A revisit to Otter Lake in Second Life

Otter Lake, February 2020

Update, November 2022: Otter Lake has relocated.

Otter Lake is one of the most alluring homestead regions we have recently visited. The work of Sharon Hinterland, this is a truly remarkable region in terms of the amount of space the region exudes, the beauty of the design, and the richness of detail. So much so that it is actually hard to believe it is only an Homestead region and thus capped with a land capacity of 5K.

I wrote those words back in June 2019 following our first visit to Otter Lake. We recently made a return to the region after receiving an invitation to do so from Sharon, who noted she’d made a number of changes to her design, and hoped we’d be able to take a look.

Otter Lake, February 2020 – click any image for full size

Now, to be honest, given the region really did captivate and offer a stunningly realistic design, hearing that it may have changed did cause something of a surge of anxiety: would the charm be retained? Would there still be the same sense of of depth, the same natural beauty?  Might something have changed to cause the magic of the region to evaporate, even if only in part?

Well, the answer to all of these concerns proved to be an emphatic “no”: Otter Lake remains as captivating and enticing as ever, the additional elements offering further depth and opportunities for photography and for simply appreciating Sharon’s work as a landscape artist.

Otter Lake, February 2020

Retaining the lake and home that gave the region its name, fed from on high by waterfalls dropping from a hilltop pool, the region offers a pleasing mix of the familiar and the new that combine into a further natural setting ready for exploration.

Perhaps the most obvious new element in the region is the fishing wharf that now forms the landing point. It’s an interesting focal point on its own: while this retains the warehouses of old and has a salmon trawler tied up alongside, fishing no longer gives the wharf’s purpose. The tallest of the warehouses has been converted into a home, the smaller into a cosy café, while what might have once have been fishmonger’s stores are now boutique shops.

Otter Lake, February 2020

Across the region from the wharf, a lighthouse raises its light over the trees, perhaps causing those who have visited the region in the past to recall another lighthouse that once stood there, albeit one without a tower. Other touches of the former design also await discovery: the humpbacked bridge, the broken delivery truck and much more besides.

As a firm fan of Alex Bader’s landscaping kits, I admit to particularly like the use of his stream building kits and specifically Sharon’s clever integration of elements from the Studio Skye Zen Garden Building Set. The later are to be found throughout the region and offer subtle accents throughout the landscaping.

Otter Lake, February 2020

Also among the newer elements are further buildings snuggled among the trees and paths, as well as some of the paths and trails themselves. Between them, the latter of take visitors on a marvellous trek through the region, one that again gives the feeling of walking through a space much, much bigger that the usual 65,535 square metres supplied by a region, without ever giving the impression that the space is in any way limited or feeling of walking in circles.

Sharon confessed to me that she wishes she has the land capacity to use “better trees”. However, while they my be low LI, the rich mix of trees that are provided across Otter Lake make for a rich – and quite natural – mix that varies by altitude, adding further depth to the region.

Otter Lake, February 2020

Filled with colour and natural sounds that change throughout the day – a day, by the way, enriched with a custom windlight -, with numerous places to sit in the open under boughs of trees, along river banks and paths and with much to see that doesn’t unduly impact viewer performance, Otter Lake remains one of the most alluring an natural settings it has been our pleasure to visit.

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Fantasy Faire 2020: calling DJs, hosts and – world builders!

via Fantasy Faire

Fantasy Faire, the largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, will take place in 2020 from Thursday, April 23rd, through Sunday May 10th, 2020 inclusive, with the scheduled activities programme running between April 23rd and Monday, May 4th.

Exhibitor applications opened on February 12th, as I noted in Fantasy Faire 2020: dates announced and merchant applications open, and on February 16th, DJ and Host applications opened for submissions, while on February 18th, and for the first time in the event’s history, Fantasy Faire issued an invitation to region designers to be a part of this year’s event.

Calling World Builders

It has long been the tradition at the Faire that those designing the regions that make up the Fairelands are directly asked to do so by the the Faire’s organisers. However, this year, the organisers are inviting all who might be interested to either design a full region for the event, or who might like to try their hand at becoming a Worldling designer.

The invitation reads:

For the first time, Fantasy Faire is throwing open its doors and welcoming builders throughout the length and breadth of Second Life the opportunity to share in creating the Fairelands.

Do you dream of worlds? Do you want the chance to bring those dreams to life? If you, or someone you know, might be interested in creating a region for this year’s Faire, please take a moment or two to fill out the form.

So, if you have designed a region in full or in part, have a hunger to design a fantasy setting that might form a part of Second Life’s largest annual fantasy event and help raise money for Relay For Life of Second Life and the American Cancer Society, why not volunteer your skills?

Fantasy Faire 2019

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