I know that I have blogged before on roleplay sims and in particular the medieval themed ones. However, once again I have stumbled across one that offers that something different. Aldarian Isle is a complete medieval themed sim, but the emphasis here is on a northern European medieval village and as such the focus of it’s authenticity is on the builds, making it so much more than just a pretty location.
At the landing point you are offered a note card, which is a full guide to the sim, as well as a visitor tag that it is requested visitors wear. They’re happy for people to walk around in ‘normal’ clothing, though ask that furries, toon characters etc change to a less ‘non-medieval’ for. Free clothing is provided at the landing point should you wish to get into theme. The sound effects at the landing point are not overbearing and actually go a long way to creating the bustling middle age village feel. Sound effects actually change in numerous locations across the sim, in line with the atmosphere and feel of that particular area.
I won’t go through the note card in detail here as you should go and check it out for yourself. Suffice to say that there is a good list there of places within the sim to visit, including a bakery and a couple of 7Seas fishing locations. Fortunately, I have a good graphics card and a system that can handle a lot, as does Demoiselle. Otherwise it might have proven a little too much for the computers as there is a lot going on here. My only complaint actually is that, as a lot of roleplay sims do, they have turned off fly here. Yes ok, so viewing admin options will enable you to fly, but the point is it is preferred that you don’t. The reason is that they want people to appreciate and take their time with the sim. In my opinion, I can do that flying and I really don’t like being told I can’t fly somewhere. But that really is my only complaint!
As for the sim itself, it seems that there is already a good community established and growing here. There is a tavern in which each time I visited people were dancing.
The sim has a good number of builds including a tavern, water mill, stables etc. There are beautifully authentic little market stalls too. Josef Roffo, the owner of the group that owns this sim (Aldarian Realm) actually created some of the builds around and about as well.
Although, as I have mentioned, the focus here is not just on pretty scenery but on making a real authentic medieval village atmosphere, they do the pretty scenery too! Behind the tavern you will find a forest and a beautiful one at that, that eventually paves the way to a rocky and rough coastline featuring ships, an Alchemist’s Tower building and Stonehenge.
At the risk of this sounding a little cliched, I really could not possibly begin to count the number of things I have missed in this review. And actually, I feel it would be a shame to point out everything because it would leave you without any surprises. If you visit one place today, make it this one. You absolutely will not be disappointed. Whether you roleplay or not, whether you like the medieval style or not, you should definitely teleport here. The reason I say this is because anyone with an appreciation of sim design, architecture, authenticity or simply a wonderful community feel to a place will love this. It allows for so much exploration here.
I can go as far as to say that this is absolutely one of the best places to go in Second Life™. Find it here.
– Broom Andel
Demoiselle Denimore’s rating is a whopping 10/10.
Her only complaint is that she hated the red dragon
statue but the buck deer and the rest of the sim
was ‘perfect’ and thus makes up for it!
This is another place I just happened across on my travels. Now, primarily this sim is a roleplay and combat sim. However they are happy for visitors to wander around providing you wear the tag provided at the landing point and dress appropriately. That’s not too much to ask now is it? Especially as a notecard with LMs to places you can get free attire is provided as well!
I’m not really a roleplayer myself, though I confess to really loving the Gorean and Medieval styled roleplaying sims for their architecture and landscaping. This one is very, very well put together. It’s low traffic and I had personally never heard of it before teleporting in. But I imagine the reason it is low traffic is the sheer volume of sims of this nature out there now. With so much competition and saturation it’s a wonder any of them ever get visits. This is one that thoroughly hope works out though, as it really is marvellously well put together.
The sim is Silverleaf and the Realms of Aledar parcel consumes 26000sqm of this and professes to offer fantasy roleplay. There is a primarily medieval feel to the sim with some quirky steampunk elements. The owner of the area here is the Silverleaf group, the owners of which are (as far as I can tell) Asytra Minogue, Ariel Liveoak, Akiko Sakai and Aerith Fhang. Much of the building, including the wonderfully homely tavern, is done by Asytra and Akiko, which is great to see. I do enjoy seeing places where the owners have played their part in creating some of the buildings as opposed to buying absolutely everything in.
Anyway, there are vendors around from which you can buy merchandise and also rentals there too. Though, as far as I can tell the focus of the sim is community building and roleplay. It’s a beautiful place to explore or hangout and their friendly approach to non-roleplaying visitors is refreshing. It’s another one of the most beautiful places to visit in Second Life™ and for those interested in fantasy roleplay in Second Life, this could be a very good place to start. It seems they’re very much interested in having new people join their community here, paticularly if you’re something a little different to the elves, pirates, druids etc. The story of Aledar is offered to you upon arrival if you wish to take part in the fantasy RPG element of it. There is also a free combat system available as well as a notecard offering landmarks to places you can get free attire that will fit you in perfectly. So it really is possible to get going with the roleplay at no cost whatsoever.
