Thoughts about GMP

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Timo Gufler
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Thoughts about GMP

Post by Timo Gufler »

After living couple of weeks in CDS this still seems to be a good place. There are many interesting people here and even RL artists whose contribution is amazing. CDS really has much richer and meaningful content than most of the SL that sometimes feels like a huge dating simulator.

It's also pleasant that things are planned together even if it slows down decision making and potentially creates tensions inside the community. On the other hand the slow progress seem to have protected CDS from negative consequences of openspace pricing even if it must have been negative experience for everyone working with the monastery sim plan.

There is also the General Master Plan that outlines the future expansion. I don't know much of the background how it was put together but probably a lot of hours have been used on working with it.

LL decided to split their Openspace (version 2) product into to new products called Openspace (version 3) and Homestead. Both of them have higher price per prim than full sims that means in order to attach these lightweight sims to the CDS area, which consists currently only of the full sims, the higher prim price should be either paid by lightweight residents themselves, full sim residents, or all together. This was discussed in the New Guild meeting in the last sunday in context of the Monastery plan.

In the GMP there are 11 void sims out of total 33 sims in the plan that means one third of the sims are planned to be void. If I have understood correctly the void sims are planned to have citizens and hence be more or less self-supported financially. If they were left uninhabited the cost per full sim would likely raise something like 10-20% and tier cost per resident probably less. Someone with more understanding of CDS economy could give more accurate figures.

My main concern about the GMP is role of the alpine-themed full sims. Totals of the different thems are estimated below:

Code: Select all

              Sims      Plots
Roman            6      ≥ 180
Alpine           5      ≤  57
Mitteleuropa     6      ~ 210
Mediterranean    3      ≤  57
Ocean           13      ≤  39

Currently it seems that middle european and alpine plots sell well while same can't be said of the roman area. The roman area is beautiful and made by talented people but for some reason they don't sell. Nobody knows how the visual hole affects land sales in LA.

I would like to ask that do you think the proportions are correct in the GMP? Especially should there be more alpine sims? As you look at the GMP there seem to be no similar sim like AM1 which I consider extremely successful. The other non-void alpine sims are AM5 and AM4 that would probably be some kind of alpine peninsulas (which by the way is quite strange concept for me). Should there be mountains and valleys instead?

My intention is not to criticize work of others but to just ask constructive open questions. As a new-comer in CDS I have not followed the discussions during creation of the GMP and maybe I don't understand all the brilliant ideas behind it.

Timo

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by Jamie Palisades »

That's a REALLY great analysis Timo, thanks. You are "getting it", and providing useful, well-informed citizen opinion, a lot faster than I did when I got here! Of course, it helps to have the level of data and explicit discussion as a frame, too. A lot of credit goes to the Guild and most particularly Symo and Moon for the careful detail work on the CDS General Master Plan: http://masterplan.slcds.info/

* The GMP was taking us in the direction of reliance on voids: 1/3 or so, as we grow. Note that Caledon's at about 50%. However, unlike Caledon, we had not decided whether we would rent them out; it only recently came up. in Arria's proposed Monastery sim plan. We might not always rent voids, if we use them. From the CDS point of view, a new rented full sim, next to a handsome nonrented park void, can be treated as one "purchase", and could be sensible, if the void makes the tenanted sim attractive and economically viable. We can, and I think always were prepared to, carry a few unrented voids.

* After the Linden price change modification, we still don't know how feasible tenants will be on voids -- any type, new or old. I've attended big parties (>75 avatars) on void sims. Someone's castle home, etc. Even if they *usually* stay dormant, that activity spike is exactly the kind of thing that the Lindens are planning to prohibit or regulate on voids. So voids for physical beauty, as a park? Yes. Voids for tenants? Viability still not clear. (Also, LL apparently now virtualizes voids; so we can't get four voids on one CDS-only simulator and make the problem of overload purely internal.)

* Also a great point from Timo: We undervalue our alpine terrain. LA's slow selling speed might in part be the scenic problem of the terrain gap south of LA. (By the way, did anyone consider closing it off, even with a sheer wall, when it was terraformed?) But CN also has a increasing vacancy rate. Watching AM, in contrast, has been interesting. It always sells out -- as does NFS. And I know of six current pent-up requests for alpine land, by the way. LA and CN land sits vacant ... but I placed a spare AM lot for sale (at the LA price) this week, and it sold in about a half-hour. We may also under-use our Alpine theme. Everybody likes the look of NFS. Oktoberfest was a big hit and brought us more citizens. And yet we have no fachwerken available? Let's work that Germanic culture -- and language -- angle more.

