Friday, December 2, 2016

Horizons - Retro Futurism Comes To The Mainland

A great deal has already been written about the brand new Horizons sims and related experiences (including the official introduction by the Lab here), but since they are technically a part of the Mainland, I couldn't just ignore them here, now could I? Of course not! So, what exactly is Horizons? Teaser billboards featuring the image below starting popping up in Bay City and other places a few months back, and our resident Lindens and Moles were all busy with some reportedly huge, super-sekrit project. Well, that project turned out to be huge indeed — a new planned community comprised of thirty-six (!) residential sims surrounding a six-sim adventure experience.

Located just north of the continent of Zindra, all Horizons sims are adult-rated with a double-prim allowance. The residential areas are split into 1024 square meter parcels with a unique feature — they come with a "mailbox" controller which allows the owner to rez one of six houses (see examples pictured below — all of which reminded me, in a good way, of "The Jetsons"), and these houses do NOT count against your land's prim allowance! In addition, the homes come with "resource packs" containing items you can use in your house and on your land. Similar to what happened when Bay City was introduced, Horizons parcels began to be auctioned off by the Lab in mid-November. When you visit the residential sims today, you'll find a mix of parcels up for auction and parcels for sale by owner. In addition to the private parcels, two large community centers and four infohubs provide areas for residents to socialize, learn about how to buy land or use the mailbox controllers, or allow them to enter the other part of Horizons, the experience area. If you are curious about the residential areas, you can start your explorations at the community center at Themis, located here.

The Horizons Experience is literally central to this new venture. The residential sims completely surround the six experience sims, the entrance of which can be seen below. One can choose to enter as a player or as an observer, although the same dangers apply to both. If you choose to "play" the experience, you will receive a HUD at the entrance which will guide you through five quests and a variety of terrains. You can return to the entrance to claim any prizes you've gathered along the way. Each quest must be completed before you can progress on to the next.

The first region in the Horizons experience is pictured below. As a Wild West landscape populated by robots, I can't help but be reminded of HBO's incredibly popular current series, Westworld, but at least in Horizons you can distinguish the robots from the avatars! Whether you choose to enjoy the gaming aspect of the experience, or you decide to become a "homesteader" and help to start the new Horizons community as a resident, or if you just want to visit to enjoy the gorgeous handiwork of the LDPW moles, I'm sure you'll find, like I did, that Horizons is a true treasure and a welcome addition to the wild frontier that is Second Life Mainland.

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