Bellisseria JulyFest in Second Life

Having been inaugurated on July 4th, 2019, the Bellisseria Fairgrounds will play host to its second major event on Saturday, July 6th, when JulyFest is held.

Running from 12:00 noon through until 18:00 SLT, JulyFest carries on something of a July 4th celebratory feel, while inviting residents of Bellisseria and their friends to come together for events and entertainment  – and Second Life residents are also invited to join in with the fun and meet those on us living on the continent.

The fairgrounds are located on an island within the eastern “bay” of Bellisseria, and can be reached via boat, using the moorings on the north side of the island, or by air using the adjoining airstrip (note that boats and planes will be auto-returned after arrival). For those who prefer, there’s the direct teleport, as given above, that will drop people at the entrance to the fairgrounds.

For the event, the Fairgrounds offers booths promoting groups active within Bellisseria, together with games and challenges (including a pole dancing challenge!), located either side of the main stage and sandy dance area. There’s also a fun fair with a Ferris wheel and other rides.

JulyFest: music, entertainment, games., information and a fun fair

As well as events on the Fairgrounds island, there will also be a parade of boats that will sail around some of Bellisseria’s waterways before arriving at the fairgrounds island.

Departing from the vicinity of the Calm Waters Lighthouse, the parade – or “floatilla”, as it is being called – will depart at 12:00 noon and proceed westwards, passing along one of Bellisseria’s main rivers before looping back to the east to anchor off the fairgrounds island. Those wishing to see the boats, the map below marks the route, and the parade will include motorboats and sailing craft.

The route of the parade of boats

Entertainment for the event will also start at 12:00 noon, and will comprise (all times SLT):

  • 12:00 noon – 13:30: DJ North Crannock.
  • 13:30 – 15:00: DJ Scottish Sarah.
  • 15:00 – 16:00: Live music with Ry Anne.
  • 16:00 – 17:00: Live music with Wolfie Starfire.
  • 17:00-18:00: DJ NoisyApp.
JulyFest offers Bellisseria residents and those hoping to move to the community the opportunity to discover the many active groups within Bellisseria, which cover a wide range of activities, including horse riding, sailing, boating, and more

The Fairgrounds aren’t the only place where events talk place in Bellisseria. There are several locations across the continent that feature music, horse riding and more. Keep up-to-date with activities via the Bellisseria Happenings events page.

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Still messing about in (house)boats in Second Life

Yes, I’m playing with my Linden Home houseboat again. Note the “extra door” on the side of the Windlass design, about which more below

A lot has been written about the “new” Linden Homes and their continent, Bellisseria – I know, because I’m one of those doing a lot of the writing 🙂 . However, the truth is that with four styles of house or houseboat to play with (and the promise of new types of both on the horizon), it’s really hard to stop playing with them and trying different interior layouts – as can be seen in the ever-growing forum thread on interior designs.

I started with the Windless, which has the largest interior floor space of the four houseboats initially offered by the Lab, using a simple open-plan design. From that I moved on to the Barnacle, playing with various designs, one of which I inflicted on you in a blog post. More recently, I’ve played with the Wallower – but I’ll spare you that! – before returning to the Windlass once more.

The Windlass actually has a high-ceilinged element which can, with care, be turned into an additional room

My reasons for going back to the Windlass rather than playing with the Evening Star – the forth design in the current houseboat styles – come down to the facts that, a) I’m actually not that keen on the Evening Star; b) I really wanted to see if I could come up with a Windlass design that’s a little more “cosy” thsn my original open-plan design; and c), I’ve been intrigued by the way people have added an “upper floor” to the Windlass.

For those unfamiliar with the design, the Windlass offers a split level layout, with one end having a raised ceiling so that it is possible to access the open-air roof deck via an internal staircase.

On the one hand, making this raised space into a room of its own is a simple matter of slapping in a new ceiling / floor. On the other, it’s a bit of a pain, because the newly-created space cannot be directly accessed from the existing staircase. This means either installing a teleport between the two floors, or giving up some of the available floor space “upstairs” in order to add a second staircase. But, teleports are terribly passé, and even allowing for losing some floor space, having two stairways relatively close together in a living space can look … odd.

