Several days ago, this blog covered the enchanting sim Fall Trace (read here). Its chillier companion, Winter Trace, also recently opened its doors and is not to be missed. Co-created by Kylie Jaxxon and Elvira Kytori, with contributions from Gnaaah Xeltentat, the region beautifully captures the essence of winter in a pastoral valley setting enwrapped by steep snow-covered mountains. "It's mainly from Kylie's vision," explained Elvira. "We both worked on it, and Gnaaah helped with decorations in some of the houses."
If there's a standout feature in Winter Trace, it's the dazzling sheet of ice that covers the sim: the water has frozen over, providing a firm if slippery walkway between the low-lying areas of land. On high settings in particular, with advanced lighting model on and water set to reflect everything, the gorgeous result is unlike anything that's previously been seen in Second Life. "Yes, that is Kylie's work — she fiddled with it a week. I was so excited when I saw it the first time," shared Elvira. Kylie added, "I'm kind of thrilled with how it turned out, although people keep asking me, and I don't have an answer ... I just started out with a water setting and fiddled around with it for days."
Visitors arrive at the smaller of two windmills (top image) that anchor the northern side of the sim, and where landmarks are available to Summer Trace (read here) and Fall Trace. From there, one ventures out onto the ice and through the occasional snow flurry to discover a quaint and charmingly decorated house, a farmer's market (clearly closed for the season), the second windmill, a barn (second image), some ruins, a beautifully arched bridge (image below), woodland settings, and many smaller elements such as wildlife and fishing boats. The views are superb, and photographers will find opportunities from almost any angle.
Plenty of places are available for solo explorers and couples to sit and relax. Use of the region windlight setting is highly encouraged, and it's important to have local sounds turned up to hear waterfowl, the howling wind, the creaking of the windmills, and other elements that lend authenticity. Winter Trace, which will remain open for the better part of a year, is certainly destined to become one of the most visited sims on the grid. If you enjoy your stay, please consider leaving a contribution toward its support.