Tuesday, December 31st 2019 will once again see Bay City celebrate the turning of the year with their annual Prim Drop festivities.
The event will open at 23:30 SLT at the Bay City Fairgrounds in North Channel. The theme for the event is a wintertime soirée; black tie attire is recommended, and all SL residents are invited to attend. Marianne McCann will be providing the music and fireworks, and food and drink will be provided.
This will also be the final opportunity in 2019 to donate to Child’s Play Charity, a US 501c3 non-profit organisation which helps seriously ill children around the globe during their hospital stays with the purchase of games and gaming equipment. So even if you can’t make it to the event itself, do please consider taking a couple of minutes out of your SL day and stopping by the Bay City Fairgrounds and making a donation via one of the collection bins there.
About Bay City and the Bay City Alliance
Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab® and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest group for Residents of Bay City.
Operated by Lee1 Olsen, the Lundy Art Gallery is a must-visit destination for all who appreciate Second Life art, offering as it does a broad cross-section of pieces by 2D and 3D artists.
At the time of my visit, the main hall of the gallery presented something of a historic look at Second Life, featuring artists who have joined the platform relatively recently, and those whose names are very much a part of the SL art landscape, helping as they have to establish and build artistic expression within the platform.
Within the hall, and split between the main floor and upper mezzanine, are pieces by Etamae, Eylinea, Gitu Aura, Barbara Borromeo, Rage Darkstone, Kerupa Flow, Mistero Hifeng, Wan Laryukov, JolieElle Parfort), Patrick Moya, Romy, Nayar, Bryn Oh, Vorum Short, Monroe Snook, Theda Tammas, Elle Thorkveld, Talullah Winterwolf, and CioTToLiNa Xue, to name just some of the artists present.
Despite the volume of art on display, the gallery structure is large enough and open enough to make any visit and an appreciation of the art a relaxed, easy affair. There is room to move, and space to see individual pieces or groups of pieces without feeling crowded out by the amount of art on offer.
If I’m understanding the posters at the entrance to the gallery, this ensemble exhibition will run through to mid-January before being replaced by the first to open in 2020, making it an ideal New Year visit. In addition to the main hall, the gallery has two smaller halls, each located in the wings to either side and accessible from both the lower and mezzanine levels. At the time of my end-of-2019 visit, these housed exhibitions by Ilyra Chardin and the inimitable Patrick Moya.
A stunning collection with a breadth and depth not often seen in SL.
I’ve written a lot about the boats and aircraft I’ve purchased and used in Second Life, and more than a few people have asked what I rate as my favourites. Well, the fact is, I’m not sure I have any favourites per se, but there are those I tend to use a lot in preference to others, so I thought I’d offer a summary of those I tend to use the most.
Hull names: Sea Tiger 3 and Dolphin Dancer.
Released in May 2019, the Bandit 50/3 is the best sailing experience I’d had in Second Life (remembering that I’ve yet to really get into sail racing in-world, so my sailing is purely for pleasure). I reviewed it just after it has been released, and in the months since, my opinion of it hasn’t changed.
The BOSS sailing system means all of Analyse Dean’s boats have realistic handling, and this makes the 50/3 a particular pleasure to sail, while it comes packed with animations and options that make it a lot of fun to use whether at sea or moored.
Price: L$3,750. Available from The Mesh Shop (Dutch Harbor, rated Moderate).
DSA G58 Baron
I first started taking flying in SL seriously when I picked up the DSA C33 Debonair (available for a bargain price of L$200). Since then, I’ve picked up a number of these builds, with the G58 Baron becoming my favourite, on the basis of its looks and size: I like twin-engined light aircraft and the Baron fits neatly into the space we have on the home island and I have at my Linden Home houseboat.
DSA aircraft may not be the more recent aircraft in SL in terms of build and scripting, but they make for comfortable, easy-to-grasp flying with a reasonable degree of realism, all utilising the same script engine and HUD system. However, my personal attraction to them is the floats option models like the G58 have. It allows the pilot to swap back and forth between the ‘plane’s wheeled undercarriage and floats with simple local chat commands, making it possible to fly them from / to almost any land-based airstrip / airport and any publicly-accessible Linden Water with ease or the need to swap models from inventory.
