Simploring 2018 (99) Achill Island

I picked Achill Island from SL Destinations for my simploring tour on Saturday, November 10th. Achill Island is owned by Ziggy Duster (zigmal) and Grace Sixpence. It’s their private homeplace. The design and landscape was done by Minnie Atlass.

Achill Island – overview

Achill Island in Second Life might be inspired by the island in the physical world which is the largest of the Irish isles, and is situated off the west coast of Ireland (read more in Wikipedia). For sure the landscape reminds of Ireland with it’s steep cliffs, the partly green rocks, the low vegetation, the many birds and the loneliness. Achill Island is open for visitors but the two houses on the island are private. Upon landing you get a notecard with the above information and you can join the island’s group for a small fee to get rezz rights if you need them for your pictures.

Impressions of Achill Island (1)

Impressions of Achill Island (2)

Achill Island is a place for taking pictures or to retreat and dream, to mediate, to inhale the nature, to enjoy the beauty of the environment. There’s not much else to see. Besides the two private houses, there’s a lighthouse, a bar on another very small island and a gazebo.

Impressions of Achill Island (3)

The beach offeres some places to sit and cuddle and there’re several other spots that you can use for this purpose. I was fascinated by the many lovely views, that Achill island is offering. I’ve been in Ireland in the physcial world and can confirm that Achill Island does provide the feeling of a visit into Ireland’s nature. The vegetation, the rocks, the few scattered trees and the structure of the shore do fit perfectly. I could literally smell the fresh Irish air. Achill Island is rural but develops a very particular charme.

Impressions of Achill Island (4)

I looked up pictures of Achill Island in the physical world and I saw some that looked like being taken in Second Life. The stone hut at the beach, that I named “birds beach”, does exist there in reality and it seems to be a point of interest for tourists. Hence it was Ziggy’s and Grace’s intention to bring at least this part into Second Life.

Impressions of Achill Island (5) – the stone hut in the upper right picture does exist in reality at Achill Island

Thank you Ziggy and Grace for providing your home to the public. I enjoyed my visit a lot!

Landmark to Achill Island

Simploring 2018 (98) Hinansho

My simploring tour on Friday, November 2nd, led me to Hinansho. Once again I picked the landmark from SL Destinations. Hinansho is a homestead owned and created by Akeno (akeno kaligawa). The landmark description is short: “Hinansho, a realistic japanese anime-like scenery.

Impressions of Hinansho (1)

I’ve never been in Japan or even in Asia in real life, hence all I know about it is from reading or watching tv. Hinansho does fit into my picture of Japan. It is a small town, the roads are narrow, the houses are small, everything is quite neat. There are small gardens, small oasises of peace. Nonetheless there’s a large playground, a quite large public park and a graveyard.
I explored the whole town and peeked into most houses. Some of them are empty inside but you can walk in and they are mostly tiny inside as well. But some of them are furnished. There’s a laundrette, a barber, a cafe and a bar. In one road close to the playground is a market with several market stalls. Just opposed to the graveyard is one relative large Japanese residential home that is furnished inside.

Impressions of Hinansho (2)

During my visit I was not alone in Hinansho. Several other people were visiting as well and their names were written in Japanese characters. That added to my feeling that I just made a short trip to Japan. I like how Akeno succeeded to put quite a lot houses into the limited space of a homestead, still leaving enough space for elements like the park and the graveyard. When you’re inside of the town, you feel like being in a bigger Japanese town. And there’s still room for small gardens as I would expect it.

Impressions of Hinansho (3)

I enjoyed my short trip to Japan. Thank you, Akeno.

