Sunday, August 24, 2014
Big changes are coming to Hard Alley.
I've been getting that question a lot lately. That, and things like, "Why do things have to change? Why can't you just leave things as they are? What's going to happen to my favorite spot?"
The basic answer is that we have to change or close, and I'd prefer not to close.
Hard Alley just celebrated its 8th Anniversary in July. What began as something new and different and original in SL is now looking very old and common. When we started, Hard Alley was the first and only dirty urban RP sex sim. Now, you can't swing a dead meeroo without hitting one.
The basic answer is that Hard Alley is not exciting anymore and no one comes to play.
So I had a choice. I could close the sim. After all, 8 years is something to be proud of, right? Very few places in SL have lasted that long. I could close the sim and relax for the first time in 8 years and no longer have the stress of running a sim and trying to keep people entertained.
Or I could change the Alley and try to make it fun and interesting again and give people something they can enjoy.
Honestly... closing was looking like the best option. After all, rebuilding the sim in all-mesh might make it look as good as some other sims, but it wouldn't change the fact that it would just be one of dozens of dirty urban sex sims. I was very much less than enthused about that idea.
I had been thinking about ways I could change things to make it fun and different again, but it was just too much effort and would have been too difficult to make it work.
Then Jaimy Hancroft of Death Row Designs had an idea.
Her suggestion was very similar to what I had in mind, but her idea would work. It wouldn't be as hard to do, and more importantly, she was volunteering to do all the mesh building herself!
I was excited again! For the first time in years, I was excited about the potential that Hard Alley had to offer. If we are able to pull this off, it will bring something new and different and fun back to Second Life and offer people a new reason to come enjoy Hard Alley again.
Of course, there are detractors. The people who don't like change. The ones who don't want me to change one thing or another.
I'm sorry, but things are changing. They have to. It's still going to be Hard Alley, but not like you know it. Not every thing you love about Hard Alley will survive the change.
I will be brutally honest here. The people coming around now and telling me not to change haven't come to play in Hard Alley in years. Maybe if they HAD been here, we wouldn't have to change, but they haven't, and an empty sim doesn't pay the $295 a month in tier that the Linden's extort from me.
The people I am listening to are the ones who have been faithful and stuck with me through thick and thin. The ones who have really shown their love for Hard Alley even in the bad times.
It will still be Hard Alley... kind of. Just changed.