The other day I was pondering on my wanderings, and how effective / readable they are (or indeed, how “samey” they might be to one to another); thank you, by the way, to everyone who responded to positively to my questions. All the replies were most welcome.
At the time, I mentioned I might try mixing things up a little and adding things like urban developments in SL to my list of places to visit. Well, as it happens, I have a list of role-play regions and estates (some of which I started to visit last year, but still haven’t actually got around to writing-up), and places people have suggested to me from time-to-time, or which I’ve stumbled upon when poking at the Destination Guide. One of the latter is the Forgotten City. As “city” and “urban” go together (as a rule), I decided to pop over and take a look.
Forgotten City is the brainchild of Jenne Dibou and Mandy Marseille, and it is immediately intriguing. The main build is a blend of several styles (possibly best described as Steampunk, Wasteland and Art Nouveau) which present a wonderful, multi-level city with a degree of industrial development and with little pockets of rural scenes tucked into it here and there. The arrival point will present you with a notecard which offer a number of places to visit via direct teleport, but I really recommend that you ignore it to start with and take time to explore on foot.
This is a place where the residents were once served by miraculous automatons, which took care of the city and saw to the needs of the people. But now it seems the people have gone, leaving the city behind, still watched-over by the faithful automatons. some of which can be interacted with when encountered.
The attention to detail is wonderful. I’ve often said when reviewing various places in SL that you need to keep a sharp eye out to see everything, and with Forgotten City this is certainly true. Whether you are simply out exploring or looking for something to do, Forgotten City has a lot going for it.
From the upper levels, with the museum and dance hall, you can travel down to the ground level and explore the streets of the Citadel of the Forgotten, the Marketplace and past the Abandoned Villas to the lighthouse and windmill. If walking isn’t to your liking, you can catch an airship tour of the city, but walking is good for you, and the exercise is, as I’ve mentioned, worth it.
The original inhabitants of the city may well have long-since departed, but part of the intrigue of this build is discovering what they have left behind. Who were the city’s royalty? What purpose did the Time Wolves serve? A simple member’s club, or something more?
One point I should make about exploring is that while much of the city is open to people to discover, please do keep in mind that some of the houses and apartments are private residences. Most of these are clearly denoted as such, and visitors are requested to observe the privacy of those occupying them.
For those who are seeking things to do, then the city is certainly worth a visit. There’s the airship tour, offering a view of the city from overhead, our you can grab a row-boat and explore the canals on your own. For the adventurous there is a steamboat which periodically stops at the row-boat station and which will take you “out” of the city to the post office and back…
Those seeking more active pursuits in the city can try the teleport destinations in the notecard. Theres a simple oval race track and vintage racing cars, the toy factory, and a winter park, complete with a ski jump for the really athletic. You can even take part in a couple of shoot-’em-ups or play (SL-legal) poker – and don’t forget the 8:00 SLT daily circus!
Those looking for an unusual venue for photographs would also do well to pay the city a visit; not only does the region windlight suit the place, it is ideal for tweaking and playing with other viewer-side windlight options.
All-in-all, it’s a great build to explore, and I’m actually keen to see whether Jenne and Mandy enhance it now that materials has all-but-arrived; the use of normal maps in particular could very well make this even more of a stand-out region.
Again, well recommended when you have the time! In fact, so good is this build that it has been one of the locations in which the Lab has been testing Oculus Rift!