I opted to solve this by minimising the impact of a second stairway through the use of a spiral staircase from VL Designs by Veronica Lockwell. I’ve used her Mesh Spiral Staircase – Walnut kit in the past and find it highly adaptable. It’s also well made, with low LI, good LOD, and a small overall footprint, allowing me to minimise the amount to floor I has to “lose” in the new bedroom.

The spiral stairway leading up to the new bedroom space, together with the walls separating the Windlass interior stairs from the rest of the design, and which create a space for the kitchen.

To overcome the issue of have two open-plan stairways in the houseboat, I installed a couple of new walls to separate the “built-in” stairs. Doing this had the additional positive of allowing me to create space for a gallery-style kitchen, as shown in the image above. In addition, dropping in a simple prim block (partially obscured by the spiral staircase in the image above) and false door allowed me to create a faux bathroom.

However, this left me with another issue. What’s the point of having an “upstairs” room adjacent to the huge roof deck on the Windlass if you can’t easily get from the bedroom to the roof?  You can’t easily use the houseboat’s own roof door due to the intervening banister wall.

The new bedroom, reached via the spiral staircase in the left corner

I solved this through the use of the Curio Obscura Anywhere Door by Pandora Wrigglesworth in fact. Sure, it’s a teleport system, but it gives the illusion of “walking” through a doorway rather than just being teleported, and can be modified with ease.

A pair of these mounted on the side wall of the new bedroom (one inside, one out), complete with a set of images added to suggesting showing the “indoors” or “outdoors” views when open, and presto! instant bedroom access to the roof deck!

Using an Anywhere Door to add roof deck access from my Windlass bedroom

The Anywhere Door system also solved another annoyance I have with the Windlass: it only has one “ground level” door. If you have a parcel like mine that places your houseboat “beam on” to the shore, this can make getting to the waterside mooring a nuisance. Either use the front door and walk around, or drop in additional piers and steps from the small lower deck balcony on the Windlass. I find neither approach particularly attractive.

So, with the simple expedient of two more Anywhere Doors (again with suitable images to added to suggest the interior and exterior views when the doors are open), I created a way to get from inside the Windlass to the moorings and my boats / planes with relative ease, with one of the Anywhere Doors forming a “back door” between kitchen and “bathroom”.

Borrowing a section of Blush Bravin’s Party Add-on for the Barnacle Houseboat and combining them with prims, allowed me to neatly section-off the raised part of the Windlass floor space to create a cosy lounge area, complete with a little entrance are fr the front door. To further add warmth to this space, I also blanked of a couple of the large windows at that end of the boat to create additional “solid” walls, providing space for a fireplace on one side and a little corner for my piano on the other.

Looking across the lounge area towards the front door from the fireplace, and peeking over the top of the carriage clock on the fireplace mantle

I’m still not 100% sure about using my Linden Home as a “full-time” living space, but as it is I think I now had enough variations of designs for three of the houseboat types to keep living there interesting, should I end up going in that direction! 🙂 .

Saving your Bellisseria house designs for re-use with a rezzing system

A rezzing system / scene rezzer can allow you to save all the décor designs you create for your Linden Home / Houseboat and have them available each time you opt to re-use a particular style of house.

As we’re all now aware, the new Linden Homes are provided via a rezzing system, allowing their owners to live in any one of four styles of home for each type – and to freely swap between house styles whenever they want. This makes the new Linden Homes both flexible and user-friendly: tired of the house you currently have? Then simply clear it out and replace it with another from your parcel’s mailbox or lifebuoy (or swap the house / houseboat style and re-orient your furnishing to suit).

However, if you do like swapping between house / houseboat styles, manually re-doing things each time can be something of a pain. The most obvious way to avoid this is to use a rezzing system or a scene rezzer. Both sound the same – and some systems may well offer both functions, but for the purposes of this article, I’m going to differentiate them as follows:

  • A rezzing system allows you save the furniture and décor (and things like your garden furnishings, any add-ons you’ve purchased / made) for a house / houseboat as a single package, which you can pull from inventory and use to re-rez that particular design / layout whenever you opt to re-use the style of house / houseboat for which it was created. My personal preferences for tools of this type are:
    • Builder’s Buddy, a free system. You can get the raw scripts from the Second Life wiki (just copy / paste the two scripts from the wiki pages into appropriately-named new scripts in your inventory), or via the SL Marketplace.
    • The Rez Faux system by Lex Neva. Primarily intended for creating packages of goods you’ve created and wish to sell, this costs L$600, is available in-world, and works perfectly well with “personal” projects.
    • Note that I am not endorsing these options over other rezzer system products, they are simply the two I personally use.
  • A scene rezzer can allow you to save multiple design / décor layouts for multiple homes, and have them all available through a single in-world device.

