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Best of Halloween Host: Cherub Spectre

Linden Lab


Behind the Scenes of Octoberville

When you visit a place such as Octoberville you think of haunted houses, mazes, hunts, Crowbar, and making friends, but there is so much more to Octoberville than meets the eye.

Beginning with a brainstorming session that usually takes place in June; we devise the continuing story of Octoberville. Sometimes, it can be quite a challenge to maintain the original sleepy, autumn feel, while adding the elements of fear and delightful frustration that Octoberville is known for.

As the project manager, it is my job to make sure that everyone is on the same page and we are on schedule to have the build completed and tested by October 1st. This can be quite a challenge as we all have real life jobs and responsibilities to balance as well. It is also difficult to motivate people to work on autumn projects when its 90 degrees outside and thoughts of swimming pools and backyard barbeques seem more relevant.

Octoberville Photo 3.jpg

By September 1st, the main maze and general layout of Octoberville is completed, but the haunted house and the actual game still needs to be developed. With only a month left to create the meat of the game, life becomes more hectic. Everyone in the family, including our daughters, is consumed with finishing the project. After school, before and after work, during dinner, we are sharing ideas, arguing points, and putting the pieces together that will soon become many fans’ favorite Second Life event.

By the middle of September, nerves are on edge and we, too, are counting down the days until October 1st. While Nathan is finishing up the code to the hunt, Master Kaos is coming up with puzzling rooms for the haunted house and putting finishing details around the rest of Octoberville to make everything look realistic. My daughters are taking the scripted hunt items and hiding them, while I am making sure that everything flows correctly and ensuring there are no holes in the game.

Octoberville Photo 1.jpg

The final week before opening is probably the most stressful time of the year. We are hiding the last of the items and testing the game in its entirety.

Finally, on October 1st, our efforts pay off as we watch Octoberville become filled to capacity with fans within 1 minute after opening.

Octoberville Photo 2.jpg

Photos by Taylor Flanagan

About the Author: Cherub Spectre (along with Master Kaos and Nathan Oddfellow) is the creator and designer of Octoberville, which is celebrating its seventh year on the grid.  Visit Octoberville in Second Life!


Recommended Comments

@Asus OMG I can not believe how well the sim has ran this year. PROPS TO LL!!!! Every year lag has brought us challenges such as trains flying threough the air and having to police peoples arc and scxripts trying to keep everyone able to move. This year, we have had 70+ people on the sim and everyone was still able to walk and although the hayride still lags a bit, it runs SO much better. So yes, I am very thankful for the ability to walk this year!

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Hmmm...good question Meryet! The most challenging for me is just coming up with new layouts, design, tricks, traps and puzzles to keep it feeling fresh.  This year especially...I really wanted a different...feel. Like a more realistic, more detailed, more depth feel with lots of spots to inspire people to take photos and create movies.



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One thing I love about each year is that somewhere (at least once) there is something that is really tongue-in-check that gets put out or a place where an item appears that just makes me laugh.  I still get a smile on my face thinking about a certain paperclip from the past

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I started late in the month last year, didn't know about the group, and was pretty disappointed when it was over.  This year, I was ready to storm the castle so to speak on October 1.  I have been having a great time here, finding things on my own, which is the best, but also appreciating the help everyone is so willing to give.  I have also enjoyed helping others because, let me tell you, the creators of this game are evil geniuses when it comes to hiding things.  

I so appreciate the time, effort, and talent these people put in to create all of this, and put it out there for free for everyone to enjoy.  I for one hope to finish this year....getting close....but I know I will be disappointed when it is over.  I hope you guys have some plans for something else before next October.  Thanks for the great fun!!

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Lol. we love to joke and leave lil surprises and tricks and treats all over the sim :) Fans from many years will appreciate the inside jokes :)

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I remember my first time at Octoberville. A friend of mine who has since left SL, Vicki Martini, helped me with the hunt. We stumbled upon a certain group of people in one of the backrooms of the haunted house...sitting in a peaceful circle. I totally remember someone commenting that people weren't supposed to make it there yet.It made me laugh a lot.

I would be totally bummed if Octoberville wasnt around every October. I know I start bugging MK not long after oh...Christmas about counting down lol.



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@Graydirk You bring tears to my eyes just thinking about how true your comments are. Throughout the year, we have our busy lives and dont get to spend as much time as we would like with people from OV but once October hits, its like everyone has been there all along. Everyone remembers everyone and its if we never skipped a beat.

