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Is Babbage in Decline?

When I first visited New Babbage in 2007, I was stunned. The average quality of builds was (to my eye at the time) excellent. Kandace’s lighthouse and Doc’s island were still there, the Vernian was still relatively new – all were mindblowing. Over the years I’ve been reasonably pleased that our average build quality was still excellent, but I was wandering a bit through town this week, and I couldn’t help but feel that Babbage isn’t blowing my mind like it did back then.

I’ve noticed that my standards for what constitutes a good build have changed significantly in the intervening years. Builds of my own that I was proud of a year or two ago now make me cringe. Are my standards high or is our average quality in decline? Or is our build quality still good?

(Addendum) After chatting with Victor about mesh, I’m more worried than ever that we may be falling behind. The Babbage build community is going to have to climb the mesh learning curve pretty quickly if we want to stay ahead. Am I wrong?

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  1. Arconus Arkright Arconus Arkright August 7, 2011


    When people grow and develop in an artistic medium, it’s only natural that their earliest attempts seem cringe-worthy compared to their later, more seasoned works. It doesn’t mean those first efforts weren’t great, just not as sophisticated as what came later. Remember: Artists never see their own pieces the way the audience does.

    It think Babbage seems like it’s in decline because you’re not as surprised/shocked by it as you once were. It’s not declining, it’s just becoming too familiar.

    When I first arrived, Babbage seemed a little otherworldly. Many of the buildings were less like buildings than strange kinetic sculptures with doors. Now, the city feels like it’s coming back down to Earth a little. No Steamworks. No Tiny Tin (so impressive). The new buildings are beautiful, but sometimes a bit tentative in their ambitions.

    Just based on the activity (or lack thereof) I see in the sandboxes around SL, it seems like fewer people are scripting and doing the kinds of crazy builds that look so cool in Babbage. I enjoy building but I have to I ask myself: What would it take for me to become a more dedicated expert builder and scripter? The honest answer: Fewer demands on my RL time or a winning lottery ticket so I don’t have to work anymore. 

    Maybe what you’re looking for, AC, is just a bit more “new.” New builders aren’t essential, but it’s always nice. There are people with fresh ideas on the grid (and off… they haven’t discovered SL yet) who can do fun steampunkish builds, the trick is attracting them to the Babbage community.


    • Matthieu Manamiko Matthieu Manamiko August 9, 2011

      I don’t think I have too much knowledge of steampunk but I do know that I like Caledon but New Babbage is just… more cool, way more steampunky. While I am not a builder but rather rent a home from Mayor Tenk and just recently arrived here, I do have my own standards in terms of quality (for furniture or prefabs I buy, etc.) and I must say I am impressed by everything I see. Going on adventures with my NB friends we constantly explore new, cool, interesting, places and builds. I visited NB some time ago and all I know is it seems pretty full compared to back then. My L$2 :)

      Oh and I think the idea of leasing land and then having people put up a build is cool, provided that build doesn’t cost the leasee a lot of lindens!

  2. Amadeus Hammerer Amadeus Hammerer August 7, 2011

    In my eyes it’s normal to see a city you live in with other eyes than one you just arrived at.

    Yes, I miss some of the old buildings too, but Babbage is like a rl city, it changes from time to time, old things leave, new arrive. And when “not so nice looking”-buildings leave, you often don’t realize that, because you don’t miss them.

    The threat from Mr Pearse about the secret places showed me, that Babbage is still the mysterious city it has been, when I visited it the first time.

    On the other hand a new time begins, some people began to morningtonize their buildings to save some prims and meshes will give the chance to improve some things more or/and save more prims, which can be used for more details or new ideas.Sometimes it needs just some new inspiration how to improve.

    But yes, I think we need to talk about this theme from time to time to keep up our standard and to rethink our own work.

    Maybe we should talk more open about ideas and improvements we have, so others can help or give us new ideas!


  3. Doctor Obolensky Doctor Obolensky August 7, 2011

    Yes, it is in decline.

    Babbage has expanded in size, and recently there was something of a land glut as people dropped land due to the economy.

    That meant that land values went down, and (IMNSHO) we became less picky about what builds were being put down, because we needed butts in seats, so to speak.

    Also, I believe we’ve hit a decline in the percentage of residents who are builders.

    The end result is that we have an overall lower quality of build.

    • Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon August 7, 2011

      To a degree I must agree with you Doctor Obolensky, but its not necessarily all doom and gloom. Hopefully things will settle down economically and we will have a chance to notch up the level of those builds.

      I expect mesh will bring a whole bucket of change, I’m finding myself looking at the power station and thinking of so many areas that need improvement. Its rather inevitable that I will have to learn a few new tricks when mesh becomes widely supported.

      I’m hoping for more steam pipes, more steam, more wires everywhere, more cogs, more sprockets, gutters and drain pipes, better catwalks and dogwalks, all manner of good stuff! 

  4. Yang Moreau Yang Moreau August 7, 2011

    I know for myself it’s that I’ve grown comfortable and familiar with the town and it’s builds. There have been some pretty shabby ones in the year I’ve been here, but they generally don’t seem to last or get replaced relatively quickly. As for mesh and keeping up with the curve, I don’t think mesh will change it terribly much where traditional building and sculpts will be horrific by comparison when it comes to buildings and structures, it’ll just provide better interaction and hopefully lower prim use.

    Still, it would be nice to see more experienced builders creating better builds. But that shouldn’t deter non-builders from moving in. After all, we didn’t come into SL ourselves being able to build from the start. Sometimes it’s a great challenge that pushes us to make new leaps in our own creations and learning of our already familiar tools. I know some of my best work has come out of challenges I didn’t feel prepared for. I learned oblong tesselation on the fly for a project for someone else, it was something I absolutely needed to learn to accomplish the project. 

    I say this because I feel we need to be careful about turning away people genuinely trying to be a part of the town through building. Constructive criticism and encouragement can go a ways. There are also the rpers. Who want to be a part of the town just as much as any builder, whether they have the skills or not. Sometimes they can find something on the marketplace that fits, sometimes they can’t and start making their own attempts. Sometimes that falls flat. But trial and error, right? If you see a shabby build, don’t just go “It’s crap.” Let them know gently, “It doesn’t fit the aesthetics and standards, but if you work on this part, it’s a good start”. Sometimes feedback can be the best nudge of encouragement in learning. 

    ::pauses:: I haven’t got any sleep yet today… XD I should probably shut up my rambling now, cause I think I’ve forgotten the point I was trying to make.

  5. Mr Underby Mr Underby August 7, 2011

    I don’t think it’s simply a matter of sub-par building or too much land, a level of timidity and supposed “reality” has started to sink in which I, personally, think is somewhat detrimental to the city as a whole.  I think many people have become overly concerned with “period” and not enough with the wonder of “new” fake technology that is the glory of Steampunk.

    The recent mostly-jest (I think) poking about the telegram system is a non-building example… who is to say in the Steampunk reality of New Babbage that the telegram system works the same way?  Or, if we want to go there, why would we be using telegrams at all?  If we can build gigantic airships and rayguns, why hasn’t someone already developed telephones or even – horror, television?

    Now, if we want a building example, about a year ago someone built a rather nice build that was a sort of floating building, held up by rockets, or something, I don’t remember exactly what… it was meant to float over the Port, just out in the water.  It was rejected as “too unrealistic”.  I was flabbergasted.  

