Who says Linden Lab (LL) can't keep a secret?? They dropped a very nice surprise on the Bellisseria community on Thursday, October 26th – and as far as I can tell, people did not know about it in advance.
The secret is this: four new house styles for Fantasy Home – all Tree Houses.
Everyone I talked to was both surprised and delighted. I guess the Lab had been listening to people’s feedback on the forums and in Linden-resident meetings. Many people loved the fantasy community landscaping but found the houses to be too big to furnish nicely. People complained that there wasn’t enough yard space to landscape the way they wanted to. So the fantasy regions were not filling up as expected, and LL began a top-secret project.
They released two basic models of tree house: Pixie and Fairy. Both are located high up in a tree and can be accessed by climbing a rope to the house’s deck. The animation for that is very cute, and if you don't want to get your own fantasy home, you can try it at BelliDemo. If the treehouse is not already rezzed, just click the controller and select one of the following: Pixiespell, Pixiebrooke, Fairyspell or Fairybrooke.
For this article I am going to treat the walled and no-walls versions as the “same” model, and talk about the features of both: The Pixie and the Fairy. But to clarify, if the name ends in “brooke” the model has walls and if it ends in “spell” it has no walls. Pixiebrooke and Fairybrooke have interior doors and walls, and Pixiespell and Fairyspell do not.
So let us talk about the Pixie model first. It is the smaller of the two. It has a front deck with steps leading up to a tiny porch. It has a main room and two side rooms. One room is tiny like a bathroom and the other room rectangular and would work well as a bedroom or kitchen. (If you have the wall-less model, that rectangular room is simply an extension of the large main room.) The room shapes and sizes are RL realistic, and delightful to work with. This model is easy to furnish/decorate.
The Pixie tree branches have leaf clusters on both front corners of the deck. This gives a bit of privacy, but it tends to block some of the view from the deck. That is either a plus or a minus, depending on what is built in front of your place. If it is stunning landscaping, the leaf clusters are a minus; but if you are just facing another house, they are a plus.
The Fairy model is larger and more fantasy-like. The tree trunk runs right through the middle of the main room and there is a spiral staircase that wraps around it up to a loft. And, if you have the walled version, there is a large bookcase built into one wall. The interior of the Fairy model is bigger than the Pixie, but you need more space because the tree trunk takes up room inside the house. Most important – there is a back door leading outside to a small balcony.
The Fairy tree leaf clusters are arranged in a manner that maximises your view and minimises your privacy. There are no leaves blocking the front deck, and only a small cluster blocking one short side of the balcony. You do not get much privacy, but if you have a view of a lake or stream or park, this model lets you enjoy it from your house.
Now let’s talk about the yard. At ground level, you have only one large tree trunk in the more or less centre of the parcel. That leaves a lot of room to landscape. In fact, you will need to be very mindful of Land Impact (LI) when you decorate. You will need to decide how much of your LI allowance to put into the yard and how much into furnishing the interior. The house is smaller and easier to furnish. But the yard is bigger and you may be tempted to use more LI for landscaping. Decide which is more important to you and decorate that part first. Then use the leftover LI allowance to decorate the rest.
The release caused immediate excitement. A lot of people grabbed fantasy homes and talked about it in assorted group chats. All the chatter I saw was positive. For example, Indigothorn said, “I love all the room on the ground, and I like that the houses are small.” Hilly Souther said, “I love my treehouse!” and Ladyfi Marques said “The house itself is delightful – I love the spiral stairs. And the fact that it has huge space on the ground is a big plus to me.”
This writer has to agree with them – the new tree houses are fantastic. I have written an article on how to decorate them over at Parade of Homes Review, if you are interested.
Article & Photograph by Teresa Firelight
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