Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Year of Change in My Second Life #SL

Everything changed this in 2010, EVERYTHING, some for the better many for the worst and some had been changing long before 2010 only settle this year. Second Life is pretty much unrecognisable from the place i arrived at in 2005.

This is my take on things we currently have in Second life and how i perceive their impact on me a long time Second Life resident doer.

1. I'll start with Land. The rules were quite simple in the old days. Buy a private island, build creatively on it, rent plots for people to live or rent shopping spaces for people to sell items ect, make your money back. This old system still works for some but for the most part its broken by Market place and Linden Homes.

2. Shops.  It could be argued that it was SLexchange that broke inworld shopping. I used to use it as a means to find items then follow the SLURL to buy it inworld. It's replacement 'MarketPlace' is an 'in your face' and 'powerful tool' making going to inworld shops less inviting. It's the Sainburys of Virtual worlds, we love our local highstreet stores, but we're still going to choose Sainburys mega store out of convenience. In my eyes this means those private islands and shopping malls who rely on inworld shops to replay their high priced monthly tier are struggling.

Before now anyone could set up a shop anywhere. Now you have to work much harder to build a brand and just like real world, virtual shopping malls are dead.

3. Viewer2. 2010 saw the release of Viewer2, the result of almost two years of development and collaboration with some kinda third party design Gurus. What we got was a more complicated skin to a re-written copy of viewer1 with a few more extra features. 

The issue most of my friends have with viewer2 is its Ui. It's true the viewer expects more clicks to do tasks than previously and some of the changes seem less intuitive. But the Ui is no longer the main issue i have with it since im pretty much used to it now. The New issue for me is viewer fragmentation. My friends and many long time SL residents refuse to upgrade o viewer 2, they stick with V.1 or migrate to a third party viewer such as Phoenix or imprudence. Meanwhile Linden Lab continue to slap on new features that can only be experienced via viewer2. a. Shared Media, b.Mesh objects, c. Display names (and possibly in future d.expanded groups, e. integrated Avatar United).

I see this fragmentation of viewing second life as a really horrible problem thats just growing and growing. My Burn2 (burning life) build used shared media video to tell a story. Most of the visitors who i asked said they did not use viewer2 and so did not experience the story. For my Steampunk Roleplay in New Babbage i used Shared media again to tell parts of a story with video, but i added a button for viewer1 people to load external browser windows. This work around can not be done with Mesh objects or Display names, they simply wont be seen by V1 and third party viewers. 

I'm watching the Kokua project where the imprudence team are planing to bring viewer2 features to their thirdparty viewer. But it will be a continuing problem for LindenLab that their awesome new features wont be widely used until the third parties implement them in their viewers.

4. Newbies VS Oldbies. Viewer2 is the wedge that deepened the divide between the New and long time residents of SL. 

Newbs arrive and if they stick around live in a totally new version of SL. They use the destination guide to find games and tasks to complete. They use viewer2 and are oblivious to how it used to be easier to used. They use Market place to buy all their new stuff and get a Lindenhome to live in.

Oldbies live in an old grid, struggling to make ends meet, reminiscing about old times. Oldbies are cursed with the Knowledge that things were easier, quicker, cheaper. They continue to build content for their friends and virtual families and in the hope of selling to Newbs. They see the bits of SL that are old and broken but refuse to see the new and shiny future of viewer2. Oh to be a Newb again.

What happens when a Newbie meets and Oldbie? The older resident teaches the Newb about how SL used to be better, and suggest they use a thridparty viewer as its faster and more stable. And so the corruption begins. But was performance really any better in the old days? Well my videos from this time last year show no change at all from viewer1 to viewer 2 LOL.

5. Communication. This isn't so much something that changed in SL, but more about something that hasn't changed. The rest of the world saw a huge shift in social communication and media and SL saw none of that change. Businesses and services across the globe became connected int he social revolution. Sl just sat behind its virtual wall stagnating. We saw Avatars United get bought by LindenLab, have a surge of user sign ups, then get shut down LOL. 

