When the MUCK was started several years ago, a set location was not defined for Hope Island and it was loosely defined as a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean. Easter Island and the Galapagos were early inspirations for the island itself.
Then, we added San Pedro and it became necessary to more solidly define the island's location. We chose to make it a fictional location approximately 200 miles off the California coast. The idea is that the island would be isolated enough that it is a “safe haven”, but the problem is that 200 miles is a really long way to sail. So, IRL, the ferry from San Pedro to Hope Island would take at least 2 days under perfect conditions to make the trip and more like 4 - 7 (or even more!) days under regular conditions.
Because Hope Island is a small MUCK, people kind of ignored the distance between Hope and San Pedro, and bounce around between the two like it's nothing. For awhile, we tried to combat this by making it take RL time to get between the two locations (i.e. ferry delays, the delay in the sanpedro command, etc.) but all this does is encourage people to not go to San Pedro.
For these reasons, and also because we feel that it will stir up the creative juices and give people more ideas, we have decided to put Hope Island in a RL location that is close enough to San Pedro that it is reasonable to sail there in under a day.
Introducing Santa Catalina Island
Hope Island is now considered to be the island of Santa Catalina off the coast of San Pedro/Long Beach in California. Specifically, Little Sands is considered to be in the Little Harbor on the west side of the island. This link should take you to the approximate location:
We are making a few “nerfs” to the island. First and most obviously, the name. The names of places change over time, and Sheridan, the first mayor and founder of Hope Island, renamed the island to be something more meaningful. We will not be renaming anything – the island will remain commonly known as Hope Island.
Secondly, the real Santa Catalina is on the barren side and very mountainous. We are considering it subtropical and heavily vegetated still. Remember, climate change – who knows what that island will be like in the future? Well, we know! It's going to be vegetated, by golly.
We're also considering it somewhat flatter than Catalina, but it was always intended that there be a former/dormant volcano on the island and that there be some mountain terrain. We haven't yet built this area of the island but it is likely to the south east.
Next, we want to say that Hope Island is not visible from the California coast, as this isolation is considered one of its safety measures. It isn't quite easy to get there unless you know kind of where it is. Technically, Catalina Island is visible on a very clear day from certain parts of the California coast – we're going to subtly nerf the island slightly further out to sea so that this isn't possible.
Finally, you may notice that Catalina has many features that Hope Island does – an airport, a town, even lakes – we may claim artistic liberty in relocating these things to fit what we've already built. That said, a project is in the works to reorganize both Hope and San Pedro in a way that makes more sense for both physical locations and where possible we will make things match up.
As a final note, we encourage people to look over Catalina Island and think of fun stuff that could be hiding there. There's a Coast Guard base on the island and several laboratories. A couple towns, and a lot of other “old world” locations that can be found. We can use these places as foundations for future plays and people are highly encouraged to do so.
If you have any questions about this, contact one of the admins! Just type 'wizzes' on the MUCK and any of those folks will be happy to help you.