“Furillen City Is …”

exhibition 1

Furillen City has been open since the beginning of April, and as ever, the Flickr stream has been busy, with some excellent pictures taken by some very talented visitors. We decided to mark the first month with an exhibition of our favourites, which will open in the massive Trident Intercontinental Shipping Hangar – quite radically modified as an exhibition space – next Tuesday, 2nd May.

We will be holding similar shows for pictures of the ground part of the sim  – and will be re-opening the gallery on that level specifically for the purpose when the time comes – in the near future. Look out for notices about this, and if you are a photographer yourself, an invitation to participate.

For geeks, the title of this particular show is a reference to the very first page of the very first volume of one of the most successful recent ‘resets’ of the Batman series, and one of my own personal favourites, The New 52. Here it is …

gotham is

Stayin’ Alive

Long-time visitors to Furillen might be excused for assuming that its owners are minimalist snobs … or geeks with childish obsessions like Star Wars and Batman … or that we have our ears tuned permanently to the depressing sounds of Radiohead. But nothing could be further from the truth. The sim is – always has been, always will be – a silent tribute to an event that detonated into the popular culture in 1977.

This was a momentous year on so many levels. Politically – Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as US President in January, Indira Gandhi resigned as Indian PM in March, Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee celebrations dominated the British summer, and Steve Biko died in September. Economically – the first Apple II computers went on sale, inflation stood at 6.5% in the US and a whopping 15.8% in the UK, you could buy a BMW320i for less than $8000 while a Barbie Road Trip with Motor Home, Dune Buggy and a Bicycle could be snapped up for just $72 (although sadly, these haven’t fared well in the vintage Barbie toys market). There was the famous and disturbing New York City Blackout in July. And of course, Elvis Presley died, on August 16 that same year. Or so some people allege …

But to us, one event stands above all of these for its lasting significance and impact on our lives and the lives of countless others. On 14 December 1977, cinema audiences watched in awe as the camera swept across Brooklyn Bridge, the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge, the B line subway train, until … finally … we saw these shoes …

JT boots

… and heard that great song fading in with those first two immortal lines …

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk
I’m a woman’s man: no time to talk

… the camera panned up, and there he was, Tony Manero himself, and we could indeed ‘tell by the way he uses his walk’ …

manero

… that life just got a whole lot better, that music got a whole lot richer, and that disco dancing will never be quite the same again. Because, let’s be absolutely honest, what’s not to love and admire – really – about the music of the Bee Gees

bee gee gif

All of which is simply a way of announcing that we’ll be staging our own tribute to Saturday Night Fever after 40 years, as the Iceberg Lounge gets the playlist it deserves, this coming Tuesday.

saturdaynightfever-test3

So … as you throw open those wardrobe doors and select your sequinned outfits for the celebrations, here it is, that four minute sequence that changed the world …

Update from Gotham

It’s been a week since Furillen City opened, and we’ve had around two thousand visitors. Having said “that’s it, we’re finished” a few days ago, we immediately went and changed one or two things. The old, atmospheric but somewhat ‘primmy’ Trident Intercontinental Shipping building has been replaced with a mesh building that has a smaller land impact and better textures. It should make a good gallery, and we’ll be arranging an exhibition or two in due course. I also replaced the road system – again, a combination of more efficient mesh and (marginally) better-looking textures were behind this. The new roads look very similar otherwise, most people wouldn’t even have noticed. The guestbook has been quite busy – entries are published here – and I wrote an updated city guide with more information about the reasoning behind this build.

There have been one or two comments about lag. On the one hand, lag is inevitable whenever there are a lot of avatars on a sim, and once the numbers rise to around fifty nobody should be surprised by it. On the other hand, having so much stuff in the sky, with so many textures, will generate some issues, and we are tracking those down and dealing with them one by one – whether the problem is a script or clashing textures, or over-sized prims.

Having made the changes just mentioned, I would say that lag problems are minimal now, certainly in tests we are getting very good time dilation and frames per second stats. As this blogger points out, there does seem to be a periodic ‘freezing’ issue, and I think this usually coincides with an avatar landing at the sim. I tried tackling this by removing the orb that tracks visitors and sends greetings, but this does not seem to be the problem. It may just be the server, and I will investigate this next.

