Vulpine Eldrich: I'm here this morning in a little grassy dell, under a dark sky lightening with the first hint of dawn. This is the home of Misterioso, and Queen snowy Sidran is here, with several of her companions and subjects. Snowy, the first question I always like to ask is, what does Misterioso mean, and why choose it for your kingdom?
snowy Sidran smiles. "Misterioso is the name of one of my favorite Jazz albums, a life recording of a concert by Thelonious Monk, and has for a long time been the name of my Home... and now the Home of the monarchy. When thinking for a name, we kept coming back to it, and in the end decided to simply go for it since it also makes a very nice reference to the Bohemia Homeland we all came from."
Vulpine Eldrich: So you ascended from Bohemia, then. How long have you been playing Tiny Empires, and in Bohemia?
snowy Sidran: Yes I did. I started playing TE in November of 2007. It started out as a "let’s go see what it is" amongst a group of friends that frequented the same club here in SL. We kinda got hooked on it quickly, and suddenly I woke up one morning after about a week finding myself a princess and having no idea about how the game really worked still. That luckily changed over time ;)
snowy Sidran: We started out in Bohemia more by chance, but we liked it there and never left until last Saturday, when I ascended.
Vulpine Eldrich: That's quite a long time! Was there anything in particular that made you decide a new kingdom was right for you?
snowy Sidran: I think that is a decision that grows in time more. And in the end, there is not one real reason to do so, perhaps. For me personally, it was need for a new challenge, perhaps. Having played for that long, being on cap on both land and gold, and wanting to do more for my own down-line specifically. Yet it was a hard choice, and it took me months to decide on it. Leaving "home" and making one’s own is not as simple as it seems, at least not to me.
Vulpine Eldrich: But you felt that it was the next logical step, and so you took it. Well, it's been a week now. What new things have you learned when long-time Princess becomes fledgling Queen?
snowy Sidran chuckles. "Mostly that it takes a lot of group-editing and well, honestly, that I have a great downline that sticks up for each other and knows how to take care of themselves very well. I am mostly busy with rearranging and talking to people once more on what they personally want to achieve playing TE, and trying to make it work. And, grinz, I am having a blast finally being able to give out titles and get the gold we accumulated over time into free acres ;)"
snowy Sidran: I think an important task of every monarch is to simply welcome people. I try to talk to every new player myself and get them to feel at Home. And since we grew a lot over the last week, that has been taking some time.
Vulpine Eldrich: So has everyone decided who is going to stay with you and who stays in Bohemia? Or is that a work in progress, yet?
snowy Sidran: The group that is here now is the group that, as it looks now, will stay here. There were extended talks before ascending with a lot of them, so we had no real surprises there. The people that wanted to stay in Bohemia already moved before we ascended. Even ascending should be a group venture in my view.
Vulpine Eldrich: That almost seems obvious... do you know of others who viewed ascending solely as a personal move, and not a group one?
snowy Sidran smiles. "I tend to hope not, but I am not sure everyone took 3 months of talks and going through doubts before eventually doing so ;)"
Vulpine Eldrich: So have any doubts persisted? It sounds like the last week has been pure fun!
snowy Sidran smiles. "They have been, certainly. I think that once decided after such a long period of thinking, it does give you room to simply enjoy. Although leaving behind a lot of our friends and people we have come to love is hard, too, still."
Vulpine Eldrich: So, as you look to the future, you've obviously got your hands full right now- titles, free acres, and other benefits. What other plans do you have, or hope to have?
snowy Sidran: Mostly to keep this group together and keep enjoying it as much as we are now. To me, the benefit of a smaller group so far has been mostly that it draws out the more silent group members again and shows everyone to its rights. The group seems to be working together a lot, and new contacts are being made here at the Homeland. So I expect this to be a Monarchy of friends, and see it as my job to provide all it needs to keep it that way.
Vulpine Eldrich: So do you have any ambitions as to kingdom size or rank?
snowy Sidran: Honestly, no. I cannot say that seeing the rank go up does not make my heart jump some. But it is not what I find the most important thing at all. I’d rather see people enjoy and be happy in a small Monarchy than have a large one where people get lost and are anonymous.
