SL18B: A look at the Linden Homes Fantasy Theme preview

The Linden Homes Fantasy Theme preview at SL18B

Note: the images here do not show the intended EEP environment for the fantasy theme. They have been taken purely to show the house designs themselves. I will have images reflective of the Fantasy homes and their new sub-continent utilising the correct environment lighting when the Fantasy theme becomes available. 

As a part of the opening of SL18B, Patch Linden announced the next Premium Membership Linden Homes theme will be Fantasy, and a preview area opened within the celebration regions, giving people a chance to see the new theme ahead of its release later this year.

Fantasy has been a common request for a new Linden Homes theme, and the new theme is to address this call. In keeping with the majority of the “new” Linden Homes themes, the houses occupy 1024 square metre parcels, and the theme appears to comprise four styles, as described below – but please note it has been indicated that:

  • The interior layouts may change between the preview and the release.
  • This theme is to include “special features” not previously seen in Linden Homes – but these will not be revealed until Patch’s Lab Gab session on Tuesday, June 22nd (unless he spills the beans at the Leadership session on Monday, June 21st!).

The four styles are:

  • Amberbrooke: a large, open-plan central room with stairs to the upper level and front and rear access, flanked by two additional rooms. Upstairs are three rooms, with the central room featuring a balcony overlooking the rear of the property.
  • Mistbrooke: a large, single-level house with central entrance hall flanked by two rooms on either side, the two rearmost of which each provide access to a small terrace / patio sitting between the wings of the house.
  • Rosebrooke: central entrance hall, flanked by a large room to the right with access to the rear of the property, and a smaller room to the left. Stairs from the hall provide access to a landing with a room to either side, each with skylights.
  • Stonebrooke: a turreted entranceway provides access to a large main room with access to the rear of the property and further access to an inner hall / room that in turn leads to three further rooms.

While it is purely speculative on my part, I wonder if these homes might also follow in the footsteps of the Chalet theme, with each style offered both with complete interiors and in a more open style variants for people to create rooms of their own.

As it is, and again given the interiors are not finalised, the Mistbrooke would appear a little cumbersome in layout – the only way to get to the rearmost rooms in the house (and indeed, access the rear terrace / patio) is to traipse through the rooms they adjoin.  Some might not find this especially enamouring, depending on the uses to which they put the intervening room. Given the hallway overlooks said terrace / patio, I’m surprised the window it contains is not actually a doorway.

In terms of overall design, the Fantasy Homes could be described as “the Cotswolds meets Lord of the Rings”. True, these are are not faced in stone (at least for the preview), but on the whole their general appearance (ignoring the skylight motif and fretwork over entranceways) wouldn’t seem too out of place if dropped into a Wiltshire village.


It is the fretwork that pretty much carries the “fantasy” theme (along with the “Linden typical” approach the the general landscaping (twisted and gnarled trees, crystals thrusting out the the ground together with giant mushrooms). This fretwork and the skylight window motif do give the houses a lean towards “elven / Lord of the Rings”, but to me on this first look – and granted I know nothing about the “special features”, so may well have to eat my words later – the overall designs feel as if they are tinkering with the fantasy theme, rather than embracing it.

Truth be told, wandering / camming the region left me asking, “where are the rounded doorways? Why not something with a little more of a fantasy edge to it such as homes with open-sided entranceways and halls leading to rooms that are somewhat more enclosed?” and so on. However, and in  fairness, I can also recall the original Linden Homes fantasy theme came under heavy fire back in 2009 for being too other-worldly (/Lord of the Rings-ish) and thus seen as having “limited appeal”, so a more staid approach might be for the better.


As it is, much of the initial reaction on the forums has been positive, and it is fair to say that in not going “all out” on the fantasy theme, these homes could find favour among both fantasy lovers and those who are not so heavily fantasy oriented, but want a home that is just that little bit different without being completely “outlandish” to their way of thinking.

Either way, the preview region will be open for viewing throughout SL18B, and I’ll doubtless have more on this theme down the road.

2021 CCUG meeting week #24 summary

Nelipot, March 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from my audio recording and chat log of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, June 17th, 2021. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, with dates available via the SL Public Calendar and the venue for the CCUG is the Hippotropolis camp fire.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates for the viewer since Monday, June 14th, leaving the official viewer pipelines as follows:

  • Release viewer: LMR 5 viewer, version, dated May 27th, promoted June 7th – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Project UI RC viewer, version dated June 14th.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version, dated May 19th.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, dated October 26th, 2020.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, dated December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, dated November 22nd, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, dated July 16th, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Project UI RC viewer will be the next to be promoted to de facto release status, and this will be in the “next week or two”.
  • The Mac notifications viewer has still yet to surface as a either a project or RC viewer.
  • The revised simplified cache viewer RC is returning to LL’s QA team, and if it passes through testing, should be appearing as a new RC, but this may not be for another couple of weeks.
  • A further CEF (Chrome Embedded Framwork) viewer for web content – media streaming, etc., – is also in the works, that should support more streaming / media codecs and fix a number of streaming-related issues.


Summary: An attempt to re-evaluate avatar rendering costs and the cost of in-world scene rendering, with the current focus on avatar rendering cost / impact, with the in-world scene rendering / LI to be tackled at some point in the future.

  • Work is continuing on the new performance floater. This pulls together information from various menus / debugs to display useable information on avatars / attachments that are heavy in rendering cost, and what can be done.
    • This work is currently separate to the work on revising that actual formulas used for calculating avatar complexity
    • It had been indicated the UI work could appear in the viewer before the avatar ARCTan calculations are updated to more accurately reflect the cost of rendering avatars.
    • However, there is a concern that if this is the case, the new floater will simply be ignored when made available, and will continue to be be ignored after the calculations have been revised.
    • It has therefore been suggested it would be better to revise the calculations first, and then release the viewer with the new information floater and explanations as to why it should be taken note of. LL have indicated they may consider doing this.
  • There is an on-going debate as to how useful information / self-regulating exercises like ARCTan are, compared to the enforcement of hard limits.
    • Self-regulating exercises (users making use of the information provided by their viewer) tend to be ignored (e.g. the Jelly Dolls complexity slide is generally left ramped up to the highest), thus defeating the purpose of such exercises.
    • However, enforcement of hard limits runs the risk of causing a high level of upset (and possible quitting) of a good portion of the user base when they find they can no longer overload their avatars with high-vertices/high texture load/heavily scripted attachments.
    • To  avoid the latter, it has been suggested the viewer should be able to automatically reduce avatar rendering to progressively lower LOD settings based on the load they place on the local system, rather than purely by distance from the camera.
  • It’s also bee suggested that for meshes in general, Second Life should have a robust auto-LODing system at upload.

In Brief

  • A long-standing issue for content creators producing mesh linksets for upload to SL, is that while they could give each element in the linkset a unique name for easier re-assembly post-upload, following upload, only the first element of the linkset would retain its name – the rest would be converted to “Object”, making re-linking an onerous task.
  • BUG-202864 “Change Mesh Uploader to preserve Scene File object names when a full linkset is uploaded” was raised in 2018 as a request for this to be addressed, and a viewer-side change to support this was implemented thereafter.
  • However, as per the week #22 CCUG, the server-side update also required to support this was not made, and the matter slipped off of LL’s radar.
  • Following that meeting, Vir Linden referred the matter to Rider Linden on the simulator team, and he has reported that:
    • The required server-side support will be going to RC, hopefully in week #25 (commencing Monday, June 21st).
    • In the interim, those wishing to test the capability can do so via the Preflight group of regions over the weekend.