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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Advice on building a Second Life Island?

by Ken Newquist / July 7, 2008

So I find myself in the position of needing to buy and help build up a Second Life island for the day job. I'm excited in about it insomuch as it's a new project, and something I've never done before. Plus, hey, it's almost virtual reality. Granted, it would have been far, far cooler if the college had gone ga-ga for World of Warcraft instead, but hey, I'll take my virtual worlds where I can find them.

In the meantime though, I find myself having to work through questions I don't really know the answers to. Specifically:

  1. Preferred Grid Location: I know we want our island to be on the public grid, but where on the public grid? Is it better to be off by yourself? Should you be next to another college? Or the New Media Consortium? Or does it not really matter, because people will be 'porting in, not wandering the wilds of SL looking for college islands to explore?
  2. What island shape do we want? Is one type of island better to build on than another? For example, we're thinking of either the "donut" shape, which is an oval island with a lake in the middle, or a mountainous shape, which sticks an mountain on one side of the island. Which is easier to build on?

I'm sure there are other questions, but these were the ones that leapt out at us when looking over the "so you decided to buy an island..." form on the SL web site.

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Comments

Hi Ken... Chris Miller passed on this post to me as I find myself in a similar position. Our college, Kirkwood Community College, has an island in SL and we are now in the planning and building phase. It's all so blank.

We didn't spend much time worrying about the land shape or location. But we might not be a good model to follow.

I'm Kale Somme in SL. Would love to see what/how your campus comes together.

The best response I got from the Twitterverse was for this page at the University of Cincinnati, which explains how they went about building their second life island:

http://homepages.uc.edu/secondlife/index.php/Site/PhaseIIIBuilding

It's a broad overview that discusses recreating campus buildings on the island and creating a common toolset of objects (in the Big Red Barn). I'm going to be Moodling at a Hack/Doc Fest next week, but after that I expect I'll get getting into SL in depth, so expect more posting then.