Friday, February 17, 2012

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Lindens Buy Adventure Game Studio, Aq-Hires A.I. Innovator

Black and White Richard Evans AI

When I first read the announcement that Linden Lab had acquired adventure game studio LittleTextPeople yesterday, which will help the company "roll out entirely new types of social experiences and products" (as Emily Short, Chief Textual Officer of LittleTextPeople put it in the company's press release), these were among my first thoughts:

What this means in terms of actual products to come from the marriage of Linden and LittleText is still unclear (and insiders were mum when I asked them last year), but given the background of Evans and Short (who created the game Galatea, also considered groundbreaking), I think we are bound to see some very innovative products soon.

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Pussycat Catnap

"Linden CEO Rod Humble denied at the time"

History should tell us that any time the Lindens say they are not doing something - that is -EXACTLY- where 90% of all of their current energy is focused, and they are in fact about to do just what they have denied.

So I just hope they never say they're 'not' giving up on SL...

Henry

I also find remarkable that there was a blog post about the new AI pathfinding system inside SL at the same time.
I hope the Lindens don´t make completly separate products from SL. I hope old and new benefit from each other somehow.

Winter Seale

Emily Short... as in, interactive fiction Emily Short? http://emshort.wordpress.com/

Oh, yes, yes, indeed... interesting.

Ciaran Laval

Good move, hopefully LL will realise the advantages of bringing storytelling and interactive fiction to Second Life too.

Ehrman Digfoot

Wow! I was so incredibly excited after seeing the new pathfinding video yesterday and learning of the new additions to LSL. Surely, the acquisition of LittleTextPeople must have something to do with developing dynamic chat AI for these NPC characters that will start appearing in SL . . . right? In any case I'm dedicating a good chunk of time learning and building with these tools this summer when I have the time.

Tateru Nino

"Linden CEO Rod Humble denied at the time"

Which turns out to have been true. What's going on here isn't what would fall into that category.

"Surely, the acquisition of LittleTextPeople must have something to do with developing dynamic chat AI for these NPC characters that will start appearing in SL . . . right?"

I'd say not. Perhaps some sort of crossover might appear later, but there's no sign that it is intended at the moment.

Rodvik Linden

Hey Hamlet. Just by way of clarification this team is working on product 3.

I first started to talking to them December (although I have known them personally for longer).

When we chatted about IF/Adventure a few months ago it was in relation to product 2, which is also still in production, not this product :)

Hopefully things will become less opaque in the near future but yes this team is working on a separate product (one of several we have in development).

Sorry for the cloak & dagger stuff, shouldnt last to much longer.

Desmond Shang

Extremely pleased to read about this.

Not because I know anything about it in particular. But rather as evidence of long term planning, a viable future, and so forth ~ stuff that hasn't been perfectly transparent for a while.

Here's to a successful "different way forward" ~ even if there are a few inevitable failures along the way.


There's always a tie in to the main grid, though, for these products. If the main grid is neglected even slightly, that expectation of eventual neglect will haunt everything else.

Very eager to see the Linden Research 'brand' have a rock solid character; it had lost its way for a while. By the next year or so that will either be sorted out, or cemented in.

I remain open minded.

Stone Semyorka

The press release doesn't make it sound like LL is adding something to SL. It says, for instance, LL will be "launching several new stand-alone products this year."

Emily Short says they will, "roll out entirely new types of social experiences and products."

Rod Humble says it "will be a new type of digital entertainment that modernizes the novel as a shared story-telling experience."

Also interesting to note that LL describes itself as "the creator of digital spaces and tools for shared creativity and fun" without mentioning SL immediately.

So, no, I don't think we SL folks will benefit directly from this investment of money by LL.

bobo

hey..they're gonna remake Riven. Just with crappier design visuals.

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