2010 was the year where group chatting became almost impossible. Even now every tuesday when it comes to making a shout out to the Vortex Club group that my DJ show is about to start, im met with a failed group chat. 

Viewer2 changed the way we receive messages. Some people like it, i personally HATE it. All the group notices arrive and are stored in what i fondly call the Message Trash Bin Box in the bottom right corner. I soon have over 100 unread messages in the Bin Box as it stores group notices, object transfers, private IM's and all manner of notices. When you click on the Bin Box you get a small scrolling list thats hard to read and seems to be in no particular order to me. It's a dread full peace of work and feels like a shoddy afterthought to a feature Linden Lab thinks is not all that important.

I've said it before, communication within SL is far more important that MESH and DISPLAY NAMES and SHADOWS. Residents communicating with each other is what makes SL go round and round and needs a shed load of time and development and THOUGHT put into it. Social communication has proven big because it allows people to connect and share information about their interests and connect to those interests and talk about those interests. Second Life in 2010 ground to a halt communication wise. All those cool groups of communities who have come together through common interest and SL does not give them the resources to communicate those interests and cash in on the potential.

Some say LindenLab are working on this for 2011, im no so sure. I'd love for SL to get twitter style Activity feeds built into the viewer so i can share my SL interests through out the day, sharing places, bought items, created content, live shows, groups ive joined (vote on the jira :-p). Something like that would be SUCH a major ad on to the viewer that we would have heard about it by now. If Linden lab do anything i expect it'll be a basic skin job of avatars united that you can access via the viewers built in web viewer much like the broken search and destination guide. 

6. My Island and my friends. I must have been mad to upgrade my homestead to a full sim, I'm a UK resident with a looming VAT rise, i cant possibly afford a full sim! Well i am, i love the island, i love my friends, and i love creating the stories and adventures for them. Im grateful for my friends who donate and those who live on the island and help pay Lindens high priced tier. The new island has allowed me new areas of exploration in terms of creating experiences in SL and im looking forward to 2011 with many ideas. 

My biggest aims will be finding a balance between making content & experiences in SL and Doing work in real world. Sometimes i feel like im a games developer working all day for a company that charges me for working for them, that just feels wrong, so i have to find a comfortable balance next year so that i don't feel that way.

7. Linden Lab. Those of you who are left, thanx for sticking around, have a merry christmas, i look forward to seeing what happens to us all in 2011 :)

End Rant

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

EGNOG IS BACK! and handing out FREE Presents to all! #SL

Santa has been Permabanned from Escapades Island because he's way to commercial and a bit creepy. Instead Egnog the Christmas Troll visits every year bringing gifts to those he likes and eating those that he does not like.

Well He's back again and has hidden himself somewhere on the island. The only way you will be able to get a present off the big old Troll is by following the footprints left behind when he first arrived in Rickety Town square. 

Egnog will be staying at Escapades right up until  New Years Day, so you have plenty of time to find him :)

Have a Spiffing Christmas

Using Apples iAd Producer to build #SL Shared Media PrimApps on #SLviewer2

This week Apple released iAd Producer software designed to make building simple, interactive Adverts for iPhone & iPad. It is AWESOME to use, so intuitive that i did not even have to read any instruction PDF's i just got stuck in and built fun iAd Apps.

One of the softwares features is the ability to export as a webapp in safari in order to test quickly your results. It was here i suddenly thought this could be used in SL on a prim via shared media.

Anyone with a bit of a design sense can pic up iAd Producer and build interactive PrimApps allowing people in SL to click through information, adverts, videos ect. Of course what i would love to use it for is to build useful network. Those who have followed my blog know that i made an AWESOME community network destination kiosk, but a bug in either the webkit Linden Lab uses or Viewer2 it self causes the viewer to not recognise double worded SIM names in SLURLs. Read and vote for it to be fixed on the JIRA

I mocked up a quick version of a community network kiosk using iAd Developer in just 15 minutes, but the SLURL bug still persists so all you will see is the potential.

