Wednesday, August 24, 2016
The Pokemon Sim of Ravenlock
By Bixyl Shuftan
The sim is owned by Mindy Runo, a six-tailed foxgirl. She has the help of two friends, Ivy Kirax (Ivy Steampunk) and Casio (Casio2000) with running the place. I ended up meeting with both Mindy and Ivy on two different occasions. "I love both Ivy and Casio," Mindy told me, "This sim wouldn't be here without either one of them."
Asking her how the place got started, she told me the original idea wasn't about Pokemon, "The idea was originally going to be a carnival game. I was making small toys, and was going to make one of those duck shoot games where the creatures would move, you shoot it and get a prize. Well, during the creation of it, a friend passed me a squirtle.The initial squirtle was not animated, but it did move about. We were laughing and playing with it, till several others said it would be nice to have the others as well. So I worked on the bulbasaur, squirtle, and charizard lines, and eventually got to creating several things Pokemon.
As time went on, they improved the pokeball thrower, added a money system, and multiple levels, "Use to (be) we had roughly five levels that would take up all our prim count. Now we have over 15 levels, and room to spare. The next rebuild, I plan on over forty different areas, though smaller. I hope to prove that it will keep people happy being able to literally be in a game."
"Our one and only scriptor Casio2000 has been very busy this year though to make the battle system active, new activities using the sim's roleplay currency for Halloween, and improve the safety system against griefers and harassers. Mindy and myself are also in the process of revamping the sim from a 'Japanese pokemon' theme back to the old firered/leafgreen style. Now that the sim uses the new experience key program, we're able to make a more authentic game experience with many effects for players. There's many ideas left to implement and probably many more to come."
Asking if there was any roleplaying, Mindy answered, "Yes but not nearly as much as I would like, I do want to get an actual RP system in place, which with the new rebuild, I plan to head this section myself. In the past I relied on others who said they wanted to create the groups and such, but it never got further than that." With Renemon and other avatars resembling Pokemon, I asked if any residents were roleplaying the parts of Pokemon themselves. Mindy answered, "I have actually seen several doing such. I have seen Trainers and Pokemon RPing together in mock battles."
Ivy told me a little more about roleplaying here, "we do help supply the RP tools, faction groups and such for people to continue on personal roleplays around the sim. More often than not you're sure to find someone from a faction roaming around in full uniform. There's been a lot of funny roleplay stories that have occurred, and a lot of fan made stories too. Even though we don't have a full scale roleplay going on currently, there is also many secrets around the sim that people can find relating to the factions. While the teams like Rocket, Magma and Aqua have become a household name you can find entrances to their current team bases around the main town. However there is one new shadowy faction said to be run by a band of Yokai Pokemon lurking around, for the curious trainer they may stumble upon an old shrine in a magic infused forest. This shrine is said to be the entrance to the Yokai Pokemon base."
While it was a sure thing that Ravenlock had been getting more traffic since the release of Pokemon GO, she wasn't sure by how much as her real-life job has been keeping her busy lately,"I haven't had much time to spend on here." But the statistic from a few months before she was aware of, "We are at 20K traffic, which is roughly average for this sim. A low point is around 12K, and our highest point hit 43K. To put this in perspective, Help Island Public, the hub for most newbies, is only 8K traffic. So in layman's terms, your place was popular even before Pokemon Go was released."
Besides her six tails, Mindy's foxgirl avatar has a few other distinguishing features. One is the badge worn around her neck. Mindy explained, "The badge is something we use to do, and which I do want to bring back in a new design in the rebuild, if you click it you can get a clearer view above me." And it did, the badge listing her Pokemon as a "Vulpix," with her ability as "Flaming Ban Hammer." Mindy added, "It was a fun thing I did that let people make there own custom badges. It was just something fun to do. In the new build, I wish to bring it back, with badges for Trainers, Pokemon, and Observers." There was also a pirate ship and shark on her tails, "The ship, is the Thousand Sunny from 'One Piece.' I do love the anime and watch it regularly. The shark, I just got that recently."
Eventually, one of her tails lit up, making a musical note. She explained, "I like music, as people find out when they click my tails." And the others around began doing so more, making a few melodies causing Mindy to giggle a bit, "I think everyone who often plays here plays with my tails."
Besides the ponies, I also saw a coin on the ground, "As you can see, Pets, the ponies, as well as pokedollars, the coin over there, spawn around the players. We used to use floating spawners, which would roam an area and spawn them constantly. This would actually cause lag, as well as use a lot more prims. Now we have it so that the actual people are the rezzers, threw the experience system, and will only spawn creatures out around them."
Asuka was happy to have found the pony area, "It's relaxing to me." Then she noticed a certain purplish pony, "TWILIGHT!" She then tossed pokeballs at it until the game announced *Twilight Sparkle is captured by aliciasilverfang* "My favorite pony!" she beamed. She would capture a few more, then "Eep! I need to get pokeballs." So the three of us headed back to the town square.
Most of the rules in the sim are common sense ones, no griefing, no cheating, no sex and nudity. Profanity is not allowed, nor are vehicles not approved by the sim administrators. Drama is to be kept to a minimum and heavily scripted items "that can push, throw, trap, spam etc. in any part of this sim" are prohibited.
More on the sim can be read on their forum at http://toxicx.net/ravenlock/ . Their town square is located at Ravenlock (128, 127, 144).