A long time ago in a region far, far away

Onderon, January 2014Onderon – Iziz City (click for full size)

Goizane Latzo led me to travel to Onderon (not to be confused with the region of the same name), an adult-rated Star Wars role-play area located at Tropical Paradise. I’ll say from the outset that I’m not a Star Wars fan by any stretch of the imagination, but the images Goizane captured drew me to the region out of curiosity (I actually had no idea it was directly related to Star Wars until I arrived).

People often get quite het-up over Second Life being described as a “game” and / or that Linden Lab have attempted to add capabilities to the platform which are directed towards gameplay mechanisms of one sort or another (the most obvious perhaps being pathfinding).

Onderon, January 2014Onderon – the forests of Onderon (click for full size)

I’m not about to suggest SL is a game; far from it; but I would point out to those who do complain about the latter of the above two points, that however you prefer to refer to Second Life, it is an environment where a large percentage of creativity on the part of users has actually gone into trying to create immersive game-like environments. People like the MadPea team, or Timmi Allen and his team with things like Dranopia and their other games, for example and SL has always been attractive to role-players from a wide range of genres. So is it really that bad if the Lab try to provide tools which could enhance such environments?

As an immersive role-play environment, Onderon is quite skilfully executed. The arrival point is located high above the planet in at the space station Dauntless, which includes an orientation centre (reached by TP) and a shuttle bay leading down to the planet (reached by a series of passages that take the visitor through the mall space). As this is a role-play region with a specific setting , do please take the time to read the rules which can be found on the Onderon website.

Onderon, January 2014Onderon – bounty hunters! (click for full size)

These will not only set-up the requirements for RP within the region, but also introduce you to the back story of the planet,  Iziz City and the undercity. If you’re there as an observer, please ensure you wear the observer tag (and please don’t metagame!). As a neutral planet, all are welcome to Onderon except Sith.

The planet exists as a couple of region-wide platforms sitting at altitude, and the ground level terrain. In these are located the jungles of Onderon, Iziz City and, down on the ground, the undercity, each providing region-wide space in which to role-play. Teleports connect the space station, jungle and city with one another, and the undercity can be reached via Iziz. Do please note the need for environmentally sealed armour, gas masks or rebreathers; the air down there is pretty blargh, so don’t say i didn’t warn you. I’ll also leave it to you to find your own way down, lest I be accused of trying to encourage you to risk your health making such a visit…

Onderon, January 2014Onderon – the undercity (click for full size)

For those into Star Wars RP and with a hankering to visit other worlds (or take a break from disputes between rebels and Empire) may well find Onderon’s neutrality appealing. There’s certainly space for a lot of role-play, and even a little mystery with dark presence of the undercity. For the casual visitor – again, please reminder the rules for observers – there is also a lot to see and the environment is friendly enough that one needn’t be worried about being accosted for being OOC or anything.

All told, Onderon is an immersive and colourful place to visit, offering a lot to see and do whether you’re into Star Wars or not. Just respect the rules and be careful when waiting on a friend while in any cantina you happen into …

Onderon, January 2014Onderon – Iziz City (click for full size)

More images on my Flickr pages.

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7 thoughts on “A long time ago in a region far, far away

  1. As for the whole game song-and-dance, I always say that SL is what you want it to be. So yes, to some it is a game, or sometimes a game.

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  2. I dont think we should be surprised that path-finding was implemented giving Rods background. . And I think it might have taken of in a big way. Maybe if LL had put as more effort into showing people how to use it then it would be used more.I think that if it had more engagement then Rods own engagement with SL would have improved. .

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    1. Yup. I wasn’t surprised by pathfinding being implemented per se, and have no objection to it as a means of adding AI to the platform. My only real questions around it relate to the timing – it seems to have come it far too prematurely -, the overall complexity – which puts people off -, and the limitations presented within it – not that some of these would be particularly easy to overcome, from what’s been said.

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