by Maxie Daviau
by Maxie Daviau
“Bien fou qui s’y fie”
“Wolf in Town”
by THE WOLF FR
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 …
“Shadow of My Former Self”
by Imani Nayar
Having posted favourite pictures of the sim in groups every week or so for a while, I think it might be nice to go back to the Picture of the Day format.
So, let’s begin with this beautiful image – “Ivy”, by Cherise Abonwood …
The sim has been busy with visitors throughout the past week. It’s been intriguing to see the numbers divide roughly half between ground and city. Those who have enjoyed parking their avatars on the ground for hours on end continue doing so, while some of the city’s more secretive spaces are slowly unveiling themselves to visitors with a little more patience and a willingness to explore.
The refinements keep on coming, too, even though we keep saying ‘enough is enough’. The old apartment block near to Chinatown has given way to several new buildings, including a weed cafe and blues bar, and an extravagantly priced coffee factory (check out the chalk board outside). The Chinatown area itself has also been expanded and improved, as has the area around the gym and the walkway (‘Poison Ivy’) behind The Cat Mews.
There have also been changes underground. Having rewatched Christopher Nolan’s amazing Dark Knight Trilogy, I felt that we had to install a chemistry lab, and you’ll find this right next to Sionis Industries. We also managed to connect the two tunnel systems – the sewer system and the bank vault tunnels – and you can cross from one to the other by passing on through the lab.
Finally, and well over a week ago now, we found a spot for our version of Wayne Tower. This had been part of the city from the beginning, but gave way for a while because I wasn’t happy with the skyline where it was. Now it sits behind Arkham Asylum, giving height to that corner of the sim without overshadowing other tall buildings. It’s huge … so teleport to the top, set your draw distance to the max, and enjoy the view …
Talking of views, here are some recent highlights, taken from both ground and city during the past ten days or so. The sheer range and variety – and consistent high quality – of the images on display here underlines that the sim offers incredibly rich pickings to photographers …
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 …
Furillen moved into a new region this week, so if you haven’t done so already, reset your landmarks to here. The move was simply a question of giving ourselves more scope to expand, with more prims to exploit (20,000, rather than 5,000), and for events, a higher avatar limit (100, rather than 20). Having ‘relaunched’ Furillen in early January with a major new layout including the hotel, fishing huts and pergola on the hill, I resisted the temptation to make further changes now. So the sim was simply replicated, and for a few days I had a the slightly bizarre experience of teleporting between two sims that were exactly the same … so much so that at once stage I began putting things back at the old sim, mistaking it for the new one.
There are, of course, some very small changes, but you’d need to have quite an eye for detail to spot them. No doubt somebody will!
So … what next?
The first priority is to close La Digue du Braek. I won’t be writing sad epitaphs for the sim, and we won’t be holding a ‘goodbye Digue’ party, as SLers are sometimes wont to do. Digue started quietly and it will end quietly (and we’ll be stealing bits of it for Furillen). The Flickr pool speaks for itself : well over a thousand pictures from 241 members in less than three months.
I always wondered about how the two sims would interact, and it was fascinating to watch. For a while we thought that Digue was going to overtake Furillen and it would be the latter that we’d have to close … but Furillen has an incredibly dedicated following, and for whatever reason the sim appears to draw in a steady stream of visitors who stay at the sim for long periods of time, day in day out. So when it came to deciding which sim to let go while we ‘re-allocate’ resources, it was a no brainer.
Furillen has changed a lot during the seventeen months of its life. It appeared quietly, with no big announcements, and grew partly because of the incredibly strong Flickr group – great photography is still a major feature of the sim, and the flow of pictures has never dried up. Then there have been popular (and, in their scale, quite unusual) events – weekends devoted to Bowie, Radiohead, and Pink Floyd when the entire sim was transformed, and the recent Star Wars rebuilds we staged over the winter vacation.
An important truth about these events was that I like building and designing sims best of all, so any excuse to rip things up and rebuild is welcome. I don’t see the point of having a sim and just letting it stand, unchanged …
There were photo competitions, parties, and a bar – all great fun, but they involved more work than I can realistically do given my real life commitments. So, more recently, Furillen has settled into just being itself, and I must say that I like it best this way.
Having said this, we all like to tinker and the sim will doubtless see more changes in the coming months, and – quite possibly – more events. We will see …
So once the last rites have been read and Digue has been closed, we’ll be messing about in the sky above Furillen and coming up with something that will enhance the sim as an interesting space to hang around, explore and enjoy art, culture and the company of others.
And if it sounds as though I haven’t much of a clue about exactly what we’re doing up there, you’d be absolutely right …