Sunday, January 6, 2008

Steampunk Travelogue: Steampunk beyond the well travelled road, part 1

Stunning work of aero architecture by the Clockwork Cats

Steampunk in SL is often defined by the handful of sims that have major Victorian aspects (e.g. Caledon, Antiquity, Winterfell, Steelhead, and especially New Babbage). However, there are numerous other places in SL that support and encourage the Steampunk genre, but are often overlooked, as they are new, have a minimal advertising budget, or just simply unknown. I attempt to keep attuned to those gems, and hopefully provide a few more place for those who are interested in steampunk a place to explore...


Solarya – Conclave City on the Passion Trade Routes

At the main entrance of Solarya

A world that "mixes magic, technology, and re-imagined 19th century royal colonial sensibilities and technology (sic). The conclave is a loose alliance of Dream Lords and Ladies. Their cities’ prosperity depend on a steady supply of passion, from artists, builders, soldiers, slaves, and more." – from arrival notecard, Solarya.

Posing by the advert for a trip to Hong Kong

A change from the standard steampunk background (and I am always of the belief that change is [usually] good), I discovered Solarya via search ,and was impressed with its arrival point and layout. Instead of the standard steampunk genre, there are different aspects of fiction at work here (other technologies along with standard steampunk, slaves, and probably a number of other divergences that I’m unaware or do not know about). There appears to be a formal planned rp aspect to Solarya, something that may prove to be popular (and not expressly found in the other Victorian/Steampunk sims).

Side view of the main station - I love the juxtaposition of the lights and the ships in the iron, along with the open space (eventually to be filled with vendors, I assume)

Reminding me of a classical European train station (I have always had fond memories of visits the Atocha train station in Madrid), and with the vendor upon arrival, it seems to lend a further intriguing aspect and atmosphere (imho). I have only posted a couple of pictures about the sim, as the owner is currently in the midst of building when I arrived and didn’t wish to disturb him. I did learn that the Grand Opening is planned on the 15th of January – I shall enquire about further development. The detail used in developing Solarya bodes well if it is the standard the sim owner continues with.


Clockwork Cats - Amazing airship

Observing the ship's power source

I actually started this piece a few weeks ago, when I stumbled upon a beautiful sim with a heavy steampunk influence. I looked about, took notes, nodded approvingly, and was ready to tp to my destination, when a bronze flicker caught the corner of my eye. Went over and was witness to the most beautiful airship (Steampunk or otherwise) that I have ever seen in sl. Turns out to be a display store for a pair of nekos who, oddly enough, just happened to have a store across the street from the Quarterdeck. Small world indeed!

Underneath the illumination of the bridge - another superb location for photos

There is an associated store over a nearby bridge, with a lounge area, and neko items, so if you venture there, it may pique your interset (especially if you are a curious neko)! Needless to say, I was impressed with the airship, and highly recommend a visit to it.


The Clockwork Cafe arrival point

Clockwork Café

I stumbled across this location while I was sorting through the plethora of links I had accumulated over time. Miss Emilly Orr’s blog mentioned it, so I decided to visit it, and was pleasantly surprised. As one might guess (or already know), the Clockwork Café is designed specifically for clockwork girls and dolls (well, I’m assuming mostly girls, but anyways), and the owner has done a marvelous job of designing the site. One arrives at the entrance of the Café, which seems obvious, but the outside of the café is actually quite large, with numerous tables, sl newspapers, a pond out back with a sailboat (and for me, a hot dog stand –mmmmm). Upon entering the main building, one comes across a well-designed dance floor and very well chosen period artwork.

Inside the Cafe

I made my way to the dock in the back, and discovered not only what was one of the nicest docks in sl (yes, I have become a bit of a dock-connoisseur), but unique birds (low prim seagulls and a pelican) that not only look good and squawk, but add nice little touches (g.e. in one corner a little flying rat was rummaging though an overturned trash can – just like rl!). dogs....

There is a skybox (which can be reached via a steam tp device), with a number of vendors, but I shall let the intrepid explorers investigate this on their own…

*sigh* another flying rat (shoo! get out of here!)

Relaxing after a long evening of sim exploring

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