UPDATE: Linden Labs CEO Rod Humble commented on Inara Pey’s post on the new products and the “major upgrade” teaseÂ – twice – and seems to be hinting that there may be more virtual worlds (the plural is deliberate) on the drawing board. It was kind of Inara to mention me for pointing to the Venture Beat article; the only reason I spotted it is merely the Power of The Google at work.
More virtual worlds? Well, there could be some wiggle room there. Patterns (yes, yes, current obsession, yes) is not quite a world, but it’s touted as a universe that needs building, after all. That’s one virtual world that might be planned. Also, there’s the “Linden Realms” adventure game within Second Life; that could be a preview of a possible spinoff. And there’s at least one independent inworld immersive game-within-the-not-a-game-that-is-Second-Life that could be developed into a STEAM-friendly gamelike environment. I’m just pleased to see the press, but agree with many that in the eyes of the tech press, Second Life is kind of like that embarassing old relative that shows up at family dinners, embarrassing the youngsters with boring stories about the Glory Days.
On a second read I didn’t mean to diss the efforts of the Pathfinding and Mesh working teams, it’s just that in my limited time inworld, I probably won’t be learning how to work with them – that’s for other content creators. I am not worthy to do more than torture a few hapless torii, let alone tie up their mesh sandals.
Meanwhile, for the first time in a long while, I was working on something new and not just sorting inventory and textures. Go me.
Yes, I played Patterns some more tonight and didn’t go inworld to Second Life, even though I meant to when I got home from a rather dire RL event:
My partner Rock and I are almost the only non-performers in the audience. A dozen seniors armed with ukuleles play next. Awkward.
— LelaniCarver (@LelaniCarver) October 14, 2012
Today, Second Life survives with 1 million monthly active users. The world generated $75 million in revenues last year and it is operating profitably. That has allowed Humble to expand his team to 175 employees and go after the markets beyond the virtual world.
Humble came aboard in December, 2010, replacing Philip Rosedale, the founder of Linden Lab. Rosedale stepped in on an interim basis after Mark Kingdon left in June 2010. During 2010, Linden Lab shaved about 30 percent of its staff and eliminated its enterprise team.
For the longest time, Humble, a former Electronic Arts veteran who ran The Sims business, stayed quiet. But he invited creators such as SimCity creator Will Wright to join the board. Besides Patterns and Creatorverse, Linden Lab will soon release an online app dubbed Dio. In each case, Linden Lab will allow users to monetize their own creations. Wright said of Humble, â€œRod has a great sense of player communities and the forces that drive them. At Linden Labs I know heâ€™s focused on trying to evolve a very established community into something much broader and more inviting.
â€Humble says that Second Life is also getting a major upgrade this year.
Oh ho! Major upgrade? I hope he doesn’t mean Pathfinding, or Mesh, or taking away the ability to track bug reports in the JIRA, or [snark mode]deleting the Marketplace and demanding everybody do it over?[/snark mode]
Still, it’s not a bad thing that Humble is doing interviews and getting press. This story is pretty glossed over, and there are a lot of unhappy residents wanting more and better communication from the Lab who won’t be very impressed with it. But I’m wondering just what @rodvik means by “Second Life is getting a major upgrade this year.”
Meanwhile, on to Patterns!
At this point I have 2 saved games. The first one has been pretty much stripped of useful materials and I can’t get the forge to accept any new shapes, even if they seem to hang together.
This shows Dorita (or whatever) standing out on the edge of a ramp that hangs off of the extreme farthest reach on the underside island, looking toward the “spawn island.” After this, I worked my way back carefully and took all the jasper (some I let fall). Only died twice, not bad. The useful stuff for building is jasper (heavy and strong) and bonestone (light and strong-ish). I’m holding a block of bonestone ready to throw down if needed. The “nacho chip” character has a few animations; one of them is a kind of “magic spell throw” when you place a block.
From this angle you can see the rebuilt spawn bridge; in this world I added some white bonestone edging. It ties the heavier jasper more strongly to the impermiable sheeny steel stuff (which I dub “impermium” for now). Also it adds contrast. All the trees, all the bonestone, and almost all of the jasper has been stripped now, and I’m wondering if it’s worth stripping the one rickety bridge to the lower levels or if I’ll need it for the upgrade. I was fooling around trying to rebuild it from a different starting angle above tonight, to use less jasper (it has huge blocky support columns).
After finding all the blue, explody “starene” stuff (some is easy to get to, most is either hidden in pyramids or hard to reach) and stripping the place, I started building more decorative stuff.
And this shows the rebuilt bridge and spawn island area. Still more stuff to do there. It took me three days to figure out that the cube blocks weren’t the best choice for that first bridge, but you have to get the 4 sided pyramid and the “wedge” triangle to do it right. When I started the second “enviro” world (trying not to take trees or green stuff) I got those first of all (they’re handy in the second pyramid) I rebuilt the second bridge during my first session.
I used this image before. The second pyramid has a base of impervious but unstable stuff. I cut around the base of the bonestone upper half and dropped the whole thing inside, then Hoovered that up. Same with all the jasper pyramids.
This is in the “enviro” world, so the view is less strip-miney looking. I played around with materials testing tonight before we left for the concert: bonestone doesn’t want to go more than about 6 or 8 blocks high with Dorita on it (depends on the footing, can’t be mud or clay). Jasper can go pretty high, although it’ll start cracking ominously. I think I got up to about 30 blocks (base was set on the paving stone impervium). Surprisingly, the woods (limewood and coralwood) got pretty high, too. I think their physics allow for the wood to compress without shattering for a longer than expected time.
This is looking toward the second pyramid in my enviro world… left all the trees in sight alone, and still have plenty of jasper and bonestone left to harvest if I need it. Haven’t wasted any starene blowin’ stuff up (that shit will even blow up the unstable gold impermium at the base of that pyramid).
And back toward the upper island peninsula, and toward the “back and lower 40” island with the rickety bridge.
It’s an interesting game/activity/whatever. You definitely have to learn to work the the angles (literally). I’ve gotten pretty good at triangular bridges; generally build out as far as I dare, adding support farther back (and weight as a counterbalance), until I can start to throw triangles down on the far side. Once the bridge meets in the middle, I add edging to tie the ends together strongly and add support. Sometimes in the middle I use bonestone instead of jasper, especially if I sense I need something lighter out on the raggedy edge.
Looking forward to whatever comes with the upgrade. I haven’t logged in to any community boards yet, and I’m definitely getting interested in the ability to at least chat with other builders.