* GMP recommends a continuing ridge of mountainous land to the east and west of NFS. (We've been told by smart friends, for years, that hilly terrain makes estate maps hell .. and unsaleable ... and that our first priority in GMP as we grow should be to get all the NFS-adjacent land sloped back down down to sea level. But I think they were wrong.) WE also will need to assess that against the Monastery sim terrain map, if that proceeds. Should its southwest corner be at sea level?

[attachment=0]gmp_04_draft.jpg[/attachment]

* My personal next preference for a well-planned new full sim, after we resolve the Monastery Sim location, will be to the east of NFS. ("NFS3") For one thing, the SL grid opened up, and we should grab that space,. For another, we can *sell* more NFS, and spread its public build (nonrevenue) load across two sims.

* I hope we can continue to work on the concepts of NGO sims or NGOs yoids. If we use voids, though,. we probably must make sure that they have adjacent auditorium / group event space on full sims, to anticipate new load-limit rules.

* We've been talking about Al Andalus. Not sure how likely. However, if we became adjacent with them in any way, please note: (a) They'd probably fit well to the North of CN & LA (at or near "CN5/CN6", or connected there). (b) That "Mediterranean" theme idea in GMP to the North of CN was a placeholder for a new theme if offered to us. AA could just as easily slot in there. And we seem to have a Mediterranean touch forming elsewhere, on the West edge of LA, anyway. (c) AA have some voids already, that are under development, in a way that seems to be sensitive to the Linden rule changes. (d) As Patroklus Murakami pointed out, being controlled by a RL nonprofit entity significantly reduces Linden tier costs .. our biggest expense. AA already is. With or without AA, we need to work that issue as well.

Regards JP

.. "

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Arria Perreault
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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by Arria Perreault »

I am glad that we have this discussion about the GMP. I think also that the GMP was a great work and it has to be discussed, because LL has changed his price policy. I don't have an already made opinion about GMP, but I would like to add some reflexions:

- when I was preparing the proposal of the Monastery, I had interesting discussions with people who would like to developp high mountains in CDS. High means higher than NFS. When I read that the alpine plots are easely sold and that a ski area would be great, I start to think "why not?". NFS 4, 5, 6 sims could be higher than NFS. Do we have to reach the sea on every border of CDS?

- I still hope that the Monastery can find a place on a void sim somewhere, but frankly the place is not really important. The first idea of a void sim for the Monastery was in AM2. I have proposed AM3 because of this visual gap. But the Monastery could be anywhere around NFS sim.

- I still consider that use of voids should be linked to a NGO policy. NGO can build the sim, can manage it and make it well known. In my opinion, each void could have a particuliar activity developed by a NGO. The sim is easy to advertise and can be an added-value for CDS. We have interesting NGO: we have a NGO for building activities, two for culture and maybe one for sport (if we can add ski to football). Why not also attract NGO from outside or even rl entities who would like to develop activities in a community. I think that it could be more interesting for museums or libraries to be integrated in a community that to build sims in the middle of nowhere.

- About financing void sims, I think that we should develop a general policy. We can try to find special solution for each case, but I am affraid that it will be quiet complicated. I think that we have to imagine a new system for pricing. Until now we have based our price policy on land. We could try to see if we can develop a price policy based on prims (I have used this model for the financing of the Monastery). In this case, we have to determine the general percentage of prims for public use and the percentage of void sims that we will. We can try to make several scenario and see what fit to us (and don't change too much the current prices). This policy would have several advantages. Poeple pay for use and not for space. All the community can share the expenses for public places (inclusive landscape or ski area or any other construction).

- We have to make some reflexions about our two romans sims. I don't think that we just can consider them as failures. They exist. There is a big difference between a plot in AM and a plot in LA or CN. When you have a cottage in AM, this is an usual experiment that we can still have today. When you have a villa in a roman sim, this is very different. My opinion is that we have to re-develop our relations with Roma. When I enter CDS, they were excellent. The legio XIII came sometimes in CN and roman citizen loved to walk in our forum. CN was a little their provincia. I don't see us as competitors of Roma, as we will not develop a so rich program of animations. But Romans loved to have several houses, in town and in the countryside.

