. To help make it easier to find products we also launched an online catalogue using Pinterest.

Over on Raven Park we finally got round to putting a seating area in the hallway of the Mansion, something we'd being meaning to do for quite a while.

Raven Park dances this month were The Fifth Element and Stereotypes.

September started with a release of a new Raven Street dress. Other product releases this month included the Horizontal Pony, petite versions of the Floor Sphere Cage, the RLV-enabled van and a reboot of the ceiling fan.

The organising of the Femdom Hunt IV carried on with applications still open for the whole of September.

Raven Park dances this month included Goth (to celebrate Vila and Antony's rez days) and Tron. By this point the dances had become a firmly established "thing" and, in most cases, a custom built or specially-purchased build was the backdrop. The purchased backdrop for the Goth dance would reappear as a permanent fixture on Raven Park towards the end of the year.

October was, unsurprisingly, a very busy month. We started the month by taking part in the Kinky Halloween hunt. Also on the theme of Halloween, a little later in the month, we put our usual Halloween gifts out in the shop for everyone to grab.

The big event this month was, of course, The Femdom Hunt IV. Applications closed on the 1st of the month and the hunt itself kicked off on the 18th. The first day was crazy busy with the group being very active and a record number of hunters visiting Z&A.

Even though we were busy with the hunt we still managed to make a couple of product releases: first there was the Z&A Ground Box and then, a little later, at Antony's Mistress' request (something to do with the two of them changing their house), the Z&A Coat Stand.

This month only one dance actually took place on Raven Park, the theme was Star Wars. The second dance of the month moved over to Z&A and served as the opening dance for The Femdom Hunt IV.

October was also a little unusual for Raven Park in that, for the first time in quite a long time, some plots became available at Raven Park Rentals. They were soon let.

November saw The Femdom Hunt IV end, and the release of our gifts as actual products. First we released the display case and RLV Rickshaw and then, a little later in the month, the Z&A Submission HUD (this also marked the moment that Antony's Mistress locked a copy on him for good).

Somewhat related to the release of the Submission HUD (because Antony's Mistress was now wearing the dominant HUD that goes with it) was the release of a free product into the main store: the Z&A HUD Locker.

Other than that it looked pretty quiet at Z&A. But it only looked that way. Much like this time last year Antony started work on a longish-term project that should turn into a new range of products in the new year. Again, all being well, released in time for Z&A's birthday in February.

The first dance of the month was again at Z&A, serving as the closing dance for The Femdom Hunt IV. After that the dances returned to Raven Park itself, the first themed as The Green Fairy, the second themed in celebration of 50 years of Doctor Who.

December started with us putting out our usual seasonal gifts for people to grab. This month also saw the release of the Z&A Chain Cushion and the Z&A Laying Head Box. We also added to the free product area of the main store by releasing The Slave in a Box.

Meanwhile, in the background, Antony carried on working on the new product range that should appear earlier next year.

We had just the one dance at Raven Park this month, the dances now taking a break until early in the new year. The theme of the last dance for the year was famous person of your choice.

Finally, towards the end of the month, Vila and Antony demolished the oldest building on Raven Park and replaced it with a new build. Work on this will be ongoing into the new year with all sorts of tinkering and new items being added.


And that brings us to the end of our review of Z&A's 2013. It's been another really enjoyable year for Z&A with lots of fun developments. We've grown and evolved and, we hope, made some fun stuff that people have enjoyed. As we said last year, while we don't really have a master plan there are again plans for what should happen early on in the new year. Work is well under way so watch this blog over the next couple or so months to see what we've been up to.

To everyone who has shopped with us, hunted with us, visited Raven park, made Raven Park their home and have come and had fun with as at the Raven Park dances: thank you so much for helping make 2013 a really fun year for us. We hope it was fun for you.


2013: Our year in review (Part 1)

We've had an amazing and busy year this year, with lots of developments and more expansion of Z&A. Like last year we thought it would be fun to write a review of this year's key events.

January was a month that looked pretty quiet but, behind the scenes, was very busy. Antony and Zardia/Vila were busy working away on brand new product ranges that would be revealed the following month. Also, during the month, we were starting to evaluate CasperVend as a vendor system for our mall locations and also with a view to launching an affiliate programme (something people had been nagging us about for quite some time). Part of this testing involved a dabble with lucky chairs.

During January we also put the finishing touches in place in the Raven Park Mansion and we also added a pony play area to the region.

