Tuesday, November 19, 2013

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Upcoming Second Life Graphic Improvements (Region Caching & Contextual Loading) Should Help Grow Userbase

Project Interesting is Linden Lab's latest attempt to improve the Second Life user experience at the fundamental level of graphics. Watch:

The biggest improvements: region caching (a much-requested feature), so frequently visited areas load faster, and contextual loading, so the world unfolds in relationship to the user, so you're less likely to find yourself walking into a wall right in front of your face that didn't exist a couple seconds before. All this is great for existing users, but I'm just as hopeful that this will slowly, slowly grow the userbase:

Second Life new user improvements

"I tried Second Life but all I saw was a bunch of grey blobs and my avatar walking in thin air" is a constant complaint from people who try SL for the first (and usally only) time, so these improvements should help improve that early perception. Get this version of the SL viewer over here.

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kitty revolver

gosh it is wonderful to hear Torley's voice again. It seems like yesterday he was teaching me how to link prims.

Hitomi Tiponi

The main improvements are really for repeat visits, the region caching is really good - I suggest you try it and go to a new region and you will still see plenty of grey blobs. And don't forget your viewer still has to download all those textures, so if you have a slow download speed you are still stuck (just not for quite as long as before) - and then you turn around or go through a door and the rezzing issues are still there.

But it is a nice piece of work, with just a few bugs to be ironed out, and good to see LL working on something all users will benefit from.

Orca Flotta

We might say a lot of bad things about Rod Humble, that under his reign the customer relations went from bad to worse ... like there are none anymore. But he also introduced many technical advancements. Project sunshine was already great and I have high hopes for that interesting thing. Gone are the times of precaching race courses, we sailors can just jump right in

... or didn't I get that right?

zzpearlbottom

I was with the impression, from the times i used V1 viewer rendering code, that after visiting a region , those textures would remain and the next time we visit them , the loading times would be much less!
But i do think now, no matter how many times you visit the same region, it will behave as if it was the 1st time! (V3 rendering code?!)
If so then this change will make all sense!

Iggy

Nice. It would address my students' biggest complaint from Spring 2013: "Where's the floor??"

Good to see LL not giving up on the cash-cow.

Pussycat Catnap

They've figured out how to make it so sellers no longer need Second Life to make money on LL's core product: Marketplace.

But they have yet to figure out how to get buyers to no longer need the deprecated product; Second Life... so until they do, they have to keep supplying something that somebody will be willing to log into.

This has the sounds of a great improvement. Finally making cache matter as more than something that stores a flawed copy which only loads in when inconvenient ( :P ), thus needing to be cleared often.... That took... 10 years...

And finally getting it so SL would render the things in your camera view, such as the floor under your feet and the sign in your face... before rendering the neighbors sexbed half a sim behind you and a hundred meters up in the air, behind 3 walls... That too took... 10 years...

Which I only mention because in most MMOs these kinds of things, very basic priority on what to render set at what is being interacted with or in view, are knocked out in alpha testing.

But then I guess, given that, it makes sense that a gamer is the one to finally implement them.

But I do sometimes miss M. Linden now. While his vision for the world SL should become was not what any of its users wanted, at least he saw it as a world. Today's Linden just sees it as a Barbie dress-up app to show off things bought in Marketplace.

Iggy

No agenda in your reply, Pussycat, says the pot to the kettle.

But I'm content to take the Silver for "grumpy oldie promised Rosedale's utopia and given a Barbie dress-up app instead."

Congrats on the Gold. Meanwhile, this LL improvement is both long overdue, as you note, and vital.

Pussycat Catnap

"No agenda in your reply, Pussycat, says the pot to the kettle."

****

Huh???

Iggy

Pussycat, what I meant is you spend so much time flogging Marketplace that it becomes the subject of the reply. I know I've done that, hence the pot/kettle remark.

But the emergence of this project shows that LL--at last--is addressing a major issue that affects performance. It won't let me have a road-rally, unless all of the racers pre-cache the sims before the event. It will greatly help with vehicles and SL seeming "more like a world," something we immersionists always wanted from it.

CronoCloud Creeggan

It will make the Immersionists and the Fashionistas happy, win-win.

Hector R. Cuprill, Jr., Esq.

These are great news. Great way to revitalize SL. I have been playing Grand Theft Auto V (the Single Player Version) and we are almost there as far as graphics (since our avatars I feel look better, IMHO. GTA V does have an edge with the scenery, and I can't judge the online version as I have not played it as of yet). I have also played my share of MMORPGs (like AION, Star Trek Online, Tera Rising), so it is always good for a company like LL to try to look at what is working well with other franchises and constantly improve on this one. One thing I noticed about "Cloud Party" (another MMO) is the ability to create and collaborate with MESH in-world. Could that be the next biggest move by LL, I guess we will have to see. Finally we have to pray that someday there will be a universal language where all these online worlds can communicate data, such as HTML5 did for the universality of the web. Take care you all!

Emperor Norton

Improving the graphics isn't going to make much difference with the way the destination sims are dying off. On the otherhand that's good news for sailing in Blake's Sea.

Epicarus

They talk about this like it's some kind of revolutionary improvement, when this is basic, obvious functionality that should have been put in place years ago.

Regardless, I applaud them for tackling one of the fundamental problems that cripples SL.

Archangel Mortenwold

How many times does it need to be shouted from the rooftops before it sinks in?

The problems plaguing Second Life aren't in the graphics or the gaming, such as it is. SL was never designed to be a gaming platform. The problems lie in the ridiculously high price of virtual land, the decision to promote the marketplace over in-world stores, the highly restrictive terms of use, poor customer service (where it even exists), and many more bad decisions made over the years. All the pretty graphics in the world can't save a company from its own lousy business decisions.

Hector R. Cuprill, Jr., Esq.

After a week of the LL SL Viewer. I am back in Firestorm (Beta). Hope you all have a better experience than mine with the SL Viewer. It just doesn't perform well at the Blake Sea.

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