#Steampunking it back into Babbage #SL

Returning to New Babbage this year brings excitement of a different kind.

For the past five years I’ve returned with a story to tell while updating my builds and getting back into the smoggy spirit of things. This year however things will be different.

This time last year i was hard at work setting up the final story to the saga i’ve not properly named yet. It took a lot of work and planning and was spread across October to December. Mesh had just been released on the grid and with firestorm and Phoenix TPV’s behind on integration i chose not to use mesh in any of my builds until New Year 2012.

So with the big story over i decided there and then that the following year (this year) would be a break from the RP. One reason is so i can decide what sorts of stories i want to do next, the other is because it’s time to rebuild the Old theatre, Absinthe cafe and the Cobblestone house (in Mesh of course).


Back to a love of Building

The Old Imperial Theatre is one of the oldest original builds in New babbage Square. It has been updated once two years ago when exploiting sculpt prims to add detail. After a year of learning mesh on Escapades island i am excited to see what will be possible when rebuilding the Theatre in Mesh.

It will be experimental as well, seeing wether it would be better to replace the entire building or to keep parts of the original prim build. It would be great if i ended up with More free land impact for expanding new ideas inside the theatre, or simply use up the same land impact but with greatly detailed designs.

The Imperial Theatre is like the Millennium Falcon, she don’t look much but she has a special place in peoples hearts and they will be watching with interest to see how it comes out in this new up date.


My Urchin look now in 2012 compared to back in 2007 when the Theatre was first built.


Back to Basics

Even though I’m not doing any big RP stuff in New Babbage this year it’s not stopped me thinking about where i want to go next with story telling. A huge part of the reason i build these places in Second Life is how users interact and read them. When someone visits a place they intemperate it’s meaning, “What was it for, why am i there?” and a personal story experience can grow from that. It becomes even better when the space is shared.

I built the theatre based (very loosely) on a book called ‘The Thief Lord’. In it a group of kids live in an old broken down theatre. The idea that these urchins who lived hard times on the streets found refuge in a place where once dreams flourished on stage to delight and inspire appealed to me.

In recent years the Street Urchins of New Babbage have become a much loved part of the town and any idea of hardship seems to have been glamoured away by good old fashioned romanticism.

So I’m starting to think about the realities of steampunk. Im fed up with magical portals to other worlds, and mad scientists making the fantastical happen. I think the best Steampunk happens when you just tweak history a tad.


Back to the Burning Barrels

Every year i hold the Burning Barrel Race. This year i had mesh at my disposal and on top of that i somehow learnt to script. I created new Hessian torches just like my Grandad used to make for the carnivals in the real life village i grew up in. Much more realistic and efficient compared to the sculpt Torches of last year. Even the Barrels where mesh and scripted to activate better than previous years. I even had time to knock up some mesh Toffee Apples.

Overall the event went well. Region crossings only took one or two out of the race and it was feared that the race would die at the first crossing. We had one issue with a land parcel that was set to ‘no object pass through’ which i missed in my earlier checks.

All in all as usual the contestants battled through the lag and obstacles to cross the finishing line to complete the sixth year of the barrel Race in New Babbage.

Each year i film and edit the event. While not casting shadows (which kills my iMac) i was able to squeeze enough power out to display projected lighting. The effect gives really great contrasts between orange lighted areas and the dark blue night skies. The fireworks i created this year also came out on film much better than i hoped for.

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