Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Why opening a store in Kitely makes more sense now than ever before!

Its probably no secret by now that I am a bit of a Kitely fanboy.

At the recent OSCC2014 (OpenSim Community Conference, for the uninitiated) Ilan Tochner, CEO of Kitely laid out his case for the Kitely Hypergrid Market 1 year on from its opening. Besides this presentation containing a quote from a rather hansome, rooty looking green fellow, it also made some fantastic points that I think it is valuable to distill somewhere for reference.

You can see the full presentation here:

Ilan Tochner - Kitely Hypergrid Market - one year later....

My main take-away points:

1. Growth on all fronts - Listings, sales and interest are all on the increase. 3000+ unique items, 6000+ variations, serving 49 of the 204 "known" grids. Its pretty impressive.

As Ilan noted in his presentation, my sales have eclipsed my SL takings twice now once in May and more recently, last month. Obviously, not every month is that strong, and in the long run, my main income still comes from SL. But I have made close to 2500USD in my first year, and that's not counting takings in KC, which I use to pay my featured item fees, membership and land fees, and sales are not slowing down. They are growing. Slowly. But steadily. Which brings us to.....

2. Export = Win! - My export sales account for over 50% of my trade in OS, and contrary to what may be expected by most, I have plenty of repeat sales. In fact, some of my "older" items are still my strongest sellers. It has always been my opinion that DRM is not beneficial for sellers or consumers, and it feels good to be vindicated somewhat in this regard by the facts. I also have many repeat customers, and new ones turning up weekly.

3. Kitely and High Fidelity - I am very excited by this. Kitely market can and will deliver to HiFi and possibly many other virtual platforms as they come online. Anyone thinking that a store in Opensim means taking a step backward should think again. Kitely Market is poised and ready to take advantage of new virtual worlds and potential markets in a way that nobody else out there is.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

New Mesh Rivers with Materials and Medieval Houses!

Rather proud of this first one. Realistic river meshes with materials. The materials give the water a realistic quality, even when animated. 10 Meshes are included covering various straights, corners and rapids.

Also now available in Kitely - A wide range of residential medieval buildings. These are a forerunner of some more complex builds covering Churches, Taverns, Shops and Crafts, etc right the way up to full fortifications and castles. All will be made available C/M and Export for Hypergrid customers!

Dont forget to check out my thread on the Kitely forums for details of the multiple freebies I am currently giving away at my In-World Showroom.

Kitely Forums
Worlds End - Kitely Store

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Time flies!

Wow, just realized it has been a few months since I updated this blog. Far from being idle over the summer, besides changing the look of my store a little, there are now many more products on offer at Worlds End both in SL and Kitely.

Grassy Groundcovers, house builders packs, 4 season trees, scripted lanterns and much more! Why not head over yourself and check out all the new goodies!?

Worlds End - Kitely Hypergrid Market

Worlds End - Second Life Marketplace

For hypergrid customers, as per usual all Kitely releases come as C/M or Export.

Much more to come over the next few months!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Future-Proof products at Worlds End!

There is a lot of noise going round lately about new virtual worlds and platforms coming into view on the horizon. Ultimately I hope to be able to bring you newer, better and more advanced products on these new upcoming platforms, but I can understand people (SL folks especially) worrying about their existing inventory. I thought it might be a good idea to take a moment to assure my customers that ALL Worlds End products are 100% guaranteed for future use on newer platforms as they become available.

This means different things depending on what kind of purchase you made.

For Second Life users - Your purchases will be transferred like for like to the new virtual world from Linden Labs, but NOT High Fidelity. This service is provided upon request and not automatic. Transfer to alts is NOT permitted unless explicitly authorized.

Kitely/Opensim Export customers - You have the right to upload your purchases to any new grid you choose under the original perms supplied. I do also allow people to transfer purchases to alts, but you should notify me with the names of the alts you plan to use beforehand.

So, in short you can continue to shop at Worlds End safe in the knowledge that all your purchases can go wherever you do!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

More HD Trees now on sale!

I just posted the final entries in my "HD Trees - Deciduous Woodlands" series. All my HD trees have been designed with the purpose of eradicating as far as possible the "flat panel" effect suffered by many plants in SL and OS formats. They look great from all angles and in any windlight setting. Moreover, they are just 1 prim each! All trees come with Summer and Autumn foliage variants.