I’ve had a four-year association with Piaggio builds, and it started in 2015 with this classic tender-style speed boat that comes with some unusual capabilities.
Smartly styled, this is a fast little boat than handles exceptionally well, while for those who want a little more speed, it has a hydrofoil option that can see it really zip along. Nor is this all; also for the sports-minded, the Little Bee includes wakeboard and parasail options. It also utilises Ape’s cinematic camera system, making it possible to see / photo / film it from a range of angles and views as the camera system steps through them. For those who live a distance from water, the Little Bee even comes with a trailer from which it can be launched (and to which it can be recovered), with a VW Beetle to tow it.
Released in April 2018, the ReneMarine Ask 13 is an Second Life sail plane that is – to my knowledge, at least – still the best that is available. Based on the Schleicher ASK 13, of which I have experience in flying with in the physical world, it comes with a vintage Curtiss JN-4 aero-tow to help in getting off the ground.
Once airborne, the Ask 13 can be operated like a real sail plane, using SL’s wind system and thermals to gain lift and altitude, while free-flying between thermals allows for aerobatics, while a HUD makes locating thermals across regions easy. A two-seater with switchable controls, it’s also an excellent vehicle for training friends who want to learn to glide as well.
In writing this piece, I was surprised to realise I’ve had my MD 900 Explorer for five years, although it really doesn’t feel that long. old among my vehicles it might well be, but it remains fun to fly. It handles regions crossings as well as can be expected with 4 avatars on board, and has some fun options, such as camera following searchlight, the winch system and the auto-deployable pontoons for water landings. These all make it suitable for a variety of roles – as a casual glance through the available paint schemes on the MP will show.
Like the vast majority of vehicles I have, the MD 900 is with .PST files for producing custom finishes, while its Modify permissions mean these can be applied directly, rather than necessarily having to rely on a scripted applier. The Modify option also means I had a little fun using the Piaggio vehicle transportation system to allow my MD 900 carry the Piaggio S33 RoadRunner beneath its tail boom, just in case I should ever need to take to the road after flying to some new location.
I was directed towards the TBM Kronos as a result of writing about another biplane, the CLSA Stampe SV.4. It was not something I had any intention of buying, but after trying out the demo version, I was hooked. It’s not exactly a ‘plane for starting out with SL flying, but it is a lot of fun to fly.
Resembling the Pitt Special S1 / S2, the Kronos is a single-seat biplane that has been designed specifically for aerobatics in Second Life. Small and easy to handle, it is superb for use within the confines of a single region – as the demo version ably shows – but it also handles region crossings well. It’s the best I’ve used for a range of manoeuvres from inside / outside loops through various rolls to Immelmanns and the split S (I’ve not mastered the hammerhead, possibly because full opposite aileron can’t be applied relative to the rudder).
At the time of writing, the SeaRoo is the most recent release from Ape Piaggio using the WALT brand name. It’s another vehicle I played something of a role in helping to develop, but that’s not the reason it is listed here. The simple fact is, the SeaRoo is an extraordinary amount of fun, without out on (or under) the water on your own or with a passenger.
The complete package comes with a range of options for racing and performing acrobatics (if you have rezzing rights in the available water), and includes a dock system. With a cache of poses when the boat is floating free rather than being driven, as well as its outstanding handling, the SeaRoo is probably the best legal fun you can have one, under – and even over at times – Linden Water.
I don’t really use land vehicles, and I’m certainly no expert with them; hence the lack of any listed here. However, were I to include one, then – and at the risk of being accused of bias, and remembering I only have limited experience with land / road vehicles – it would have to be the Piaggio S33 RoadRunner. At L$350, it is modestly priced, nippy, easy to use and fun. You can read more about it here.
Again, the above is not intended to be a list of the “best” (design-wise, script-wise, build-wise or otherwise); they are simply the ones among I own that – as noted – I use the most, and would particularly recommend to those interested and who may not have them already.