I returned to Second Life a couple months ago after many years of developing projects elsewhere.   Boy did I notice it had changed a lot from long back then.   Avatars and graphics capabilities have definitely evolved. What I found the most amazing was how much you can do in Second Life that is a simulation of what you can do in real life. It is pretty amazing and a testimony to the capabilities of virtual worlds. I will talk more about that some other time.

 I originally set up Postmoderna SL in Solara, a sim owned by Fantasy World Estates. Over the course of a month, I laid out the design plan for the area, set up a design center which currently also serves as my home. I retextured an existing Second Life building design that I found on the Second Life Marketplace. Later on we will move everything out from the building and convert it to an event and design center in its entirety. For now though, it works well as both headquarters and my home.

I also set up a bistro and culinary events center which will be not only be an inworld bistro for entertainment purposes but it will also be used to showcase replicas of works by Art Institute culinary students. The replicas will be modeled by the game art students and added to the effect of the bistro atmosphere. It is my hope to be able to script the bistro tables so that the food items can be rezzed properly. I have not gotten to that step yet.

North Shore Bistro

North Shore Bistro

On the other side of the design center is the Solara Designs Studio and Store. From inside the store, Second Life residents will be able to buy wares and designs inspired by the works of Art Institute students. What residents will look forward to seeing and buying are designs in fashion, photography, wall art, buildings and various objects for their own homes in Second Life Homes. The monies generated will be split by the designer and the project to help support it.

Solara Designs Interior

Solara Designs Interior

Real Estate and Land ownership is really big in Second Life. After I had set everything up in Solara Northwest, I realized that I might be paying too much for my land. I started shopping around after getting feedback from several of my new friends who pointed this fact out to me. I found a parcel on Virtual Reverie where we quickly moved the development to. We maintained the name for the area and modified our location to be called New Solara.

The development continues to grow as we have recently acquired the adjoining plot from a good friend that had put it up for sale. Postmoderna SL now owns about one third of that particular sim. It is more than enough area for the beginning parts of our project. We also built three development and design levels in the sky above New Solara. These sky platforms will be used for building prototypes of structures and testing and packaging scenes. The use of these platforms, often called skyboxes, help to make use of the prim count available on a property without overcrowding the terrain and scene. If we built on the land, we would easily run out of space. The sky platforms are a great solution. Below is an example of a four-level brownstone that I modeled from the floor plans of Kate Hepburn’s brownstone found in New York City. It is a really basic model where I just created and assigned materials to the pieces. I did not do any UV-mapping to it and it still came out pretty good. This model was put together on one of the sky platforms I set up over New Solora.

Brownstone on Sky Platform

Brownstone on Sky Platform

In addition to moving the project forward in Second Life, I decided to learn a bit about the buying and selling of virtual real estate. Real estate is one of the most profitable areas of the Second Life economy. I applied as an agent for a very reputable company called Stargazer Estates. Owned by Dragon and Maddy Heart and managed by Narissa and Angeliaeyes Heart and comprised of a great team of agents, this company is one of Second Life’s finest. They own many sims and most of them are always occupied. Their reputation helped to make joining them really easy and I look forward to continuing to learn from them. If you have the chance or are interested in land, check out their website or come by the Stargazer Estates office. You might even find me working.

That is it for now but stay tuned for more from me. While you are here, leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think about this project.