On Friday, April 15th, Linden Lab opened four preview regions featuring the upcoming Linden Homes Asian Theme. In all, 16 styles are to be provided, broadly split into into two groups of 8 apiece: those with rooms throughout and those of a more open-plan nature. Also, and like the Newbrooke theme (see here for more), they are also offered with either 512 sq m or 1024 sq m parcels.
While I have not been able to confirm this, these being preview regions, I assume the 1024 sq m parcels provide a choice of both the 512 sq m and 1024 sq m designs, with 512 sq m parcels obviously restricted to the smaller footprint designs.
Although defined as “Asian” in theme, these could also be referred to as “Japanese”: the overall theme name is Sakura (cherry tree/blossom), with each house style given a distinctly Japanese name (Ajisai = hydrangea; Botan = button, Himawari = sunflower; Kosumosu = cosmos, etc.). They are presented in a typical (to western eyes at least) urban-residential style, the houses built around a network of roads. However, sharing the regions with houses and roads are navigable waterways and canals that give the regions a nice set of options for exploration, with rez zones to be found on both land and water.
A nice element of the regions is that many of the waterways are bounded by footpaths, making for gentle walks, whilst elsewhere water gardens have been created to further break up the landscape.
The houses themselves are predominantly single-floor units with stucco walls (by default at least) and the typical steep tiled roofs common to this style of home. The majority of doors are of the sliding variety, their glass either fully glazed or, or give privacy between rooms, fitted with opaque panels. I assume they include the same decorating options found in the more recent Linden home releases.
In all the, the styles of the Sakura comprise:
- Ajisai (1024 sq m): a front entrance opening off of a full-length front porch and providing access to a hallway extending to wings at either end. One of these forms a large single room, with other forms three rooms, one to the front, two the rear, one of which provides access to the rear aspect, shared by doors from the main room and the hallway.
- Asagao: an open-plan version of Ajisai with a large L-shaped room and second large room occupying the second wing.
- Botan and (512 sq m): providing a front entrance to one side with vestibule accessing three interconnected rooms running front-to-rear.
- Benibara: an open-plan version to Botan with a single large room and smaller room to the front aspect.
- Himawari (512 sq m): front entrance providing access to four ground floor rooms, three of which are linked, with the fourth separate and to the front aspect. Stairs provide access to two upper floor rooms.
- Haibisukasu: an open-plan version of Himawari in which two of the ground floor rooms have been linked to form a single large room.
- Kaneshon (1024 sq m): a large house with front entrance leading to a hallway with stairs to a galleried landing. Four interlinked rooms run around the ground floor, separated by sliding doors. Upstairs, the landing provides access to two rooms, one at either end of the landing.
- Kuchinashi: an open-plan version of Kaneshon with a large primary room downstairs with separate room to one side. Upstairs features an open-plan gallery room and a single room behind it.
- Kosumosu (512 sq m): a square house with front entrance leading to a large front-to-rear main room with two rooms opening off of it to one side.
- Kinmokusei: an open-plan version of Kosumosu with a large L-shaped room and single small room with views to the front and sides.
- Renge (1024 sq m): a front entrance and hall opening out into front room split into two by an open arch, with hall to the rear and side hall accessing two further rooms.
- Rabenda: an open-pan version of Renge with a large main room with doors to the rear aspect, and two rooms to one side, one reached via a short hall.
- Shion (1024 sq m): A square house built around a central “courtyard”. A front hall accesses a single room to the front aspect a large room to one side, a second room to the other and a further room to the rear aspect.
- Sumaire: an open-plan version of Shion with a single large main room surrounding the central “courtyard” with two smaller rooms opening off of it to the rear aspect.
- Tenjikubotan (512 sq m): a front entrance accessing a perpendicular hallway leading to three linked rooms, one running front-to-back, and two to the rear aspect.
- Tsubaki: a single large L-shaped room and second room to the front aspect.
In terms of room arrangement / shape, I have to say the styles with rooms felt to me to be a little cramped, and I couldn’t help but wonder how crowded they might feel once furnished. This is an issue I’ve also had with some of the smaller Newbrooke houses. However, given that Asian / Oriental has been a frequently requested theme for Bellisseria, the Sakura range will hopefully meet with the approval of those who have been requesting the theme – and it is certainly a considerable improvement over the original Oriental / Japanese themed Linden Homes – perhaps more so than is the with the Newbrooke when compared with the original Meadowbank style of Linden Home from 2010.
I’ve no idea how long the preview regions will be open for, or when the Sakura will be made available. For now the SLurls to the preview regions are below, and I’ll have more to say when the theme is released.
All the preview regions are rated Moderate
3 thoughts on “Linden Homes: Asian theme in Second Life”
Thank you for bringing the preview regions to our attention. It is nice that they are renewing the use of 512 and 1024 sizes, because that provides for a much more interesting space. However, I think you are right that the rooms in some of the styles are a little cramped. Personally, I think this is a result of two aspects of SL that are not present in our real lives. People in SL are simply bigger than most people in real life. So everything else is smaller by comparison. Adding to that, most of us live our lives in what SL would call mouseview – we see out of the fronts of our heads. In SL, the camera is behind us much of the time, so wall block vision and make rooms feel more confining.
Maybe the lots should be 768 and 1536, with correspondingly larger homes.
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Avatar height does tend to be an issue in SL, although many users and shape creators have switched to using more “realistic” avatar heights. Perhaps another issue is that of camera placement. Despite the adoption of Jonathan Yap’s Camera Presets LL have steadfastly maintained their high angle, over-the-head camera view, rather than a more natural / immersive view (such as an over-the-shoulder). The latter tends to provide a far greater feel for room dimensions and sense of overall space. The high-angle of the default camera view tends to give a false impression of personal space (as well and making the height rooms need to be unnaturally high in proportion to the rest of the room.
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