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Metaroom Showcase: The Biodome   Games   KittyTikara | 12/8/2014  log in to like post  1

A showcase by Nutter, telling us why the Biodome is a metaroom she regularly installs. Submitted for CCSF 2014

When KittyTikara asked for submissions, I thought about the metarooms I routinely install, those that seem to find their way into every world. One of these is the Biodome. It was released during the CCSF in 2011 along with an object pack, although it had been in production for nearly 10 years by that point! While not without its drawbacks, there are many features that keep me coming back to it.

1. It's big. Really big. In fact, it's the Aquatalis Caverna of non-aquatic metarooms, boasting 9 levels split into 12 different areas. Despite this, even the narrower levels don't feel cramped, with plenty of headroom even for geats.

2. It's customisable - so the lower biodome can, if you wish, be a haven for your aquatic or amphibious species, and makes it a good playground for the latter to interact with air-breathing creatures. The way the customisation of the rooms works is very neat - clicking on each room cycles through various available backgrounds, each of which has a matching environment, which is set when you lock the room. So, for example, the lower left room can be set to an arid, sandy area (hot, sand type), an underwater cave (cool, salt water type with air above) or a lava-filled cave (hot, outdoor floor type). With a bit of patience, you could make this entire metaroom a home for umpteen different types of norns. And it's not fixed; at any time, a room can be unlocked and reconfigured.

3. It's beautiful, and stunningly detailed. Great attention has been paid to soil and rock textures, as well as many different plant types. Some details appear to serve no "purpose" - like the upper level pond or the tiny but perfectly formed fern at the top left (no way in to either of them) or the strange horse norn statue - but it all adds a sense of life and place to the metaroom. The wide variety of plant types makes it a joy to use the Garden Box.

It requires a bit of extra work to set up the metaroom, but it's nowhere near as involved a task as, say, setting up Veridia. As is, the Biodome contains no agents - no food or toys. This is something of a benefit as (especially with the Garden Box) you can choose exactly what you do want; it's a great place to test seasonal movement. Most of the levels are normal soil, so you can experiment with setting up your own ecology as well.

The lifts can be a bit of a problem. The lower biodome has a 4-level lift with no call buttons - but, while it can be seen by norns, they can't use it, leading to some frustration. The top right room of the lower biodome is not connected to the room to its left, although you can set the same background; I tend just to install elevines and let the norns go where they wish, and this solves most movement problems. If there are a lot of norns in the metaroom there is a tendency for them to end up joyriding the lifts, although again, installing elevines tends to stop that. The last thing to remember is that there's no portal provided, so you'll need something like an elevine or torii to get creatures in and out.

All in all, the beauty and versatility of the metaroom keeps me installing it; however I want to set up or experiment with a world, the Biodome can accommodate it.


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