    Do we really lack the imagination now to see how something like this *might* work if we all put our heads together and thought about it?  I was truly saddened when this build was rejected.

    Mind you, my opinion should be taken with a rather large dose of salt, as I am one of the members of the population Dr O referred to whose building talents are far below sub-par.

    • Kaylee Frye Kaylee Frye August 7, 2011

      I have a little house tied to a giant balloon I used to have floating over my shop.  I think its time to put that out again!  If anyone other than Tenk tells me they don’t like it, then too bad!

  6. Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger August 7, 2011

    This is very much like the old story about the four blind men describing an elephant.  A great deal of what you describe is wholly based on how you are looking at the issue. The nature of the builds is not the only thing that has changed, as there are things going on in town that would not have gone on in earlier days.  I won’t say ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in that context, but more of a ‘different’ thing.

    Has the nature and complexity of builds in town changed?  Yes, it has.  One reason that I have seen is that there are more folks building than they used to, so the learning curve has changed quite a bit.  As I recall, in the old days, if someone wanted a building and wasn’t feeling up to it, they would contact one of the ‘old pro’ builders and they would build the building.  The buildings would be more complex, but the pool of knowledge was more concentrated.  The tipping point that I saw was not so much the ‘butts in seats’, but that the average builder with average skills suddenly felt the ability to measure up and to risk putting something in.  This goes into the topic of theme enforcement and just what types of builds do we want in a certain place  or how do we want things to look?  While a big frame Victorian house may be ‘period correct’, will it fit in between two big brick warehouses?  What about prefabs?  Do we make a list of ‘approved’ structures?  Do a Good/Better/Best rating?  If so who does the rating?

    Another point has been New Babbage has become a bit more mainstream, as the community has matured and aged.  When I came in 2008, it was 6 sims (pre-Wheatstone, old Academy).  Babbage was the graduate steampunk sim, as folks went to Caledon first because it was bigger and better advertised, then came to Babbage after they had ‘grown up’.  We didn’t get stone n00bs fresh off the Island that much that I recall, so the feel in town was very different.  Part of what we are experoiencing now is due in part to the word getting out.  Babbage is a good looking sim thematically, especially when compared to some other places I’ve seen.  This became part of the draw, so we have gotten a lot more folks who are just drawn for the look, and may not have any stake in things beyond that.

    Is there a way back to the path?  Again, maybe.  It would take some very gracefully applied code enforcement, from someone who was willing to be patient and helpful.  Maybe this is a good time to reintroduce the idea of the ‘official City prefabs’. 

    For my bit, I can say that I have learned a lot as I began to build, and every finished project taught me something else for the next one. Having someone to collaborate with now has helped me a great deal, and has grown from the things I learned back years ago sitting in a sandbox watching Greg, Viv, and Jasper build.

    • Yang Moreau Yang Moreau August 7, 2011

      To be honest, New Babbage was my first experience wetting my feet in the Steampunk pool, both in truly learning of the genre and aesthetics as well as building in it. I’ve always admired it from afar before I came to New Babbage last summer. And honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted to dive in anywhere else! I’d almost say I’m one of those “goths who discovered the color brown”, but to be honest, as a builder who stakes his skill in striving for realism, I went the route of more based in Victorian fact as I consider myself a terrible steampunk for not being able to grasp the mechanics in any sort of realistic or even fictional light. (thus why you never see me in any technical build type competitions)

      But I fell in love with New Babbage so quickly, I wanted to be a part of it and I wanted so much to do so with my own build. When I rented the boat slip in Clockhaven for my sushi shop, Mr. Tenk gave me a boat I could use, but for myself I HAD to build my own boat in trying to take a period Japanese ship and give it the copper accents that I felt it would have picked up in being adapted to such a place aesthetically. Anything I try to make, a LOT of visual research goes into.(has about 300mb of reference images in a folder, most of it since coming to New Babbage)

  7. Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg August 7, 2011

    Although I’m a relative newcomer to New Babbage, I’d like to jump into the fray with a few observations. *puts on asbestos knickers*

    There is an apparent tension between the two main needs that New Babbage has.  First, to attract new residents, and second, to maintain a high build standard.  It’s fairly obvious to most that when you want to accomplish the former, the latter will be more difficult to achieve.  The reverse is also true.

    There was a thread similar to this not too long ago, which I read with some trepidation upon first coming. I am not a very skilled builder, but I want desperately to contribute to the well-being of the city. Although I would prefer to contribute by creating something myself, I know that anything I build will likely not be something I would consider Babbage-quality.  So I started asking myself what my options were.

    I could purchase property and hire someone to build something for me.  This is expensive.

    I could purchase property and go at it myself.  Not a great option given my point above.

    I could purchase property and put a prefab on it. While some prefabs are great, I don’t think anyone wants to see a city populated by the same buildings over and over.

    And honestly, those are the only three options I see available to me.

    But what if there was another option that allowed me to purchase property and somehow cede it to the city for development?  That way, I could contribute not only to the economy, but also to the aesthetic needs of New Babbage.

    This might be a wild idea, but what if there was some sort of land trust wherein contributors could provide financial support, but the actual development was left to those who are more experienced?  And to those who have a good idea and vision for what will take New Babbage into the next phase of its existence?

    I, for one, would sign up the very day it was announced.  And for newcomers, who may become less and less experienced as New Babbage ventures into RL with books and the like, this gives us an option to leverage fresh blood and ideas while also maintaining a high standard. Unless New Babbage can provide consistent education that allows the less-skilled among us develop Babbage-worthy skills (and I don’t say this with any sarcasm at all, I’m quite serious), there don’t seem to be many other solutions. And I do like to think about solutions.

    Said land trust would need to have a strong charter and organization, but I know that there are those among us who are willing to put their money (and time) where their mouths are.

    One last point I’d like to make.  While long-time residents might see New Babbage as in decline, as someone coming in with unjaded eyes, I’m amazed every day I’m here. I’ve been here for almost three months and I’m still discovering new aspects of the city. This goes beyond the parcel builds though, to the municipal infrastructure of the city. It’s simply amazing. Don’t lose hope. :-)

    • Aeolus Cleanslate Aeolus Cleanslate August 7, 2011

      An excellent post, Miss Ginsburg. A Build Trust has been discussed, usually every time a favorite build is given the wrecking ball because the owner can’t afford to keep up the parcel anymore. Perhaps we should establish such a thing and open it for contribution – appoint a board of builders to review nominations, perhaps? The idea of dedicating the proceeds of the Tales project (assuming there are any) to such a thing has been discussed. A noble purpose I would be prouod to support as well.

      As for prefabs, I am of the belief that starting land owners off with prefabs is a good idea (my own contributions are available for that purpose). Allowing them to customize textures from a limited palette and add details would be enough to limit the repetitive concern you raise. After all, many buildings in any RL town are build to common standards as well.

      • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg August 7, 2011

        If you don’t mind me asking, AE, what kinds of obstacles have prevented the implementation of a trust in the past?

        Regarding the prefabs, your point is well taken.  I’m probably going to go parcel hunting and pick up one of your prefabs for it.  Because even if it isn’t what I’d prefer to do, I believe it will still help the city to have one less parcel sitting for sale.

