Bellisseria: of Trailers, Campers and trains in Second Life

An aerial view of some of the new Trailers and Campers units, showing how residents have taken to using the outdoor spaces they provide

On Monday, September 16th, the first batch of regions containing the much anticipated Linden Homes Trailers and Campers arrived in Bellisseria. While they took a while to set up, they were made available on Tuesday, September 17th – and were all gone within 24 hours, demonstrating their popularity with Premium users.

Given I’d only taken a quick look around in my preview piece First looks: Bellisseria trailer and camper homes, I hopped back on Thursday, September 19th to take a more detailed look on horseback and, for the fun of it.

Peeking inside an unoccupied Trailer Home

Travelling the regions via the many trails – grass and track – and by following the railway lines, the first things that struck me was the care with which the regions have been laid out – particularly the blending of landscape between the Trailer and Camper regions and those for the Traditional Homes and Houseboats. There are no unnatural boundaries of “empty space” as witnessed with the “old style” Linden Homes, or abrupt switching of one style of landscape and terrain for another. Instead, and has been demonstrated throughout Bellisseria’s development, everything flows naturally from the more “suburban” areas of the Traditional Homes and coastal buffers of Houseboats into the more open countryside environment of the Trailers and Campers.

This might seem an odd thing to point out, but it’s important as it demonstrates the commitment from LL’s Land Team to make Bellisseria a genuinely contiguous, natural environment where there is a sense of place, rather than just a conglomeration of houses lumped together. This helps to make Bellisseria somewhere people can live, breathe, share and joy, and have plenty of encouragement to explore and participate.

The new regions offer even more space and opportunities for horse riding

In keeping with this is the way the parcels for the camper vans and trailers have been set out; as with the homes and houseboats, these are not simply cookie-cutter arrangements stitched together into a simple patchwork; each region has been landscaped to provide a natural environment, with balance between protected land and camper / trailer parcels and finished with a sound scape that enhances the setting, while the trailers and campers have all been more-or-less individually placed so there is no sense of simple repetition across different regions.

Within the regions, there are also plenty of public spaces. The most obvious of these at the time of writing is the Campwich Lodge. But there are also assorted lakeside piers and decks, camp sites, and cabins (the Premium gift Winter Cabin re-purposed), scattered throughout the regions.

When is a trailer not a trailer? When it’s a home. The Williamsburg

Not all the units that have been claimed have been occupied – something that is true of the Traditional Homes and Houseboats – but those that have are being enthusiastically decorated in much the same way as the homes and houseboats were, with a lot of happy chatter on the various Bellisseria related in-world groups. It’ll be interesting to see when / if pictures of people labours start turning up in the forums, such as in the Linden Homes photo thread (although at 60-ish pages, perhaps a new thread is needed!).

During my ride / walk through the regions, I tried avoid nosing inside the trailers and campers (they people’s homes / alternate homes after all!), but as expected, much use is being made of the outside space with people setting down just about everything you can imagine that’s in keeping with the theme: hot tubs and home pools, decking and seating, awnings and tents, picnic spreads and barbecues and – yes – even pick-ups and 4x4s.

A Michie Marine DB101 pootles along the Bellisseria rail lines. The cabin in the right foreground is not a Linden Home style – it is the Premium Gift Winter Cabin, a number of which the moles have re-purposed as a public spaces in the regions

For train enthusiasts, the railway lines – although incomplete pending the arrival of further public regions (some of which are currently in development) –  offer a rez zone in the (at the time of writing) yet-to-be-named SSPE260 region. It’s seen a fair amount of use already, with a variety of trains from steam locos to electric train cars to trams appearing on the tracks. In particular, a lot of people have been picking up the Michie Marine DB101 “line security loco”, which is available for no charge on the Marketplace and using that to ride the rails.

As I’m not a major train enthusiast, I initially tried the Premium Gift rail handcar (circa 2012), but found this no longer wanted to function – so I grabbed a copy of the Michie Marine myself. A nice touch with it is that the drive is automatic; set it in motion and you’re free to appreciate the scenery; no need to keep a key pressed. I assume other rez zone will be added as the railway is extended, but given the location of the one at SSPE260, it’ll be interesting to see if a boat rezzing area will be provided on the waterway close by, as the region is built-out. Doing so would certainly make sense.

A Newport camper

And talking of waterways; one of the neat things for me personally is that given the location of my houseboat, it’s possible to cruise to Campwich Lodge by boat, making it an ideal place to visit by water whenever the mood takes. I’m far from alone in this – care has been taken to ensure that the lodge is well connected to many of Bellisseria’s bodies of water and waterways.

In terms of which design seems to be the most popular among those moving in to the new regions, I would suggest that overall, it would appear to be the Williamsburg. While by no means an accurate indicator of things, overflying the new regions did seem to reveal the distinctive split-level roof of that design appearing a lot more frequently overall than the other designs. By the same “standard”, it would appear the Newport – possibly the smallest of the designs available – is the least popular at this point in time.