- I am in favour of an RL non-profit entity for CDS. I think that we have to build ours. I would like to mention that around one year ago, the CSDF has made a reflexion about this topic. If we have such an RL entity, we can have better price (only for normal prices) and also raise money for special projects.

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by Desmond Shang »

Just a quick comment about economics of various flavours of regions.

Depending on the to-be-announced script limits, while *most* residents would be unhappy with void regions... I suppose 'homestead' regions now... there is still a considerable market that will want them. I really hate to say it, but both the CDS and Caledon are well positioned to chase that market.

The reason I hate to say we may stand to gain, is because currently most of Caledon's void regions are used for large events periodically. There are some people *very* disappointed by the new limitations, and rightly so. I'm doing what I can for them.

* * * * *

If you *wanted*... watch the market, there is the chance that land parcels on these homestead regions might turn out to be rare, private, and valuable. Consider that people thought 295/mo regions were the end of private estates... until the market moved upward. I'm not saying this is a good thing; increasing costs are bad. But due to inevitable market forces, and the potential future rarity of 'homestead' regions, you may find light use regions a lot more viable than they look now.

Light region land rental will likely survive, even if a bit transformed. The people who really seem to be on the raw end of this are the sailing federation regions - ostensibly the very people who were using the regions as intended in the first place!

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by symokurka »

I'm HAPPY to see at last people discussing about GMP. :lol:
I'm keeping track of all comments and observations. I think we'll have to get back to a general GMP update as soon as LL land policy is clearly defined. GMP workgroup is re-opened to volunteers

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by symokurka »

Just to provoke discussion on this point:

We undervalue our alpine terrain. LA's slow selling speed might in part be the scenic problem of the terrain gap south of LA. (...) But CN also has a increasing vacancy rate. Watching AM, in contrast, has been interesting. It always sells out -- as does NFS.

My personal opinion (though i'm a proud and happy AM inhabitant):

1) LA has been the best we could do under the pressure of previous RA that claimed "high density sims to increase population" (alas). The result now is reasonbly fine, and LA does not sell because general SL sales have fallen to an historical minimum and because we are not very skilled with land marketing.
2) CN needs a strong reorganization of private plots, which are too tiny to let ANY activity grow. What can you do if you have 10 prims available? Not even rez a cup of coffee for a friend.
3) The reason for AM success could be it's unique medium/low density ratio (residential to overall sim surface). And yes, as Timo says, "natural" landscapes look less odd, when desert, than urban landscapes. So it's not a question of themes ("alpine sells better than roman"). I've visited very exciting low density sims based on sea themes (eg you know Bora Bora?)....And other Romans sell very well, as far as i know...
4) NFS is another story. It's the place where CDS were born and has strong emotional involvements for oldies here.

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by Rose Springvale »

symokurka wrote:

1) LA has been the best we could do under the pressure of previous RA that claimed "high density sims to increase population" (alas). The result now is reasonbly fine, and LA does not sell because general SL sales have fallen to an historical minimum and because we are not very skilled with land marketing.

While I wasn't happy with the process by which LA came about, it HAS become a beautiful sim. (I'm still not sure why we didn't close off the underground of AM, but I'm sure the landscapers have reasons for that.) I'm NOT in agreement that we are not skilled with land marketing... believe it or not, not everyone in SL WANTS to be part of a democracy. I personally think the quality of citizen we get is much higher than the typical SL land buyer, and they are worth waiting for. The VERY best marketing we can do is "word of mouth"... and bring our own friends and acquaintances in. It is NOT the job of the Executive office alone to sell the sims... (DO watch for announcements on incentives for others to get involved soon.) I do know that if Brian and Jamie and Sudane and I are the only ones 'selling'... this will be a long process. It takes a LOT of time to answer questions, tour sims, check prices and tiers, etc, all which is necessary to "get" CDS. Add that to our other "jobs" and remember that we all have first lives too! I'd like to challenge YOU all to bring just one new citizen to the project!

symokurka wrote:

2) CN needs a strong reorganization of private plots, which are too tiny to let ANY activity grow. What can you do if you have 10 prims available? Not even rez a cup of coffee for a friend.

