Vulpine Eldrich: Good evening, everyone. I'm here with King Backhome Soon of Home, and his lovely companion, Lodi McMillan in their - I must say- most expansive beach home. Thanks to both of you for having me!
BackHome Soon: Thanks for joining us
Vulpine Eldrich: I like to start about asking about the kingdom itself, perhaps the meaning of the name. But that almost seems trivially obvious here... so tell me... which came first, your SL name, or the kingdom name?
BackHome Soon: oh, my SL name for certain. The Kingdom of Home name came about after much thought, agonizing and even some incredibly painful puns
BackHome Soon: The thought of "Home" just felt right though
Vulpine Eldrich: Why?
BackHome Soon: We're all looking for a place to feel comfortable, a place to feel where you belong. We act like a big family, so it just fits our group. There's not a lot of "pomp and circumstance" with our group; it's more like we've all come "Home".
Lodi McMillan: It has a casual, informal, and welcoming feel...just like we would like the kingdom to be.
Vulpine Eldrich: So does that mean someone who swears allegiance to someone in your kingdom is actually "coming Home"?
BackHome Soon: absolutely, Vulpine! The most common comment to a new member is "Welcome Home"
BackHome Soon: or when I log in, it's "Honeys, I'm Home!"
Lodi McMillan: everyone had a lot of fun with that ;-)
Vulpine Eldrich: I can imagine! So many puns, so little time... so where and when does the formal Kingdom of Home come from?
BackHome Soon: We started on July 3rd, so we're a relatively new kingdom. We were all happy members of the Queendom of Terabithia before I ascended.
BackHome Soon: Like most people in TE, Lodi and I began in Avalon, and followed our lieges through Genovia, Syldavia, Egypt and Terabithia before coming home.
Vulpine Eldrich: And how and when do you tell your Queen, "I'm about to leave you and become King of my own Kingdom"?
BackHome Soon: With great trepidation and many second thoughts. Queen Kyradevon and her King Legalos(**See Comment below) were incredibly gracious and supportive, even though my ascension greatly reduced the size of her queendom
BackHome Soon: I'd stated for a long time that I had NO plans of ever ascending. However, as we all do, the thoughts recurred, and I finally decided that I wanted to give my own kingdom a shot, so here we are.
Vulpine Eldrich: Was there any particular event or thing that was the tipping point? The spark that lit the fire, so to speak?
BackHome Soon: I don't think there was one single thing I could point to. It just became something I wanted to accomplish and was the right time.
BackHome Soon: I actually only got the Federation HUD about a month before I ascended. Almost my entire downline was built while i was playing the regular HUD. So, I still ask dumb questions about the Fed HUD in group :-)
Vulpine Eldrich: So after you ascended, did you ever have second thoughts... did you ever begin to wonder just what you had gotten yourself into?
BackHome Soon: No, no second thoughts at all. It's even more fun and enjoyable than I had hoped. We've managed to avoid major drama and pain, and I plan on it staying that way.
Lodi McMillan: We are fortunate in our downlines...we have a fabulous bunch of people
Vulpine Eldrich: So do you have any plans for being the largest kingdom in the Empire, or at least closer to it?
BackHome Soon: Perish that thought! Nope, my only real goal is I'd like to stay on the map. While we welcome and want new people to "come Home", it's never, ever been about the acres for either of us. We love playing Tiny Empires, but i think we have a healthy perspective about it.
BackHome Soon: One apt analogy is what I heard about the game of bridge a long time ago -- it gives you something to do with your hands while you visit your friends.
Lodi McMillan: The relationships, and how we treat each other, are far more important than the size of the kingdom
Vulpine Eldrich: So you've settled into a home, and if you need to add an extra room on now and then, the more the merrier.
Lodi McMillan: Absolutely!
BackHome Soon: I like the sound of that :-)
Lodi McMillan: Always room for another plate at the dinner table
BackHome Soon: And we know that kingdom will ebb and flow over time. There is at least one prince now who plans to eventually ascend on his own and I don't doubt there are others. I fully support that.
Vulpine Eldrich: Have you ever had any situations in which things were less than pleasant-- when you had to settle disputes, misunderstandings, hurt feelings?
Lodi McMillan: Misunderstandings happen, especially in a medium like text chat, where it is hard to discern attitude and intention.
BackHome Soon: Well Vulpine, that unfortunately goes with the territory. I have to say there's been very little of it. We've had some great friends return to Terabithia and some others have found other kingdoms to join. But we've also had people leave and come back too :-)
Vulpine Eldrich: So at least so far, you can say that everything has eventually worked out.
