Sunday, June 26, 2011

Steampunk Travelogue: Ten Fathom Resort, Derezzed, 2009

The arrival location for the Ten Fathom Resort and Spa

(Ed Note - The Ten Fathom Spa was sadly had a brief existence... I especially enjoyed it as it was an underwater sim (one of the few with a Steampunk theme).  However, it didn't stay around long enough to generate good traffic, and one day... it was gone.  Therefore, here are a few photos of a unique Steampunk build!)  

The closing of Rivet Town later this month has created a diaspora of Steampunk denizens – who have begun their migration to other part of Second Life. Some returned to their original sims (including a few to New Babbage), and other wander SL seeking new homes, but there are a few who have struck out on their own to create their own Steampunk corner of Second Life. Ten Fathom Spa and Resort is the result of one such endeavor.

The first place one see after leaving the lift from the surface

Ten Fathom is an interesting build, as it is a destination location (hence the spa and resort aspect) with an extensive underwater presence (including rentals for long term residents), a dedicated location for entertainment (the Fathom Princess), and is integrating a dedicated role playing aspect to its character.

Inside one of Ten Fathoms Chinese/Victorian influenced rental apartments

Upon arrival at its landing point, there is a unique Chinoiserie flavor, one which is conveyed throughout the build. Taking the lift down to the main resort area, the first place one arrives at is the central meeting area, complete with a dining options , a multi-selection bar, and ubiquitous throughout the build, a map of where one is in relation to the layout.

The Spa while empty - a fairly rare event!

The main section is a spa area, for rest and relaxation, the main focus of the Ten Fathom. As it was occupied during my photo-excursion, I only have a single photo of it, but it does appear to be quite unique – especially for Steampunk and Neo-Victorian sims.

Navigating the tubes of Ten Fathom - made easier with its unique lighting

The byways of Ten Fathom uses a blue-ish tint to provide the necessary lighting to manage through its hallways, though one can see the Victorian decorative features underlying it, along with the brass grating.

Shopping opportunities abound in Ten Fathom's mercantile section

There are a number of store in Ten Fathom, including Largo’s Workshop (a variety of Steampunk selections), Fathom’s Fashions (ladies’ attire), and Mr. Ven Carendow’s, Ten Fathom’s “Artist in Residence”, who is currently hosting a showing of Western art that was originally painted on glass, using a technique originally devised in France during the late 1800s.

Topside - a view of the Fathom Princess

Returning topside, the Fathom Princess is a era-designed paddle boat, used for parties and gatherings. Its three decks provide ample space, and its second deck is a dedicated dance area, with plenty of options for entertainment. Currently, the events include:

A gathering at the Bath House on Saturday the 21st (7-9 pm, SLT)
A Ribs and Julep Social on Thursday the 26th (4-6 pm, SLT), and
An OOC dance next Saturday, the 28th (4-6 pm SLT) on the Fathom Princess.

A second view of the Princess' deck

If one desires further information on Ten Fathom, to see its upcoming events or read its own periodical, the Fathom Free Press, at is arrival point is its periodical delivery device, dispensing its latest issue upon command.

The easiest place to obtain updates of Ten Fathoms' events - The Fathom Free Press!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Steampunk Travelogue: Rivet Town, Derezzed, 2009

The East side of Rivet Town, looking North on the main promanade

(Ed. Note: Rivet Town was one of the more prominent casualties of the Steamlands when it dissapated in mid-2009.  Noted for its very impressive Steampunk construction, it was a visual gem during its time in Second Life.  I've reposted the "initial" visit I logged when it first opened, along with a brief video piece made at the time, just below.)

During an afternoon constitutional in the Palisade, I had the fortune to meet a Miss Lurra, a Scandinavian Steampunk adherent who happened to be visiting New Babbage. After a fairly lengthy conversation, she recommend a new Steampunk build with an interesting twist – it was to be exclusively designed for Steampunk RP. An intriguing concept, one of the last things she mentioned was to ride the teacups when I arrived. I raised an eyebrow at the concept, but tp’ed nonetheless to … Rivet Town.

Entrance to the Rivet Beach Boardwalk (Rivet Town West)

I arrived at the edge of a boardwalk, with a Ferris wheel reminiscent of the first world’s fair’s wheel, a beach boardwalk, and a number of amusement rides, including the teacup ride. After dizzying myself on it for a couple moments, I took a "lay of the land" to gather an idea of where to go first – north or east.

The Teacup ride on the Boardwalk (and yes, it is operational!)

Rivet Town consists of three connected sims. The main juncture tp point is Rivet Town West, the board walk / beach / amusement center sim. To the north, just across the bridge, is Rivet Town North, which appears to be the "rougher" part of Rivet Town (including the docks on the Eastern side. Also, storefronts and/or artist stalls are available for a quite reasonable price in this area.

