Saturday, December 29, 2012

Steampunk Travelogue: Goatswood (updated)


The entrance lobby to the train to Goatswood...

My first order of business upon returning to regular posting (and addressing the emergent backlog I have accumulated), is a visit to the newest Victorian / Steampunk location, Goatswood.  Not only is it unique as one of the few new Steampunk sims in the virtual worlds, but there are a few aspects which are being attempted, that after my lengthy time in the Steamlands, I have not seen before.  First, albeit not exactly new, Goatswood is not exclusively dedicated to Steampunk - other aspects of the genre focusing on the English countryside are in play, rendering Steampunk as an important part, but not the overarching raison-d'etre for the sim.  Unlike New Babbage, and to a lesser extent, Caledon and a few other remaining Steampunk sims in SL, Goatswood is not an urban environment.  It is actually a beautifully built pastoral English town, placing it a bit apart from the hustle and bustle of a major era metropolis (in the time frame of 1860 to 1900, per the notecards).



... where on can take the train to Goatswood!

A secondary aspect of Goatswood is the focus on roleplay.  While other Steampunk sims have had some episodes of genre role play (specifically referring to the New Babbage endeavors), this particular sim is built exclusively for this indulgence.  Kora Zenakova and Baal Zobel have taken their experience and background from their previous projects, including their current sims, the Kingdom of Sand and Venexia), and applied that expertise to Goatswood.  SGS meters (previously used on other sims to provide differing levels of interaction), unique groupings and associations for participants, and even some minor mystical aspects (not a fan of that part personally, but adding the "Orientalist" category is certainly era appropriate), all contribute to a unique role playing environment.



The village of Goatswood (its outskirts, anyways)

Being superlative designers and builders, Baal and Kora have crafted an extraordinary virtual environment with their latest work.  The attention to detail is apparent when one walks through the sim (though the crows are quite large - I'd hate to anger of murder of them)!  Even if one is not an active role-player, the normal three-day pass (obtainable at the train station), allows one to visit and experience the environment as an essentially "invisible" individual (with regards to interactive RP - though most everyone I've come across is helpful, as good manners are a forte of the genre)!



The map of Goatswood (which even the casual explorer will find useful)!

If one decides to involve oneself in Goatshead's RP, then at the bare minimum a SGS hud will be required (about L$400, but works on all SGS-based sims), era appropriate attire, and a bit of time if one wishes to read up on the background of Goatswood (recommend, but not mandatory).  As one participates in the RP, one ages, gains skills, and more - all covered in the sim introductory description.  For more information, do consider a visit to the SGS website, located at: http://goatswood.socionex.com/sgs/places.jsp... a landmark to the station, at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/neverlandx/35/50/2003/ ... and a bit more regarding Kora and Baal's previous endeavors at their main business website, located at: http://www.edreamfactory.com/



...and now back to by Guinness (virtual and real!)

And those updates:
The sim has been a spectacular success, in spite of my concerns some of the complexities of the storyline might detract new residents.  In fact, it has been a boon in attracting new RP, and engaging in unique structure (of which you'll have to visit on your own).  I will concede it takes a bit of adjusting, and I've had the benefit of my dear partner Breezy to hold my hand through the endeavor, but if one is looking for more than a simple residence, do pay a visit, and join a group (yes, there is a Steampunk (Industrialist) group, and last I heard, they are working to move some layabout gypsies so coal mining can begin - Yay for Industry!)

For an additional insight into Goatswood, do visit Mr. E. Pearse's blog, Through the filter of a Victorian Aesthetic  and his review of Goatswood, at: http://victorianaesthetic.blogspot.com/2012/12/exploring-grid-goatswood.html

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The list of Steampunk venues in SL, starting 2013!



The list of Steampunk locations hasn't really changed much in the past year or so, with a few modifications, a few sims growing and/or shrinking, and a few undergoing construction.  The list below divides the locations into essentially three categories: Major Steampunk Venues, Commercial Steampunk Venues, and Steampunk "Ports of Call".  I've listed the SLurls for the "main arrival" location, and a small blurb by each one...


