Ghost Town Screw Ups

This time I’ll warn you up front, the title is a deliberately ambiguous headline.

Ghost Town Welcome Sign

Ghost Town Welcome Sign

We have lots of interesting Second Life™ promotions stuff going on. Firestorm is asking for people to submit photos: Share your photos this weekend to promote Second Life. The photos will go in the Firestorm Gateway section of Flickr. Canary Beck is moderating the photo pool. It has 4,678 images as I write this.


I would like to see more images of the Firestorm regions in the image pool. The regions are actually very nice. I like trails through the woods. I love Porto Rico’s rain forests. Ghost Town is part of one of the Firestorm regions. While Ghost Town is not the most scenic of the regions, it captures the gloomy ghost town feel.

Ghost Town is an easy game. Not much brain damage figuring out clues. The hints are straight forward. Only a couple of small gotchas in the game and I think those were from so many people being in the region. This is Second Life, which is infamously known for lag. But, lag is WAY less than it was in 2008 when I could step on bullets in flight to climb over walls in combat areas like NoR.

I've No Camera

I’ve No Camera

There is an odd thing that happens with the ghosts. They aren’t just in your camera. They are REAL. O.O So, it isn’t just you seeing a ghost in your camera. Everyone sees the ghost, if someone with a camera is nearby. If two of you are carrying a camera the ghost appears and when one of you takes a picture the ghost is freed and vanishes… but if the other guy didn’t get his picture, the ghost is still gone. So, she has to wait for the guy with the picture to leave and the ghost to come back for her.

It is also easy to forget about the camera when you are switching in and out of the journal. Then, if you are by yourself and forget to wear the camera, you can’t see ghosts.

There is also a locked door that requires a key. I had problems figuring out how to use the key. Photograph your 20th ghost and put the camera away. I didn’t and I think that and lag was my problem. I am not sure how the game is designed. It may be that clicking the Key-button to use the key didn’t work while I was holding the camera because of lag. I expected it to put the camera away and equip the key. But, I had to manually put the camera away by opening the diary/journal then closing it. Then my key ‘equipped’ when clicked and I could open the door.

I also could not get the door open while others were in the room that hadn’t obtained all 20 photos. I think that is by design. But, it may also have been a lag issue. I went back later when no one was around and everything worked as I expected. I should have retried the Key-button…

I am assuming, and it appears MadPea is too, that there won’t be huge crowds of noobs running through Ghost Town. If so, I think this will be a far better experience for new users than how most of us were initiated.

Opening day 50+ avatars were in the region and in Ghost Town. That was too many. Later in the day when I was there only about 30 avatars were in the region. I think it was still too many… we were tripping over each other and confusing the ghosts. The ghosts seems to work better when just one person was around.

Looking at the map this morning there were only 11 people in the region.

It only took a couple of hours to make it through Ghost Town. I had 5 or 6 crashes and a bunch of restarts. I also spent some time talking with others and not hunting ghosts. I only cheated once to find the niece. If you look out the windows of empty rooms you won’t need my cheat. So, I am guessing a competitive and focused person could finish in way less than an hour.

If you leave and return later to finish, you may need to go back and get the game HUD. While it automatically detaches, the experience doesn’t seem to automatically attach a HUD when you enter, as some Linden games do once Experience Permission is granted.

PS: Later play suggests that if you leave the region gracefully, meaning you don’t crash out, the HUD detaches and then will automatically reattach on the next entry. I noticed I some times had go get the the HUD and other times it attached itself.

Also, Inara is right. Most viewers will handle the Ghost Town experience just fine. My screw up.  When I read the sign at the landing point and the MadPea web site I took ‘productions for Firestorm Viewer’ and ‘…Interactive & Immersive Ghost Hunt with prizes from top designers exclusively for Firestorm Viewer’ to mean just that, Ghost Town was exclusively for the Firestorm Viewer. I typically write ‘team’ when I’m referring to the Firestorm people or organization.

Once Ghosts Town opened  I went wearing a Linden Viewer. I landed, clicked the sign, ran around the region, but couldn’t get the experience pop up to pop. Relogging with Firestorm the Experience popped immediately. I screwed up thinking the viewer change was the cure.

I tried again with an alternate avatar and the Linden viewer works just fine. It was the ‘relog’ that solved the problem. How many of us have been there and jumped to the same conclusion?

I skim Inara’s blog at some point in my day. I skim and/or read a bunch of blogs. Somehow I had the idea Inara was more involved with Firestorm than she is. My screw up.  She says, ‘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 program, when eventually launched, for which I’m grateful to the Firestorm team.’

Jessica Lyon wrote longer comment clarifying what they are doing with their gateway and Ghost Town. See Jessica Ghost Town Comment.

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