The growth of Bellisseria

Pootling through some of the new Bellisseria continent regions by rail

It’s been a few months since I last wrote about Bellisseria, the Linden Homes continent. At that time, the trailers and campers selection of homes had just been deployed – and proven as popular as the Traditional homes and Houseboat ranges before them.

Since that time, as has been reported elsewhere, the continent has been expanded with a lot of new regions slotting into the southern side to fill out much of the “missing parts” when compared to the SSPE “test continent” used to initially develop Bellisseria’s layout.

These new regions have dropped into Bellisseria fairly close to where my houseboat is located, and I’ve tended to take the occasional look at them as things have been under development (see A little Culprit Moonwalking in Second Life, for example). However, as this a is quiet Monday, I decided to drop in to the regions at a time when I’m unlikely to get in the way of the Linden Department of Public Works (LPDW) as they continue to build-out the regions with everything from landscaping though flora and infrastructure to the Linden Homes themselves.

The new regions bring together a mix of Houseboats, Traditional houses and Trailers and Campers

The majority of the regions continue with the current themes of Traditional, Houseboat and Trailers and Campers homes. This means – on the surface –  that the new regions could be dismissed as “more of the same”, but as my Monday trip through some of them – by rail and horse – shows that while they may contain the same types of houses, they have their own unique character and look.

Take, for example, the Bellisseria railway. While this was introduced with the release of the Trailers and Campers, the extension to the continent illustrates it in not to be restricted to regions containing these types of Linden Home – as has been hoped would be the case. Within the new regions, the tracks pass from “camping” regions into Traditional homes regions, and back into “camping” regions once more. Along the way the tracks also branch for what I think is the first time, presenting two potential rail routes through the regions, and one of the new Traditional homes regions has markings for what might be a more substantial station than seen elsewhere (or at least one directly served by road).

The new regions see the Bellisseria rail lines extend into Traditional house regions

Given the continued popularity of the Houseboat styles, it comes as no surprise that the coastal regions offer more moorings for houseboats – some of which have already been populated. But again in what might be an interesting turn where popularity is concerned, the new regions offer an extensive reach of the camping parcels along the coast, presenting people who like the Campers and Trailers with the opportunity to enjoy coastal living, rather than being restricted to just the banks of inland waterways and lakes.

The new regions also offer the first real “blending” of Camper and Trailer regions and Traditional House regions. Until now, the boundaries of the two have tended to be denoted by water. With these new regions, the two types of Linden homes draw together more naturally, sometimes with just low mounds between them, sometimes abutting almost seamlessly.

Trailers and Campers move to being along the coast with the new regions

There are perhaps one or two little things that it would be nice to see. The rail tracks for example run through the regions, passing Campers and Trailer and houses alike running over and under bridges and through deep cuttings; but there are are no tunnels – it would be nice to see one or two in the more hilly areas.

Similarly, while the Traditional house regions and the Trailer and Camper regions do more directly abut one another, the roads of the Traditional house regions and the tracks of the Camper and Trailer regions never actually come together; rather they each end abruptly with a stretch of grass between them, it would be nice to a a more natural joining, asphalt gradually giving way to a narrower, rutted track, for example. Or at least have a fence and (open) gate between them, rather than curbstones, footpath and pristine-looking grass.

Food for thought for Linden Lab, perhaps?

5 thoughts on “The growth of Bellisseria

  1. This new housing settlement is a welcome addition to the Linden Housing system, since a number of the other housing continents have….ahh, Quirky housing available. What is also important is that at long last there is a connection from one continent (Jugeot) to the original Mainland of Sansara. I’ve flown this connection and am getting ready to sail it later this month along with some “crew” who are also enthused that previously disconnected continents are now accessible. Maybe Linden Research can do that with the other continents as well; a half sim wide connection seaway is all it would take. That would give the Airline operators a real chance to move between continents as a real airline (or take a steamship or sail…) Anyway, the new continent is great and I’m looking forward to settling there soon.

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  2. Got to agree on the roads. Since they’ve done the region behind my lot in graff I’m completely cut off from the rest of the infrastructure. If it was a real life property it would be impossible to get too! My linden home looks onto the water too and there’s no way for me to rez a boat. I think they’ve done a really good job, but at the risk of repeating myself, the roads are poorly considered, which is a shame because driving is great second life pastime.

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  3. I didn’t have enough land allowance left to get one of the new homes or houseboats but I did for the campers. I wasn’t too enthused by the sound of them but I took one and have been really pleasantly surprised. The Moles have done an excellent job of making the small 512 plots well separated by natural elements and changing the terrain levels.
    Most people seem to have chosen the Williamsburg model which is the most like a small house and it was challenging but fun to decorate inside and out with only 175 prims when I am used to the 6470 I have on my other land. While I have an interior lot it is on small lake so pleasant enough.
    I do think this has been a great initiative on the LL’s part.

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  4. Meanwhile plans to finally finish Zindra and the advised 7 continents of Gaeta are also stuck at Gaeta 5 and a semi-finished Gaeta 1 since eternities. I really hate LL for their volatility and short-term thinking. Betting the future of your world and your company on the appeal of shiny things is a stupid-stupid idea. Once the novelty effect wears off Bellisaria will be as empty and deserted as the existing premium mini continents. As we see now with Project Sansar there is no sustainability in anything LL does.

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    1. It’s unfortunate that Zindra was something of a rushed, half-baked project, and I agree it would be nice to see focus put on the rest of the mainland in in overhauling the infrastructure there, completing elements, etc., although it has been hinted that some of this could well be on the cards as the Bellisseria work ramps down. However, I have to disagree with you on two points:

      “Betting the future of your world and your company on the appeal of shiny things is a stupid-stupid idea.”

      On this, I would point out that Second Life users are generally the ones calling for new shiny – be it technical capabilities or things like better Linden Homes. The latter have long been regarded as being slums, with huge tracts of them taken but never used or left empty – which is not the case with Bellisseria, as I’ll come back to).

      Bellisseria is also important not just for being “new shiny”, but because it is part of a broader strategy. The most obvious impact with it is in the way that it has helped many to keep their Premium accounts (and even upgrade to Premium) in the face of the recent subscription increases. While it is only one part of the strategy, it is helping LL to try to pivot revenue generation away from its massive reliance on private region tier and into other areas – thus helping them meed demand for lower land tier.

      One can argue with the viability / approach to tier / revenue pivot, but that’s a whole other discussion. Suffice it to say here that in terms of Bellisseria, it’s not just a case of LL doing something in isolation – it is LL responding to demands from users to a) “do something” about the old Linden Home “slums”; b) (and far more broadly) respond to the claims that “the tier is too damned high”).

      “Once the novelty effect wears off Bellisaria will be as empty and deserted as the existing premium mini continents.”

      This suggests you’re unaware of the level of involvement residents have within Bellisseria – involvement that in many respects mirrors that of Bay City. There is a large dissident-led and very active community group (Bellisseria Citizens); there are numerous activity-related groups (e.g flying, sailing and horse-riding). As well as this, within the continent itself, residents additionally organise all kinds of events and get-togethers from the very large focused on the Bellisseria Fairgrounds, through to daily “local” activities centred on homes that have been converted into pubs, cafés and art galleries by their owners. There’s even a local newspaper.

      So Bellisseria is very different to the Linden Homes mini-continents in both development and in user engagement, and comparing them is something of an apples and oranges exercise.

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