A Chocolate Factory in Second Life

Chocolate Factory, December 2020 – click any image for full size

Justice Vought, co-owner of the excellent :Oxygen: (see: Getting some :oxygen: in Second Life), and who earlier in 2020 lightened hearts with his homage to Second Life’s famous Greenies (see: Once upon a (Greenie) time in Second Life) sent an invitation to Caitlyn and I to visit his latest creation, an it is once again a setting that is likely to bring a smile to many faces with its sense of fun and interaction.

To put it in a nutshell (which will undoubtedly be assessed by squirrels…) Chocolate Factory pays homage to 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder, and 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp and Freddie Highmore and, most broadly, to Roald Dahl’s timeless story.

Chocolate Factory, December 2020

It does so by presenting visitors with a tour of the legendary chocolate factory (golden tickets available, but actually entirely optional), which takes you from the gates to the factory through its various rooms and assorted places, and back to the the landing point. Along the way, there are rides, things to do and try, and vignettes that pay homage to both films, with perhaps a lean more towards the Gene Wilder version, all of which should be visited with local sounds enabled (the starting point also recommends the audio stream be on, but this isn’t strictly necessary).

The starting point is a little town square where sits a shop in which you can try your hand in obtaining a golden ticket via a L$1-a-go gacha machine. For once the gods of SL fortune were with me, as I got one first go, although Caitlyn received a Wonka chocolate bar she could nibble on while we explored. From here, visitors (with or without a golden ticket) can pass through the warning sign and follow the road towards the factory – reached via a short tunnel – which also offers a chance to pop into Charlie’s house along the way. Once at the factory, visitors should proceed through the gates and into the factory to Wonka’s office, where an Anywhere Door will start them on their adventure.

Chocolate Factory, December 2020

The Anywhere door is the first of the teleports that carry visitors through a series of rooms / locations representative of elements from the story, including a blueberry / bubble room, the squirrel room (where the aforementioned nut assessments take place), the TV room, and so on. These are visited in a certain order (but at the end of the tour there is the opportunity to teleport back to any one of the locations visited, and the teleports between scenes work both ways). note that teleports might be doors, portals of other objects – the latter indacted by 3D arrows.

The Anywhere door delivers you to s Candyland, evocative of the production values fro Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Here one can follow the chocolate path over the lush grass and across the bridge spanning the  river of chocolate that flows from high falls to split the landscape before vanishing into a dark tunnel. Candy sticks and multi-hued mushrooms mark the land and giant butterflies flap their wings. Those with quick eyes may spot the Wonka boat rezzer sitting in the flow of chocolate – but don’t be too hasty to rez one and sit: there are numerous things to discover in this seemingly simple garden – from taking the twizzler rope across the river as an alternative to the bridge, to body surfing in the chocolate or simply sitting on a chocolate biscuit love seat – and more besides – be sure to mouseover things carefully, and not always at ground level!

Chocolate Factory, December 2020

When you’re ready to proceed, rez a boat (if you have problems spotting the rezzer, look along the flow of chocolate near to where a group of coloured balloons are sitting, close to the bridge) and jump in – you may have to be quick, as the boat doesn’t hang about. This will take you on through the tunnel ride to the fizzy pop store where you can have a light refreshment (emphasis on the “light” – for which I should perhaps use the American “lite” – you’ll see why whn you ignore the warning and take a bottle!), then follow the teleport arrows through the window and onwards.

I’m not going to spoil things here by describing every place you’ll visit, suffice it to say you’ll encounter the odd Oompa Loompa or three along the way (actually starting in Candyland) and experience (as noted) aspects of the films, each with its own interactive elements, including a further ride atop a Wonka Chocolate Bar to reach the final location and experience teleport.

Chocolate Factory, December 2020

A light-hearted homage, Chocolate Factory makes for a fun visit, and if you’re feeling like you’ve had enough of the year or are feeling the onset of Christmas Blues, a visit could be just the ticket to cheer you up (did you see what I did there? 😀 ).

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