2013 Reviewed

The challenge with a review of the year is to try and make it worth reading. There’s a balance between including information and including too much information. This year’s review is largely based on Second Life and my own posts, so there’s plenty of information that I will be missing. For those who want a more in depth review, Inara Pey has been reviewing 2013 too.

For me personally it was a difficult year, Reed, Dee, Izzy and TJ Linden all gave me wonderful support, even when I myself was more than a tad grouchy with them but I do appreciate the efforts they made to accommodate me.

This post is not as long as it looks, if you skip the pictures, links and embedded videos it won’t take as long to read as you may think at first glance. I did consider breaking this down in to different posts, as I did last year. However at the end of the day it is what it is, so it looks like it’s epic in length but it’s really not. However to aid people I’ve decided to go back to HTML school and create a table of contents! Hurrah.


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Where Next For Versu And Dio?

Whilst the TOS debate has been raging I’ve been checking out other Linden Lab properties, mostly Versu and Dio. Now one point to note in TOS terms is that Dio is under the same Linden Lab umbrella TOS as Second Life and Desura whilst Versu still currently has its own TOS. I’m not sure what to make of that.

Versu seems to be going well, although there’s still no bloody Android version. Dio on the other hand seems to be struggling for identity.

When Linden Lab launched these products earlier in the year, Versu sounded interesting as an interactive fiction platform with a suggestion that it would be opened up to allow people to create their own stories.

Dio on the other hand didn’t sound too interesting, but when it launched it was surprisingly interesting and had the potential to allow people to create photo albums, interactive stories, text adventure type games, a broad brush but that seems to have changed and it’s now billed as a place to create interactive photo albums. The photo album market is a very competitive area. Dio also isn’t helped by the hard to read text links in the footer, at my age you notice these things!

Of the two Versu currently looks the more vibrant, in August Deidra Kiai announced the release of two new Versu adventures. They were “Office Politics: The Interview” and “Office Politics: The Party“. As opposed to previous Versu titles which were more pride and prejudice era, these adventures are set in the modern day office environment. There’s also a link on Deidra Kiai’s blog to a Dio adventure entitled “Jamey Beanman’s Burrito Quest” which Dio informs me is private or limited access. Maybe you need to be logged in.

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Making More Plans For dio

Ok so I’m enjoying playing around with dio and The Search For Hod Rumble (see previous post for details) is well under way, whether it ever goes from private to public is another matter. My intention with this project is largely to play around with the features and get a good understanding of the platform whilst having fun at the expense of Rod Humble. However, even though I’m only at the start of my project, I have picked up some tips.

Plan your project

There are some really decent and very short tutorials on dio and they are well worth watching, this should help you with get started. However, whatever your project is, it’s worth planning and if you’re plan is interactive fiction, then you definitely need a plan. I advise using tools outside of dio to plan your project, a pen and paper will do along with some good old fashioned flow charts but planning works well, as I’ve discovered when I get into my project and realise I should have done things differently!

You’ll want a plot, then you’ll want a diagram of sorts, really, this is important, although you may have a photographic memory and not need plans and diagrams, for most of us, they are important. After a brief start you will soon realise you are losing track of your characters, rooms and paths if you don’t take notes. Do not be put off by this, taking notes is in the long term a good habit to get into anyway, as I discover the older I get and look back at my VBS and Powershell scripts at work or my LSL scripts in Second Life, where I thought I was too clever to need to comment on what I was doing! Bad move!

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Making Plans For Dio

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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dio Definitely Has Potential


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.


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