I also created a test Comic book on a prim app which allows you to drag and swipe the pages on a prim. All this is pretty awesome, shame all my friends persist on not using viewer2.

Its getting harder to build content for everyone in Second Life, with the Grid Community fragmented across many different viewers. Whats the point in spending money and time building a world of interactive MESH monsters with shared media enhanced information about them, if nobody i know can see it?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Goonies Adventure - Annon, The Gate

I completely forgot to hold the Goonies Adventure on Friday, so we had it on Saturday instead. This month we visited 'Annon, The Gate'. A wonderfully peaceful and remote set of islands with lush green grass covered rocks.

We made our way up the hill towards what looked like an old monastery.

From there we could see another island with huge castle tower on it. Out to sea we could see a pirate ship anchored so we hopped on a boat found by the water and rowed out to it.

After messing about on the boat we headed to the tower.

The tower was HUGE and us goonies walked higher and higher...

We finally made it to the top but instead of walking back down i rezzed the Goonies Airship. We floated down and zoomed around the tower before heading over to the next sim to explore another small island with a rickety bridge. I think thats when we lost Jacob during the sim crossing, poor boy.

We discovered on the island some sort of lighthouse place.

Tepic discovered a diving bell, and thats where the adventure ended. Was a great place to explore!

Hopefully i wont forget the next Goony Adventure :)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

#SL Social Change

I was busy trying to promote the New Babbage RP mystery Game this weekend when i realised something im sure many of you already have thought of. But if you haven't then please enjoy todays rant.

I posted an introduction to the Black Heart RP along with the video inviting people to come into SL and try it out. The replies on one forum were interesting yet utterly typical.

You know, I joined Second Life specificially because I heard there was a sizable Steampunk community.  I wandered around New Babbage for a about a week and didn't run into a single other person. 
I cast my net wider and encountered only people who wanted me to visit their websites and drive their hits up whilst installing spyware on my machine and a guys who wanted to try out sex pose balls with my female avatar. They didn't care that I was actually male, they just wanted to see their toon boink my toon.

Putting a side the fact that he chose a female avatar,(sounded like he fullfilled the typical SL sterotype pretty well) it highlighted a really HUGE hole in Second Life.

A few weeks ago i ranted about how i thought Pretty shadows, Mesh and display names were pointless compared to a much needed update to SL's social communication structure.

There are many very hardworking devoted creative communities in SL who command vast collections of pricey SIMS. One such community is New Babbage, 1 of a group of Steampunk communities in SL, and at the moment its buzzing with activity from many exciting RP's and autumn events... or is it?

All of the information that gets handed around within the Babbage community comes from its external social website, its there that people learn about future/past events, what people thought about things, and what people have done or plan to do. So is New Babbage the Second Life town Buzzing, or is it the Newbabbage website thats actually buzzing?

Second Life itself has no really effective way to keep it's residents actively engaged with each other about what they do there. I keep hearing that LL are working on it, with the tech they salvaged from Avatars united's corpse but as i foresaw the ripping down of Avatar United, my unhealthy pessimism worries about any Social networking features LL might install. My gut tells me LL will focus any new Social Networking features at Newbs while established SL communities who have built all the kool stuff will be reluctant to leave their external social websites to use an SL integrated gubbins.

It's just interesting when we describe SL as a thriving community when in many cases the community is thriving from outside SL and not seen by outsiders who come into SL looking for them.


[UPDATE] After looking around LL's new advertising section i stumbled on a part focused on Avatars United. A quick google gave me Cold Spliteller's blog post wondering the same as me, Is the picture thumb nail evidence of the new layouts for Second Life social networking. 

