splash screen gets a further tweak

The small but noticeable update to the splash screen menu that appears to have been recently rolled out

Update May 17th: It  appears LL may either have released a change to the splash screen and have rolled it back, or are experimenting with ideas. On Monday, May 17th, the splash screen had reverted back to the April update.

Back in April Linden Lab slipped out a revamp to the home page.

At the time, it came in for a very mixed response, featuring as it does an actress in elven-like make-up rather than the more usual avatar.

The  image used was actually a still from the broadcast quality advert Levitate Media produced on behalf of Linden Lab in August 2020, and which was previewed in December 2020, a point that seemed lost on at least some of  those who responded negatively to splash screen re-vamp.

The re-vamp also brought the property more into line with other Second Life properties such as the enterprise micro-site, in that scrolling down the page reveals further information on Second Life under a trio of headings.

The splash screen image as seen with the April re-vamp, inset, the scene of the Second Life advert from which the image was taken, being filmed by Levitate Media in August 2020. 

The latest update – seen at the top of this article – was quietly rolled-out during the week. It now features an enlarged version of the still from the Levitate Media video and a re-worked menu. Gone are the options found in the top right corner of the screen, to be replaced by the more “modern” three-bar menu icon favoured by website designers and which offers a mobile device friendly solution to accessing menus. The rest of the page remains unchanged from the April 2021 update.

To be honest, I liked the April update, and the upset over the use of a live model seemed a little overblown to me; as I’ve said elsewhere, Second Life is supposedly “your world, your imagination”, so why not someone dreaming about being Galadriel or somesuch? That said, the image in this latest version is – to me – a little too large and in-you-face and as a result looses a lot of the mystery  / enticement it presented in the April version of the page; better, perhaps to have left it untouched and simply re-work the menu access.

As it is, the latest update is a small tweak, and presumably part of the Lab’s preparations for the deployment of revamped new user on-boarding process and new user experience. It  also makes the splash screen  a little more mobile device friendly (although the rest of the web pages have a long way to in that respect).

Note: you need need to be logged-out of in order to see these changes.

Going Soul Deep in Second Life

Soul Deep, May 2021 – click any image for full size

Kaelyn Alecto (TheNewKae) opened her latest Homestead region design in April 2021. Called Soul Deep, it is once again a richly detailed setting that is both fun to explore and also forms a restful retreat for those so minded to take advantage of its offerings.

Set within a ring of mountains that sit off the region and lie separated from it by a ring of blue water, Soul Deep comprises a main low-lying island around which are a number of small islets and raised promontory. These huddle around it like hatchlings making their first swim upon the calm waters under the watchful eye of their mother.

Soul Deep, May 2021

The landing point sits to the west of the main island, set upon one of Cory Edo’s converted shipping crate. Raised on shout wood and steel legs, this commands a view out over the island’s impressive lake, a body that looks as if it might once have been largely open to the surrounding waters, but time – or the hands and machines of humans – has surrounded  it with slim arms of earth, grass and reeds that gently embrace it so that waterfowl now treat it as a quiet sanctuary.

Running around the inner shore of the banks of this lake is a wooden board walk that offers a gentle walk around the water and leads visitors past various landward points of interest – places to sit out in the Sun or under the shade of trees, decks facing the waters surrounding the island, a little music venue – and the one centre of commerce to be found within the setting.

Soul Deep, May 2021

Clustered to the east, this takes the form of a group of wharves and decks on which sit assorted building that look to be related to the fishing trade – although whether fishing boats still put in alongside is perhaps questionable; the wharves appear to be devoted to rowing boats, and the boatyard seems to now be more the home for a very large shark, rather than a place for building boats…

South of this is one of the regions two uplands, a rocky table with a rather eclectic top – Doors that stand sans any surrounding building or ruins. Falls drop to the water below to one side of this strange monument to bookend one side of the arc of sand that forms a little beach  – one of two gracing the island’s shores. The second beach lies just to the south, facing a curving bay that links the rocky table with the west side of the island, where another upland sits amidst oak and fir.

Soul Deep, May 2021

This looks to have once been a part of the main island, so close are the two, but whether by accident or design, a narrow channel of water now separates them, necessitating the use of bridges to cross from one to the other.

Heavy in foliage thanks to the oak and fir covering it, this is home to an old ruin, whilst the crown of the hill features a place where visitors can literally hang out: a platform extends outward from the crown of the hill. Down below, a kayak is drawn up on the shore close to a little camp site in the lee of the hill. Thanks to the screening of the trees, this entire area feels as if it is deep in the wilderness, despite the proximity of the landing point just across the little channel.

Soul Deep, May 2021

And that’s the charm of Soul Deep: the feeling of openness and the mix of locations and open water that gives it a sense of being much larger than the region in which it sits.

Whether you want to explore the main island or hop over to the outriggers – one with a cosy house upon it, another with the remnants of an old church, a third with a simple deck of which to sit – there really is much to discover and appreciate here, while the boats liberally scattered over the waters (some of which can be driven), offer still more opportunities for discover and / or relaxation.

Soul Deep, May 2021

SLurl Details