Which approach you take is down to you:

  • Use of individual rezzers tends to be quicker and easier than using a scene rezzer, and offers greater flexibility when adding or changing things within an individual design.
  • Using a scene rezzer means you can quickly access all your layouts at the cost of only 1 or 2 LI without having to fiddle around with the correct placement of the individual rezzer. However, updating a saved design is a lot harder, as it can require re-saving the entire design, rather than just adding / swapping individual items.

However, the most important thing to remember is that, in order to work, the items placed within any rezzing system must be both Modify and Copy. You also need to have a basic understanding of editing objects in Second Life. Also note that due to the way the majority of these systems work, if you opt to physically relocate to another parcel in Bellisseria, you will most likely have to create new rezzers for that parcel. Also, note that I’m not referring to “temp rezzers”; these are both against the Bellisseria covenant, and should in general be avoided as they are horrible resource hogs.

The following notes have been written to help you use the above-named systems.

Builder’s Buddy and Rez Faux – Individual Rezzers for House layouts

Creating the Rezzer and Adding Contents

  • Builder’s Buddy: Create a default cube. Drop the Builder’s Buddy Base Script into it. This is now your Base Prim – the rezzer.
  • Rez Faux: rez a copy of the Create A New Package object – this is your rezzer for Rez Faux.
  • Both:
    • Rename your new rezzer according to your needs (e.g. “Winchester House With Party Add-on” or “Barnacle Houseboat Mango Interior” or some such).
    • Position the rezzer object you’re just created towards the centre of your parcel, then copy the X, Y, Z position coordinates from its Object tab and paste them into the Description field of the General tab.
When you use something like Builder’s Buddy or Rez Faux that uses positioning relative to the rezzing item, it is essential the X, Y, Z coordinates of the rezzer are saved (e.g. by using the General tab’s Description field). Note that two Edit floaters are shown in this image for the purposes of illustration only

Continue reading “Saving your Bellisseria house designs for re-use with a rezzing system”

On the road in Bellisseria in Second Life

The boathouse at Fourze, a way point on a drive around parts of Bellisseria

Since it opened, Bellisseria, the new Linden Homes continent, has started to develop into a thriving community of those not only interested in having a home there, but also in developing a community spirit. To assist with this, the Lab incorporated a number of social areas throughout the continent, such as the pool area in Gaim, which serves both the coastal houses and house boats in the area, and – most recently, it terms of this article – the Squishy Pickle bar in the houseboat regions added in May 2019.

However, residents have also added their own, creating the first public rez zones in the continent on their own properties and their own social spaces, such a pubs. where people can gather. As such, I thought I’d take a little road trip around the continent, using some of these locations as way points.

The beach-side pool at Gaim, the starting-point for my little drive

My starting point was the pool area at Gaim, selected simply because it is the closest public social area to my houseboat. From here, I took the coastal road north, heading up to Normandale, a region with several public spaces within walking distance of the local houses, including a picnic area looking out towards the Coral Waters airstrip off the coast. From here, and before reaching New Bigby, with its extensive west-facing beach, I turned inland.

The route led me past one of numerous show homes scattered across the continent. Like many such house, this one, by Apple Fall is open for people to come in and get ideas for interior décor for their homes. Sadly I couldn’t stop as I’d risk seeing my car go poof, so I continued east, passing through Greenbow, then taking a short run through the still-to-be-named SSPE228 with a brief turn north into Rockham and then east once more to Fourze.

The Apple Falls show home, one of many scattered across Bellisseria

This took me past a riverside seating area before turning north along the coast, past one of the many little boathouses that are open to the public (as which I thought might be earmarks to become rezzing zones at some point); this one, pictured in the banner of this articles, looks out over one of the lighthouses that do have rezzing areas. Continuing north took me through Kiva and on to Maple Cross, with its hilltop garden area (which perhaps could use a little smoothing in some of the terraforming).