I'm interested to see how a revamped avatars united will integrate with the inworld experience if at all. It might just be an outworld web based social network with no interaction with its 3D virtual world counterpart(basically sl branded avatars united) , that would be disappointing.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Volume 3: Chapter 1 - SL Goonies and the Mile High EMERGENCEY!

Volume 3 : The Dastardly Plans

The forcefield around the Goony Island finally came down to reveal a bigger island with a mountain in the centre. How can this be? what happend to the old island? Nemo Beach is still there but somehow looks new. there are also many  other new features such as a Pirate Town, a windmill, more cabins and an old castle.

So the gang was just sitting around in Rickety Town when suddenly a sky platform dropped out of the sky around them.

A man named Mr Doomdale turned up mumbling something about neededing to check on the Flying Ferret Sky station once used by the old Sky Pirates.

So everyone got aboard their flying air karts and flew up to check it out, only to find the station overrun by Lizoids!!!!!

Well, as yu can imagine their was plenty of fighting and as the dust settled our attention was drawn to the big engine that keeps the thing in the air. It was sounding an alarm and venting steam. The Lizoids had sabotaged it and the main control Panel thingy needed replacing, but with what!??

As if on cue Mr Doomdale suggested we go find a Sky station that he heard had crashed to the north East years ago and perhaps it would have a working control panel.

So shouting our motto, the Goonies boarded once again the air karts and flew with haste to the north eastern islands.

It took a while but eventually the crash site was found and after rummaging around found a working control panel! FTW!

So it was back on board the Air Karts with a race against time to get back to the Flying Ferret before it came crashing down on Escapades Island. Poor Lil Max had a hard time keeping up with his short legs. LULZ

With just minutes to spare the Control Panel was replaced, the alarms stopped and the engine stopped venting steam.

The Grand Masters evil plans foiled once again! YEAHY!

But what else is planned for the Goonies on this new bigger island. What secrets are buried below its surface, or even hidden in it's skies?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Could not have gone better #SL #Escapades

What was the most important part of the Halloween Party? The stage?, how well the band played? the amount of donations raised? the amount of people who came?... no, none of those, though they do all combine to help. The most important thing is the experience, and the memory those who came took away with them at the end.

We had a slight problem with the band 'engrama' changing when they were to play, but it all worked out ok and did not really matter. We started off with two hours of halloweeny tunes and had a Costume Competition which turned out to be harder to judge than i thought seeing as there was so many great creative costumes. Many people got 2 votes but in the end Jimmy won the contest with 3 votes for his demon costume.

Soon it was time for engrama to come on stage and with them arrived a good group of followers of all size and types of avatar. many were blown away with the music still not realising that the band was TRUELY live. This was proven with a few mishaps which on one occasion lead to the guitarist disappearing completely. Im sure engrama are kicking themselves for such a mishap during a live show, but for me it was nice to see evidence of the show being live and not prerecorded. It in many ways added to the overall experience of seeing the band in SL. The music sounded great and fitted surprisingly well with the halloween party.

Overall i got a lot of great feedback saying it was the best Halloween party EVER :). It was definitely something that wont be replicated anywhere else any time soon so thanks to all those who came and to engrama for giving us a great experience at Escapades.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What i've taken away from Burn2 2010 #SL #Burn2

Well Burn2 is drawing to a close and i can honestly say that i have been CRAP this year. I may have contributed with a build but in all i've done nothing really. I haven't done an SLC race, i haven't even walked around the place. I just have not been in the Burn spirit which is poor and i will have to make up for it next year.

I tried to experiment with the latest technological features of the SL viewer2 this year. In The Steampunk Town New Babbage last year i did a quest where you would follow clues and unlock parts of a story. I had it so that if you clicked an object it would open a webpage in your external web browser so you could watch a video. With the announcement of Shared Media it became apparent that i could do away with the external web pages and have a video screen appear inworld....or can i?

Professor Liddens Lab used this idea of video on a prim to tell a story and ads to the immersion of the world. You never have to leave the environment to watch the video and the combination of live action within the virtual realm is refreshing.

