A Bridge House in Second Life

The CONVAIR Bridge House at Isla Caitinara, with modified bridge / deck with added pergola from Maya’s Builds

So, another couple of months have gone by, so it must be time for a change of house at Isla Pey 🙂 . Well, the reason is a bit more complicated than that, given it involves things going on in Second Life and the physical world that combined to make me feel I needed to tinker around and ktbash … again.

The SL side of things was in part down to the fact that, while the last house was fun to covert (see: A Country Hall in Second Life), it was, given the size of our new island, a little small. So, given we were in Second Norway, I hunted around for a design that might be taken to have something of a Scandinavian feel to it. And I found the CONVAIR Bridge House by Tobias Convair.

Priced at L$2,00 in-world, or L$2,200 via the Marketplace, the Bridge House is a single-storey property with a linear layout: a central lounge / kitchen /dining area flanked by end rooms on either side, one the same width as the lounge area,  they other slightly narrower, and with a narrow fourth room – advertised as a bathroom – to one side.  The lounge area benefits from a large fireplace and exposed ceiling trusses and boarding that gives it a very spacious build. The three remaining rooms all have flat, lower ceilings in wood. Outside, the house has extended eaves, particularly at either end, whilst one side also has full hight windows that could offer picturesque views in the right setting, the other having small windows. double doors are set into the “windows” side of the house, and a single door on the other.

The re-textured CONVAIR Bridge House, coloured in an attempt to match the original, sitting without our garden

No lighting is supplied, nor does the house come in a rezzer – at 56 LI, the structure doesn’t need one, being a single linkset. However, it comes are a range of deck / bridge “add-ons” that can be used in a variety of ways to extend the available space around the house and offer various over-the-water options. These are something I found particularly attractive, as they gave me a range of ideas for dock and deck options for a water-side setting like Isla Caitinara.

However, there are a couple of small niggles I have with the design. The fist is that it includes baked textures. Nothing unusual with this – many SL items do include shadow elements, both baked and linkset elements. However, with this house, the bakes reflect the shadows cast by chimneys, eaves, timber frames, etc, by a static Sun. Not a problem if you run with Shadows disabled in the viewer or life under a fixed sky. Bu, if you’re like me, and run with shadows enabled and under a dynamic sky, these baked shadows can conflict with “natural” shadows, and look odd. Getting around this was was no biggie; as I like kitbashing (and wanted to retexture the floors and stone walks in the build, it was a simple task to replace the supplied textures – once I’d found some that close matched the original woodwork and roof, as I wanted to maintain as much as a the original character of the design as possible.

The other point to note with this design is that it relies very heavily on transparent prims to provide physics / “solidity”. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this per se, particularly if you’re using the house “as is”. However, I found it preferable to remove those making up the floors and the floor mesh with prims I could then more easily texture to suit our needs, Doing so his increase the default LI a little – from 56 to 61; but it allowed for a better finish from my perspective.

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Like the Country Hall build, I opted to make  the new house a waterside house adjoining our boat docks, and the included bridge add-ons worked as a good template for me to re-work the existing dock, and a deck for a gazebo. However, again given the use of transparent prims, I opted to replace almost all of the bridge elements with my own, again for no increase in LI – at least until I linked them in to the existing docks on the island!

Despite the above niggles on my part, the Bridge House does make for a stylish home, and can be used “as is” from the box – instructions are supplied with it for correctly aligning the desired bridge and deck sections; although this does assume the bridge goes to one side of the house and the deck to the others. But again, if you’re OK with editing and moving items in-world, manual  alignment of elements can be done relatively easily.

Overall, an aesthetically pleasing build offering plenty of scope for customisation / expansion that can easily be tailored to suit individual needs. Ours came out at a total of 89 LI, including additional rugs, pictures and wall hangings, lighting, net curtains and window blinds.

Link and SLurl