Finally, we decided to make great use of one of our RLV vehicles, while also making great use of our shop bot (Zanda), and gave everyone the chance to take a naked subbie for a ride around the shop (or the whole region if you like).

February was an amazingly busy month for us. To start with, it was our third birthday. To coincide with this we released two brand new product ranges. One was Raven Street, a range of rigged mesh latex dresses designed by Vila; the other was a brand new range of catch and hold furniture and BDSM devices, all built on a ground-up rewrite of our device code that Antony had started work on the previous November.

During February we also finally launched our affiliate programme, installed a cute swing on Raven Park and took part in Bouddicea's grand reopening celebrations.

March too was very busy. We added a new game to Raven Park and also released the gift we'd given everyone at the birthday party as a product. We also introduced another bot to the main store -- Black Fishnet -- to help show off the Raven Street dresses (we also introduced the world to George, the Raven Street delivery bird). We released three garden-related products based around the new Z&A device scripts (one partly inspired by the fact that Antony's Mistress had him as her human pony at that point).

We also released a product that Antony had been planning for quite some time and had finally got around to development, much to his Mistress' delight: the Z&A Sub-Allowance.

March is also the anniversary of Z&A taking on the other half of the region and forming Raven Park Rentals, which also means that it's the anniversary of Evelock coming to Raven Park. To celebrate that we decided to have a little party. Although we didn't realise it at the time this was the start of something that would turn into a (mostly) regular event.

This month we also started yet another product range. This time it was one that wasn't planned in advance, it just happened as fallout from a chance conversation. The fallout was that we started a range of petite RLV devices.

Finally, given that it was Easter, we had an experiment with Casper's Midnight Madness system and gave people the chance to get their hands on the Z&A Chocolate Cell.

April had a few product releases including the feather duster gag, six more devices in the new range of catch and hold RLV dungeon furniture and the release of two new RLV-enabled vehicles.

We also had a couple more dances at Raven Park. Again, at this point, it wasn't so much a planned regular event, just more a case of Raven Park residents and friends getting together and having some (mostly geeky) fun. The first dance of the month was themed on the TV show Firefly. The second was themed around all things relating to middle-earth. During these dances there was much talk about other themes that would be fun to do and, so, a list was drawn up and this became a regular fortnightly event for the rest of the year.

May started out by revealing a project that Antony and his Mistress had been working on behind the scenes (well, mostly it was Antony's Mistress doing all the work -- she's the one who throws around the big prims). Earlier on this year we'd realised that the main store was getting very full again and Antony already had lots of new products planned. More space was needed. So it was finally decided that we needed to build the "last shop we'll ever need" -- that's to say, a shop big enough that it should cover all our needs for quite some time to come (as of the time of writing, 7 months on, we still have plenty of empty space on the top floor so this plan is working).

At the start of the month we nuked the old shop and dropped the new one in place. We also released four new products that day and also had a dance to celebrate the arrival of the new shop.

Other product releases this month included more petite RLV devices, a new addition to the Z&A cell store, a palm tree to go with the cell, and more additions to the new range of RLV devices (including the first couple of "reboots" of our very early builds).

Raven Park dances this month included the dance to celebrate the new store (okay, technically not at Raven Park) and Steampunk.

June saw us releasing more RLV device products that aimed to "reboot" our very early builds. This included the short and tall display stands, the spanking stand, the display board and the range of cell beds.

The Raven Park dances carried on and started growing. Themes this month included Zombies, Blade Runner and losing my mind.

Behind the scenes we also started the initial planning for The Femdom Hunt IV. Also, late on in the month, Antony started testing out some ideas for a product that would be one of our gifts for the hunt and would go on to be a new Z&A product later on in the year. Again, this was something that his Mistress had been asking for for a while and it was high time he delivered.

And that takes us half way through Z&A's 2013. The review of the second half can be found in this blog post.


All change at the Femdom Cafe

Ever since Z&A took over what was originally known as Shackles Femdom and turned it into Raven Park we've been tweaking and changing things. While some changes were fairly small (changing the paths and bridges, installing the odd water trough, making a pony area, etc...) others were pretty big changes to key parts of the region, the last big one being the rebuild of the Mansion.

