Bayou Bids Farewell

We opened Black Bayou Lake on 9 October 2018, and having originally planned to keep it open for about one month, feel that the time has come to move on. The sim will therefore close on Friday 23 November 2018, so you have a few more days to enjoy it.

black bayou lake

Black Bayou Lake has been popular, perhaps a little bit more than we expected. The Flickr group is now approaching a thousand pictures. As I said in my last post, we really enjoyed seeing now various photographers imagined the sim, indeed this is one of the most intriguing and satisfying aspects of sim design. There are many highlights which demonstrate great variety in how you saw this place.


Golden Bayou


Quiet moment

" Saving nickles, saving dimes "


Light me up a cigarette

Black Bayou Lake


We also wanted the visit to be immersive, and were pleased to note several of the reviewers commenting about exactly this. As noted in my last blog, and as some entries in the sim’s guestbook confirm, we were especially pleased when visitors who have actually been to this part of the world ‘approved’ our attempt to recreate the Bayou in SL – given that we had only photographs and maps to go on. Finally, we always intend our sims to be places where visitors are not bombarded with greetings or requests for donations, and can just, well, hang out … and this is what seems to have happened for the almost two months we stayed open.

Rewinding back

Sunday Night Football!

A friendly encounter and stories shared

“The Graveyard In Our Heart”

As I have said in the past, our plan now is to follow a pattern of old sim revivals mixed in with new sims. Besides Bayou, our ‘back catalogue’ of sims now includes Furillen, Digue, Khodovarikha and the Isle of May, and we think they all merit the occasional return with improvements, variations or second thoughts. Our last revival was La Digue du Braek, which re-opened for a month or so at the beginning of 2018. We will surely do a ‘Version 2’ of Bayou in due course, and have some interesting ideas for brand new sims that we will follow up in 2019. But for the time being, we have another revival in mind.

So … watch this space.

It may come sooner than you think.

One week in Louisiana

walkway final

Black Bayou Lake opened just one week ago – with no advance notice – and the sim has been busy ever since. Given that the grid is currently in the grip of Halloween fever, this is a nice outcome. Thanks to everyone who has visited so far, and especially to those of you who took the trouble to leave a comment in our guestbook.


Apart from the intrinsic satisfaction to be had from trying to recreate real locations using the somewhat limited resources available to us in Second Life, the two main reasons we put sims together are, first, to give visitors an immersive experience of ‘being there’ – hence our focus on a convincing windlight and soundscape, for example – and, second, to give the large and active community of photographers something new to take pictures of.

Black Bayou Lake

After one week, the sim’s Flickr group is fast approaching 300 pictures, and it is always intriguing to see how others choose to ‘see’ what we put together: the angles they choose, their light settings, favourite details, and so on. I have been struck so far by how many of you have chosen monochrome …

Please just take me with you when you go

Keep The Streets Empty For Me

We have also been surprised by how many photographers have focused on one small detail that we added right at the end, almost as an afterthought: these old sneakers, hanging from the hammock, and from a boat …

" Saving nickles, saving dimes "

Dancing Shoes


As expected, the sim’s wildlife has been popular …

Black Bayou Lake

It's a Canadian thing....

Black Bayou Lake

… and I have enjoyed seeing images that use the walkway for perspective, to create pictures that remind me of Furillen’s old pier …

To lose in the fog...

Black Bayou Lake

Finally – as with every sim we’ve been involved with – some of you are simply very good at making images that are downright moody …

Golden Bayou

The Beast in the Swamp



There have been very positive reviews from Inara Pey and Maddy Gynoid – both are experienced reviewers and it is always interesting to get such feedback. But the ‘review’ we are always waiting for – with baited breath, it must be said – is from anyone who has actually visited the places we try to recreate. I remember some fascinating conversations from people who had visited the real Furillen and the Isle of May – although, alas, nobody I met has ever visited Khodovarikha. As for Black Bayou Lake, we had our first conversation with a ‘local’ reviewer last night. This is how it went …

