Twisted Hunt MADNESS!!! (and Second Life in a nutshell)
The Twisted Hunt is a Second Life grid wide event that occurs in March and (I think) October of every year. Big store owners join in by offering a free gift if someone finds a small box that contains a free prize. Last time, over 240 store owners participated. This time, our company is part of the other 170 companies that joined in.To help explain the dynamics of Second Life in a nutshell, the whole network of servers connected together to form Second Life’s virtual landscape is called the ‘grid.’ You may notice this as a reference to the movie Tron. Most Second Life features and actions make use of the same vocabulary as that from Tron, so if you have seen the movie, you know about 85% of all Second Life’s features already. The individual islands that form the grid are called simulators, or sims for short. The individual ‘people’ (note that by saying people, this isn’t limited to human beings. Readers of the book ‘Snow Crash’ know exactly what I mean) are called avatars. Avatars represent yourself and everyone else on the grid of Second Life. When you look at someone’s avatar, if they looked in your direction, they would also see your own. Avatars are fully customizable to create any kind of being or object that can be thought up of.
The currency in Second Life is called the Linden Dollar. The reason there is only one currency type is because performing business in Second Life would be as complicated as real world trading without it, since Second Life is an online virtual world (not to be confused with an MMO or game, as Second Life has no actual goal). The average rate of Linden Dollar to a full US dollar is about 260 L$ per every $1. This makes doing purchases and business work in Second Life much easier when only dealing with a single currency that can be exchange for any other type of currency.
Now that my report on Second Life is over, I’ll quickly explain the main subject of the post. The Twisted Hunt has been something I’ve insisted my boss get involved with since sales have gone down partially (around a good 30%). Originally, she didn’t want to because she insisted the product would advertise itself. Unlike her, I am actually a college student and know better. After some persuading, I finally got her to sign up for the Twisted Hunt and the above picture is the end result.
The Twisted Hunt works in a form of a grid wide scavenger hunt. Each store involved has at least one prize and sometimes a few ‘mini-prizes.’ By clicking on a small box, you win a prize. Occasionally the boxes get moved after people begin telling others where the locations are. The key point I saw with the Twisted Hunt is to get people to go to the store and be around what we have to sell. Because the event is grid wide and not just involved to a certain social group, it opens the doors to who may walk in and that was what I was after.
Normally a simulator will experience issues after 40 avatars are logged into it. After having our host server crash in a very hard manor, I contacted Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life, to have it looked into (since Okarthel, the name of the simulator, is our main store as well). After explaining the situation on live support, the ‘Linden’ (essentially an employee of Linden Lab) who I got as my support representative said he would do some fine tuning to the server itself. Since then, 40 users on the simulator creates no issues what so ever.
I’ll have more updates about the event later, as well as some snapshots.