Major Steampunk Venues
The "Major Steampunk Venues" are locations which the overall theme of the sim is most certainly Steampunk (in some way or another), and the entire sim (or sims) is/are dedicated to the genre.  When one uses the term "Steamlands", generally it refers to one of the below locations:


New Babbage

  New Babbage Square  (Town Hall and Center of the City-State)
     http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Babbage%20Square/223/158/111
  Port Babbage  (Commercial Center of New Babbage)
     http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Port%20Babbage/128/128/86
  Wheatstone Waterways  (The Piermont Landing - The Social Center of the Steamlands)
     http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Wheatstone%20Waterways/72/67/107


Caledon

Caledon Oxbridge   (Award winning arrival center for those new to Steampunk)
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Oxbridge/92/198/28
Caledon Victoria City   (Capital of the Independent State)
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Victoria%20City/128/128/24
Caledon Sound  (Maritime Center of Caledon)
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Sound/41/100/23


NeoVictoria
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/NeoVictoria/17/128/1001


Steelhead
Steelhead Main
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Steelhead/128/128/24
Steelhead Port Harbor
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Steelhead%20Port%20Harbor/120/141/48
Steelhead Shanghai
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Steelhead%20Shanghai/133/128/31


Mieville
Mieville Doyle
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mieville%20Doyle/183/76/24
Mieville Asian Gardens
    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mieville%20Dickens/93/61/26
Mieville Twain (San Francisco)
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mieville%20Twain/141/95/25


Goatswood
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/NeverlandX/35/51/2003


Armada Breakaway
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Armada%20Breakaway/158/162/23


Whitechapel 1888

   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Timherry%20Island/204/239/24


Paris 1900
   http://slurl.com/secondlife/Paris%20Eiffel/25/147/25


Stainless Steam  

   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Villain/128/128/23


Titus Groan   (Gay Friendly Steampunk Locale)
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Titus%20Groan/172/128/24


Haven Township
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Solace%20Haven/231/207/21


Rosser's Landing
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rossers%20Landing%20II/128/128/22


Safe Haven Estates (Furry Friendly Steampunk Destination)
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Lone%20Heart%202/20/85/22



Commercial Steampunk Venues
There are merchants in the Steamlands who have taken their work (and merchandise) to a new level within the genre, and have a dedicated sim (or major portion of a sim), to Steampunk.  Often a magnificent site to behold, if one goes shopping at their main store, it is quite a treat!


BlakOpal
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/BlakOpal/98/102/23


The Looking Glass
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Horizon%20Dream/20/24/27


Tesla Isle (UnZipped, Steampowered Nuts Mainstore)             http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tesla%20Isle/126/120/24


Curio Obscura Mainstore
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Business%20District%20Foxtrot/224/202/30


J.D. Mechanical Toy Factory
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Forgotten%20City/183/23/320


Mythopoeia (The Curious Prim Mainstore)
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mythopoeia/69/26/40


Golden Oriole Mainstore
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Verdigris/75/68/70


Sara Steam Technology
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Curlew%20Waters/216/15/54


Port Kasra  (Mall Venue)
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Kasra/129/133/602



Steampunk Ports of Call
Not every location is dedicated to Steampunk in its entirety  but there some locales which are outstanding Steampunk gems, but do not take an entire sim... and very likely only a small portion.  But quality overrides quantity, so the locations below certainly merit mentioning!


Builder's Brewery
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Builders%20Brewery/128/160/23


Oroborus Clockwork Lounge
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Custard%20Developments/193/139/1992


The Steam Rose (Steampunk Dance Club)
   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Chillium/177/80/1596


...and one more category I will add (belatedly), is Steampunk Photographic Locations.  Though I don't have any at the moment, there are locations in SL, which may not have much at all to do with Steampunk directly, but are outstanding for photographs, and will be added as time continues and the list of Steampunk Locations grow.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cracking open the Steampunk Travelogue in preparation for the New Year!



After surviving the apocalypse of 2012, I figured I'd work towards consolidating and revamping the plenitude of blogs I have in one form or another.  While doing a bit of analysis  I was surprised the the amount of traffic the Steampunk Travelogue still has over a year of inactivity.  Additionally, some things have changed, while others have not... but I figure at least a monthly (or so) review of the existing Steamlands as they currently exist (in conjunction with the sister-blog, the Steampunk Shipyard), is in order.  I'll be starting with posts and SLurls of existing locations (yes, there are many more than listed on the SL Locations site), and go from there.  If one does know of a location that I may have overlooked, please do let me know, so the grander Steamlands can pay a visit - thank you!