(....continuation from part 4
On March 9th, 2004, an announcement was
made on the official Second Life forums. The Lab was going to offer
several regions with a double prim allowance, decorated with
Linden-created infrastructure. The notion was to provide an area that
would appear city-like, where people could build taller, denser
"Governor Linden has decreed that
a fine new city should rise in the West, and we're dedicating four
sims to the cause," said Haney Linden. "Building a dense
urban environment requires prims – lots of prims— so only half of
the city will be sold and plots will boast a double allotment. To
jump-start the urban planning process, the new city will come
pre-equipped with the infrastructure of a metropolis– streets,
sidewalks, alleys, bridges, canals, public transit, and boulevards
will all be provided."
To anyone in Bay City, this description
will sound somewhat familiar. Its not about our beloved City by the
Bay, however, but Nova Albion, the four region block of Sistiana,
Grignano, Miramare, and Barcola
The new land was in a prestigious
location, just east of the Nova Albion welcome area. This was
important in those days before point-to-point teleportation, as the
Welcome Area served as a major infohub and entry for new users.
|Original Infohub at Miramare|
Both Venice and Yamato Town (aka
Shangri-La) -- older projects similar to the previously discussed
Americana -- would also overlook this new city. Furthermore, the Luna
Oaks Galleria would be connected to the new city.
The latter inspired the second post
about Nova Albion posted by Xenon Linden, which included a quote from
master explorer Magellan Linden himself.
"During a recent excavation at the
Luna Oaks shopping mall I discovered evidence of a lost city beyond
the western edge of the known world," said Magellan, adding, "I
have followed the rumors and hearsay for quite some time trying to
verify the existence of the city, known from legend as Nova Albion.
Based on this new evidence I am now confident that the city does (or
did) exist, and that it may be quite close to the Luna Mall. I will
report back with any new findings as they surface."
|One of the snapshots originally
presented on the forums shows Xenon Linden - the primate avatar shown
- working on Nova Albion infrastructure.|
The design of the new city was largely
overseen by Xenon, who would also design the Heterocera Atoll
continent It was Xenon who is largely credited for bringing a sense
of contiguous style to the continents, after Sansara's more
A 24th of March, 2004 post on the
forums brought more details as the first pictures of the nascent city
were revealed, including an overhead shot showing the full city, as
well as pictures of the "restored" trolley system" of
the city. This is the trolley that still exists today, running
sporadically from the Galleria to the Welcome Area. Apparently,
"voltage irregularities" plagued the system from the very
beginning, leading to unusual behaviour in Second Life trolleys early
|This image shows the first view the
public saw of Nova Albion. It and several other snapshots can be seen
at the infohub in Miramare.|
The first auctions for land in Nova
Albion were also announced on the 24th. The first landowners in the
city were Xavier VonLenard, Surina Skallagrimson, Planet Mars, Drift
Monde, Catherine Cotton, Ezhar Fairlight, Nicola Escher, Surreal
Farber, Artimesia Twilight, and Chromal Brodsky. It would not be long
before Salazar Jack would also join Nova Albion, willing the parcels
where the Brownstone East and Brownstone West exist to this day.
The four regions of Nova Albion would
later be home to many of Second Life's best-known early residents,
including Cubey Terra, Khamon Fate, LisaHot Juran, Cybin Monde,
Caroline Apollo, Lordfly Digeridoo, Enjah Mysterio, and Osprey
Catherine Cotton was locally well known
for offering free apartments in the early days, while Khamaon Fate
was locally known for the library.
Nova Albion -- with its city theme, its
double prims, and its trolley -- laid the groundwork for Bay City,
but there was two more things that Nova Albion can claim to have
The community around Nova Albion, a
cooperative bunch that made up a group called the "City
Slickers," worked in part with Linden Land to help improve their
city. The City Slickers and their involvement in Nova Albion helped
inspire the creation of the Bay City Alliance
It was Salazar who would primarily
re-imagine the infohub for Nova Albion after Lordfly reached out to
Linden Lab to get the ball rolling. Initially, a floating "telehub"
platform in Miramare, Salazar would create a mock up of what would
eventually become the hub in early 2006. This mock up became the hub
central to Nova Albion today.
Quite a few of the original Nova Albion
Xenon artefacts, on loan to the City Slickers group, are on display
in the Barcola section (northwest) of the Miramare Infohub. These
include the aforementioned Polaroid pictures (two of which are
included in this article), an original Nova Albion Trolley System Map
scrap, and ruins of old Nova Albion that survived and were found by
Magellan and crew.
Lordfly initially designed the bridge
that spans the main street through Nova Albion -- now part of Route
66, and Salazar who designed the bridge supports and brick motif.
Lordfly also built the large arch in
Grignano, another long-time build in the city. He sold the arch to
The Brownstone Building Association when they purchased his land in
southern Grignano, and the original arch itself was included in the
land sale. The arch's prims today show his creator status.
As an aside, it is beneath Lordfly's
arch that Salazar, now, is forming a historic "Arch"
|A notable Nova Albion 2nd Anniversary
in 2006 included many Linden guests; the likes of Magellan, Philip,
Catherine, Robin, Bub, etc. You can "just" make out names
in this photo: Another photo can be seen at:
http://snapzilla.net/image/view/59695/. This photo provided by
There has been some prim drift over the
years, most notably some of the Linden infrastructure was either
left, or became, editable by anyone, resulting in sections of prims
that were moved or are now missing. An example, missing canal walls
between the two Brownstone buildings in Grignano.
A big change for Nova Albion occurred
when the southern sea route opened up with the void south of Grignano
filled in with the Luna East region, the relocated sandbox regions
and the water route connecting to Abbotts and points east.
There's still the matter of a second
thing that Nova Albion inspired: tucked into the infohub is a
graffiti message that reads, "Beware the Mole People
more sinister sign can be found elsewhere in Nova Albion, in a hidden
and long-forgotten spot in the old city, in a pair of locations that,
for safety's sake, we shall not disclose.
|A mysterious message hidden in Nova
Albion. That mole doesn't seem quite like the cuddly LDPW type to me.|
it was this that helped shape the
future Linden Department of Public Works, aka the Moles. Their first
big project? Bay City.
Next time, a look at the "infinite
Note: Marianne McCann would like to
thank Salazar Jack for his assistance on this particular piece,
filling in many gaps into the history of Nova Albion.
Reporter Historian Marianne McCann