The one building that remained was the Femdom Cafe. This was the first building completed for Shackles and has been the longest-serving building on the region (it's seen four different Z&A shops, for example). Recently we decided that it was time to replace it with something a little different and today was the day when that process started. We went from this:

to this:

and then, after lots of moving around of paths and waterways and rezzing of things and choosing of furniture and the like, we arrived at this:

We're not finished yet. This is just the start of the makeover of what was the cafe. Over the next few weeks we're aiming to custom-make new furniture for it and, of course, landscaping will carry on happening until it's all "just so".

But, for now, Raven Park has a new area to sit and relax and natter and, if needed, throw a sub in or on some RLV device.

Please feel free to enjoy it.


Two new products

Today we're releasing two new products to the main store, Second Life marketplace and PrimBay. This is designed as an uncomfortable way of keep your sub or slave on the floor with their legs wide apart and their face hidden. We call it the Z&A Laying Head Box:

You'll find these new releases in the new product area at our main store, on the Second Life marketplace and also on PrimBay (light versiondark version). Copy edition versions are also available in the main store and on PrimBay (light versiondark version)

PS: While you're at the shop don't forget that you can still grab the Xmas gifts and that we recently added the Slave in a Box to the free products area.


Famous person dance

Yesterday evening we were back in the Raven Park Mansion for another Raven Park dance. This time the theme was "famous person of your choice". Here's a handful of images from the event:

Thanks to everyone who came by, and thanks to Eve for a fantastic set of music again.

Given that the holiday period is now close, and given that we only hold the dance every other weekend, it's likely that we'll take a short break until the new year. That's not to say that an impromptu dance won't happen at some point -- it's not unknown for that to happen -- but "normal service" will resume early January. As always, keep an eye on this blog and on the Friends of Z&A group for more details.


Slave in a Box

Today Antony was looking through his inventory, clearing up a few things, and he stumbled on a build that last saw the light of day during our second birthday mini-hunt. It seemed such a shame to leave it in his inventory when it could happily live in the free product area of the main store. So, a quick dust off and a lick of paint later...

If you feel your home, shop or sim is missing a bratty/needy slave this might be just the thing. ;)

If you want to grab a copy just head on over to our main store -- you'll find it with the other free products just inside the main entrance.


Two new products

Today we're releasing two new products to the main store, Second Life marketplace and PrimBay. This is designed as a simple, yet comfortable, way of keeping your sub or slave on their knees. We call it the Z&A Chain Cushion and it comes in both steel and rust versions:

The device contains two poses: one knelt up and another knelt bent over, with a much shorter leash chain. The cushion is also texture change via the owner's setup menu (and, of course, the object is mod should you wish to texture it yourself).

You'll find these new releases in the new product area at our main store, on the Second Life marketplace and also on PrimBay (steel version, rust version). Copy edition versions are also available in the main store and on PrimBay (steel version, rust version).


Seasonal gifts and builds

Now that we're well into December again it's about time we put out our silly Christmas-themed RLV gifts. So, if you've never grabbed a copy before, or if you've lost them in your inventory and could do with a fresh copy, head down to the main store and look near the reception desk:

Slap either of these boards to get the gifts:

We've also re-listed the Christmas Stocking edition of the Z&A Punishment Picker:

This is only available on the Second Life marketplace and is only available between now and Christmas.

Dance this Saturday

There'll be another Raven Park dance this Saturday. After the epic shopping trip for the last one (and there's no way that that set will get used just the once -- there has to be a need to use a TARDIS set more than once, right?) we've decided to keep this week's fairly simple. So, this week, we're going to hold the dance in the Raven Park Mansion and the theme will be:

Famous person of your choice

Disclaimer: Recycled dance image may not contain
actual famous person

That's right: this week we're going to celebrate (if that's the right word) being famous, the lust for fame, celebrity and everything that goes with the world of the famous. So dress up as someone famous you admire, or despise, or who you think your avatar resembles, or.... you get the idea.

Here's the important details:

Date: Saturday December 14th
Time: 4pm to 6pm SLT
Where: Raven Park
Music by: Eve Terr


Doctor Who dance

Last night was the Raven Park Doctor Who dance, in celebration of 50 years of travels with The Doctor. Lots of fun was had. Lots of costumes were worn. Lots of arguments took place about numbering. So, pretty much, everything we hoped for. ;)

Here's a few photos from the night:

Many thanks to everyone who came along and made it so much fun. We hope you all have use for the free Police Box cell. :)

All being well we'll be back in a couple of weeks -- theme to be decided.