Sep 302011
 

I like blogging on a Friday, not sure why, anyway one for the road here which isn’t really Second Life related but more online gaming related. However, having said at that, one area where Second Life has been ahead of the bell curve is in offering a free to play option, I don’t want to get into an “It’s not a game” argument here, the free to play option has been available in Second Life for a number of years now.

During this time I’ve watch Lord Of The Rings Online go free to play, Champions Online go free to play, Star Trek Online is rumoured to be heading free to play. The Daddy of them all, World of Warcraft, isn’t going free to play anytime soon, nor should it. However, if I could pay a reasonable amount a month to play Lord Of The Rings Online, Champions Online and Star Trek Online, I would do so, give me a channel I can subscribe to and a choice of games and I’ll pay.

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Sep 302011
 

This is a bit of a rambling post on a varitety of subjects, the lack of official music channels in Second Life, a new messaging feature via web profiles and some strange claims by Linden Lab over premium features, I’m blaming the hottest end of September since 1895 for this rambling!

As some of you may have noticed, I’m a bit miffed about the whole Spotify now requiring new users to have a Facebook account, largely because I think this is absolutely ridiculous. However where I do think Spotify have made a sensible choice is in making their offerings available to Facebook users. This may sound contrary, but it really isn’t, my criticisms of Linden Lab pushing Facebook have been due to Linden Lab seeming to push Facebook our side, pushing Second Life Facebook side makes perfect sense.

However the deal does raise the concept of media, Second Life is a place that is ripe for media, music, videos, live performances, they are all popular within Second Life and for bands looking to make a cheap promotion, Second Life seems a reasonable cost solution and yet, we don’t see much of it. However this brings me to another gripe, which is the lack of a decent API for advertising events, I love the showcase widgets we can create, I’d love to do the same for Events or get a  feed of some sort of events strream with a nice level of richness, but it’s not available.

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Sep 302011
 

TechRadar has a fairly balanced article regarding what happened to Second Life and where it’s heading, which you can read here. What I like about this article is that it doesn’t end by saying Second Life is going nowhere, it also has quotes from people like Tateru Nino and current Linden Lab CEO RodVilla Humble.

The article is realistic, there was too much hype, big brands thought they could come in, build something and people would come. I have long maintained that the big brands should have intergrated more, I understand that this is tricky in a user generated content world, they lose some control and maybe didn’t want their brand side by side with a store with a huge phallus on the top of the building (I saw stores like this when I first arrived and they made me cringe). However brands should have been looking to sponsor more gigs, sponsor art galleries, plant adverts in sims, generally engage with the Second Life public.

Then there’s the issue of the learning curve and whereas more experienced Second Life users find it hard to understand that the learning curve is steep, it simply is for many people. I joined Eve-Online earlier in the year for a while, they have superb tutorials, they email you with more tips when you’re new, Eve-Online has a steep learning curve too but they do try harder to keep new users engaged with those tutorials but in a user generated world where Linden Lab have less control than the creators of a world like Eve-Online, it’s harder to guide people.

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Sep 292011
 

Stroker Serpentine today confirmed rumours about his departure from Second Life, releasing his Sexgen V5 base as a full perms model for free in the process, you can pick the package up from his island, get them whilst they’re hot.

Cindy Claveau shared the news over at SLUniverse with a copy of a post to the Eros group inworld:

It’s true I am leaving Second Life. I have made many friends here and I hope that we’ll all be together in the Third Life. I am placing the SexGen base full perm to any who would like to use it in their builds. I’ll be closing the groups and returning my sim soon, so come and get it quick. Feel free to share it. It’s been a grand adventure and I wish you all the naughty fun you can have with it. Until then, be good to each other.

I personally didn’t know Stroker Serpentine, I know of him but I can’t say I’ve ever had any real dealings with him. However when I arrived in Second Life Sexgen was a big thing, which was reflected in news articles and documentaries over the years. There were controversial elements to the Stroker Serpentine Story, a dispute with Corsi Mousehold of furnation, a lawsuit with a copybotter and more recently a dispute with Linden Lab which has since been resolved. However love him or loathe him Stroker Serpentine generated a lot of publicity for Second Life.

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Sep 272011
 

When people ask why people are concerned about real names rather than pseudonyms or talk of people not having to use a service, it’s all well and good, but as I’ve stated before there’s an underlying function creep going on and into that murky water comes Spotify.

The free music site recently struck a deal with Facebook, first of all this means more piddling about with Facebook settings, but there’s something really bad about this deal, if you’re not a Facebook user you won’t be able to signup for Spotify. No new accounts can be created unless you have a Facebook account.

