TombstoneMarch 27, 2007
[This article originally appeared in New World Notes]
Creator(s): Kasandra Milland
Estimated Number of Players: A few dozen, but growing rapidly
Gameplay: Roleplay living in the Old West, with a very quick and simple shooting interface for those intense moments.
Top Qualities: Great costumes, great guns, and really great role-players.
Current Shortcomings: Only a month old, so there are areas of the sim yet to be built upon, bare rooms in some of the buildings, and it’s busy only certain times of day.
Where to Play/Buy: Tombstone
Tombstone is a labor of love from Kasandra Milland, sim owner and 1800s aficionado. Only a month old, it already boasts a small town, Indian village, several shops and a decent number of regular visitors. If you’re into the Wild West, this is the place for you!
Recently I brought a few friends to Tombstone to get the outsider’s perspective. Now, granted, I didn’t exactly blend with the crowd, but Kristofer’s cowboy squirrel turned a few heads too. The locals were friendly, however, and were good enough to point us in the direction of the General Store where we could get our hands on some reasonably priced costuming. Well… Kristofer did. I figured I’d role-play the devil comin’ down to Georgia.
The combat system is as easy as it gets. Equip the HUD and a gun and you’re all set. Gunfights were straightforward, and when you die just click on the HUD to come back from the dead. The guns themselves work remarkably well with no lag that I could detect, bullets hitting home as soon as the hammer falls. The best part is the price: you can start with the L$100 basic set and just upgrade your gun for looks later.
Under these circumstances, obviously, role-play becomes very important. Most we encountered were very good about working our bizarre appearances into an 1800s context until we could find our feet, which is more than you can say for many of the more strict role playing environments of SL.
A typical player will adopt the role of sheriff, ranch hand, nurse or outlaw. There’s even a Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp in town. Mornings and mid-day are pretty calm with most people working on their homes or hanging out, followed by a bank robbery with the inevitable fight with outlaws. In the evening the saloon gets packed, there’s drinking, dancing and music, and of course a few disagreements that get settled with a shootout. There’s even Sunday service with Father James!
The sim is already breaking even between home rentals and the riverboat casino, so expect Tombstone to keep growing from here. The friendly atmosphere of this duty western sim will draw us all back for some time to come.