I downloaded a Sinclair Spectrum emulator for the android the other week. After the initial buzz of seeing all those old game titles from the eighties my interest waned. The android is a bit clunky for such games, many games don’t work and time has not been kind to many of them. However it was a thrill at first. When I had a Speccy as a kid, so did lots of my school friends. We’d share games (piracy as my teacher scolded us, so don’t try that at home). We’d go to each others houses, we’d have fun not only due to the games but because there was also a social aspect.
I left the Speccy behind many moons ago, as I did the Commodore Amiga after that, and I have been looking to see if there’s a legal Amiga emulator but will most likely go through the same cycle as I did with the Speccy emulator, thrill, then flat and no social side to keep the interest.
As it’s my blog I can draw comparisons between the Speccy and Second Life, a bit of a stretch it may be but I can draw them. The Speccy was not the height of technology on release, there were better products around but the Speccy caught the imagination. Therefore software developers were alerted to it and stretched the Speccy to limits beyond what many thought it was capable of, Lords Of Midnight springs to mind here. The Speccy had the people and of all the ingredients that make a product a success, that is arguably the most important one.
Roll forward many years and Second Life is simply where it’s at in virtual world terms. Cloud Party has some very impressive concepts going for it. I like their royalty system on content sales whereby if you sell an asset with royalties enabled, if someone else then sells another asset whilst using your asset as part of the build, you’ll receive a royalty payment. Cloud Party has also had materials for quite a while now. Another impressive apsect of Cloud Party is that objects are not the only limiting factor in a build. In Cloud Party you can have x amount of objects, or x amount triangles or x amount of bandwidth, whichever you hit first will strike the build limit. This is a well considered concept as objects are far from the only issue when it comes to performance.
Kitely has some impressive offerings, such as putting sims to sleep when not in use due to using a cloud based system. Kitely is also not only cheaper than Second Life, but for those who may only spend a few hours a month there they have a time based billing option and under any plan you get at least one free sim to play around with.
Inworldz is also cheaper than Second Life, Jim Tarber and the team are also moving in directions Second Life isn’t, as can be seen in the Inworldz Techblog where they inform visitors they’re implementing physX and project Thoosa, which is aimed at making everything run faster and more efficiently. Inworldz has also implemented Qarl’s mesh deformer project.
However despite these advances in other virtual worlds, Second Life still has that magical community ingredient and what makes this all the more impressive is that Second Life still has the community despite the fact that Linden Lab have been actively distancing themselves from the Second Life community for a few years now.
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