This has always been a problem. To actually run a "business" in CN .. or NFS for that matter, we need to own multiple parcels. Sometimes the complaint about "not enough prims" seems a bit hollow... so long as there is land for sale at reasonable prices, land owners can control the amount of prims that are available to them. The issue seems to be that people want more prims for the SAME dollars... and that's really not reasonable. There has always been pressure on us to keep our tiers low as well, and CDS is relatively reasonable that way. Having a mix of high prim, more expensive parcels, and low prim.. easy entry.. parcels, is not a bad model in my opinion.

Yet when we try to resell those parcels, the market for them is not there, primarily, i think because WE are not there. CN is almost always empty. Why?

symokurka wrote:

3) The reason for AM success could be it's unique medium/low density ratio (residential to overall sim surface). And yes, as Timo says, "natural" landscapes look less odd, when desert, than urban landscapes. So it's not a question of themes ("alpine sells better than roman"). I've visited very exciting low density sims based on sea themes (eg you know Bora Bora?)....And other Romans sell very well, as far as i know...

I disagree. Of the people i have shown CDS land to, and the number is in the hundreds... AM is always the most favored sim. I think it's location between CN and NFS helps. I think the density helps. I think Double prims help. But i think more than anything, the fact that most residents of AM actually "live" there.. and spend time there, also helps. AM has a congeniality that is missing in, at least, Colonia Nova. We have tried many times to bring some life to CN... but it only seems to stay for the duration of the particular event. I'd love to see some ideas on how to reverse this ... and this alone is why i would not have voted to increase our roman sims had input been sought when LA was voted in. Other roman sims are more Role Play, and that seems to be a huge SL trend right now. But that's not our experiment. If you know of other roman sims that are NOT role play sims, let's go visit and see what sets them apart.

symokurka wrote:

4) NFS is another story. It's the place where CDS were born and has strong emotional involvements for oldies here.

I disagree (respectfully and affectionately) again. NFS is the easiest entry point for newcomers in CDS.. mostly because of the low prices and charming houses. It has lots of interesting points of interest, and people moving in there have an automatic sense of community. The activities are easy to plan and carry out in NFS, and i'd venture that it has the most traffic of any of the sims.

I'd love to see people working on GMP try their hand at selling land before they get too committed to a particular plan. If adding citizens to our project is desirable, it would help if we were more tuned into what potential citizens are looking for. I'm afraid the days of "if we build it, they will come" may be disappearing, if not gone.

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by symokurka »

I'm NOT in agreement that we are not skilled with land marketing...... I do know that if Brian and Jamie and Sudane and I are the only ones 'selling'... this will be a long process.

Well it was not my intention to criticize the hard work you are doin, I'm sorry if you interpreted this way. I just think that more in world land marketing could be helpful, in addition to individual efforts. I proposed to rez around visual landmark givers to help occasional visitors knowing what is for sale, at which prices, tiers...
If people do not meet you or Brian or Sud etc how do they have info on that? Checking yellow plots in map? Visiting our forum? Hmmm

Yet when we try to resell those parcels, the market for them is not there, primarily, i think because WE are not there. CN is almost always empty. Why?

This is a good question, i got my opinion but i'll keep it for myself, would love to hear more citiziens on this subject. I just add that maybe qualifying better and restyling CN should be one of our priorities in next GMP revision.
(.....and btw PLEASE evrybody from the US remove Presidential campaign signs from Forum, ans PLEASE former Toga shop don't leave it with cracked walls around, you'll never sell it this way).

I'm afraid the days of "if we build it, they will come" may be disappearing, if not gone.

Absolutely agree. What we need now is define priorities. Atm I'm working to understand better figures, promise I'll be back soon with some proposals to debate.

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by symokurka »

we are not very skilled with land marketing.

Just to make an example of what i mean. Let's say I'm a Roman sims' fan, occasional visitor of CN. Wow i say, looking at SL map, interesting plots for sale near Forum.
1. I check the first plot (ART, Lilith). Map says for sale (yellow), "about land" says NOT for sale. Never mind.
2. I cannot find walking around the second (Cleopatra shop). Unaccessible for people in a hurry, you need x rays to get into it. Never mind.
3. The most interesting is President McCain's former toga shop. Wow nice space. I get into it. "About land" says 480 sqm, 30000 LD. Hmmm how's that? looks greater than 480 sqm. In fact President's shop is composed by four (4) plots, for about 2000 sqm, but you're not aware, unless you have time and patience and some skill. The shop looks like a single plot. And what about the price? 30000 LD all? 30000 LD x 4 = 120000??? Sounds exaggerated...And what about the tier? Can't find it in covenant (not a single plot has info on tiers). No one around to ask. No owner online. Ok, guys, I think I'll go have a look to another Sim... (and of course I'm not aware that there is brand new Locus Amoenus nearby, and CDS loses a potential customer)

Again, i do not want to criticize, just provoke some attention on land marketing subject. Please do consider me as a newbie hanging around.

