Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Seraph City To Close

Seraph City, the SL Diesel Punk city designed and built by Pumpkin Tripsa has announced they are shutting down in March.

Tripsa, a popular sculptor in Secondlife, dissapeared from the grid earlier this summer and deleted his store and marketplace items prompting many to worry for the fate of his landmark destination sim.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Symbiosis/120/114/111



http://designingworlds.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/designing-worlds-says-farewell-to-seraph-city/
http://danielvoyager.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/seraph-city-closing-down-in-mid-march-2014/
http://www.seraphcity.com/

From the Seraph City Facebook Page:

Why is Seraph City Closing?
A lot of people have approached me, blogged and talked about why Seraph City is closing? I have given minimal details out about it since the decision was rather difficult in some respects and I know that there are a few people who love the build. But I realized that many people deserve more of an explanation.

When I agreed to acquire the SIM, I was rather excited about the prospects, I love Art Deco, and I absolutely love the Dieselpunk theme - even moreso than Steampunk, actually. I had a vision of being a reclusive wealthy industrialist type persona who would make appearances, and build the SIM back up to full residency and to start building a community back up based upon the theme. I had little understanding of what it was to be a SIM owner.

First off, there is a matter of money. The SIM is a non-grandfathered one. It costs $300/mo to keep open. When I arrived, I started doing some building (well hiring that - I am not a talented builder of the quality of Seraph, anyway) and the SIM quickly filled up. I thought I was set, but in actuality, the SIM was running in the Red. At first I didn’t realize that because it appeared to be profitable, but that was due to the new residents pre-paying so much upon move in, and subsequent months were deep deficit. We also had several plots that were given free of charge to various people that were doing good work for the SIM, and while I certainly don’t begrudge that at all, it also contributed to a fiscal mess.

Secondly, all of the build that was on common land was either owned by the previous SIM owner, or by one of the Land Managers. It was never transferred and is not modifiable. This means any changes - even if it is simple like de-primming, is impossible unless you return the building and start anew. And when you do not own the build you really do need to rebuid the things you do not own or face the eventual damage to the build of a disappeared building if the owner decides to remove it. And in this case, even the roads, train and common lands were this way. All solvable, with time and money, of course, or a dedicated community willing to give their builds to the SIM owner.

Thirdly, while I would have been content in tweaking the theme a little, and hustling things a little more, and continuing the shovel money into the SIM to keep it open and possibly reparceling and figuring out the financial aspect of it, there was a basic flaw in the whole plan: Seraph had no real community of people wanting to hang out in the city, and socialize. And aside from a few events that happened on a regular basis, the SIM was essentially empty and ignored. Talking to some previous residents, this has always been the case with Seraph.

Nobody, save one resident, made Seraph its primary home. They spent their time and energy in other more traditional Steampunk SIMs. There was never a Dieselpunk community. When I tried to get in fresh blood (granted I asked one of the more controversial people to help because of her success in recruiting people for CDS - so much so they have a waiting list to rent land there currently) there was a lot of backblow claiming how things shouldn't change and the only problem was lack of advertising.

Toward the end there were a small group of people that wanted to do a survey to influence any theme tweaks. But when I realized the finances wouldn't add up, require a lot more work than anyone was willing to do, and in the end, a community hadn't really formed through most of it's existence, it became clear that Seraph City ran its course, and I was better off closing it down. Keeping it open would also mean I was going to have to completely rebuild it to avoid eventual disaster since one day the owner of the builds could simply derez them leaving a completely empty SIM, since the ownership of the roads, and main buildings weren't owned by me. In light of all of that, it made more sense to close the SIM than to continue on.

In retrospect, I realize that Seraph was in late autumn of its existence, when I took over, and I was happy to give it several more months of existence. But at this time, having exhausted most of the options, Seraph ran its course and ought to be closed.

I am hearing rumors those same people that were running the survey are going to open a new SIM, perhaps even in the 1920's theme. I hope they do - a successful SIM really deserves a vibrant community of excited people building something rather than simply trying to preserve something that in the final analysis, was something that people weren’t all that interested in enough to form a community around. And to them I wish all the luck, and if they are able to build a community and SIM that is active and vibrant in a way that Seraph City never was, they will have achieved what the owners of Seraph could never do!

Bromo Ivory

When I agreed to acquire the SIM, I was rather excited about the prospects, I love Art Deco, and I absolutely love the Dieselpunk theme - even moreso than Steampunk, actually. I had a vision of being a reclusive wealthy industrialist type persona who would make appearances, and build the SIM back up to full residency and to start building a community back up based upon the theme. I had little understanding of what it was to be a SIM owner.
First off, there is a matter of money. The SIM is a non-grandfathered one. It costs $300/mo to keep open. When I arrived, I started doing some building (well hiring that - I am not a talented builder of the quality of Seraph, anyway) and the SIM quickly filled up. I thought I was set, but in actuality, the SIM was running in the Red. At first I didn’t realize that because it appeared to be profitable, but that was due to the new residents pre-paying so much upon move in, and subsequent months were deep deficit. We also had several plots that were given free of charge to various people that were doing good work for the SIM, and while I certainly don’t begrudge that at all, it also contributed to a fiscal mess.
Secondly, all of the build that was on common land was either owned by the previous SIM owner, or by one of the Land Managers. It was never transferred and is not modifiable. This means any changes - even if it is simple like de-primming, is impossible unless you return the building and start anew. And when you do not own the build you really do need to rebuid the things you do not own or face the eventual damage to the build of a disappeared building if the owner decides to remove it. And in this case, even the roads, train and common lands were this way. All solvable, with time and money, of course, or a dedicated community willing to give their builds to the SIM owner.
Thirdly, while I would have been content in tweaking the theme a little, and hustling things a little more, and continuing the shovel money into the SIM to keep it open and possibly reparceling and figuring out the financial aspect of it, there was a basic flaw in the whole plan: Seraph had no real community of people wanting to hang out in the city, and socialize. And aside from a few events that happened on a regular basis, the SIM was essentially empty and ignored. Talking to some previous residents, this has always been the case with Seraph.
Nobody, save one resident, made Seraph its primary home. They spent their time and energy in other more traditional Steampunk SIMs. There was never a Dieselpunk community. When I tried to get in fresh blood (granted I asked one of the more controversial people to help because of her success in recruiting people for CDS - so much so they have a waiting list to rent land there currently) there was a lot of backblow claiming how things shouldn't change and the only problem was lack of advertising.
Toward the end there were a small group of people that wanted to do a survey to influence any theme tweaks. But when I realized the finances wouldn't add up, require a lot more work than anyone was willing to do, and in the end, a community hadn't really formed through most of it's existence, it became clear that Seraph City ran its course, and I was better off closing it down. Keeping it open would also mean I was going to have to completely rebuild it to avoid eventual disaster since one day the owner of the builds could simply derez them leaving a completely empty SIM, since the ownership of the roads, and main buildings weren't owned by me. In light of all of that, it made more sense to close the SIM than to continue on.
In retrospect, I realize that Seraph was in late autumn of its existence, when I took over, and I was happy to give it several more months of existence. But at this time, having exhausted most of the options, Seraph ran its course and ought to be closed.
I am hearing rumors those same people that were running the survey are going to open a new SIM, perhaps even in the 1920's theme. I hope they do - a successful SIM really deserves a vibrant community of excited people building something rather than simply trying to preserve something that in the final analysis, was something that people weren’t all that interested in enough to form a community around. And to them I wish all the luck, and if they are able to build a community and SIM that is active and vibrant in a way that Seraph City never was, they will have achieved what the owners of Seraph could never do!
Bromo Ivory

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