Visiting a Tudor Rose

I’ve been a little behind things of late due to a project elsewhere taking up a large portion of my time and RL in general being somewhat awkward in its scheduling of things. So there are a few SL Destinations pending a write-up, including another Halloween theme or two which may or may or now seen the light of day. If they don’t my apologies to the creators concerned, both for my failure to get them blogged and because when I do make it in-world, I get totally distracted.

For the latter, you can blame Honour :). You see, I love castles; a good deal of my time has been spent travelling around England and Scotland visiting castles and the ruins of castles, so when Honour blogs about a castle I’ve not seen in SL, then that was it as far as the day’s plans were concerned; I was off to see for myself.

Tudor Rose
Tudor Rose

And Tudor Rose, with its castle, cathedral and waterfront, is certainly worth seeing. It has been developed by Amas Veritas (ppeapod) on behalf of region owner Elizabeth I (Elizabetth Chester), and the Whiteraven group. About Land provides the background to the region:

The setting is north of London along the Thames River to a castle that has been occupied by King and Queens alike for over 900 years, the Elizabeth castle.

This beautiful kingdom is a stage for councils, state ceremonies, summit politics, important feasts and Renaissance dances rich in culture.  A place where Queen Elizabeth I takes respite from the hectic life of court in London in this country retreat.

Tudor Rose
Tudor Rose

I admit that I wasn’t aware that the Thames ran north from London, nor did I realise the lands north of that great city were quite so hilly (the region has a near-mountainous surround on all sides); but this really is nit-picking on my part. What we’re presented with here is plenty to appreciate, enjoy and photograph.

Tudor Rose can be split into a number of distinct areas. The castle itself sits on an island on the north-east side of the region. To the west and south of it lies a small waterfront town, dominated by the huge bulk of a cathedral . Here can be found an inn, a quayside with two ships alongside and a slipway where a third vessel is under construction, its hull looking ready to be tar-sealed. Together the castle the cathedral with its entourage of houses and places of business make up the focal points to the region.

The cathedral is imposing. While built on lower ground to the castle, the spires atop its towers almost match the highest spire on the castle itself. Both the castle and cathedral are open to exploration, although in the case of the former, you may well want to take care if Her Majesty is in residence. Period costume does not appear to be a requirement for visitors, but I’m sure it would be appreciated.

Tudor Rose
Tudor Rose

Beyond the cathedral, moving southwards between it and the woodland separating it from a river, one can find the remaining features in the region. First are the jousting butts, heralding the days of chivalry, and which appear to be in frequent use. Make your way through the trees south-east from here and you’ll find a small church. From her, a path leads the way to a bridge crossing a stream, and which in turn brings you to a mystical dance circle, shrouded in mist and overlooked by a tall, round tower.

I’m not sure how much role-play goes on here; during my visit there were a good few people in period costume, but no-one accosted me for wearing modern clothing, and I didn’t come across any note card / rules giver either on my arrival or in my travels around the region.  Certainly, the opportunities for role-play would appear to be many; be it of a courtly persuasion within the castle itself, possibly involving Queen Elizabeth and her courtiers, or out jousting or perhaps (and possibly more mysteriously) at the open-air dance circle, where the rolling mist and surrounding gnarled trees suggest something of a dark nature may well be acted-out here at certain times of the year. There’s even a hint of the Arthurian within the castle.

Tudor Rose
Tudor Rose

There are a couple of slight incongruities with the architecture within the region in that both the castle and the cathedral have elements which are suggestive of them belonging more in a European landscape than perhaps having once sat close to London. However, as with my earlier quibble, this is a little bit of nit-picking; as a fantasy / role-play region, Tudor Rose has much which is welcoming, and the design lends itself to allowing several different activities or scenarios to be acted-out simultaneously.

For those looking for a period region offering opportunities to meet others interested in the Tudor history of England or similarly role-play, or if you’re simply looking for somewhere new to visit and photograph, Tudor Rose may well be worth adding to your list of places to visit.

