A break for coffee in Second Life

BarDeco and Kekeland - Coffee Island; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrBarDeco and Kekeland – Coffee Island – click any image for full size

Coffee Island is a beautifully atmospheric homestead region designed by Dandy Warhlol (terry Fotherington) and Belle des Champs (Bridget Genna). It forms the latest iteration of BarDeco, the music venue and club (see here for more), carrying the name BarDeco & Kekeland – and it is truly an atmospheric place.

Split into three – a primary, sheer-sided island flanked by two smaller isles, one of which has been left to nature – the region sits shrouded in a gathering twilight through which wisps and ripples of mist are creeping. Visitors arrive on a dusty track on the main island, the slender form of an old chapel rising from the end of the track. In the other direction, the path curls south to follow the line of the cliffs, before turning west to cut across the island and again turning at the westward cliffs to turn again to follow them northwards.

BarDeco and Kekeland - Coffee Island; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrBarDeco and Kekeland – Coffee Island

South of this track a narrow neck leads to the south side of the island, a bulbous headland where a broken carcass of an old lighthouse sits. This seems to point accusingly towards the shadowy bulk of a ruined farmhouse sitting hunched against a rocky shoulder, gathering the mist about itself forebodingly. A sandy bay sits below the ruined house, but even this has its own warning – the wreck of a trawler lays against the foot of the cliffs.

To replace the fallen lighthouse, a new one stands above the cliffs in the north-west corner of the island, looking westward out over the low hump of one of the accompanying islands while also casting an eye over the beach, which starts against the northern cliffs and runs round much of the east side of the island. An old bridge, in need of some repair reaches out over sand and sea from the beach, almost reaching the sands of the second of the smaller islands, which is home to a little coffee shop sitting on its rugged shoulders.

BarDeco and Kekeland - Coffee Island; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrBarDeco and Kekeland – Coffee Island

The main islands’ curving beach is reached via a switch back path which descends from the northern  end of the track circling the island.  And old warehouse, filled with an artist’s bric-a-brac sits overlooking the path down to the beach, a barbed wire fence discouraging the local sheep from wandering too close. This warehouse / studio brings visitors almost full circle, standing as it does a short distance from the chapel and the landing point. But this is far from all there is to be discovered here.

Walk along the path to the chapel, and you’ll find that it is not all it appears to be. Just inside the doorway, and surrounded on three sides by undergrowth which almost looks like it is trying to take over the place, is a set of steps leading down. Follow these, and you’ll find the club mentioned in the region’s description.

BarDeco and Kekeland - Coffee Island; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrBarDeco and Kekeland – Coffee Island

This is, quite frankly, beautifully done, with tall pillars of brick supporting a high ceiling, a frontage of old, weathered buildings offering a view out over a terrace and secluded bay. The bar offers a homely if roughshod welcome while a dance area sit at the foot of the steps leading down from the chapel. Two side rooms off of this offer a taste of shoddy-chic where patrons can relax. Almost entirely invisible from the ground above, with atmosphere added by the passing trawler off-shore passing ghost-like in the haze, the club area is an exquisite outpouring of imaginative design.

In fact, the entire region is an exquisite design. While the default environment settings add considerable atmosphere – as used in fur of the images here – the land really does lend itself to a wide range of windlight settings and different times of day, making it perfect for photographers. There are also several spots for sitting and passing the time – not just in the bar, but up along the path running around the islands and over at the coffee-house, making it the kind of place people may want to sit and enjoy, even if they don’t fancy mingling with those down in the club.

BarDeco and Kekeland - Coffee Island; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrBarDeco and Kekeland – Coffee Island

Once again, a rewarding visit, and our thanks to Dandy and Belle for continuing to share their vision with us.

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Of Glytches and gems: the Lab’s grid-wide Second Life game

Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glyches – bonus region portals

On Monday, September 18th, 2017, Linden Lab announced the launch of their latest Experience Key based game for Second Life users to enjoy. Entitled Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches, it is something of a departure from previous games such as Linden Realms, PaleoQuest and the Horizons adventure. Not only is it grid-wide in nature (the first time Second Life experiences have been used on a grid-wide basis), it will in time also allow parcel holders to host the game on their land if they so wish – possibly attracting traffic to their locations.

