The end of the year is once more approaching, which is often a time of reflection as we look back over the old before pausing to await the arrival of the new. It’s become something of a tradition in these pages for me to look back over the articles and coverage of the year’s events I’ve managed to write-up, and offer a chance to revisit the ups and downs and the good and the bad the last twelve months have brought us.
To keep things digestible, I’ve broken this year’s review into two parts. This one covers July to December. You can find January to June here.
Linden Lab released an update to the Oculus Rift project viewer. A I subsequently reported (see the article updates), people found it suffered significant issues, and appeared to be a step backwards. The JIRA raised for the viewer quickly grew. With a week, the Lab announced they were suspending work on Oculus Rift support in the viewer. CTRL-ALT-Studio offered to bridge the gap, but only on an interim basis.
Caledonia presented the penultimate part of her series on promoting Second Life events, and Draxtor delved into games in Second Life, through the work of Sergio Delacruz. Meanwhile, I received an invitation to find out more about the Helping Haven Community Gateway, before beaming aboard an avatar-sized replica of the original Starship Enterprise, courtesy of Cathy Foil.
Lumiya 3.0 arrived, with a host of goodies, including a new user interface. Rock Your Rack in support of the US National Breast Cancer Foundation was announced, as was the second fund-raising season for Team Diabetes of SL, while the 5th annual Shivers Unleashed music festival took place. The big news for the month, events-wise, was that PULSE SL, in support of the victims and families of those lost in the Orlando nightclub shooting had raised a staggering L$5.5 million.
Ed Baig from USA Today presented a video spot about project Sansar. A little later, and as I reported, he later gave a matching write-up on the platform. Latter in the month, I looked at articles on Sansar from THE and Techcrunch.
I completed a full redesign of Holly Kai Park, which included the Tiered Garden Wall product by Alex Bader, which was also put to use at home. I finally caught the stunning and award-winning animation The Tyger, by Radheya Jegatheva, son of SL’s own Jayay Zifanwe, on YouTube.
Windlight announced a re-branding to Kultivate, and the Lab blogged about recent SL updates and I added some additional info and links to more in-depth coverage in this blog, which included a look at the new Gaming Islands, designed to introduce users to Skill Gaming in SL.
Firestorm updated with Jelly Dolls (or Avatar Complexity to give the formal name for the capability), and I revisited Hitomi Tiponi’s work producing the Starlight UI Skins and goodies for the official viewer from the Lab. The latter announced the new Marketplace search, so long in beta, was finally live. I also picked up on Strawberry Singh’s request to highlight the issue of SL Marketplace full permissions goods scams.
Thanks to bots discovering it, the SL wiki went into lock-down for the second time in recent years, and while the Lab indicated they hoped to have things sorted “soon”, it remains locked as we reach the end of the year. More woes hit SL in August, and April Linden explained why.
I produced the second in my Sansar Summaries, rounding-up all the news and information on the platform I’d been able to cull from the Lab, the media and other sources. August saw the Lab announce the first batch of Sansar Creator Preview invitations had been issued. However, what interested me more was the announcement indicated that “Sansar” was now officially the platform’s title – the “project” having been dropped.
Winter Flakes sits on a homestead region held by Caledonia Dreamscape. Like many regions at this time of the year, it presents a winter setting, and while – I believe – it is also the home for Caledonia and her partner, Trix Congrego, they’ve opened it up for visitors to enjoy.
“[It’s] a combination of Scottish and Danish winters,” Caledonia says of the region. “We first started Winter Flakes as we both love winter. Four years on and we are still here; I think it’s a winter love!”
For those visiting, the region offers an opportunity to wander a snowy landscape, take pictures and simply relax after all the hustle of the holiday period. Think of it as an opportunity for a quiet winter walk in the snow to burn off some of the calories of that New Year’s dinner 🙂 .
The landing point sits at the side of a road which loops around a frozen pond, overlooked by little cottages. For those who might be wondering what happened to Santa over Christmas, the answer might be found in the roof of a little ruined shed to one side of the scene.
A covered stall offers warming hot chocolate and punch for those in the need of inner warmth, standing close to where the road points the way between brick walls and tall beech trees to a set of iron gates, beyond which sits an old wooden mill, sails slowly turning under the snow-heavy sky.
Alongside the mill, snowy ruts indicate the route of a track that winds its way through more trees to a distinctly Scandinavian cottage. A little beyond this a skating rink is to be found, folded within encircling rocky arms. It sits next to a very modern cabin which offers a place to warm up after a spin on the ice. Further still to the west, on the far side of a frozen inlet, sits another cottage, facing a church converted for use as a house across the span of a wooden bridge. A rather glum looking Santa sits on a hill between them, perhaps still awaiting his own Christmas presents to arrive…
Surrounded by rocky peaks topped with fir trees and under a steady fall of snow from cloud-wrapped sky, Winter Flakes presents a simple, uncluttered setting with lots of little touches which should be discovered rather than described, making for a pleasing, gentle visit.
Thanks once again to Shakespeare (SkinnyNilla) for passing me the details!
- Winter Flakes (Sugartown, rated: Moderate)