Welcome to the newspaper for the citizens of Second Life's Bellisseria!
Big changes and the birth of a community!
Welcome to the new land of Bellisseria! Here you will find adorable homes and fun house boats as well as a blossoming community to get involved with.
Photo Credit: Whimsy Winx
Interview: Patch Linden
Buttacwup Pwincess (seanabrady)
In the early months of 2018, the seeds of a plan at Linden Lab started to take root. Work began on what is now our new home. Residents of Second Life eagerly watched after the new “SSP continent” was spotted on the world map, and the speculation began. In that time, dozens of threads on the Second Life community forums with thousands of posts tried to guess what was coming.
In Mid-March the Home & Garden Expo opened in Second Life, offering everyone a glimpse of the homes to come and some exciting hints at when they would be available. It is safe to say people were ready. When the new homes launched one month later on April 15th, they disappeared in just a couple of days. Frustrated premium members frantically refreshed the page hoping for their chance to move in. Earlier this month the second batch of houseboats was added, 709 new homes disappearing in under 30 minutes as residents plucked each new home from the queue. Bellisseria has now grown to over 3000 homes.
“I have to ask that we all remember, we’re not done yet!”
- Patch Linden
Now that the initial flurry of releases has settled down I took some time to chat with Patch Linden about Bellisseria and where it is heading.
What was the original vision for Bellisseria?
The original vision was to provide updated, modern replacement homes for the aging prior Linden Homes. We wanted to design homes and thematic areas that represent the content capabilities in Second Life of 2019 and beyond.
There is a huge difference between the older Linden Home communities and Bellisseria. What lessons did you learn from those older homes, and how did that influence the decisions in Bellisseria?
Linden Homes were, and generally, still are positioned as “starter” homes. Back then, we wanted density as a priority, fewer features, and that led to a less realistic experience that did not lend itself to community experiences. As we watched the old Linden Homes age, we realized that there would be many opportunities to advance that concept in all areas, and still maintain a limited feature set in many cases by today’s standards. For example, I see many requests for more wall color options, but by design, if you would like more options, perhaps you’ve outgrown a Linden Home.
As with above, what lessons were learned with Horizons, and how did they affect Bellisseria?
Horizons was a very interesting and fun project for us. It gave us the very early test bed on how to create another updated, themed community, with controls in place that allow flexibility of home choices and also an in-built game for an activity that the owner’s surrounding it could engage in. Looking back at that, we learned that people want stricter content control (less freedom to choose houses or place your own) and broader use of community gathering areas.
The first set of homes was gone in under 48 hours. Did Linden Lab expect them to go so quickly? In hindsight, do you wish you had taken the time to prepare more for the initial launch?
We did expect them to go quickly! We know, as we continue to release more, they will also go very quickly. In hindsight we can always say, we could have waited even longer and released more at first, but then it would have kept what we’ve been working really hard on away from everyone that much longer. At some point, we have to go live, and we felt the timing was right despite the demand versus the number of homes we chose to initially release. There are over 38,000 old Linden Homes, and if you do the math, we still have quite a ways to go to reach a 1:1 replacement level with the new homes, which I’d love to see us need even more of going forward!
With so many potential premium members, and so much interest still in Bellisseria, what is Linden Lab’s plan to meet this demand?
We’re constantly discussing release strategy as a team, all the while as we work on the next big release of a new theme. As we move forward, releasing more homes becomes quicker. We may try some other release strategies in the near term which could mean more releases of homes on a much faster cadence. The one thing we do not want to erode is quality in exchange for speed. We’re going to do everything we can to keep going faster and maintain what everyone has seen so far out of the overall continent.
It has been mentioned several times that a third style of homes will be coming in the next big round of releases. Can you tell us anything about that style of home? Will there be previews of the new homes at SL16B?
3rd, 4th, 5th…. There are more styles and themes coming! I can’t discuss the details yet. There will be a preview of the next style at SL16B.
Does Linden Lab have ideas for either Lab planned events or community-driven events in the area?