All in all it seems like a community that is still very much getting started. Though, that means it could be the best time to get involved for any keen roleplayers! Whether you wish to roleplay or not, however, this is a great sim to visit for anyone with an appreciation of that medieval style of island.
You will find this place here and I recommend a visit!
This is arguably one of the coolest concepts I have come across in game. The Anonymous Blanks were created by Vladimir Rakosi and are…well to be honest they’re simple plain blank robot style avatars. But there’s a twist. You can accessorise these in such a way that is fairly addictive, to be honest.
Hosted on a sim called Xntra City, the first stop has to be the factory, where you can be turned into an Anonymous Blank. You simply sit on the platform and go round the conveyer belt to be ‘converted’ by means of some entertaining object givers and instructions. This is completely free of charge and is a great means of introduction to these avatars. By the time you have gone around the conveyer system, you’re a Blank. Attach your HUD to play sounds and an animation. It then brings you out into the little shop where you can pick up a free Construction Helmet or buy upgrades and accessories for your blank (from L$ 10 to L$ 1000 depending on the product). But even if you opt not to upgrade your Blank, what comes with the free version is pretty impressive. As well as the sounds and the animation on the HUD, if you click your head you will find a whole menu there too, with options to change your floaty text above your head, change the colour of your avatar, even add memos and reminders to a small built in function there. There is even a “tip hand” function which, for the cheekier amongst you, turns your right hand into a tip jar if you wish to attempt to collect handouts. They really are very cool and with a little more word out about them I could see them taking off. It’s a quirky concept. I think people would start to create their own accessories as well. My main complaint about the factory itself is that if someone else is on the conveyer, you cannot use it. And as it can take a good five minutes for someone to get around there (if they’re being slow) you can find yourself waiting around for a while. If it is possible, the addition of a second platform would be good as a lot of people will not wait around in Second Life™.
Coming out of the factory, the rest of the sim has a lot to offer as well, though admitedly much of the sim is made up of stores including a puzzle/gadget store and a second Blank accessories store as well as the Xntra City balloon factory which sells, well… balloons! There’s a building area and some boat rentals as well. The main thing to note about the entire sim though is just how well built it is! It’s very well put together and is unique in both its theme and concept. The building work is also done by Vladimir.
All in all it’s a sim that is worth a visit for its sheer unique approach. It really is a lot of fun and will not go unappreciated by the architecture lovers either. It really is very quirky. Have some pictures!
Go along and visit! It’s well worth the teleport.
You will find Xntra City and the Anonymous Blanks here.
This is yet another sim I stumbled across while on my travels. This is a full sim sized rainforest owned by Alix Abruzzo.
I’ve searched a few times for a rainforest type sim in Second Life and found one problem with many of those I have visited. Simply that they’re not ‘rainforesty’ enough. When you think rainforest you think dense vegetation, lush scenery, streams and wildlife. And while I’m sure no rainforest in game would be expected to have the specific plants and trees you would actually find biologically correct and accurate, I’ve found many just didn’t live up to my own personal vision of what one should be. Of course, as with anything, it’s subject to opinion and mine are pretty, well… unchangeable, I’m afraid.
Today I found this one and it does live up to my own expectations. The reason this one works, I feel, better than the others is that in encompasses two key elements. It is a thick dense forest and the landscaping of the sim is perfect. There are zip lines, a sort of lounge/piano place (though very well built in theme so as not to look out of place), little hidden benches and corners for couples to cosy up on poseballs, there are streams and lagoons and plenty of hidden little features. It’s the type of sim you feel the need to visit more than once, as you can be pretty sure that you probably missed something the first time around.
The piano bar is well decorated and done out. The structure fits in well with the theme and was built by Anastasia Hawks, who seems to have built a fair amount of the stuff on this sim and has done so to a very high standard.
The tower style house in the north west corner overlooks the entire sim and again is open for anyone to go inside and look around. You can take a ride in a swan vote, dance the evening away on a beautiful glass dance floor or simply explore the many secluded corners. Every time I thought I’d seen everything I found something else, and that for me is what makes this such a great place. There’s a real need for exploration in order to appreciate this fully. It’s worth noting that the sound effects here have been used very well too. I have been to many places where the “sound effects,” were simply a series of noises causing nothing but headaches. But not here. They’re subtle enough to not be a nuisance and present enough to create a real atmosphere and actually enable you to forget briefly that you’re just sitting at your computer!
