365 days of SL, day 106:
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I felt like exploring again last night, so I took a look at some of the saved bookmarks I got from people for this project. One of them was called "Quandry Industries Shipyard", which sounded interesting; I went there, but it turned out to be anything but a shipyard. In reality (well, so to speak), it was more of a little tropical island resort, but I'm certainly not complaining. :)
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This is part of the area in which I arrived. I wasn't sure whether the sim'd be worth it initially; I tend to be wary of gamified time sinks in SL, especially ones that promise free money (you may well get it, but keep in mind that one way or another, you're the product being sold, not the customer), but it turned out that this is just one part of the sim, and a small one for that matter.
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Turning around, there was a waterslide and a jumping board. In fact, the entire area seemed to be geared towards recreation; there'll be a few more shots of it later on, but for now, I'm about to head out and into the sim. :)
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Behind the fishing area was a waterfall (which can also be seen in the picture above in the background); not a huge one like the one in the Costa Rica estate from day 101, but a pretty one, not unlike the one in Sihasapa seen in one of the old bonus screenshots on day 67. (That one's still there, BTW, if you want to check it out.)
I rather like the swan and cygnets, too; these were quietly making their rounds on the lake, not doing anything special but adding to the atmosphere and making the place a little less static and a little more alive. There were ambient noises as well; obviously impossible to capture in screenshots, but they had much the same effect. It's little things like that that can really bring a sim alive.
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This little wooden structure was situated pretty much right next to the swan lake. I ignored the inviting bench and ambled on, but I was struck by just how nice the colors seemed — lush green, deep sky blue, brown wood and the glow of the lamp.
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It ended up being a wooden pool — another nice plane to relax in a sim that'd turn out to be full of them. :)
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Afterwards, I took a big leap and jumped down to the surface again. :)
(I'm still amused by the fact that larger jumps or falls in SL will cause you to fall over upon landing, collect yourself and get back up to your feet, BTW. Presumably in areas that have damage enabled, there's falling damage, too, but I've never tried that; the only such area I've ever been to was the top of the volcano on that island in Jeogeot Bay, and I didn't do a lot of jumping there.)
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The area I jumped into was a little more secluded, very quiet and also very nice; trees (including palm trees), fields of flowers, and a picnic blanket, complete with poseballs (I didn't try them, but they were for couples, so presumably they were for everything from cuddling to less innocent activities).
And there was a little gazebo in the distance. Let's check it out!
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Here's a close-up of the gazebo — another hangout spot, perfect for relaxing and getting away from the hustle and bustle. SL is full of little-known places like that if you know where to look; obviously there's no list, but many sims have them, so find them's really just a matter of exploring a little and taking landmarks.
There also were a pair of peafowl to spice things up, walking around and looking for food. The cock even had the ability to display his tail, although I didn't capture a screenshot of that.
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After this, I went back to the right and up a small hill that overlooked the bay. The "tropical island resort" vibe's definitely starting to show through now, I think.
I was quite pleased to find that the bay was shallow enough to walk across, BTW — not all parts of it were, but you COULD make it across without finding yourself 5 or 10 meters below the surface. I liked that; it's not as if being underwater has any detrimental effect in SL (again, areas with damage might be different), and you can always enable your swimming HUD (e.g. sLwim) if you've got one, but walking across ocean floors, even in a computer game, tends to make me feel uneasy.
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This is one of the beach villas seen across the bay in the previous shot — the left one, to be precise. It looks rather lovely, doesn't it?
These were for rent as well, but both were occupied. I'm not surprised; I don't know how much they cost, but the bay was so lovely that I'd have been tempted to get one myself if it had been available. :)
BTW, this (along with the next) is one of the few screenshots where I turned of Lighting/Shadows; the villa wasn't made for it, and although the effect wasn't nearly as surreal as on day 77, it didn't look as good with it turned on.
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I briefly looked inside, too, but not for long. Even without personal belongings, even without locks or mechanisms that keep you outside, or even politely inform you that are you in a private area, it doesn't feel quite right to poke around in someone else's home.
There's exceptions, of course; Michael Linden's home (seen on day 39), for instance, is intended to be open to the general public AFAIK. (Which was one reason why I had no problem exploring that.)
But I also know from my own personal experience that it feels weird when people e.g. enter my stateroom at BG without being invited (or without asking, at least). And I sometimes wonder whether anyone's ever using my place at all while I'm logged out; if so, I really wouldn't have any way of telling.
Anyhow — long story short, I only took a brief look (which I deemed acceptable) and then left again. :)
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This is the same screenshot from above — the very first one, at the top. I wasn't sure whether to include it again here, but then decided to go ahead and do it, since it fits into the natural flow of this entry and since I really would like an opportunity to say a few more words about it, words that noone will ever read. :)
I really like how this screenshot turned out. It's probably one of my most favorite ones I ever took; the deckchairs in the sun, the palm trees and the villa in the background and the blue sky with just a few fluffy white clouds — everything looks so nice, so inviting, so relaxing. I still prefer the beach in Sihasapa, to be quite honest (its austerity makes it even more soothing; it's such a throwback to the leisurely-paced, worry-free simple life), but this area here is really very nice, too, and this spot I could die for if it were real.
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Heading back to the area where I arrived — this part's decidedly non-austere, with the fishing area on the right, the waterslide etc. on the left, pillows and cushions of various sorts (I already hid the poseballs they came with), many palm trees, and other things in the background.
In fact, the fishing area consisted of more than the above; there were also a couple of barrels, a sign or two and more, but I didn't really look at it in detail; I just went past and towards the beach bar in the distance.
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And here I am, finally — another pool (funny how an area that's a seaside resort of sorts has so many pools), a tropical bar, and a dancefloor. ^^ There was no resident DJ (I don't know if they're doing that, anyway), but they did an audio stream, set to some Internet radio station that played various kinds of pop, both good and bad, peppered with advertisements that got on my nerves very quickly.
Location: Palmana (Levane Estate)