Jan 312013
 

Laval Industries today announced plans for dio. “We’re only making plans for dio, we only want what’s best for them, we’re only making plans for dio, dio just needs this helping hand” Laval Industires chief development officer told me in a top secret meeting today. Three interactive fiction titles are already in the works.

The Search For Hod Rumble

Hod Rumble, CEO of technology company Lendin Laboratories, has gone missing. Customers of Lendin Laboratories main product, Alternative Existence, haven’t seen hide or hair of Hod Rumble for months. In this compelling story you will get to choose a companion to help you in your search for Hod Rumble and this will determine which storyline you follow.  Companions include:

  • Former CEO and technology pioneer Philip Eladesor.
  • Blogger and author James Amadeus Oh
  • Industry superstar Harper Robins
  • Ace developer and producer Little Bo Bargrass
  • The Lord of Dee … this guy is like Hitchcock, he appears in all his own productions!

As well as different storylines determined by the character, plans are afoot for different storylines within the storylines “This is confusing us too” a developer at Laval Industries confided in me.

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Jan 312013
 

As a long time critic of Linden Lab’s lack of communication with the Second Life populace and their sparse use of their own blog for news, I welcome what looks like a resurgence in blog use.

Three recent posts have appeared, one once again highlighting the destination guide: Highlights from the Second Life Destination Guide – Jan. 31, 2013

Another exemplifies use of the Leap Motion Controller:  Reaching into Second Life with Leap Motion

The third is an addition to the quick tips: Shopping in Second Life Video Tutorial

What I particularly like about the Leap Motion blog is what appears at the end of the embedded YouTube video:

An Image Should Be Here

Second Life Blog News

Yes please! That is exactly the right place for people to be looking for Second Life news, my main criticism has been that there isn’t enough news!

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Jan 312013
 

Tyche Shepherd this week reported that the grid is ligher to the tune of another 61 private regions, this brings the losses for this year to roughly around 235, I say roughly because I’m basing this on Tyche’s last four reports and there’s a little bit of carry over from the last day or two of last year and the last report was on January 27th, so it is almost certainly slighly higher.

Now a lot of people want Linden Lab to slash tier and in many ways, that would halt the decline, for example they could slash the tier on homesteads back down to USD$75.00, or slash the tier on Openspaces to USD$25.00 a month and insist they’re only used for scenery with a stingy prim count. Openspaces at USD$75.00 a month seems extremely high to me. They could even slash tier on full regions to say USD$195.00 a month. All of these moves would halt the decline of sim losses, temporarily at least. However another route would be to introduce new products.

Now there’s no doubt that one way Linden Lab could halt the losses is to introduce new land products, such as a region that supports 7,500 prims for around USD$150.00 per month, or a region that supports 11,250 prims for USD$225.00 a month, or mega regions that were double, treble or quadruple the size of current regions in terms of prim count and land mass but had a pro-rata rata tier rate that was a fair bit cheaper than four individual regions, that might appeal to the large Land Barons.

There is a precedent for new products increasing the land mass, it came with the Openspace fiasco. When Linden Lab removed the requirement to buy Openspaces in packs of four and then allowed them to be placed anywhere on the grid, the land mass exploded, so much so that on July 8th 2008 Zee Linden opened his blog post with:

Linden Lab is pleased to announce results for Second Life the second Quarter.

 Land mass grew over 44%. The total number of regions owned by residents increased 44.2% over Q1 to just over 1.5 billion square meters. Our growth was due to the popularity of our newly launched “Openspace” land product along with a change in pricing to make the purchase of land more accessible to first time buyers.

Now as those of us who were around at the time know, this didn’t end well, but in terms of bringing new land to the grid, the Openspace initiative produced staggering results.

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Jan 302013
 

Dio6

I must confess that the blurb about dio hadn’t gripped me at all, it looked like another social network, with some funky features but we’ve seen it all before. Versu is the forthcoming Linden Lab project I’ve been looking forward to, that’s the interactive fiction, that’s the creative space that appeals most to me.

However, after using dio, I’ve changed my mind. There’s a lot of potential here and it’s a very diverse place. There are also quite a few Second Life and virtual world users setting up home there already, sneaky bunch aren’t we.

dio1

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Jan 302013
 

Linden Lab have unleashed another new product, this time dio, where you may be able to ride the tiger, you can see his stripes but you know he’s clean. dio has been on the horizon for a while, but now it seems to be cooking on gas and you can see some good commentary on Inara Pey’s blog post and Hamlet Au’s blog post, alternatively you can stick with me for cheesy 80’s rock references, look, someone was going to do it, I’m just taking one for the team and sparing other bloggers the pain of the cheesy references!

There’s also a very hand press release from Linden Lab, which can be read here. I’m still awaiting a reply from Peter Gray from an email from years ago now that I think about it, but one day, you never know. Anyway, what is dio I hear you ask, and no don’t go all 80’s rock again, well not just yet! Where was I? Oh yes, what is dio, well from the press reference Rod Humble is quoted as saying:

dio is a new shared creative space on the web, based around the concept of linked spaces, dio makes it easy and fun to create or visit experiences of all kinds. dio is still in development, and we have deliberately kept the tools as broad as possible, but so far our testers have created a vast range of spaces, from wedding keepsakes, to house tours, to games, to rich media-linked chat rooms about sports and ancient history. I’m really looking forward to seeing what people will create now that dio is more widely available.

I think this is something we’re going to need to see in action to really understand what’s going on, but an interesting part of dio is that there’s talk of being able to earn money, initially via ad revenue and further down the line from creations and what makes this press release more positive, from a Second Life perspective, is that Rod Humble even makes a reference to Second Life in the press release! Hurrah!

