[NOTE: This was written by
GORTz sometime in late 1998, it is still a good idea.]
The concept for Suburbs evolved during a conversation between myself and SFX concerning
the suitability of some *houses* I had created for use in Cybertown. While these worlds
were well received by many people, they did not fit the mold for a *house* as seen by
Blaxxun. See my houses here: <http://www.olypen.com/zap/vrml99.htm>
The Suburbs would be places where more design flexibility would allow for creation of
very unique (and fantastic) living environments. Perhaps we could have 3 or 4
basic/generic mansions kept on the Blaxxun server, but link a door in the house to a
user-designed world located on the user's server. These user-designed worlds could
be subject to approval as mentioned in your other emails... I would suggest we use a
Castle, Beverly Hills style mansion, and a Jetson-like futuristic dwelling for the generic
The Outer Limits <http://www.hci.net/~after5/worlds/>
is a place where users can post their own worlds (on their own server) for use as a MU
environment. This could serve as a model for the user created worlds that would be
linked from the Estate Mansion.
I envision 6 categories...I'll call them Strata, since the concept involves various
literal levels of the real world...but I hope someone can come up with a more appropriate
Each Strata would have several Estates (private residences) perhaps as many as 25.
more info on the Strata Estates below...
Each Strata would have a community area open to the general public (Park, beachfront,
Airport, etc.). a proto (or greatly minimized rendition) of all the estates would be
visible from the Community area. The gate would be linked to the actual estate
home...an actual *door* to pass through to gain entrance.
The *suburbs* created like Fun Park, with (or without) bridges between Strata (floating
islands?)...walking instead of beaming. A more casual, relaxed passage between
locations. Other methods of transportation might reflect real life... a Monorail
(the terminal already exists in the Plaza), or a Tardis-like device... created with a HUD
that wraps itself around the avatar being transported during transit...*flying* to it's
destination. or Maybe a flying cab... the destination world would load during transit.
While beaming from location to location will be available, suburbs IRL are wide
expanses and traveling from one location to another in 3D would enhance the spatial
dimension to the user.
Each Strata would have a *Leader* just like Block Leaders in Cybertown, to represent the
Strata at meetings, but those citizens who have the wherewithall to afford an estate in
the Suburbs will undoubtedly already be active in Cybertown and need very little
I would suggest making the cost of an Estate between $3,000 and $10,000. This would
make it very difficult for newbies or those who don't really involve themselves very much
with Cybertown from being able to afford an Estate. This would imply a certain
exclusivity, but also serve as a goal to encourage citizens to be active in the community
and visit Cybertown regularly if they want to live in the Burbs. I don't think there
are more than 150 citizens in Cybertown who would want an Estate in the first place.
A nominal charge (call it utilities, property tax or whatever) of $100 per month could be
collected...it just wouldn't be called *Rent*.
The Suburbs should not be the only residence of the citizen... many of us who will want
to live there are Block, Neighborhood or Colony Leaders and our involvement in those
capacities should not be diminished if we buy an Estate in the Burbs. The Estate
should be considered a vacation home or *retreat*, not a primary residence (although it
could be a primary residence if the citizens desires it). We should continue to be
leaders in Cybertown to help it grow.
While the Community area of each Strata will be open to the general public, the Estate
should have a greater capability for expulsion from the Estate (by the owner) of any
unwanted visitor...Many of us have experienced an invasion of privacy by a foul, obnoxious
individual...with no recourse to eject them. The current method of excluding
individual visitors is inadequate. Something like a *group ignore* that could be
activated by the owner could control such invasions of privacy. We could make one estate
in each Strata open to the general public. I don't want the suburbs to be consider
as someplace that is *exclusive* or *elitist*, but greater control over who is in our
house is something that I think is important, eventually I'd like to see it incorporated
into Cybertown in general.
To further enhance the desirability of living in the Burbs, perhaps Blaxxun could make new
features (bots, etc.) available to Suburbanites prior to release to the general public.
This would be a Solar System... Estates would be dispersed in a 3D void and
separated by *vast* distances, with a HUD of Stars passing during the transition from
location to location. Estates could be Space Stations, *Full* sized versions of the
Enterprise, Deep Space Nine, etc. My Launchpad and Mech Base might fit in here
Estates here would include Alpine Castles, Rustic Log cabins, Beverly Hills style
mansions, etc. Estates would feature Trees, waterfalls, scenic vistas, etc.
This would be a good place for the Airport (I envision a flying club) and Hermie's
Factories world...houses could be laboratories, or anything of a technical nature... and
we might even make our own little World Builder mall or flea market for selling vrml
goodies and avatars, etc., since it looks like the Cybertown Mall will be more for selling
real life items paid for with real money.
Vineyards, Farms, etc... A horse-bot to ride...
Estates would be literally on islands (even primitive islands, like Easter Island), also
Houseboats, Yachts and underwater habitats (submarines). Access could be by ferry
boat (HUD like the cab mentioned earlier)
Underground or Gothic/Hades themed estates... like my Hobbit Hall, or Dungeons
That about does it for now.... :)
I'm sure I forgot something...