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Best of Halloween Host: Ivey Deschanel

Linden Lab


Designing Horror

Every October you start to feel that crisp chill in the air, feel the wind blow a little more strongly. The smells of apples, pine and damp are more pungent, and you start to anticipate Halloween. You want the spectres, the goblins, the undead and you know that creators in SL are hard at work building the stuff nightmares are made of.

The Flesh Game Promo Poster.jpg

I've had the horror of designing large Halloween builds and games in SL for the last five years, along with an amazing team of scripters, builders and gamers. With all that experience, I continue to learn more every year about what is possible in this amazingly adaptable place. In "The Flesh Game," we tried to terrify — and anyone can do it with your own builds, sounds and mood.

The build, of course, is the structure, the visual environment where you can use texture, color and space to create mood — even a sense of claustrophobia or a vastness of area that makes someone feel small or lost. It's possible to create corners or darkened places where someone is afraid to walk by lest a ghoul pounce from its hiding place. The coagulating pool of blood on the floor or backlit green-tinted wall is all it takes to make someone shudder.

Village of Nyght.jpg

Sounds are extremely important for elevating fear, such as a screech down a darkened hallway that makes you not want to take one more step, the wailing keen of children laughing or the slow creak of a door can build anticipation of the horrors to come. Walk through your haunted area and listen. What would make you shiver when you turn a corner? Perhaps the slow plodding sound thud of the boots of a killer would quicken your step.

Haunted Manor.jpg

Fear is a very strong emotion, and even more so, the anticipation of fear — the buildup going from safety into terror that can make you gasp. A shock can make you scream out loud — and coming back into the light, you take a huge breath, still feeling the thick steady pound in your chest and you're safe — but for how long?

Grim Bros.jpg


About the Author: Ivey Deschanel owns the alternative clothing store Sn@tch, as well as three sims with partner Roblem Hogarth. They hold an annual Interactive Halloween game, which this year is The Flesh Game. You can read her blog athttp://snatch-sl.blogspot.com.


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I didn't have room in my 400 word limit to list the locations where the pics were shot so I'll do it here!

In Order:

The Flesh Game http://slurl.com/secondlife/Pulse/214/58/29

Village of Nyght-Dunwitch http://slurl.com/secondlife/Dunwich/49/34/25

A Haunted Manor  http://slurl.com/secondlife/River%20Harbour/161/236/22

Grim Bros. Halloween Special http://slurl.com/secondlife/Clematis%20Island/226/225/280

I'm a little biased towards the Flesh Game LOL but all these locations are fun and scary spots to go with friends!

Also very excited about the Mad Peas "Peatonville Mystery" opening this weekend. See Kiana's write up here!

And ty so much Mia! I hope you come and play. :))

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Ivey, as a fellow Halloween Sim builder, imust ask.. do you find it difficult really creating the fear element in Second Life? Do you think a haunted house in a virtual world is harder to haunt than one in the real world? Discuss!

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It's hard sometimes, you have to put yourself into the mind of a person experiencing the place for the first time. I think of course its easier in SL cause I can build pretty much everything I want. I'm so lucky we have awesome scripters too. They make the impossible possible LOL. The hardest part I think is making an immersive experience that includes sounds, builds and effects well enough that people step into the character we want them to be in.

That was especially challenging creating a "SLASHER MOVIE" theme this year for the first time. It's really hard to build that feeling of being watched or stalked as you would being a character in a horror movie. I think we pulled it off as well as we could without having to actually HIRE real actors to have there 24/7 LOL maybe next year.

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