We held the ‘official’ opening party a couple of nights ago in the Iceberg Lounge and there were some great costumes. I decided to be Scarecrow (see Mareea’s picture right at the bottom of this post), we had a mini-batman, a few examples of Harley Quinn, and plenty of other comic book characters including a rather sleek and shiny Superman. My favourite costumed visitor so far was a splendid Penguin, which I wish I’d snapped at the time. I think the avatar wearing it was on a photo shoot, and I’ll link to what they took if I find it. (Update: I found a picture of this avatar here.)

Talking of pictures, here are the highlights so far …

Favorite place to hang

He couldn't resist

Naxos Wayne

wandering_world477

Untitled

Dining Room, Stately Wayne Manor

Incy Wincy Spider

The City

Piano Grande

Papa Emeritus

HARLEY QUINN

Dancer in the dark

observing the new area...

wandering_world478

Furillen City

Joker ... is here 1

Joker ... is here 2

Humanity...

Furillen

Antiques

Joker... is here 7

Gotham

Baron Eidolon

Untitled

Being. Jax.

...is Missing

T-Rex is coming to the City

Back Room

Just An Illusion

Gold

The Beast and The Beauty

wandering_world480

Walking with a Ghost

Furillen

End of a tunnel #myass

furillen, SL

Joker ... is here 4

Gotham Furillen City

2017-04-02-Furillen

Furillen city. Pandora Empire. (the Pandora' box is still closed)

furillen, SL-artist's studio

"However dark and scary the world is right now, there will be light." Gotham TV Series

Courtyard Cafe

When my feet get bored of travelling

Furillen Grand Prix

Wasted...

Furillen city. The stage

Memories of a room

Wayne Manor @ Furillen

There is no justice among men...

Super Freak

Let's Dance

The Enormity Of It All

Furillen

The Master of Ceremonies

Next …

So we’re done building Furillen City. For now. And as this great picture from Wurfi shows, it looks pretty good.

Furillen City

But of course, we never really finish. Just today, we added the art studio behind Cat Mews, filling in the last (lateral) ‘dead spot’ on the main sim platform at 3400 metres. We’ll surely add more, and tinker with what we have. But for now, that’s enough … and we hope you enjoy visiting this place as much we enjoyed building it.

Having spent most of the spare time I had during three rather intense weeks putting the city together, I must admit to feeling some trepidation when we opened two nights ago. This was mainly trepidation at suddenly having to share the space! But in fact, seeing people beginning to occupy the city, visiting some of my own favourite spots, and just hanging out on the streets – sitting and watching – brought genuine pleasure as everything started coming to life. Long may this continue.

So … what now?

Well … in the City itself, we’ll be taking advantage of the higher avatar limit by holding music events (including live events) and exhibitions at the various venues we’ve created. We have identified where the exhibition space will be, and there are at least four spaces where music events can – and will – be held. This starts on Tuesday, when there will be a batman-themed party – what else? – in one of the sewer rooms. So get out your costumes and avatars and come along. And actually, any superhero or comic book character will do – just bring whatever you have.

And watch this space for news of more events.

Meanwhile, having barely visited the ground at the sim for the past three weeks, we dropped down today and installed an old favourite from La Digue du Braek, Maison du pendu loon-plage, which I wrote about here. It means losing the ferry for a while, but nothing stands completely still … even at Furillen.

maison furillen 01_006 copy

Furillen 3.0

I’ll be dismantling Tatooine later today in order to free up some prims while I start building again. Endor will stay in place for a few more days, and then I’ll be restoring the sim to its more recognisable form.

furillen__8

But it won’t be exactly the same as before. The latest building from the ‘real’ Furillen that I’m aiming to reproduce in Second Life is the Hotel Fabriken

hotel-fab-1

I’ve wanted to recreate this building for quite some time, having previously relied on this prefab from Soy …

Furillen

I’m a little bit reluctant to lose that building. It became quite a fixture at the sim, and we had fun decorating the rooms. But the aim has always been to reproduce as much of the original Furillen as feasible, and the main hotel is next in line. Judging from the images I’ve studied, the hotel is a low level structure – probably reclaimed – which is distinguished by clean lines and white plasterwork …

hotel-fab-2

The inside space seems to be characteristically minimalist, so I’ll be having fun with the decor once the outside structure is complete …

hotel-fab-3

I can’t say for sure when Furillen 3.0 will open, but expect the Endor exhibit to run for a couple more days and then I’ll close and refurbish the entire sim. The overall layout, too, will be have to be a little different to accommodate the hotel.

