March 16, 2013
I have been reassessing what it is that I am doing with Excelsior Station. This has come about due to recent health diagnoses and the resulting need to do the same in my Real Life.
Although I have been writing about Excelsior Station for a couple of years now, it actually began almost three years before that. That was when I first began checking out OpenSim. I learned how to compile the code, add regions, import and export my builds, save and load OARs and IARs. Soon enough, I discovered AuroraSim and began testing its limits. It was while I was trying to figure out MySQL that I came across Sim-on-a-Stick and things began to come together for me. It was also around that time that I thought I should start sharing what I was learning. And so this site was born.
It was also during that time that Excelsior Station itself began as a specific world. A world where people can drive, fly, sail or any other type of travel using any sort of vehicle that they can dream of. It would be a world of role play, of combat and contest. It would be a destination for people to visit and enjoy themselves, a world that was connected to other worlds in a network of role playing virtual worlds, creating the ultimate in MMOs.
An MMO that is a network where the users, not a corporation, create the challenges and the things to be used to meet those challenges.
Excelsior Station began as a sixteen region OpenSim megaregion, but I soon found that AuroraSim was simply better suited. AuroraSim has physics, currency, no region borders, yet uses fewer system resources than the same land area, prims and scripts do in OpenSim. It also had its own system for intergrid travel called InterWorld Communication. Soon thereafter a hypergrid module was created.
That was the beginning of Excelsior Station. It has grown and changed over the last couple of years. As has AuroraSim and OpenSim. I have met many people that have met many people in that time and many have helped and there have been a few AuroraSim based grids that I have been involved in, as well. Nova Grid, Created Worlds, AuroraScape. Zarta, Nichodemous, Timothy, to name a few.
Most recently, Timothy and his Zetamex hosting company have been helping me to get Excelsior Station online and open to the public. The plan is to run it as a stand-alone with a community created Terms of Service. I have been focused on achieving this, too focused, I find.
AuroraSim no longer has a functioning HyperGrid capability. Changes in the coding has broken the module that allows intergrid travel. Furthermore, the primary developer of AuroraSim is against coding HG capability into the software. While he is not against someone creating a module for it, he is not going to do so himself.
This is a mistake.
When you write software for the general public to use, you must compromise. You may not want to include something, but when the people you are designing the software for want it, you have to compromise and include it. By not including HyperGrid capability in AuroraSim, it becomes limited in the eyes of the public.
It also means that I cannot achieve my goals for Excelsior Station.
Without the ability to travel to and from other grids, every AuroraSim based grid becomes a closed grid. Including Excelsior Station. While I am in favour of both open and closed grids, Excelsior Station was never intended to be closed. Any currency and economy it should develop was to be dependant on a secure HyperGrid. Its support of role play and vehicles are dependant on intergrid travel.
In short, I cannot achieve my goals for Excelsior Station if it were to remain based on AuroraSim.
I refuse to give up on my goals. However, without a functioning HyperGrid capability, I do not see how I have any other choice but to use OpenSim.
It is not the software that defines the world. It is the goals and the people of that world who do.
I look forward to the day when Excelsior Station and the people who come to it achieve their goals.