Bandit 170: a pocket cruiser that’s coming Second Life

Bandit 170

I logged in to Second Life to find I had an unexpected gift waiting for me: a preview version of the Bandit 170, the latest motor boat by Analyse Dean. It’s a cute little craft modelled, as Ana’s boats are, after a physical world boat, as is noted in the 170’s user guide.

The Bandit 170 DeLuxe is modelled after the small recreational pocket cruisers of the 1970’s, like the Inter 500 and the Marina M17, they were popular then, and are still popular now.

Due to the small size they are easily stored, can be pulled on a trailer behind a compact car, they are fuel efficient when puttering around, but fast and fun to drive when you open up the throttle, and you can camp out in the cosy cabin for a weekend fishing trip.

At 6.6 metres in overall deck length, this really is a small boat – smaller than the Bandit SRV-210 speedboat, which I reviewed two years ago, when it was first released. Nevertheless, it come packed with details: a range of cabin and deck sits, the ability to tow a passenger carrying tube or and optional wakeboard (the 170 is compatible with Ape Piaggio’s wakeboards, which can be purchased at Ape’s store at Dutch Harbor).

Bandit 170

The 170 is very much a faithful reproduction of the Inter 500 / Marina M17 (Ana provides a pair of photos of the Inter 500 so you can see for yourself). The stern well provides room for four, while the compact cabin offers sleeping / sitting space for  in reasonable comfort. It is powered by 40 hp outboard motor that may not have a huge turn of speed in the physical world when compared to speed boats and larger cruisers, but which is for Second Life more than adequate, and at the upper end of its speed scale, makes this a manoeuvrable, nippy little craft.

The controls for the boat follow the usual layout: when seated, the pilot types “start” (no quotes) to start the engine and “stop” to turn it off, while the Left / Right keys will turn the boat in the appropriate direction, and the Up / Down keys increase / decrease the throttle. From start, a tap on Page Up will fully open the throttle while tapping the Down Key when in motion will drop the throttle back to idle. If Page Down is tapped when the throttle is idling, it will drop the boat into full reverse, and Page Up will bring the throttle back up to idle.

A range of chat commands unlock other features, including deploying the Bimini (Sun shade over the open boat well) or the tent (completely encloses the boat well), setting the camera position, turning the hover text HUD on / off, dropping / raise the anchor, deploy the fenders – and more, as detailed in the the user guide. Touching the boat can either access the range of sit / pose options (of which there are a fair few, singles, couples and fun) or activate various controls  / options – such the the ventilation hatch in the cabin roof, boil the kettle, (and give you a mug of a hot beverage), toggle the control panel switches for the boat’s lights, stow / unstow the forward seats in the boat’s well or the table in the cabin, put out a larger bed, etc.

Bandit 170

Like many of Ana’s boats, the Bandit 170 is a very physical craft: it really will bounce through waves when at speed; as a consequence, you can suffer a fair amount of camera juddering. This can be lessened by using the mouse scroll wheel to push your camera back a little from the boat. And talking of the camera, for those times when it skews and locks at a weird position on a region crossing, the pilot can generally recover by toggling between the two camera modes (cam 1 and cam 2). It may not always work – but such is the nature of SL.

For those who like first-person driving, the Bandit 170 is a capable craft, the dashboard has a single instrument – the speedometer. When driving in third-person mode, a little practice will show there’s no need for the hover text HUD.

The boat’s package includes a range of extras: a dock with scripted auto-mooring, a trailer for towing the boat, a complete texture pack for producing custom paint finishes (and which includes a couple of pre set paint options; textures are applied by right-clicking the boat and selecting the required face – just refer to the texture currently in place on the boat to confirm which texture goes where). A pack of flag textures are also included, together with the aforementioned towable tube – see the user manual for details on this.

The Bandit 170 on its trailer

An interesting twist with the Bandit 170 is that it comes ready for a new game Ana is working on with Ape Piaggio, Rez Grey (the originator of Get The Freight out) and Dutch Mainsail. Called OMFG (that’s One More Fishing Game before you jump other conclusions!), it is a grid-wide fishing game that Ana describes thus:

It’s 100% database driven, so all the water in SL is mapped out, meaning you’d really have to go out with your boat, look at the fish finder to see if there is fish, and then stop and cast a line, what you catch depends on what gear/bait you use, and where you are (also, how much you had to drink, if that’s a lot, you start catching really weird things…

The game has yet to be finalised, which means the eventual retail price of the Bandit 170 is still TBC. However, those who would like early access to the boat (without the game option) can obtain it from the Bandit stall at Uber. Those buying the boat from there will receive a free game update once the latter is available.

Bandit 170 o the rivers of Bellisseria

One of the things I like about this little cruiser is that its small size, shallow draft and low speeds make it ideal for navigating inland waterways around SL – I had a lot of fun (low bridges allowing) pootling around the rivers of Bellisseria.

All told, a great addition to the Bandit ranged of power boats, one that could well be a popular item among boating enthusiasts, bringing with it a land impact of 35. If you don’t fancy trying to fight your way into Uber to grab one, you can hop to Dutch Harbor and at least take the demo version for a run.

Fantasy Faire 2020: three reasons to relay

Fantasy Faire 2020: Agra Adara

Fantasy Faire is now well under way for 2020, the gates to the Fairelands having opened on April 23rd. In writing my shorthand guide to the the event, I was drawn again and again to Zander Green’s pre-opening letter to all those who participate in the Faire every year. So much so, that my shorthand guide risked getting sidetracked in thoughts surrounding Zander’s words. Instead, I decided it might be better to offer those thoughts in a separate piece.

