Thank Grog It’s Firday!
I don’t know about you, but I am flying through this Act, and am almost done with the prize track. Yes…I have several of the Premium Peeps (5) earning, and yes…I immediately maxed out the Bonus 20% on my Tower. So, that made it EAsier by a long shot.
But, that did open me up to a philosophical dilemma as it pertained to one, “Jack. The. Ripper.” in our towns. From what Alissa says (and checking the comments), this may be one of the most divisive characters to come to our little burgs in the history. Even more so than Nixon…or Dracula…or Herman, or…well a ton of others that seemed controversial at the time. I pulled the rip cord on our Ripper, but mostly for selfish reasons.
I’ll get into my decision on Jack, along with a look at at another outstanding new neighbor’s town…and believe me, the “Gold Standard” may have shifted…or at least been expanded.
I get that a ton of people just don’t want a “murderer” hanging around our town. Even a cartoon murderer. I’m not going to even try to point out that we already have tons of “Itchy and Scratchy” stuff in our towns (the most violent kid’s show on TV on a TV show ever). Or that violence seems to be endemic to a lot of characters in our Springfields already. The simple fact is, I wanted Scotland Yard. Period.
When I was about 10 years old, I had this little crystal radio set that ran without batteries, used a weird sliding tuner, and had to be listened to with an earpiece. It had an antennae that basically clipped onto any metal object, and was miraculous in what it would pick up. Living in Portland, Oregon, I was astounded to picked up KGO from San Francisco (almost 700 miles away). And every weeknight at 10pm, they would play this radio drama called “Tales from the Black Museum” which was based on true life murder mysteries from Scotland Yard. It was introduced by Orson Welles, and would scare the bejeezus out of me. But, I listened almost every night….until the tiny radio broke.
So…yes. I had to have Scotland Yard…even if it came with one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of all time. And yes…it is still unsolved. There are countless theories, including some tied to a shoestring relative of the Royal family. But, the most recent, and intriguing is one that ties “Jack” to actually being one of the most notorious mass murderers of all time, and an AMERICAN to boot. Google “HH Holmes American Ripper,” and you will see some pretty compelling evidence to this theory. Holmes makes Jack (if they are separate) look like child’s play.
If you want to listen to some of the old “Black Museum” broadcasts, click the link below.
Now On to the 2nd edition of Town Tours.
Before I start…I have to say that I was inundated with players who wanted me to look at their towns and perhaps show them off in this segment. HOWEVER… I thought I was pretty clear, when I wrote, “If you think your town meets the Gold Standard set by Ebron…”
I thought that was pretty clear. But the vast majority (as in 99%) started with something like, “I know my town isn’t nearly as good, but…” or “I think my town is pretty special, but it isn’t as good as Ebron’s”… or “take a look at my town” with no reason to do so. Eeeeeeeep!!!!
Just a heads up…it takes a lot of time to ask to be neighbors…look at a town…do screen captures, and a video. As in a LOT of time. So…I really just want to focus on the “best of the best.”
I got enough replies to keep me busy for a year…or more. I politely have asked many of those who responded to just tell me what they think is their BEST feature, and that I may cover that in a future update…of “favorite town features.”
But so far...the closest to the “Gold Standard” that I have seen, actually came as a suggestion from “the Gold Standard personified,” Ebron!
This guy meets, and in some ways exceeds (by my standards) the lofty ideals set by Ebron. Superbeast46 is a neighbor of Ebron’s, and as it turns out, they inspire one another regularly. Like all of the best artists in the world, they have unique variations, and are exceedingly humble about their craftsmanship…as witnessed by the unraveling of a mystery I uncovered right off the bat.
One of the features I loved about Ebron’s town, was her “Water Mansion.” While perusing superbeast’s town, I saw one that was very, very similar.
But, when I pointed this out in email, SB was more than gracious, writing, “I saw Ebron’s water mansion, glad I could inspire her, and she definitely built on it and made some beautiful improvements, may have to borrow right back!”
Man. Mutual admiration society or what?
Honor among thieves and all of that. But, again…while I like some of the features in my town, I still give myself a solid C- in comparison. I know the difference…
And there IS a difference. Again…here is a short video laying out some of SuperBeast’s town, and some screen grabs. And again, it just doesn’t do justice.
I asked him about a theory I have about designing elements that a familiar to where you live, or where you grew up. Here’s his answer…
“I’d say your theory is very sound, I grew up in Wyoming where everywhere you go is a destination. Lots of cross country road trips with the family since air travel wasn’t real easy to come by – think Wally World twice a year lol. Not a lot of water in Wyoming, but it’s a nice way to isolate the destinations – terrible at space efficiency. Once I wrap up this event and revamp some of my older areas, I want to put a well defined continuous road/water bridge to connect the islands so each area becomes a road trip destination. We’ll see if I get that far. Right now I live in Santa Monica, so I’m sure that also influences the generous use of water.”
So…seeing Superbeast’s town, Ebrons, and a number of others, I was moved to start pushing the limit on what I can do with even MORE flowers and trees…including my start for my England Section. Still not the “gold standard,” but an improvement!
To really meet the GOLD STANDARD…you need to not be afraid of limitations. Currently, the HARD limit for items in your town is 10,900. And yes…Ebron confesses that she has already hit it. “More flowers!!!” is her battle cry.
I am going to keep saying over and over again…EA…TEAR DOWN THE LIMIT WALL!!! It impedes true creativity!
I was also motivated by the amazing monorail system I showcased in last week’s Town Tour with Ztirnats! I revamped my meandering single, huge monorail system, into 2 closed loops that each run more than 4 minutes…and bisect in a way that allowed me to send a CLEAR MESSAGE TO EA about ITEM LIMITS!!!
Ah…creativity…ya gotta love it.
I’ll return next week with some more towns…and some of the “I like this the best” concepts from the myriad tappers who reached out. It is fun…even if they aren’t all “Gold Standard” designers. There are precious designs in even those who are more Copper than Gold. It’s all subjective…and fun!
Have a great weekend!