The Infamous Hard Alley

The Infamous Hard Alley
Second Life's Original Sin

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hard Alley: A Retrospective, Part 3

Okay so now I've started something and response is much greater than I expected, and my little Alley was too small to handle the traffic.  After all, it kind of ruins the mood if there's a bunch of people standing around when you're supposed to be scared and alone.

I bite the bullet and buy some land adjacent to mine.  Now I am paying a monthly land fee.  It's not much, but I became very much aware that I am shelling out RL money so other people's pixels can fuck.  The Alley grows to about 3 times its original size and I add a sleazy hotel and more alleys.  Then I stop thinking two-dimensionally and build down, adding a subway tunnel (that goes absolutely nowhere, of course).  Now the Alley has begun to include "themed" areas that add to the fun.

Now the Alley is about a month old, and copy-cat "alleys" are starting to appear.  I don't believe any of them lasted for more than a month or two.  Once again, traffic increases to the point where I have to buy more land and expand the Alley.  I add a filthy Restroom (because we all know that it's every girl's fantasy to be raped in a dirty restroom), and begin to build the Hard Alley Sewer System.  These latest additions prove to be extremely popular.

It's not long before I have to expand again, but unfortunately there is no more land for sale in the sim.  I search around and find some land in Yulmu near the middle of the sim (to give me room to grow on all sides if needed).  I pick up the existing Alley (which is small but still no easy task), and move it to the new sim and begin work on expanding it once again, adding the Hard Core Sex & Strip Club, and a Mall to rent space and help offset the money I'm paying each month.

Hard Core quickly becomes popular and I am forced to learn quickly how to run a club, dealing with hiring dancers and setting up tip jars and realizing that clubs don't run themselves.  The Mall starts to fill up and my wallet feels much better and I'm free now to concentrate on building and adding more themed areas.

About this time, several people have become regulars at the Alley, many of whom help out around the place.  Jessica becomes my first Cop, patrolling the Alley in a hot little outfit and helping keep griefers at bay (oh yes, griefers had discovered the Alley, which was climbing the Popular Places list higher each day).  Susanna, a friend from my previous avatar, was one of my first renters, selling her vampire teeth.  And Lil'Bit, who spent most of her time sitting on a dumpster with her friends.

I mention these three people in particular, because they all took inspiration from their time at Hard Alley and went on to create their own sims, Midian City, City of Lost Angels, and Crack Den, respectively.  Each of these sims took their inspiration from Hard Alley, but added their own original ideas and today each of them is highly successful.

After several more land purchaces and several other expansions, Hard Alley grew to about 1/4 of a sim, although it seemed much larger.  The Alley hit the top of the Popular Places list with just over 50K in traffic (this was before traffic calculations were changed and 50K was about as high as it went).  Unfortunately, being on the Popular Places list brought lots of noobs and lots of griefers, neither of which was good for business.  My refusal to prohibit noobs was the reason Lil'Bit left to create Crack Den.  I still believe that today's noob can be tomorrow's RPer, and they will remember who was nice to them when they were starting, and indeed I have people tell me all the time that they started their SL lives in Hard Alley and we were one of the few places that treated them well.

Hard Alley kept growing and expanding slowly over the next year.  During that time I also created the School Girls Gone Bad Detention Facility.  I wanted to prove to myself that the Alley's popularity wasn't just a fluke and that I could repeat my success.  It took a while to come up with the idea, but eventually I fell back to my own fantasy about my boss's sexy daughter who was in the D-Home being traded for cigarettes.  That was all I needed and the School was built and became a hit very quickly.  At times it has even been more popular than Hard Alley and is still a hot place to play.

Is that it?  Am I done now?  Do I really need to write another long boring post about the history of Hard Alley?