One of my primary destinations for this trip was Buitenwijk, and the Red Lion pub. Now, I’ll be honest, whenever I hear or read the words traditional English pub, I tend to shiver, as so often the words don’t tend to measure up to what we in the UK might regard as a “pub”. However, the Red Lion’s owner, Matty (Matty Luminos), is also from the UK, and the Red Lion does indeed offer the look and feel of a modern boutique-style pub, where a selection of beers, ales, wines and more might be pleasantly imbibed either indoors or out in the garden. With its riverside location.

The Red Lion pub

While the Red Lion offers open rezzing, calling-up a car in the garden would be rude, so instead, I resumed my travels via my trusty Roadrunner scooter, by Ape Piaggio (see A Second Life Roadrunner for more). Riding this, I again headed north, passing the impressive arc of the Capitol Springs Bridge, before continuing on through the houses to the rez point at what is currently called SPPE133. At this point, I cheekily swapped my scooter for my MD900 helo (which I quickly shoved onto the grass alongside the road after sitting in it!), and took to the skies for a quick flight back to my houseboat.

I’ve seen Bellisseria being referred to by some bloggers as a “ghetto”. I’m not sure where that perception comes from – outside of perhaps not having visited. Yes, the styles of homes are (for the present) somewhat limited (four variations of house and four variations of houseboat). But as any trip along the roads or waterways of Bellisseria or flights across the continent demonstrate, there is already sufficient variety of house style, coupled with people’s approaches to decorating their homes and gardens – including the various “extension” and “party packs” for interior / exterior supplements – to make Bellisseria a diverse and pleasant environment, entirely undeserving of the epithet.

Capitol Springs Bridge, one of many landmarks in Bellisseria

For my part, I’m becoming increasingly persuaded by the attractions of Bellisseria and the growing community spirit within it – hence why I’ll be writing for The Bellisserian, the continent’s new resident-run newspaper.  I plan to spend more time travelling through Bellisseria and, from time-to-time writing about places of interest within the continent like the Red Lion and the various Linden / Mole defined public spaces. In this, I would perhaps like the Lab to make the land-based rez points more obvious – it’s great having Yasmin’s HUD (see Finding rez zones in Bellisseria – Yasmin’s free HUD for more) – but having the rez points marked by a sign like those found on other mainland continents with road routes, would be handy – and could be done at the humble cost of 1 LI apiece.

In the meantime, my thanks to Gingir Ghoststar for her note card of points of interest and to the folks of the Bellisseria Citizen’s Group for pointing out additional public places they’ve discovered.

More houseboat decorating in Second Life

Trying on the Barnacle houseboat for size…

It’s now just over a month since I snagged my Linden Home houseboat shortly after the new Linden Homes continent was officially launched (see: Lab launches new Linden Homes). I initially settled on the Windlass houseboat design to turn into a second home (see Making a (Linden) houseboat a home), but this week, because I like fiddling with things, I decided to try out some of the other designs, starting with the Barnacle.

This is the only design in the initial batch of houseboats that has an actually room upstairs, giving it an interesting differentiator to the other three designs, and gives it a little extra floor space. This makes it an excellent choice for developing a cosy home design, hence my interest in it.

An element from Blush Bravin’s Party Pack for the Barnacle makes a great wall divider when creating a cosy lounge area, thw warmth increased by the Lab’s sunflower interior wall colour.

Another aspect in my decision to play the the Barnacle was Blush Bravin’s Party Boat add-on. This is one of a number of kits Blush has produced specifically for the new Linden Homes, all of which are available via her SL Marketplace store, and on the strength of the Barnacle kit, I’d say they are well worth the minimal investment of L$250.

For the Barnacle, the kit includes a range of items: internal room dividers, décor highlights, and external elements, such as a trellis for the upper deck and a porch for the front door, and a small room (bathroom?) that tucks into one side of the main floor. Everything is supplied in a rezzing system (which admittedly can require careful placement to avoid fiddling with bits post-deploy).

A snug living room

A HUD is also supplied for applying textures, although this didn’t want to work for me, so I relied on manual texturing. This wasn’t a problem as for my purposes, I only really required the room dividers and the brick wall panel from the main deck interior. One of these, with ceiling-height wooden slats, I combined with a humble prim to make a room divider to split the lower deck in two, giving me a lounge area and kitchen / dining space. The brick panel and smaller divider, became a breakfast bar for the kitchen.