Since 2009, Fantasy Faire has offered many reasons for people to come together and share their time and company in raising money as part of global Relay for Life activities. But this year, perhaps more than the previous 11, Fantasy Faire offers three particular reasons to relay that can apply to each and every one of us who spend time within Second Life.

The first is aligned to the cause of overcoming cancer in all of its forms. This is the campaign for which the Fairelands were born from the mists of imagination in 2009, and it is campaign which has – as Zander reminded us – achieved a tremendous amount:

This year, over seven hundred souls will work to summon the Fairelands back from the Somnia Caligo, the Mist of Dreams and twenty thousand will come as visitors to those summoned shores. Small numbers still, when you consider our world is home to 7.8 billion people.

Yet, sometimes the smallest numbers carry the most weight. Certainly, that is true in the Fairelands …

For example, 0.13% is – I’m sure you would agree – a very small number. But as always, context is king. So, to understand just how large that number actually is we first must consider the equation that yields that solution.

By the end of the 2019 season, Fantasy Faire’s total amount raised placed us as the 82nd most successful Relay For Life team on Earth [and] in 2019, there were a total of 63,270 Relay For Life teams worldwide …

Put another way, last year the Fairelands were in the TOP 0.13% of all Relay For Life teams, not just in Second Life but all across the globe.

That is how much weight a small number can carry. That is how much good a small group of people can do.

– Zander Greene, April 17th, 2020

In all, and through to the end of 2019’s event, Fantasy Faire has raised a stunning US $358,000 for RFL and ACS. That’s an incredible amount considering the Faire exists for just a handful of days each year. It speaks directly to the nature and hearts of all who attend, shop and donate. The money raised has gone on to support those stricken with cancer and their families and care givers through the Unite States and beyond, and most recently has helped give birth to the work of the Kenyatta National Hospital Hope Hostel.

A US $2 million project, the Hope Hostel provides 156 beds for those seeking cancer treatment at KNH, Kenya’s largest public referral hospital with comprehensive cancer treatment facilities, together with support and resource facilities for family members and carers. Its existence means that those coming to the hospital from all corners of Kenya, and who might otherwise be unable to afford accommodation and care during treatment, can have somewhere safe, clean and secure to stay during their treatment sessions and where they can receive advice and support during their stay.

Kenyatta National Hospital Hope Hostel

In adopting the Hope Hostel as a focus for fund-raising at Fantasy Faire 2028, Fairelanders and Second Life Relayers were able to make a lasting difference to many cancer sufferers and their families in Kenya, as evidenced by a letter to Fairelanders written ahead of 2019’s Fantasy Faire by Kristen Solt, Managing Director of the ACS
Global Health Initiatives Programme.

Thanks in large part to Relayers in Second Life, we’ve been able to launch the Patient Navigator program at KNH which in the last year has given FOUR THOUSAND Kenyans access to better information and assistance. Think about that number for a moment: four thousand people! Ask yourself how many family members they each have. How many friends and loved ones? There are tens of thousands of people in Kenya today whose lives are already better because of you.

– Kristen Solt, ACS Global Health Initiatives Programme Managing
Director, April 13th, 2019

By joining in with this year’s Faire, all of us can help further work like this, helping cancer sufferers and those close to them the world over.

The second reason to relay in 2020 lies with the currently global situation. Because of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, events around the world are being cancelled – including those for RFL. Remember that in 2019 alone, there were 63,270 RFL teams around the word raising money for ACS; in 2020, few will be able to operate with the same zeal in raising funds. This means that for 2020, Fantasy Faire and RFL of SL are at the very forefront of fund-raising for ACS, as Zander again pointed out in his letter.

Right now, with so many RFL events around the world facing cancellation because of the dangers of Covid-19, ours has become one of the few that can proceed as planned. Our community has never been more important. Four million Relayers around the world are looking to us to carry the baton for them. A world full of cancer patients, survivors and caregivers turn their eyes to us. The American Cancer Society has asked us to be their Standard Bearer.

– Zander Greene, April 17th, 2020

Fantasy Faire 2020: Autumnium
That’s why for 2020 it doesn’t matter if you would otherwise categorise yourself as being Bored With the Ring or would rather play Monopoly than watch Game of Thrones or would rather wear a Starfleet uniform with your pointed ears than accompany them with a pair of faerie wings, your presence – your willingness to give L$ – at Fantasy Faire, really is important. By giving of your time and becoming a Relayer perhaps for the first time, you will be helping Fantasy Faire and RFL of SL rise to the call from those 4 million global relayers in continuing to raise funds for ACS and its world-wide projects.

And the third reason? Simply this: by bringing so many of us together from so many backgrounds and parts of the world in a place where we can feel safe and share in a vision of hope and experience one another’s joy, friendship, support and more, the Faire stands as a reminder that the current times of fear and concern will pass; that there will again be times when we can gather with family or with friends or with neighbours and enjoy their company, love, and friendship once more.

So whether you are a journeymen of Fairelands past or a neophyte about to enter into them for the first time, here are three reasons for you to Relay in 2020. Which leaves me only to say – stay safe, stay virtual – and between now and May 10th, 2020, see you at the Fairelands!

Fantasy Faire 2020 SLurls and Event Links


Entertainment, Performances, Etc:

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