Written 21-22 August, 2010
I was asked by the owners of the Ravenhurst sim to take a look at it, and, of course, I did.
So as to dispel any suspense felt by my readers, or by the Ravenhurst folks, I have to say the very first thing I saw won me over.
It was a hole in the ground.
I mean a BIG hole in the ground.
I mean a FRIGGING BIG hole in the ground!
I should say it was more than a hole in the ground. It was a chasm, an abyss, a canyon, a gorge.
It was a gorge, all right, and it reminded me of this one:
That's Falls Creek Falls, in Tennessee. Back in the day, there was an iron cable on the cliffs at the right side of the photo. My brother and I would use it to descend nearly vertically to the base of the falls. Nowadays people follow a winding path to the bottom.
So anyway, this is the gorge at Ravenhurst. It was the first thing I saw and I was impressed.
It was only the second such gorge I'd seen in Second Life, the other one being in the Wastelands
I took a bunch of quick snapshots of the gorge and went back home to develop them.
I teleported back this morning, landing in a swamp. I arrived before the ground texture did, and spotted some prims-- cubes-- under the land. They seemed to belong to one of the owners, someone named Sho Flanagan. They had no scripts in them, so I assume they're misplaced objects.
Sho, if you go to <25,> and peek around under the ground you'll find them. Yay, three or four more free prims for Ravenhurst!
Now, about Ravenhurst, reading from its elaborate history, available in notecards at the entry:
The time: the present. Ravenhurst is a village located on the coast of Washington State. The town has a dark history. Since its founding in 1580 (isn't 1580 entirely too early for a town in Washington? Seattle wasn't founded until 1851!) and an early massacre of the native population, one tragedy has followed another. Witch trials (hmmm, maybe we have the wrong coast here. Could Ravenhurst be in Massachusetts? No, guess not, the terrain actually looks like Washington State. But back to the disasters). Shipwrecks. Mining accidents. Tourists dead of exsanguination. A missing sheriff.
Ravenhurst is home to a role-playing community of humans, wereanimals, vampires, fey, and what-not. In a twist, everyone pretends to be human, showing their true forms only to those close to them. Moreover, characters must have some visible means of support-- jobs. I like this. No itinerant wereanimals, no vagabond vampires, just vamps who work the late-night shift at Wendy's and werewolves who ride the garbage trucks on mornings without full moons and fairies who work as blacksmiths. Cause jeez, SOMEONE has to keep the town running!
I know next to nothing about role play, so before I muck things up, I'll concentrate on the terrain.
Ravenurst would seem a fine place to roleplay. There's a town, and there are swamps, fields, hills, and waterways. It feels a big place, and the sim surrounds make it seen even bigger than it is.
The ground texture is dark and showhow seemed sparkly on Sweetie's video card. That actually sorta kinda translated to photos.
There was no end of hidden and secluded places. This waterway...
... concealed this portal:
There was nothing much behind the screen of ivy, but it would seem a good place to hang out if one were a vampire looking for tourists to exsanguinate.
I loved this grassy spot:
The views from the bridge spanning the chasm were spectacular.
The town was appropriately spooky. It looked as if it were haunted by the ghosts of the Indians murdered five hundred years earlier.
Flat isn't necessarily bad (witness the Versailles sims), but it often is. Much of Second Life is dead flat, ugly, and boring. With its great gorge, varied terrain, and sim surrounds, Ravenhurst is neither flat, nor ugly, nor boring. Thumbs up to its designers just for making that gorge!