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Saturday, June 15, 2013

SL10B Press Day # 2: Setting the Stage

Today is the second day of the SL10B Press Days. Tomorrow at noon SLT, SL10B opens to the general public. Most of the big public events will take place on one of the 4 stages and in the Auditorium. Yesterday, during the press tour, the members of the press were taken around to all of these places. There was little time to explore or take pictures, so I went back on my own today.Here are my impressions of the venues.

The Auditorium

The Auditorium is the smallest of the venues at SL10B. It was designed to be a place for lectures, discussions, and other such activities. It was built by Aki Shichiroji. It consists of the main auditorium and two smaller lecture halls to each side. Overall, the design is very modern, and somewhat typical of what you would see in a lot of small auditoriums in Real Life

The Auditorium
The Auditorium
Its notable feature is the roof. Unlike a typical dome, there are holes in the top which can make for an interesting pattern on the inside if the sun hits it right.

Inside the Auditorium
Inside the main auditorium with the night sky visible through the holes in the roof
Overall, the Auditorium is nicely designed and should fulfil its function nicely.There will be far fewer pictures taken of this venue than the other venues at SL10B.

The Reactor (DJ) Stage

The Reactor or DJ Stage is the smallest of the performance venues at SL10B. Wihile it sits on two sims, the area that it occupies is small compared to the barren wasteland that it sits in. The Reactor and surrouding sims was built by KT Syakumi, who is, also, one of the two Senior Leads for SL10B.

The Reactor Stage
A look at the Reactor from outside. (Photo taken using the region Windlight settings)
Inside the Reactor, the DJ booth sits to one side of the dance floor under a large rocket. The DJ bboth is small compared to a lot of other DJ booths in Second Life. If you use the region Windlight settings it gives the environment a hot and dry feel. 

DJ booth inside the Reactor
The DJ booth and dance floor at the Reactor Stage
The Rocket in the Reactor
The rocket above the DJ booth and dance floor
Besides the dance floor, there are tunnels underground. It has not bee revealed what or if these will have a specific use, but it is one thing that makes this venue different from the others.

Another thing that makes this venue unique is that is the only venue that I got notified by a script detector. I can not sa that the other venues do not have them or will not have them, but the Reactor Stage did and it sent me a warning every couple of minutes that I was there. As of the time I was there, it was triggered if you were over any of the following limits.

  • Script Memory: 1,000 KB
  • Script Time: 1.10 ms
  • Number of Scripts: 25
Overall, the Reactor is a nice build. It will be interesting to see how the general public's reaction (pun intended) to it when SL10B opens tomorrow.

The Mushroom (Lake) Stage

The Mushroom or Lake Stage is the only venue at SL10B that sits completely on one sim. It was built by Kazuhiro Aridian. It seems a common practice this year to surround the venues by water. Last year's Lake stage was the only venue that was srounded by water at SL9B. This year, the next three venues all sit on islands.

Whereas, the first two venues could be seen as places in Real Life, The Mushroom Stage looks like it was dropped out of some fantasy world. It's bright colors and buzzing insects give it a feeling of life unlike any of the other venues.

Getting to the top the old-fashioned way
A rope staircase takes you from the ground to the top of the Mushroom Stage.
The stage itself is small and like real mushrooms it is curved down at the edges. It will be fun to watch how performers handle such an unusually shaped stage.

Watch your step
Performers will have to watch their step on this small stage.
An interesting point about this stage is that time and care was taken even in areas that most visitors will never see. Beneath the lake's surface lies a very nicely done undersea area. It continues the feeling of this being a living thing throughout the whole sim.

Below the Surface
Life continues beneath the surface of the lake
Overall, the Mushroom Stage is a feast for the eyes. Its bright colors and organic shape gives it the feel of coming from a fantasy world.

The Cake Stage

Right next door to the Mushroom Stage is the Cake Stage. This stage is the largest of the builds at SL10B and covers 4 sims.

Mushroom or Cake?
Mushroom or Cake, anyone?
Built by Donpatchy, who created the Lotus Stage for SL9B, this stage domnates the view from most on the neighboring sims. Like the Mushroom Stage it sits on an island. but this island is covered in enough sweet stuff to have doctors and dentists put out advisories against visiting it.

Cake Stage
A lok at the sweets that cover the island around the Cake Stage
It makes you wonder if there would have been enough room in Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory for a tree bursting with sweets like this one. There are 4 main entrances into this massive tree. They each lead over 30 meters up into the tree.

The Entrance
ONe of the entrances into the Cake Stage
 It can be confusing once you enter the tree, but if you look you can find your way up to the stage area. (I won't tell you how, because that would just ruin the fun.)  The stage itself sits on two sims with the dance floor on another two sims.

A Stage at the corner of 4 sims
Dark brown lines mark the boundaries of 4 sims
It looks quite small, especially when compared to the large area covered by the dance floor and stage by the Cake Stage at SL9B. The small size may just be an illusion caused by the size of its surroundings. The reall test will come when events are held here and the place fills up.

Overall, the Cake Stage is a massive build that will see plenty of use during the first week of SL10B. It will be interesting to see if residents enjoy the challenge of navigating to the top or if the area is big enough to hold them once they get there.

The A'stra (Live) Stage

At last we come to the final venue at SL10B, the A'stra or Live Stage. Located to the west of the Cake Stage, this venue has already had many hotos and much written about it.

View from the Cake Stage to the A'stra Stage
the view from the side of the Cake Stage to the A'stra Stage
This stage covers two sims and has it all, a great location, an interesting design, and plenty to see even when there are no events. The A'stra Stage is the brain child of Toady Nakamura and Flea Bussy. The name for the stage comes from the Latin "Ad astra per aspera" which translates to  "Through difficulties to the stars".

The A'stra Stage has several unique features. It is the only one of the large stages that you can ride the pods (western route) up to the front door.

Entrance to the A'stra Stage
Pods will take you right to the entrance of the A'stra Stage
The stage area is huge. There is a sim border that crosses through the stage, but it does not matter because almost any set would fit on just one side of the border.

The large A'stra Stage
This picture does not do justice to the size of the stage.

Finally, The A'stra Stage has seats. It is the only venue at SL10B, other than the Auditorium to have a place where you can sit down. It may not sound like much but sitting does help reduce lag and, also, it is nice to just relax while watching and listening to what is happening on stage.

Sitting area
One of the seating areas scattered around the A'stra Stage
Overall, The A'stra stage is likely to become a very popular site during SL10B. There has already been a lot written about it and there is no sign that will not continue once the gates open at noon SLT on Sunday. 

Inspired Creativity Studio will have much more from SL10B, including another blog post later tonight where I sat down with one of the more popular and useful things at SL10B, the pod system. Stay tuned for that.
-Linsey :)

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