February 12, 2008

First look: Fabb Asimov, furnished, part 2

(This is part two of a report I started yesterday, taking a first look at "Asimov," one of the first prefabricated homes I'll be selling through Fabb, shown fully furnished here as if it were actually on a customer's estate already. Please read part 1 if you'd like today's half to make more sense.)

Okay, so here we finally are at what I'm hoping will be a really striking "signature element" of Fabb buildings; a dedicated space inside the homes themselves, that is, to do traditional-style landscaping, either water- or land-based depending on the model purchased. And why is this so important to me? Well, because of a conversation I had with my friend Jim here in Chicago about six months ago, back when I was tooling around with Fabb's first house designs but not yet serious about starting up an actual business.

Jim mentioned that, although he liked the designs I was coming up with at the time, it also seemed to him that there's an awful lot of Modernist architecture in the Second Life Grid these days, precisely because the building tools in SL promote the use of clean, boxy, Euclidean building blocks in which to create constructions. It's certainly not the only type of architecture you find in the Grid, not by a long shot; just that it's an easy style to pull off, and so therefore populates the low-end section of SL's prefab market like a weed, with the Grid full of cheap cookie-cutter homes that all look at least semi-decent, because of it not taking much under the rules of Modernism for something to look halfway decent.

Jim inspired me to go back and really think again about what exactly landowners are looking for in their prefab housing; of what could be most useful to them, what they would build themselves if they couldn't find it for sale. And I realized, that for a lot of beginning land owners who are in the middle of one of those vast "512 ghettos" you find on the mainland (where an entire suburb's worth of land, that is, is cut into hundreds and hundreds of beginner 512-square-meter rectangular lots in an endless grid), it is simple noise pollution from the neighbors that is the most persistent issue -- of those hundreds and hundreds of other beginner plots directly around you, that is, filled with all manner of 100-foot-high neon-green penises and all the other loveliness you find all over the unzoned, unchecked Grid.

For many beginner land owners, their first home is not so much an aesthetic reflection as it is a simple barrier against the chaotic land around them; a fortress that blocks out all the craziness while they're at home, allowing them to instead blacken the windows and dial down their draw distance and have simple fun parties with their friends. In such an environment, then, any customized landscaping a person does will naturally have to take place outside the actual home, breaking the fortress illusion they're trying so hard to maintain; I figure that what a lot of these types of people would enjoy would be a chance to do some landscaping actually inside their home/fortress, giving them all the fun of making a garden or pond or tiny island or tiny forest, but within their "safe space" where their view is not constantly clashing against the giant green penises and all the rest of the junk found in 512 ghettos. I'm hoping, then, to enmesh such a thing in some way or another in all the buildings I end up creating, which will hopefully make Fabb stand out more; not just another of the hundred Modernist prefab companies out there, but one with a few extra "oomphs" not seen in most of the micro-businesses.

Anyway, enough of that -- let's make our way to the second floor finally, shall we? Here it is from the viewpoint of the top of the stairs, looking sideways along the home's length; as you can see, it contains a lot less floor space than the first floor, a space mostly for overflow from parties, the installation of something small like a dining-room set or bed, etc.

Another shot of the second floor, this time looking in the opposite direction. Notice there on the left, how I'm once again trying to do interesting things with the concept of space and flow within my homes; how while you're in the bottom half of that landscaping area, the space feels very formalist and boxed-in, while by the time you get to the top of the stairs the space blooms into a bright, expansive aerie.

Here, just one of the things a homeowner could do with a space like this -- set up a dining-room set, for interesting-looking views from above during conversations with friends.

And here, yet another option for the second floor, as a bedroom of sorts. Frankly, this is another must-have space for a lot of residents, a bedroom space for animated sexual activities, a big activity among a whole lot of residents. This is where the window-tint feature of Fabb's homes will come into play; by the time this house is for sale to the general public, there will be a button on the wall you can press repeatedly, to dial through various tint shades on the windows from fully transparent to fully opaque.

Yet another shot from the second floor, right at the doorway to the upper patio and looking back towards the interior stairs.

And then here's the upper patio itself, a great place to set one's teleport-landing spot for example, as well as just to hang out and talk with friends. You can't have a SL house, after all, without tons and tons of patios; otherwise what's the point of owning a house in SL in the first place?!

And then finally, a full-length shot of the back of the house, with the camera set up perfectly perpendicular to the home itself. Ahhhh, all my geeky little geometric Modernist wet dreams, suddenly come to life.

Anyway, so that's it for now; what's next, then, is to get a fine-tuned editing done of Asimov's walls and windows, as well as all the scripts installed that will animate it all. Then a tutorial on lights, so I can create some lamps and chandeliers; and then hopefully my first Fabb machinima, showing all the newest crap off in glorious real-time animation. See you!

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