        Eventually I’ll be able to contribute something steamy of my own. We’ll see how it goes. ;-)

    • Bianca Namori Bianca Namori August 7, 2011

      I know this may be a big shocker to some, but Babbage is intemidating and at times, so are the people. Finding your grasp in it and seeing those around you who are more “in tune” with the city can leave you feeling dizzy and flat out “under qualified” to contribute in anyway outside of buying land and throwing a few linden into someones donation box here and there.

      As Junie has stated, I can see myself where some of the “old school” of Babbage may feel that things are going downward or that the change of the city isn’t exactly the desired direction they hope for. Times are changing, and change is never, ever easy or smooth right off the bat. But the “C” word doesn’t have to be a scary thing, does it?

      Sure, AE is just voicing his opinion and his self-revelation, but don’t kid yourselves either…old, new we all notice it (change) and it can either be something we band together on, try to ignore, or tantrum over.

      Jed hit the nail on the head, (no building pun intended), finding someone who is patient enough to teach the skills or even have you watch and get you to participate is nice, but rare. From what I understand, those who are builders are elbows deep in their own projects or projects for others, and those who are offering help make it “selective” on who they want to deal with. Completely understandable. Perhaps though Tenk shouldn’t be the only who is offering building classes here and there? To those who know his standards and the standards that have made Babbage what it is code wise, put a foot forward outside of your own bubbles every so often?

      From learning about the importance of theme and design with my former sim, a nice and tailored theme is what drawns people, but the  creative leway is what keeps people there. Babbage and builder seems to go hand and hand, so maybe it’s a time for those who are builders to challenge themselves in some way? But there sadly just has to be a lax or people just won’t pay, and getting people to pay for quality is rough as it is, and pay is what keeps LL-repos away.

      Perhaps as a builder you can take on a pupil? Share your knowledge and pass the torch? A great example that I have gotten to see first hand is the practicing excellence of Mr. Merryman through Rip Wirefly. Though he intimedates the CRAP out of me, he to my own opinion is a grand builder, and you can see how much care he puts into it and I feel even in a way it’s a homage to who many of you got to know, and many of us wished we could of had the pleasure of knowing. Mr. Merryman. 

      But it’s going to have to be a give and take. There’s got to be willing pupils for the willing teachers. I’m super guilty at tucking tail and running at the first thought of putting a prim together. Those of us who are unsure of our building skills perhaps challenge ourselves too? Even if it is a small build that you will blow up later. -passes the c4 around like candy-

      Perhaps RFL shouldn’t be the only time when people come together to create an exciting and unique build in the name of New Babbage?


      • Dr. Cyberusfaustus Dr. Cyberusfaustus August 9, 2011

        Ms. Namori, your comments ring so true! New Babbage IS daunting, and marvelously so! The builds, the characters, the challenges of SL. I stay in New Babbage because it is simply the most well put together sim I have seen and its character is deep… the intrigues and the city itself make it seem like a living organism. Every night I step out of my clock tower shop, it is with the anticipation of some adventure.

        To your point of some sort of training program for builds on trust land. This is a brilliant idea. It is what is done in RL. Look up pis terre sometime… you will find all sorts of workshops where people get together to learn by building a house, then go off and build there own. So you get one great public building built by the workshop and all the individual builds made by people who now have the chops to do a good job at it.

        Also, who is to say when a build is complete? Could we not apply principles of Agile development to the public build process? We could build simple (say one story or one room) structures at first which met the high quality standard. Then we could rework the structure to make it more complex, in stages… this would be a great way to fill in empty parcels, use our time effectively, and gradually train those of us newer to the intricacies of SL building in a less daunting manner.

        I would be happy to lend my expertise in managing such projects as well as my own coding and mesh experience (I look forward to meshes with joy as I am more used to them from other 3D development I have done – sculpts still seem like some sort of unholy aberration to me!) I would also donate to a Land Trust.

        • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse August 9, 2011

          Also, who is to say when a build is complete?

          *Looks pointedly at Victor* 

  8. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver August 7, 2011
    “This is very much like the old story about the four blind men describing an elephant.”or perhaps Simply put “A Large Elephant in the room” ..
    When I arrived .. pre Wheatstone Myself .. I rented for a few Months .. Believe it or Not I assembled Piermont Myself from a much larger Build ..
    and I waited with baited breath for approval .. It was a long wait .. (( three long days))
    Shauna-than was never thrilled with it, Alas he let it slide pass ..
    As did others ..
    One of the main Reasons I decided to blow her *Piermont* up (( well Doctor O did :) )) Was we knew it time to raise the Bar *per* example with a Fresh New Build !
    • Again it is not personal .
    • (( of course it is ..It is some one’s build . Yikes !! Paradox time .. ))
    But for the Good of The Community I do believe the bar needs to be Respected , In forced and Acknowledged ..
    • All New Builds should have to pass an inspection before they are placed .. Is that not fair ?
    It used to be the way period !
    Again, Just because someone wears the New Babbage Engineers Tag does not give them Rights to Place anything on their New Babbage Parcel ..
    • Praise has to be earned .. Some of us don’t even wear our Engineers Tags Folks .. Remember that it is something special and something to be Proud of ..
    My Humble Opinion there ..
    1. PS …One more very Important fact …. Learning is always welcomed and for many Encouraged . thus there is a whole Main land Building Huge Parcel made available .. and High Up in Sky Platforms Folks ..
    • Yang Moreau Yang Moreau August 7, 2011

      XD I tend to repeatedly forget it’s there.

    • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg August 7, 2011

      I wear my Engineers tag not because I feel I’m an engineer, but because I’m proud to be a Babbager! 

      (And also because I often forget that in some viewers my tag is visible even though I don’t see it in mine….heehee.)

      Okay, I’ll try to stop waving my flag now, it’s starting to feel corny.

  9. Lady Chronometria Cogshine Lady Chronometria Cogshine August 7, 2011

    This topic puzzles me a little. I`m impressed that there are buildings there at all, even bad ones, as around a month ago there was a great deal of empty land. Those little “land for sale” wagons were everywhere. If there are people renting those spaces, be thankful, as the “bums on seats” issue is still there.

    Cala Mondrego – Lovely but gone.

    Steeltopia Anchorage – Lovely but gone.

    Not to mention the downsizing that other steamlands have been doing, trimming sims here and there (Winterfel was it, i forget, but one halved its size).

    Babbage has remained a constant, with refugees from places like Cala Mondrego heading here and setting down roots. It remains a constant not due to having lovely buildings, but because it has a community where people talk and things happen. It’s the roleplayers, the chatterers and the helpful folk that have kept Babbage as an attraction. People want to be with people and Babbage has many, varied sorts of citizen as well as frequent visitors.

    I rented in Babbage for a short time and even putting “the right tree” outside the walls, miles from anywhere proved to be something i failed at and was pulled up on time and again. So i got tired of it and moved on. God help me if i had been building something within the city limits, i very much doubt my skin would have been thick enough to withstand the potential criticism.

    So if people are managing to put anything down, then cut them some slack. It does not take much to make someone move elsewhere.

