Yesterday I was highlighting how Loki Eliot has been making good use of Experience Tools in Second Life and today Linden Lab blog Experience Tools Available Now For Premium Members! Coincidence? Most definitely, but that’s not the point!
First things first, what are experience tools? There’s a good knowledge base article but basically it’s a means by which a lot of the interaction notifications for a location can be agreed to in one foul swoop. So for example if you’re on a sim where scripted objects want to teleport you, take control of your camera, animate your avatar, attach a hud to you etc. this can be done in one step. For example I visited Electrobit City this evening, as I hadn’t been there before and I was greeted with this :
So basically, if I say yes to this, I’m agreeing that whilst in ElectroBit City scripted objects can :
- Act on my control inputs
- Animate my avatar
- Attach to my avatar
- Track my camera
- Control my camera
- Teleport me
As you can hopefully see, I have a choice in this matter. Another thing to note, is that if I change my mind, I can revoke these permissions. Now to make sure I have full access to all these options, I’m using the latest version of the official Second Life viewer, which is available from the downloads page. The current version is 126.96.36.1992622.
With that installed I can control the experiences I’ve agreed to, so in my example below, I go to me at the top left of my screen and then click on experiences.
Then I can see which experiences I’ve allowed. To this, not surprisingly, I click on the Allowed tab. A plea to content creators here, name your places sensibly please.
Now if I click the text link, I will get more information about the experience, in this example I clicked Escapades Island.
Here I can Forget the experience, this is important because once you’ve agreed to an experience, the permissions remain, even if you leave the region and logout. For example the next time you visit, you won’t see the initial pop up asking if you agree to the experience again. However if I Forget the experience, on my next visit I would see the initial pop up again.
Other options inclide Block, which means you Block the experience from asking you for permission and Report Abuse, which is designed in case someone has created an experience that doesn’t seem to be as well intentioned as one would hope. Hopefully Block and Report Abuse won’t be used very often.
Another tab you may want to look at is the Events tab :
There you can see there are options for Notify, Profile and Report. I’ll be honest, I didn’t find this tab to be that useful. As an overview of what has happened it’s handy but clicking Notify just informs me that an experience took control and lists me as the owner. Profile takes you to profile of the experience, which is the same place you get to if you click the text link under the Allowed tab and Report is another Report Abuse link.
So the next question is likely to be, where can I experience Experiences? Well fortunately Linden Lab have a Destination Guide section of Seamless Experiences. At the moment there are only nine experiences listed, but I’m sure that will grow now that more creators can take advantage of these tools.
One thing to note is that although you need to be a Premium Member to create an experience, you do not need to be a Premium Member to engage with an experience, everyone will be able to enjoy experiences.
I would imagine that a popular use will be the teleport feature. A lot of regions have welcome areas where you need to click to teleport, Experiences can remove that step for visitors. I’m sure there will be far more widespread use of the other options, but teleport is likely to be the most popular.
Now if this all sounds a bit daunting, fear not. When Experience Tools were in Beta, Torley made a helpful video explaining how they work, which I’ll embed here.