Designing Worlds says farewell to Seraph City

Seraph City - photographed by Wildstar Beaumont
Seraph City – photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us today, Monday 3rd March at 2pm at the Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams for a special viewing party of today’s Designing Worlds show as we pay a final visit to the beautiful dieselpunk region of Seraph City.

Sadly, a few days after we filmed here, the owner announced his intention of converting the sim into a private region. Already the name has been changed and many of the iconic buildings have gone (including the Hawkesmoor Apartment buildings which we visit). Obviously, we had no idea that this was going to happen when we filmed the show – and nor did the Estate Manager, Edward Pearse, who was our escort.

The Streets of Seraph City - photographed by Wildstar Beaumont
The Streets of Seraph City – photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

We thought long and hard about broadcasting this, but decided to go ahead, even though the show is now more an elegy to Seraph City than an invitation to become part of a community.

We tour some of the beautiful builds in the city – and also talk about how episodes of The Blackened Mirror were filmed there – and were the basis of some popular games during the first season of the show.

Inside the Hawkesmoor Apartments - photographed by Wildstar Beaumont
Inside the Hawkesmoor Apartments – photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

So … do join us at 2pm for a show that is definitely, sadly, a last chance to see.

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in to the web at 2pm SLT on Monday for a showing on Aview TV or on Treet – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the web site at – or on the Designing Worlds blog – our very own version of the iPlayer!

The Streets of Seraph City - photographed by Wildstar Beaumont
The Streets of Seraph City – photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

And don’t miss a Designing Worlds Special that will be broadcast on Wednesday 5th at 2pm. More news of that will be appearing on our websites very shortly!


  1. As the owner of Seraph City, I am happy to discuss the reasons for this difficult decision. And while I am taking the SIM in a different direction, when I decided to close it, I had not decided *what* to do with it precisely and had considered selling it, though since I didn’t own any of the buildings, roads, streets or really anything but my residence, keeping it and spending a lot of money, time and effort to revive it, seemed like a waste of effort since there was no real community at Seraph for the 4 years of its life, and an empty Diorama is not much use to anyone.

    The reasons are here:

    But I would also like it if I could give a SIM owner perspective of this thing.

  2. Certainly you can give your perspective as a sim owner, either here on the blog or we could organise a Designing Worlds show around a discussion of sim closures and some of the reasons why they happen, and the effects that has on the communities involved. I think that could be a very popular programme. There are a number of sims facing closure at the moment – it’s certainly a timely topic.

    When we decided to make the Seraph City show, we had no idea that it was under threat of closure, or that you wanted to appear in on the show (as I believe you have stated elsewhere). We would have loved to have had you. As it was. we saw it as an opportunity to promote a sim that all the team loved, but which could clearly do with a boost. We’ve done this for other regions before, and I’m happy to say that we have been able to raise their profile considerably – in some cases – notably the lovely French region of Arcachon – it saved them from closure.

    I can fully appreciate the difficulties that established sims can pose, and that any sim owner who decides a sim is simply a burden has every right to close it or sell it off. However, as I think you have sadly discovered. a sense of community is a strange and nebulous thing – it may not reside simply in the presence of people in a sim, but in their hearts. I think too that a sim owner is certainly entitled to suggest that people who are eager to keep a sim open should support it in the simplest of ways – by paying rent and keeping their builds alive.

    When I saw the closure notice for Seraph, I was hopeful that a coalition of the willing might be formed who could buy the sim and gradually redevelop it. I had plans for the areas I rented there. But the rapid name change suggested that there was little point in doing that – the parade had gone by.

    I am really sorry for you that the whole thing has become such a colossal mess. I shall miss Seraph City which holds so many happy memories for me of owning the Daily Prim, filming The Blackened Mirror (the fun we had making the sim all 1960s! And our horror when gentrification at one point seemed to be creeping down the street towards Harland Quinn’s seedy offices!), dancing at the Java Jive and the Seraph Club and generally enjoying playing the hard-bitten 1930s newspaper owner with an unexpectedly soft centre. I should have done more myself – beyond simply paying my rents – to see that the successful hunt games continued, and developed further murder mysteries.

    But on one point I think you are wrong. I don’t think, for many people, Seraph City WAS an empty diorama. There may not have been many people there regularly, but I think Seraph held a place in the hearts of people who might just go to the occasional dance there, or who walked the streets once in a while. I think that could have been tapped into – although I can understand you may have found it hard to do. But I do think that there were people who would have helped, who wanted to help, and who were trying to help. Hence our show.

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