    • Kaylee Frye Kaylee Frye August 7, 2011

      This is a really important point to consider.  I would much rather have a few less-than-amazing builds around town than have them not renting at all, and Tenk having to sell a sim, which was a very real possibility for a while.  Eventually theyll get better at building, or a new build by someone else will go up.

      • Grendel Footman Grendel Footman August 9, 2011

        same here, so a couple buildings are a little shabby or are prefabs, least someone’s doing something with the parcel, and contributing to Babbage’s existence

  10. Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain August 7, 2011

    I’m going to go ahead and be contrary and say “No, it isn’t.” 


    Because I recall shortly after I joined the Ning (way back when it WAS a ning) this exact same conversation happening. Babbage is in decline! All the builds suck! Nobody will stay! the sim will close. 

    Two years later it’s hard to even get excited over this topic anymore. Are there some substandard builds? Sure, of course. Every sim has them. I can think of a few right off-hand that are not my favorite.

    Does it still have fantastic builds? Absolutely! More importantly, hardly a day goes by that I’m not running into someone visiting the sims for the first time (mostly mainlanders, but sometimes fellow steamlanders) who have to, absolutely have to, tell me how amazing the city is. How wonderful it looks from end to end. When I tell them it’s being built by the people who own the land they are beside themselves in awe, sometimes they literally don’t believe me. 

    The sims that I have been to that are uniformly perfect are always  A: dead empty and B: literally built by one person, with the houses all for rent.

    How about this for a suggestion: See a build you loathe? Can’t stand it? Politely IM the person and see if you can’t convince them to let you help them, or else let you build something for them.

    There are a few builds in the city that have happened for just that reason. Even I saw one I couldn’t stand and fixed it and I am far, far, far from being even close to the best builder in town. 

    Otherwise, in another six months, this exact same topic will be up for discussion again. 

    • Verlia Bilavio Verlia Bilavio August 8, 2011

      I’d have to agree with the ‘no it isn’t’. On my time line, I definitely remember far worse builds being up more than a year ago than what I see today. There’s also a reason we won awards for our RFL builds.

      Instead of having this debate, we don’t people who are unhappy get out and do something to benefit babbage as a whole? Reinvent your build! With mesh just now coming out, maybe you can get a head start on something great. Or, like Star said, if you see a build that could use a bit of help or a builder who seems to be struggling, lend them a hand. I’d much rather have more people learning how to build well than a handful of builders who get contracted. Or perhaps you have a great idea but need a little help putting it together? Maybe someone out there likes it enough to help you out!

    • Yang Moreau Yang Moreau August 8, 2011

      Haha, that actually reminds me of the seasonal gridewide panics of “LL’s ruining SL, it’s all going to end!” when you put it like that.

  11. Rip Wirefly Rip Wirefly August 7, 2011

    Nicely put and I think I said something similar to this a couple times in the past. The reaction I received when I did was that change is inevitable and good. Sure change is inevitable because as new things are introduced builds should be revisited and worked on to improve them, and people will come and go. Though, is all change good? When things change there is always different paths to take, and I will agree with AE here that the path the builds of Babbage are taking are not the most desirable. Of course there are exceptions to everything; some builds have been amazing recently.


    I think one of the big trends that have influenced build quality in the past year has been the rise in textures prominence. Prior to this textures were ok, not amazingly detailed and shadowed, and the ones that were were not readily available. The increased texture detail leads builders to lose two things, prim details on their building, and creativity in their structure as the texture dictates what shape the building needs to be to represent it.


    Mesh will be a learning curve and it will be beneficial but not as much as some think more than likely. It will have limits to it and will not be as customizable as sculpts, The biggest thing that is coming out of this mesh update is the bigger prims, that can stretch to 64m now.  I have been playing around with them on the mainland and made something in a day that would have taken me considerably longer with mega prims. The big prims make it easier to make buildings and I see this being a positive for Babbage as people can either revisit and cut down prims in their buildings, or make brand new ones without need for mega. I will probably try my hand at prefabs again now that there are the larger prims.


    So is Babbage in decline, I would agree yes. Though is this not something that can be fixed, of course not. Quality is something that is synonymous with Babbage and we need to take it back. Whether it is build inspections, a return of classes, people taking others under their wing, or older builders offering a hand, things can happen, and newer builders also need to be receptive if someone is offering help, not taking it the wrong way.  At the same time we have to keep in mind that we are all people too who are trying, and not go after certain builds because they are not up to our standards.

  12. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver August 7, 2011

    Raises My Hand to the Lovely Lady C ..a few points if I might mention ..

    • What was it that attracted You to New Babbage in the first Place :)
    • Perhaps not for You , For many it has always been the bricks and cobbles ..
    • The Builds Do Matter ..
    • The Neat winding roads ..
    • Of Course the friendly Community Counts !!
    • Yes I concur there are two sides .. often three *with our Community* to each Coin. *Pun
    • However .. This is why a Committee won’t work in this Situation .. Perhaps Three Administers that have the time to be available to approve . Give Suggestions and Help … with Direction and Not Dictate ..
    • Because The CLockwinder does Not want to insult , loose and chase away Citizens .. Understandable ..
    • Alas This is an “In Genre” Community :) .
    • Yang Moreau Yang Moreau August 8, 2011

      I’d like to add onto the matter of the bricks and cobbles attracting. I found it very true. I was lured in truly by one of Ms. Elleon’s contests for the White Rabbit’s dishes, but I was very intimidated by how closely knit the community was, I couldn’t really see wiggle room for someone new, but I fell in love with the pride and effort of the builds that made the city so beautiful. I stayed for more than just the builds though, but for the people I couldn’t see myself fitting well with. I wanted to be a part of not just the builds, but the community. And I often feel like I’m still not quite fitting in, but I don’t think you could get me to leave short of banning me. I love the place and the community too much. But there has to be something to draw someone in to that kind of love. And honestly, it’s going to be different for different people. I imagine many wind up intimidated by the closeness of the groups of friends here that they feel they couldn’t wiggle into to find a place of their own. And when it comes to that for some, then it’s other things that draws them in, and one of those things is the builds.

  13. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver August 7, 2011

    hence the paradox … oh well cest la vie , just turn the page, and never mind…. Everyone has and is entitled to an opinion as all know …I simply thought that there was a genre involved.. IT is not a federal crime to share an opinion… I am sorry if some simple suggestions were seen to some as a sim and community killers ..nervous smile…

  14. Christine McAllister Pearse Christine McAllister Pearse August 7, 2011

    Is Babbage truly in decline or are we suffering from our mid-summer doldrums when the community is sort of sleepy and not much is going on?  Whenever I am offering a friendly welcome to people new to our city, they invariably comment on how amazing Babbage is and that they are dying to explore it further.  I offer a few handy LM’s of my favorite spots but I am going to put a notecard together of one LM for each sim that Babbage is made up of to give them a good overview.  I have *never* heard anyone say “OMG…this place SUX!” or anything along those lines, which I think is a good sign.

    I think too, that saying “Familiarity breeds contempt” may be coming into play a little bit.  You get accustomed to the surroundings and soon they no longer seem quite as mind blowing or amazing as they used to.  While I do see the odd build that seems a bit less than the standard in Babbage, I don’t think being rude and shredding the person apart over their amature efforts is the way to go.  I don’t think anyone amongst us landed in SL with superlative building skills, I know I certainly didn’t and I’m still learning with each building effort (Thank you Edward!!!).