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Firestorm Q and A, October 26th: video and transcript

firestorm-logoOn Saturday October 26th 2013, the Firestorm team hosted another informal question-and-answer session. While the meeting was recorded, the Firestorm team are aware that many of their users have hearing difficulties, and / or prefer to read text. It is because of this that this transcript has been provided.

When reading it, please remember:

  • This is not a word-for-word transcript of the entire meeting. While all quotes given are as they are spoken in the video, to assist in readability and maintain the flow of conversation, not all asides, jokes, interruptions, etc., have been included in the text presented here
  • If there are any sizeable gaps in comments from a speaker which resulted from asides, questions to other etc,, these are indicated by the use of “…”
  • Timestamps are provided as guidance should anyone wish to hear the comments in full from any speaker on the video
  • Questions /comments were made in chat while speakers were talking. This inevitably meant that replies to questions would lag well behind when they were originally asked. To provide context between questions and answers, questions in the transcript are given (in italics) at the point at which each is addressed by a member of the Firestorm team, either in voice or via chat.

Please note: This transcript is provided for informational purposes only. As such, questions on technical issues relating to Firestorm and  / or project-specific questions cannot be answered here unless one of the Firestorm team drops by.

The TL;DR Summary

The numbers in braces are timestamps which refer to the section of this transcript where more details can be read, and to the section of the video recording where the relevant comments can be heard.

  • The upcoming release will be a public beta. It will have a number of known bugs, some of which will be annoying [0:01:42-0:02:28]
  • There is a lot more coming from the Lab, so it is important the Firestorm team get a beta version out, so they can prepare for bug fixing and integrating the new code LL will be pushing out (and which is currently pending release by the Lab) including:
    • SSA updates (AISv3)
    • Group ban list
    • Interest list
    • HTTP updates
  • It will be a beta release, but it will be fully supported  [0:05:10-0:05:33]
  • The Firestorm team have been accused of “holding things back”, they are not. There are valid reasons for any apparent delays (such as the amount of work some code merges have required and code for newer projects has yet to appear from the Lab [0:05:33-0:07:43]
  • A full release is unlikely before February 2014 [0:07:43]
  • The beta will be accompanied by a Windows 64-bit version of the viewer [0:11:01-0:13:41]
  • Why feedback for the 64-bit version is being requested, what kind of feedback is sought, why feedback should be delayed for a week or more following the release, the placebo effect [0:11:37; 0:14:30-0:16:09; 0:32:52-0:34:13; 1:01:04-1:04:08]
  • 64-bit versus 32-bit: what to expect and what the differences are [0:16:09-0:18:22]
  • Linux 64-bit [0:28:50-0:29:34]
  • Why it is unlikely any viewer will have multi-screen support (tear-off panels and menus which can be moved outside the viewer window & between monitors) in the near future [30:09-32:52; 34:13-34:41]
  • Mac 64-bit [0:36:09-0:41:49]
  • The issues in building 64-bit versions of Firestorm [0:41:49-0:44:47]
  • Mac Maverick support [46:05-48:08]
  • Both Windows 32-bit and 64-bit can co-exist on the same PC [49:47; 57:29]
  • 64-bit and lack of Havok support [58:29]
  • A discussion on Firestorm on mobile devices & LL’s coming beta with OnLive [50:39-54-15]
  • Why clean installs are really, really necessary at times [1:14:47-1:18:39; 1:24:58-1:25:47; 1:32:50-1:35:24]
  • Important notes on the 64-bit installer / installation [1:19:20-1:21:29]
  • Why Firestorm should only ever be downloaded from the Firestorm website [1:22:14]
  • OTR is coming, but not a priority [1:23:48-1:23:54]
  • Questions on 32-bit and 64-bit throughout.

With thanks to North for the video.

Continue reading “Firestorm Q and A, October 26th: video and transcript”