I don’t usually go in for kitchens in SL houses (we don’t actually eat in SL after all), but there are some nice low LI mesh kitchen sets available, and I wanted to give the houseboat a homely feel so I picked up a nice kitchen and additional elements from [DDD] ~ Dysfunctionality: the Cozy County Kitchen wine rack, Christine fireplace, Heph’s Kitchen Counter, and Captain’s Lanterns, which together with my existing items from Cory Edo’s Trompe Loeil and a few other pieces from assorted sources allowed me to create the kind of look I wanted.

I don’t usually go in for kitchens and bit, but these houseboats call for them at times

Given there are four variations available with each house type which can be swapped with a simple set of clicks, swapping between them has already proven popular. Providing the fixtures and fittings used are both Copy and Modify, a rezzing tool such as Builder’s Buddy or those available on the Marketplace, makes the storing and placement of interiors for each style of house an additional breeze when swapping back and forth.

Just set your décor and layout items (piers, garden furnishings, etc.), use the rezzing system to record and store the pieces, make sure you also record the position of the rezzer (I use the Description field in the Edit floater), and – providing you don’t move to another parcel – you can swap between house styles and interiors in less than 5 minutes.

There’s even room for one of my beloved pianos – my Culprit Sonata Baby Grand. The small step between the two living spaces is to help break things up a little

The above is probably a case of preaching to the converted for some, but is does make swapping between house designs and layouts and lot more fun – and obviously, there’s no reason why you can’t have multiple layouts for any given house / houseboat type.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I might go and have a play with the Wallower houseboat 🙂 .

Gone in 27 minutes in Second Life

Motoring through some of the new houseboat regions

A total of 709 new Linden Home houseboats were made available on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019, after a build-up of expectation.

I had wondered if the new regions, that arrived alongside Bellisseria, the Linden Homes continent might see one more move prior to being opened, but as was quickly shown, this wasn’t the case. This does leave the new regions supporting the houseboats looking – at this point in time at least, but who knows what might come in time – looking like a bit of an after-thought bolt-on to the continent, but there can be no doubting their popularity: all 709 were gone in just 27 minutes.

(l) the line-up before the release of the new houseboat regions; (r) the situation a few minutes after the launch with people at their new houseboats, even as the regions were being restarted (those in red)

The release saw a huge build-up along the north-eastern side of Bellisseria, the closest point to the new region, with two regions in particular – Graff and Dorma – bearing the brunt of the interest, each having in excess of 50 avatars in them in the hours leading up to the release. A lot of this saw social interactions, although I opted to watch via the Map while paying a visit to another region.

The Houseboats are available to select as we release them via the Linden Homes Land selection page, and access to the continent addition is open. We will have a set of region restarts to go through, so please bear with us as that happens if you enter the regions right away.

We know they will go very quickly, but as time goes on we will get more out, and hopefully faster.

Our next focus will be to bring more Traditional Homes plus more Houseboats in another smaller launch while working in parallel to a larger launch and an exciting new theme.

As usual, stay tuned here for more updates!

Patch Linden’s forum announcement that the houseboats were available

The Squishy Pickle bar: the social hub of the new regions

The houseboats were released via the Linden Homes web page at 10:00 SLT, together with a warning that some of the regions were being restarted. But the latter didn’t dampen any of the desire to obtain one of the new units: within seconds of the opening of the doors, people were literally pouring into the regions to see their new houseboat – and fortunately Caitlyn was among them as well.

In commenting on the state of play, Patch noted that there was some churn during the 27 minutes: people grabbing a houseboat, checking the location, then abandoning it in the hope of getting a better spot. How many may have missed out on an opening as a result is hard to say, it’s possible some people may have come away a little disappointed – hence the comment from Patch of the focus on making a further “smaller launch” of houseboats and houses.

The new houseboat regions and landscaping

There had also been some churn in the lead-up to the release with some people with Traditional Homes abandoning them in favour of being ready for the houseboats, as was noted on various forum threads.

I took a boat ride through the new regions following their release, and the level of activity was pleasing to see as people set about decorating their new homes, together with a large uptick in conversation and activity in the Bellisseria in-world groups – and the founding of a residents newspaper The Bellisserian – of which more anon!

In the meantime, congrats to all those who snagged one of the new houseboats!