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by Arria Perreault »

If I am citizen of CDS today, it is because I read an article about the opening of Colonia Nova. When I have visited this place, I have immediately bought a plot because I liked the architecture. I still have this plot today (where is my shop). At that time, I did know many things about the CDS and its institutions. I was mainly interested to be in a roman city. In this period, Colonia Nova was very active. Several citizen were regularly in-world. During political campaigns, representants of the different factions stayed on the forum. Residents from Roma SPQR were often in the town. The amphitheater was also used as an non-official sandbox.
In the period where I came in Colonia Nova, the sim was quiet new and almost intact. Today this sim is very different. I am partly responsible, as I have also replaced one of my two houses there (but I am ready to restore the first one today).
There are probably several factors to explane why Colonia is now empty. I would like to separate the plots intra muros and the plots extra muros which are attractive, because they have a large area and a good number of prims. They are also empty: people can build what they want. The plots intra-muros are narrow and have few prims. It is not far from the plots around the Platz of NFS. The difference is probably that the Platz of NFS has kept its original aspect. Colonia Nova is very different.We have losed its harmony and its beauty. I hope that with the time, we can rebuild this original aspect and I am ready to do it with my own plot (if I find back up).
I hope that the plots which are currently for sale will find owners soon. If it the case, we should contact these new owners to see with them if we can give them the original building to rezz or at list a set of textures.

Ranma Tardis

People pefer Alpine lots

Post by Ranma Tardis »

I just bought the last Alpine lot available. Did not even consider any of the Roman lots because I am not interested in such.
My count is 19 available Roman lots to no Alpine lots. The community is losing new citizens due to a lack of Alpine lots.

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by symokurka »

People pefer Alpine lots

Please do not speak in name of people or community. Be honest and say "my opinion is"... The community (its RA) decided months ago after a LONG debate to open a roman theme sim. And we surely are not

losing new citizens

for that reason.
S.

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by Justice Soothsayer »

Ah, Symo, Ranma may be right. Her point, I think, is that the vacancy rate in LA compared to the near-zil vacancy rate in AM indicates we might have had a better market for another alpine sim instead of a roman one, and have more citizens today if we had made a different decision.

I suspect it may be more about elevation than era, as a mountainous ancient sim (Nea Hora, anyone?) might be popular.

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by symokurka »

It's really strange I have to defend now what was an RA decision "against" Justice. (And, btw, having been personally absolutely against that decision when it was discussed long ago). Now just to sum up, I respectfully remind you: last term's RA (namely Beathan and The Princess) pushed strongly for a "popular" low price - densely plotted new sim to increase CDS' population, versus the "aristocratic" concept of Alpine Meadows, which in fact has few plots and the highest tiers in the whole Cds sims. Now I hear that "people" wants exactly the opposite for exactly the same reasons. So let's first of all define what was institutional decision and what is personal opinion.

I have to outline two more points on this matter:

1). LA is the best result we could achieve under current economical situation - and it's NOT a question of theme - ANY new sim in this moment (alpine, sea, volcano, roman or scifi) would be half empty. Half SL is selling off, so what???
2). IF we ever decide to open a new sim we better start gettin ready with new land marketing tools BEFORE buying. For instance a more reliable presale system for new citizens becomes necessary. I heard last term The Princess saying she had "tons of newbies" to settle in our sims, where are they? I heard Arria speaking about 5/6 Monastery volunteers wishing to settle, WHO are they? We can't buy land, wait and see what happens, and blame it on themes or orography; it's not safe anymore.

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Re: Thoughts about GMP

Post by Justice Soothsayer »

I don't think I am disagreeing with Symo, at least not very much. I'm just trying to synopsize what Ranma pointed out, that our vacancy rates for AM are lower than LA. So are the LA vacancy rates higher because we (the community writ large, myself and the last RA included) picked a Roman theme, or a low-altitude sim, or because the SL and RL economies have gone into the virtual and not so virtual toilets? I'm not sure of the answer, but am asking the question to inform our deliberations about where we go from here. And yes, better land marketing tools are certainly part of the solution.

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