Asphyxiation Point is a non-profit community project built by Roleplayers for Roleplayers. As 2015 winds down to a close and 2016 approaches, we would thus like to engage you to reassess how we are doing and how we can do better still. And yes.... by you we mean each and every Roleplayer at Asphyxiation Point... Past, Present and Future.
Come tell us what you liked. What you didn't like. What you would like to see more of. Most importantly of all, let us discuss how we may assist each other in creating the most diverse, welcoming and engaging Urban Roleplay venue in Second Life.
To accomplish the above, we propose a three-pronged approach :
- Officially communicating our mission, vision and 2015 imperatives to you.
- A community survey to gauge how we are faring and how we may improve.
- An OOC meet and greet to discuss the most interesting areas of growth.
Vision and Mission
Mission : "To establish Asphyxiation Point as the Second Life Urban Role-play destination of choice for those looking for
(a) diversity in character types and roleplay opportunities,
(b) engaging and lasting storylines, and
(c) respect for roleplayers and their choices in role-play."
If you read our vision and mission statements, we are not about creating the BEST roleplay experience in Second Life. Roleplay means a whole lot of different things to a whole lot of different people and we are never going to be able to please each and every person who lands on our docks. What we do wish to be however... is different. And how do we do it? By picking on some key differentiating factors and sticking to it. Our mission statement best captures our long term strategy to do so :
(a) Diversity in character types and roleplay opportunities : To give you a bit of background, this is why Asphyxiation Point was created in the first place. There are plenty of excellent Urban Roleplay SIMs out there. But most focus on either upscale RP or seedy RP or erotic RP or gang warfare or ... you get the picture. The objective of Asphyxiation Point is to bring together characters from different financial backgrounds, different social stratas, different professions and see what kind of magic ensues. In some ways, Asphyxiation Point is a grand experiment. An experiment that may still go one way or the other. Balancing a large number of Roleplayers and roleplay types and interests is no easy feat and we depend greatly upon the community to make it happen. But its also what sets us apart and the support we have received so far has been overwhelming.
(b) Engaging and lasting storylines : Let's focus on the word "storylines" first. Storylines come in three phases... Initiation, continuation and termination. Of the three, initiation is the part most players need help with. Initiating storylines means reaching out to new roleplayers, pulling them into existing storylines or sparking off new ones. At a SIMwide level we have a couple of mechanisms to encourage this : Businesses and events. Businesses give people a way to RP their way onto SIM. Events help introduce roleplayers to other roleplayers. But neither guarantees a long-lasting storyline. The strongest asset we have to engage new roleplayers is other roleplayers such as you. Go out there and make it a mission to draw new people into Roleplay. Encourage others to do the same. Inclusion is at the very heart of Asphyxiation Point. The day we turn into a bunch of cliques.... We might as well stop Roleplaying at Asphyxiation Point.
(c) Respect for roleplayers and their choices in role-play : A lot of people have asked us why our application process is so much lighter than other SIMs. There are no multiple-choice quizzes, not even a character background. Same goes for why our moderators act as mediators to facilitate a dialogue instead of passing judgement. The motivation is simple. We give everyone the benefit of doubt and treat them like mature role-players unless circumstances force otherwise. By the same token, we hold our Roleplayers to higher standards and ask them to show similar respect to other Roleplayers. Roleplayers MUST consent to actions affecting their characters either via RP or negotiation in IMs. This is why we severely limit area-of-effect (A0E) attacks such as bombs, chemical attacks and other Roleplay where opt-out is difficult. Its why we encourage establishing intent long before making a move that may potentially affect another character. It is also why we enforce negotiation for use of OOC artifacts like props and NPCs.
Our 2015 focus areas :
- Learn, improve and make appropriate build / lead / rule changes.
- Build a community and encourage ownership of role-play ideas.
- Attract and retain novice role-players via marketing and roleplay.
