The entrance lobby to the train to Goatswood...
My first order of business upon returning to regular posting (and addressing the emergent backlog I have accumulated), is a visit to the newest Victorian / Steampunk location, Goatswood. Not only is it unique as one of the few new Steampunk sims in the virtual worlds, but there are a few aspects which are being attempted, that after my lengthy time in the Steamlands, I have not seen before. First, albeit not exactly new, Goatswood is not exclusively dedicated to Steampunk - other aspects of the genre focusing on the English countryside are in play, rendering Steampunk as an important part, but not the overarching raison-d'etre for the sim. Unlike New Babbage, and to a lesser extent, Caledon and a few other remaining Steampunk sims in SL, Goatswood is not an urban environment. It is actually a beautifully built pastoral English town, placing it a bit apart from the hustle and bustle of a major era metropolis (in the time frame of 1860 to 1900, per the notecards).
... where on can take the train to Goatswood!
A secondary aspect of Goatswood is the focus on roleplay. While other Steampunk sims have had some episodes of genre role play (specifically referring to the New Babbage endeavors), this particular sim is built exclusively for this indulgence. Kora Zenakova and Baal Zobel have taken their experience and background from their previous projects, including their current sims, the Kingdom of Sand and Venexia), and applied that expertise to Goatswood. SGS meters (previously used on other sims to provide differing levels of interaction), unique groupings and associations for participants, and even some minor mystical aspects (not a fan of that part personally, but adding the "Orientalist" category is certainly era appropriate), all contribute to a unique role playing environment.
The village of Goatswood (its outskirts, anyways)
Being superlative designers and builders, Baal and Kora have crafted an extraordinary virtual environment with their latest work. The attention to detail is apparent when one walks through the sim (though the crows are quite large - I'd hate to anger of murder of them)! Even if one is not an active role-player, the normal three-day pass (obtainable at the train station), allows one to visit and experience the environment as an essentially "invisible" individual (with regards to interactive RP - though most everyone I've come across is helpful, as good manners are a forte of the genre)!
The map of Goatswood (which even the casual explorer will find useful)!
If one decides to involve oneself in Goatshead's RP, then at the bare minimum a SGS hud will be required (about L$400, but works on all SGS-based sims), era appropriate attire, and a bit of time if one wishes to read up on the background of Goatswood (recommend, but not mandatory). As one participates in the RP, one ages, gains skills, and more - all covered in the sim introductory description. For more information, do consider a visit to the SGS website, located at: http://goatswood.socionex.com/sgs/places.jsp... a landmark to the station, at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/neverlandx/35/50/2003/ ... and a bit more regarding Kora and Baal's previous endeavors at their main business website, located at: http://www.edreamfactory.com/
...and now back to by Guinness (virtual and real!)