Tonight is the opening night of the Worlds of Westeros , the roleplay multi regions done in the tradition of Game of Thrones.
Although life necessitates that I can not be at the opening ball in Sunspear, Dorne – I was able to sit with King Bandor Tyrell and find out more about Worlds of Westeros and how it came to arrive in InWorldz.
We met at the Rose & Crown in the Highgarden region: places.inworldz.com/Highgarden/180/68/23
Birch Wind: Thank you Bandor for agreeing to meet with me, I know this is a busy time for you.
Bandor Tyrell: No problem, thanks for talking with me. We are busy, but that is kind of the norm.
Birch Wind: Yes, I imagine you are! There is quite a buzz regarding the World of Westeros Role Playing regions. Where did this idea come from and how did it manifest in InWorldz?
Bandor Tyrell: Well, I started Game of Thrones role play four years ago in another grid. We rapidly grew to be the largest and most successful thrones sims there, but I was never happy.
Game of Thrones is an epic story that takes place in a unique world of several very different kingdoms. It is a huge world of vast open spaces and the world is an active part of the story.
Trying to to reproduce that was not possible financially with the high costs of sims, so I built highly immersive sims to provide as real of an experience as possible, the other Sims seemed to be primarily basic Sims with no visual appeal.
To create the open space we had to use a ton of skyboxes. My dream, my vision was to build not just one sim or one kingdom but all of the world on many sims. But I would have gone bankrupt long before getting near to realizing the dream.
Birch Wind nods – Yes, that can be a very expensive dream to make come true, especially when the region is not primarily a rental region created to make money from others.
Bandor Tyrell: Right, my vision all along was to avoid the commercialism you see so often. I didn’t want to have to fill my sims with ads, merchants and campers. I wanted to create the world of game of thrones where fans go to live in the world of the books and tv show and truly experience it. that makes it purely a hobby for us and we make no money.
Birch Wind: How did you find out about InWorldz, and what made you decide to bring it here? There are so many choices these days for grids.
Bandor Tyrell: I learned about InWorldz and other alternate grids three years ago and actually came here then and quickly realized that I could fulfill my dream here and not break the bank in the process, the only problem was InWorldz was just not ready then.
Birch Wind: What was the biggest obstacle when you came here three years ago and how have things changed?
Bandor Tyrell: The challenges were two-fold, but connected. Interrelated. there was a serious lack of content and vendors and a lack of users. Without vendors there is no content. Without content, new users dont stay. Without users vendors don’t come.
What changed was the departure of Aerion and Unity from the other grid to InWorldz. It made me take another look. and what i found told me that InWorldz had changed and was ready. Now, I could take the chance to fulfill my dream
So I came here and told a few friends and key members and told them my idea. I brought them here and shared my vision.
– Imagine an entire world dedicated to game of thrones. not one sim.. not five sims… but 50 Sims connected together where we build all of the lands of Game of Thrones both in Westeros, the main continent, and Essos across the narrow sea. Imagine a land deeply immersive where we stop being roleplayers and instead we become citizens of the World of Westeros.
They could see the potential.
They got the vision and caught the “bug”.
I closed down the four Sims i had in the other grid and moved here with my partner Dani and began to build the dream.
Birch Wind: That does sound very inspiring! So now, we have arrived at the Grand Opening of the World of Westeros. Can you tell me what you and those working with you have been able to achieve now that you have been able to make the move here?
Bandor Tyrell: Sure, we have decided to try our best to build the world in as much detail as possible with cities and major centers on full sims. Each major sim would be surrounded by scenic Sims, either land or water, so that everything us spaced out and relatively geographically accurate. We have built out almost every part of Westeros covering over 30 sims
Highgarden was first and it is in a kingdom that covers 8 Sims. 8 Sims! can you even picture that on another grid?
Dorne came next on four Sims, including 2 full ones. then we started adding Sims to fill things out. It was then that we really stated being noticed by others already in InWorldz
Birch Wind: Would it be fair to say that this is the largest collection of Game of Thrones inspired regions on any grid at any time?
Bandor Tyrell: Oh easily. There has never been anything like this in any virtual world in any genre. There are large roleplay regions, but not ones based on a single setting or encompassing an entire continent.
So, now we had people from existing InWorldz Sims catching our bug. Gnormon and Rhass from Tir Tairngire said “How can we be a part of this?” they moved their sims, changed their sim names and gave up their ears to build the Vale of Arryn kingdom.
Birch Wind: And what was the main reason for picking a closed commercial grid like InWorldz as opposed to one of the numerous OpenSim regions?
Bandor Tyrell: To be honest, it all goes back to content and users. I feel that the amount of content and number of users in inWorldz, compared to other grids makes this the most attractive alternative to attract people to join us. We have made the transition and are trying to ease the transition for anyone trying to come here. We have been bringing people into IW in droves and more come every day.
I have had many vendors come to me and tell me that their sales have taken off since we came here and we are not just bringing users, we have been recruiting and bringing in builders, merchants and vendors. We are very close to having jousting here as some of the leading makers of jousting systems are here now making their products work.
Birch Wind: How much does one need to know about Game of Thrones to roleplay in these regions?
Bandor Tyrell: You don’t really need to know anything. we are working on a full intro to Game of Thrones in our welcome center which will include video history and lore on beach kingdom and major aspects
I also do regular book readings over audio stream to help people learn.
Birch Wind: What do you hope to see for the future of the Game of Thrones regions here?
Bandor Tyrell: Well, first and foremost, we are not about just trying to drive traffic. We’re about creating the best experience for the people we have. We want to see the rest of Westeros get fleshed out and then add navigable seas between Westeros and the Eastern continent and start adding in places like Braavos, Volantis, Qarth and the Dothraki Seas. We want to expand to include all of George R R Martin’s world.
Birch Wind: Do you have any final comments or words you would like to share?
Bandor Tyrell: This is collective effort. I did not and could not do this on my own. I’ve had help from a large number of people, both those who came with us and those who were here. That includes builders who have volunteered time helping us get ready, merchants giving us tons of free items or helping to equip our members, to other roleplaying sims who came in and taught us the ropes and helped us get acquainted with InWorldz. This is an active, thriving community filled with people who really care about making a difference. That’s all we are. We love Game of Thrones and we cannot wait to see what kinds of amazing things this community comes up with. As we say, come to Westeros. Pick a Kingdom. Pick a house. Pick a role. Become a legend.
Birch Wind: Well, I thank you so much for your time today, and for sharing your experiences, and visions with our readers. It has been a pleasure to chat with you today. Could you leave us with a few of the key Landmarks for Westeros? Perhaps the arrival points of the Kingdoms?
Bandor Tyrell: It was my pleasure, and certainly. These are the landmarks to the currently complete Kingdoms – each kingdom of course having multiple regions to explore:
Highgarden & The Reach: http://places.inworldz.com/Highgarden/176/61/22
Vale of Aryyn Welcome Center and Market: http://places.inworldz.com/Vale%20of%20Arryn/73/124/3503
Sunspear Welcome Center: http://inworldz.com/Eastern%20Dorne/196/68/22
King’s Landing Welcome Center: http://inworldz.com/King%27s%20Landing/15/229/23
Just some of the amazing areas in Westeros
(click on the images to see full size – more LM’s will be added as I get them)