1. Learn, improve and make appropriate build / lead / rule changes : 2015 was a time of learning... a time of change. We learned a lot from you. And made changes accordingly. Some of these changes were planned since the beginning. Examples of these are the SIM owned businesses evolving over time. Asphyxiation Point was created and opened in a span of 2 weeks. As you can imagine, there were a lot of build ideas we never got to fully implement and so we have slowly made changes over time. And we will continue to do so to ensure that Asphyxiation Point remains the most visually appealing Urban Roleplay SIM in Second Life. Other changes have been reactive in nature. The leadership team has naturally changed over time as the community grew and people's Real Life's got more or less busy. Our rules have evolved over time as well as we ran into corner cases we did not imagine hitting on day one.
2. Build a community and and encourage ownership of role-play ideas : 2015 was also a year of growth. Through your efforts, we added 280 members a month, or close to 10 roleplayers a day, in the last 10 months. Granted only a minority of these 2800 members are active Roleplayers at AP today, but the statistic represents an extremely large number of Roleplayers "potentially" interested in Asphyxiation Point, and is a fraction of the number of Roleplayers who have come to just check us out. While growing the community was nearly effortless given the amazing effort you guys put in, we had not realized how tightly controlled most people's Roleplay experiences had been in other SIMs. It took us a bit of time to propagate the culture of taking ownership of Roleplay ideas but it seems to have worked. Most of you no longer "suggest" events. You just send us proposals with date, times and requirements. The same applies for storylines. The only time we get contacted is when something needs admin approval, when there are prim/prop requirements, or when proposed storyline may affect the balance of Roleplay at Asphyxiation Point.
3. Attract and retain novice role-players via marketing and roleplay : The pool of Roleplayers in Second Life is limited at the end of the day and attrition is a fact of life. Getting more people interested and involved in Roleplay is critical not just to Asphyxiation Point but for the continued growth of Urban Roleplay in Second Life. We worked on attracting novice Roleplayers by ensuring we are well placed in Second Life Search, Destination Guide, and third party blogs; as well as making appearances outside of the Roleplay community from time to time (such as the SL12 Birthday and the more recent photography contest). Retaining novice role-players once they do come check us out has been a slightly bigger hurdle. While Asphyxiation Point has one of the most friendly and welcoming communities in Second Life, it can be intimidating to be surrounded by experienced (and amazing) role-players without the right support structure in place. We need to do better in training and retaining novice role-players for long term growth.
Moving into 2016
- Get the community more involved in the goals we are lagging on.
- Identify additional goals we may not have thought of.
1. Get the community more involved in the goals we are lagging on : For 2016 we would like to engage you to reach goals both old and new. Tell your friends about Asphyxiation Point and show them around. Doesn't matter if its just one person or that one person leaves after a few days... every person we introduce to / retain in the lovely world of Roleplay is a potential win. Same goes for novice Roleplayers you randomly run into on SIM. Often a few supportive words is all they need to become a valuable part of the Roleplay community. Similarly, coach through example on how to spark new storylines and continue the great job you have done in 2015 ! Or maybe we have been going about this all wrong and you have wonderful new ideas on how to achieve the high-level goals we have already described. Share them with the rest of us !
2. Identify additional goals we may not have thought of : We do speak to you every day in IMs, in group chats or even in Roleplay. As a result, we get ideas and suggestions almost every day. But that doesn't mean we have collectively thought of everything that can potentially make Asphyxiation Point an even more exciting place to Roleplay in. Anything and everything you can think of is worth discussing and worth identifying resources for as it is the community that makes the SIM at the end of the day. Maybe you can help us with some of our existing goals? Maybe there is something we haven't thought of that the community as a whole should be really focusing on? We have a few ideas on the backburner as to what these things should be but we would like to hear from you first.
Join us for an OOC town hall meeting
OOC Town Hall Meeting 1
Date : Jan 10th 2016
Time : 5pm SLT
Venue : Asphyxiation Point District Court Basement (The new courtroom)
We will have limited time so please do fill in the survey beforehand. We will post meeting minutes at the end of Town Hall Meeting 1 and ask for feedback to determine if an additional town hall meeting (in a different timezone) is required.