Landmark to Hinansho

Simploring 2018 (96) Sweet Paradise to the Dark’s

For my simploring tour on Thursday, November 1st, I picked Sweet Paradise to the Dark’s from SL Destinations. The landmark description did kind of invite me:
Welcome to our land… be happy & enjoy your stay overhere ! It’s a priviledge being invited here by us 😉
Sweet hugs & kisses.
Anita & Kiara

Impressions of my visit to Sweet Paradise to the Dark’s (1)

Anita & Kiara that are Anita Dark (anita khaos) and Kiara Dark (kiaraslet) and Sweet Paradise is their home, their paradise. It consists of 2 islands, on each of them is nice house with several porches and piers. Kiara’s sailing yacht is anchored between the two islands. Both houses are furnished and decorated with great love for the detail. At the beach and on the porches are many spots to sit and talk and cuddle. Birds are flying and on the smaller island is a little group of flamingos. Yes, it’s a paradise, a place to take a time out.

Impressions of my visit to Sweet Paradise to the Dark’s (2)

I was surprised that Sweet Paradise to the Dark’s is open for the public as it looks being a private retreat, but as mentioned above I felt invited to visit and I appreciated the invitation. Sweet Paradise to the Dark’s offeres a lot of nice and peaceful views and is for sure a place for taking pictures. It is another example of what is possible in Second Life with just little ressources. I enjoyed a very relaxing time there.
Thank you, Anita and Kiara.

Landmark to Sweet Paradise to the Dark’s

Simploring 2018 (95) Glenrosa

I picked Glenrosa from SL Destinations for my simploring tour on Saturday, October 27th. The picture I saw and the description tempted me: “Glenrosa is a place to wander and explore. Set off down the winding road or take the shoreline. Whichever path you choose you will find lots of surprises along the way.

Glenrosa – overview

Glenrosa is a moderate homestead, an island surrounded by higher mountains. Upon landing you stand at a gate, with the name “Glenrosa” engraved into the gate posts. To me it seems like the entrance to a bigger property with a villa. I walked through the gate and followed the dirt road that acutally led me to a bigger house, a manor. It looked a bit abandoned. I walked inside and found it fully furnished, but most of the furniture was covered with sheets and moving boxes were piled up in some corners, the bookshelfs were empty. The other rooms and floors were similar mothballed and it felt somehoe a bit scary inside of the manor.

Glenrosa – landing point and the manor

I continued my simploring tour and walked along the shore. Glenrosa offers a lot of nature, some areas are quite meagre, the shores are either rocky or covered with black gravel. Some conifers grow under these conditions nonetheless. The nature looks very natural and fitting. I walked around a larger pond with a fishing hut, discovered a nice place to sit and enjoy. Admist some bushes near the shore I also discovered some art.

Glenrosa – around the lake

There’s an old railroad track and another house nearby, that I explored as well. Again it looked a bit scary inside and although it was furnished it felt like it wasn’t inhabited for a longer time. Quite in the center of Glenrosa is a chapel with a graveyard. But the chapel isn’t used as such anymore, although inside are a few pews. The chains at the walls, the chair where once the altar might have been, the two cages with candles inside indicate that it is used for some darker kinks.

Glenrosa – a bit of art and other impressions

At the end of my simploring tour I met the owners of Glenrosa, Gabriel (gabriel4botto) and Brandi Monroe, who happened to be at the pebbly shore. They had been at an Halloween party the night before and were still wearing their costumes, just like myself. I wore a witch costume from our Friday night party the day before.

Glenrosa – the residential house and the chapel

Gabriel is the owner of Corruption. Brandi explained to me, that “Corruption is a different sim they have. It is an adult sim. There is a fee to join that one and we have our events and all there. It’s a bit different looking than this one. Glenrosa is just a photography/hang out sim basically. We extended it originally as another option for our Corruption members to have, but decided to open it to the public about a week ago.

Glenrosa – more impressions / Diomita meeting Gabriel and Brandi, the owners of Glenrosa

And Brandi is absolutely right, Glenrosa is a great place for taking pictures. It stands out with is quite natural landscape and vegetation. It offers opportunities to retreat or for some darker activities. In any case, Glenrosa is worth a visit. Thank you for opening Glenrosa for the public, Gabriel and Brandi!