BackHome Soon: Absolutely!
Vulpine Eldrich: Hmm, the latest news on my hud declares that a Sir has been permanently banished from his kingdom. What's been the reaction of your people once they learned of your new options to punish them in some way?
Lodi McMillan: Most have taken it in good humor, and it's been the subject of some joking and playful remarks. Some have wondered about the value and purpose of such punishments. But so far, it seems not to be much of a concern.
BackHome Soon: From my perspective, I don't see me using it much or at all. Lodi and I have a saying that if we don't like what you're doing and you persist, we'll politely ask you to accept the next bribe offer.
Lodi McMillan: There are lots of kingdoms in the Empire...each with its own personality...there are plenty of places for every type of TE player
Vulpine Eldrich: So is there anything special about Home besides warm and friendly? Any sort of place, hobby, or particular set of enthusiasms that a number of people in it like? You mentioned bridge earlier as a comparison.... so when the people of Home are together, what else are they doing besides TE?
BackHome Soon: one word i'd like to add to your warm and friendly description is vocal. Our group isn't shy about chiming in -- either with practical help or a quick joke or tease. But I think most of us share the attitude that TE is not the whole of SL. Folks are busy building, dancing, DJing, SHOPPING, etc... while they monitor their HUDs and chime in on group chat.
BackHome Soon: The diversity of interests is what helps keep it interesting and fun
Vulpine Eldrich: So the main place to find Home within Second Life is actually in your group chat, not some particular Second Life location in world.
Lodi McMillan: We have an active group chat...and talk about anything and everything ;-) Our members have diverse interests, as BH said, and we enjoy that.
BackHome Soon: That's correct. We haven't built a sim just for TE, nor plan to. A few members of our kingdom have gathering and party places that we use from time to time. In fact, we're having a formal dance tomorrow afternoon, with both a DJ and live music.
Vulpine Eldrich: It sounds like it should be a lot of fun (or was a lot of fun, since this interview will be published after it happens!) So is there any new feature or thing that could be added to Tiny Empires that you think could increase the fun and- dare I say- productivity level- of your Kingdom?
Lodi McMillan: Well, everyone's favorite answer to that, of course: More frequent Trader visits!
BackHome Soon: Hmmmmmmmm, it's pretty good now. I think it would be nice to be able to give gold or other rewards more easily to other players. I'm not personally a fan of sabotage and wouldn't mind it going away.
Vulpine Eldrich: So is there any sabotage done from within Home- that you know of, of course.
BackHome Soon: Once and it was addressed immediately. There will always be "oops" clicks, but we try to help our newer players figure out what's good and not. We only have 4 rules in the Kingdom.
BackHome Soon: The Rules:
1. Have fun
2. NO Drama
3. NO Sabo -- EVER!
4. Solve your drama, or I'll pretend I'm King Solomon
Vulpine Eldrich: Does that mean the sword comes out for the baby?
BackHome Soon: so far, haven't had to draw the sword yet :-) I prefer a positve kingdom, not one based on judgment, regulations and structure, and our group seems to agree.
Vulpine Eldrich: And it sounds like you've achieved something at least close to it! So now that you have your own kingdom and, it sounds like, are helping others achieve theirs, what is your advice to them?
BackHome Soon: Remember Rule #1 -- Have fun! TE is just a tiny part of this amazing place called Second Life. Make friends and enjoy them. Do NOT get worked up over phantom acres and non-existent gold!
BackHome Soon: (BTW, the opinions I express may not be shared by our Emperor)
Vulpine Eldrich: Good advice to any player, no matter the rank, I'm sure! So I suppose the last question is... what did I miss? What interesting, unusual thing or opinion is there that we need to know about the two of you and your kingdom that hasn't been mentioned yet?
Lodi McMillan: Our chat, and the level of playfulness within it, would be deemed, er, rather mature by some standards ;-)
BackHome Soon: We brought the tradition of Truth or Dare in group chat with us ;-)
Vulpine Eldrich: So is it a case of "what is said at home stays at home"? :)
BackHome Soon: What? Did i say something? ;-)
Vulpine Eldrich: You said a lot, and I thank you for it and the time you took to say it.
BackHome Soon: The pleasure was ours, Vulpine. Thank you for your time and your interest in Home! I'll bribe you as soon as I get the prompt!
Lodi McMillan: He will, too.....
Lodi McMillan: Thank you, Vulpine, for taking the time to do this.