Interview by Dagmar Haiku
Kayle Matzerath is one of the owners of Garden of Dreams. His wonderful sims, full of plants, interactive scenes and hidden spots, have become must experience destinations for Second Lifers both old and new. He is also the creator of the Dream Scenes portable hideaways which do not only have an amazing design but are also scripted in a way which makes them easy to use and to enjoy.
This year Kayle joins the Fantasy Faire team of world builders. He is responsible for designing the Shifting Sands, a desert sim inspired by the question “what might happen if the Hourglass holding the Sands of Time cracked?”.
1. This is the first time that you are designing a sim for the Fantasy Faire. How did you get in contact with the organizers?
First attempts are always the most exciting ones and this project seems to do exactly what it says on the tin! I think my Relay for Life 2011 designer sim had a great impact on the organizers decision to contact me, but I´m friends with Ember Farina since some time now and even before I started supporting the American Cancer Society. I think she knows that I love fantasy settings and that I could not stay away from that offer. Actually I have no idea what really happened, but I´m glad you guys contacted me, I would have applied anyway.
2. Shifting Sands is a great name. Do you already have an idea how the sim will look like? Is there a book or film which inspired your design?
I got several pictures in my head that I really would love to see on the sim. The overall desert theme might be obvious but I can´t build sims without huge structures. So as usual expect some epic sized buildings and lots of sand! Since the Shifting Sands got created by the great hourglass breaking and releasing oodles of sand, you should be able to see the hourglass in the far distance while its still losing lots of sand.
Some may think that the whole theme sounds very similar to the Prince of Persia movie, but this is not the case. I think I just borrowed some names. I mostly got inspired by pictures and the woodchip wallpaper next to my bed, you never know what you´ll see next on it.
3. The Dream Scenes you build are very versatile. What inspires your builds in general? Is it sometimes difficult to identify new themes?
Oh it’s never difficult. It´s more the opposite way around. I got a list with around 200 ideas that I collected from friends, customers and myself.
There is nothing in the world that you couldn’t create in Second Life so add all the things that exist and all the things that are not possible in the real world and add them in one pool. I could continue for a thousand years! So the inspiration for the Dream Scenes can come from absolutely everything I see and feel… well and some nice music always helps!
4. Do you remember how you got into Second Life and how you started building?
Oh I do, like it was yesterday. I was always a fan of RPG´s and it was the time where MMORPGs were gaining ground. Since I already played all of them, I consulted a list that had all existing MMORPGs listed, sorted by its rating. I knew the top 10, so I decided to have some fun time in the worst rated entry at the bottom of the list. Luckily that was Second Life (definitely underrated, even at that time).
I started building after like two days. I had no money at all and wasn´t going to spend any either, so I just made myself an Anubis Avatar by using pitch black untextured prims. I purchased my first land 4 weeks later and created the biggest building that I did till today. After I saw how well that worked out, I decided to never leave again.
5. When did you and Kristina, the co-owner of Garden of Dreams meet? How did you become the Garden of Dreams Builder?
I met Kristina in my first days. She was one of the Dreamland Angels who were managing and selling Anshe Chung´s sims. She always had a big heart for noobs and I was not the worst one to hang around with. Dreamland offered free land for Newbies to build on which I happily accepted. I only spent a week on there until I needed more room for much bigger things and so Kristina sold me my first land. In the next 2 years we had a lot of fun, I was not even thinking of selling things in sl until sculpties were released. After I successfully filled a sim that a friend gave to me with 13.000 sculpties, I decided to put like 20 of these into shop and called it Paint it Black. Kristina watched me with interest and once I lost the sim and put my stuff in a way smaller store, she asked me if I could do all of that in big if she offers a sim to build on. It got big
6. What do you feel when seeing items you built on other sims? Do people sometimes invite you to see how they created their own world with the help of your creations?
This is the most awesome thing I experienced in my years in Second Life. You must know that I almost never leave my sim. Since years I´m seeing nothing else than my working platform. I so have no idea how many people actually put things down that they bought in my store. Since we started selling mod versions of the Dream Scenes, there has been great feedback from all over SL. Once a week there is someone who shows me what he build with parts out of the scenes and they do a most awesome job in that. I couldn´t be happier to see how someone took a scene apart and made a whole sim out of that!
7. What triggered your interest for Fantasy? Are there any books which really draw you to this theme?
This goes way back into my childhood. My father is a huge fan of fantasyish music like Loreena McKennitt and Blackmores Night. When I was a child sitting in the back of the car he always listened to it and I started loving it too. With the music came the imagination. I was never really fan of books, but I grew up with fantasy RPGs on the pc and movies. I decided to become a game designer to make fantasy games and when I realized that they would not let me do that, I quit that job and do whatever I want in Second Life which is mostly fantasy stuff.
8. Fantasy Faire is an excellent way to educate and inform people about RFL. What would you like to see people take away from the Fantasy Faire? And why do you relay?
I would love people to take away that Relay in Second Life does have an impact on the overall cause. What you guys and all the other Relay organizers established here, is as serious as it can get and really helps. I´m thankful that I don´t have a personal story that draws me into Relay, so it’s the simplest answer of them all. I just want to help.
9. Is there something you would like to add?
Yes, a few million dollars to the fund raising! But I can´t do that alone, so put on some walking shoes and grab enough water, it´s going to be long journey through the world we created for you!
Thank you Kayle for joining us this year! To see more of Kayle’s work, visit Garden of Dreams.