Ah well what’s the problem, it’s free? Well no, you can pay for extra services with Spotify and even if you want to become a premium subscriber, you will still need a Facebook account to signup, which quite frankly is an absurd requirement.

Spotify aren’t the only people to have gone down this route, the virtual world Kitely still has the ridiculous Facebook requirement, whereas TechCrunch, the tech blog, still have Facebook comments. However at least on Facebook people can comment via AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo accounts, although still not via Twitter. TechCrunch really should know better.

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Sep 272011
 

So there I am stalking Rodvik’s profile when  I notice he’s into wargames and Russian history, which reminds me I need to catch up on this week’s episode of Spooks. I then go to his wall, where you know you might find the odd hello or something about his interests …. unfortunately you don’t find that you find an unholy mess of people using Rodvik’s wall as a discussion forum.

Now look, I know he appears nice and all that and he’s engaged with the community on twitter, in the forums, over at SLUniverse and commented on blogs but for goodness sake, a profile wall isn’t a place to discuss some of the subjects being raised there, he’s one man, he can’t fix everything and he’s not about to stop some commie plot from taking over a sim, well actually he comes not far from where the intelligence headquarters GCHQ are located as I recall …… hmmm! Anyway! He’s not going to fix all these problems!

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Sep 262011
 

At the weekend, at a bellydancing event, I bumped into someone from Renaissance Island, after a short chat I was armed with a few landmarks for this historical educational sim set in Tudor England. Now I’m biased about these things because I like this sort of stuff before I’ve even arrived.

Upon landing I found myself outside the Boars Head Inn and then promptly got confused as the notecard told me the inn was called the Figaro Inn, but we’ll forgive that.
Boars Head Inn

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Sep 252011
 

Hot off the presses is Tyche Shepherd’s awesome private estate survey, September 2011 edition. The survey is based on a sample of 5,000 randomly selected private estate regions, which is a high enough number to get some  pretty decent figures from.

The survey tells us that Anshe Chung is losing sims, but not that many as quite a few are ending up in the hands of The Chung Sisters and when you add ACS Dreamland, Azure Islands and The Chung Sisters holdings into the pot together, Anshe’s organisation is top of the pile with 7.9% but this is 0.7% down on last month.

The big climber appears to be LaLa estates, who are now in second place as an independent group, with a 0.6% increase this month, top of the charts however is RGF Estates, with 5.7%. Confused? Anshe’s holdings are in different groups, so RGF is top as an independent entity but Anshe’s group is overall top when you add together all the different groupings, however as individual entities they are behind RGF and Lala estates.

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Sep 232011
 

I’ve been spending a fair bit of time on the beta grid lately, mostly getting frustrated that I can’t make one mesh face on my mesh object a 1:1 ratio when I texture it, but that can wait. I really like the new upload tools, they make everything far easier to follow regarding level of detail etc. However tonight I decided to play with checking land impact figures. Land impact replaces prim equivalency on the beta grid, indeed it replaces all previous settings for counting objects in the about land settings! However don’t panic, legacy prims and sculpts will largely be protected…. I think, the further I dug into the murky world of land impact, convex hulls and prims, the more confused I got!

I started with a simple mesh object, which on its own has a land impact of 1:

Mesh Object on beta grid

I then duplicated it and got ready to link the two objects:

Adding a second Mesh item

I then link the objects and as expected I now have a two prim linkset with a land impact of 2 .. oh wait no I don’t! The land impact score is actually 1! The advanced window displays the full information:

Linkin Mesh Object

Advanced Window of Joined Mesh

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Sep 232011
 

This one is rather bizarre. A bug has recently been introduced to Second Life that has caused a failure for scripts that use llSetPrimitiveParams and llSetLinkPrimitiveParamsFast when those commands are used in conjunction with PRIM_PHYSICS.

This has led to a lot of angry content creators and users complaining, such as here on SL Universe where I first saw reports of this bug by Innula Zenovka and here on the Jira, where something extremely odd seems to have happened to Annmarie OToole.

Annmarie OToole has these automated vehicles running around mainland, particularly the Linden highways, these vehicles sometimes go off course and annoy people, they are controversial, some people think they shouldn’t be allowed, some people think they’re a nice addition. However the introduction of this bug has led to them losing a lot of control, Annmarie OToole says this has made the brakes fail and that this is causing fatal accidents!

My vehicles rely on llSetPrimitiveParams([PRIM_PHYSICS,FALSE]); to stop suddenly to avoid collisions. This is not working in Blue Steel resulting in hundreds of fatal accidents.

So Annmarie should get inworld and fix the bloody problem right, I mean it’s not her fault a bug has been introduced but there are workarounds, however the problem with that is that Annmarie has received a three day suspension, allegedly due to the vehicles misbehaving due to this bug!

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