AviWorlds is back in action, now in its seventh incarnation.
The grid is pledging to make backups of everything, grid founder Alexandro Pomposelli — also known as Alex Ferraris in-world — said in a Facebook post Saturday, “so that all is well this time and that the grid can stay online forever.”
The grid came back online last Thursday.
“For everybody who thought Ferraris was dead, I’ve got some bad news — it’s not so,” he wrote. “AviWorlds is reborn. Everything is perfect and in its place. Alex Ferraris is back!”
To attract users to the grid once again, all uploads, groups and classifieds are free, residents can attach home-based regions at no cost, and every resident can get a free quarter region.
In addition, the grid will be hypergrid-enabled, allowing users to travel to other grids, and to get content delivered from the Kitely Market. The hypergrid address is aviworlds.com:8002.
“We will not jail you in a cage like a little birdie,” Pomposelli said, in a Facebook post.
The grid will also offer commercial land. A full region that can hold up to 6,000 prims is $5 per month, 15,000 prims are $15 per month, and a 45,000-prim region is $25.
Each region will also run in its own simulator, Pomposelli promised.
“Generally the grids out there put 16 islands on each simulator, overloading the servers running these islands,” he said in a Facebook post. “The islands on the AviWorlds AVW1 server are completely separate, with distinct databases and simulators.”
Pomposelli’s posts quoted above were all in Portuguese. If there are any errors, blame Google Translate.
A history of failed experiments
To date, AviWorlds has tried:
- A business model based on charging the highest prices. That strategy lasted for less than two months.
- Being hosted by Dreamland Metaverse and by Zetamex. These are two best-known and most-respected OpenSim hosting providers, and both of these companies run a lot of grids for folks, handling all the technology issues and leaving the grid owners to focus on community building, content, and marketing.
- Running their own grid.
- Offering free quarter regions for all residents.
- Turning on hypergrid. Turning it off. Turning it on again. Turning it off. Turning it back on. Turning it off again for the third time.
- Running an enclave on Kitely. This actually lasted about a week.
OpenSim is experimental software, for an experimental metaverse. There’s nothing wrong with trying out different business models, different offers, and different technical setups.
Unfortunately, AviWorlds didn’t stick with any of its experiments long enough to see if they would actually work out. And, with each closure, AviWorlds gave little or not notice at all of the closing, did not give adequate time for residents to make backups or exports, cut off all channels of communication, and, most recently and egregiously, refused to refund a user their $5 worth of unspent virtual currency — after promising that nobody had lost anything on the grid and that all currency purchases would be refunded.
The following apply to AviWorlds as well as to any other startup grid, closed grid, or commercial grid:
- Only keep as much money in your virtual currency as you can afford to lose
- Only create content in a platform where you can make backups, such as a self-hosted region or a Kitely region. Don’t create significant new content in a grid that doesn’t allow backups, or that may be about to close. Instead, create elsewhere and then upload.
- Don’t rely on in-world friends and groups. Build your community outside the grid with listservs, Facebook groups, or go where all the growth has recently been for OpenSim users — Google Plus communities. That way, even if the grid closes, you can still stay in touch with your customers or friends.
- For extra security, don’t create an avatar on AviWorlds. In you can, teleport in with an avatar from another grid, instead. OSgrid, Metropolis, Kitely, FrancoGrid, GermanGrid and Craft have all been around for a long time and allow you to teleport in and out.