Land being the commodity that it is in sl, i get terribly twitchy when i see it being under-utilised – especially when it’s my own land that’s not being put to good use. Having acquired my new parcel, designed (if you can call it that!) and constructed from scratch the SL9B Story exhibit to fill the land, and then tearing the whole lot down to bare earth again in the space of around 3 weeks, the last thing i really wanted to do was tackle the whole landscaping and rebuilding thing all over again; but i just couldn’t bring myself to let the land lie fallow.
If you’re a regular on this site you’ll be aware that words like ‘thought’, ‘planning’ and ‘design’ don’t figure particularly prominently in any of the projects i get myself embroiled it. My approach to constructing anything in sl – much the same as in rl – is more random, chaotic and intuitive than is perhaps wise: i’d like to profess to taking a kinaesthetic approach to such things, but the truth is that i really just somehow bodge things together. A long time ago, when i was involved in theatre, a stagehand once gave me a lesson on the time-honoured way to mix paint… You add a splodge of that colour to a tin to make one colour; a dollup of another to come up with a third; and, just a smidge of white or black to fine tune – that’s pretty much the approach i’ve taken to any creative process, ever since!
So it was that my initial plan of action – to get something on the land, just to make it look used was pretty much scuppered from the start, as the whole project started to take on a life of its own. The process looked something like this…
- Let’s just get some stuff out to make the place look used;
- Hmm… that looks naff and lonely… need more stuff;
- That’ll do… but should really have some vegetation;
- Got to landscape!;
- Don’t like that gap… needs filling;
- Ugh, looks half-finished – more attention to detail;
- Just a bit more…;
- Dammit! i’ve got another park!
Suddenly, my lovely open space was another, rather pretty, conservation area – which had not been the idea at all.
It was almost as if Nowhere Land had spawned a twin in some strange terrestrial form of amoebic reproductive process, leaving me with a dilemma: Ideally, i’d wanted the new parcel to be an arty-farty space… maybe with funky, chunky shapes and forms – an area that would change and alter over time and be in a constant state of flux and development – something that my newly-constructed parkland clearly was not. Certainly, i could dig the whole lot up again and go with the original idea, but that just felt wrong on every level; so, shrine to nature it would stay.
There was another slight problem… The store that never materialised.
The logic was simple – it really is about time that i made a serious effort to make sl work for me, (albeit, i’ll have to do a fair bit of work myself before i attain that particular goal – around about August 2036, at the rate i’m going!). Since i’m no musician, promoter, club owner or poledancer*, the most reasonable course of action seemed to me to make stuff and flog it, and so the concept of setting up shop was born. As to what exactly i was going to make… well, that would come in due course. (My first rather ill-conceived idea was to try and break into the plywood box market, but there doesn’t seem to be any huge demand for that particular commodity!). Having a store would not only give me a base to sell from, having an empty store would be a great incentive to come up with ideas for saleable items to manufacture. Of course, by this point, the plot i’d set aside for the – yet to be constructed – store was now harbouring a small copse, a babbling brook and a large family of butterflies. Oops!
[*i did once give poledancing a try as a noob in an effort to earn some easy cash. After several fruitless hours gyrating, i did get one L$100 tip… from the girl on the next pole!]
Undaunted, i cleared a small space and started thinking about what form my store should take. i have absolutely no idea how the words ‘tube station’ crept into my head, but once there, there was no denying them.
Here’s a tip for budding builders: If you’re going to knock a building up offworld, where you have as much space to play with as you want, don’t forget that, in sl, you’re a bit more limited.
Which is why – following a protracted session of wheeler-dealering and negotiation, i now have even more land to play with… This, my friends, is how empires (and bankruptcies!), are born!
The tube station is coming along nicely and should be ready to open for business by the end of the week, erm… not that i have anything to sell yet, but that’s a minor point. The important thing is that it has great potential and, all being well, with keeping the business ticking over and creating items to sell, i should be kept extremely busy for a very long time to come.
So much for putting my feet up and relaxing!
And I’m down in the tube station at midnight
I fumble for change – and pull out the Queen
I put in the money and pull out a plum
The Jam – Down In The Tubestation At Midnight