Over (and under) the Bounding Main

The caption on a lovely Callipygian Christensen snapzilla photo the other day reminded me of the Steampunk Hunt, and I actually managed to find a little time to spend on it. As Calli says, the exploring of new places is at least half the pleasure of the hunt.

Some of these Victorian Steampunk builds are really lovely, both in conception and in execution. I could take tons of impressive pictures and deluge you with them, but instead I’m gonna show off one particular theme that I ran across, and just loved. The theme is, essentially, what one might do with a region that has little or no land. (Besides, say, sailing around in it, which is lots of fun, but a little obvious.)

First picture:

Armada Breakaway

This is Armada Breakaway, the same region that Calli’s picture shows. I love the motif here: a city built entirely on a ragtag collection of boats and rafts and blimps and ramps, walkways, piers and docks, with essentially no actual land; the trees to the left there are growing in a “park” that’s housed in a pair of boat hulls. This is a snap of just part of the sim, cammed quite a ways up. (I’m standing on the large ship more or less in the lower center, but I’m just a few pixels.)

Then another region on the Steam Hunt, also steampunk and also almost entirely without land above water, but otherwise very different from Armada: Vernian Deep. (Took me awhile to make the connection to Jules!)

It’s a really lovely build, full of atmosphere and detail. Here I am standing in a long corridor way down in the depths:

Vernian Deep, in the depths

Almost the entire sim is under water, full of ramshackle buildings constructed from wrecks and debris and sunken diving bells, and also at least one elegant conservatory full of art and comfort, sitting elegantly on the ocean bottom among the octopi.

There are two things (that I noticed) up above the waves in Vernian Deep. I won’t tell you about the larger one, so you can have the fun of discovering it yourself. :) Here’s the other one:

Vernian Deep, above water

A mysterious retrotech building; reminds me of Myst in a way. In fact Myst and the rather steampunk D’ni, with their gleaming brass and elaborate decorations, are well within this general space. (Except for the being-entirely-underwater part; the D’ni are obsessed with islands instead.)

So anyway those are two extremely cool places. :) And the Steam Hunt promises to take me through quite a few more.

I do love SL…

Much Better!

I just did my daily check of the link that the Blue Mars folks sent me on the 5th, to see if the very restrictive Beta agreement was still there, and Lo and Behold, it wasn’t!

Instead it led to a much friendlier registration process, containing a ToS that (while still real real long) didn’t have any of that nasty Confidential Information stuff in it, or threats of ex parte injunctions; just the usual “you can’t under any circumstances sue us for anything no matter what we do” legalese.


Maybe I will try it when I get home.

(I did notice one clause in the ToS that seems to forbid ever logging off, but that’s just humorous, not worrying. :) )

Update: So I downloaded all 1.2GB of the installer, started it up, let it churn for quite awhile, and then was presented with a screen asking me to agree to a long legal agreement before I could continue. And guess what! It was the old restrictive NDA-containing one! I think I will go to bed. Maybe tomorrow I will convince myself that the two short postings on the Blue Mars Twitter feed saying that the beta NDA has been lifted are enough to render clicking “I agree” on this thing legally and morally null. Not tonight, though.