I am often inspired by creators such as David Denny aka Darkness Papp (virtual name) who embrace Middle Earth and recreate it virtually for us. Giving the inhabitants such as Gandalf a place to shelter and venture.
We meet so many individuals virtually, never knowing whose path we might cross. I feel so extremely blessed to have met Mr. David Denny, to explore his worlds and read his writings which enriched my thoughts and inspired me. Thank you.
I wanted to speak to him and ask a few questions, that we could share with you.
MM What brought you to Opensim?
DD I got fed up of the extortionate price for sims in SL. I like to build, and build big, SL isn't the place for that unless you have the financial means. SL cramped my style too much.
MM Many come to opensim without their extensive inventories and starting out creating a grid is a huge undertaking, I really appreciate that you took the dive into opensim! What has been the biggest challenge for you?
DD I was very fortunate in that I had a very avid personal shopper who spent hours collecting stuff from all over, plus what I found myself. Inventory soon built up and, of course, I built stuff myself. Biggest challenge was scripts and animations - but they can be found. A huge issue is convincing SLers to take some time and visit OS worlds, they have such an ill-conceived perception of anything beyond SL - I have a group of over 7500 in SL, and only a handful made it here!
MM Please share with us the worlds you created in Second Life.
DD My main sim in SL was Lupe's Magic Forest, it was always successful as a naturist sim, I was sad to close it, but it cost too much relatively - I can run hundreds of sims here for the price I paid a month for Lupe's. Lupe's Magic Forest is now here in Open Sim too, four times the size. I could never have done that in SL. In the end it was a no brainer for someone who loves to create - Secondlife is no longer a creator's platform as far as I am concerned. I also had a pirate sim called Darkport, based on Gorean roleplay themes - in OS I was able to transform it into a huge 64 sim world. But it's empty at the moment as I don't have a lot of time to do stuff - but it's open and a great sailing world for the few moments I get spare.
MM Shirelands is your opensim grid that you are planning to become Legend of the Rings Quest style adventure. Please share with us what you are bringing to this project.
DD I have five regions at the moment, naturalistic sims, Hobbiton, Rivendell, Bree, Edoras, Mirkwood and Dol Guldor which are built to be immersive and support RP as well as Quests.
There will be more to take in the Quest journey. They are a mix of influences straight from the books and also the films, and some that come organically.
MM When will Shirelands be open to the public?
DD Shirelands is now open - the regions above are open for exploration. I am still working on the Quest, which is a search for the lost rings of the Nazgul - even though of little power, they are to be hunted down and destroyed - that's the jest of it, but it will evolve.
MM When you create your worlds do you utilize the 3D software programs? Where do you obtain the props?
DD No, I don't use any 3D software at all - I am not really immensely techy person, maybe it's a learning curve I need to leap onto at some point. My props are scavenged across OS and the hypergrid by my faithful gophers and myself - who go by many names! I also spend a great deal of time modifying existing stuff and tearing creations apart for some basic components to build new stuff.
MM Putting thought to paper sometimes is the most difficult conveying one’s thoughts. In creating virtual worlds we are blessed to have a virtual canvas in which to create, with unlimited prim allowances. What tips can you share with us that will help us to create the certain magic you create? Your worlds are phenomenal.
DD I always start with a core structure or building and build around that, it's all very organic after that initial start. There are exceptions like Hobbiton and, in fact most of the LOTRs stuff has maps and floor plans, which I used initially and then extemporized around! One big exception was Bag End - that is built to the Tolkien floor plan, but slightly oversized so we can get in and cam around. It's all there apart from the fire escape! Overall it's a very arty approach - light, vistas and detail built on a basic plan, then it all evolves, it's like sculpture, the muse invades you and it becomes almost dreamlike! And it is never truly finished!
MM Do you have a team that collaborates with you to achieve your vision or do you work solo?
DD I have a couple of folks who do a bit of scavenging now and then, makers of clothing, scripting etc. - Racci Storm helped a lot with her mesh clothing and a great mall she put together and is now at the Hub. Lately, Yavanna Kementari has brought some vehicles to life with her scripting and my personal shopper and long term virtual friend - Yasmina Mornignstar, who really made a lot possible faster than if I was left to find stuff on my own.
MM I see too that you have written Gothic Novels, with a large twist of steampunkery I love that. Please share with us about your steampunk adventures.
