Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fantasy Faire 2013: The Adventure Concludes

This covers the remaining three sims of Fantasy Faire, and by this time I was hammering the snapshot button rather a lot, so bear with me.  On the plus side, the further I got away from that troublesome top-right corner, the better my performance.  (My viewer's performance, that is.  I continue to perform superbly, and will happily scratch the eyes out of anyone who disagrees.)

Lumenaria (sponsored by Solarium) is in a comfortable quasi-Mediaeval idiom, and contains some old favourites among its stores.

From that sort of central courtyard, old-fashioned streets wind out across the sim.

It's not spectacular.  What it is, though, is solidly well-crafted and consistent in style.  In its unspectacular way, it is a really nice build.

Moving West, we come, oddly, to the Mystic East: Lotus Valley Dream is a build in a Chinese idiom, and I have to admit, I was smitten with it.

It starts out with those elegant houses on the margins of the sea, rising towards the central castle.

I took a snap of the interior of one store - Hoof It - with their hippocampus avatars on display.  They are stylish!  I liked them.  Not enough to buy one - I don't know how often I'd want to be a seahorse - but I liked them.

It's maybe not as daringly imaginative as Titan's Hollow, but I think the attention to detail - the buildings, the touches like the Zen garden or the ponds, that marvellous dragon and lotus in the bay - makes this one my favourite of all the Faire sims this year.  (Sponsored by The Looking Glass.  Did I mention that?  I should have.)  The lighting effects make it, too, that wonderful twilight sky.  Crepuscular.  I don't get to use the word "crepuscular" nearly enough.

And so, on to the final sim, Ravenshard.... where we are greeted by chocolate waterfalls, candy-cane trees, a screaming psychedelic sky - in short, the, ahhh, distinctive visual stylings of Mayah Parx and the Epic Toy Factory.

After two peaceful and rather demurely decorative sims, Ravenshard hits you with a blast of in-yer-face outrageousness.  Still pictures don't do it justice, really.

You can't see the chocolate rippling, or the colour-changing clouds scudding across the sky while the hands on that clock spin rapidly backwards.... Anyway, there it is.  Ravenshard.  And you sure as heck can't help but notice it.

So, as I conclude my tour around the great circle of the Fantasy Faire, I ask myself: have I learned any lessons, discovered new and vital truths?  And I answer: no.  But I had a pretty good time, anyway.

I have commented about how comparatively tame it seemed, in some places - the comparison being with last year's do.  Now, this might not be entirely fair.  Even the builds I've been a bit sniffy about are still streets ahead of the average look of SL - in terms of gosh-wow factor, there is plenty of gosh and no shortage of wow about.   Perhaps I'm just being spoiled.  Perhaps, having seen the sorts of things these designers can do, I expect even more gosh-wow than I'm strictly entitled to.  The fact remains that Fantasy Faire is showcasing some genuine talent and innovation in SL, and this sort of creativity is what, for me, SL is about.  So go take a look, and don't be put off by my carping... or by my misadventures with the viewer, which are surely peculiar to me alone.

I did, along the way, pick up a number of items from various RFL vendors, at least one in every sim, usually rather more... so there may be a future post on what the loot was like.  Consider yourselves warned.

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