Unfortunately almost everyone i talked to who visited my Burn2 build was not using viewer 2 which is needed to watch Shared Media, so they were unable to watch the videos. Adding to that was the fact that the poorly released Viewer2.2 appeared to break the video links in shared media for some users.

So what to do about shared media? i was excited by the prospects of it at first but now im not so sure. I start work on The Next New Babbage Chronicles very soon and after the Burn2 experiment, it would not be sensible to use shared media which is incredibly disappointing as we had waited years for it.

Anyway for those who could not see Professor Lidden due to broken Viewer2.2 or refusal to use viewer2 here is a walkthrough of Professor Liddens Lab...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Five Years in #SL

I'm not the oldest by far, but i'm from a generation of SL users that took up residence just before the Hype Boom of 2006-2007.
Gemini converted his DJshow into a Rezday party for me where i ended up rezzing pictures of my avatar for each year seeing how my avatar had changed over the years. It's surprising how much my overall appearance has improved, after all, the SL avatar is one of the things that has not really changed over the years which makes me wonder how much of SL is improved by its users rather than the Lab.

I still have the same basic hair i had when i first rezzed only adding a new texture to it in 2007. I'm told i have better dress sense now also. I also asked which year did i look the cutest and my brother answered with "next year".

Had a great time, thanx to everyone who wished me a happy rez day inworld and on twitter, heres to being hopeful of more rezdays to come!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What a Mesh! #SL

I thought i would wait untill ive actually dabbled in making Mesh before posting about it, but i still haven't had the time to try it yet. I did logon to the Beta grid though to try out the new viewer2 with its many new features and surprises and check out what everyone else was building.

First off i was ultra delighted to see SHADOWS added to the MAC viewer, and it worked quite well with my graphics Card. Apparently the new display names feature was supposed to be in the new viewer also, but i could not find it.

When trying to optimise the viewer using Blakopals great tips list, i noticed some options moved or missing, LL love to keep pro users on their toes. The Slide Side Bar tabs now have the ability to be detached from the side. The mini map can now be even more mini. I also saw a 'clear group cache' option, what that does i dont know. The same broke Anti-alias bug seems to persist, they better not release the next viewer like that! [UPDATE] The following day they DID!

Anyways, as for mesh there were some very impressive builds. For starters we have to start thinking differently about objects cost prim wise. We currently that a 1 prim object is 1 prim. But in the Meshworld 1 mesh object could cost as high as 70 prims depending on its complexity. Currently the prim costs of a single mesh object is still being calculated by Linden Lab. In time creators will master how to create detailed Meshobjects with low prim costs.

Walking around the beta mesh enabled sims was like arriving in SL 5 years ago when everything was so new and exciting. Looking around at what people had done I looked for objects that could not be done just as well with Sculpty prims. Mesh is definitely injecting a new wave of creative buzz and i cant wait to start dabbling in it myself. I'm thankful that i have been learning over the last year to use blender and AC3D 3D modelling software putting me in just the right level of experience to produce mesh content.

I am however aware that alot of people still dont use viewer2, which is a shame because viewer2 IS improving and is moving on to new exciting areas for the SLgrid and until LL can convince everyone to upgrade to V2 then im gonna feel held back in my creativity. For example, there is a lot of people who have visited my Burn2 build and not seen anything because they are not using a shared media viewer and so cant watch the video puzzles.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Second Update on the Second Childhood Network #SL

So it's been two months since i tried to update the SCN using the promising new feature 'Shared Media', it's still broke and a fix does not look likely anytime soon.

I was hopeful when Torley Linden jumped on board to champion the exposure of the bug on the Jira and it was listed as a major thing to be fixed. Since then its been reduced to a minor bug that according to Samuel Linden "does not affect a large number of users."

