Sunday, May 5, 2013

Numbakulla contest

Moopf Murray owned Numbakulla, and ran a contest for a team of people to develop the sim.  I gathered together a team of ten people and entered the competition.  We won the right to develop the sim.
The building site for Numbakulla's Pot Healer adventure
Over the course of the next few months, we met, worked out our game and built it.  I was still rather inexperienced in Second Life, and so I didn't know how many of the things I wanted to do were feasible.  Ratt Foo, who had helped so much with Mysterious Journey, was the scripter for the Pot Healers' Quest on Numbakulla.
Ratt Foo, scripter extraordinaire

People have asked if it has any relation to the Philip K. Dick novel, Galactic Pot Healers.  As far as I know, it doesn't, except that the person who suggested the name may have read it.  I haven't.  The idea for the game came from a children's novel I have not been writing for twenty years.  Someone on the team suggested Pot Healers because that was the idea of the Quest, to rebuild the pot.  In the children's story I was writing, it was somewhat more complicated.  I've kept away from the Dick novel in case I'm ever challenged on the origins of the game... I want to be able to say I have never read it, and it be true!

Flying fish trasnporter above the town

Ceirrah Blair and I were the initial builders and the people who did anything no one else was going to do.  On the first day we had a couple of odd experiences.  We started free building, intending to strive for a style.  I built a tower, which I sometime later recognized as very like a Dogon tower of the Dogon people.  But the most astonishing was when Cie and I went to opposite ends of the island, built what we thought, and built the same thing... which later became the flower houses in the village.

Flower houses in the village
It took us around four months to build the game, which included work from Baron Grayson (epic builds and texturing), Sky Everett (objects and props), Slade Onizuka (the fountain build), Anubis Ambyance (clothing), Lost Therian (clothing), 
Slade Onizuka's fountain under construction and testing
Zapoteth Zaius (plot, testing and events), Moopf Murray (music and location).
Some of Baron Grayson's epic builds... temple and treehouse

Originally, we had agreed to open the game in July 2005 and keep it open for a month.  We had coverage in the SL blogs and New World Notes, and people kept on coming.  In the end there were 25,000 players to Numbakulla.
First players on Numbakulla
The end... initially we were able to buy the island from Moopf Murray due to donations from the players, and latterly the generosity of players who were willing to pay the tier.  But eventually even my beloved Oclee said enough was enough, and with that, Numbakulla had to close for the last time.

I offered the game to Linden Lab, in case they might want to keep the content for posterity, and the fact that it had been available for so long, but they didn't want it.  So it was closed.

But I have a plan....
Full sim picture of Numbakulla

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