As an Octoberville Elder (a person who has completed at least 5 years of Octoberville), what would you say was your biggest challenge in Octoberville ever?

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@ Silken

LOL! Christmas??? Speaking of Christmas, so many times we have attempted to put together a sim for Christmas, and every year my IMs get flooded with pleas to do a Christmasville. Unfortunately, the time it takes to put together a sim such as this, there just isnt enough time between Halloween and Christmas. I would say that maybe someyear we should do Christmasville instead of Octoberville, but I can hear the tears hitting the floor already... so I dunno.


My question to everyone... realistically, when do you really start to think about the next years Octoberville?

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Each year there is always at least one item that really gets you....I remember the first year the peeble was introduced...I got lucky and found it by accident...but that caused many people lots of sleepless nights.  That year it was the snake that took me forever to find...I was so happy I still have the picture of it in is hiding place.  This year I particularly liked how the items unfolded as the story progressed even if it was flustrating to find something before you could use it...and then once it appeared on your list...you couldn't find it again.

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BTW...I think I'm the only one of the people that I've chatted with that miss the apple bobbing this year....was always a challenge to find where each bobbing location was...then you had to go and collect your apples

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I bug him all freaking year "11MONTHS UNTIL OCTOBERVILLE,MK!!!", "7MONTHS UNTIL OCTOBERVILLE,MK!!" I am surprised he hasn't muted me yet.

Christmasville would be awesome! I bet you could find enough volunteers within the OV community to help you plan one and hopefully get ahead so you could do BOTH!

And then you'll never want to log into SL again if you pull that off.


And that stupid cobra made me come in 2nd place, after Neopagan in...2008? BY LESS THAN A MINUTE. I am still pouting about it.

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My landlord must be glad OV is just one month.. if it were throughout the year i'd live there and wouldn't have to pay my tier each month :matte-motes-big-grin-squint:

What made me laugh this year was the mysterious pebble that kept appearing in front of Jonathan. And ofcourse the crazy queen. And the loads of different funny/scary avatars.

Kudos for you all for putting all that energy into creating such a lovely place. The thought that it all started before i even knew about second life is amazing, have seen so much great places disappear during my second life. OV being as popular as it is, and even getting more and more popular (looking at the increasing number of finished players) .

Do wonder though how you manage to take back all items after the hunt.... haven't found any item of previous years, although my 2008 dynamite still worked this year :smileytongue:

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@Graydirk LOL! I think the pebble and the cobra will go down in OV history! Each year Jeff Melendez is in my IMs begging me NOT to put the pebble and the cobra in the hunt. *evil grin* you know there are there. Did anyone realize that the snake shed this year IS the cobra?

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@Silken HAHAHA! wow really all year? That really makes me smile. Poor Master Kaos! And yes the cobra has been many people's nemesis.

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Yep...smiled when I found the snake shed the first time

I was just glad the joker wasn't used this year...that one has caused me lots of crossed eyes in years past trying to find


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@Asus, your dynamite worked? OH wait.. yes the previous dynamite would work but it wont mark it off your list. About the dynamnite, its so sad that griefers exist in SL causing us to not be able to let people put things down. It was so fun in years prior to 2009 when we gave everyone the dynamite and they could throw it down anywhere. I dont know how many explosions we had in the crowbar. Even during other months at other events anytime a song or the word Fire came up.. people were throwing down there dynamite blowing the place up!.. SO FUN!

As far as how long OV has been running, we were the very first scavenger hunt in Second Life. We are also the longest running resident-ran event in Second Life. Another really cool fact is, Octoberville wass the very first thing Nathan, MK, and I ever made in SL. We were only 2 weeks old when we created the first Octoberville in 2005 with only a 20 item hunt and some trick or treating and a tiny Haunted house. Its so amazing to see how far it has come and continues to grow each year.

Its a very humbling experience.

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In 2008, we came up with the idea to move objects as they are found to keep people from TPing their friends to find it to. In your experience, ddid this aspect make the game more challenging and fun, or more of an annoyance?

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Really amazed that you were able to create such a thing at 2 weeks of age.... think i just knew how to move around after 2 weeks :matte-motes-big-grin-wink: It's great to see how important it all has become to a big group of sl'ers.

When it gets bigger and bigger (more popular) how will you organise? Extend the period of running the hunt? Would be sad if people can't hunt because of 'lack of space'...

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Taylor Flanagan, hush your lying mouth! THAT is my biggest challenge in Octoberville! Dealing with you three!!! lol



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