Meanwhile, Endor has proved every bit as challenging for photographers as I thought it would be. It was designed as a space to walk around – everything was placed from eye level – so landing and simply camming from the TP spot isn’t likely to yield much. This was always a forest to get lost in, a tangle of roots and dead leaves which throws up some beautiful angles on the main structures.

The colours, too, are spectacular, as is the light, as the following images testify …

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen

Dance me to the end of the year

Qiana and Goliath

In the Forest of Endor

planet ground

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/images/work/N/N05/N05659_10.jpg

forest of furillen

Endor is open

Sneak Peek

Congrats to all of these photographers for capturing Endor so well. It’s a space I have loved spending time in, and I’ll be a little bit sorry to see it go.

Endor at Furillen

Oh, I told you it was dangerous here!― C-3PO

After the recreations of Hoth and Tatooine, the holiday Star Wars event at Furillen continues with the landscape people kept asking me about: the Forest Moon of Endor.

endor-at_004-copy

This one took a few days, but is my favourite of the three. I’ve always loved forests, having recreated one on a sim I used to have in the sailing region of New England … so I relished building Endor, tree by tree. For reference, I rewatched scenes from The Return of the Jedi and took a close look at the video game, Star Wars Battlefront. In keeping with the latter, I have opted for an autumnal look – the colour palette is more varied and easier on the viewer/eye. I really like the ambience at the sim – and do turn on sounds, because having listened carefully during the Endor scenes from the movie, there is bird life aplenty on this moon.

Endor @ Furillen has some unique pieces: I started building the huge platform as an experiment just before Christmas. I’m not an accomplished builder, but it came together surprisingly well. Having intended to leave it deco-only, I then decided to make it walkable, so do make your way to the top of the platform, walk those gantries and bridges, and take a look inside the AT-AT parked alongside. The doorways were the trickiest bit for me to build, and I’m grateful to KT Syakumi for stepping in yesterday to help out with these. The doors do open – press them twice to make sure.

Then there is the giant satellite dish, which (along with the platform) is an iconic feature of so many images of Endor, such as this one …

endorshieldgeneratorbunker-tcsbrbd2

Last but not least, there is the Ewok village, which in the video game looks like this …

ewok

This wasn’t easy to recreate, but I did my best and even added a rope slide, because … well, why not?

The sim will re-open later today, once I’ve added some final touches. Incidentally, Tatooine is still up in the sky, at least for the time being – just use the TP point next to the main landing point to see it.

Finally, I’ll leave you with the Princess herself …

leia-copy

News from Furillen-Hoth

It seems that there are a lot Star Wars geeks on the grid – no surprise there. There have been plenty of visitors to Furillen-Hoth so far, many in costume, with one or two rezzing their own vehicles and flying around. I’ve seen quite a few people who haven’t been to the sim before, and it’s good to have some fresh faces around.

I thought it might be good to hold a gathering of the geeks. So welcome to the “younglings, younglings’ gather ’round” Furillen-Hoth Christmas party …

furillen-hoth-christmas-party

Star Wars costume is essential, of course. But given that there are so many great mesh Star Wars avatars and costumes around on marketplace, and that they are so inexpensive, this is as easy as it gets. We’ll stream some party music – good bits from the movies, of course (who can resist Cantina?) – but with a bit of inventiveness we can add some space-themed music from more familiar Furillen names, like Bowie and Radiohead.

The best pictures so far range from very funny spoofs to beautiful landscapes. Do keep them coming …

Afternoon with the Solos

Attack

A suspicious conversation

On top of the icy world

They're Coming

Surrounded

ppl @ Furillen

We are not the droids you are looking for...

Nothing will ever be the same...

Invasion

Stand Your Ground

Battle of Hoth

you guys there it is!!!

Invaders of Hoth