RAG Randt is a content creator and designer who is perhaps best known for his work with MadPea, having worked on many of their games over the years. However, he recently departed the MadPea team to focus on his own work, and as we’ve been friends for several years, having worked closely on a project together, I was delighted to receive an invitation from him to see what he’s been up to within the region he’s been working on for the past few months.
“I’ve been putting together a portfolio site,” he explained as I arrived next to a DC3 sitting at the edge of a long runway, a fitting arrival point for visitors to his island. “Some of it is still under construction, but I’ve opened it to the public.” Called ragVR, the region is a veritable tour-de-force in RAG’s skills as a scripter, creator, builder and environment designer – and makes for a completely engaging visit.
From the airfield landing point, a flight of steps leads visitors to the stunning Art Deco frontage of an elevator tower rising above the sheer cliff face against which it is built. Two kiosks stand before the doors to the tower, one of which invites visitors to click it, thus getting one into the habit of touching similar kiosks across the region to obtain information on the various locations one can visit. The second kiosk provides background information on RAG himself and the region, and should be read.
Summoning the elevator via the button next to the doors will bring the first of many smiles to your face, as the distant sound of the lift clunking and purring into its descent is gradually mixed by music in keeping with the Art Deco look of the tower, which gently grows in volume as the car approaches – as one might naturally expect. When the elevator doors open, so the music naturally increases in volume again, but not painfully so, inviting you to step inside. When you do, you’ll find this is no ordinary elevator. In keeping with the Art Deco look and feel, it retains a skilled (and charming) operator. Touch him to select your destination, and watch him operate the elevator’s control lever.
On arrival at the upper floor, and with the elevator’s music fading behind you as the doors close, you’ll find yourself on the first part of a self-guided tour of the region and RAGs work. This starts with a retrospective of his early 2D work in SL, which built on his experience as an illustrator. Once again, a kiosk offers background notes on the display, together with a comment that while visitors are free to wander around the region whichever way they choose, the recommended route to take the exit to the left, relative to the elevator station, and follow the path.
Winding between trees and bushes, the path will take you by way of hill, dale and building, around and over the region, and the displays of RAG’s work. To list all of them would be to spoil a visit. However, as a few points of note, there are the gacha goods booths with delights such as RAG’s flying pigs (I have one at home 🙂 ), the MadPea centre where sets RAG build for a number of MadPea games are on display, and the model of the school Live And Learn Kenya / Feed A Smile are building for Kenyan children, and which was the subject of a major MadPea fund-raising drive.
“There will be teleporters to skyboxes as well” RAG informed me, “And models of some of the items I will have on sale.” For those interested in the Horizons community, these items for sale will include two house styles designed to fit in with the theme – and I’ll hopefully have more on these in a future piece on Horizons. “While the region is primarily aimed at people who need a builder, and who want to see what I can do,” RAG said as we wandered the footpaths of the region, “I hope it is also a fun place for people to visit and discover as well.”
Nor do RAG’s skills end with physical objects, be they furniture, creatures, buildings or machines. The entire region design demonstrates his ability to create and landscape an environment, and select windlight settings to add to the overall ambience. Outside of the flora, vehicles, a handful of rocks and tower crane found in the region, almost everything you encounter, including the footpaths, stairways and cliff rocks, have been built by RAG.
Whether or not you’re looking for someone to execute a custom design or build for you, a visit to ragVR is a demonstration of all that is possible in Second Life from prim (do not miss the Alien Ice Cream!), through landscaping to mesh and scripting. It reminds us that SL can be both an entertaining environment through games and gacha whimsies, and a place which can support physical world activities, such as building a school in Africa.
And if you are looking for a superb brewer of fine mesh, an expert shaper of prims and artisan sculptor of land, then taking a tour a is doubly recommended, as RAG could well be your man. You can contact him about projects and ideas and to discuss rates via IM, notecard or through e-mail (rag-at-ragmedia.com). A website in support of RAG’s work is also in development, and I’ll be adding the URL here once it is up and running.
- ragVR (Devil’s Moon, rated: Moderate)