Return of the Haunted Tour in Second Life

"It's here!" - The Haunted Halloween Tour 2015
“It’s here!” – The Haunted Halloween Tour 2015

Launched alongside the October 2015 Premium Membership offer, but available to all SL users, is the return of the Haunted Halloween Tour, which can be accessed via the Portal Parks.

In 2014, the tour was offered as both a demonstration of Experience Keys, and the Oculus Rift project viewer. This year the Oculus aspect is pushed to one side (although this is still very much a first-person ride), which is hardly surprising given the headset won’t reach “mass market” status until 2016, and the Rift project viewer is lacking behind a lot of the viewer feature set.

We're all probably familiar with Experiences by now, but do remind you need to grant permissions to the Tour in order to enter it. These are revoked on your departure
We’re all probably familiar with Experiences by now, but do remind you need to grant permissions to the Tour in order to enter it. These are revoked on your departure

On arrival at a portal park, walk through the gate marked Halloween and follow the path up to the red door of the house. Here you’ll receive a note card offering general advice for enjoying the tour, of which disabling any  AO you may use is probably the most important, together with making sure you have ALM enabled in your graphics Preferences.

You’ll also be asked to allow the Tour to take control of certain aspects of your viewer (e.g your camera , etc – see right).

This is – as I’m sure most people are aware by now – how Experiences such as this work, and you should grant the request in order to proceed. Any permissions granted will be revoked as soon as you depart the Tour; however, should you return, you won’t have to grant permission again, unless you remove the Tour from you list of allowed Experiences.

Once you have granted permission, you’ll be transported to a Tour region, and asked to take a seat in your coffin to start the ride. As you sit, your view will change to first person / Mouselook – should your camera fail to adjust itself, tap the ESC key a couple of times. While you can control your camera to look around, the ride is best enjoyed by allowing the Tour to control all camera movement.

Elements of the ride will be familiar to those who tried it in 2014
Elements of the ride will be familiar to those who tried it in 2014

I’m not going to say much about the ride itself – it’s there to be enjoyed after all. However, if you took the ride in 2014, you’ll find much at the start that is very familiar (aka largely unchanged)). However, the latter part of the tour has been extensively revised, offering something of a lean towards a certain 1980s film series which recently had something of a reboot.  I will say that in terms of decor, excellent use is made of materials once again, and of projected lighting. One word of warning I do have is not to stand up during the ride unless you mean to, as you’ll be automatically teleported back to a portal park (as you will be at the end of the Tour).

At around 12 minutes in length, the Haunted Tour 2015 is about half as long again as the 2014 version; which is a pretty long time to be passive in SL when you think about it. If you didn’t partake of the original, then it’s certainly worth the time if you’re looking for a little light Halloween fun. If you did take the 2014 ride, you could well find yourself experiencing deja-vu during the first (roughly) two-thirds of the ride – which is not necessarily to say you shouldn’t give it a go, if you’re so inclined.

however, there are new elements to be discovered as well
However, there are new elements to be discovered as well

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