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Jan 282013
 


Dwarfins

Banished from the land of their birth, separated from their creator, the Dwarfins must find a way to survive on their own. Will you help them build their community and learn the secrets of creating life? Simul8 Studios is proud to present Dwarfins, a fantasy dwarven community building game, to the world of Second Life.

Visit in Second Life

The creators of Dwarfins, the breedable game, have announced in a blog post that certain items in their store can now be purchased with Dwarfins Gold. The items where Dwarfins Gold is applicable will have a Dwarfins Gold icon on them and when you want to purchase such an item, you will have a choice of purchasing with Dwarfins Gold or Linden Dollars.

To accumulate Dwarfins Gold you will have to return your Dwarfin, which removes it from the world. Any Gold that the returned Dwarfin has acquired whilst mining, or even the default 10 Gold they come with, will then be credited to your Dwarfins account and when you have accumulated enough, you can use this Gold for certain purchases.

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Jan 282013
 


The Arrival

The Arrival: In this art installation from Rose Borchovski, you’ll venture to an emotional and immersive art-landscape about The Arrival of the Fish, the next chapter of The Susa Bubbles adventures. In this installation, the Susa Bubbles caught a fish, while they admire how big it is, the fish dies. They wonder if they are to blame. Or search for your own explanation…

Visit in Second Life

I haven’t yet managed to find the time to visit Rose Borchovski’s The Arrival art installation, but I really should because I’ve seen videos and blog posts about it that make the place look well worth a visit. Unfortunately as I haven’t been there and utlised my amateur photography I don’t have any images to share with you, but I do know a couple of people who do! Hurrah!

Inara Pey has an excellent review, complete with excellent imagery, which you can read here.

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Jan 272013
 

There has been a lot of chatter recently on forums and blogs regarding adult content, the type of adult content that appears in Second Life and the very graphic imagery and descriptions of said content. The issue really manifests itself when you open up the viewer and have adult preferences ticked or you open search.

Events, hot places etc. appear and some of the imagery is extremely graphic, so are some of the names of parcels. Does this really need to be the case? I do feel people need to take some responsibility for having adult preferences selected, although in the case of the viewer showing these images before you login, that might need addressing, especially if you’re in a household where the computer is shared.

The thing is though, that even with adult preferences selected, do parcel owners and sim owners really need to have such graphic imagery in the first place? The Adult section of The Destination Guide manages to tastefully list adult destinations, why can’t everyone else?

I don’t really see the need for pornographic images to be in the parcel settings, risque imagery would portray the content equally as well. I also don’t see the need for graphic descriptions, brothel, bordello, escorts can all work without the need for vulgarity in listings. People who want to find such content, will find it equally as well without parcel and sim owners resorting to four letter words to reach their audience.

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Jan 272013
 

I’ve just reluctantly filed a Jira issue on something fairly trivial, but something that’s not working correctly for me. I say reluctantly because I still find the changes to the Jira in September, extremely disappointing. I actually pondered whether to both filing a report because the whole process is now so disappointing. The only real improvement I see is that it’s now easier to report an issue because they’re mostly filed under the Bug report project but beyond that, it’s an unsatisfactory experience.

One area where it is partcularly disappointing is that you no longer even get feedback on your report that the issue has been fixed, to quote the September blog post:

Once a Bug reaches the “Accepted” or “Closed” status, it will not be updated. You can watch the Release Notes to see when and if a fix has been released for your issue.

I’m sorry, but that’s a really poor approach to something which is a two way street, people take time out to report an issue, they should certainly be alerted that a fix has been released from their initial report, to not do so is really poor form and is one of the issues that caused me to ponder whether or not I should bother reporting the current issue I’ve observed.

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Jan 252013
 

Over at New World Notes Hamlet Au has made a series of posts about lost revenue regarding sim losses and a couple of posts on how to introduce revenue streams to try and help the situation. The discussions have been somewhat heated, but I welcome Hamlet’s ongoing discussions on the tier issue. I can recall (although unfortunately can’t find any old posts) Hamlet quite some time ago posting that the tier model was too large a plank of Linden Lab’s revenue and that long term it’s unsustainable, so Hamlet is not a Johnny come lately to these discussions. He also posts the awful sim deathwatch series, of which I’m not a fan, but hey, these sims are disappearing.

Now two recent posts were on ideas for new revenue streams:

How to Stop SL Land Loss: Require Land Ownership to Sell Lots of Items in the SL Marketplace (Comment of the Week)

Should Linden Lab Charge SL Users to Keep Excess Inventory? It’s a Hidden Subsidy Hurting SL’s Economy

Now I personally disagree with both premises, in the first case with The Marketplace, the horse has bolted. This is the sort of thing that needed to be there from the start, introducing it now would be chaotic and bad PR. However I’m still not convinced that people should be able to list items via Direct Delivery to infinity and beyond, people should need to relist, but you don’t need to charge fees for that, although maybe a fee could be introduced if people want to list to infinity and beyond, but that wouldn’t be a long lasting fee.

The latter post I disagree with because the horse has bolted on inventory limits, they needed to be introduced from the start and how on earth would this be introduced. People would not want landmarks or group notice notecards, they wouldn’t want textures advertising new content, they wouldn’t want free gifts in case they went over limit and most of all, people would be miffed that their purchases were in peril, this would hit the economy.

However, although I don’t agree with the ideas, I do welcome the widening of the discussion. Unfortunately the comments tell a pretty sorry tale of blame games.

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