Available C/M for Kitely-only use or Export to any hypergrid enanbled grid!

These trees are opensim exclusives. Not available in SL! Don't settle for out-dated multi-prim products and enjoy the most realistic and beautiful trees in the metaverse!

All summer variations are currently on display in my world "The Township of Llanfarian" Check them out at my store now!

Discounted landscaping super-fat-packs for builders and grid owners coming soon!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Demystifying Kitely in 2016!! (UPDATED) - busting some common misconceptions.....

Kitelys pricing structure is confusing.

2016 - Kitelys price model has been greatly simplified in recent years and now a starter world is just 14.95! A Standard world is 19.95 and a full, 16 region world is just 39.95! The whole "time based" concept has been withdrawn.

You can also find very inexpensive rentals at my new Worlds End Estates sim. Parcels start from just 1USD per month for 1000 prims! The area is beautifully landscaped and a great place for users to start out or have a small home.

Worlds End Estates - Oakwoods

Kitely is empty.
Kitelys decentralized model can certainly make it seem like there is nobody around. Possibly my biggest criticism of Kitely is its lack of sense of "place". It would be nice to see the welcome center expanded to a 4 or 9 region mega with welcome area, shops and maybe a few residentials. A small mainland, if you will. It would also make sense that this was the main hypergrid portal once that is switched on.

There is no denying we are a small community right now, mostly consisting of builders. As anyone who has ever attempted to fill even just a single region with compelling content will know, its not a quick or easy job. I predicted last year that 2014 would be the year Kitely users come out of their cocoons and though it is still early days we are starting to see signs of the social element coming together. Residential sims are starting to open and the April Hunt is in full swing. However, there is no denying Kitely is a builders paradise right now which brings me to my next point. Why should you bother coming at all?

2016 - Kitely is feeling a lot less desolate these days. With plenty of events and meetups going on each week. If your lost. Join the inworld group Kitely Community and you will likely find someone to help you or to chat with. Might even be me :).

Why should I come to Kitely (as a Merchant)
Kitely has a small market now and a small userbase. However, its marketplace is configured so that you can sell to any avatar on any opensim grid (if you want to). Not only this, but as the marketplace is fairly new, it is easy to get in and establish your brand right from the early stages. How many of us wish we were there right at the beginning of SL? All those businesses with thousands of great reviews of their crappy 10,000 prim tea-pot. How I envy them. They still do well because they were there first. They have a higher prestige because of that.

Bringing your brand not only gives you the oportunity to embed yourself as an established hypergrid merchant, the act of more creators setting up naturally brings more interest and therefore more customers. Second Life is saturated and the market is flat and/or contracting. Kitely is much smaller but the market is wide open and growing. If nothing else, Kitely market can be seen as a minimum investment platform for your business growth strategy.  Fact is you never know where it might lead you.

The Kitely Market itself is impressive, much less painful to work with than its SL counterpart and has some pretty nifty features. A lot of merchants are scared that they can only sell “Export” items. That is, items without perm limitations. The truth is that you as creator are in TOTAL control. Perms work as normal, but Kitely market also has a 4th perm – Export. Check this box as you create your listing to allow export….or not. Your choice.

2016 - All above is still true. I have switched to export only and my sales still continue to grow more than two years after this article was first published.

Why should I come to Kitely as a “resident”?
This is a harder question to answer, as generally every resident has widely varying agenda and expectations. Generally speaking, Kitely has a lot to offer. From Entertainment venues to educational areas. Cheap land means you will never be short of a home, and recently the first residential and roleplay projects (my own included) are starting to spring up. I can only speak for myself here but the next phase has to be finding some people who share the vision of what I am doing to take it forward. Any disgruntled fantasy/medieval roleplayers should head over to The Township of Llanfarian to see what I am cooking up there.

The Marketplace is a source of quality content that is growing at a steady click (EDIT 2016 - Nearly 6500 individual listings, not counting the myriad of variations). I am confident some of the best premium content in OS can be found there. 

If you are the kind of person who likes getting in on the ground level, helping out and building something cool….I would say Kitely is at the right phase for you now. If you are a “social butterfly” who wants a great avi, great venues and great social scene with minimal effort on your part……well sorry. We are not quite there yet. Some people what to be part of whats going on now, some want to be part of the future.

