Friday, 28 June 2013

Seeking Hazardous Adventures

Norman Avedon has been niggling at me to visit Hazardous for a few months! I’ve put it off time and again because I wanted to commit all my spare time to completing ‘mere reflections of her’. With that machinima now released, I teleported over to the region for a gander.
The landing point at Hazardous looks fabulous and has an unusual, fun and quirky method of getting you down to ground level. I’ve deliberately not taken any photographs of this area so as not to spoil the surprise. But I’d recommend tp’ing to the landing point yourself rather than having someone teleport you directly onto the island.
On finally landing at ground level, you find yourself amidst the small (presumably Australian) rural outback community featured in the photos in this blog-post and on the flickr page devoted to the island.
Everything on the island is detailed and picturesque. It is ripe for a machinima to be made there and I can easily see myself returning to film scenes.
I especially liked the mountain gorge and cliffs. I would say however, that on my first visit they did not rez in my viewer until I right-clicked to make them pop into place. I am happy to report that when I returned on the new Firestorm version (4.4.1 (33164)) I saw them straight away.

One of the more remarkable things about Hazardous is that so many people are there at once – taking photos, dancing, chatting, parachuting, whatever – between 10 and 18 at a time, with people coming and going constantly. I experienced no lag at all and didn’t drop below 50 fps even at 288m draw distance with ‘Advanced Lighting Model’ and ‘Ambient Occlusion’ on. As I say, ripe for machinima.
There is something very attractive about this region. In many ways it reminds me of our own home island. They are both homesteads being used to the fullest extent – lovingly landscaped and decorated to describe the small rural communities they serve. Whereas Hazardous is a decaying outback community, our home region is more a lush farming community in the Hebrides, say; whereas Hazardous is open to the public, our home region is private to the group of eight artists who live there. But these are only surface differences – the *feel* is extremely similar, and so is the awareness of the labour of love that went into creating it.
   Mandingo Quan (Dingo), the owner of Hazardous, has done a fine job of creating a popular, scenic and charming place. I really do recommend a visit. Incidentally, Hazardous also wins this month’s ‘Telegraph Pole of the Month’ contest (picture to come soon), so congrats are in order there too!
Pixie xx

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