2016 – New Year. New Ideas.

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Profile photo of Nadir Taov

Nadir Taov

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Happy New Year!  Around this time, every year, I take a moment to reflect on the things we’ve accomplished over the year, and share the vision for the one we’re starting.

Recently, I kicked off a number of new projects for our new sim - primarily, completely overhauling the DEPD and developing new features to support extended stories involving lawyers and courts. A number of features are scheduled to roll out this week (just wrapping up bugs) - stay tuned for more information on that.

What we did in 2015

  • 2,250 new character registrations processed. 1,993 accepted.
  • 66,280 different avatars visited Dead End
  • Mentors Dashboard - At the end of 2014, we designed and introduced a new community management model where each role in staff was tied to a responsibility. This year, I took it a step further and developed a number of tools with a new staff HUD to streamline those responsibilities. With the numbers seen above, we’ve empowered mentors with the ability to reach out personally and track new players. We also streamlined orientations through this process to ensure we had bi-weekly coverage.
  • Moderators Dashboard - With the roll out of the abuse report portal, now all RP-related issues have a home to be funneled into and managed directly by moderators.
  • Security & Bot Improvements - The magic that enables security rights to the team, as well as the bot inviting system that powers the reinviter and hiring signs was rebuilt from scratch (thanks, Drew) to keep up with the updates LL has rolled out to region servers over the years.
  • Updated Rosters - The businesses, hospital, police, and fire rescue rosters were redesigned from the ground up with a new emphasis on highlighting active players only. The goal here was to automate housekeeping responsibilities and enable leaders to simply focus on the people who were actually around or new to the scene.
  • Updated Lulu’s & DEPD Station - The bar and station interior has been brought up to speed with mesh. I also used this opportunity to kick off an audit of furnishing across the sim which will continue into the new year.
  • Weather - To support long winters and summer/spring weather, I’ve scripted the trees, roads, and rooftops of DE to ice over on command. This feature will allow us to maintain an easy weather switch when needed. I’m also working on a rain feature.

Where we’re going in 2016

  • Downtown Expansion  - I started building the new RP buildings like the courthouse and city hall. I’m also planning to design a full city park, cemetery, and a number of other buildings to expand the downtown area of DE. These new builds will be rolled out with the new sim.
  • New DEPD HUD - The new HUDs that officers wear include an improved “dispatch radio” feature to find out if a suspect has priors, as well as a new menu system that provides information based on their rank. The HUD also tracks the morality preference of an officer based on whether they were a “good cop” or “bad cop” in the scene. Released today.
  • New DEPD Reports & Corruption Metric - In an effort to encourage corruption within the department, a number of features have been built into the new reports. Lieutenants and sergeants can track an officer’s morality preference and use that in the final decisions for promotions. Released today.
  • New Case Assignments - In effort to really bolster investigative role-play, I developed a number of new systems which include a Case Assignment system that empowers sergeants and lieutenants to review incident reports and assign them to detectives and supporting officers. The new cases are designed so they can easily be updated and eventually, handed off to lawyers. Released today.
  • DEPD Task Force & Medals - The task force feature was designed to showcase story arcs that involve the DEPD; from crowd control to gang busting, lieutenants can establish a task force and reward active players with clear direction and an opportunity to climb rank through role-play. The medals are a new form of awards that highlight players who demonstrate exemplary attitude towards the community and furthering role-play stories. Release imminent.
  • Develop Trial/Law Features- We are exploring a few ideas to enable lawyers to directly impact the criminal system. This is will be launched simultaneously with the new sim.
  • Revise all Guides - We will be eliminating and disallow the use of notecard-based guides. We’ll be working with leaders to simplify tedious reading material in rely on organic knowledge transfer. If a role requires so much studying, it’s time to look internally as to why we’re imposing so much OOC time investment from players instead of focusing on fun. I also believe that lengthy, multi-page guidelines breeds laziness in community management. When we’re done, we will roll out a number of minimal guides and FAQs on the website and have them linked from in-world.
  • Update Rosters & Hiring Signs (Phase 2) - With the web-based rosters updated, I started working on developing a new in-world roster concept which will provide additional information for users and connect the hiring experience to an online database to provide better guidance and tips to new players.
  • Revise Medical Reports - The way the DEPD reports were reformed from the ground up, we’ll be doing the same to medical reports.
  • New Fire Rescue Reports - This feature is a few years overdue, but a new incident report will be rolled out and tied into role achievements.
  • Update Build - First we’ll do an audit of the interior decor and then look at ways to update the facades. Mesh is pervasive in our virtual world now, but the reality is majority of the mesh products on the marketplace are designed with a number of high-resolution textures which are 5-10x more resource intensive than their dated counterparts. However, I’m ready to make the time to identify common decor in Dead End and begin replacing them with texture-optimized mesh versions. I’m also looking forward to updating nature across the sims.
  • Explore VR - If you didn’t already know, Linden Lab has been working on a new virtual world platform with native virtual reality capabilities (Oculus Rift). In case there’s an exodus from Second Life to this new platform, we’ll have to be ready!
  • The Story of Dead End - As I started working on the new builds for the new sim, I felt inspired to carry through the work I did last year with the OOC area. I’m exploring a few ideas to set DE in an alternate reality that would explain a few things like the lack of guns, but still be modern day. At the same time, it would give me a bit more creative freedom with the visual environment of Dead End - I want to touch more on the bleak setting and introduce more art deco-themed ideas on sim. DE was one of the first sims to establish “urban noir” as a theme - I think we have an opportunity to really make sim stand out as “the” big city to play in.

In Summary…

2016 will be a year where Dead End grows once more while simultaneously looking at ways to improve both in-world and web experiences.

We also have an AMAZING team of admins, GMs, moderators, mentors, and group leaders who have dedicated a tremendous amount of time and effort. Then there are the players - a group of individuals from across the world who write and share stories, and above all, have created an atmosphere of friendship.

We should be very proud of the community and reputation we created together.

Happy new year!

January 3, 2016 at 11:59 pm
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ming yheng

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January 4, 2016 at 6:08 am
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tira-slade

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January 4, 2016 at 9:06 am
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warumono-mode

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January 4, 2016 at 2:02 pm
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Nadir Taov

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January 5, 2016 at 4:44 pm
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shade-manx

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January 5, 2016 at 8:01 pm
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ruki haiku

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January 6, 2016 at 4:23 am
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apollo-scribe

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January 6, 2016 at 7:29 am
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