Monday, 9 July 2012

Expecto Advocato

Visit the Expecto sim as long as you can. The latest rage in SL is bound to be sued off the grid soon enough. 

"Mischief Managed SL are a non for profit Roleplaying group inspired by the Harry Potter books by J K Rowling, played within the metaverse of Second Life." 

Despite this disclaimer, I am pessimistic about the future of this truly fantastic sim. HP-licenses are harder to get than audiences with the pope and the US president on the same day. And - let's not beat around the bush - the truly magnificent castle build is a clear copy of what we know from the movies.

That said, the sim itself and the castle is among the best you will see in SL. Constructed almost entirely from mesh components, the quality of detail and texturing is amazing. The sim - if it survives - will act as roleplay environment for a post-Potter curriculum of wizardry. Right now it is on "public beta" - rumor says it will be closed to the public once regular roleplay starts.

Good luck, girls and boys.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Knights Templar Fortress

Hoovering above the shops on the Dream of Passion sim, you can find a beautiful castle. There are many castles in Second Life, and some of them may be bigger, more fantastic or more alive that this Knights Templar Fortress, yet this one has a few things that make it worth to visit.

The landing point is very well chosen. Immediately after arriving you get an impressive view on the castle, its many towers rising up high above you. The position on a hill top and the half-timbered house remind of some typical German castles in the atomic world.

Knights Templar Fortress

The gate at the end of the bridge opens with a loud rattling of chains and you'll enter a cosy court. From there many squeaking doors invite you to explore the castle. The doors are not the only sounds in the building: when you climb to the higher parts of the fortress, you can hear the wind howl around the crenels.

Knights Templar Fortress

The rooms inside are scarcely furnitured; just enough to give an impression of their use. There's a King's Hall and an office. Next to the defence walls are rooms for the guards with a table to play the dice. The cellars are not hiding a BDSM dungeon - as too common in SL - but filled with stock.

Knights Templar Fortress

Knights Templar Fortress

The best thing of this castle however, is that you can go everywhere. The towers and buildings  are not just massive prims, but real buildings that you can enter with doors and stairways. One easily gets lost in the many corridors. All the windows - also the observation-holes in the walls and towers - are real: not just textures on the wall, but actual holes that you can look through.
Besides that, most corridors and stairways are built with enough headspace to cam around easily. The camera seldom gets stuck. Nonetheless the fortress has realistic dimensions. Someone's done a very good job here.

SLURL: Knights Templar Fortress

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Companion

The Companion is a sim based on Norvegian folktales, owned by Frigg Ragu a.k.a Mimesis Monday. After teleporting to the landing point you'll find yourself in a wintery scene that invites to explore. There are clickable booklike frames that take you out of the cold, to locations in the sky, and there is a path leading between the snowy trees on ground level. Scattered over the sim are snippets of stories, some of them are amusing, many quite ghostly. Except for one story about the origin of the "other people", told close to the start, you won't find any full length stories. Nevertheless it's enjoyable to explore the scenes and to imagine what they are about.

Make sure to have sound on when you visit the Companion, because there are many sound effects spread over the sim that add to the atmosphere. Also turn up your draw distance, as there's much more to see than noticeable at first sight. Finally it's also worth the effort to play with your windlight settings to enhance the spooky atmosphere.

SLURL:  The Companion

20120618 The companion

20120618 The companion