So it has become a sit and wait affair "This is a defect in webkit source, and is a known bug in qtwebkit. We will test this with version 4.7 and see if it still occurs." So until the qtwebkit community fixes the bug, shared media in SL will continue to have the bug which wont allow web on a prim to open a landmark address of a two worded sim name into the side bar.

Some have suggested a work around where the shared media content loads up an SLURL map, but i want it done properly or not at all for a change, rather than everything having to be a hackjob around bugs and instability.

I've had a lot of interest in the SCN, more than i expected seeing as most of the people i know will not admit to using viewer2 which is needed to use the SCN kiosk. I have to keep telling them to vote on the jira but if the Labs response is to simply wait for the QTwebkit people to fix the problem, then i cant see much point in voting at this point.

In the meantime, relax sit back and just browse websites and watch youtube vids on a prim. :)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Burning Life 2010, i mean #Burn2 #SL

Ok another year has past and Burning Life is back, the koolest event in SL is now only run by volunteers and has nothing to do with Linen Lab. Because of this, the event could be a much smaller affair, but the Burners there are enthusiastic and will do their best to bring the spirit of Burning Man to the virtual population.

I myself have had to scale down my usual size of project because of the work on Escapades. Hopefully though my build will still be interesting to its visitors. It is called "Professor Liddens Lab - a second Life delusion".

It uses Shared Media quite vitally so those without a shared media viewer will not see anything but a dusty old building.

Here is a small teaser for the Build :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Escapades Open Weekend #SL

I and some of the Pro Plotters have been hard at work trying to get things in place as quickly as possible. The SL Goonies are getting impatient and need a place to hangout and shoot things.

Well this weekend Friday the 17th of September Escapades Island will finally be open to the public. Not everything will be finished, but that should not stop you having fun. Perhaps you will see how awesome a place it is and want to join the project ;)

Events are planned starting on the 17th at 1pm SLT (9pm GMT) which include music and possibly battles. You will also be able to claim a beach cabin as a home.
Then on the 18th the Milk'n'Kookies Show will kick off at 12pm SLT (8pm GMT) with live performance from SL's popular Mankind Tracer.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chapter 6 - The Final Fight!

A new message was received suggesting the Grand master was again constructing an evil TOWER OF DOOM. Later the grand Master also hijacked a goonies Instant Messaging device in order to announce to the group that he had combined the Narcadon SKull with the Tower and would use it to wipe us off the island.

More information was gathered from some Goony explorers who discovered clues in a bottle that lead to a floating treasure chest. They Discovered the true identity of the Grand Master, and that he had tried to use the skull once before 100's of years ago and failed.

So The goonies stood on Nemo Beach fearlessly waiting for the final fight to begin!

The Battle raged for almost an hour and the Tower was badly damaged and smoking, but suddenly the whole island just vanished and many found themselves on the docks of whippersnapper looking out to what looked like a giant wall of pulsating energy. No matter what we tried (even shooting giant toast at it) we could not get past the energy wall and back into goony island.....

The Island it seems, is gone!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Road to Goony 2.0 - Part 6

This weekend i will be meeting with Kris somehow and giving the go ahead for the Upgrading of Goony to the new Full SIM. No longer will the island be known as Goony, but a name that best describes what i feel many of my friends come to SL for. Some people have spoken out at how the upgrade seems purely profit motivated feeling that the high prices of rent is just to fill my pockets. There is a bigger picture than just making a profit from rentals that i feel im not getting that across to everyone.

So what will there be?

• A brand new Bigger Island

• Puzzle Quests to explore with friends (Follow clues to find objects that lead to other clues and uncover parts of stories.)

• A Social Website to join (hopefully integrated into SL via Shared Media)

• New Shop Store Inworld & Market Place(which will allow residents to submit to without the need for shop space)

• Adventure Guild (other adventure SIMS that collaborate with goony island)

• Themed Sandbox

• Activities (goony got talent, parties, contests, social gatherings, Tutorials)

• a NOOB point

• Plots to rent as your own place

And thats not including what the Pro Plotters are plotting :)

So whats the bigger picture?

