A few days ago I dropped in to pick up the latest Al Vulo group skin gift hoping it would inspire me to take photos and blog. An excellent decision I must say. As always, the moment I put on the new skin a character began to form in the back of mind. The makeup on this one was telling me it wanted to be a doll or a mime. As I pondered that I added the recent ribbon and clock collar I picked up for only 10L at the Hebonon Vial closing sale. The steampunk flair sent me browsing my inventory for anything Victorian and I found an older Solange outfit that I once bought for an event once and never wore again.
The look came together quite quickly after that. I’m calling it Circus Steampunk.
In one of those serendipitous moments I discuss often here, I knew immediately where I had to go to photograph her. I had just recently read about the opening of a new roleplay sim called Warren Town.
It was 1863, on the west coast of England. A small town founded by the Warren family, earns a spot on the map just at the very end of the industrial revolution by their advances in chemistry, astronomy and last but not least, the rubber industry. There was something about the town that has attracted great intellect.
Yet, as the industrial acceleration slowed down, Warren started receiving new visitors from the neighboring towns who came in search of some of the famed prosperity. To the locals dismay, these were not the most lectured of scientists or renowned minds, but gypsies (at times called ‘carnies’, since they traveled with a carnival circus) and a considerable troupe of burlesque entertainers. While in previous times the locals would have simply hanged them or blatantly expelled them…they were injecting good money into the town and attracting all sorts of tourists.
Things were just starting to heat up.
Though I felt it was a perfect backdrop for the photoshoot I took the time to IM the moderators (called producers here) of the sim and ask for permission before I teleported down. Being an avid roleplayer myself I have utmost respect for other people’s immersion. Though my outfit felt Circus Steampunk enough to title a photoshoot, it really isn’t 100% genre appropriate so I wanted to be careful. A little courtesy goes a long way in Second Life and it doesn’t hurt to be a good guest when visiting someone else’s sim.
It’s been a while since I’ve roleplayed with any regularity and I admit I do miss the writing, miss losing myself in a story. I liked the vibe in Warren Town and the backstory. It’s one thing to build a sim with a theme; medieval, gorean, urban, but roleplay needs more than just a themed build. It needs a setting, a time frame, a backstory, and Warren Town certainly provides that.
One thing I don’t know if people realize when they tour a roleplay sim is that you can’t really judge it in the same way you do a build with a different purpose. Sure it’s great if it looks nice, but a roleplay sim has another set of criteria over and above appearance.
You need a good flow to the sim, so people move through when they arrive and naturally come further in and meet other roleplayers. You need places for players to converge and in character reasons for them to be there, a market, a store, a bar, a doctor’s office, etc. You need roleplay hooks, ice breakers if you will. You also need a good variety of buildings and businesses in the sim that inspire players to create characters who work and live there. Butchers, bakers, candlestickmakers… you get the idea.
Overall I would say Warren Town does a good job of delivering these.
Interesting background story and setting? Check
A build that supports the genre and contributes to generating stories and scenes? Check
The final ingredient to finding a roleplay sim you’ll enjoy is to see if the management and player base’s philosophies and styles match your own. I recognized a few names while I was there, people I enjoyed writing with in the past, so it seems Warren Town is attracting people with a full immersion, text based combat, turn based style similar to my own. I also agreed with their approach to roleplay.
WARREN TOWN – OUR APPROACH TO ROLE PLAY
* Basically, we believe in laissez-faire and we assume we are all adults (both in age and attitude).
* Role play here will be fully immersive, no OOC is ever allowed ever in chat.
* We embrace a clear IC/OOC separation.
* No meters, only text based role play taking turns (if players wish to use dice for outcome, will be entirely up to them).
* No babblers or automated, spamming text/gestures of any kind.
* Victorian era garb is absolutely mandatory.
* Adult human avatars only.
* You can place prims temporarily for a scene at any time (8 hours auto-return).
* There are 3 backstage roles that will help your experience here: Director (sim owner and enabler), Writers (help write the overarching story) and Producers (available to ban griefers and players that bring heavy OOC drama, but sim is mostly self-moderated). You can call them via group chat (Warren Town – Roleplayers group).
Being part of a new roleplay sim can be super exciting. You get to help build the storylines that future characters will tie into. You get to welcome new players and watch their characters and stories develop. The early stages can also be a real bonding time before the community population explodes and there are new faces daily.
If you are looking for a new roleplay sim, you might want to spend a bit of time in Warren Town.
Good luck guys and thanks for letting me take photos there.
Skin: “natalie * amidala bronze” from Al Vulo (free group gift) http://slurl.com/secondlife/ReMix%20Yo%20Life/176/156/1351/
Lashes: LesMakeups_Lashes 04 from Miamai http://slurl.com/secondlife/Amat/41/227/23/?title=MIAMAI&msg=Miamai%20Fashion%20Creations
Hair: “Scarlet Semi-Updo Light Blonde from Pocket Mirrors (free group gift) http://slurl.com/secondlife/Garman/175/64/102
Rose Lace Hat: Former Hunt Gift from Zenith Fashion
Clockwork Collar [Polkadoll] from Hebenon Vial (10L at their closing sale)
Outfit “Victoria” from Solange http://slurl.com/secondlife/Dream%20On%20Bay/89/124/33/
“Checkmate Socks” (part of Checkmate outfit in lucky chair) from Violent Seduction http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Chima/50/38/3003
“Nostalgia Pumps” former hunt gift from Lassitude & Ennui http://slurl.com/secondlife/Nouveau/81/105/36/?title=lassitude%20%26%20ennui
On location at Warren Town http://slurl.com/secondlife/Warren/128/129/78