A distant view of the Ferris wheel and the beach house

Rivet Town East is the affluent portion of the sim, with a church, police station, and other genteel aspects of the Victorian era. Additionally, the large portion of the sim’s stores reside here, with some enterprises already in operation.

Rivet Town East, the upscale downtown area, currently home to numerous merchants

An impressive facet of the sim is the building appears to be a one-woman endeavor. Miss Grace Loundon has constructed the vast majority of the sims herself, and has shown not only a talent for building, but for doing quite a good job of capturing the disparate atmosphere of the Victorian age, as represented by the three existing sims.

The dangerous Rivet Town North, with darkened streets and mysterious alleys

I attempted to learn more about the Steampunk RP aspect of Rivet Town, especially since the New Babbage RP has grown quite dramatically during the past month. Unfortunately, the bulk of the information was via the group notices, which stated that the sim is expected to be officially open sometime nearing the end of July.

The Docks of North Rivet Town during the day - troubled waters abound here!

Rivet Town is a beautiful build, and a visit to any of the three sims would be worth the effort. As to the RP… I am keeping tabs on its development, but if the build is representative of the RP plans, a richness of Steampunk excitement, intrigue, and Victorian indulgence appears to be in-store for this Steampunk sim.

To visit Rivet Town, please follow this SLurl...

(Ed. Note #2 - A number of theories debated the demise of Rivet Town, many of them hovering around the viability of a sim's existence based primarily upon role play events.  The below link hosted a  lively discussion regarding the sim, until the next to last comment by the sim's builder - which was a bit unexpected by some.  Nonetheless - its a good read, located here:

For more details regarding Rivet Town, please do consider...

The Steampunk Tribune's piece on the closing of Rivet Town
Miss E. Laval's review of Rivet Town's very well attended Inventor's Expo
... followed by the Tribune's review of the event
Best of Second Life Review of Rivet Town )

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Steampunk Travelogue: Liberty Cove

An aerial view of Liberty Cove

One of the most renown Steampunk designers in Second Life is Mr. Sextan Shepherd, who not only revolutionized many Steampunk builds with his amazing textures, but further innovated SL Steampunk architectural design with exceptionally impressive builds, which were not only unique in their Steampunk genre theme, but also cohesive thematic in their narrative, including his well-document Nemo build.

The sloping town, with its many stores and his hovering guardian!

Liberty Cove, is a small respite from his previous stunning build.  It is divided in to three sections.  First, the "town" houses his previous works for sale, including his ships, textures, globes, and a few new, smaller items he has crafted.

At the entrance of the town....

As one works his or her way down the original landing point, his very simple but useful storefronts provide a basic idea of what each store holds.

.... one can shop many of Mr. Shepherd's unique items in the stores...

As far as I can perceive, most of what he has offered in the past is here - including a few freebies (lol)!  The slope is slight, so it makes for a nice view of this area.  Additionally, it has been quite lag-free, which is a nice benefit during SL seemingly on-going travails with its virtual soupy movements.

... including his outstanding airships!

Of course, his signature ships are located here as well - just a quick visit is all that is required to indulge - though there is no area for rezzing ships.  I wouldn't say that is much of a problem, as much of his work is quite visible throughout SL.

Apparently Liberty Cove has a bit more hidden history!

Additionally, his attention to detail and subtle sense of humor is apparent in many hidden (or perhaps not so hidden) aspects of Liberty Cove, including some archeological details (as per above).  One will note, that this sim does comprise of essentially three sections, with the rest having the appearance of a volcanic cove.  (A good way to save on prims and focus on the build highlights).

This Italian-influence structure houses the Oracle, seen in the center of the build.

On a second "island", the Oracle, another unique build of Mr. Shepherd's resides.  I admit to liking it, though I seem to be able to miss its "rotation" to a new lens - quite frustrating, though thats' my own doing.  Perhpas getting a bit slow in my "old age" (I'm almost 1700 days old)!

The lenses rotate on a regular basis - and is quite interesting to watch.

There is a very detailed (and working) drawbridge between the Oracle and the Observatory.  Yes, it does work, and again, is not only the bridge well detailed, but does actually work (as I happened to learn when I activated it and hit a poor noob on the head with it (/me pulls my collar away from my neck)!

The tranquil and verdant island, housing a few more surprises

The Observatory has a number of builds on it, including an outdoor clock, one of his signature globes, a nice viewing area, and of course, and observatory.

The Stellar Supernova Observatory...

I can't recall seeing the observatory before, but as always, Mr. Shepherd is full of surprises.  Actually, the Observatory island was my favorite location of the three, a bit of an "escape" where one can relax and just attend to business, in a nice Steampunk environment.

... which, in fact, does work - simply have a seat!

I can only assume the gentleman has plans for something more extravagant and impressive in the future, but until then, a visit to Liberty Cove is not only an excellent "get away", but an opportunity to visit an excellent example of SL Steampunk design.

