I decided to take a little time off on Easter Sunday and go for a flight around part of Bellisseria, the new Linden Homes continent, and have another look at it. However, rather than taking a ‘plane or helicopter, I decided to see things in a more leisurely manner, flying my Ask 13 sailplane.
Regular readers will know I picked up one of these sailplanes, made by Rene Underby and based on the Schleicher ASK 13, just over a year ago (see Plane sailing in Second Life: the ReneMarine Ask 13). Since then, I’ve been aloft in it on numerous occasions, both on my own and with Caitlyn. It’s a great way to fly in SL, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has a love of flying in Second Life.
However, getting off the ground in the new continent isn’t that easy. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, there are no airstrips, and sailplanes are not intended to get airborne off of water 🙂 . Fortunately, the Ask 13 comes with its own aerotow, so with a little cheating (rezzing the saiplane on the roof of my houseboat and then calling up the tow plane) I managed to get airborne. Not ideal, but it worked and got me up to an altitude where I could release the tow.
To be honest, I really wasn’t sure how far I’d get; as we all know, region crossings – physical or TP – have been something of a roll of the dice of late, and on a boat trip on Saturday I ended up losing my boat every few region crossings, so that after the fourth time I ended up dumped and having to re-log, I gave up. However, Sunday’s trip was nothing short of superb.
As my houseboat is down in the south-west of the new continent, I headed east and north, tracking the local thermals and taking time out here and there to grab a snap.
One of the critiques levelled at the land houses in Bellisseria is that they are “cookie cutter”; I’m not sure this is an entirely fair assessment. Sure the select of houses is, at present, limited to four styles in a single theme, and the parcels are all fairly regularly set, but coupled with the general road infrastructure, trees, etc., to me give a feeling of suburbia. And while it may not always be obvious from ground level, the blending of the suburban housing with the coastal areas and the houseboats is actually nicely handled; there’s a good sense of the grasslands giving way to more sandy ground that gently merges into beaches and water.
I’m not going to cover the houses in great detail here, because Ricco Sanez has written an excellent piece on them, looking at all four styles. What was interesting in passing overhead was being able to see what use people were making of the garden / yard space, including some imaginative use of off-parcel placement of items along some of the waterways. These left me a little curious as to the view the Lab might have of them; from my perspective I felt they added to, rather than detracted from, the general environment.
Airborne also gives you a sense of how much space remains within the continent – and equally – how crowded it might come to feel, depending on the way in which future developments are handled.
Overall, my trip by air was fun – very much helped by the fact I managed my tour without getting thrown by a bad region crossing – actually, the second flight I’ve made over the continent since it opened; my first being a powered flight around the coastline and was actually equally successful – up until I hit the dreaded banlines whilst trying to make a water landing.
And landing this time around? Well, that was easy. After running the thermals along the western mountains before turning inland between them, and setting down in one of the undeveloped SSPE regions. Nevertheless (and to repeat my old chestnut) it would be nice to have an inland airstrip or two. These, with the odd park and hiking / riding trail (if not already a part of the planning) could, as I’ve previously mentioned, add further attractiveness to the inland districts.
Note: we asked, the Lab listened. Three days after this article was written, a coastal airstrip was opened off the south-west coast of Bellisseria, as I was able to report on the day it opened – see: Bellisseria gains a coastal airstrip in Second Life.
13 thoughts on “Taking a birds-eye look at Bellisseria”
I was thrilled reading this story, having been in gliders in RL and launched by tow and winch, so I was along with you on this flight. Must be nice and quiet without the engine noise. And you had time to take some awesome shots Inara. Well done.
Thank you! I’ve also experienced both winch and aerotow (much prefer the latter, for obvious reasons!). The SL Ask 13 is a terrific sailplane (follow the link in the article for my review if you’ve not tried it before), and I really recommend it.
Great flight, it seems you did have fun. And thanks for the mention! 🙂
You’re welcome – enjoyed your article (and thanks for the shout out in it!).
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The off sim stuff is against covenant and for good reason, your neighbors choice of 2008 chunk-o-prims waves or Princess tower or lighthouse with beacon light may not be your choice to be forced to look at . Near me were some ghastly laggy as heck whales. They went quick, unknown why they went, but was very happy.
These aren’t off-sim elements – which I personally dislike. They are off-parcel. That is, an item with the root prim within the parcel so the LI is accounted for within the parcel), but the body sitting just beyond it, still within the region. Such as a jetty at the bottom of a garden on the river bank. This is still against the local convenant – hence the comment about how the Lab might react – but along the rivers, they help give a degree of character.
I was going to ask about these off-parcel items you mentioned then I found this comment. I have seen some sun loungers and parasols along the bank near our houseboat and I had assumed they were provided by LL for public use (a bit like a RL council would provide park furniture). I hadn’t thought of clicking on any to see who the owner is.
I would have assumed it’s not possible to rez your own items outside of your parcel… until I read what you said about the root prim. Presumably you would need to be able modify your furniture to do that.
But yes my reaction to the seating along the bank is that it adds character and looks great (at least near our houseboat, I’ve not explored more than a minute’s wall away yet).
Make no mistake, most items along river banks, on piers, beside some roads, etc., are definitely put out by the LPDW team. These include seats, benches, floating rings you can click on and set yourself drifting on the water (just use Arrow / WASD to move whilst seat – you might need to turn off your AO), etc.
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Hi there – I just managed to get back to Bellisseria for the first time in a few days. And yes I noticed the things along the bank near our houseboat are in the group “Linden Department of Public Works”. I had not heard of that before. So it kind of is like my park furniture example. That’s cool!
Then I came back here to see you had replied to tell me the very same 🙂
p.s. I had a good drift in one of the inflatable rings, thanks for the tip! 🙂
On off parcel placements — which you likely checked again, the covenant says exactly ” *Objects that extend outside of your parcel can be returned without warning or notice.” so it seems like they could stay depending on how well they conform to theme:D.
I have taken two long bike rides the last couple of days — one being from mid west coast to mid east coast. You can’t actually get from east to west DIRECTLY of course so it was a long two and a half hour journey with a break in the middle.
Honestly I can’t see the “cookie cutter” comment has much validity — other than the lack of homes styles with one style obviously winning the approval of a majority of folks and overused (yep, I have it too) :D.
Biking the roads really tells the story. From my perspective Patch and the Moles have done an outstanding job of sim design. Some communities (sim clusters) are more to my liking than others but that is certainly expected. But in almost four hours of traveling on the road I can vouch for the variety in landscape.
The thing people want most now is rez zones and I can understand that. At the same time public rez zones open up the land to those who don’t live there — hence cutting down on their need to go premium — and that is part of the bottom line. So we will see. My bike is wearable and my scooter while super cute is not really driveable in current conditions so I will stick with the slow bike where I don’t have to concentrate and can take in the home stylings of my neighbors. .
What about the airstrip located here https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Coral%20Waters/103/171/21 ??
Couldn’t you take off with plane from that point?
Nope! Because at the time this article was written, the airstrip at Coral Waters didn’t exist (although I and others were pushing LL to provide an airstrip somewhere) :).
The airstrip at Coral Waters actually opened on April 24th, three days after my sailplaine travels, as I covered at the time in Bellisseria gains a coastal airstrip in Second Life.
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