We do, in fact. Some specific community center-like builds are planned and coming. I envision we’ll work with the community groups that have been formed to also partner on the usage of these spaces.
How do you respond to residents that feel the lack of inventory for homes in Bellisseria is “unfair”?
This is a tough question to answer because it emotionally strikes a chord with me. If we opted for a cookie-cutter, universal design like the old Linden Homes, we firmly know that we would lose our edge that has made this project as successful as it’s been today. We could have toiled away in the darkness for another year and met what I predict to be more than half of the overall need to replace the old Linden Homes, but then the wait would have been terrible.
How do you feel the reaction to removing the option of making parcels truly private was received?
Generally, it has been a positive change. Linden Homes is a feature restricted product by design, and some flexibility options are limited, much like home choices, and other freedoms that might be hindered by the covenant. To put a different spin on it, this is our “Estate.” Linden Homes as a starting point is excellent, and if more flexibility and freedom are desired, then you might surely want to move on to the greater Mainland or a private estate elsewhere.
I assume Ebbe is well informed of the progress. Is Bellisseria meeting his goals and those of Linden Lab generally? And of course, when can we expect Ebbe at one of the Bellisseria events?
He is, and it is! We’ll see, maybe we can get him out there in the near future! :)
What else would you like to share?
Many other features are yet to come... I have to ask that we all remember, we’re not done yet! The team has a lot of things in the works, and I really believe that most of the requests I see circulating out there may be answered by what’s coming.
I want to thank Patch for providing all of this great information. Additionally, thanks to all of the other Linden Lab employees and the entire Linden Public Works Department for building this new community for us!
Interview: At Home with Jake Vordun
Buttacwup Pwincess (seanabrady)
Thousands of people now call Bellisseria home. People from all over Second LIfe made a mad dash to stake their claim and snag one of the fantastic new homes. Among those trying his luck was Jake Vordun. Jake joined Second Life back in 2009 and is well known as the owner of the furniture and home decor store Fancy Decor which he opened in the middle of 2014. Like many Jake wasn’t able to get a home initially. He joined the army of others hitting refresh and hoping with each click to see the magic Bellisseria pop into view.
Eventually, it did, and Jake was officially a Bellisserian. For Jake, this meant a new opportunity. Like many designers, Jake’s home before moving to Belliseria was a platform. This community gave him a chance to do something he had long wanted to try, decorating a home using primarily his own things. Jake told me, “I normally curate small collections for my store, which is very different from making a cohesive and flowing home.”
I recently spoke with Jake about his home, business, and the excitement of moving to Bellisseria.
Running a successful store in Second Life is not easy, what made you decide to give it a go?
Before Fancy Decor, I had an unsuccessful men’s apparel brand using template mesh. I just always wanted to do something creative in Second Life, and having a store was top on my list. I love interior design, so it really just fit perfectly once I learned how!
How would you describe the style of products you create for Fancy Decor?
I create a mix of modern and eclectic antique decorations and furniture. I focus a lot on mid-century modern design, with more emphasis on modern, versus being retro. I love antiques, too, so sometimes I’ll make a set that is more ornate or classic antique style.
What influences and inspirations do you look for when you design something new?
I always am looking for mid-century modern inspiration. I also look a lot at color palettes or patterns and graphic material to feel inspired to make something as well. And like most designers, real life plays a big role in inspiration. I have the same taste in real life, so I am inspired by things I see there.
When did you think to open your model home?
I wouldn’t exactly call it a model home. It is my home and my only home in Second Life. I knew when I got it that I wanted to challenge myself and decorate only using my creations. I had never tried this before.
What was the biggest challenge fitting a full home of decor into 351 LI?
For me, I had to sacrifice a nice sitting area in the backyard. However, for the most part, I found the 351 LI limit not too limiting! Going light on the excessive clutter, we see a lot of in Second Life gave it a clean feel, and helped reduce prims. Also, linking items together can save you a good bunch of prims! Almost everything in my Linden Home is linked together in giant chunks!