A view of the outdoor clock and working drawbridge back to the Oracle

To pay the beautiful Liberty Cove a visit and enjoy a bit of the Michelangelo of Steampunk's work, do follow this SLurl to it...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

SteamWorks, Derezzed, 2008

The arrival point in Steamworks, a very Steampunkish welcome!

(As part of the ongoing project to update the Steampunk Travelouge, I will be re-posting some of the older entries from the Steampunk Tribune's archives.  This article is one of the first locales which came and went - a very nice club/store enterprise, which disappeared without warning.  There was interest from various sources to acquire it, but it never came to pass, and sadly drifted into oblivion.)

During my many excursions about SL as I seek out new Steampunk and Victorian locales, I happened upon a new sim, still being built, of which had intended to return at some point in time. Time passed and it slipped from my frontal lobe, but fortunately I was contacted by Mr. Eduard Korhones, its proprietor, who mentioned that he had finished his construction and graciously offered me a tour. Inevitably, RL intruded on my projected visit, but I did return Steamworks at a later point, to see how much changed from my last visit.

A trio of well-known Caledonian merchants who have taken residence in Steamworks

Steamworks, I would say, is notable for two distinct reasons. First, it is a specifically a mercantile district that specializes in Steampunk and Victorian goods (there are some Gothic items, but I’d simply put them in an "early Victorian" category – lol)! Secondly, Steamworks, the club, is built quite closely to the genre, but laid out in a very well designed way, but more on that later.

An overview of the sim in the evening

The lay of the land is circular, with stores lining the outer ring, and its entertainment center, well, in the center. I must admit, there are many stores that I am familiar with that are located there, and a number of which have either never left their Victorian environs, or their original sites, to my knowledge (e.g. Bare Rose). One nice aspect is all the products are, in one way or another, related to Steampunk, be it clothes (gentlemen & ladies), literature (Violet Petals), or simply impressive Steampunk gadgets (with a new favorite store of mine to be covered [in a later article, of course]).

Inside of the Steamworks club, with its Tesla coils at full power!

After dreading how many lindens will fly from my possession once my dear partner learns of this location and its stores, I decided to visit the center, Steamworks. One is greeted by giant Tesla coils upon entering, emitting soothing bolts of electricity from around the DJ’s station. Behind which is a Stream radio board, listing the music selection being played, a nice touch, in addition to the dual gramophones.

The intimate side lounge, with pillows, fireplace, and privacy curtains

The dance floor is an intimate affair, and a stage is located on the other end, which I assume is for specific performances. To the side of the DJ booth is a small lounge, where one can relax away from the main floor in front of a (warm) fire. If one goes up the stairs, the upper floor is divided into two sections, a seating area (by a second fireplace), and a bar, with a nice choice of cuban cigars (hard to refuse)!

The upstaris bar and smoking lounge

I left Steamworks quite impressed with the design, selection of merchants, and a centralized location where one can enjoy the atmosphere of Steampunk in an intimate environment. I have yet to contact Mr. Korhones about the schedule he has for Steamworks, but as soon as it is available, I will post it.

Amusing myself in the DJ booth (when no one is watching!)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Steampunk Travelogue: Whitechapel 1888

Your arrival point, on the mean streets of Whitchapel, circa 1888

 Whitechapel 1888 is a unique sim in the Steamlands - a historical and educational sim.  Nestled away from the main concourse of Steamland sims, Whitechapel 1888 is an exquisite recreation of section of London where the infamous "Jack the Ripper" committed his nefarious acts.

As on enters the city, the feel of the Victorian era permeates your experience

One arrives at an intersection, where a brief notecard can be located, but not much else.  As one explores the sim (which is sadly quite empty the times I visited it), one can either visit the stores immediate to the landing point, with era, or go exploring the different buildings in the build, most with a bit of information which is quite interesting about "The Ripper's" era.

What?  "Kidney", "Liver", and "Bitters"?  And pleasant as well?
Sign me up asap!

A noteable feature of Whitechapel 1888 is the impressive qualty of the advertisement textures.  Classic "plastered/painted" textures line the many walls of Whitechapel, adding an excellent touch to the virtual replication of the sim.

Fantastic advertisement artwork from the era, and G. Orwell Meat Merchants?...
(Perhaps better as S. Upton Meat Merchants... albeit that would be 20 years in the future!)

The sim builders have not only done a wonderful job in providing a historical context to the Whitechapel murders, but have built a beautiful sim to re-create it.  If you haven't made the trip, I wholeheartedly recommend it!  To visit it, please follow this Slurl…

In all seriousness - fantastic educational notes abound in the sim, 
immersing a visitor into the world of Jack the Ripper!

… and for further information regarding the Whitechapel murders, please visit…

... and on this note, I tp'd out!