Saturday, August 9, 2008

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer Interview

Vulpine Eldrich: Good evening, everyone. This evening finds me in the far sandy corner of Egypt, in the private silken tent of the Pharoah- or should I say King- MoLoveMoFun Hammerer of Egypt... I'm here with his Great Royal Wife, Charoa Hammerer. Thank you both for having me.

Charoa Hammerer: Quite welcome, it's our pleasure

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Welcome, Vulpine, to our little piece of the Empire. It's a pleasure to have you. Most people call me Mo, by the way :)

Vulpine Eldrich: Now, I'm sure our readers have heard of Egypt, the real life kingdom. So, tell me, what inspired you to name your kingdom after it?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: I have always been a Egypt fanatic and my lovely wife is just as passionate about it as I. So it wasn't a hard choice to make.

Vulpine Eldrich: And you have a sim to show for it as well. Did the sim come first, or did the TE Kingdom?

Charoa Hammerer: The sim came first

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Yes, we were working on our new home before I ascended.

Charoa Hammerer: The vision of the sim just became more focused after we had ascended though. It became a home for several hundreds of people instead of just the two of us lol

Vulpine Eldrich: So when you started in Tiny Empires, it was just the two of you? Or the two of you joined quickly by friends?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: I started playing first, soon followed by my wife and a few close friends.

Charoa Hammerer: yes he was busy busy one day and I couldn't figure out what had captured his attention and so he sent me a trial hud...the rest is history

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Yes, I was sold quite fast (or hooked)

Vulpine Eldrich: And did you decide you wanted to be King before that day was over?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Not really. That decision came after a lot of drama in other kingdoms, and the thought and hope of having a better day with my own kingdom.

Charoa Hammerer: The downline also suggested that we ascend and wanted us to start our own kingdom.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: I would say that it was after four months of playing TE.

Vulpine Eldrich: What kingdom did you ascend from, then?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Bohemia

Vulpine Eldrich: Were you originally in Lothlorien when you started?

Charoa Hammerer: We were never in Lothlorien

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: No, I have never been there. I started playing in Avalon

Vulpine Eldrich: So your career starts in Avalon, goes to Bohemia, then on to your own Kingdom of Egypt... but I noticed one day after you had been King for a while, and had been giving out titles, that you were literally a King without a Kingdom- no one was under you. Some time later, you were back again with one of the larger kingdoms within the empire. What happened?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: I stopped playing because I and my kingdom were harassed by someone else who plays TE as well. This harassment became so great that I felt there had to be something done about the fairness and equality in the game. I asked for that by the highest authority in TE and didnt get what I asked for. So I stopped playing. By chance of luck, what I asked for was granted even if it was via a different way.

Vulpine Eldrich: How long did your self-imposed exile last?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: About a month.

Vulpine Eldrich: What ended it?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: I had given, prior to my quitting, the promise to some subjects that I would play again if my wish were granted. So I decided to start playing again mostly because I was very unhappy with having to quit and because I missed my group and the daily interaction very much.

Charoa Hammerer: We also had many from our kingdom begging that he come back and leaving messages asking that we come back. Mo is a much loved king and was missed greatly by many. He forms strong personal relationships with the people he plays with.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer smiles

Vulpine Eldrich: So when you announced that you were coming back, many returned. I assume not all, since there are always exceptions to a rule as large as that- and some couldn't, if you had formed other kingdoms. Have things changed since then, though? Does the kingdom feel any different, or its size?

Charoa Hammerer: Actually we didn't announce we were coming back so that people would not abandon the kingdoms they had made new homes in. We would have played quietly by ourselves. As people realized we were playing they asked us to come back. I would say that with exception of the two ascensions that coincided with our leaving, 90% returned. Our kingdom was largely restored and has since grown even larger.

Charoa Hammerer: It was like family coming back home and missing each other and being strong together once more. With exception of the 10% who elected not to come back, we did not have any significant changes to the feeling or personality of our kingdom.

Vulpine Eldrich: And with two ascensions, that means you have at least two kingdoms with close relationships and common history.

Charoa Hammerer: We are on neutral terms with all kingdoms who ascended from us. Some are closer than others. Several of the kingdoms who ascended from us were only with us for a short time. The one kingdom that shares a history with us more than others would be Kingdom of Angels who was with us all along

Vulpine Eldrich: So with one of the larger kingdoms, that means a lot of people, and a lot of special titles. How do you handle those? Any special types of special titles?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: I keep a notecard of the titles given out with the date and we also publish that on our website.

Vulpine Eldrich: So how does someone in Egypt get a title?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: I don't have a whole lot of rules. I tried doing the prince/cess level first but I'm down to count/ess level now. I poke the chat and the players to give me title requests and I grant the title.

Vulpine Eldrich: That must be a lot of titles! Are you repeating people now- changing special titles?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Today, someone that has had four titles already just got one more because it's her birthday. So that and making people happy is why I'm down at the lower levels. A good way of getting a lot of requests up front is something I'm still searching for.

Charoa Hammerer: We aren't forcing titles but jokes come up and special events or a special request from a loved one, and so in those cases they get changed.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer has a hard time giving out the five acres, the mini trader and the title!

Vulpine Eldrich: Speaking of looking for new things, what other new things would you like to be able to do with the game?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: One or maybe two things I really would like is getting a better view or print out or message from who leaves and other important details.

