plus ça change

plus-ca-change

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 …

 

Furillen-Hoth

And I thought we couldn’t top the Floyd week …

hoth-1_005-copy

The sim just had its biggest ever make-over for an event – over the weekend I started completely from scratch in order to replicate Hoth, the ice planet that features in one of the strongest movies of the entire franchise, The Empire Strikes Back. It’s Furillen’s way of celebrating this week’s release of Rogue One, which looks like being a classic. Instead of Furillen’s iconic buildings, its pier and distinctive tree-line, the sim is now a barren icy waste, as impressively massive AT-ATs bear down on the vastly outnumbered rebel base. Here is the scene from the movie …

Everything I have placed at the sim – the massive walkers, the ice cave where you land, the figures in the base and the flying ships in their hangars and high up in the sky – is relevant to this movie and the scene it depicts, the assault on Hoth. I have even been careful with the layout, using this map (flipped over, left to right) to decide where things should be …

hoth-player-map

There is also a soundtrack to suit the new design – seven hours of music from the movies. It’s an evocative place, and even if you are not a Star Wars fan, do visit because the sense of space is typically Furillenesque.

There was an invasion of Star Wars-themed avatars the moment the sim re-opened on Sunday, with plenty of storm troopers, wookies, R2D2, C3PO and the rest, making a great scene. I will post more pictures from the sim later on this week, and visitors will surely make their own.

This one was hard work, although I enjoyed every minute, so I won’t be reverting the sim to its usual shape for a little while yet. But, as always, once the new design is gone, it will be gone forever … so catch it while you can.

Latest news and pictures

The new sim has been attracting around 350-400 visitors per day, and as the guestbook comments suggest, it is being well received. Please do sign the guestbook, your entries are really appreciated and will be published here. You will find the book in the warehouse, top floor bar, right here …

digue-guesbook_001-copy

It will come as no surprise when I say that some spectacular images are being made at the sim and posted on the flickr group. Here are some of the highlights …

La Digue du Braek I

extreme selfi  @La Digue du Braek   ( le selfi du matin n'arrête pas pèlerin )

What Christmas Hath Our Modern World Wrought?

Beyond

Reflections

La Digue du Braek 4

Rumour said SL 2.0 had been on its way...

Monochrome

La Digue du Break @ Muppets Island - 6

Ready to

pray

La Digue du Braek (161205)

La Digue du Braek - December 6th 2 mono

La Digue du Braek

Meccano

Ombres croisées

At The Dunes

Incidentally, just in case you were wondering, Furillen is still fairly busy, with around 100-150 visitors each day, many of whom see the sim as their Second Life home. I see plenty of people using both sims a lot, which is no surprise and very welcome. Donations are equally welcome, although not compulsory and – unlike some sims in Second Life – we do not charge a membership fee.

I find the contrasting styles of pictures that emerge from each sim really fascinating. These things evolve, of course, but while La Digue du Braek is drawing out some fantastically gritty images from the industrial side along with beautiful landscapes from the beach – and plenty depicting the tension between these aspects of the sim – the best pictures from Furillen still tend towards the kind of minimalism that has distinguished this group on flickr from the outset.

So … just to show that it won’t be outdone, here are some of my favourite pictures recently taken at Furillen …

Love Birds in the Grey @ Furillen

Furillen15

* Just Sitting *

Landing point silhouette

Bird On The Wire

Long shadows we cast ...

Army of Cups

Furillen: a brief retrospective

birthdau_004

Furillen is a year old. It was ‘opened’ via an announcement in Flickr on 13 October 2015. In truth, I expected very little, and for a week or two that’s exactly what I got. Then, for one reason or another, the sim took off, and it has become a well-respected and much-liked spot on the grid.

The sim has always moved on – most particularly, with the addition of buildings that replicate what exists on the real Furillen, an island on Gotland, northeast Sweden. The basic shape of the sim is still defined by the pier, everything flows back from there – and by the slag heaps on one side, and the lake on the other.

Furillen became quite a social space, and at various times a community of sorts has existed there – and still does. It is, especially, a place for photographers, with over 7500 pictures – many of them quite brilliant – posted in the Flickr stream. I have also staged events over the past year, most memorably those devoted to Bowie, Radiohead and Pink Floyd. There is also the music stream, and this blog, which take time – and money – to maintain.

Running Furillen has been a strange experience, because increasingly the sim has come to feel like ‘public property’, even though in financial terms it is not. I can’t – and won’t – simply transform the sim on a whim, as I might if it was an entirely private space. When the sim closed for a few weeks in the summer, I was inundated with (mostly very kind) requests to re-open it. So the sim sits somewhere awkwardly between a public and private space, and when I ask for donations, it is with this strange hybrid status in mind. It kind of belongs to everyone. Having said this, Furillen has a very personal meaning to me, which I have never discussed publicly – and never will.

Of course, the sim will close eventually, and in many ways I would be very relieved if it did. But when I asked for donations yesterday, the overwhelming response made it clear to me – to everyone – that this moment hasn’t yet arrived.

Furillen is many things to many people, as your many thousands of pictures testify. Thank you, all of you, who have made your pictures at the sim, and said such kind – and sometimes very moving – things about what it means to you.

And thank you Furillen – the real place – for being such an inspiration.

 

Furillen At Its Best

INVITATION  - "Furillen At Its Best"

Mareea Farrasco has put together a really impressive collection of pictures that have been taken at Furillen since it first opened in October 2015. As you know, the sim has been blessed with an extraordinarily active and talented Flickr group, which now boasts over 6100 images in total.

Selecting from these wasn’t easy, but Mareea has done a great job.

The exhibition will be held at the IMAGO Art Gallery, starting with a party on Sunday 19 June at midday SLT. There will be a selection of music from past events at the sim, especially from Bowie, Radiohead, Abba, Prince, Grease and the disco night.

Talking of Radiohead, I have something small planned for this coming Friday, 17 June, at Furillen itself. Keep an eye out for details if you’re a Radiohead geek.