Sunday, 25 March 2007

Finally Taking the Plunge

After much "ummm-ing" and "errrrr-ing" I have finally got myself a place in the virtual Sun. All I need to do now is figure out what in the name of [insert deity here] I should do with it!

It's a balmy, breezy corner of a tier-5 sim... a gentle slope leads down to the shoreline.... though there is no beach to speak of, as the land dips suddenly into the clear blue waters. I took possession late Saturday night, and spent a chunk of Sunday moving in. All expense has been spared in my liberal use of freebies, with palm trees fringeing the shoreline, while on the higher ground I have some sturdy cypress trees sheltering a little temple. This was something I built a few months ago, using a variety of public and less well-known sandboxes. It's good to give it a permanent home. For a house I've opted for one of the many freebie beach houses, built on stilts, reaching out over the sea. Aside from that, I think the only extravagance has been a 36-prim telescope, that is just too cool to leave out.

I've constructed some pathways, lit with mini-glowballs, and a micro-volcano, for a touch of geological glamour. I raided Yadni's for a bunch of free furniture, but couldn't really find what I wanted. So I made some simple chairs, that are now arranged around a fire pit, overlooking the sea.

I've also unpacked some of my (so-called) arty pieces, to enliven the place. Over time I expect the site to fill with more of these... but I'm trying to maintain a harmonious balance of content and open spaces. My landlady has requested that no building be greater than 35ft in height - and I'm completely happy with this constraint (it's OK to build what I want above cloud level). At the moment my nearest neighbours are on the other side of the island, but I'm sure the intervening land will fill soon enough. As long as everyone conforms to the minimal standards, then this should be a really nice island.

After some consideration, I have decided that my aims for this land are threefold:
1. It gives me a place in SL to experiment with scripting;
2. It gives me a place to build and display my array of widgets and arty wotnots;
3. It provides me with a place to meet friends and colleagues.

And now, I suppose I ought to critique the build. In terms of its current aims, the build seems reasonably successful. However, some of the space could and should be put to better use. There is a general lack of information available, no permanent greeter and a paucity of cutting-edge web2.0 integration features. However, this is tempered by the fact that it represents only about 8 or 10 hours work, and it does seem well-balanced. Recent visitors have all offered congratulations and praised the nature of the build --- but then, they're hardly going to say negative things, are they?

The experience to date has already proved instructive:

  • Although I have known intellectually that it is possible to blend bought/free items and self-built components quickly and easily, it is nevertheless surprising to find just how fast this can be done when you have the opportunity to do it.
  • As with anything else in Life, being clueless to begin with tends to mean a poor outcome at the end, but it is easy enough to tweak as you go - something that is costly and time-consuming in RL.
  • It is easy to overdo it - it is important to step back, "pause and assess", before ploughing into the next thing.
  • It is easy to get hung up on detail. If it isn't working, step away and do something else instead. It will still be waiting for you when you get back.

No comments: