Friday, October 7, 2011

Harry Potter-ish theme arrives to YoVille for Halloween

Please note: You can click on all photos to see them larger and all the text in orange goes to websites if you click on them too.

Riffy acquired a new house in YoVille yesterday and it's her sixth house. It's based on The Harry Potter theme which makes it truly fascinating!!
I always look on a real map and try to figure out where it would actually be if one were to visit it which leads to learning about regions. Let's just call it a self-imposed geography lesson. 

What I imagine Riffy's Castle to look like in real life
(This is the Dunnotarr Castle):

What Riffy's Castle looks like in YoVille:

So as a result, I found the real castle in the U.K. which had some of the scenes from the Harry Potter movie filmed in it, the Alnwick Castle. Naturally my first impulse was to have it near there. Then I came across some info on J.K. Rowling and I discovered where she lives and I thought, "Well maybe she'd make a nice neighbor, certainly we'd have lots to chat about over tea". This map shows where she is in relationship to the Harry Potter Castle: Aberfeldy, Scotland > Alnwick, England. (Note: I read she has at least 3 residences.) 

Route from J.K. Rowling's house (A) to Harry Potter Castle (B)

If you don't know how inspirational and great J.K. Rowling truly is, set aside time to watch this invigorating and must-watch speech she gave to Harvard after you finish my blog:

As I searched the map of Scotland I remembered how much I love Islands and came across a place called the Isle of Skye (link goes to Webcam).

I had finally found the perfect spot for "Il Isola Vampyrihide"!! (Pronounced Vamp-peer-ri-hide)

The purple area is the Isle of Skye, the red dot is her house location

It has a view of two castles, Castle Eilean Donan, and Castle MoalEilean Ban (also known as White Island, a nature haven), the Eilean Ban Lighthouse and the Skye Bridge, and Bass Island where royalty have been known to go:

Bass Island (also known as Bass Rock) seems to attract the
 animal spirit of the Seagull who is known as a symbol
of purity and the anima of Angels

Whew! It's also a quick ferry ride to Outer Hebrides, more islands, and a very desirable part of the Highlands. If you still need another perk, Riffy's Castle is under two hours from the fabled Loch Ness Monster, surely your out-of-country friends will come visit for that! 

The real Loch Ness Monster?

Riffy's houses all have unique well thought-out names:

Trieste, Italy
Castello di Rigio

Paris, France
Petite Maison Riffi

Kauai, Hawaii (she co-owns this house with Gio)
Hutikihi Kaua'i 

Athens, Greece

Bahamas, Caribbean
Rifflantis Paradise Island

Scotland, UK 
Il Isola Vampyrihide (Island of Hiding Vampires)

Some of Riffy's houses and rooms have stories in them. When you first arrive to Riffy's Castle you see the legs of a dead witch (what a shame), much like in the Wizard Of Oz. But what happened?

Apparently Riffy's Castle has some history of being a school for Witches and Wizards, but now it is privately owned by a Vampiress, Fangxious (Riffy). So sometimes she has to defend what is rightfully hers. That is how she acquired her broom, but it comes in handy for flying into her house when it's too much of a hassle to turn into a bat.

I am really taking you inside the mind of an artist today, with this next element. Inside she has a tattoo parlour, which is a Limited Edition YoVille Collectible. Their animations are really incredible and you can actually tattoo! Here's what I mean:

Vampiress Fangxious tattooing a questionably willing neighbor.

I had the brainstorm idea to use the tattoo as a theme for her Castle, that is why she tattoos everyone who comes by with it. So here is the screenshot I started with:

 Next I had to clean it up and redraw it because the quality was too poor to use:

Then I had to straighten it and duplicate the other side to match and Voila--I have recreated his head tattoo into usuable art:

Then I reversed it and made the background black and the logo white. Then I started playing around with it, adding dimension and color. I worked in a vampire bat and added the name of her Castle turning the whole thing into a logo:

See the final logo as a welcoming sign at Riffy's Castle entrance:

Sorry about that witch, Wendy! 
Hope she wasn't a relative!

Since the sign is very small, I chose that font primarily because it is fairly easy to read in a small size. Now that's how you do YoVille--use their items creatively to tell your own story with your own characters. (See more of my characters HERE)

Why do I do this kind of thing? Because I love to travel and I love maps. Visualizing what you want is always the first step to creating what you want in your present day reality. You must know what you want before you can get it, are we clear on that? Now who's ready to fly to England and Scotland after reading this? I am! (Airplane, broom or as a bat, your choice.)

Please note: Sandra Riffero is available for hire as a freelance designer, shoot her an email with your questions at

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