    As Star stated earlier, this topic has been hashed out before and honestly, we can flog this to death and never reach a full consensus. Yes, the economy is rather unstable right now with a rather unpredictable future ahead which means people are rethinking their priorities.  As for the “bums in the chair”, I am one, when I took those two plots in New Babbage…the amount of red blocks on the board alarmed the daylights out of me.  I hope though, that the grocers, tobacconist and other shops will become an integral part of the fabric of Babbage where people can RP or use in their storylines and Babbage life.  I hope that things stablize and some of those red blocks can disappear.  

    I enjoy being a citizen and resident of Babbage and I want to see our community thrive and grow, even though that usually means change.  

  15. Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse August 7, 2011

    As one of the new builders in New Babbage I take this thread (and the similar one a couple of months back) very seriously. The last thing I want to do is contribute to lowering the standards of this city. But, my builds are always malleable and I respect all criticism as long as it is constructive. After dropping my first build in the Wheatstone Waterways I had several visitors drop by to offer advice and I have much better building because of it (though as I said they are always malleable and subject to improvement).

    I think the key is repect and I must say, everyone who has made suggestions (from the thickness of my windows, the cleanliness of my bricks, and the ‘leggo effect’ of having my repeat value set too low) was very respectful. I appreciate everyone of them and hope they continue to help me tweak things as they see fit.

  16. Edward Pearse Edward Pearse August 8, 2011

    As Star said, this is a semi-regular question. At least Babbage seems to have moved on from being “anti-Caledon”.

    Familiarity breeds contempt. If you wander the city and it’s builds don’t blow your mind like they did four years ago, that’s not the fault of the city.

    Has the city changed in four and a half years it’s been around? Hell yes. Today people will walk around the City and drop in to say Hi. Or if you’re in the Academy sandbox, will wander over to see what you’re up to. Or drop into one of the watering holes for a chat. This is a marked change from the *individualists* who rarely seemed to interact with anyone else at the sims’ start.

    Building styles have changed. When I built my first shop in Babbage Square sculpts didn’t exist. The texture set of Brown Bricks with Green copper trim was everywhere (mainly because there were very few brick industrial textures). Today there are vast numbers of textures available, often freely, and sculpts can be purchased or made. I can’t use sculpt software but I can utilise inworld gadgets. And if I get really picky I know enough people I can ask for help.

    Yes Mesh will change things. Just like Sculpt Prims did. Personally I think the access to prims bigger than 10×10 will have a more immediate impact as people tinker with builds that used megaprims.

    I don’t think the building levels are in decline. I think there are more diverse builds now than the factories and warehouses that became a cliché.

    But most importantly, New Babbage is no longer just a show-piece sim. The builds are nice but people are now coming for the Community. I think that’s a vast improvement.

    • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger August 8, 2011

      No Ed, the Anti-Caledon conversation starts in September.

    • Dr. Cyberusfaustus Dr. Cyberusfaustus August 9, 2011

      I went to Caledon once. Fortunately I had come to New Babbage first.  I did not even wait for the next steamer, I just turned around and reboarded the one that had brought me from New Babbage.

      • Grendel Footman Grendel Footman August 9, 2011

        I just flew in from Caledon and boy are my arms tired

  17. Lynn Mimistrobell Lynn Mimistrobell August 8, 2011

    I guess the question is, what are residents looking for? 

    I am a new comer here, and I want to roleplay and find a community.  I don’t have a desire to build whatsoever, so will I be ‘diluting’ the pool here?  Will I be accepted into the community or not?  Should I be worried about how I decorate my one room rental?

    These are rhetorical questions, but I think they need to be thought about.  Are you looking for a community of builders, a community of roleplayers, or a combination of the two?  The third can be an incredibly dynamic combination, if everyone works together to uphold a high standard and works together with one common vision. 

    Should you accept someone wanting to build a futuristic/modern space station in New Babbage?  Possibly not.  Should you accept a displaced, poor gypsy with dreams of becoming a lady?  I certainly hope so. 

    Mr. Pearse said people are coming for the Community.  I will tell you, that is what I came hoping to find.  I was from Cala Mondrago, and when I returned to SL I looked long and hard for an rp community.   What attracted me to the Steamlands in general was the level of sophistication, and to Cala in particular was the friendliness of the people – it was definitely not the setting because an ‘eastern’ sim was never one I would look for.  But the people made it work.  Not only was I accepted, I was talked to in both chat and IMs.  I was made welcome.

    What I noticed in many other sims was either a lot of people ignoring newcomers, or a rigid adherence to hard-core rp, neither of which are attractive to me at this stage of my life.  

    Just like people may forget the wonder of seeing a wonderful sim for the first time, they may also forget how intimidating it is trying to find acceptance in an already established community.  

    So where am I going with this disjointed, rambling post?

    New Babbage is beautiful.  The people are clever, smart, funny and imaginative.  The ingredients are here for continuing something wonderful.    But it is the residents that need to decide what direction to take it, and how to get there.  



    • Sky Melnik Sky Melnik August 8, 2011

      I love asking this question, even of myself at times. Just like the rest of life though, every individual has a different answer to why they are here. I think that’s a great thing.

      Babbage is a combination of builders, role-players, and even folks who are neither. It’s a tough balance to strike, but I think on whole we manage fairly well.

      I believe that part of the beauty of Babbage is that you decide what you are looking for here and perhaps even if you find it. If there is a hole, something missing that you’d like to see, more often than not you are welcomed to fill that gap, be it writing your own story/history (even the town’s history), creating a business/attraction, or pretty much anything within the logical confines of Babbage steampunkery. Just by becoming a part of the town you are given a fairly broad creative license which is difficult to find many other places.

      We’re a varied people, us Babbagers. But we do welcome new folks with open arms and hope they’ll fall in love with the city and the lives within it as much as we have. So again, welcome.

  18. Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey August 8, 2011

    I do hope that I’ve come to fit in. I came from the furry sims where one person builds the whole place and then turns building off.

    I have one builder persona and a few roleplaying personae in Babbage. If I have a weak point, it’s definitely my building skills. That’s why I moved underwater! :). I am always happy to accept critiques and advice. I may lack the time or ability to do something about it, but I am always happy to learn.

  19. Lynn Mimistrobell Lynn Mimistrobell August 8, 2011

    I agree Sky, otherwise I would not be here.  There are some things I would like to add to New Babbage that I do not see here, that could be interesting.  But Lynn herself has to get to that point in her story and, besides, by then it could change!!


    And thanks for all the welcomes everyone!!  *grins and waves merrily*

  20. Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey August 8, 2011

    In a real world city, a citizen can contact a complaints department if a neighbor’s bush is obstructing the sidewalk, or their new addition is not up to code, or their ugly fence is lowering property values. Nthe city receives the complaint and then contacts the property owner while the complainant remains anonymous.

    Maybe we need something similar? If someone’s build was approved, but they’ve recently done something hideous or out of theme, drop a complaint to city hall and someone official will contact them about the concern. Maybe people would volunteer to be on-call as advisors to fix such problems.

  21. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington August 8, 2011

    Seems someone raises this point of conversation every few months.  To answer AE’s question on has the build quality went down?  No, it hasnt.

