We've been discussing extensively the stagnation and decline of virtual reality. As of today, OSgrid is in its second day of being offline without a word from the grid operators. So the problems we've been discussing are quite real. EDIT: OSgrid is now back online, thanks to an amazing tech who reportedly fixed the problem from a cell phone.
But it's one thing to discuss problems; it's another to do something about them. We have stated that the Inworldz Welcome Center could and should be significantly improved. But how can this be done?
Following is a diagram and more detailed description of how Inworldz Desert Island can become less deserted-- and the Welcome Center turned into an inspiring area of activity.
FIRST: It has to be moved. Founder Elenia has already stated they have no room for expansion where IDI is currently located. So move it to where they do have room for expansion.
Why is expansion needed? Please examine the following diagram. Note this is just a seat-of-pants recommendation, nothing set in granite. It's just an attempt to do something to get minds working in the right direction-- that of revitalizing the Welcome Center. If part of the diagram is hidden on your screen, left click it to enlarge.
PROPOSED INZONE WELCOME CENTER LAYOUT-- 9 Regions of Awesome
(An alternative layout would be to put the Land of Lar and Replicant City in the corners and the Event Zone and Creative Zone to the sides of InZone. The reason it's designed as above is to increase the immediate "WOW!" factor of the Intake area by putting inspiring regions to the sides of the main welcome area.)
OCEANS AND ISLANDS is a sailing area. Large ships. Small boats. Fishing? Huge sea battles. This should surely catch some attention.
STORES & MORES is a huge shopping center and freebie area. What visitor doesn't like to shop? Why would they want to shop? To fill the land they will definitely need, of course.
This region would contain some 64 stores featuring the best Inworldz has to offer. Space would be allotted by merchant application and Inworldz approval. The purpose is to present the best of the best right up front. "Favoritism" be hanged-- this is Inworldz putting its best foot forward. This is where the years of investment and loyalty by established merchants receives a bit of reward. Each merchant would be encouraged to display a quality freebie item so visitors are encouraged to shop the entire region. If this doesn't get them enthused and keep them occupied, nothing will.
INWORLDZ DESERT ISLAND. IDI can be available if people want a casual stroll around a scenic area, play a board game, or fly a kite if they so choose. (Alternately, IDI could be slightly altered and serve the dual purpose of an event area as well, and better use made of the Event Region land.)
THE LAND OF LAR. Undoubtedly one of the most visually astounding regions on all of Inworldz, this is definitely a showcase area that will catch the attention of visitors and help them understand the possibilities in building their own world. This one is strictly eye-candy. Very good eye-candy.
INZONE WELCOME CENTER. This is the intake area, the central hub of new visitor activity. This is where they will first learn of what Inworldz has to offer and where they will get their first impression about the grid.
There will be helpers here to get them started, interactive kiosks throughout explaining different aspects of Inworldz-- especially the essential ones: how to buy and open boxes-- how to wear avatars-- how to acquire land and why land is so desirable. The Kiosks would be well-designed, attractive, attention-getting, easy to use and informative.
The center of the area is a multi-port intake area which would automatically script-rotate where newcomers teleport in. It will be open, non-constricting, inviting and friendly. Comfy furniture, a small dance area, and MORNING COFFEE at its finest, an area where people sit and chat, where tinies sit on counters and in soup pans, and funny signs all around put visitors in good humor.
InZone would also contain a very visible and accessible EVENTS board, detailing available events throughout the grid. This could be separated into two boards: Nightclub/dance/music events and All Other Events, so people can take their choice of preferences.
Surrounding the area are the GENRE PORTALS-- about a dozen main portals that will take visitors to central hubs relating to their specific interests. The titles of these portals would be discussed. But to simplify the concept itself, imagine one of the portals leading to the ROLE PLAYING HUB. Another could lead to a shopping hub. Another could lead to residential and land, another to science fiction and fantasy, another to museums libraries and education... etc etc. These primary portals will lead to HUBs containing all kinds of information on what to do next. The will be the first-wave of "things to do". But there is more to come.
REPLICANT CITY. Yes, I would be willing to move all of Replicant City for the use of Inworldz visitors. Why Replicant City? Because it is likely one of the most interactive, visually stimulating and involved regions on all of Inworldz. It's been an attraction of this grid for years. As a multi-genre science fiction exhibit with full interactivity, freebies and museums, it is an all-day fun fest. If anyone has any interest in science fiction, this will definitely shock and awe. And hopefully... make them want to build their own.
EVENT ZONE. Another region in effort to answer the "what is there to do?" question... the Event Zone will feature weekly main events and be heavily advertised / supported by Inworldz. Competition to other regions? No... no more than a football stadium in a city is "competition" to a local sports bar. This won't be running 24/7/365. It will just be an area with a calendar of events to show visitors there are things scheduled here.
WHERE TO NEXT. An extension of the main genre portals, this is an entire region full of organized-by-subject signs/landmark givers leading to specific areas on Inworldz. Stores, groups, clubs, attractions, you name it. Anyone can display here (within reasonable taste. There are rules of course). We can expect hundreds or even thousands of signs leading to areas of specific interest, grouped into main categories so people can examine areas they may want to visit. If a picture is worth a thousand words, an entire region of signs leading to specific attractions should answer any question of "Where do I go next?"
CREATIVE ZONE. This region-size area is more than just a public sandbox. There will be areas for learning how to build, how to script, how to make particles. There will be an instructional area explaining how to better maneuver on Inworldz, how to use the viewer, and more. There is room here for instruction and building both. Inworldz residents will be encouraged to use this area for small building so that new visitors are encouraged to build (thus needing their own land on which to build and create).
In all of the above, the primary purpose of InZone and supportive regions is to:
1. Catch and hold new visitor attention.
2. Answer questions immediately and simply, even if no one is around (via InZone Kiosks).
3. Amaze visitors with existing creations (The Land of Lar and Replicant City)
4. Provide an immediately accessible shopping center, building / learning center, and teleport center.
5. MOST OF ALL... to encourage visitors to become permanent residents of Inworldz, purchasing their own lands, populating those lands with purchases and their own builds, and stay on Inworldz as their primary virtual home.
I believe the above layout would do exactly that. Your comments, pro and con, are welcome and encouraged.