At the SL19B events in June 2022, Patch Linden indicated that among the on-going work related to subscription plans, the Lab and the LDPW would be re-visiting some of the original Linden Home designs associated with Premium Subscriptions, starting with the Traditional Homes to update them and offer additional , new, floorplans (see: SL19B MTL – Patch Linden: Premium Plus and more + video for details of the announcement).
This work started in November 2022 with the Traditional Homes, and on December 8th, with an update to the Houseboats theme. As I’d swapped back to the Houseboat theme a couple of months ago, I’ve been interested in taking a look at the new designs since their release. However, it has only been in the last few days that I’ve had the time to take a good look at them – so I’m now going to bore you with my thoughts on them!
In all the new update to the Houseboat theme includes:
- Four new Houseboat designs, with a custom tinting system, controlled via the house control panel.
- Updated House controllers to reflect the addition of the new designs; which now give the details of the theme, name of last house rezzed and parcel centre in their description field; use a common communications protocols with the rezzer and with houses on the parcels with which they are associated, so that all themes (except Fantasy) may safely be mixed and matched.
- The addition of the Linden Homes scripted house numbers have been added to the Contents Pack.
Again, just to be clear – this is an update to the existing Houseboat theme, not a new and separate release of houseboats; so if you already have a Houseboat as your choice of Premium Linden Home, you’ll find the new designs available in your houseboat rezzer.
The four new designs included in the updates are a very clear departure from the original four. Whilst the latter might be said to have their emphasis on the boat element of “houseboat” and looking as if they were specifically built for a life on the water, three of the four new design might be said to emphasise the house part – take away the hull underneath them, and they’d look as home on dry land as (say) any of the Traditional homes.
Not that this is a criticism per se; houseboats come in many forms, after all. However, I do wonder how sloping rooftops will look among the original designs, and whether their looks are just a little too “housey” for some. Along with the new designs has come a series of names which continues the use of word play which has marked the naming of groups of regions within Bellisseria; thus we have the Dock Holiday, the Shore Thing, the Knot Shore and (perhaps not quite as punny), the Jolly Roger.
To start with the Dock Holiday. This is a 2-storey houseboat of moderate size and featuring a large deck to one end, with a mooring-side front door and double doors accessing the large deck. The lower floor comprises two rooms, one accessed through the front door and the other connecting to the deck via the double doors. Both rooms are linked via an archway, with the deck-facing room perhaps offering a good lounge area and the larger, rectangular space possibly ideal as a kitchen / dining area. Upstairs is a single room roughly half the length of the lower floor.
Both the Shore Thing and the Knot Shore are single-floor designs with a superficial similar, with the Knot Shore offering a slightly longer, narrower house form compared to the wider Shore Thing.
The latter has a total of four rooms – a large main room with access to a large forward desk shaded by an overhanging roof, together with two smaller rooms at the opposite end of the houseboat, each with doors opening on to a small deck area. Between the front and rear rooms is the fourth, offset to one side, allowing space of a short hallway to reach the front room for the main side door.
Knot Shore, meanwhile features three rooms, two larger rooms to the front and rear, and a smaller room between the two, again offset to allow a hall to link the front and back rooms. A large exterior deck runs along two sides of the design. Overall, this is probably the smallest of the new designs in terms of internal floorspace.
Of the three thus far noted, I’d say the that Dock Holiday offers the greatest flexibility of use overall, thanks to it’s large, semi-open lower floor design and upper bedroom area. However, all three are liable to feel cramped in comparison to the fourth design: the Jolly Roger. To call this “roomy” would be an understatement, and its design is made all the more flexible by both the lower and upper floors being directly and easily accessible from dockside.
On the lower floor is an entry hall / room which could potentially double as something like a dining area for those wo wish, with stairs going to the upper deck, and two rooms opening off of the room which could form, say, a bathroom and a kitchen. Forward of this, via another door, is a large rectangular room which could form a comfortable living area. If you opt for a “traditional” up / down style of house layout, that is.
However, the upper floor – which runs to over 3/4s of the Jolly Roger’s overall length – is a single, large open space. This offers lots of opportunities for subdivision, should you want multiple bedrooms or more privacy. However, it also naturally lends itself to becoming the main living space – lounge, dining, and kitchen – leaving the rooms downstairs to become sleeping, etc., areas.
This is the approach I’ve taken with the Jolly Roger, the upper floor of the design providing plenty of room for me to install a living area, a dining area and a kitchen on an open-plan basis. What’s more, the size of the space means it is not in any way cramped and actually has room for some additional furniture; I’m thinking of a nice recliner / reader to go alongside the bookcases!
Nor does the flexibility end there: with careful placement, the upper deck area can be used to offer stairway to the flat roof of the Jolly Roger, which lends itself to a variety of uses – including (for me) a helipad, utilising a rezzer to call up my MC-900 Explorer whenever needed (and thus not being a blot on the view neighbours might otherwise enjoy from their houseboats or camping out on LI unnecessarily).
Overall, the new houseboat designs have much to offer,. The updated house control panels mean the new houseboats have about the same options for interior décor as some of the more recent Linden Home designs, providing them with a fair degree of options for decorating.
It’s too early to say how popular these additional houseboat designs might be – scouting around my watery corner of Bellisseria didn’t reveal too much in the way these designs being put to use as yet. However, given the low-key announcement of their availability and the fact it is the holiday period, more time is really needed for them to gain traction. For may part, I’ll continue to tinker with the Jolly Roger; it has all the potential to be a roomy second home – so if you have a houseboat, why not hop over to it and take a look at the new designs yourself?