    There was a time in mid to late 2010 when the build quality was…questionable…in some parts but the issue is not the builders fault, its the fault of there being vast swathes of land suddenly up for grabs because a few folks who held a lot of land pulled out (one in particular who left Mr Tenk in a whole heap of trouble with the New Babbage sim).  I look around New Babbage and i still see old landmarks dotted here and there. 

    I think the impact of Tiny Tin being lost along with a few of the other older landmarks may make some people say we are “losing” the babbagyness of New Babbage…we aint, the city is simply evolving.  In my eyes its starting to evolve into a more rural suburban town on the outskirt sims with the old core regions still being industry.

    There has been a marked shift in build ehtics in SL as a whole as well.  Folks do not want to buy a plot, pay teir from THEIR OWN pocket and then be forced to stick down a detailed “approved” build…only to then find out that they have sod all prims left for any furniture inside.

    You look around some of those detailed builds, then look inside them…most of them are half empty.  Folks now want to buy land to live on…not to show off their building skills.  If someone cant rez a good load of furniture inside their own home they will simply move out and take their money to another sim.  We can all say you can do details in sculpties, but the vast majority of casual builder’s have no clue about sculpties.  We cannot expect every resident to spend the vast majority of their alloted prim count on detailing out their builds with cornices, strutted eaves, strutted sloped roofs…so yes, this means we will start seeing a lot of “normal” victorian-esque housing being plonked down on plots instead of breathtaking works of art.  New folks come to this city to live in it, not stand inside a half empty shell of a good looking build.

    Money is tight…more tighter than ever, gone are the days of a house in Caledon to live in and a detailed house in Babbage to show off.

    It does however mean that the “steampunk” side of New Babbage is more diluted than it was 2 or 3 years ago, the city is starting to become more of a classic Victorian industrial revolution city.  Then again…what is “Steampunk”?  That question itself is a wole other topic.  To a lot of new people that drop into Brunel Hall the fly over to Vernian, see Dr O’s lab and label that as “Classic Steampunk”.  To others, they look at the old metal steampunk tree of Capt Red and say that is “Classic Steampunk”.  Some even look at City Hall and label that as “Classic Steampunk”.

    We have went mainstream…it means the builds are gonna be totally different…it means theres now more folks then ever walking around the city, soaking it up and classing New Babbage still as the Steampunk Capital of Second Life.  In my eyes some of that Steampunk is fading, but in their eyes it is still there, but more importantly the build quality is still of a high standard even if some of that detailing is gone, cause folks now want to live in their house, not use up 3/4ths of their prims to make the build “pretty”.

    Most of that detailing can be done with slight of hand via textures…whats needed is an overhaul of the free textures in the Engineers clanky thingy in city hall that gives out stuff…we need more textures in that clanky booth thingy.

    I’ll add another point here…

    Sometimes i still go for drives on the mainland roads in my old Primouth Phantom to see what crap buildings actually look like, and theres a lot of them on the mainland.  I stopped off at one of the minor infohubs where there was a group of the usual blingtard on steriods mainlanders standing around half naked.  I was wearing my New Babbage Engineers tag.  The conversation went something like this…

    Mainlander: “Hello”

    Me: Waves

    Other Mainlander: “Ohhhhhhhhhhhh new babbage! I went there recently via the destination guide, its a nice place”

    Mainlander: “what is new babbage?”

    Me: “Its a steampunk victorian city, 10 sims in size :)”

    Other Mainlander: “yeah lol just dont buy land and try to build there, its full of snobs”

    THATS the reputation New Babbage is now known for when it comes to building, THATS why there was so much empty land for so long.  It’s partly to do with no money, but the plain fact is folks do want to live in the city…but they are now too scared to actually BUILD in the city.

    • Gabriell Anatra Gabriell Anatra August 9, 2011

      When I first heard of Babbage back in early ’08 it had that same rep. though. I don’t think that explains the situation. I’ve known more than a few people, especially on mainland, who want a more restrictive covenant.

      I’ve also noted that the main reason why estates exist in such numbers is aesthetic.

      If Babbage ever attempted appealing to the mainland aesthetic it would fail anyway as mainland is cheaper. 

      • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg August 9, 2011

        There’s a mainland aesthetic?

        • Mr Loosestrife Mr Loosestrife August 9, 2011

          Yes: Conan physique, lights orbiting the AV, and what are shirts?

    • Grendel Footman Grendel Footman August 9, 2011

      part of why I mostly build warehouses and factories, can’t do cornices or whatever for the life of me and honestly couldn’t care enough to

  22. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox August 8, 2011

    Well, it certainly wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see some of the really cool buildings from RFL reappear in Babbage.  If some of them went up for sale I might even be tempted to grab them.  Don’t ask me where I’d put them……

  23. Orpheus Angkarn Orpheus Angkarn August 8, 2011

    I’m in agreement with Zaida… I’d love to see the RFL stuff incorporated somehow as well. I didn’t have an opportunity to see the builds during RFL, and with all the hard work that went into those builds, it seems a shame that they should disappear into the aether….

    • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey August 8, 2011

      I would contribute a few extra L each week on upkeep of a community owned lot to house some RFL or other public builds until a private owner wants to buy. I wanted to do that with the opera house, but it didn’t come together.

  24. Doctor Obolensky Doctor Obolensky August 8, 2011

    Rant Mode On

    Okay, first of all, I am not putting down people who don’t build, I’m not commenting on the state of the Community.   This thread, as I see it, posted a rather simple question.

    It isn’t “Is New Babbage declining?” (despite the title), it’s not “Are we scaring people from building here?”.   It’s a simple question of “Is the average quality of build around New Babbage on the decline?”

    IMNSHO, as I stated above, I think it is, for the reasons I stated above.

    I love new arrivals, and new people to Babbage.   I welcome non-builders and roleplayers, and non-roleplayers.   I love this town.

    Take it as snobbery, or elitism if you will, but I do think that if you want to build or put down something someone else has built in this town, you damn well should be facing it is a challenge to measure up to.

    Slightly Off-Topic bit:  I dislike that the town has become more mundane.  Nicely built buildings can be completely boring.

    Rant Mode Off (for the moment)

  25. Aeolus Cleanslate Aeolus Cleanslate August 9, 2011

    Okay, it seems our communal spleens have been vented somewhat.

    Here’s my summary of what I heard:

    • Build quality has declined somewhat, but mostly for those of us who think about it too much.
    • We need to do a better job pooling our collective skills to support new builders and give them the support they may be looking for.
    • A Build Trust – to preserve endangered builds that benefit the town overall – seems like a pretty good idea.
    • Doc is generally cranky.

    Did I miss anything? I’m sort of surprised no one mentioned the Academy of Industry in this post. That was our answer to this question last year.

    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk August 9, 2011

      you missed the part that the pendulum has swung too far to well made realistic comfortable buildings that are boring. we’ve lost that ‘fantastic engineering’ steampunk element.

      there is a very human trend to gentrify over time that is difficult to resist. even evil geniuses sucumb to it.

  26. Doctor Obolensky Doctor Obolensky August 9, 2011

    My summary of your summary-

    1- Right.

    2- Only if they ask for it.