Landmark to Glenrosa
Landmark to Corruption

Simploring 2018 (92) Winter Moon

For my simploring tour on Saturday, October 20th, I selected Winter Moon from SL Destinations. There’re a lot of reviews about Winter Moon already, it seems to be quite popular, yet I’ve never been there before. Winter Moon is a homestead rated PG, it is group owned by a group also named Winter Moon, which was founded by Dream Shadowcry. Joining the group is for free. As far as I could find out, the sim was created and is really owned by Dream Shadowcry. And it is quite popular indeed. The group has close to 3,000 members, and during my visit I was not alone at all, there were 10 other people around.

Impressions of Winter Moon (1) – overview and landing point

The landmark description is quite romantic: “You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you, that’s where I’ll be waiting

Winter Moon is an island in the form of a hoof. One part of the hoof is dominated by a steep massive rock, the other part is quite flat and on it’s end is a huge lighthouse that towers above the whole island. The bay, formed by the hoof is not open, as a bridge leads from the lighthouse over the bay to the other end of the island.

Impressions of Winter Moon (2)

The windlight setting is a bit foggy and set to immerse the island in a warm reddish sundown atmosphere. I switched the light to my favourite setting for simploring, which is “Annan Adored Realisitc ambient”.
The provided landmark for Winter Moon leads to a point close to the lighthouse, an alley with some upholstered furniture at the sides, chandeliers are suspended from the branches of the trees. It looks like a mixtures between indoor and outdoor, like a living room under the sky – and yes it looks very romantic.

Impressions of Winter Moon (3)

I walked up to the top of the lighthouse to get an overview, then I walked all around the island, crossing the bridge that connects the both ends of the hoof. What I noticed right when I landed continued. Winter Moon is a very romantic spot, there’re innumerable places to sit and cuddle, one spot more inviting than the other, a fantasy world yet not science fiction, just lovely. Sofas, beds, loungers, chairs, benches … and all offer a nice view into the beautiful and really peaceful environment.

Impressions of Winter Moon (4)

At Winter Moon you have the difficult choice between a romantic spot on the beach, or overlooking the beach, or in the forest, or looking at the waterfalls that run down from the big rock into the bay, or close to the lighthouse, or on the bridge or in the middle of the bay where some arcardes form a circle. As mentioned before, I was not alone during my visit and some spots were taken, but there’re so many that you will find a romantic spot far from other visitors any time. And I can understand now why Winter Moon is popular.

Impressions of Winter Moon (5)

I enjoyed my visit a lot. Thank you Dream Shadowcry for providing this romantic hideaway to the public. I will return whenever I look for a place to cuddle with my love.

Landmark to Winter Moon

Simploring 2018 (89) Black Bayou Lake

When I saw the first reviews of Black Bayou Lake on SL Destinations I knew I had to see this sim. It is the newest creation of Serene Footman and his partner Jade Koltai. Serene Footman is the creator of places like Furillen, Dunkirk – La Digue du Braek, Khodovarikha and Isle of May, all of which I visited and wrote about (read here: Furillen, Dunkirk – La Digue du Braek, Khodovarikha, Isle of May). All these sims have one thing in common: they are built according to a place in the physical world – and so is Black Bayou Lake.

Impressions of Black Bayou Lake in Second Life (1)

On Serene Footman’s website you find a detailed description about Black Bayou Lake:
Black Bayou Lake (link to wikipedia) – the inspiration for our sim – is located in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. The lake is part of an 800 acre nature reserve – there is a factsheet about it here – which seethes with wildlife: there are many species of bird, insect, reptile and fish, along with a variety of trees such as cherrybark oak, cedar elm, ash, hickories, willow oak, shortleaf pine, loblolly pine, mockernut hickory and post oak. It’s a stunning place, which attracted us because we had not yet tried designing a sim that consists mainly of water…...”