The key thing I want to point out is that this certainly is not a commercial venture. In fact I couldn’t find anything for sale. There were donation boxes inside the piano bar and that was all, which suggests that this rainforest (which lies on a full prim sim, nonetheless) has been set up simply for a love of creativity in game rather than for gain. That makes me appreciate it all the more. I will quit with my waffling and show you the pictures!
Whether for exploration, photography or romancing, this is one to visit. You can find it here!
Even without the catchy name, Primtings is pretty awesome! This is another of those places I just happened across when searching random words and ended up spending quite some time there. Primtings is a shortened word for ‘Primmed Paintings’ because that is exactly what this full sim gallery displays. It is described as being in its preview stages at the moment, with a search on for artists to display. However, preview or otherwise, I found the place to be incredible and already displaying an impressive array of talent.
Ok, so what is its idea? As I gather, organiser and owner, Ina Centaur and other participating artists take famous real world paintings of varying artistic types and create 3D versions from prims in game, bringing the painting to life, perhaps, for those who may not have ever believed they had an appreciation of art. By each Primting is a copy of the 2D painting on which is was based, information about who did the original, who built the primting and other information too.
There are various categories and displays across the museum. In fact, there is too much in there already, despite it only being in preview stages, to really go into too much detail with. What I would like to do though, is to show you a few of my personal favourites and then wholeheartedly recommend that you go along and find your own favourites too! There’s plenty more there than just what I’m going to show you!
The first one I’d like to show you is based on ‘Nighthawks,’ a painting by Edward Hopper (with all of these you can either Google the painting name to see the original or go along to Primtings where the originals are on display by the 3D recreation). The Primting was built by Tezcatlipoca Bisiani and is a really inspiring recreation. It certainly resembles the original well, while permitting its creator to add their own stamp.
Another I particularly liked was a recreation of ‘Vincent’s Room,’ originally painted by Van Gogh and built in world here by Dekka Raymaker. Interestingly there are two version of this. In one, each surface is textured and in the second he simply pulls away the texturing leaving bare colours. The absence of any texturing on the second one leaves everything to sheer simplicity and actually, Dekka leaves himself exposed in the second one, with the focus suddenly being on how everything is put together without any texture for distraction. Fortunately for Dekka, everything is put together very well and both versions of this are amazing.
The third of four I want to specifically mention is a recretion of Max Ernst’s ‘Ambiguous Figures,’ recreated in primmed painting form by Kacy Despres. Kacy has a number of works featured at Primtings, but this is probably my favourite of them!
And finally my absolute favourite of them all has to be Voodoo Shilton’s recreation of one of my all time favourite works. Salvador Dali’s, ‘Persistence of Memory,’ is an iconic piece of art. I don’t regard myself as an art enthusiast. I know little about the works of most famous painters. But I know what I like. And I love, ‘Persistence of Memory.’ Before I visited this, if someone would have told me that Voodoo had built a 3D model based on it, I would undoubtedly have been a little reluctant to see it, for the simple fact I generally believe that some things are at their best in their original form and should not be touched. But Voodoo Shilton’s recreation is incredible. I was thoroughly impressed!
As I said, these are just my person favourites. As with anything it is subject to tastes and you will probably have your own favourites. But I strongly encourage you to go down and take a look. It’s a completely original idea of Ina Centaur’s and her notecard available from on site tell us that it’s something she has been planning since August 2007, though has only recently purchased the sim for and set up. The concept, as I said, is original and is yet another opportunity in game for residents to express their creativity in a remarkable way. My only complaint about the whole thing, actually, is that I found it a little difficult in places to find my way around. But consider it an adventure.
Do go along. And if you’re a keen creator yourself, they are actively seeking submissions and all the information in regard to this can be found on site. Go visit! You will find Primtings here.
I stumbled upon this beautiful lighthouse when I was looking through search for random places (as you do). When I teleported in I had a very pleasant surprise. I’ve seen some pretty plain looking lighthouses in game (tapered cylinders) but this one is beautiful.
I must mention that this lighthouse was built by, is owned by and lived in by Kandace Commons, whose land description here tells people, “The Vernian Sea Lighthouse is my home, visitors are welcome. Steampunk themed with gothic and victorian influences. Working steam engine on the fourth floor, two living floors, ground floor boiler room, and top floor balcony.”
And what an impeccable build. The elaborate detail both inside and out is exceptional. It’s a brick lighthouse with beautiful windows all around, located on its own little island on the region of Karoastoff. The space around the lighthouse has been craftfully turned into quiant little gardens with toadstools and detailed sculpted trees. Up the steps from the gardens leads to the entrance, which leads to the boiler room. Most of the content here, including the impressive steam punk style boiler itself is built by Kandace. Clicking on the rustic styled ladders on each floor will take you to the next floor up. Clicking on the trap doors takes you to the next one down. The sound effects make for a surprisingly authentic feel as well.