Vulpine Eldrich: So if you come online and find five hundred acres gone, you don't have to look through eight pages of standings and trust your memory to know all two hundred people to find who is gone?

Charoa Hammerer: Yes, that is what he means. Sometimes it's a misclick and people are scrambling to find what part of the line was broken.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: And second, I would like the tax cut option to be available once every twenty four hours and not like it is now: twenty four hours after the last tax cut. I want this so that I can switch from timezone to timezone.

Vulpine Eldrich: So if you give a tax amnesty at, say, five pm SLT, you next get the offer at five pm SLT the next day. That would mean that if you wanted to switch to five a.m. SLT, then you have to wait a full day and a half?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Yes, that's what I mean and why I want the tax cut changed.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer smiles

Vulpine Eldrich: I can understand that one, as I'm sure your subjects who are in different time zones can as well! So if someone wants to find Egypt, they have this sim and the website to look for. Where else would they find it, and what would they find your members doing when they arrived?

Charoa Hammerer: We are also a NeoRealms fishing camp, we have trivia and other games, we have several clubs affiliated to the kingdom, we have a stargate network linked to several of those locations as well.

Vulpine Eldrich: Fishing... is there something about enjoying Tiny Empires that also means you're good at fishing?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: it's a way to relax and pass some good times, nice views and off-topic chats.

Charoa Hammerer: It's a good bonding time with other kingdom members, too.

Vulpine Eldrich: That works for me! So now that you have become a monarch... twice, in effect, considering your first ascension and then your return... what are your current goals in Tiny Empires?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Having fun, enjoying the game and having a blast with our group. For me it's not how big we are, but I guess by how much people like to play TE with us. Maintaining that is a great goal and also a gift.

Charoa Hammerer: I would like us to be unique in people's minds and have a positive experience here. We want warmth and strong friendships.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Yes thats what I mean (Charoa can word it so well.)

Vulpine Eldrich: So what would make you unique?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Our Stargate network?

Charoa Hammerer: I think we are particularly active as a kingdom, we have very strong bonds and a willingness to help each other. We also try to interact with others frequently and do new things. I make a point of creating new and different activities for the members as a means to help make people feel welcome and get to know each other and expand those bonds of friendship.

Vulpine Eldrich: What sort of activities?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: We have had several differnt types of treasure hunts, parties in and out of theme, fishing, building, the website, etc.

Charoa Hammerer: Each treasure hunt has a different theme and style. They get more and more complex and more people are getting into it lol

Charoa Hammerer: We have had elements of the sim built by kingdom members: furniture, gazebo's, fountains and clothing.

Charoa Hammerer: We also have custom Egyptian clothing, swimsuits and right now our daughter is making a male and female egyptian outfit for everyone.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer giggles

Charoa Hammerer: All of this makes people feel like they are a part of this kingdom. Our treasure hunts often have custom built contributions from our members as well.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: I'm very keen on the strong relationships that are formed here.

Charoa Hammerer: We have a new photo gallery on our site and people have been eager to see themselves added and put their candid SL shots into the site.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: People talk with each other over everyday RL issues and find support and help with other kingdom members

Vulpine Eldrich: So there is a lot going on in Egypt! Do you have any particular plans to expand all of this to others within or without the game of Tiny Empires?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Not really. We, as a kingdom are already happy as it is. We prefer to maintain the fun, closeness and the great atmosphere often lacking in bigger kingdoms.

Charoa Hammerer: We do this for ourselves because its what makes us happy. Our website is open to everyone though, of course, and I personally think it's more extensive than any other site, but I am biased.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer giggles

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: So am I.

Vulpine Eldrich: And within that long line of events in TE, and list of kingdoms that you have been involved with, what does all of that experience lead you to give as advice to someone just starting in Tiny Empires?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: That's a hard question, but I do believe this is a nice way of putting it: HAVE FUN :))

Vulpine Eldrich: Very succinct! And is there anything else that I forgot to ask that you wanted to answer?

Charoa Hammerer: Egypt has a policy that I think should stand true in all of SL and not just TE. Show respect to the people you play with.

Charoa Hammerer: We find that when people want to leave or find a new liege, the best way to avoid drama is to keep that communication open and show your peers the respect they deserve by telling them what you have decided. You don't have to give extensive explanations, but just a heads up is common courtesy.

Charoa Hammerer: We should all treat each other here with the same courtesy we would extend in RL.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: I think that people should keep in mind that its a game, with no real monetary value at all, and absolutely no reason to misbehave in any way. Respect is what we all crave for, so respect is what people should keep in mind.

Charoa Hammerer: And play because it makes you happy.

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Also, listen to yourself. Do what makes you happy while playing TE. I made some very tough decisions and I still feel good about myself after all of it. There are real people behind every TE player with real feelings, please keep that all in mind.

Vulpine Eldrich: Very good! And one last question, if I may... is there any truth to the rumors about the return of the Mummy King?

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer giggles and giggles, yes he will be in the movie theaters near you soon.

Charoa Hammerer: Oh yeah we forgot to mention our movie nights! We will be playing that on the sim as soon as it comes out in SL LOL

Vulpine Eldrich: Good! And thank you so much for having me here this evening-- I wish you the best with your kingdom.

Charoa Hammerer: By the way, Mo is known as the king who giggles, even on voice chat lol

Charoa Hammerer: Thanks for being here!

MoLoveMoFun Hammerer: Thank you very much for taking the time to hear about our passion and our story.

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