Black Bayou Lake in Second Life is a virtual interpretation of the nature reserve in the physcial world. The most outstanding feature both places have in common is a long wooden footpath that visitors can use to explore and to even walk out onto the lake. The swamp with it’s unique flora and the bare trees is another feature they share. Even some of the huts that are scattered on the sim look similar to those found in the nature reserve.

Impressions of Black Bayou Lake in Second Life (2)

I didn’t change the windlight setting that was provided. The atmosphere is very foggy and mystic, you can almost sense the humidity. I walked along the whole footpath, enjoyed the views, sat down here and there, listened to the birds singing (don’t forget to turn on the ambient sound!) and took a lot of pictures.
When I left the wooden footpath, I fall into the swamp several times. Luckily that’s not dangerous in Second Life, nonetheless you’d better watch your step.

Impressions of Black Bayou Lake in Second Life (3)

Visiting Black Bayou Lake was a great experience that I really enjoyed. I looked up a lot of information about the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge. It did not replace a visit to it in real life, but together with some pictures of the real place it felt as if I were there. I assume just the smell and the damp heat is what I missed *winks*.

Thank you Serene Footman and Jade Koltai for sharing your creation with the public!

Landmark for Black Bayou Lake
Serene Footman’s website
Black Bayou Lake on Wikipedia
Description from a visit at Black Bayou Lake
Black Bayou Lake Factsheet

Simploring 2018 (88) Machinima Open Studio Project – LEA 6

I read about “Machinima Open Studio Project” at LEA 6 at SL Destinations. Many blog posts have been published about it before. “Machinima Open Studio Project” at LEA 6 is just the newest sim. It is built by Chic Aeon. “Machinima Open Studio Project” is described as “a community resource for filmmakers and photographers. Full sim environments with careful attention to production values, LODs, flow and framerates. Full sim night city with backlot film studios; rustic town ground level. Machinima friendly. 20 min rez.

Impressions of “Machinima Open Studio Project” (1)

The landmark I grabbed led me to a town scenery, a street canyon surrounded by skyscrapers, quite a dodgy environment. I took a few pictures and searched how to leave there but there was no teleport pad and no hint. The scenery was built into a box. Finally I used the map to leave the box. Outside I saw several other boxes and spheres with different scenes, be it plain countryside or a colourful fantasy scene. All these scenes were at a level of 2.500m and I traveled to different levels and found more scenes.

Impressions of “Machinima Open Studio Project” (2)

At the 1.000m level I found an office with very helpful information about “Machinima Open Studio Project“, there’s a website and a long notecard with helpful hints for making films using Second Life. I provide this landmark with this blog post. I think that’s the official starting point for visiting “Machinima Open Studio Project“. Here you can also get a folder with all the landmarks to go directly to the scene you’re interested in – and there many different scenes!

At the office of the “Machinima Open Studio Project” you can grab a folder with all landmarks and other useful information

It’s interesting to see how you can built scenes on quite small pieces of land with a comparably small amount of prims. The scenes are not just great for making a film but also provide a great background for pictures, in particular when you play with the windlight settings and with shadows.
Being inworld more than 10 years now, I still discover new elements of Second Life. Not that I didn’t know about making films in Second Life (I did that myself a couple of years ago), but I was not aware that there’re sims like “Machinima Open Studio Project” that provide backgrounds particularly for this use. And the provided information and hints are very helpful in case that I decide to make another film some time.

Some Information about Chic Aeon (for reading click to zoom)

Thank you Chic Aeon for providing the “Machinima Open Studio Project“, and as I understood you do this for many years already. Thanks also to the Linden Endowment for the Arts program, that provides the sim for it for 3 years already.
I really enjoyed to discover and explore it.

Landmark to “Machinima Open Studio Project” – leads to the office
Website of “Machinima Open Studio Project”

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