[18:08] RM: just wanted to say WELL DONE! I am a Louisiana native and I’m positivley sweating and batting away mosquitos while standing here LOL
[18:08] JK: Ohhhhhhhhh nice :p
[18:08] RM: you def captured the essence for sure
[18:09] JK: ha ha ha we were waiting people from louisiana to have their opinions, you’re first and that’s very coool to hear 🙂
[18:09] RM: the ambient sounds, everything…perfect
[18:10] RM: GOOD JOB

Black Bayou Lake

Black Bayou Lake – the inspiration for our latest sim – is located in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. The lake is part of an 800 acre nature reserve – there is a factsheet about it here – which seethes with wildlife: there are many species of bird, insect, reptile and fish, along with a variety of trees such as cherrybark oak, cedar elm, ash, hickories, willow oak, shortleaf pine, loblolly pine, mockernut hickory and post oak. It’s a stunning place, which attracted us because we had not yet tried designing a sim that consists mainly of water.


With bare trees growing up out of the dark lake, this place has a somewhat creepy feel, and we tried to capture this spirit in our recreation.


In some ways this sim is a throwback to Khodovarikha, in which nature was characterized by a rawness that many visitors found inspiring. But unlike that desolate Russian weather station, Black Bayou Lake recalls our most recent sim, Isle of May, for its abundance of wildlife.

about the refuge 512 W

As ever, we’ve done our best to make the sim feel alive: there are plenty of birds, from eagles soaring overhead, ravens and crows, owls and woodpeckers, osprey and kingfishers, along with a variety of water-based birds such as egret, geese, cormorants, ducks, cranes, brown pelicans and herons. You’ll hear most of these birds in the sim’s soundscape. All of them, so far as we are aware, can be found in and around the real Black Bayou Lake. There are alligators, too, ominous and threatening from just beneath the water.


The dominant structure at Black Bayou Lake is a large walkway used by visitors who want to venture out onto the lake, and for fishing. The walkway has an interesting feature, a ‘bridge’ section that looks like an upside down ‘V’, and we have recreated this although we have no idea what its purpose might be, other than to offer a more elevated viewing spot.

Home Page Billboard Pic.jpg

As for human habitation, we have added shacks and a houseboat that we believe are typical of the Louisiana Bayou.




For music, a blues-based soundtrack seemed like the best choice.

As with the Isle of May, what you see is what you get: no parties or exhibitions, no tip box and no rez rights (we always run out of prims, so please don’t ask) – and it won’t be staying open for long. So enjoy Black Bayou Lake while you can, and post your pictures here.

San Pietro Pervertito

san pietro opening final

Opening today on a parcel within the appropriately-named Heaven region, San Pietro Pervitito is a our tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the interior of a famous church, San Pietro Martire in Murano, near Venice …


… which we have transformed into a dance club and bar. The centrepiece of the parcel is Van Auster’s brilliant recreation of the building itself.

pietro facade

san pietro final

Inside, our decor mixes up religion, decadence and sex. We enjoyed juxtaposing the religious setting of the building …


pietro open final

… with erotic dancing …

pietro pole B.jpg

… statues dressed in fetish masks …

jesus micky b

… and various other religious paraphernalia such as lurid confessionals, references to serpents and fish, together with art that explores erotica, debauchery and decadence, such as Thomas Couture’s Romains de la décadence (1847) …


We experiment with sim design and deco a lot, and started work on the interior of this church purely out of curiosity about how it would turn out. Just to be clear, it was not and is not our intention to run a club. We simply enjoyed making something we feel is a little bit different – and playfully irreverent. But as with the Isle of May, once we finished we thought it might be fun to share this space for a week or two. So while it lasts, please feel free to enjoy San Pietro Pervertito for photography and play.


The Isle of May – (very) brief update

The Isle of May opened a week ago and the response from visitors has been generous. In just seven days, over 350 pictures were posted in the Flickr group. The sim has been reviewed by Kara, Inara Pey, and Austin Tate. Thanks to them for taking time to visit and report.