The engine room at the top is full of cogs and other very well built mechanics for ‘running’ this lighthouse. Again all this is built by Kandace and is remarkably well detailed. As is everything about this build, in all honesty. The attention to detail is exquisite and attention was paid to how and where it was set up and situated as well. It really is by far the best lighthouse build I have come across in game and ranks amongst the best builds of any type that I have seen. This one is definitely worth a visit, if nothing else it will certainly inspire those creative juices. Another example of the superb creativity on display in game and a reminder as to why user created environments are so incredible. I’ll quit boring you with my waffle and show you the pictures!
This is a build that any virtual architecture enthusiast will not want to miss. Kudos to Kandace Commons for the amazing quality of this.
You can find the Vernian Sea Lighthouse here.
Go, go, go! You don’t want to skip this one!
– Broom Andel
Demoiselle Denimore’s rating is 10/10
“The little bunny is so cuuuute.”
Yes, Demoiselle is still special.
No, I didn’t leave my finger on the R key for too long. That really is what this location is called. And what a stunning location indeed.
Unfortunately, before I even begin to tell you much about this place, I should let you know that if you are going to visit, you ought to do so before the end of 2008 as this is another location that has fallen victim to the openspace changes recently announced by Linden Labs and it will be closing its virtual doors to the public when the price increases come into effect.
But anyway. Demoiselle and I were doing some exploring when we came across this little hidden gem. Lying on the region of Bonaire19, the Lands of Werre encompasses 65536sqm of blissful beauty. The landing point brings you in front of a beautiful ship, where I was greeted by Ender Hanner, owner of this location. It’s medieval in theme offering a small market place from which you can buy Ender’s goods, which are all household/tavern style products, also medieval in theme. He sells himself a little short with his products, as the prims from which they’re sold are small and easy to miss. I cannot emphasise enough that the focal point of this sim certainly is not commercial. It’s literally a few stalls with a couple of items on that is commercial. The rest of the sim is sheer beauty. It is well landscaped with high mountains, dramatic slopes and an elegant stream, with bridges over it. The sim is littered with quiet little corners and areas to just sit and admire the surroundings. A steep set of steps lead up the highest mountain to a castle at its peak offering some spectacular views of the whole sim.
As with any place of beauty, the best I can do is to show you the pictures. That gives you a far clearer idea than my waffling words ever could. The best you could do however, is to get yourself on over there before it has to close!
You can find Ender Hanner’s Lands of Werrre here, but only until the end of December 2008!
– Broom Andel
Demoiselle Denimore’s Rating is 9/10.
She fell in love with the animated squirrel.
Demoiselle is special.
No, I’m not talking about the famed comic books. ‘Dandy’ in this sense refers to the male character (particularly written about in Victorian literature and famously so in the works of the incredible Oscar Wilde) who cares about his appearance, pays particular attention to how he dresses and can be flamboyant. But I won’t get into literary definitions or lectures about Wilde!
However, I was handed a note card with information about a Dandy Store called ‘Nachtmusik’ by one of its two owners the other day. The store is owned by Draco Nacht and Theodore Nacht and lies on the beautifully quaint sim of Caledon South End. It caters to ‘Dandy-ish’ male avatars primarily with its elegant Victorian style clothing but also has a couple of female gowns as well.
I went along to take a look, since such an idea is very original in Second Life™ and it is something of a change to see in terms of the saturated clothing market.
The first thing to note it just how well this place is set up. The store is elegant, Victorian in feel and works well with the concept of the designs it sells. The building was created by Gregg Barrymore. Kudos to the owners though for opting to lay out their store in theme. As I say frequently, I really hate to see locations where the items have been thrown out in prims with no thought or care.
Getting beyond the incredible interior and exterior decor, I took a close look at the advertising pictures for the clothing they create here. This is very much a new store, which explains the relatively limited range of items available. But already there is a certain quality to be seen. The outfits stay very much true to their theme and are incredibly ‘Dandy-ish’ in nature. Many of them can also be sent as gifts, which is a great idea and very convenient. The prices are very reasonable. For example, the ‘Colorful Gentleman’ outfit which is an entire outfit with jackets, pants, shirt layer plus prim parts too, is just L$ 150! ‘The Dandy’ outfit, again a full outfit featuring prim puffed sleeves and cravat is just L$ 200, the same price as the female gowns.
