Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How We Designed Whimsy

This historical marker gives a date
one month after Whimsy's actual birth

Written 20 April, 2111

How We Designed Whimsy

By Cheyenne Palisades and the Notorious Sweetie

When our sim arrived, the first thing we did was rez every stupid high-prim object in our inventory and play with it all. Then we spent a day or two racing around in planes, on motorcycles, and in cars.

Chey added Sweetie as an estate owner (not an easy task, as the Estate Menu insisted I give it her real virtual name), and we had a good time playing with terrain textures, setting the day cycle, and sending each other blue menu notes.

Then we got busy. But not before taking a moment for ourselves.

Our previous home was on the (no longer existing) Forsaken sim in Dreamland Estates. Our property had come complete with volcano, and we had grown to cherish it.

The first volcano Pele, on the Forsaken sim in Dreamland
So before we moved we asked the volcano goddess Pele if she would move with us to Whimsy, and she said yes. So we knew Whimsy would need a volcano.

Because we had a tropical volcano on Forsaken, we decided to keep the tropical theme.

Visually, we were shooting for Hawaii
At this point Cheyenne sat down and wrote the covenant, being as thorough and as funny as she knew how to be. She send the wording to Sweetie, and we talked about and modified it

The tropical theme more or less suggested the terrain textures. We chose lava rock for the highest elevations and sand for the lowest. Because our previous land had been all sand all the time, we wanted some green, so for the two middle textures we decided upon short and long grass textures Cheyenne had purchased at Botanical Straylight.

We made a platform in the sky (to stand on) and placed a 10 x 10 x 2 m prim atop it as a table . Chey made and imported a 8x8 square grid texture and dropped it on the tabletop; this divided the mockup into sections 32 x 32 meters in size.

We were optimistic. We laid out templates for four sims!
Then we made and pushed  prims around to signify islands, bridges, and houses. We moved them about for hours, trying this and that, while we talked in Skype.

Then Chey did a rough terraform of the land, using the in-world tools, raising the major land masses. Using the Region menu, she exported the terrain as a RAW file and e-mailed it to Sweetie, who imported it into the Macintosh-only Backhoe program and turned it into the Whimsy terrain of today. She e-mailed the RAW file to Cheyenne, who imported it, and Whimsy became Whimsy.

Whimsy under construction.
It took us about a week to get everything into more or less final form.
Since Whimsy’s birth in March, 2008 we’ve modified the land and covenant in small ways, but the original land design and covenant still stand.

We think Whimsy is stunning.


Mairenn said...

Whimsey is easily one of Second Lifes most beautiful sims. I find something new each time I wander. When I bring friends...they are knocked out how beautiful and fun it is.

Sere Timeless said...

Whimsy is indeed wonderful. Your sense of joy comes through in the visual details and the many elements of ... well, pure whimsy. Thank you for making is a place so many of us can enjoy.