Linden Labs’ Server Side Heavy Lifting: Less Pink, More Shrink If First Hour Issues Not Addressed

Torley must not have written this LL blog post, he’s ALL about the pinkitude (hey! They remembered they had a blog, stop complaining).

Reports of hardware upgrades and colo consolidation and texture and object caching are good, except that it would seem to be positioning LL for making Second Life easier to access and display on lower-end machines… or the Web.

Their recent acquisition of some kind of shared-narrative company might might be part of it, again aimed more at potential customers in the “mobile and social game ecospheres.”

Less load on our machines is good, but they still need to focus on the first-hour experience. They’re still leaving too much to chance and random interactions with “kind strangers.”

If they can’t retain new people in the first hour, they may have more success by addicting people in lower-tech gameplay first. But I still think that giving better orientation experiences is the biggest obstacle to growth and attracting creatives and explorers (and not just people who “heard there was sex”).

I had an annoying encounter with an extremely new person during the recent SL9B celebrations, who clearly had been “dumped” at the party sim after a too-short orientation. Normally I have LOTS of patience and advice for new people, but this guy was repeatedly bumping people at the Cake stage (including the creator, Mikati Slade). It appeared to me that it was deliberate and not clueless n00bism, as he was mostly colliding incessantly with women, and coming on to them at the same time. I suspected that he was an alt of a more experienced player (but not a real griefer, just in disguise). But if he truly was new, he had no idea that bouncing off of people like a pinball was wrong or irritating, and that probably stems from an incomplete orientation process.

Less pink would be good, though; for some reason my new graphics card and Firestorm don’t play well, and I get a fuchsia-pink screen at log off. This doesn’t happen with other viewers (I currently use several, depending on the circumstance).

Currently, all client viewers are responsible for compositing their own Avatar textures, then sending the results back to the Sim for other viewers to access. This method can lead to slowdowns and errors. The actual calculations for compositing textures are straightforward and not particularly time-consuming. However, in order for the viewer to do the calculations it first has to download a lot of individual assets from the Sim, and must then upload large results back to the Sim. This pushes a lot of bits through the Sim / Viewer connection, which can be slow and unreliable.Depending on client hardware to do the compositing and uploading of the resulting baked textures can introduce erroneous results like way too much pink. In order to handle these errors, a number of retry and fallback mechanisms have been put in place. This adds further load and overhead to the whole system.

via Project Shining to Improve Avatar and Object Strea… – Second Life

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