The SL Goonies is a group of adventurous people who crave fun adventures. The New island wants to give that group and other groups a place to have those kind of adventures but not only that, it will strive to give those groups the ability to interact and socialise, because sharing the adventures is very important. Linden Lab are starting to provide Pro Residents the tools needed to create truly engaging interactive and social experiences.

Second Life has been a huge help for me in becoming more confident, creative and understanding about myself and others. It has helped me open up to the world. Socialising through an avatar with people from around the globe with many different social backgrounds expands your views in a way Psychologist are only now starting to write papers on. If it's possible that socialising with the groups on the new island helps others understand themselves for the better, then i believe a project like this is really worth striving for no matter how much hardwork it is.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Two Grids of Second Life #SL

As im prepping for probably the BIGGEST scariest moment in my second life things are getting more complex. Living on a homestead has taught me a lot about reducing script usage and keeping prims low. I embraced the sculpty prim which with the help of sculptcrafter allowed me to make more complex detailed objects with very low prim usage.

In the last year LL have introduced some features that im excited about. Shared media,http textures and Mesh imports have the potential to completely change SL. Combined they could reduce prim usage and script usage, while boosting interactivity and apparently according to Qarl the mesh feature could reduce lag. For me thats awesome. BUT the big screw up that makes my upgrading island complex is Viewer 2.0. I am hard pressed to find any friends in my community that actively use viewer 2.0. If i build an island that heavily uses Shared Media and the forthcoming Mesh feature what will that mean for 90% of my friends who use the island, what will they see? a barren lifeless island?

Viewer 2.0 in a way has created 2 grids, one that will be transformed by the new possibilities of Media, Mesh & HTTP Textures, and the other that is seen by Pre-viewer 2.0 technology who walk around oblivious to the new interactive and extra detail. Its a difficult dilemma for someone who wants to build cutting edge exciting interactive experiences in SL.

Im told Emerald viewer which is what most of my friends who find viewer2.0 impossibly unintuitive use, will have Shared Media added some time soon. This is all well and good, but then i have to wait for them to add Mesh as well (if that is ever released).

So what should i do, build experiences using shared media and mesh and ignore the pre2.0 hardcore SL users, or reduce the amount of shared media used in my projects to just being an extra bell&whistle for those who use 2.0. It seems unfair to force people to use a viewer they hate, it might have a counter effect on the experience.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Update on the Second Childhood Network #SL

So work has started on the sequel to my Second Childhood Network Kiosk. The Original was well received a year and a half ago, but was rather difficult to update, and with the current economic climate in SL, many places don't stay around for long. The Kiosk also had other drawbacks.
• used scripts
• was 8 physical prims
• rezzed almost 30 temp prims
• Slowed down to a crawl if in a busy sim
• time consuming to update
• Limited number of places can be added

I had been working with some people trying to inspire new ideas on how to introduce categories, it all seemed to difficult to script. Then along came shared media.

Shared media allows the implementation of a website, graphic or video onto the surface of a prim. This opened up the door to making a basic small website to be an inworld interface on a prim (Prim App). It might not be as animated as the original, but the benefits outway that.
• Only 5 physical prims
• No Scripts
• Works fast on busy sims
• no temp rezzed prims
• Unlimited amount of places can be added
• Categories
• Easy to update.

One issue is that Shared Media is a feature only available at this time on the official LL viewer2.0 which most people hate. BUT if emerald ad it to their browser and LL finally bring out a better viewer then this will be the best way to travel between the Kids community. I even have ideas of making it into a hud.

The Second Issue is that there appears to be a BUG in the LL Viewer 2.0 which wont allow regions with two or more names to open a landmark inside the viewer. I contacted Torely Linden and opend a Jira, so perhaps this will be fixed in a next update. Until then the second Childhood Network 2.0 is on hold.

Torely's awesome video about the bug using the SCN2 for example