The Best of Second Life™

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Splash Aquatics Walk-Through Aquarium!

Splash Aquatics is something of a huge store on the Gooruembalchi mainland sim. Creator and owner, Kaikou Splash, sells all types of aquatic  mammals, tropical fish and fresh water fish as well as a range of scuba diving gear, landscaping tools and some incredible vehicles! The place is 100% worth checking out and his animals are the most beautiful and realistic available in Second Life™. In addition, the prices are very reasonable.

However, the element I want to concentrate on is the walk-through aquarium, which is just amazing! It’s incredibly well done and showcases the very finest in aquatic animals in game. Completely submerged, you can walk right through a very peaceful feeling tunnel and admire the work of the creator close up.


Take a look for yourself!

I recommend taking a visit to Splash! You can find it by clicking here!

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March 22, 2009 Posted by | Beautiful Places, Miscellaneous, Product Reviews, Shopping, Stores | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rivet Town – Incredible Victorian Roleplay Sims

It’s been quite some time since I ‘wowed’ out loud in my travels in game and longer still since I have then followed this with unsolicited teleports to people on my friend list telling them they just HAVE TO see this. But that is what happened when I stumbled upon the Rivet Town sims.

Rivet Town is made up of 2 sims, Rivet Town East and Rivet Town North East. The estate owner is Grace Loudon, who it is definitely worth mentioning seems to have built almost everything on the sims as well! Essentially these are Victorian and Steampunk themed roleplaying sims. As such there are rules, but nothing unreasonable. It isn’t, for example, compulsory to roleplay. Visitor tags are available at the entrance. It is worth actually reading through the note card at the landing point too! If you’re going to enjoy the sims at least learn the story behind the roleplay going on there and ensure you understand the conduct expected so as not to offend regular sim users. Anyway, enough of my preaching!

The landing point is a beautifully quaint and incredibly authentic looking Victorian railway station complete with Flying Scotsman steam train replica. Touches such as the baggage trolley on the platform and the sound effects used make for a really very bizarre feeling of having been teleported into a period drama! I was half expecting Hugh Grant and Colin Firth to enter speaking the Queen’s English and playing some very pompous important people! But then I remembered they’re probably far too busy for pixel period dramas which is something of a shame! But anyway, suffice to say I was massively impressed.

From here you are invited to teleport to the town, the landing point of which is the foot of a really beautiful bridge, which actually runs from one sim to the other.

The bridge seems to act as very much a focal point of the sim, though this is definitely not the only thing going for the sim! There’s residential type court areas, a town court, police station, factory, housing, church, graveyard and numerous authentic looking boutique style shops as well as a factory and docks. And that is only the surface. There are renters on this sim and Grace Loudon does have a rather large store (in a Steampunk styled factory type building) on it too. But the focus is not commercial and you never find yourself feeling as though you are having advertising rammed fown your throat. The focus is genuinely on the authenticity and accuracy of the architecture. Both the exteriors and interiors of all the builds have been put together with painstaking detail (as far as sewage spewing into the water at the end of a street) and look evidently very well researched. The narrow alleys against the backdrop of an industrial revolution capure the era perfectly. I absolutely cannot fault the building work and Grace is certainly a very talented Second Life architect.

There is little my rambling can do to give you an idea of just how great this place is, so I will let the pictures do the talking!

I do apologise for picture overload…I couldn’t help it and actually these are just a handful of the ones I took!

Go along and check these sims out. They really are awesome and are something that should definitely not be missed! You can find Rivet Town by clicking here.

Go, go,go!

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Architecture, Beautiful Places | , , , , | 2 Comments

Verdigris – Vintage Sim!

It’s been a while since I blogged, I know. That is largely due to the fact that I haven’t really had time to just go out and explore as I like to. But I did get chance earlier on and came across this sim, Verdigris. This is a region owned by Oriolus Oliva and split into a couple of parcels. The theme is very much vintage and the sim acts as something of a showcase for the building skills of Oriolus. In addition you can buy a lot “antique” style items and buildings too. In true ‘old curiousity’ store style, there are all sorts of items available to purchase at really good prices!

What I want to really emphasise though is the unique style of building here and how awesomely (is what even a word) well put together this is. Steampunk is not uncommon in Second Life™, that much is true. But to see it done to quite this quality is. Windmills, ‘ranch style’ housing, a lighthouse and clocktower are just some of the builds on offer with exquisite detail and a real good quality.

Ok, so today is a lazy blogging day. I will show you a couple of pictures and provide a SLurl and send you on your way? Sound good? Cool!

See, pretty impressive huh? Now actually these pictures do it limited justice… much better to go check it out for yourself and really see the detail in these impressive builds. You’ll get there just by clicking here.

