Wild West Town Rides Again

Well, sorta…

A bit less than two years ago, I posted the Seconderth entry on Oak Grove, one of the sims added when Second Life went from private to public beta (April, 2003). At seven years old, it still had three builds on it: Busy Ben’s Vehicle Lot, Red Rocks Stage, and Wild West Town. The last, however, had suffered severely from prim evaporation, such that the original Saloon was down to a few dozen random prims, and two or three other buildings were completely gone.

In the comments to that entry, Marianne McCann clued me in to a couple of Mole Islands where both Oak Grove and Rizal were being reconstructed for eventual transport to their places on the main grid. A year later, Rizal was the first of the two to reappear. Turns out, it wasn’t so much a reconstruction as a renovation incorporating some saved elements, but much more visually and spatially interesting than the original. Wild West Town didn’t fare quite so well… and now, despite my respect for the LPDW (in “another Second Life”, I want to be one), I’m in the awkward position of reviewing their work and finding it wanting.

I had hoped for more accuracy – surely the Moles are capable of researching, at least from Snapzilla if not also whatever photo archives the Lab itself might have from those days (and, do they? One wonders…)

I’m not going to bomb this entry with a lot of images – instead, I’ve put them online. The upshot is:

– Four of the buildings there now incorporate prims from the originals, but;

– Two of those have been retextured, to indifferent effect;

– The theater, which was intact two years ago, was replaced completely anyway;

– The Saloon, although in fragments in 2010, was not restored but replaced;

– Three completely new buildings not in the original town plan were added.

Mind you, it’s not all bad work. The school (one of the non-originals) was done with care and whimsy. I can imagine some kid avvies I know having fun RPing there…

No, my complaint is that it’s lazy work. Floorboard textures are out of proportion; anachronisms appear everywhere; prims were skimped when they needn’t have been… and everything is dark, dark, dark. Even at a midday sun setting, the inside of the Saloon is no easier to see than at the midnight setting.

Maybe because they’re moles, and that’s their natural environment?

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By the way, if you go check it out, turn your draw down to 96m or so – especially when facing west: Nexus Prime is right next door in Gibson.

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Seconderth (a deep map): Rizal Revisited

Rizal was one of the first regions to be added when Second Life went from closed to open beta, at the end of March 2003. I first blogged about it last August, and mentioned then that it, as well as Oak Grove, were being rebuilt on Mole Islands dedicated to the tasks. (The Moles, you’ll recall, are more officially known as the Linden Department of Public Works.)

Last week, my invaluable colleague Mari McCann IM’d me to say that the Rizal project had been delivered:

 

It preserves the Hedge Maze from 2003:

… restores the Bumper Boat Blast from 2006:

… adds a waterfront:

…a hippo-themed playground:

…and a peaceful forest path:

It also adds hope that another of the LDPW’s restoration projects, Oak Grove, will be finished and moved to the main Grid soon (that’s it in the upper left corner of the playground photo, with Red Rocks Stage and the tattered remains of Wild West Town).

Since Rizal is right next to my old furry stomping grounds, I strolled around there for a while and found a couple of new things, which can be seen in my online collection.

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Seconderth (a deep map) : Bay City Boardwalk

Bay City: one of the newer, and preeminent, themed estates in Second Life, with a strong community feeling and the organization to back it up. Until January of this year, only the right-hand group of regions existed on the Main Grid, but there was a nearly-identical duplicate on the Teen Grid.  Then they were merged… the adult Bay Citizens reached out to their new younger neighbors, and now it’s pretty much all one.

The left-hand copy — more accurately, the inlet on its northern shore — is the focus of this Seconderth entry. Marianne McCann (more of a SL history maven than I am, and frequent contributor to my research) alerted me to a Linden Department of Public Works project in those two regions, Weston and Oak Bluffs. In keeping with the twin estate’s overall  theme, it’s an old-fashioned boardwalk with piers, like the one in Atlantic City before the era of casinos.

Both of the entrances are guarded by a pair of — what else? — hippos, first created for the infohubs by Altruima Linden in December 2005 (Mari tells me that many of those are still in place).

The rest of the structure is the work of Sylvan Mole, who marked it “Entrance Idea (don’t use me)”  Sorry – they did anyway.

Anyone want to speculate about “Funnel Cakes of Doom”?  I’m not sure I do…

Now then… Here is the bait Mari used to entice me to visit this construction site: the boardwalk itself.  The LDPW Moles have constructed it using prims first rezzed by Alberto Linden.

The oldest make up the boardwalk’s surface — November 11, 2002, not long after Linden World became closed-beta Second Life  — and were first used in the boardwalk in Varney, long since gone.  The log understructure dates from 2005, and can also be found (along with the surface prims) in the Boardman boardwalk. The railings were created in 2005 as well, but I don’t know where else they may have first appeared (please post in the Comments if you recognize them).

Past the boardwalk’s western end, you’ll find this tunnel passing beneath the canal:

It leads to Oak Bay, the next region north, where the Moles are putting the finishing touches on an aquarium. All of the denizens of the deep are already installed, and they are extremely well done. I photographed some of them (but not all – I want you to go there and see them yourself!), and you can find those here, along with more of the boardwalk (including the mystery railings).

I have to share this, though:

Beware (of someone pushing you from behind into) deep water!

By the way… next Saturday, May 14, Bay City is celebrating it’s third birthday, with a parade and musical events, beginning at 12:30 pm.

PS: In my next Second Life, I want to be a Mole.

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