Next Chapter of Dead End (Upcoming Spring Updates)

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Nadir Taov

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Hi folks,

With one third of the year done already, I thought it’d be a great time to follow up on my new year post!

2016 So Far

The first four months of the year was primarily focused on updating back end systems and getting our new sister community, Outbreak, new features and adding a brand new sim. That work paid off and the community is doing amazing things.

I’ve also started working on and completed a number of items for DE - you’ll see those outlined below.

If you have time, stop by the new Fever sim I built and let me know what you think - it’s my latest work that includes a lot more mesh and some ideas I plan to carry through into Dead End...

Next Chapter of Dead End

Going into 2016, I had planned to focus on cleaning up and strengthening core features, including expanding the sim. While that’s still part of the plan, I ended up getting inspired to do more fun and radical things that I think you’ll all be excited for.

The following updates are scheduled for release between May to July.

Dead End City, Danger, and Dark Secrets

Every character in Dead End starts with their own story, but what’s missing for new users is a clear definition of the bigger picture - the range of themes, backdrop, and some inspiration to start with. I also want to position Dead End as the urban role-play environment where one can truly get a full range of stories - from the debauchery associated to high society down to the danger that lurk in dark alleys.

These are the things that are being wrapped up over the next few weeks:

  • Updated website with a clear structure and rewritten guides, clear backstory, directories, and more. Check out http://outbreak.sl to get a glimpse of the writing style and depth of content.
  • Release the new sim expansion I've been working on with the focus on introducing a role opportunities and stories related to dark secrets fostered by high society.
  • Rebuilding sections of Dead End with mesh, include specular maps to enhance realism, rebuild iconic businesses, introduce more hidden areas/alleys, and much more.

Community Officers (COs)

We have mentors, weavers, moderators, leads, and admins today. While mentors, weavers, and moderators are pretty clear roles, the rest of the management burden falls on admins. Serving as a liaison and coordinator between group leads and admins,  I’m introducing community officers (CO) who will focus on certain areas of focus in role-play and will be recruited from existing or former group leaders. We have seem some amazing ideas for improvement and we want to empower those in our community that seek to use their RP and ideas as catalysts.  

We’re looking for people who are passionate with ideas in these areas:

  • City Municipal Services
  • City Council
  • Factions
  • Businesses

General responsibilities include helping players and leaders navigate the different avenues offered in DE, creating long term themes or story arcs, strategy to boost interest, and serving as a point of contact for collaboration.

Mentors Update

The responsibilities of being a mentor will now apply to all staff and we’re going to be dropping that as role; current mentors will either become Moderators or Weavers. It’s also more important than ever that we have a team of exemplary players and will be more stringent in our recruiting process.

I think it’s super important that our staff continue to take that proactive role in reaching out to new players - building a friendly community is one of the key reasons why people stick around. Personally, I think Dead End does an excellent job at this already.

Hospital Updates

It’s been a few years since I’ve worked on the hospital, and after collecting feedback recently, I’ve kicked off a number of updates:

  • I’m rolling out a new chart system next month that allows staff to quickly pull up patients present in the recovery ward, better search, and number of other updates.
  • Introducing an NPC nurse that enables self-admission to recovery to get partial credit until staff is present for a medical scene. No more NPC notecards for staff to process.
  • Integrate psych ward into the hospital system.
  • Paging system designed to summon staff, even off sim, instead of forcing them to wait around in the hospital. I’m particularly excited about this new feature as you’ll see it applied in a number of other areas…
  • Automate promotions for new employees based on new systems and tracking.
  • Automate follow up notifications for appointments (similar to citations system).
  • A way for criminals who assault victims to get partial credit without having to be caught every time (we are a forced fantasy sim, after all).

Fire Department Updates

First responders deserve some love, too.

  • HUD to enable 911 notifications, incident reports, and scene tracking.
  • Update the station build.
  • Explore SL fire tech and see areas we can innovate on (ie. track how many fires are put out, etc. to award promotions and interesting roles).

Police Department Updates

We kicked off a number of features last year and I’m following through with a few more…

  • Spent the last few weeks fixing bugs that were submitted through the support ticket system; working directly with Tarra and Andi, it looks like most of the bugs are now squashed!
  • Daily Assignments - this is a new feature (that i’m super excited to finish) I’ll be introducing where officers, especially rookies, will be able to obtain random IC assignments that encourages them to fulfil fun tasks (ie. cite so-and-so to meet quota, etc.) that not only provides them with the necessary guidance and credit, but also helps target new players on sim.
  • New features on the HUD and in the station to support the next section…

Criminal Justice System Reinvented

The Civil Services group has been a convoluted group for a long time. However, after much thought and ideation, I think will serve as a platform to really reinvent urban role-play in SL. Without giving away too many details, expect the following in the next two months:

  • Lawyer role with functional responsibility to release criminals from jail and offer trial role-play.
  • A court with the ability to track trials for both criminal and civil stories
  • Introduce sentencing to the jail experience - the ability for criminals who are jailed to either get released via lawyer, bail, or try their luck with NPC sentencing.
  • A system that is designed to reward players who reinforce the forced fantasy experience for players on sim.
  • Expand role achievement options and opportunities
  • After this summer, I’ll be introducing an all new social services aspect to the city via this group.

In Conclusion...

Between moving, travel, and other RL commitments, the next few months are going to be incredibly busy. I want to thank our staff for holding down the fort - they’ve done such an amazing job considering the number of new folks we get.

I’ve already published my monthly deliverables on all the things I’ve talked about, plus a few more that I haven’t shared (want to surprise you guys).

The one thing I’m going to ask for in the community is to help us with stories and ideas to introduce some of these new features. I’m also super excited to recruit new COs and build a bigger team overall.

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