How do you think all the excitement around Bellisseria will influence the retail market in Second Life?
The excitement has been so fun to experience. I was so excited myself, decorating my home! I think it can only positively influence the home and garden market in Second Life. I’ll have to give it a little bit longer to see if there is any real increase in sales though.
Do you plan to adjust anything about the way your design or build to focus on the new homes, and tighter land impact limits for them?
I’ve always tried to keep the land impact low on my items. The key for me is keeping things as low land impact as possible, without the LOD (level of detail) breaking too badly when you’re close to it.
Thanks very much to Jake for taking the time to meet with me, and open his home to the entire Bellisseria community.
“I love sharing my creations and things I do, so I decided to let people come into my home and get inspired by what can be done in such a small space with limitations.”
Interview: First Pickle Party with Doc R
DJ Doc Rast (rasterscan) and his lovely partner and party host BJoyful (bjoyful) seemed blissfully content with their new life in Bellisseria as they relaxed with me in their garden atop their new houseboat in the Squishy Pickle.
And it would be difficult not to be content here, surrounded by the sounds of birds, with butterflies flitting among the flora that Doc himself grows. The breeze from the water and the sun made us think how aptly named Bellisseria is as I got to know this lovely, talented, and yes, joyful couple.
They told me that Doc was DJing at Enigma, and BJoyful was a host there, when they met about 3 years ago. Love of music and sailing in Second Life has helped keep them partners in adventure ever since.
As sailors, when they saw the new Linden Homes preview at the Home and Garden Show, they knew they wanted a houseboat. They abandoned their old Linden Home and BJoyful kept vigilent watch on her dashboard. She pounced, "jonny on the spot" as Doc said, the moment the new homes were live and got the home on clear waters they'd dreamt of.
When I asked them what they hoped for the Bellisseria music scene, they said:
Doc: "Hoping for a rich variety of music in Bellisseria, old, new, and everything in between."
Joy: "I think Bellisseria may be a whole new hope for the music scene in SL. There's just too many empty clubs everywhere else and the support for them is spread too thin, in my opinion. Here in Bellisseria the community is ultra-supportive, strong and thriving!"
And of the that first dance party they spirited up where the pickles are always free and the sun is always shining, they said:
Doc: "The first dance party we held--impromptu--was a golden moment! They can never be planned and that made it special."
Joy: "Walking up on the beach of the Pickle... it just sort of happened! Doc had been working on his wearable DJ decks as a product (for his MP Store) for a few weeks, and what better moment to test it than to celebrate than the opening of a whole new Island in a brand new Continent! Every moment will stay with us forever I think! Seeing the ppl appear and get right into it!! Many of whom I recognized from the forums and from seeing them for a month as we toured around Bellisseria. Everyone pitching in, especially Ribbon & Zoya, helping to make sure everyone could hear the stream, get dancing, and have fun! It was incredible - never saw anything like it!"
And about that flow between them that keeps the crowds dancing and smiling?
Doc: "My favourite part of hosting with Joy is her total reliability and perfect hosting skills."
Joy: "Doc makes everything easy to enjoy, for everyone! He's a master of doing a million things at once and making it look effortless, even when it's a complete chaos of chat, greetings, shout-outs, requests and downloads, and juggling the set around! He has a quality in his personality that easily includes and welcomes everyone and brings them into a party, to participate as each sees fit! It's particularly easy to host for him as a DJ because we know each other so well, too."
And we can all look forward to more of their magic as they intend to make the Sunday Pickle Party disco a regular event, with everyone grooving and pickle partying together as one, fun loving, Bellisserian family.
I have great chemistry with my SL boyfriend. The problem is that is that he has a 2D avatar. So, it makes it weird sometimes when he only comes to my knees. Any advice?
-Tall Barbie Girl
Dearest Tall Barbie Girl,
When I read your question, I started to answer it one way, but after thinking it over I have changed my mind completely. You say the chemistry is great, so the one question I would like to ask you is: What’s more important, what is on the outside or what is on the inside?