February 11, 2009 Posted by | Architecture | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Second Louvre Museum

As far as I was aware, Kharis Forti’s Second Louvre museum was fairly well known about and frequented. However, on my latest visit today I noticed traffic was limited and decided to ask a few people on my buddies list whether they had been. None of them had heard of it!

That in itself is a complete travesty. This place is utterly amazing! The build is impeccable and certainly one of the finest in Second Life™ and the content is of a superbly high standard as well. The structure was created by Kharis Forti (who is also the curator) with painstaking detail and the end result is flawless.

The Second Louvre

The Second Louvre

The entrance hall is dominated by a Starax Statosky 2006 sculpture called Achilles, which is intricately detailed and a marvel to admire. What a shame Starax is no longer in game! The rest of the floor is a number of varying sculptures from some of the more ‘traditional art’ styles to some modern and abstract types too. It would be a shame for me to go into detail here as it is something that really would be better appreciated by visiting. Suffice to say that the work in display is created by a number of different people and none of it is anything less than high standard. It seems Kharis Forti is certainly maintaining a good level of work here to ensure the museum maintains its more ‘exclusive’ feel.

The remaining floors contain paintings and photographic arts again contributed by a number of artists and again of great standard! Needless to say, not everything will be to everyone’s tastes here, given that the styles are so varied. However, ever if something might not be a style you would usually appreciate, what you cannot fail to appreciate is the amazing level of workmanship and creativity in both the contents and build.

Whether you enjoy RL museums or not, the Second Louvre is a must see in Second Life. The build bears something of a resemblance to its Parisien namesake and whether you go as someone who appreciates art or not, you will be sure to love the standard of the build.

You will find the Second Louvre here. Go visit! It really is amongst the best places in Second Life.

January 13, 2009 Posted by | Architecture, Arts and Culture, Beautiful Places | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Serenite Cutting Garden

The Serenite Cutting garden is a 2384sqm parcel on the sim, Serenite, owned by Keith Extraordinaire. This parcel is set aside for plants… free ones!

The note card you can take from the sign here tells us that Keith Extraordinaire has gathered as many free to copy plants from around Second Life™ as he could find and laid them all out for people to take copies of (or cuttings from hehe). He also invites people to send along any others they have that aren’t already out there to be shared. Some of them are created by him too actually. There’s everything here from poinsettia’s to cactii and the quality is awesome and certainly as good as a number of the plants available to purchase in game. Every single plant and tree is completely free. There are sculpted pots available to purchase for L$25 and gas heaters for the same price. This should be everyone’s first stop when looking for plants, trees or accessories for landscaping in Second Life

It’s such an incredibly simple yet effective idea. Kudos to Keith Extraordinaire for putting this together.

Serenite Cutting Garden

Serenite Cutting Garden

Serenite Cutting Garden

Serenite Cutting Garden

You will find the Serenite Cutting Garden here. While you’re there, I very much recommend you check out the rest of the sim too, as it’s very well done and a great place for exploring. The KX range of prefabs are awesome quality too!

Enjoy!

December 4, 2008 Posted by | Beautiful Places | , , , , | Leave a comment

Aldarian Isle – Medieval Roleplay Community

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.

Aldarian Isle

Aldarian Isle

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.

The Village Centre

The Village Centre

Coastline

Coastline

Water Mill

Water Mill

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!
************

November 30, 2008 Posted by | Beautiful Places | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Silverleaf – Realms of Aledar

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!

Overlooking the Realms of Aledar

Overlooking the Realms of Aledar

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.

Medieval Style Village

Medieval Style Village

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.

The Docks

The Docks

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.

Aledar

Aledar

You will find this place here and I recommend a visit!

– Broom

November 27, 2008 Posted by | Beautiful Places | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dreamscapes – Alix’s Timeless Rainforest

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!

Waterfall

Waterfall at Timeless Rainforest

Timeless Rainforest

Timeless Rainforest

Timeless Rainforest

Timeless Rainforest

One of the Bridges at Timeless Rainforest

One of the Bridges at Timeless Rainforest

Whether for exploration, photography or romancing, this is one to visit. You can find it here!

November 18, 2008 Posted by | Beautiful Places | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vernian Sea Lighthouse – Home of Kandace Commons

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.”

Vernian Sea Lighthouse Exterior

Vernian Sea Lighthouse Exterior

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.

By Night

By Night

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!

The first Living Room

The first Living Room

The Boiler Room

The Boiler Room

Engine Room

Engine Room

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.
********

November 16, 2008 Posted by | Architecture, Beautiful Places | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Lands of Werrre

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.

The Lands of Werre

The Lands of Werre

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.
***********

November 15, 2008 Posted by | Beautiful Places | , , | Leave a comment