    3- It’s a good idea, but it won’t work.   I can almost guarantee the amount of money taken in won’t be enough to sustain any of the bigger builds.


    5-It wasn’t *my* answer.  :)


  27. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington August 9, 2011

    The essence of the problem so far as i can see it….

    The city now has more normal housing builds…which means the steampunk side of it has declined.  Now, say we get a new renter in who buys land and then buys this house which edward posted…

    In your mind place that building on any of the outer sims of New Babbage, and even in the older inner sims…it simply will stand out like a sore thumb.  So, new resident will see that and not buy it, they will go for a 4 walls and a roof building.  The domino effect has already taken place.  Another domino effect of more folks going for the “fantastic” steampunk builds can happen, a few houses more in the insane science catagory placed down in the city would then entice more new folks to do the same, but then we are back to square 1…that building that edward posted about is 140 odd prims, you place that on wheatstone on a 1024 parcel or any other sim with no prim bonus most of that parcels prims have been sucked up with the build…

    …which leads us back to square one, folks want a house to live in thats actually got furniture…

    • Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin August 9, 2011

      Four walls and a roof.. yep, that’s like the one we had at the Urchin Build on Wheatstone (if you missed it, shame, was only ever going to be temporary!). The house was not great, and was the one thing we had negative comments on – if it was permanent, we would have changed it, i think, but it was the only way to get everything on under prims. So maybe a few nicely made four walls and a roof prefabs are needed, for people to use while they think out what they want to build long term?

      We havn’t had a building contest recently, how about a four walls, a roof (and maybe a floor!) one?

      Of course, i solved the four walls problem ages ago, by living outdoors an not having walls!

    • Yang Moreau Yang Moreau August 9, 2011

      ::hugs his barge, but realizes it’s grown a little stale for him::

      Actually, wondering if anyone’s noticed Ashiko’s home down in.. I think Wheatstone? Might be Canals. It’s slapped together parts of different repurposed things thrown together into a very nicely quirky building. And when I say slapped together, I don’t mean poorly built, I mean meant to look like it was made from whatever the Bunny Bomber could find.

      • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg August 9, 2011

        I saw it the other day, and had the same impression.  It looks like it was cobbled together from scraps and is very appealing in that way.

    • Dr. Cyberusfaustus Dr. Cyberusfaustus August 9, 2011

      Even the characters in Steampunk novels need a place to sleep. That was what I loved about “The Difference Engine”. You could picture London as it was/is, but with the subtleties of steam tech interwoven. Not every building was a monolithic clacking device. Most in fact were not… but every building was affected by the presence of said devices. That is one of the things I think people forget about… and which New Babbage has over Caledon – the subtleties. We weave it in through builds, RP and this website.

      In short, New Babbage is nice and sooty.

  28. Elilka Sieyes Elilka Sieyes August 9, 2011

    I think things are perhaps more mundane (and I say that as a very mundane builder XD) and perhaps we can use the Megaprim Revolution when it comes as an opportunity to rebuild a bit and see how we could be more creative.

    I also think it’s worth asking who is not building who wants to be, and should we have a weekly build-in where more buildy types could informally help less confident builders out with ideas, getting a build into shape, etc? Sadly no day of the week begins with B…

  29. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon August 9, 2011

    Need more steampunky madness. *makes a note*

    *points to the power station*

    Get to work my clockwork minions!

    • Grendel Footman Grendel Footman August 9, 2011

      don’t know how steampunk my automoton factory would be considered, it’s got pipes, gears, and 2 large pipes pumping waste into the canals, but most the machinery and all is inside.

      again, people want to put things inside a building

  30. Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey August 9, 2011

    I plan to donate my more decent textures to the city hall texture vendor for the good of the city. Who do I talk to about that?

    • Aeolus Cleanslate Aeolus Cleanslate August 10, 2011

      Shoot them my way, Mr Harvey – I’ll drop them in.

  31. Dr. Cyberusfaustus Dr. Cyberusfaustus August 10, 2011

    All this talk of building inspired me to dust of some sculpts I had sitting around waiting to be finished… then I remembered why they were sitting there… Can someone tell  me when we can expect meshes in New Babbage?

  32. Maddox Sinclaire Maddox Sinclaire August 10, 2011

    Since someone brought it up already, I might as well contribute what I was thinking about. I came here and brought Arnold with me. We set out to RP with the people of Babbage because from watching Satu interact with everyone, it looked like great fun and a close knit community. Being who I am OOC, I was afraid that no one would take the time to talk with Maddox and interact because she was new in town. (There was only one person who acted that way and She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Mentioned is the only one I heard of who’d do what she did. Consequently I haven’t come across her again.) But Babbagers seemed to accept Maddox and we’ve had some great times in Sl. I plan to have many more. But, to the heart of the matter. I’m not a Builder. I never have been. In all four years I’ve been wandering around SL I’ve never built one thing. I’ve tried using the software and it confuses me. If that makes me a bad Babbager, then I can’t say much. But I’d like to think that my character has brought a lot to the table, roleplay wise. And I hope to bring more in the future. 

    Also, as to what Steampunk really means… Think about it. Are Timelords Steampunk? Not really. But they fit in Babbage. Would half of Doc O’s crazy rayguns and whatnot count? Probably not, but it fits in Babbage. So who cares about decline, really? As long as it fits with the Babbage aesthetic, what’s the real harm?

    • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse August 10, 2011

      Timelords don’t exist :-)

      • Aeolus Cleanslate Aeolus Cleanslate August 10, 2011

        Cleanslate agrees with Mr Pearse. The entire timelord thing is bunk.

        Same thing for magic. Show me a magical creature and I’ll show you someone with too much time on their hands and a performance fetish. Rubbish.

        [Incidentally, I’ll be a voice against the idea of “fantastical” steampunk buildings in Babbage. I know a place where lots of “fantastical” buildings are constructed all the time: it’s called the Mainland. I’m a die-hard proponent of Difference Engine steampunk (as opposed to the Mieville variety, I suppose): there should always be a whiff of reality involved. Even if based entirely on fiction, it should be a plausible, logical fiction with a backstory rooted in reality. Even Doc’s fantastical builds are not wholly so – they’re deliberate exaggerations of something that could actually exist.]

        By the way, electricity and heavier than air travel are also hogwash. I’ve said it before: both are nothing more than inconsequential, dangerous parlour tricks trumped up by their charlatan promoters. Never amount to anything.

        • Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain August 10, 2011

          Before you cause my deliciously civil Reader to explode, is this an IC comment or an OOC comment? I’m a little confused by the phrasing. 

        • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse August 10, 2011

          *Wonders what Mr. Cleanslate thinks happens in the Power Station, or are the electric lights actually captured fireflies?*

          • Aeolus Cleanslate Aeolus Cleanslate August 10, 2011

            With great respect to Miss Falcon, I’m sure the Power Station is a noble experiment, but I can’t possibly see how or why anyone would use such a flimsy energy source for anything of consequence. You can’t store it (or if you do it eventually “runs out” even when you’re not using it), you can’t use it to power engines of any magnitude, it’s cursed difficult to generate on your own so one is at the mercy of others to provide it, and then you’re constantly at risk of losing your supply when an omnibus chooses to clip a tiny cable strung across a roadway.

            Give me a coal-fired steam engine with a flywheel any day.

