Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Andrek Lowell's new Bentham Forest... will creep you out

Photographers are going to have a field day at Bentham. There simply isn't a Windlight preset that it doesn't look great in. It's those light rays...

This is one scary forest. I got so spooked at times, while walking around taking pics, that I could feel the little hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. In the interest of full disclosure, its creator, the hobbit Andrek Lowell, is a dear friend and also the creator of my own sim, Chakryn Forest.

The mushroom forest

"I hate this place," said Andrek, while we were standing in one particularly creepy area surrounded by glowing red eyes in the darkness. "It gets to me big time. Scared of my own creations... yeesh."

Andrek Lowell

A few weeks ago, Lauren Bentham commissioned Andrek to create Bentham Forest on a Homestead sim in Second Life®. She would later add several elements of her own, including the elder mushrooms, a shack and the lighted path to it, as well as sculptures by Pumpkin Tripsa and trees with eyes by lonetorus Habilis. Andrek included four of his super entertaining quests, as well as forest-appropriate gifts for visitors.

Dark passageway

What was your assignment?

Andrek Lowell: My assignment was to create a dark haunted forest. Her wording for it was a "dark version of Chakryn." My first reaction was, "eh..." mainly because Chakryn, light or dark, is still Chakryn, so I decided to go with a more themed version. I designed this project as a game for the mind. I tried my best to portray the feeling of unease, and dread, if not outright fear.

Did you spook yourself?

Andrek Lowell: Several times. I can barely stand going into a couple of the installations. I tweak and then port right the heck out.

The whole thing is 2,404 prims!

Andrek Lowell: About 400 - 600 of those aren't mine.

Did you do all in 3ds?

Andrek Lowell: All of this is done in Max yep, 'cept for the sounds. I did those using Audacity.

What is your favorite part?

Andrek Lowell: I particularly like the mushroom forest. I've been wanting to do something like that for a while. Other than that, I love the crystal caves. Um... there isn't much of this sim I don't like really.

Andrek Lowell standing in the crystal cave

How many quests are there? Are they difficult?

Andrek Lowell: I created four quests, using scripts by Desdemona Enfield. Two of them are pretty easy. Only one of them gives location hints. Hopefully they won't be as easy as Chakryn quests are. Two of the quests have three items to find, one has four items, and the last has five items. The quests feature items created by Lauren, as rewards for completion. I've also hidden five crates of goodies: small elements of the forest.

So, how much fun was this?

Andrek Lowell: It was hard to stop working, and I forgot to eat today, =).

The elder mushrooms - with the faces - are by the sim's owner, Lauren Bentham

What kind of forest would you like to make next?

Andrek Lowell: I want to make a new Chakryn Forest on Blue Mars, and also I've very much wanted to make mushrooms for a while. My hope is to one day create a hyper fantasy forest, where the rules of nature apply loosely, like they sorta do here: Giant things, odd things, lights that don't make sense but look neat, basically a fairy tale... large mushrooms, glittering trees, but with a warm, joyful, colorful setting.

Teleport to Bentham Forest directly from here.

See also:
How to view this forest: Do not count on seeing everything by camming or using your Space Navigator. Many smaller sculpties will not render. Turn up your sounds (not your music). The sounds alone are worth the trip! Look for the dark passageway, the crystal cave, the wicked red eyes...


Winter Jefferson said...

Ohhhh.... I can not wait till this is open! Amazing work.

HeadBurro Antfarm said...

Holy Sassafras! That is a work of evil genius! I must go!

*cough* Still never been to your forest either... bad burro!

Bettina Tizzy said...

It truly is amazing, Winter. Just posed the slurl, too. Get thee over there.

HBA! I'm tp'ing you to Chakryn next time I see you in-world. No ifs-ands-or-buts. K? :)

Skye Donardson said...

I actually didn't find it that me it was just...fantastic. But I've always enjoyed spooky, so it appealed to that aspect. :o)