Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Using the Sim-wide Teleporters

All major locations at New Desperation Isle are accessible via our teleporter system. (In fact, some locations are only accessible by teleporter.) New visitors are sometimes confused by the teleporters, so here are some quick usage tips:

1. Touch the teleporter base.
Just touch (left-click) a teleporter base to bring up a menu.

2. Select your destination.
The menu displays a numbered list of all possible destinations. You might have to scroll down in the menu to see all of the destinations. Click the number associated to your desired destination to rez a teleport beam.

3. Touch or sit on the teleport beam.
We have modified our teleporters so that you can just touch (left-click) the blue beam to travel to your destination. Alternatively, you can right-click the beam and pick Transport on the pie menu to do the same thing.

Other teleporters
Some places, such as the Mall and the Castle, have their own simplified teleporter systems. Just touch the labeled buttons to move to your chosen location. The Treehouse and the Goliath Tree have simple systems where you right-click the teleporter, and then pick a teleport option from the pie menu.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Update on the New Desperation Isle Mall

Thanks to those of you who toured and voted on the mall prototype designs this weekend. Voting for the survey is now closed, and here are the results:
  • Model 1: The Square 47.4% (9 votes)
  • Model 2: The Big Circle 31.6% (6 votes)
  • Model 3: The Little Circle 21.1% (4 votes)
The Square is the second-most compact prototype mall I built in the past couple of weeks, and I believe it is small enough to actually fit on the island where the current mall resides. This slightly changes my plans a bit.
  1. Beginning on Monday, the 17th, I will be return vendor items from the current mall so I can tear down the mall and replace it with the new one. You are free to pick up your things before-hand if you like. (It ill make my life easier if you do.)
  2. I will decorate the mall a bit, and place any teleporters or signs so that you know where things are going to be and aren't surprised by new additions upon later trips to the mall. I'm also decorating a sort of welcome area in the castle. This is where many of the signs currently at my welcome area will go, so they're not blocking the view of stalls in the mall.
  3. Once the mall is in place I will personally invite my long-time tenants to take their pick of spots
  4. Next I will send out a group notice to the rest of my vendors.
  5. If there are any spots left, I will contact vendors currently on my waiting list.
  6. After you claim your stall I will apply any rent that you had remaining on your old rent box to your new box, and give you a free week of rent on top of that. (I have not been charging any rent the past 2 weeks and I know exactly how much rent every tenant had remaining on their boxes.)
  7. Once the mall's sufficiently populated, I will send out an announcement to the New Desperation Isle updates group (separate from the renters group) and do some advertising in several places to get the word out about the new mall.
Here's picture of the winning model people voted on, for those who missed the open house. The others were round, resembling arenas. Folks felt the big one was too big and the little one didn't offer enough visibility.

We should be back in business by this weekend. Thank you.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Changes at the New Desperation Isle Mall

About 1/2 of my current mall tenants responded to the survey, and the results are clear: I messed up the New Desperation Isle mall. More than half of my tenants who used to be at the original mall on old Desperation Isle said their sales were better there- in fact some folks mentioned that the old mall used to be one of their most profitable locations, while the current mall barely justifies rent. Commonly cited issues were the alpha textures (which contribute to slow rezzing), the "sign spam" at the teleport point, the ease with which visitors are able to escape the mall before it even rezzes, and the fact that some of the changes made after the mall opened blocked visibility to some vendors. So let me just get this out of the way: I'm sorry. Seriously. You deserve better.

The general feeling among people who responded is that a new, better-planned mall will improve sales. I really hate to rebuild, because I know what a hassle it is for my tenants to have to set up their stalls again- but the current mall just isn't serving my tenants or my guests. We need a new one.

Questions and Answers

What will be different about the new mall?
The new structure is much larger and has a completely open, arena-style layout. Every vendor in the entire mall will be visible and easily accessible from the landing point. There are walkways that lead from the landing point to four balconies that line the building where customers will find island teleporters (basically, visitors will have to walk past your products to get to the island). Each balcony will have a teleporter that takes guests to anywhere on the island. There will also be quick-access teleporters to allow visitors to jump between the main floor and the upper level. To reduce lag and to preserve the skyline of the isle, the mall will be moved up to 300m. All building textures are also opaque, and view of the outside is limited to the starry sky and what you can see off the balconies. Some of the signs that currently greet visitors at the existing mall will be spread around the teleport point, but out of the way and at a lower elevation so they do not block the visitor's view of any of our vendors.