Vulpine Eldrich: So if the day comes that you feel it is getting too large, what would you do then?
snowy Sidran: I am not sure really Vulpine, although I do think I have the right set of people here to even make that work. Now, I love knowing everyone myself, but I think there will be a size that will make that impossible. The fact that I have very enthusiastic "large line lieges" that are in close contact with their downline will hopefully prevent us from becoming too large to be a friends group more than a Monarchy with a distant Queen.
Vulpine Eldrich: So what sort of real life skills and assets have you found helpful in putting all of this together?
snowy Sidran chuckles. "Loving people and being able to let them be who they are....and some perfectionism and always wanting to be on top of everything myself does help, too, I guess."
Vulpine Eldrich: And which of those qualities- or would it be another- do you feel is the most important for a monarch?
snowy Sidran: The first, definitely. The latter might even backfire in the end. I can imagine there are people I will drive insane with my enthusiasm at some point.
Vulpine Eldrich: lol, has that happened, or are you merely speculating?
snowy Sidran smiles and looks around. "Well, no one has run yet, so I guess speculating and knowing your own pitfalls....and when to back off, too."
Vulpine Eldrich: Well, let's hope no one runs screaming into the wilderness! So the game's options seemed too limited for you and you became a monarch. Are there changes to the game that you think would be nice- more options or rules changes?
snowy Sidran: I think the game eventually will die if there are no better options for especially the larger Lieges to do something for their downlines or Monarchy. The Viceroy and Grand Viceroy jobs tend to help some in that, but I am not sure it will do enough to not make more and more people ascend over time, leaving a bundle of small Monarchies behind and no real large ones. I would love to see more use of the Alliances, yet to say I really have a clear idea on how to picture that, I do not.
Vulpine Eldrich: So you're predicting a thousand kingdoms with an average size of 25,000 acres?
snowy Sidran: Well, if I look at the past week with having seen eight ascensions, I wonder truly what lies ahead there.
Vulpine Eldrich: One thing that lies ahead is the new universe/game of TE3000. Granted, you've been busy in this game, but I'm sure you've not been oblivious to the news. How has it affected you and your kingdom?
snowy Sidran smiles. "I know some people have tried on the new HUD, like I did. Yet I have not heard anyone scream that they would leave Tiny Empires for it. To me, it looks like the same game, just with a different scene, and although I am all for a change of scenery (look where we are now), I doubt it will really change the current game a lot."
Vulpine Eldrich: So are you actively pursuing two games, or just letting the new one idle while you tend to the Kingdom of Misterioso?
snowy Sidran: Oh no, I am curious of mind simply, so have tried on the TE3000 trial hud to see what it was about.....and honestly deleted it after reaching the end of the trial period. I have my hands full here, and loving every minute of it.
Vulpine Eldrich: It sounds like you've definitely got a lot to live and love :) So do you have any words of wisdom for someone seeking to succeed in Tiny Empires?
snowy Sidran smiles. "Oh, geesh. Tend for people and not acres."
Vulpine Eldrich: That sounds like a formal motto! Is there anything else you'd like to add, anything that I missed which you'd like to tell everyone about?
snowy Sidran chuckles. "That everyone should be more awake on a Saturday morning trying to bribe Vulpine. Before you know it, you are finding yourself in an interview!"
snowy Sidran laughs. "No, seriously. I hope that everyone keeps enjoying the game and they will find it successful like I did, in meeting lovely people that you normally might never have."
Vulpine Eldrich: Touche, lol! And one last question... was that giant caterpillar sitting on the mushroom up there blue before or after he started smoking that hookah?
snowy Sidran chuckles. "I think he turned Blue after our GV Ernest Newman busted him monopolizing the bong again."
Vulpine Eldrich: ROFL that might explain a few things... what, I'm not sure, but obviously something. Well thanks so much for spending part of your Saturday morning with me, and best of fortune in the new Kingdom!
snowy Sidran smiles. "And thank you for being here, Vulpine, this was a nice surprise."