I was able to see and try the game ahead of its launch, and thought I’d offer an overview and some feedback, as well as take the opportunity to ask a few questions of Dee and Patch Linden about the game and the reasoning behind it.

Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches is a combination hunt, capture game and first-person shooter. It builds on elements seen in previous games from the Lab, but is far broader in scope. There are two basic aims of the game:

  • Capture mischievous Glytches as they wander SL and perhaps gain gems from them, and / or an immediate prize of a Glytch – which might be a shoulder / head pet, held pet, or follower (all of which can be traded between users) or even complete avatars.
  • Collect coloured gems – which can be redeemed for weapons upgrades, and/ or access into the game’s bonus regions and / or prizes

A video outlines the game’s back story. I’m not going to say much on this other than, “alas, poor Magellan, I knew him, Horatio. A fellow of infinite drinking ability and most assured desire for food…” – or something (with apologies to W. Shakespeare, Esq).



Game-play Essentials

There are several aspects to playing the game, which are covered in another video; but for those who prefer to read things,  I’ve outlined them below.


Hartyshire is the heart of the game. Reached via the Portal Park, it is the place where people can learn more through the aforementioned videos, and where players obtain their Glytch Starter Kit, can upgrade their weapons, claim prizes or – gem and weapons upgrades allowing – access the special bonus regions. There is also a range of free gifts for visitors, whether or not they join the game. There are three important areas in Hartyshire:

The Gem Apothecary is where players can:

  • Obtain a game Starter Kit: with everything needed to start playing: a note card of instructions, the game HUD (see below) and a jar – your first Glytch catching weapon. The kit is delivered as a folder to your Inventory.
  • Upgrade their Glytch catching weapon: use gems given by Glytches to upgrade from jar through swatter and net to gun. Each weapon improves the chances of catching Glytches. Replacement weapons can also be obtained here.
  • Claim Gem Lottery Prizes: contains prizes from the Lab’s previous games, split into three groups – Common, Rare and Epic, corresponding to the three gem colours – Green, Pink and Blue. Prizes in each category can be obtained by redeeming the required gems of each colour.
Inside the Gem Apothecary – start kit, weapons upgrades and “captured” Glytches

The Gift Shop is where visitors to Hartyshire can collect game-related free gifts and hatch their SL14B gift egg to gain their first Glytch.

The Bonus Region teleport portals – of which, more below.

The Glytch catching weapon upgrades. Credit: Linden Lab


To play the game, players must wear the game HUD. Removing this at any time stops all game-play, saving the player’s current status (e.g. gems taken, current weapon upgrade, etc). Players can re-join the game at any time simply by wearing the HUD once more; there is no need to return to Hartyshire in order to do so. The Glytch catching weapon can also be worn, although the game will also function without it.

The main game HUD

With the HUD worn, players click the Next Loc(ation) button to teleport to a location where they can hunt Glytches. On arrival, the Map can be opened to see where the Glytches are. A maximum of five Glytches can be caught per location, after which players should use Next Loc to move to another location to continue the hunt.

At the moment, Glytches can only be found on assorted Linden / LDPW regions and parcels. In the future, residents will be able to apply for their land to be added to the game – of which more anon.


A Glytch in the wild – is worth more in your cage

Glytches can be hunted in either first- or third-person view, but must be captured in first-person (Mouselook) view by clicking on them with the left mouse button.  Note the range at which a Glytch can be caught varies with the weapon being used, and not all captures will be successful.

A failure to catch a Glytch can result in it casting a spell on the hunter. They’ll also use spells if startled or to protect one another. Spells vary from silly dances to anvils dropping on heads, but they will allow the Glytch to escape by de-rezzing (another will rez nearby).

A successful capture will result in a cage appearing around the Glytch and a message displayed on the game HUD. The Glytch may also offer you a reward. This might be gems or it might be a Glytch prize – or both.

Note that when a glitch prize is given, players must switch to third-person view (ESC) and Accept the Glytch via the notification displayed in the top right of the viewer window. Failure to do so may result in the prize being lost. If the notification collapses before it is clicked on, it can be re-opened via the Notifications tray.

To help keep the game fresh, new Glytches will be added over time A wiki-based Glytchopedia will also be published in due course, listing all the Glytches.

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