This is a slightly different Exploring Second Life article, as it is, when all is said and done, about a store as much as it is about the regions it references.
AustinLiam is well-known in Second Life for the building he produces. These cover a range of functions from houses through to industrial and dockside, units and assorted rural-style buildings. All are very well made and supplied Copy / Mod, making them ideal for tweaking and kitbashing – as I can state with certainty, having purchased his Captain Retreat combined house / boathouse and converted it into a very comfortable alternative house for Isla Caitinara (see A Captain’s Retreat in Second Life).
But given many building creators provide their work Copy / Mod, there is nothing especially unique in this, nor is there in the fact that Austin has placed his buildings in a landscaped environment – again numerous store owners and building creators landscape the regions around their store / products.
What does set Austin’s store apart from others, however, is the degree to which he has created an entire environment / setting that combines his buildings with roads, moorings, footpaths, vehicles, boats and even static NPCs to create a genuine sense of place – one that neatly integrates smoothly into the general environment of Second Norway in which the three regions the store spans sit.
I first visited the regions – Havna, Svalbard and Erle – as Second Norway was undergoing re-development under the management of Vanity Bonetto and her Luxory Estates Brand. At that time, Austin was also re-working his regions and extending his presence through the addition of Erle. All of that work has long since finished, and the result is a waterfront town that climbs into the rocky highlands behind it, giving it a stepped feel of a place built along the narrow lowlands that hug a rocky coast.
The core of this little township is called Havna, after the first of the regions in which it sits, and it is a busy place – there are moorings for sail boats and motorboats, workshops, a boat builder’s yard, working wharves – and even signs that the town acts as a shipping base for logging operations further up in the hills. Buildings follow the waterfront or sit out on the islands that help to give the town a natural harbour, the way they’ve been naturally been placed and mixed making the entire setting highly photogenic, whilst the roads (a mix of kits by other creators and Austin’s own work) offer multiple routes through the town and its surroundings that encourage exploration.
Further realism is added by Austin’s willingness to utilise buildings by other creators alongside his own. This not only adds depth to his town, it also means that visitors can not only discover his creations and see how they might fit their needs, they might also find other items they might be interested in purchasing, be those things houses, cars, boats or landscaping items. Photographers will also find rezzing is open – making it possible to rez props – but if you do so, please remember to clear up after yourself!
Whether looking for building for your waterfront setting (or to go inland – many of Austin’s structures are suited to either / both) or a more unique look to a house or simply enjoy exploring and want to visit and photograph a place well off the usual “tourist” trails in Second Life, then Havna might be worth dropping in to see.
- Havna Town (Havna, rated Moderate)