Frogmore: more Swedish memories in Second Life

Frogmore, November 2019 – click any image for full size

We first visited Frogmore in August 2019, when it was located on a Homestead region. It has now relocated to a Full region that includes the full region land capacity bonus, and we were invited back to take a further look at the expanded setting by Bengta’s SL partner, Atze Boucher.

In the original build, Frogmore offered a focused interpretation of a childhood in Öregrund, Sweden. with the new Full region installation, that focus is broadened somewhat, with Bengta and Atza noting, ” we share with you a touch of life in Sweden and the magic that is Scandinavia”.  This has resulted in a location that blends much of what will likely be familiar to those who visited the original Frogmore with much that is new, thus presenting a setting that carries with it a sense of returning to a familiar place in life, whilst also offer more opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Frogmore, November 2019

For those who have visited previously, that sense of familiarity is imbued on arrival: the cinder road is still there, forming the landing point and pointing the way between wooden buildings sitting on a narrow waterfront with the sea on one side and rugged steps of hills on the other. The ocean-facing wharves are still there as well, but a walk along the road will reveal that the buildings fronting them have been a little thinned out, before the road arrives not at a rocky headland, but at a large harbour market that may well be past its prime.

I say “past its prime”, because the main pier looks to be in need of repair, and the waters next to it don’t appear that welcoming to fishing boats (there’s even a poor piano caught in the detritus floating there), while the buildings on the headland look tired, with a couple now given over to entertainment, rather than serving market buyers with fish and produce. Even what might have been a large, solid warehouse looks to be in the process of being re-purposed as a art gallery.

Frogmore, November 2019

Elsewhere, other familiar sites await discovery. The rocky stream bubbling its way through one of the original setting’s two main islands, and which drew my attention during or first visit is still waiting to be found – although I don’t recall it being blocked off at both ends.

Other familiar elements include the need to scramble over rocks to get from place to place in some part of the region, which can give a sense of being on a hike when exploring, while the oyster bar still stills above that main cinder-topped road.

Frogmore, November 2019

The move to a Full region has also allowed for expansion, with several new areas appearing in the new design. There are coastal camping cabins, inland paths switch-backing through the landscape between rocky spines and hills, leaping narrow brooks with the aid of bridges and fallen tree trunks. An old cable-car system runs somewhat diagonally across the largest island, while the two smaller island to the north and east show signs of more occupation that I recall from our August visit.

All of this makes the “new” Frogmore – or as Atze termed it to me, “Frogmore 2.0” – well worth exploration, as there is so much that is new – including multiple new spaces to sit on your own, share with friends or experience a little intimacy with a lover. However, it does come with a caveat: perhaps a little too much has been packed into the region in terms of unique textures and volume of mesh, as a visit can really impact viewer performance if you have options such as shadows enabled or have a mid-to-high draw distance (e.g. 120m or more).

Frogmore, November 2019

I also found the issue of the region surround taking time to render to be apparent here (an issue I experienced and other commented on with the original Frogmore). In my case it took some 70-80 minutes for the surround to pop into view, hence why it is absent in the majority of images here – all of which were taken in that time period. I’ve no idea how common this issue might be with this build – but a lack of the surround doesn’t unduly spoil the region’s looks.

However, those points noted (both of which can be dealt with by either ignoring the surround, or by making some adjustments to the viewer), the new Frogmore is as photogenic as the original. Those who do take photos are invited to submit them to the Frogmore Flickr group.

Frogmore, November 2019

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