We’d like to say a sincere thank you, also, to everyone who made comments to us about the sim personally, or via the guestbook. Although we were very pleased with the sim ourselves, it has been a nice surprise to receive such positive feedback. We appreciate it a lot.

We’re sorry that there are no rez rights. As we’ve explained whenever asked, we used up all but 3 prims of the sim allowance, so granting rez rights would only lead to frustration. We could get rid of a couple of hundred prims, but – frankly – we’d rather not.

The pictures visitors have been taking are terrific – it’s fascinating to see so many different perspectives. I won’t single any out, there are just too many good ones. But I would recommend this video of the sim made by Serendipity Dyrssen, which we really enjoyed. We think it deserves to be shared more widely.

Thanks to Serendipity for going to such time and trouble, it’s great to have this momento.

The sim will stay open a while longer, although not indefinitely. As soon as the numbers die down, we’ll close and move on to our next project. So please enjoy it while you can.

Isle of May

maxresdefault (1)

The Isle of May opened on Friday evening. The sim is the fifth we have built, it follows on from Furillen, La Digue du Braek, Furillen City and Khodovarikha. We will be reviving those sims from time to time, as we recently did with Digue, but Isle of May is our first “new” sim since Khodovarikha.

The Isle of May represents something of a departure for us, a sim in a deliberately “pastoral” style. Where previously we have emphasised desolation and decay – albeit in a form we always took to be beautiful – the primary emphasis at Isle of May is on abundant life.


Isle of May I

The real Isle of May is situated on the Firth of Forth, eight kilometres off the East coast of Scotland. Less than half a kilometre wide and two kilometres long, the island is owned by Scottish National Heritage and used mainly as a nature reserve.

iom 4

The island is closed to visitors every winter to prevent disturbance to seal pups. It is accessible during the summer months via a 45 minute journey on a ferry which sails from Anstruther and Crail, and also from North Berwick.


While there is no “signature” building on this sim, what we were searching for is something holistic and organic: for visitors, an immersive experience of being “in nature” that is powerful and evocative. We think it’s stunning, indeed we were a little bit surprised by how well it turned out. We’re pleased we tried something different (well, different for us …).

The Voyager

While the real Isle of May has no permanent residents, our imagined Second Life version is home to a small group of artists, a lighthouse keeper and a ranger who takes care of the island’s birds and wildlife. The latter are the most outstanding feature of the sim, which is teeming with life – the soundscape alone is remarkable. Here you will find: gulls, puffins, guillemot, cormorants, Canada geese, otters, an orca, two dolphins, various ducks and swans, herons, cranes, osprey, pheasants, and a range of garden birds including various finches and songbirds, crows, kingfishers, and thrushes.

Birds of May

A sea eagle soars overhead …

The Eagle

There are also sheep, goats, deer, and a small dog – Jim – who plays down on the beach.

Photo Bomb

The sim is on two levels, with a beautiful, peaceful U-shaped cliff top area covered in vegetation and lower beaches on either side.

Isle of May I

Outstanding in her field


The buildings on the sim are few: the main house stands at the centre of the sim, with a lighthouse and foghorn station to one side and the wildlife keeper’s office together with the ruins of St Adrian’s Priory on the other.


Bach in a minuet

My Realm of Peace

This House...

Down below, on small beaches, there are various buildings such as an old stone house, beach huts and a fisherman’s lodge.

My Secret Hideaway

storm tide...

All around the island there is a wild sea crashing against rocks and cliffs. The sense of location is impressive.


The sim had a lot of visitors during the weekend, with many pictures already posted in the Flickr group. We’ll feature some of these on this blog from time to time, but to all intents and purposes our work is done now. There will be no group, no tip jar, no parties or exhibitions, no picture of the day – we just invite you to enjoy this space for as long as it remains open.

So what next? We always have plenty of ideas, places that we’d like to recreate. Time will tell. But for now, please enjoy our rendition of the Isle of May.