            [OOC: my ‘incidentally’ comment above was OOC.]

            • Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain August 10, 2011

              Thanks for clearing that up, AE :) 

            • Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon August 10, 2011

              [You can’t store it (or if you do it eventually “runs out” even when you’re not using it)]

              You can store it in accumilators or the new patent aetheric batteries made by AP&E.


              [You can’t use it to power engines of any magnitude]

              The clockhaven power station makes enough power to run undergroud rail for an entire city, should said city be enlitened enough to invest in such a transport system, and still have ample spare power for lighting and industrial uses.


              [ It’s cursed difficult to generate on your own so one is at the mercy of others to provide it]

              Unlike coal that comes from far flung mines and has to be shipped in?


              [Then you’re constantly at risk of losing your supply when an omnibus chooses to clip a tiny cable strung across a roadway]

              Which is why the Clockhaven plant uses the faimed Tesla broadcast power system, wireless power is much harder to cut off and has faimed theraputic properties!


              [Is it OOC? Who knows anymore? ^_^]


        • Odnar Halberstadt Odnar Halberstadt August 10, 2011

          I also agree with His Grace. This whole “timelord” nonsense is a marketing scheme perpetrated by traveling china cabinet salesmen.

          There is no such thing as magic; ergo there are no magical creatures.

          • Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain August 10, 2011

            Quite right, Mr. Halberstadt, couldn’t agree more. 

  33. Bianca Namori Bianca Namori August 10, 2011

    -starts humming, “Dance Magic Dance.”-

  34. Jonathon Spires Jonathon Spires August 11, 2011

    It doesn’t appear to be in decline to me, but my observations are based on a limited scope of time.


  35. Lady Chronometria Cogshine Lady Chronometria Cogshine August 17, 2011

    I agree that the coming “megaprim rennaisance” is going to be a great kickstart for building. I for one will be out in the sandboxes making some impressive blimps and other builds that i have had in mind for some time.  I do a lot of building by playing around with prims and megaprims just dont allow that….normal larger prims will and that will be fantastic. It will benefit building makers as well as airship fans, of course.

    Victor raises some excellent points in that people are looking for functional places to live and need a lot of prims for the insides of their buildings. As times are hard, residents are looking at the uses they put land to and are cutting costs. Babbage is still a prestigious place to live in, with a strong community, but it needs to be a welcoming home as well as an eyecatching attraction. Events, such as breakfast in babbage and foot tapping friday go a long way towards keeping that home atmosphere and i urge everyone to support them.

    The sandbox remains a great place to work and i will be there once again when the new large prims come out. I adore getting passers by and seeing what people are working on. Again, things like that go a long way to promoting a strong feeling of community and of “people being here”. Green dots attract more green dots and having some people pottering about anywhere in babbage is a good thing.

    The one area i havent really seen discussed above, relating to “decline” is in terms of shops and vendors. Marketplace continues to make in world shopping locations less visited and wanted, often resulting in many owners keeping their main shop and closing branches that are in other places. When shops move out it can cause problems, because the zones are set up so that housing cant really take their place in a smooth transfer. Mermaid arcade always struck me as the most awesome place, but for as long as i can remember the front area has been unused except for an out of work fortune telling table. Doc O moved out to set up freedonia….and i cant think of much else that was worth visiting in there, which is a shame. Empty shops tend to look worse than empty housing areas as you cant slap a land wagon on them.

  36. Loki Eliot Loki Eliot September 5, 2011

    Each year i come back to New Babbage, my Builds sit collecting virtual dust as it were. And each year i get back into the feel of things, there are old builds still about to make me feel at home and new ones to explore. New and Old people with strange things going on that some people approve and others dissaprove. Babbage is a living breathing collaberation of steampunk minds, pulsating through out the year, it has it’s ups and down and underlaying this is the Second Life platform, which is flakey at best, then we have the real world economy that effects the virtual world more than we’d like to admit. 

    I wish i could devote more time each year to being in New Babbage.  Autumn is the time i love and play there, and i get to try out the new ideas and skills ive learnt from elseware. I dont care if people think it’s in decline, I pay my rent and look forward to returning each year, seeing the new, refamiliarising wit the old. It’s my home.

    • Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon September 5, 2011

      Welcome home Loki! Yay!

      Time for more fireworks!

  37. Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh September 6, 2011

    I must agree with Loki.  When all is said and done, though I wander elsewhere from time to time, New Babbage is my SL home, and has been for a long time now.  It’s the community that remains the draw for me.  The rest – I adapt.

    We grew while the economy was good, and now it’s not.  That will change.

    In time.

    (Jim snerks at the reference, and saunters off, wondering how many people realize he doesn’t really HAVE to talk in butchered Eastenderese.)



    • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse September 6, 2011

      Dear Mods, please check this. It appears someone has hacked Jimmy’s account and is posting in normal sentences. Sounds dangerous.

    • Cadmus Lupindo Cadmus Lupindo September 7, 2011

      Master Jim,
      I ‘ave ter say I’m amazed. I could not understand a word yer just said. Speak up me boy and put the mockers on mumblin’.

  38. Fecal Varnish Fecal Varnish September 7, 2011

    This humble one has just been forced to pulverise his warehouse into virtual dust, but understands entirely. How in the name of the All-Merciful can those mainlander infidels put up with no prim multipliers, no real covenants even per-region, and L$650/512sqm?

    One of the delights of New Babbage is indeed the fact that there are limits unto what one can create before encountering public disapproval, as opposed to anarchistic apathy. Some might wail that this restricts creativity; I declare the opposite! One must work harder to be creative within imposition than without.

    I should know. In my Quake Mapping days, I won a void map contest with Crisis After Crisis and have seen much innovation and sheer ingenuity in other such contests. My finest maps and mods were those whereupon I said, “here are all the textures I can use; all the entities I can inflict upon the player; the progression said player will encounter.”

    Similarly, I have encountered this in my stronghold; the New Babbage milieu; the acreage; the prim limitations. At least two out of three have left a lasting impression on my virtual crotch.

    If those who wish to immigrate to New Babbage cannot give up their old baggage, then all I can say is to hell with them. We are not the mainland, nor the Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat that, frankly, is Caledon. At least, not in exterior terms. Last time I looked, the urchins were residing in a partially purple tinted Arcadia Asylum castoff.

    In short, there are those who are frightened by our unrelentingly sooty and harsh appearance. Good riddance. The important thing is community; those who need to exhibit their kindergarten colours on the outside are equivalent to the first life Zogs who need drainpipe exhausts, autocar music so loud it almost tears the welding apart, and cannot communicate except through a sequence of curses and borborhygmi. They would rather wear a badge and otherwise ignore their neighbours, unless they feel same are trampling on their freedom of expression. May they rot in their preferred Tartarus.

    Currently the entire Grid is in upheaval as Mesh drools its way across it; I expect these interesting times will persist. Yes, New Babbage is between Linden Lunacy on one flank and Newbie Know-Nothingness on the other. But eventually it will pass.

    Real World states oscillate twixt Boom and Bust; naturally the same exists here.

  39. Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg September 7, 2011

    This line:

    “Currently the entire Grid is in upheaval as Mesh drools its way across it…”

    reminds me of:

    “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”


    Yeats should be spinning in his grave right…..about…

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