So pricewise, superb. For layout, wonderful. It is very much a niche, however. Few people in game I have seen dress permanently in this style so I imagine it would attract costume buyers just as much as those who choose this for their overall look.
I would say this will be more impressive once it has a larger range, particularly if the new releases will stay as true to theme as the current ones. It’s refreshing to come across a designer who is focusing on a niche like this. I would much rather see someone specialise in their area than become a Jack of all trades and a master of none.
Whether you like your avatar to be permanently a Dandy, or whether you simply require something of this nature for a costume party, this is worth a look as the quality is seemingly high and the products look detailed, not to mention the low prices. You can find Nachtmusik Dandy Store here.
– Broom Andel
Demoiselle Denimore’s rating is 7/10.
When I opened up a free for all last night, inviting people to submit their low traffic locations to me for review, I had something of a greater response than expected… not that I’m complaining! It gives me plenty of exploring to do!
The first place I teleported to was one submitted to me by Amiryu Hosoi, a Japanese furniture creator who submitted landmarks to two sims, one of which houses her furnishings and the other of which houses her replica of the Great Wall of China.
Teleporting into Virgin Island, the sim on which you will find Amiryu’s Hosoi Ichiba furnishings, the first thing that struck me was the obvious time and effort that had gone into creating an authentic feeling environment from which to sell her products. This is always a positive start and an assurance, in my opinion, that if a creator puts that much effort into the layout of the products, then their quality is likely to be high as well. The sim is worth exploring for its layout alone, even if you don’t consider yourself to be particularly interested in this niche of furnishings. As well as the couches and rugs, the ornate lamps, floor cushions and wall hangings are incredibly well designed ‘extras’. By ‘extras’ I mean the little things that you don’t find in every other place attempting to do the same type of thing. In this case I am referring to a number of beautiful Asian Gongs.
There’s far too many pieces for me to go into detail with but suffice to say that accuracy of the pieces in relation to their theme is impeccable. I certainly would say that there are lower prim furnishings available (as an example a couch is around 20-30 prims) but what has been done with prims here could not be done any other way and is worth it. Besides, there are much higher prim furnishings out there too! In terms of price, at L$ 450 for a gong and on average, it seems, L$400 for a couch, I would put this in line with around average pricing. The prices are very fair, in my opinion.
The next part of the same visit took me just two sims along to the replica of the Great Wall of China on a sim called Mao. Here, you teleport into a small watchtower in which there are vendors on the wall. One of them offers for sale the complete Great Wall of China replica kit… at a staggering L$95000. Ok, so it does have 30 components but I still find this a tad on the pricey side. However, when you step out of the tower and take a look at the replica laid out there on an island terraformed perfectly to fit, it really is breathtaking.
The accuracy with which this has been created is astounding and the quality of the build is flawless. Add that to impeccable texturing and you start to understand the price tag a little more. The quaint doorways, the watchtowers and the rugged way in which the wall creeps over the hills of the island certainly puts this amongst the most breathtaking locations I have ever visited. The pictures will do this far more justice than my words ever will… and a visit there yourself is one step better.
Definitely, definitely worth checking out.
– Broom Andel
And of course, no review would be complete without my wonderful partner in crime, Demoiselle Denimore’s rating. For Hosoi Ichiba and the Great Wall of China, Demoiselle’s rating…. (drum roll) 8/10! Where did the other two points go, I hear you ask? Well, Demoiselle tells me it would have been a 10 if she had seen a panda there. (Demoiselle is special)!
I stumbled across this place when I was sifting through listings for art galleries. The traffic on it is surprisingly low, which explains its low position in the search ranks.
What a shame that this is so low placed in search though as this place is incredible. It is a full sim and does include a lot of free Christian memorabilia, though what I want to concentrate on is the sculpture gallery, in which every single sculpture is completely free of charge.
The sculptures are intricately designed and beautifully done. I will be the first to stand up and say that I am not religious, I do not believe in God. However, despite that I really do have an appreciation of the beauty and elegance of the statues created here. They’re not all religious. There’s a giraffe, a beautiful ballerina and others too. But despite my (lack of) beliefs in terms of religion, my favourite was still probably the Moses sculpture simply for detail and the clear hard work that went into this.
As I said, they really are all free. Out and about there are some made by other people available to purchase, but all the ones in the store are made by Silver Skytower and are L$0. Additionally they are also copy and transfer. Again this probably goes some way to explaining lower traffic. If people can pass to their friends then their friends don’t need to go to a location to pick them up.
This place really is worth a visit and the material Silver produces is of an incredible standard. It really is the type of thing that makes you wonder why it’s free! Hehe!
You can find this place here!