Sim jumping use to be a favorite virtual world activity for me. Now I am far more interested in grid jumping. I think it’s the exploring nature in me. This time I don’t take credit for finding a new virtual world. A friend of mine, who is a multi-grid user, tipped me off to Haven Your World. The first free moment I had, which was 2 a.m., I managed to set up an account and hop in-world catching Cheryl Haven right before she turned in for the night. An interview date was set and I returned that day.
Seated on a couch across from me are Cheryl Haven and Corne Claven. They’re excited about this first interview and I’m eager to learn plans for their world. In real life, Cheryl has been a teacher for children with special needs for the past 15 years. She works with autistic children and those with physical disabilities, as well. Corne is a network system administrator. He handles the technical aspects of the grid and she the creative.
What inspired them to open their own grid were Corne’s friends in Second Life. He then met Cheryl and they decided to “give it a go” and “do a bit” of building.
“We would do what we did in Second Life, but, of course, with a lot less costs involved. After testing and finding out that we were doing quite well over here, we decided to open it up to the public,” explained Cheryl with her British accent.
Asked if they had the time to develop a new grid, she replied that they reside in the U.K. and they tend to work most weekends, times when most of their friends in the U.S. are asleep, but when it’s their daytime, when they are mostly online, they can get to work. They are currently negotiating a time table that is acceptable to all of them so that people are online all day.
“They’ll read e-mails and respond to any queries, while I’m actually at work,” Cheryl added.
Just to get the grid in a developmental stage, they will have to focus on people. Cheryl said the most important element of stage one will be helping people get started.
“A lot of people will come in, for example from Second Life. They have everything they need there, so it will be important that they have something for them to do when they check out Haven,” she replied. “We’ll see if there’s a place they might want to spend more time.”
Corne said they’ve been working on the welcome center. It’s this big gold, well-thought-out two-story building with female and male avatars, free furniture, scripts and more. There’s also a garden center and food court. I also was shown an impressive Haven University.
“We don’t want to be a Second Life,” explained Corne. “We’re not building this up to think like other people do. What we’re trying to do is build a world. It doesn’t matter where you come from. Who or what you’re looking for in partners. We want to make it nice so everyone can afford to be here in a private situation or a community.”
According to Cheryl, Little Sheffield, which is currently organized with houses, is part of the mainland. The residential covenant was created to provide a relaxed, quiet and attractive atmosphere for all residents. Commercial structures are allowed in the business sim connected to the residential region. Those deciding to replace the home already on the land should find one that compliments the area. No skyboxes or high-rises are allowed so consider single or two level homes. Subdivision or joining of purchased parcels is not permitted. The land is not to be used as a place to build the items you’ll be selling. You can not sell the land, camp, beg, shoot, bite, push, add landlines, set up clubs or sell in the residential area. The weekly tier is only 125H$ per week after paying 1H$ for the parcel.
Corne and Cheryl are open to suggestions. They don’t want the “we are the bosses” type of governing over Haven. They are getting the word out about their grid through social media, such as twitter, facebook and websites related to open sims.
“We will not stop any community that wants to come in. We do not bar child avatars, however if we do find out child role play is going on, those people will be banned from the grid,” said Cheryl.
“If someone wants to bring in vampires, we will always ask that they keep it within regions, keep them together so they are not falling into normal regions,” Corne added. “This will provide the opportunity to say this is really a sim for adults. Everyone is welcome as long as no one is bothering someone else.”
You have to be 18 to enter Haven.
Asked if they have plans to create a marketplace, they said “yes.” They are also looking for other avenues to start the promotion of Haven. They both feel everyone is in the same boat because of the global economy, so they will try to assist content creators by putting together some kind of tailored package. If people want to open a shop, Cheryl is giving them a place where they can start out. They offer a start-up bonus of 600H$ to help towards start up costs. When merchants start making money, then a tier will be charged. Fees for land and stores are basically to cover costs. They are also working on Sheffield Town, which will be the central area for the home regions with hangouts, meeting places and shops.
In terms of staff, they are interested in finding greeters to tell newbies where to get their clothing. Also, people to teach how to script and build. Being considered are clubs and djs and a place for people with disabilities.
Cheryl stated that there are already a few stores at Haven Hangout:
- –Minethere Always is the owner of Region Creations. She does land terraforming and makes ready-made terrains for people to use on their regions.
- –Savino Bos is the owner of The Sample House, which has sound wave files for using in-world. She also owns the region Virtual Worlds Radio, a radio station only for virtual worlds.
- –Jillytopaz Wasp is the owner of Jilly’s nest, which features clothing for men and women.
- –Bella Swan is the owner of Bella’s Boutique, where you will find Twilight-related pictures and builds.
- –Ioh Case is the owner of IC Designs, selling animal skins and shapes.
- –Josie Wolf is the owner of Beautiful You, where you will find skins, shapes, clothing and shoes.
So log on to Haven Your World’s website: http://www.havenyourworld.com/