As I scan through the posts in the Second Life™ blogosphere I find more and more articles are about places. The blogosphere is becoming a tour guide. It seems Second Life is fashion and tourism. Fashion makes money, tourism doesn’t.
Whatever the case, Inara has an article on Ghost Town. But, her story is not about tourism. Ghost Town is a training area in the Firestorm Team’s regions designed as a game by MadPea. The area opens today (12/19) at 14:00 SLT or 2 PM SLT/PST. They will have entertainment from various people/groups. They are expecting the 4 regions to handle about 200 people.
A few days ago I was writing about Canary Beck’s participation in Ghost Town as a marketing… I’ll say ‘strategist’ as I think that is most accurate.
If you plan to go, check your script weight and complexity rating. While being nude does reduce your complexity rating, that isn’t why the guys are suggesting you go nude. Applier clothes and system clothes, depending on the designer, add little to your complexity rating. The FS Team is unlikely to appreciate nudity, even if it is a classical noobie thing.
The region is about increasing player retention. If I remember correctly, Inara is helping in the design of the region. So, when she expresses the hopes for the region using ‘we’ it is not just as an SL user-we. I take it the ‘hopes’ the game will entertain and train new users are the team’s and Linden’s hopes.
The new users will be learning and earning prizes. MadPea games are fun. Blood Letters is the most recent I took time to play. It thought it a creative version of a Second Life hunt and enjoyed it on several levels.
Ghost Town will be a HUD driven game. (Instructions) It is here I have my first concern as it becomes obvious that the HUD and game are for those using ONLY the Firestorm viewer. But, that is not as bad as it first sounds. If you’re wondering how anyone thinks requiring a new player to download a second viewer is going to improve retention, I suspect it is because they won’t be getting a second viewer.
Remember. The Firestorm Gateway is the doorway for new players coming into Ghost Town. If I understand correctly they will see the Firestorm Viewer as the default viewer for them to download as their first viewer. As an existing SL user we won’t be traversing the same entry path, unless we deliberately exit and come in as a new player would. So, for many if not most of us Firestorm Viewer was our second viewer. I wonder how differently I would see Second Life if Firestorm were my ‘first’ viewer?
If you are wondering how to find the gateway, you can’t today, AFAIK. The Lab is building landing pages just for the Firestorm gateway. Those will become available for search engines to find. Once the pages soak into the engines people searching on specific terms will find those pages and land on the Firestorm gateway path. I think the Firestorm Team will build some of their own landing pages too. We’ll have to wait for those to show up.
Once we see those pages and learn what search terms they consider key we can help by placing links in blog articles that use those terms and link to the Linden and Firestorm pages.
Will It Work
We don’t know. But, by trying we learn. By persisting we will find what works. I have hope for the effort.
Once things calm down I’ll visit Ghost Town. I am interested in seeing how MadPea handles the training and game.
On a longer time frame I am interested in seeing how Linden Lab handles the marketing and search engines.
…oh… wondering about that conspiracy? It’s hype and spin for a headline about stopping SL from becoming a ghost town, not stopping Ghost Town. Join in. Obviously accuracy was not the goal.
Sadly the majority of the information posted here is not just inaccurate, it is almost entirely wrong. Not being a typer I will not be offering corrections. If you are interested in the truth feel free to contact me and I will be happy to give you the facts in voice.
In the interests of clarity, I should point out some things:
” If I remember correctly, Inara is helping in the design of the region. So, when she expresses the hopes for the region using ‘we’ it is not just as an SL user-we. I take it the ‘hopes’ the game will entertain and train new users are the team’s and Linden’s hopes.”
No, I am not directly involved in the Firestorm Gateway. I’ve merely been allowed access for the purposes of previewing as part of my wider coverage of the upcoming trail Gateway programme, when eventually launched, for which I’m grateful to the Firestorm team.
The use of “we” occurs in a quote from the MadPea team, and is stated as such. It is not representative of my involvement, thoughts or hopes.
“Ghost Town will be a HUD driven game. (Instructions) It is here I have my first concern as it becomes obvious that the HUD and game are for those using ONLY the Firestorm viewer. ”
Actually, AFAIK, this is incorrect. The HUD may have joint Firestorm / MadPea bradning, but it will work on any viewer – as all of MadPea’s game HUDs do. There is nothing specific to the Firestorm Viewer.
“f you are wondering how to find the gateway, you can’t today, AFAIK. The Lab is building landing pages just for the Firestorm gateway.”
Firestorm are actually working with Canary Beck to develop their own landing pages; the Lab is not directly involved in this work at all. Nor are they, so far as I’m aware, providing landing pages to any other groups or communities involved in the upcoming trial Gateway Programme.
A few corrections that need to be stated here.
Ghost town is an addition to the already fully functional and open community gateway
– The gateway regions are available to all users of SL new and old, and the gateway has been intentionally designed to NOT be specific to Firestorm. Neither the MadPea game NOR the regions are Firestorm targeted in anyway.
– The region builds were planned out and commissioned by us, not LL.
– We’ve not made any requests or prerequisites that users reduce their script load, though that is an etiquette everyone in the know should practice everywhere anyways.
– The goal of the gateway and our effort with it is to increase new user sign-ups and improve on new user retention.
– Inara is not involved in the gateway, unfortunately her time availability is limited.
– The overall design and intent with the gateway region builds was to provide interactivity for new users. The MadPea game is also an effort towards that. The Ghost Town game however only occupies about 1/8th of the overall gateway. The gateway is not a door way into the game. The game is another piece of the gateway.
– The gateway has been open since Halloween and is available for anyone to come look around and explore. It has been in the media/news/SL TV shows/SL Magazines for some time now.
– Landing pages are being designed and implemented by Canary Beck with the help of one of our developers for server side support. Canary is solely at the helm by way of marketing, advertising, SEO and all other aspects of marketing/advertising SL through our gateway efforts.
The extent that LL has helped with the gateways have been in. A/ Offering the opportunity to participate in the experimental gateway program returning. B/ Providing insightful information about what has worked and hasn’t worked for them historically with their own entry points. C/ Subsidizing the regions for us. Everything else has been at our own expense in both time and money.
We are very grateful to LL for providing us with this opportunity to prove that the community gateway program can be beneficial to LL and SL as a whole and we are very grateful that MadPea has partnered with us to help bring value to new users in our gateway.
Finally, I make it a priority to avail myself to bloggers, journalists or anyone who would like to clarify or confirm facts in any area where we are involved. Please feel free to contact me any time. Jessica.email@example.com or in world.
In response to Jessica’s comment…I am always available for questions about any MadPea related content, be it in conjunction with Firestorm, or MadPea game content. Kess Crystal in world or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Kess.
I appreciate the corrections that people have offered. I plan to do some correcting. I also hope that people notice how I read and understood the information being put out. I try to maintain a bit of an outsider perspective. I can take what is clear to the writer in ways never intended. More on that in a later article. No writer can anticipate how everyone will take what they write or write anything with a single unambiguous meaning.
I appreciate corrections, clarifications, and explanations.
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