Some Thoughts on Putting Together a Sim

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Just a heads up before you get started reading this: there is a longish post ahead consisting mostly of thinking out loud and also some ranting! So I got started working on Leka, the new place on Nordan om Jorden, a few days ago. I have given myself until the end of February to finish it. Obviously there is no user manual for a project like this and while I am truly enjoying putting it together, there are many, very many, thoughts going through my head as I am doing it. I don’t mind having no guidelines, in fact, I prefer it, but it also presents at times as quite the challenge.

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My main thought at this point is about what kind of sim I’d actually like to create. I was discussing it with a dear friend this morning; do I really want to provide my interpretation of a copy of nature (like I did with Winter)? Yet another pretty Second Life© sim emulating real life? Maybe, maybe not. Regrettably, I am not a builder and I do not see myself putting together anything artistic or original from scratch anytime soon. I need to find a way to use the many already existing beautiful objects created by Second Life creators. The challenge with that approach is that those things are used by other sim-creators as well and can feel repetitive. I am thinking here about popular things like, for instance, trees by Alex Bader, cliffs by Fanatic or builds by Van Auster. I’ve mentioned it before in this blog and I will say it again; there are many lovely sims in Second Life and many of them look very similar. Sorry to be so critical, but I think it is true. So the challenge as a non-builder then is to find a creative way to use existing objects created by others and put them together perhaps in a little bit of a different way. Quite the daunting task indeed.

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Another thought I am having is about the theme itself. Should I have a theme before I start putting it all together or will it occur to me throughout the process? Do I actually need a theme at all? There are a handful of sims in Second Life where the creators have found creative ways to use objects made by other Second Life creators and these sims also have themes. When I visit or read about these places I feel inspired. I also return to visit again. These are places that have been around for a while and also provide a sense of consistency. I will blog about a few of these places in my next post, just to illustrate more clearly what I mean. In terms of Leka, for now I optimistically think of it as a work in progress.

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

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