Following one of the trailer back down to Campwich Lodge

Eyes will doubtless continue to be on the new Bellisseria regions for a while – particularly given work has already started on extending the railway lines into some of the surrounding regions. In the meantime, kudos once again to the Moles and the Land Team for their work.

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First looks: Bellisseria trailer and camper homes

The new Trailer and Camper regions arrive in Bellisseria – but are not currently available to users to claim, as more work in the regions is required

Monday, September 16th, 2019, marked the deployment of the first batch of trailer and camper regions to the Bellisseria, the Linden Homes continent.

First previewed at the SL16B celebrations in June (see: A Look at the Camper and Trailer Homes with Patch Linden), the trailers and campers have long been anticipated, and while the new regions are not quite ready for release to users, their arrival in the live version of Bellisseria means the availability of these new home types has moved a step closer. Further, the regions include a number of new facilities and features for the Bellisseria continent – including the much talked about railway system.

The new Trailers and Campers sit within parkland regions similar to those people may have visited during the SL16B celebrations in June 2019

As previously noted, the Campers and Trailers are provided in four styles apiece – the difference being that of size – the trailers are somewhat larger than the campers (or caravans, as we call them in Europe) – although both are being (initially, at least), made available on 512 sq metre parcels.

In keeping with the preview regions as SL16B, the trailers and campers are located in a park / wilderness setting, with plenty of hills, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, a forest and more. trails wind through the region, offering both a means to explore and a way for those who come to occupy the campers and trailers feel as if they are part of a community.

A view of the new lodge, one of the public spaces in the new Trailers and Campers regions for Bellisseria.

One of the new public areas is an impressive parkland lodge. It sits with its back to a sweeping curve of rocky hills down which waters tumble and bubble through a brook. Overlooking a decently-sized lake to the front, it has moorings extending out from one side. These demonstrate a lesson well-learnt from the early days of Bellisseria, as they include rez zones for boats.

Inside, the lodge offers plenty of interior space on the main floor, complete with a coffee bar. Above this are two galleried sitting spaces, while outside a large deck offers further seating. Behind the lodge, up on a shoulder of one of the hills sits a little railway stop serving the lodge. Those who prefer a more daring means to arrive at the lodge can always try the zipline close by!

Inside the lodge. Patch sits at the far end of the hall with Mystic Mole at the coffee bar on the right, enjoying a little peace and quiet before the inrush of local residents

I can’t see too much about the railway itself – Patch and the Moles were taking questions in the Lodge, but given the volume of people there, I opted to keep away. What I can say is the layout is extensive, forming an open-ended loop around a major part of the new regions that varies between single and double tracks.

The one train I managed to spot on the rails was – unsurprisingly – a steam loco. However, whether it was one of those intended to ply the tracks, or simply there as a test vehicle, I couldn’t honestly say (as I didn’t check ownership!).

One of the new train stations serving the new Bellisseria regions, with trailers visible in the background

It’s important to note that this is only the initial deployment of these regions – as noted above, the Trailers and Campers are not   – as of the time of writing – available to users. As to when the new parcels will be made available, it will be Really Very Soon Now™, with Patch Linden noting to me:

We’re working through all of our final tests, like any of the large scale releases we’ve done, we’re in that state of, it could be in an hour, it could be tomorrow, hard to say if something doesn’t pass, we’re delayed like a shuttle launch trying to lift off. xD

– Patch Linden, Monday, September 16th

As I understand it, the release cycle for these new parcels will be an initial large-scale release, similar to those first seen with the Traditional Homes and Houseboats. After these have occurred, releases for Trailers and Campers will be plugging-in to the Monday, Wednesday, Friday rolling release schedule that w’ve seen since June. All releases will be via the Linden Homes registration page.

Nor is this all – there are to be further types of home made available in the future – with the next promised to be previewed at the RFL Christmas Expo towards the end of the year (see: 2019 SL Christmas Expo registrations open with a special announcement).

With a much smaller footprint that the homes and houseboats so far released, the Trailer and Campers offer more outdoor space for use, even allowing for the 512 sq m size of their parcels

As I’ve previously noted, the Trailer and Campers offer considerably smaller interior living space than the Traditional Homes and Houseboats (hardly surprising, given they are trailers and campers!). However, this is compensated for by the amount of outdoor space available. Even when considering these are 512 sq m plots, it adds up to a far amount of room.

This space, coupled with the overall landscaping of the new regions could actually – and in difference to the doubts I expressed in June – potentially make these new Linden Homes offering potentially attractive (as witnessrd by the (premature) abandonments of homes and houseboats seen ahead of the region deployments).

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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. 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.