Thursday, January 24, 2013

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Linden Lab Continues Embracing Future of Content Creation on Tablets with Purchase of iPad Game Blocksworld

Second Life landowners, take a look at what you're money's helping Linden Lab buy - Blocksworld, a fun-looking, Minecraft-like, 3D sandbox building toy with physics for the iPad which looks like this:

Looks like fun, and as with Creatorverse, another Linden Lab product released recently, shows the company moving toward tablets as the next generation of content creation.

Blocksworld Linden Lab

This makes sense, with iPad sales far outstripping Mac sales (both desktop and PCs), and tablets forecast to overtake PC sales in two years. What this means for the future of Second Life is unclear, but it does point to a spin-off product that should also be launched, even if Linden Lab has relegated the world to a legacy item in their portfolio: Hello, could someone figure out putting some or all SL functionality onto a tablet already? Here's a good start.

Hat tip: Cieran Laval, who has comments too.

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Damien Fate

I happened across this video earlier today and thought, "Hey, that's like Creatorverse but 3d, I wonder how LL will react" quite funny to hear they just bought it out.

Eric

I think SL is not even fun on a small Laptop screen and you suggest moving all to a tablet? I think the future of SL is on all of those platforms. I use my desktop PC for exploring and building heavy stuff. When I travel, I use my Laptop to stay up to date with SL. And when I am just away from home for a shot time and don´t have space to carry my Laptop, I use a smartphone to answer IMs, check payments and monitor my shop.
The Lindens should focus on the platform that they have and make it work really good. That would make them much more successful, than adding more and more casual games to a market of already a billion other smartphone and tablet games. Look at Zynga, they are a mess, while SL is still there and still successful after 10 years. Happy Birthday Second Life!

Remington Aries

I agree that pads are the future, and slightly disagree with Eric. My i7 iMac has a vast screen and a resolution of 2560 x1440 and Second Life looks amazing on it.
However, my iPad has a resolution of 2048x1536 which is not that far off it. Screen real estate is only partly down to screen inches, the rest is resolution and these pad displays make even the most expensive pro computer screens look like crap in comparison, I am confident they will within ten years kill just about all laptops stone cold dead, just like digital cameras did to film.

Eve Kazan

i have not tablet ... but i find the video very funny, specially the voice ^^

Orca Flotta

Remington, the pixel count on screen is important of course. Makes for higher res photos or whatever you're planning to do. But your machine needs some serious oomph to fill all these picels with useful information. For that you need a graphics card. The better a card, the better your experience in SL. And here one has to say those tablets really really stink. They are just underpowered weaklings.

SL might not be a game (as I argued time and again) but in order to run it satisfyingly you neeed gamer hardware. Ever seen a gamer gaming on an iPad?

I'm not so sure tablets will kill laptops stone cold dead. Maybe on the mass market. So every mom and dad and gramps and granny will buy tablets but is that a reason to do the same? Mom and dad are not playing WoW, Battlefied, EVE online, SL or whatever resource hungry apps are played these days.

Let's see what I use my desk/laptop for:
80% typewriter (as right now and in world as well) as I'm a chatterbox
15% surfing the webz
5% photo editing

So I'd only have use for a tablet in 20% of the stuff I usually use a computer for. Tablet = no keyboard, remember? And even that with compromises. My desk/laptops serve all 100% of my computing needs, and they do it better and faster and I don't need to hold them in my hands.

So my prediction - which is probably wrong - is that all those tablets are just a hype, a fashion, and will soon end up in garbage bins, on attics, in basements and in dusty desk drawers all over the world. And then they will slowly fade away and quickly be forgotten.

Why is my prediction wrong? Because people are 99% stupid sheep and following the herd to greener pastures. So of course they will all buy those tablets and get rid of the problems that come with them by just not playing SL or shoot-em-up games anymore, by just not contributing to the internet anymore. They will think less, create less ... and if they do it'll be only lego style. The whole computing world will be turned into a kindergarten.

Congrats on your new iPad, kiddo.

Eric

The world is not black and white. There is space for all devices. When I am at home I prefer using my powerful desktop with a very large screen (not just resolution, but size). Second Life is not fun on a tablet, but when I travel, it makes sense using one, because you can't carry a highend desktop with you. Though if you ask about the future, in the future a smartphone will either be powerful enough to run SL or it will be generated on a server and streamed to you. We then get it right inside our brain via an implant or via some kind of cyber glasses. So no need for a screen.

Orca Flotta

Yes, Eric, there is space and use for all kinds of devices. But in SL there is no use for a tablet ... yet. Most probably there will be a use for them in the future but then we will have advanced too and do all our computing with fugly goggles on and just waving our arms around and stuff.

In the here and now (which is the place and time I deal with mostly) I see no personal use for a tablet and stick with the beefy machine on my desk at home and a powerful lappy in my backpack for when we go travelling. I don't care if it weighs a couple pounds more than a tablet (as my backpack is ergonomically correct so you won't feel the difference, and hubby's beer cans are destroying the effect anyway) and needs some seconds longer to power up as when I'm doing stuff on a computer I usually have lotsa time on my disposal.

Iggy

Tablets as hype?

Perhaps for serious gamers and SL's heaviest users. It's not the best place for the sort of experience they crave. Here's my prediction, based on what I see on campuses. Now whether LL's purchase of companies doing things that 100 others do is another matter:

#1 Phones and tablets will continue to increase in power. Their killer app is what Sherry Turkle from MIT calls "always on, always on you" convenience. Phones may simply get strong enough to replace tablets.

#2 Telecos, following Verizon's lead, will stop laying fiber optic lines. They will instead move to wireless broadband, as Verizon is doing.