DD I began writing my Gothic Steampunk 'The Chronicles of Jonathon Postlethwaite' series 30 years ago, but life got in the way and constantly got shelved - until recently and now I finally edited it to a point it's worthy of self-publications. I have no idea where the characters or the world come from, but I have read so much over the years I guess it's an aggregation of all the
inspirating stuff I have read. I am half way into the second volume.
MM Will you build a steampunk world in opensim too?
DD I have a different plan for steampunk worlds in OS. I will bring the book here and build sets to film a machinima movie - but that's in a very embryonic stage, with much to learn to be able to make it happen. It's possible here though as opposed to Secondlife where costs would make it prohibitive.
MM Please share with us about your acting. When did you begin acting?
DD I have never had any big aspirations for acting - I have been a supporting artist and actor off and one for decades, but never got truly embroiled. But I do love the people in the industry, because i can relate to them in a very intimate way. For me it's just another form of escapism, and when done well a creative escape. It fits in with my creativity and writing and lately my eye has been on production.
MM Having peered inside your brain a bit, I am seeing such the creative genius, some people are born with it, is that your secret?
DD I am not sure really or that’s there is a secret or any genius. As a kid I was a fantasist to be sure, but not creative and spent most of my youth on the sports field. At school I did achieve reasonably well at Art - but had no real passion for it. I did read a massive amount of horror, fantasy novels to escape - but not sure what. I believe that for the early part of my life I took in inspiration and experience and filed it away. Things changed when I went to university. I did a degree in English literature and majored in philosophy - it was at this point I began to think - and create stuff, in the first instance poetry. University changed my life - I was in my late 20s when I went and the change in me as a person and the way I thought was substantial; I sometimes don't recognize my old pre-uni self. I churned out quite a bit. Life marriage and kids did stifle me a bit, I must admit - but kids grow up and partners move on - and the relative freedom and the internet finally released me to do stuff!
MM Please share with us what the future holds with all of your projects. Will you continue to act and write in real life or will you be focusing your time on your grid Shirelands?
DD My plans for Shirelands is to develop it as a roleplay grid and create Quest that can evolve. My acting has ground to nothing and my focus is more on writing and potential producing in a traditional was and with the novel in a virtual world with sets, and avatar actors in Open Sim worlds.
MM I downloaded your CV Winners, thank you. Please tell us about it.
DD I was a career and employment adviser for 20 years, another obsession with me is other folks lives and aspirations - what they dream and aspire to. CV winners is a short, step by step guide to
writing a CV or Resume. I decided to make the web version entirely free at www.cvwinners.com - I guess I was giving back to all the folks who I met over the years who fueled my creative passion with their stories and characters. Maybe!?
MM Please share with us about your screen writing project Atomic.
DD 'Atomic' brought together my creativity in the form of writing and acting into a screenplay project for a gritty urban drama set in the Uk in the 1908s, more can be seen at www.atomicfilm.co.uk where there is a concept trailer. It has elements of the auto-biographical, and inspired by the lives of some larger than life people I have met over the years. I am looking for funding to take it to the next level
MM What would you like to share with our readers that I perhaps, forgot to ask?
DD I think you have asked me some interesting questions, and hope the answers reveal a bit about me, it was very interesting to answer them. I think I learned a lot about myself as well.
A bit about Darkness Pap’s regions,
Shirelands is a collection of Lord of the Rings themed sims built for immersive roleplay. So you can walk in Middle Earth as a human, an elf, a Hobbit or Dwarf. Take part in Quests or rent a home and live your characters life in one of our current locations - Hobbiton, Bree and Buckland, Rivendell and South Mirkwood and Dul Guldor. Live your Dream!
Seas of Thassa is a 64 sim grid for Gorean Roleplay. Become a citizen of Darkport City (roleplay only no raids), a slave, island homesteader, or join one of the feuding pirate clans and sail the great seas of Thassa.
David provides access to a huge range of content, avatars, skins, Gorean clothing and more. We also offer free housing and support acquiring content - and there is an enormous amount in Open Sim.
Lupe’s Magic Forest has endured in Second Life for over a decade. Often lauded as one of the finest Naturist sims in Secondlife. Its success is due in part to the superb organic design by Darkness Papp and also the safe and friendly atmosphere retained by a no tolerance management approach.
Due to rising costs of Second Life the sim is now migrating to Open Sim on superior servers. As usual Lupe's magic Forest main sim is FREE to all and supported by a free mall with content and top mesh avatars.
Please take time to visit anytime,
Mari entered OpenSim in 2015 as a resident of a grid in Canada, called to manage their magazine as an Editor, thereby meeting her future partner Reyn Softly.