Saturday, May 2, 2015

Fantasy Faire: Vallacia sponsored by Epic Toys

Vallacia is sponsored by Epic Toys and was created by Mayah Parx. It contains 18 stores.

A floating market town, a bustling trade hub where denizens of the Fairelands come to trade for even the most obscure of items. Dark & weatherbeaten, all matter of constructions crisscross the waters to keep this hodgepodge of shacks,stalls and barges afloat. Magical mysteries abound in this haven for traders and thieves alike.

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I've not seen something like Vallacia in the Fairlands before - a build set on rickety piers of varying widths, stores held together with scraps of wood and showing bizarre lights in their upper windows, bits of cloth flapping despondently in the wind, and everywhere - boats. It was fiendishly difficult to photograph, all sharp inconvenient angles and offset windows with the odd ill-placed reflection to add insult to injury, Challenging to light, too; all odd shades of brown, red, and yellow stack atop each other like disjointed fragments of dreams somehow come into being. Even the smoke was eerie - plumes of purple and blue escaping the residence but little farther.

Vallacia 9

I found my solace in small places; in the minutia which really sets a sim apart. Windows show odd colors through thick panes of glass, and here and there stained glass beckons the attention. Now and then the pier arches upwards to let ships sail under it, the effect at once unsettling and fascinating. Walking up and over, I found myself entirely transfixed by the experience - it seemed at once realistic and utterly surreal. I fell in love with the mix of buildings - some tattered together bits of flotsam and jetsam while others were clearly refurbished gates or factories - and once even a crumbling castle ruin. By the time I was halfway through the sim I'd fallen into the drink more times than I could count!

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And then there are the boats - the boats! Like the buildings offer up a jumble of space, so do the boats offer spots for stores at the Fantasy Faire. One of my favorite effects was the enormous flat-bottomed boat built out with corrugated steel to make a floating store. Most are the distinctive style of Chinese ships, called Junks, with many horizontal slats called battens. Both sides of the sail is controlled by lines, which means that Junks are far more maneuverable than ships with European style sails. The distinctive shape caught my imagination - I'd never heard of Junks before I looked them up, inspired by this amazing sim. I also really appreciate how multicultural it is; in a Fairlands so often drawing from Europe, it is a lovely thing to turn left and end up in China!

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( More pictures here. )


Light Settings: TOR, SUNRISE Canyon dreams
Water Settings: Phototools, Chandra Sea

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping

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