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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!


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Moving the items makes it much more fun and challenging in my opinion. Amazing how some items still hide after a month... some have found the (to me) unknown spots, but seems i cannot find some hiding places.

About the maze: ended up at a spot one time and haven't been able to get there anymore. Same thing about the pebble: after i got mine i couldn't find another one; was lucky jonathan showed me one.. :matte-motes-big-grin:

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@Asus It  has already become a bit of a challenge as far as the number of people that come through Octoberville. This year we are coming up on 3000 unique starters. Also this year, we were at capacity within the first minute of opening. And the first couple weekd, it can be hard to get in. We are leaving the build up this year to allow people to finish if they want. We are also talking about adding some game elements throughout the year and beta testing them on the people that cant get enough OV and want more throughout the year.

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Hey everyone, Also visit the FORUMS where myself and 7 other very talented Halloween creators are creating posts and answering questions. LOTS of conversations going on.. come chat with us there too!

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I started really thinking about next year's Octoberville as soon as I was finished with the Hunt. I was wishing I could have gone through again with another avatar but I just didn't have enough time left to get far enough and still keep in touch with new friends and acquaintances this avatar had made at the same time. I'll just have to wait until next year. So much to do ... make OV2012 folders in Landmarks and Objects; hunt for a costume and/or some makeup; ... . How many days away is it now? :D

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I definitely vote for more challenging and fun on the moving objects - even the frustration of something not being in any of the five or six places I'd seen it many times before but didn't see any use for the item at that time was a healthy, fun sort of aggravation. I'd be afraid without them moving around, someone could just send around a list of where everything would be and then there would be no hunting to do. Where's the fun in that? Although I did spend much too much of my limited SL time chatting with other hunters instead of gathering items I did need and could find (at least until Peewee decided to keep me focused, with Elise cracking the whip :D ). But what do I know? I've only been in SL around 80 days and of course this was my first visit to OV and PT.

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Christmasville instead of Octoberville? I certainly hope not!! I'm with Silken on the chance there would be enough volunteers to help there be both, although I'm fairly certain it's too late for this year. A Christmasville might not be as elaborate as OV, but sounds like OV didn't start out that way either. Shoot, just stringing up Christmas decor throughout OV and getting the gang together would be really special. I hate snow, but if it had to be around for Christmas atmosphere, OV people would keep it warm. And there are already fires to sit around - even a whole house. :D Someone even pointed out that there is already an orange snowperson standing in front of PixelTrix. :D I'm more of a 'bah, humbug' sort of guy, but then I wasn't much into Halloween until I got to interacting with the OV crowd. But if a year came along without an OV and PT, I'm afraid there would be much more reaction than just buckets or rivers of tears. And I'm brand new to all of this.

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Leaving the build up to allow people to finish? I hope the newcomers who just started within the past few days can find out about that (if I don't tell some I found or who found me myself, but I'd wanna be sure of what I did tell). And might I be able to run through with another avatar if I wanted? I wouldn't care if it couldn't get on the Wall, but would like to go through again - at least once. Even if not, I'd be willing to hang around and help any I could as long as the sim allowed.

And I'd probably be willing to beta-test some game elements or whatever. I wish I had the L$ to make a big contribution, but maybe I can contribute in some other way that might be of value. At the very least, I expect to spread the word around SL about OV - if I ever start spending any SL time outside of OV and PT again. :D

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Octoberville is for me the highlight in SL, each year again and again : friendship- fun- crazyness and much more ! I want to thank everyone for playing their part in that little mysterious town . Espescially the creators of OV !!  
I also thank everyone who voted for me so i became Queen of Octoberville 2010, truly an honour, it gave me goosebumps when i heard i was elected and i will cherish that moment forever  :-) !!!! I do hope i didn't dissapointed you !

I wish i could play Octoberville 24 hrs a day, so i could meet even more ppl and could be part of the big parties in Crowbar, but unfortunatly i can't because someone divided this mudball into timezones, ahahahah. I know those parties are big fun ! I also wish that Cherub, Master Kaos, Nathan and all those who were so busy in rl this year can find some more time next year, with you there is even more fun, i missed you this year, thinking of the fun we had in the past :-))

I do want to make a little remark about choosing the new king and queen of Octoberville. I would prefer a secret voting and with that i mean that we can't see who will be the next Queen and King of Octoberville untill it will be announced at the final party.Wouldn't that be more exciting ? I think it would, but ofcourse, it's just my opinion.

Elise ^^ 

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@darwinalbertsimpson Yes, we are going to leave the build up. Yes, you have time to hop on another character and do the hunt. I am not sure when we will get to the new game elements but we will keep people posted in the group. I highly doubt that we would ever decide to do a Christmasville INSTEAD of Octoberville. Octoberville has been our baby for way too long and I strongly believe in the philosophy "If it aint broke, dont fix it."

I can see us definitely decorating it for Christmas though.

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@Elise You definitely did NOT disappoint us,. You have always been a staple at Octoberville. I would say you have made me laugh probably more than anyone. I remember the first roleplay I did with you where we all chased you around the town trying to keep you locked up in jail. I nearly peed myself laughing that day. You have always been the top roleplayer. You bring so much to OV. OV would not be the same without you.

As far as the voting goes, I totally agree. This was the first year that I was able to get the polls working on the website and I admit I was a bit of a noob. Next year the results will be hidden until the last day. I will say though that a voter can not see the results until after they have voted.

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