Plenty to get involved with

My creations are not safe in Opensim/on Kitely
Well....yes and no. As a point of fact, your creations are only safe when you do not upload them to any service. Once you put it out there, people can and will steal it from you. People like to point the finger at Opensim and say how everything there is stolen. Seemingly missing the point: Where did all that content come from in the first place? Exactly. "Fortress" SL.

Of course, lets also not kid ourselves that everyone in SL is running around fully paid up. Wherever you have commerce, you also have counterfitting. So, we have established that your pretties are not safe in SL and that those pretties often get exported to opensim. Glad your with me so far. 

This is the part where a lot of creators hit a cognitive wall. So if your stuff is getting stolen anyway, can it be reasonably assumed that if the opportunity was available, at least a percentage of those people would pay up for legitimate content if it was available? I think so, and the balance of my store seems to back that assertion up. That is money I would not have made otherwise.

Of course to some, the time invested will not be worth the income received. I certainly am not in this primarily for the money. I like to build and being able to sell my work is a happy bonus. Many people feel cooped up in SL and I can honestly say that recently I was in SL looking for shop space again and the whole deal with parcels and primcounts just made me give up. Many of us "creators" are artists first and business people second.  To truly see the benefit of moving to Kitely, you have to look at the creative possibilities as well as the financial aspects. But to come back to point, if you build it "they" will steal it, so why not maximize your earnings by reaching as many honest people as possible?

Before Kitely Marketplace this was not possible. Now it is.

Small grid owners are fly-by-night ....or wackos .....or technically inept. Or ALL THREE!
Plenty of small Opensim Grids come and go, but Kitely is different. Both Ilan and Oren are experts in their fields. They are responsive, attentive and open for new ideas. They have a clear vision (a BIG one) of where they want to go and a plan to achieve it. They have always been as good as their word.

2016 - Kitely has hypergrid. Told you so :P lol

Just getting the Hypergrid market off the boards is a remarkable achievement and should speak volumes to how serious these chaps are about what they do. 

Well, that's about it. Hopefully this post will be useful to point a few people at the next time you run into these kind of questions. 

Do you think I missed something? Is there some other question you always get that breaks a little piece of your sanity every time you hear it? Or perhaps you have another take on an issue? Feel free to comment :)

Friday, 21 March 2014

Worlds End: Now delivering all over the metaverse thanks to Kitely!

A big development in the last few days!

Kitelys hypergrid market is now delivering to any grid that signs up to the marketplace program. This means that 99% of my inventory is now available to customers metaverse wide!

Presently the only item not available for export is the Medieval Tudor Wall Set. This is because I sell this set on behalf of Zelest Fall of Zelection in Second Life. it is her wish that this item and any items build with it remain within the Kitely grid. My apologies to my customers for this but there is nothing I can do about it. If you wish to use that set on your grid, I would suggest contacting her directly and politely asking to come to a deal. Shes very approachable.

Here is a selection of my export products. Many more available at my store!

Worlds End Landscaping & Roleplay - Kitely

If you would like to see my work first-hand, why not stop by my *still under construction* role play sim.

The Township of Llanfarian

Weeping Willows

Cave Kit Mega Pack

Terrain Rocks + 4 Rock Textures

Shrub Pack - 6 Shrubs with 6 Texture Variations

Large Cliff Set

Country Road Set

Snow Drift Set

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

New Medieval Signboard releases

Today I released a selection of Medieval Signboards used to signify the usage of buildings. These signs are available in Second Life right now, and will be available for export on the Kitely Marketplace by the end of the week *EDIT - Now available in Kitely too!*. In total, there are 12 image signs and 5 Named Tavern signs available. Look out for the bumper pack coming soon!

I also make custom signs to order from as little as 5$ per sign. Price of course varies depending on what you want. A rough guide follows, but its better to contact me directly with details of what you are looking for. If I can sell the sign in my store then the below prices can be reduced by 50%.

1. Existing mesh, existing image with custom text - 5$
2. Existing mesh, new image with custom text - 20$
3. Existing mesh, new image, new material (wood, metal, stone, etc) with custom text - 30$
4. New mesh, new image, new material with custom text - 50+$

Sunday, 2 March 2014

New medieval themed residential region starting to take shape.......

