Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another Year of Change in My Second Life #SL


This is not predictions for next year but rather a comparative look at what i wrote this time last year.

1. Land. I spoke about how the old system of renting shopping space to help pay for over priced tier was gone thanks to market place and linden homes. 

So what happened during 2011? nothing really, except i have worked really hard to make gaming experiences that bring money back into the land to pay for the tier. Escapades saw a major drop in donations but thanks to the Secret underground base, the Eggmen hunt,  Zombie worm massacre and the Dark Aether Falls game i managed to hit Tier targets.


2. Shops. I said last year that Marketplace killed the in world shopping system, and i still believe that. Specifically affiliate sellers. 

During 2011 i re built my clothing brand and delved head first into Mesh clothing. I've seen record sales and gained a lot of positive feed back regardless of the deformer drama. But i am aware that i am now working with stuff far beyond simple linked prims. The game of creating a shop, selling quality items is a lot harder now.

3. Viewer2. As you can probably guess i basically said it was crap. I also touched on viewer fragmentation as the long time users refuse to use V2.

So has it been fixed? Well viewer 2 is now Viewer 3, or simply called 'Viewer' now. LL took a good look at making things simpler with a basic viewer mode, then integrating that basic idea and allowing a nice customisable UI which i liked.  But fragmentation of the viewer is still as annoying as ever. 

If you make stuff in mesh you have have a disclaimer that it's not viewable on all third party viewers, if i use Shared Media i have to have a disclaimer that its not viewable on all viewers. It leads to such frustration as people blame me for not being able to see the virtual world correctly when it is their decision to stick to out of date viewers.

The probable reason third party viewers are faster might have something to do with them not rendering the whole world.

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

During 2011 i became almost anti-Newb, i started to see them as a pest. While creating games it was near impossible to cater for them and while using destination guide to promote my experiences it was impossible to get away from them. As a result experiences i made slowed to a crawl. 

Oldbies continued to stick to what they know and complain about the changes, never has this been more clear than in 2011. Phoenix viewer finally right at the end of 2011 added mesh support, only for it to be noticeably slower and crash making it a completely pointless viewer. If anything it has convinced many that mesh is evil.

5. Communication. I talked about the group chat FAILs and the horrible notification system.

What changed in 2011? Well they fixed the group chat system which is great, well done for that. They also added the SLfeed which most third party viewer users are oblivious of. Possibly the greatest addition after Mesh the SLfeed allows to say to friends whats been going on, link places, and post pics direct from SL. I did not think i would check out my SL feed as much as i do seeing as i have Facebook and twitter as well, but it really has become a daily need to catch up on what my friends are doing. If you are not on SLfeed then you are BORING.

During the UI facelift the terrible notification system still remains unchanged, all be it is now at the top instead of the bottom. It now shoves SLfeed notifications into it as well to be lost for ever. There is also annoying issues of getting IM's via email and them not appearing once you login.

All in all 2011 saw communication for official SL Viewer improve lots, but the way we receive and display notifications still needs serious makeover.

6. My Island and my friends. i said that 'My biggest aims will be finding a balance between making content & experiences in SL and Doing work in real world.'

Well i could not foresee the problems that would crop up during 2011 but I'm really REALLY grateful for the support i got from my SL friends. A lot of stuff never happened in SL that had been planned but a lot of unplanned stuff did happen and Escapades is still here.

During 2012 i would like to bring the Escapades gang together more as a family and help each other to build Escapades concentrating on what we want the island to be.

I tried roleplaying games on the island, and i tried mini games on the island, made a shop, was placed on destination guide five times. I buried myself in work on SL and failed to make it balance with real world work, so maybe it's time to accept that SL is my work in 2012.

7. Linden Lab. I said i look forward to what those left at LL after the great cull of 2010 come up with in 2011. For me at least it has been a fun year watching the Lab churn out new stuff, trying new ideas. The lab is a lab now, and everything they seem to change keeps changing and improving. The cogs are moving and SL is steaming forward, to where we don't care just as long as it moves! :)

No comments: