Spring has come to the regions I collectively call Raven’s Reef. This area includes the Birchglen Residential in Diamond Valley, the town centre of Prickle Pear Bay (which is where the small town urban role play is) and the third most recently created region Snake River – which is also residential, but small town themed.
I was thinking today, as I fixed up a bit of this, and a bit of that – how far the lands have come since I got my first region three and a half years ago.
I remember first seeing that huge green chunk of land with 30,000 prims to play with and just being totally overjoyed. I had always wanted to do something like this in Second Life, where I originated from but it was too expensive there. I had gone into OpenSim – OSgrid and tried with a region there but not being a creator, and still many glitches back then, it was more frustrating than it was rewarding. InWorldz was the perfect ‘middle ground’ and I quickly got to work parceling areas off and finding pretty things to make it look ‘immersive’ . I had no clue how to edit land back then however so for the most part my land was just flat and… well… flat.
It took a bit, as a first timer to learn how to create a more inviting environment. Pathways, land dimension, terrain changes, placement of flora and fauna and creating spaces that people can enjoy. It did eventually start to come together.
I carved into the land, to make it more interesting. A dear friend who had come with me to InWorldz from second life built a community Lodge for the region and helped with some of the things that I had no idea how to do.
I ended up taking on another region as well, Prickle Pear Bay. It is a small town urban roleplay sim now, but was originally residential. With that region I attempted to make the land more interesting and connected a bridge across a waterway for them.
By my second year in InWorldz I had found out what sorts of things worked, and what didn’t. Even though InWorldz has a larger active base than the next top three open sim grids combined, it is still a comparatively small number when looking at the active users of Second Life , so having regions to ‘make money’ from tenants was not really a great angle to work from. It was also never my purpose. I just wanted lots of land and enough tenants to take the load off of the entire monthly fee (which is still only 1/4 of the Second Life cost for the same sized region but with far more prims than Second Life)
So on I went and really started to fall in love with the space I was creating, both in Diamond Valley and in Prickle Pear Bay.
At some point, my friend Simone Geddins (SimOne Designs and Furnishings) suggested that we recreate some of our favourite things from the roleplay cities we enjoyed in Second Life. At that time, rentals in Prickle Pear Bay were at a low, and so the few people who still lived there were offered some free rent to relocate next door and we went to town on flattening and recreating Prickle Pear Bay into the roleplay centre of Raven’s Reef.
That has been coming together also, and although often the town is empty, we have pub night every Friday night at the local watering hole and instructions on how to join are found in the info centre. People can also wander through just to visit, as long as they have the group tag on (obtained from the info centre that the security orb ‘kindly’ sends them to 😀 ) and don’t disturb any roleplay in action. Also, people are asked to look like modern age humans. I have no issues with furries, and tinies and such in residential area but in roleplay, it can be distracting.
THIS has really been sooo much fun. It’s funny how long it took me to really get an idea of how to make a place feel ‘authentic’. Having the right builds is definitely a bonus Most of these builds here are done by Curt Halberd of Domus, and all the homes in Prickle Pear Bay and the new residential area of Snake River are done by Simone Geddins (except for the shacks along the water, which are done by Curt Halberd also.) Diamond Valley allows people to bring in their own homes, it isn’t themed as much as Snake River, because it isn’t as adjacent to Prickle Pear Bay – so more leeway there. However people can request any of the builds they see available for use as a home on their parcel if they want.
And finally, the last addition is Snake River. It was set up in the winter of this year, so the most recent images I have are from this winter, but even as we speak I am putting some SPRING into it and it is becoming greenified by the minute! 😀 The trees Ive been putting in these days are mainly Domus’ season changing trees and big evergreens.
And finally the most recent pictures of Diamond Valley, where it all began for me.
This has been an incredible journey, and I look over all that has been created and really feel so very happy that I had the chance to make my virtual dreams come true. The lands feel like real places. In these places I meet and connect with people whom I get to know through the avatar they use to express themselves and the whole thing is just amazing.
This will always be a work in progress. As I learn more, and as new dreams and ideas are born I will continue to find ways to allow them to flourish in the virtual world I call home.