Stepping into Luane’s World in Second Life

Luane's World; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Luane’s World – click any image for full size

I was drawn to Luane’s World by Owl Dragonash, who recently blogged about this charming Homestead region. The work of Luane (LuaneMeo), the region is the home of her store and is offered to visitors as, “a romantic sim where you can relax, cuddle or hang out with friends. Made with photography in mind”. It also offers a number of gallery spaces featuring the work of some of Luane’s favourite artists,

It is one of the gallery spaces which serves as the landing point, on the north side of the region. This sits alongside a watery  fantasy area where you’ll see a unicorn can indeed fly (or possibly take an amazing leap!) under golden boughs and leaves, as misty particles drift through the glade on a gentle breeze. Close by sits a beach overlooked by a long-fingered headland pointing out to sea, upon on which the ruins of an old castle rest, reached by a grassy stair.

Luane's World; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Luane’s World

The ruins looks out over the sea, and inland across a woodland copse. Close by sits a small island reach by a little wooden bridge, while the woodland plays house to elk, the misty wafting through it offering plenty of scope for photographs. Travel west via the woodland track, and you’ll come to a gated field where horses graze, and beside it a broad sea of wild flowers separating you from a cottage and windmills – each the home of further gallery spaces – which rise from the tide of flowers on a ridge-sided island of grass.

A cart track running through the fenced field offers the way to another island, every bit as rugged as the headland, and the home of another castle ruin, this one reached by the arched trunk of a once  mighty tree. Once explored, you can rejoin the cart track and follow it around the coast to the cottage and windmill.

Luane's World; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Luane’s World – click any image for full size

With swings and seats and cuddle beds scattered across the land, Luane’s World offers touch of romance for couples seeking a place to rest and enjoy pleasant open spaces, while the free-spirited can run through the wide expanse of wild flowers as the lovers of SL art roam the gallery spaces.

Luane’s World is a simple, open design with welcomes visitors to explore, with some excellent opportunities for photography. The default windlight is (or appears to be) Annan Adored Morning Dream, but the landscape naturally lends itself to visitors playing with viewer settings. If you do visit and take photos, Luane offers a Flickr group for sharing them; what’s more, there is a photography contest running through until April 30th with cash prizes on offer. Details can be obtained near the region’s landing point.

Luane's World; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Luane’s World – click any image for full size

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A Look at Tyche’s private estate survey March 2016

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Tyche Shepherd, who tracks land statistics in Second Life, issued a full Private Estate survey at the end of March 2016. It’s the first such survey she has published since the end of November 2013, representing a 28-month gap between reports. Given this, it makes for some interesting reading, some of which is highlighted below.

Overall, the distribution of regions between Full, Homestead and OpenSim in March 2016 remains very similar to that of November 2013 (in fact these figures tend to  remain fairly constant as representative indicators of region distribution).

March 2016
53.9% (+/-1.28%) 45.6% (+/-1.28%) 0.5% (+/-0.18%)
November  2015
53.8% (+/-1.30%) 45.5% (+/-1.29%) 0.7% ( +/-0.21%)
Surveys based on 4,208 accessible regions in March 2016; 4,402 accessible regions in Nov 2013

However, Tyche indicates that, overall, the amount of private estate land has consolidated more within the top 20 estates over the 28-month period from November 2013 (39.5% of private estate land) through March 2016 (49.1%; +/- 1.3%). Using supplied list prices, Tyche estimates that the top 20 estates account for some 40.6% of total private estate tier, compared to 30.5% in November 2013.

In terms of regions held, of these top 20 estates, seven are actually under the Anshe Chung Studio (ACS) brand, accounting for 19.1% of private estate holdings, compared to 13.8 in November 2013 for ACS; again a significant increase.

Grandfathered Homesteads stand at around the 85.32% mark for 2016,  compared to 82.4% in November 2013. The year-end reports do not indicate the percentage of Full private regions that are Grandfathered, but in a comment on SLU following the Lab’s announcement on Grandfathering and buy downs, Tyche indicates that the current number of Grandfathered Full private regions stands at just over 11%.

In terms of private region decline on the grid, Tyche offers the following:

November 2013 March 2016
28-Month Region Loss
%age Decline
19424 17549 1875 10.7%

Comparing annual region losses for the period January 2012 through December 2015 shows that overall, while the decline still continues, it has slowed considerably as a percentage of the total grid since hitting a peak in 2012. However, 2015 did see a slight increase in the rate of decline, but just under 1%.

2012 2013
Loss %age
2863 12% 1719 8.2% 673 3.5% 825 4.4%

In terms of revenue for the Lab, in  November 2013 the Lab was generating approximately US$3,857,000 (+/- US$52,000) per month. By March 2016, this figure was approximately US $3,385,000 ( +/- US $43,000), representing a 12% decline in monthly private region revenues across the 28 months.

While this is a drop, and allowing for the fact that figures can only estimated, it would suggest that the Lab is still generating around $49 million revenue from tier (private + Mainland) at this point in time, representing approximately 80% of their total revenue. Taking into the assorted costs involved in running, maintaining and enhancing Second Life and the company as a whole, this would suggest the Lab is still reasonably profitable.

Which is not to say there are not other clouds on the horizon. The recent buy down offer on regions could pose a problem to small or medium-sized estates where full regions are concerned (given that the majority of Homesteads are already Grandfathered), as they may find meeting the up-front US$600 difficult to meet. If so, this could make it even harder for them to remain competitive on pricing with the larger estates, and potentially lead to further consolidation of land among the latter at the expense of smaller operations forced to turn in their cards.

Tyche’s ongoing reports make for interesting reading – particularly these month-end reports, which have been sadly missed (and my thanks to Ciaran Laval for pointing-out that we now have a new one to look at). As such, I hope the March update might signal the return of these reports are returning to something of a more regular appearance, assuming Tyche has the time to pull them together!

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