Another difference worth noting is that I'd like for this mall to be sorted into sections. For example, one area for latex and fetishwear, one for casual clothes and footwear, one for BDSM furniture, etc. I am aware that several of you have product lines that span multiple categories. You may choose where you fit among the others, in that case. I will have signs up pointing out the desired areas. If people dislike this idea I'll give it up- but I'd like to at least give it a shot.

Is there a policy on renting several stalls?
Glad you asked! ;) While we first set up I would ask that folks not reserve more than two stalls at a time. If, after everyone's been notified, there are still spaces left, you may rent more.

Will the size or shape of the stalls be any different?
There are going to be a few differences. For one thing there will no longer be any crappy "corner stalls." All stalls have open, visible wall space now, and all are a full 10 meters wide. I am installing scripted dividers that vendors can show or hide at their discretion. If you don't see a divider, just go into 'show invisible' mode and click it. It will ask whether you want to show or hide the divider. Only members of the renter group can toggle divider visibility. I believe that dividers make things look cramped, but they're there if you need the extra wall space. Also, if you want to show or hide a divider that separates you from a neighbor, please ask your neighbor first.

Will there be downtime during the transition?
Not really. The existing mall will remain operational until the new one is in place, although I won't be charging you during the transition. I will be picking up existing rent boxes shortly and recording how many days each tenant had on their rent. You will still be able to make sales the whole time. (Note: Due to prim limitations, please pick up your items from the old mall before setting up at the new one.)

When will we be able to move in?
Within a day or two I will be personally contacting long-time renters (people who rented with me back on the old island) to let them claim their spots. Once the old timers have had at least 24 hours to move in I will send out a notice to the group, and individually contact current renters who are no longer in the group.

Will we be compensated for this hassle?
Yes. If you responded to my survey you already got a free week of rent added to your box. If you stay with us and move to the new mall I will give you an additional free week when I apply the built-up rent from your old box to your new one. You do have to pay for at least one week's rent, just because that's how the boxes work.

What do I need to do?
First, wait for me to notify you, whether by group notice or individual contact. Once I say that the mall is ready, you can go to the new mall and pay a rent box to claim your spot. Please pick up your things from the old mall before setting up the new one.

I'm no longer in your rent group. What do I do?
To get added to the rent group you can IM Wildefire Walcott, Clara Hirvi, or Vivienne Schell and request access to Mistress Wildefire's Sub-space so you can place things at the mall. We're an international team, so at least one of us is almost always on.

Survey Results
Here are the results of the survey I sent out, based on responses from 27 people.

  1. Are you satisfied with your current sales at the New Desperation Isle mall?
    Yes 29.6% 8
    No 70.4% 19

  2. If you used to have a stall at the old mall on the original Desperation Isle, how do your sales at the new mall compare?
    My sales at the new mall are better than at the old one. 3.7% 1
    My sales at the new mall are about the same. 14.8% 4
    My sales at the new mall are worse than at the old one. 51.9% 14
    I don't remember. 7.4% 2
    I am new and did not have a stall at the old mall. 22.2% 6

  3. How do your sales at the current mall compare with your sales at other malls with similar traffic and price? (Our current traffic is between 14,000-19,000, and we charge around L$10 per prim.)
    I generally get better sales at this mall compared to my other comparable locations. 7.4% 2
    My sales are around the same. 14.8% 4
    My sales at New Desperation Isle are worse than at my other similar locations. 63.0% 17
    I don't know. 14.8% 4
    New Desperation Isle is my only location. 0.0% 0

  4. How do you feel about the layout of the current mall?
    The current mall design is fine, I wouldn't change a thing. 14.8% 4
    The current design is okay, but could be better. 37.0% 10
    I don't like the current layout. 40.7% 11
    I don't know how I feel about it. 7.4% 2

  5. Do you think a mall redesign would improve your sales at New Desperation Isle?
    Yes 81.5% 22
    No 18.5% 5

  6. If we decided to rebuild the mall from the ground up in order to improve the layout and overall visibility, would you come back to us to try it out?
    Yes 96.3% 26
    No 3.7% 1

  7. If we rebuild the mall and are ready for vendors to set up again, should we give first pick to the people who already have good locations?
    Yes, the people who already have good locations deserve to have the same chance at the newly-built mall. 40.7% 11
    No, everyone should have the same chance at getting a good spot. 48.1% 13
    I don't have an opinion. 11.1% 3

Thanks for your business and your patience. I'm going to get it right this time.