Saturday, 6 March 2010

A Tourist's Guide to Blue Mars - Part 1: New Venice

So, you have arrived in Blue Mars, you have checked out the Welcome Area, met some people there, and now you are ready to do some serious exploring, but where to first? My favourite City in Blue Mars is New Venice, or Venezia (they made an announcement a few months ago that the name was changed from New Venice to Venezia, but I have seen no evidence of the name change elsewhere as yet). I would recommend going here first.

Places Browser
To get up the Places Browser you can either login to Blue Mars, and you will arrive there immediately, or if you are already inside Blue Mars just click the House icon on the toolbar.

Places Browser
Select New Venice, and then click the Download text in the top-right of the browser. Once it has finished downloading click Refresh to add it to the browser. To visit, just click its image, and then Go.

Arriving in New Venice
On arrival in New Venice you will be in a lovely garden. Behind you is a small gazebo, but don't go inside, as this is a teleporter to the Condo (more on that later).

Arrival Point in New Venice

From here get onto the path, and move away from the gazebo, at the far end of the garden is an archway, and this is the exit point. As you pass under the arch you will see some information terminals.

Arrival Area Gardens

Information Terminal (News and Maps)
If you click on the activation orb (and you will see these all over New Venice) the map will open for you.


As you click a portion of the map, then hover your mouse over the selected portion of the map, it reveals places of interest to visit.

Circular Garden
For the time being, I just left this area, and continued out and was faced by a huge circular garden. I could hear soft music at this point. These gardens in New Venice are spectacular and lush. You may have also seen small spherical bots flying about. These have no function, as yet.

Inside the Circular Garden (bot and butterfly in foreground)

Teleporting in New Venice
One of the nice functions that the creators of New Venice (VSE) have included, is the ability to teleport anywhere inside the City. This is really useful, as at 4km x 4km, New Venice is one of the larger Cities, and 16sq Km is approximately the size of 256 SL regions, so is more like a mini-continent than a City. Another useful feature, is that it is not actually you that teleports, it is your camera, so you can have a look around a destination before deciding to teleport there in person (by pressing 'Q' on your keyboard).

To teleport ensure that the main Blue Mars window has the focus (not the chat window) by clicking on the top blue title bar. Now press F3 and the teleport menu will apppear.

Teleport Menu (Click blue Title Bar at top of window, then press F3)

The teleport menu gives you a choice of 9 destinations, by pressing any of the numbers 1-9 on your numeric keypad to the right of your keyboard (NOT the numbers 1-9 at the top of your keyboard).

Teleport Destination #1
This is the RC Boat Racing venue. Currently the racing is not activated, but it is still a great area to explore. The croquet greens are nearby.

RC Boat Racing Arena

Corresponding Place on the Map

Teleport Destination #2
This is the Bocce Ball Court destination. Again, not functional at present, but well worth the visit.

Bocce Court

Bocce Ball Court on the Map (the large grey circle on the bottom island)

Teleport Destination #3
This will take you to the Sail Boats. These do work, after a fashion :)

Don't blame me for what happens though. Taking a scuba kit with you might be advisable!

Sailboats (that broken bot needs fixing!)
As is normal in New Venice, use the activation orbs to use them

Teleport Destination #4
This destination just takes you back to the orginal landing point. Useful to get you to the Condo.

Teleport Destination #5
Now I am not sure about this destination. It is actually a little circular garden with an old knarled tree in the middle. However, there is an activation orb, and when clicked the entire garden become an elevator, and delivers you (sometimes) to a lower level, as these two pics show.

Garden Elevator (upper level)

Garden Elevator (lower level)

Be careful on this thing! The script is not perfect, and on one occasion I ended up in orbit over New Venice. Here is the proof!

Unintentional Orbit Mode

Teleport Destination #6
A regular destination this time. At this location are water taxis, a telescope (with a game inside), and stairs leading up to The Floating House.

Telescopes (each has a find objects game inside)

This destination is just above the Boat Taxi 4 location on the Map:

Boat Taxi Stop 4 (that square corner near the top-right of the island)

Clicking on the telescope brings up a menu which allows you to use the telescope in the regular way, or to search for objects for points.

Telescope Menu

Find Objects Game

Teleport Destination #7
This takes you to halfway up the staircase to The Floating House

The Midway Point up to The Floating House
There is a regular elevator ( to take you back down to the lower level only), and a staircase to take you up to The Floating House. Take these stairs!

When you get to the top of the stairs the beautiful Floating House, with its majestic waterfall is before you.

The Floating House

Entrance to The Floating House

Carry on through the archway, and straight ahea to the back of the house. There is a curious activation orb here. Click it, and stand back and wait to be amazed!

The Flying Elevator

The orb calls the amazing Flying Elevator. A gazebo-like device that flies you back down to the lower level near to the water taxi area. An incredible ride (but again, is temperamental, so you could end up anywahere!).

Teleport Destination #8
This is an odd one. Mostly it does not work, but on one occasion I was sent into orbit again, only even higher this time. Sometimes I have arived at the activation orb for the Flying Elevator.

The Chat Speaks for itself!

Teleport Destination #9
Back to earth again (or back to Mariner Firma), and this is Boat Taxi Stop 4, below Teleport Destination #6.

Flying in New Venice
You can fly in New Venice! Or at least the sensation of flying (actually it is your camera that flies). To do this, press F3 again to bring up the teleport menu, but do NOT press any number. Instead, aim your camera upwards by holding down the right mouse button and dragging the mouse to tilt the camera upwards, then press your Up Arrow.

When your camera arrives at a location you like, just press 'Q' on your keyboard and you will teleport to that destination instantly.

The sample Condo in New Venice is gorgeous! To get there you can use the Teleport Travel Gazebos in either the arrival garden (Teleport Destination #4) or the other beside The Floating House.

Condo Interior

There are TV screens inside the Condo, music, and a hidden teleporter that will take you to a bar! Walk to the circular door and it will open magically, leading the way to a patio area with spectacular views.

Condo Exterior

Other Oddities
One other strange thing I found, was if I pressed the number 1 on my numeric keypad, without having the teleport menu up. It spawned a blue sphere, that only I could see. Continued pressing spawned more, and they do not seem to do much except jump up and down at times.

Strange Blue Spheres

I was able to stack some vertically, before they fell and bounced around. These spheres are one of several mysteries in New Venice. I will leave you to find the rest.