My as of yet unnamed town is coming along nicely. The high street, castle, slums and farmland are all getting pretty close to completion. Next I want a few more shops, some dock buildings and some more upper class abodes. Houses will be available from as little as 300KC a month! The entire project will have capacity for 40 people.

Some houses will of course be reserved for the general public to enjoy. I would like the region to eventually have 4 regions. I just decided to focus on the main sim first because well, I get distracted very easily :). I am the kind of builder that "sketches" something, then goes off and sketches or tweaks something else, only to come back to what he originally started hours/weeks/months later.

I am hoping to have all the architectural elements in place by the end of March. Unless someone beats me to the punch, I think this will be the first residential project in Kitely. There will be no enforced roleplay rules or dress-code, and I would like to see the "rules" developed by the residents who choose to call the sim home.

More to come soon!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Why Kitely? - A Merchants Perspective

2013 was not a good year for merchants in Second Life. There were points this year where I could have sworn that Linden Labs were actively trying to drive people away. I wont go into the meat of the matter here, but my main peeve points last year were:

1. The New TOS - All your prims are belong to us!
2. The Digital Taxman - I live in Europe, why the heck should I give my details to the IRS?
3. Marketplace Madness - Listings disappearing and reappearing, merchants not getting the funds from sales, not being able to cancel featured items, or being billed for them each hour, every hour.

I have always had a foot out in the open metaverse, but more as a traveler and casual builder, for as much the reason that there was never a platform for merchants to sell their creations for opensim anyway. But it was about the time that all this was going on in SL, that I heard Kitely were launching their Hypergrid Marketplace.

I had been in Kitely previously, but drifted away from it as my store gained in popularity in SL. I decided to come back and list a few items and its been about 6 months now and to be honest, I only log into SL these days to answer customer queries and chat to the odd old friend.

Kitely ticks so many boxes with me that its going to be hard for me to explain why without coming off as some kind of gushy fan-boy.....but I will do my best.

Firstly, if your in it for the money at this will probably be disappointed. Hypergrid delivery has not been rolled out yet and sales are from within the Kitely community mostly. Don't get me wrong. Though I have done surprisingly well, the takings are still dwarfed by my SL sales. But in my opinion, if your looking at it this way then you are missing the best part.

You love to build right? I mean, I do, so I cant imagine your in the creation business if you hate the act of creation. In SL, I could at best afford a whole region IF I was prepared to fork over my entire takings back to the lab for the privilege, and occasionally take a hit in the pocket on a bad month.

In Kitely, my takings are lower but at the incredibly low price for a starter region I can easily cover my costs for a region for the next 8-9 months with just my takings in KC. Anything paid for in USD is money in the bank, and now I have no region in SL, that's money in the bank too.

The effect of this is that I no longer feel under "commercial pressure". What I mean by this is I don't feel the same compulsion to monetize my sim in the way I am forced in SL in order to pay the bills. In fact, I am starting a residential medieval sim and relegating my commercial store to a skybox. I feel free to create what I want rather than trying to find niches and "hot" ideas.

So I started trying to convince you by saying "don't come for the money" but lets review my position.

Before Kitely
  • 1 region in SL that is paid for just this month
  • Some burger money each month
After Kitely
  • 1 Region in Kitely that is paid for this year.
  • more burger money + all that wasted tier
Of course when I closed my store in SL, my sales dropped. But so did my expenses, which left me at a substantial net gain.

So forget it, come for the money! But come for the freedom too.

Welcome to the World's End Virtual Store blog!

Hello and Welcome to the official World's End Landscaping and Roleplay blog. Here you will find all my new releases, thoughts and the occasional wall-of-text rant.

World's End is currently operating in both Second Life and Kitely. Due to the many recent changes I have scaled back operations in SL to a minimum and currently I am focusing on completing Kitelys first medieval themed residential sim. But more on that some other time.....I have been told I need to give you reasons to come back ;)

For those unfamiliar with my store, I already have a wide selection of landscaping items, modular kits and various other items already available at the Second Life Marketplace and the Kitely Hypergrid Marketplace.

Second Life Store

Kitely Store

I will be blogging regularly as my project expands and/or I release new items. Here is a small selection of whats on offer right now!