If you truly care about Mr. 2D on a deeper level, then his choice of avatar really shouldn’t put a damper on those feelings – after all the beauty of Second Life is that we can be anything we want to be, isn’t it? However, if you’re more concerned about the superficial, then you may want to consider moving on, Mr. 2D deserves better.
Peace, Love & Pixels,
I just got my new Linden Home, YAY (I'm the F5 queen). However, I've become an unsocial hermit because I'm used to being a platform dweller. Are there any community hangout spots where I can meet new friends?
Single & Ready to Mingle
Congratulations on your new Linden Home! There are absolutely some great places to hang out on our beautiful new continent. Sundays with DJ Doc from 10am – 2PM @ the Squishy Pickle are bound to become a Bellisserian tradition and Butta’s Community Game Room – Cool Beans is a great little coffee shop with some fun games to play on the back patio http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Otisburg/75/30/43, just to name a few. You could even put a shout out into one of the groups mentioned below to see if anyone is up for a game!
What I would also highly suggest is joining these inworld groups, they’re amazing and provide a ton of info on what’s happening at the moment:
And definitely subscribe to the Bellisseria Happenings Website https://www.bellisseriahappenings.com/
I hope I’ve given you enough to get started, sweet Single, our community is bustling with activity and opportunity. Who knows, maybe next time you’ll be writing me for relationship advice!
Peace, Love & Pixels,
Want to ASK ZOYA? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot me a notecard inworld Zoya Grigorovich They can be all kinds of questions, Bellisseria questions, relationship questions, SL questions, etc.
Air BNB Gone Wrong:
Johan de Jager (zacharyjohns)
I started the AirBNB as a way to help people get a taste of living in Bellisseria when they weren't able to. When I got my home, I got it several days after the homes were released. There were none left. I sat there and refreshed the page for 20 minutes until I got mine. I realized so many people don't have the opportunity to just sit and refresh a page for 20 minutes or likely more, so I decided I would dedicate a part of my parcel for visitors and created my guest house out of the garage.
For a while it was great! I got a lot of IMs with compliments on how nice it was, lots of people loved the garden outside of it, and people loved the convenience and its location. During that time it was wonderful, and I had journalists come and ask for my statements on the experience of having the first AirBNB in Bellisseria, and my home was even listed on the Bellisseria Citizens Group Notices!
But, time went by, I joined the Parade of Homes, and it brought by many new people who often weren't more than a month or two old, and often people who were 10+. Several of these people didn't understand that just because my home says "AirBNB" with a sign in front, that doesn't mean you can just waltz on in. I put in my land bio and in my land title that they should IM me for questions and reservations to "not have conflict with potential current tenants". But so many people just walked in, and I would log on to people in my guest house.
Not only that, but they were teleporting into my guest house since I de-scripted the driveway garage door, and locked the door off the garden. They would also not only break into the guest house, but they would also break into my home. In my land bio I specifically stated it was off limits to guests without invitation. They would leave my doors open, windows open, etc. Since I had to leave it all unlocked as per the Parade of Homes requirements. They script errored my furniture and doors and had sex on my bed one time!
Because of this, I was so furious that I decided to end my AirBNB experience, and close it down. I renamed the title of the land, and the bio, and took away the AirBNB sign. What started as a kind gesture to help people who weren't able to be in Bellisseria turned into selfish acts by everyone. I was very clear in the rules, and I even said "I do not charge for this AirBNB, as it is RP only, but I do accept tips." But out of the dozens of people who had broken into my home, not a single linden was tipped. I mean that's fine and all, but I unofficially gave squatters a home for the night, you'd think I'd get a quarter or something, a Jolly Rancher even. But no. Because everyone took advantage of my nice gesture, its gone now, and I had to replace several no copy furniture items that became script errored. But hey, at least now I have a few more prims to use up since I no longer have to reserve a space for a guest's car.
Hop on over to Belliseria Happenings for a complete up to date list of events!