Once Upon a Fairy Tale in Second Life

Once Upon A Fairy Tale, Cape Juniper; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrOnce Upon A Fairy Tale – click any image for full size

The last time I visited Cape Juniper, Danni Lyric’s home region which she uses to showcase her landscaping and design skills, was in September 2015. As such, it is a place which periodically changes, and I was drawn back to is after seeing the region featured in a recent Destination Guide highlights under the title Once Upon A Fiary Tale. And if you in any way enjoy fairy tales sweet or grim, or have a penchant for stories involving wizards, elves, dragons and more, it is most assuredly a place you will want to visit and savour.

Once again, Danni – with the assistance of Psy Carnell – has created a unique, eye-catching environment with a lot to explore, see and discover – far more than may first meet the eye. “This year, instead of observing the changing of seasons, [we’ve]  decided to take a nostalgic turn,” Danni explains. “Once Upon A Fairy Tale is a  whimsical fantasy land with scenery inspired by fairy and folk tales of our childhood. You’ll notice as you travel around the different areas that, while nothing is an exact match to any single tale, there are strong hints you will find recognisable.”

Once Upon A Fairy Tale, Cape Juniper; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrOnce Upon A Fairy Tale

Visits start ordinarily enough on a path alongside a notice board. A light haze hovers in the air, and a sign post alongside the landing point gives the first hint of just how much there is to find within this realm of folk tales, stories and imaginings. Take the footpath in one direction, and you’ll be led down to a watery oasis where merfolk reside; take it in another and you’ll climb a short hill to where Cinderella’s  magical coach awaits, steeds and carriage yet to hear the strike of the midnight hour. Take it in the third offered direction and you’ll be led inland past wolves and a waterfall and over a ridge to – well, I’ll let you find out for yourselves!

Perhaps the best way to appreciate the beauty and otherworldliness of Once Upon a Fairy Tale is to pump up your draw distance to about 300-310 metes, and carefully cam out, keeping your focus on the land before you. As you do, you’ll see that the paths and lush greenery of your arrival point are surrounded by a mix of pointed green crags, flat-topped tables of rock and islands floating serenely  in the haze, each the home to a scene or setting. These form a ring around the centre of the region, linked back to it by bridges and walkways, whilst not all being connected one to another.

Once Upon A Fairy Tale, Cape Juniper; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrOnce Upon A Fairy Tale

Nor does the magic end there. Cam a little further out, and you’ll see that the region and the waters lapping it have been designed so it appears all of the land is floating on a foundation of clouds, the encompassing sea of Linden Water converted into an unending expanse of sky. It’s an extraordinary sight, one given added depth by the waters which tumble from the edge of the land into the “clouds” below.

As Danni notes, this isn’t designed to be a single fairy tale or fantasy setting; it is both an interpretation and an amalgam of stories, such that each island or location might be considered an individual setting with its own tale. But at the same time, when exploring, you cannot escape the fact that the different locations naturally flow one to another, whichever route of exploration you take. As such, there is a feeling of story-like continuity whilst exploring.

Once Upon A Fairy Tale, Cape Juniper; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrOnce Upon A Fairy Tale

Then, of course there are the various images and suggestions posed by the scenes one encounters along the way. These will naturally be very individual for each of us: is the wizard Gandalf or one of his brethren, or is he more akin to Dumbledore and wizards of his ilk? Are the dragons from the pages of J.R.R.T or G.R.R.M?

Nor are the scenes restricted to purely western influences; the oriental is represented atop a couple of the islands, complete with Buddha and cushion for those who want to meditate. Elsewhere can be found winged horses (Pegasii?), complete with smithy to look after them, industrious gnomes, fairies and more. Through it all, the attention to detail and the little touches bring this world to life, as do the characters populating it – the gnomes, dwarves, creatures and (especially) the wizard.

Once Upon A Fairy Tale, Cape Juniper; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrOnce Upon A Fairy Tale

This is a magical region for children of all ages, and most certainly not one to be missed or avoided.

SLurl Details

SL project updates 2017-3/1: Server, Viewer

The Hell's Heaven 2.0, Rainbow Ridge; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrThe Hell’s Heaven 2.0blog post

Things are still warming up after the holiday period, so not a lot of fresh news.

Server Deployments

The Main (SLS) channel was restarted on Tuesday, 17th January, although there was no associated deployment. This is in keeping with the Lab’s new policy of restarting the server channels every 2 weeks, whether or not there is an associated code deployment (the RC channels were restarted in week #2).

A new server maintenance package will be deployed to the RC channels on Wednesday, January 18th. This includes a partial fix for (non-public) BUG-3286, “Can’t move object” fail notifications (fixes for regions/objects with longer names are pending), together with enhanced server logging and minor internal server enhancements.

SL Viewer

The viewer pipelines at this point remain unchanged from week #2:

  • Current Release version, dated December 1st, promoted December 5th, 2016 – formerly the Project Bento RC viewer
  • Maintenance RC viewer version, dated January 12th – some 42 fixes and improvements
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Alex Ivy (LXIV), 64-bit project viewer, version for Windows and Mac, dated January 10th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer, version, date November 23, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images
  • Obsolete platform viewer version, dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.


SOS: supporting Medecins Sans Frontiers in Second Life, 2017

Image courtesy of SOS
Image courtesy of Spoonful Of Sugar

In September 2016, the team of Spoonful Of Sugar (SOS) held their inaugural event aimed at raising money for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Also known as Doctors Without Borders, MSF is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation delivering emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, and exclusion from healthcare. They provide assistance and medical care to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

That SOS event raised over L$3 million (US $11,118) for MSF, an incredible total for a first event, and the organising team are hoping to beat that total in 2017. Work is already progressing on the Spring 2017 Spoonful Of Sugar festival, which will take place between Saturday, March 18th, 2017 and Saturday, April 1st, 2017 inclusive.

The 2016 Spoonful of Sugar event hub
The 2016 Spoonful of Sugar event hub

Through the two weeks of the event, there will be live performances and DJ sets, dance troupes and tribute acts. And there will be designers and creators from the worlds of fashion, home and garden, and breedables on hand, all of whom will be both sponsoring the event and offering a range of items specifically to help raise money for SOS and MSF.

Right now, sponsorship spots for creators and designers are available in all three categories – fashion, home and garden, and breedables – but slots are filling up. If you are a creator  / designer in any of these categories, and you would like to support SOS / MSF, please visit the SOS sponsorship page to find out more about the various levels of sponsorship currently available, and how to apply.

the 2016 Spoonful Of Sugar Breedables fair
The 2016 Spoonful Of Sugar Breedables fair

SOS are also looking for bloggers to cover the event. If you are a blogger, and would be interested in doing so, please see the SOS blogger application page.

To keep up to date with Spoonful Of Sugar, make sure you visit and bookmark the festival website, where you can also learn more about the work of MSF.