#3 Desktops and laptops will continue for the most serious content creators, for a while. Eventually, users will go to a store to buy the extra monitor and keyboard to create a docking station in their homes for the phone. Tablets might find a niche if docking stations are not common enough. One can do work on a tablet, but not a phone.

#4 Companies that don't make their content mobile-friendly will become tiny niches or die outright.

#5 Apps like Photoshop CS10 (or some such?) and MS Office 2016 will live only in the cloud with all of our content-creation apps.

I had five more, but I dropped the tablet when coming down from Mount Sinai.

Walk around a college campus to see what the best-heeled and most upwardly mobile demographic is using to communicate.

About 90% of the e-mail I get now from students comes from iPhones or Android phones. The percentage with desktops among our student body of 3,500 is puny, and has approached 0 for a few years. Smart phone? Nearly 100%.

Ezra

There's a few big reasons why Second Life can't be in the iOS AppStore.

1. Bandwidth consumption. Less an issue over WiFi.

2. Pornographic content. The 500px app was recently removed from the AppStore over ease of finding nudity. Second Life would be a nightmare.

3. Apple would dictate the way L$ is purchased and spent, on iOS and off as per their in-app purchasing policy, and take a 30% cut.

Tablets are just a form factor. More important than that are the operating systems on them. More important than those are the app-delivery mechanisms like AppStores. Any as prohibitive as the iOS AppStore will never able to contain Second Life as we know it. Blocksworld, sure.

A better bet for Linden Lab is to build their next virtual world in the browser. Not just because Cloud Party is doing it, but because it's the one place in the near and far future absent of different AppStore policies, mandatory revenue splits and larger cross-platform issues.

Adeon Writer

Assuming for a moment that a Tablet could somehow run SL turned up to 11 at full framerate, I think I'd use it for a day or two before I'd realize how much of a burden it would be to create, script, and even just converse with people.

I really don't like touch-screen keyboards. It's a pain.

I guess there's always voice chat...

ZZ Bottom

SL ot metevarses, no matter how small they are, still will exist when Apple will be no more!

CronoCloud Creeggan

Iggy I should remind you that:

Education world != Real World.

That's an ivory tower, you're in. Those millenials you talk about that only use phones and tablets are an outlier that only exists in artificial environments like universities. Students have time to do stuff that others do not. When those hit the real world.... they'll be driving to work, not walking to class. While some who may be commuting via public transportation might continue to use their devices the same way, most won't. And sure, there probably aren't many desktops at colleges but colleges are an artificial environment just like Silicon Valley where the technorati live. Dorm rooms are small, students are traveling between different buildings in a small area. they want laptops they can take to class.

Once they have a job in the real world with a desk....they'll have a desktop. Their entire lifestyle and amount of free time will change.

Adeon Writer

I disagree, Cloud. I avoided smartphones all throughout college, but about 2 months into my first job, I suddenly saw the point of smartphones and tablets and obtained one within the week.

Arabella Jones

SL pushes desktop computers hard. I can't see tablets coping well.

It doesn't mean there cannot be a virtual world that runs well on tablets, but it needs something with a different set of engineering compromises than those which underlie SL. Getting social media to work without a keyboard is a part of that answer.

elizabeth (16)

I think the next gen future is local wireless. with powerful smart phoneish devices at the center. bit like star trek tricorder. multi purpose. magic wandy thing

point it at your TV or any big screen. wireless keyboards, headsets, sound systems etc. they just connect/go automagically

app things like big screen restaurant menu, class timetables. travel holiday. shopping board. just point the device and click and you got it. stuff like that

I think is still a place in this for fibre cable. just be for trunks tho mostly. wireless receivers/connectors at the consumer end

elizabeth (16)

and easy swap batter power packs. same like power tools

Juanita Deharo

Notes that Blocksworld is not available in Australian app. store, and wonders why this conversation is about tablets versus desk or laptops. There's a niche market there for creative apps with physics but the smarter company would be the one developing the apps, not just buying up other companies.
Orca (I think it was ) said something about tablets being leggoland. Quite so. Users want easy, quick intros into things, and why not? We cut our teeth on leggo apps and then decide wether to move on to something harder, heavier, or decide we just want to play around. Smart, simple building apps with physics are a great intro. I'd love to see LL develop a crreative app that mimicked the SL building tools. A much leas crowded market than social apps.

Orca Flotta

I guess I found out why I prefer desk/laptops so much over tablets: they are way sexier and deliver not only much more power but play factor as well. You can open and close them, you have a keyboard with many fancy keys on them, you can get them stylish and sleek or battleshipish. You can tweak and modify them. The side panels of our desktop haven't been closed since 3 years now. And you have huge storage space to run 2 OSes and lots of software and data. And you are sustainable without being connected to the interwebz for a while. They are the perfect tools.

OTOH tablets and not-so-smart phones all look alike, no matter which company makes them; they look like soap bars/japanese cars, slippery, slimey ... terrible.

OK, I must admit I don't even own a cellphone and never missed it. When I'm not at home I'm not available. Basta. Never understood the need for all the chatter and blahblah in the first place.

UP4 Dawes


Well you can see this will fail, do I actually hear a multi-million dollar company beg for people to share this video because they can't afford advertising? oh yah you can tell it's the lindens involved, avoid advertising at any cost unless it's that free 100.00 Google Ad's card they got in the mail...

Seven Overdrive

I imagine the replacement for Second Life will end up looking like this. Cheap, Easy, Mobile appears to be the future.

Andrea

I guess it's good LL is branching out on things... but I *REALLY* wish they would spend more of their effort and money marketing and retaining their userbase on SL and/or making it available across more platforms like tablets and other phones... just seems a waste to develop SecondLife spinoffs that aren't that good at all.

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