Friday, June 20, 2014

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BREAKING: Linden Lab Confirms It's Building New Virtual World "Far Beyond What is Possible with Second Life" (Updated with Official Statement)

Ebbe Altberg Linden Lab

6:07PM: Confirming unofficial reports from earlier today (which I've moved below), Linden Lab just sent me this statement about the new virtual world it's building:

"Linden Lab is working on a next generation virtual world that will be in the spirit of Second Life, an open world where users have incredible power to create anything they can imagine and content creators are king. This is a significant focus for Linden Lab, and we are actively hiring to help with this ambitious effort. We believe that there is a massive opportunity ahead to carry on the spirit of Second Life while leveraging the significant technological advancements that have occurred since its creation, as well as our unparalleled experience as the provider of the most successful user-created virtual world ever.

"The next generation virtual world will go far beyond what is possible with Second Life, and we don't want to constrain our development by setting backward compatibility with Second Life as an absolute requirement from the start. That doesn’t mean you necessarily won’t be able to bring parts of your Second Life over, just that our priority in building the next generation platform is to create an incredible experience and enable stunningly high-quality creativity, rather than ensuring that everything could work seamlessly with everything created over Second Life’s 11 year history." (Emphasis mine.)

"Does this mean we're giving up on Second Life?

"Absolutely not. It is thanks to the Second Life community that our virtual world today is without question the best there is, and after 11 years we certainly have no intention of abandoning our users nor the virtual world they continually fill with their astounding creativity. Second Life has many years ahead of it, and in addition to improvements and new developments specifically for Second Life, we think that much of the work we do for the next generation project will also be beneficial for Second Life.

"It's still very early days for this new project, and as we forge ahead in creating the next generation virtual world, we'll share as much as we can."

"If we had one message to share with Second Life users about this new project at this point, it would be: don’t panic, get excited! Again, Second Life isn’t going away, nor are we ceasing our work to improve it. But, we’re also working on something that we think will truly fulfill the promise of virtual worlds that few people understand as well as Second Life users."

I have revised the post's title to reflect this confirmation and moved the original post below:

Ciaran Laval just passed on an unconfirmed report to me that Linden Lab is building a follow-up to Second Life. The word first came from Second Life third party developer Latif Khalifa, who was at a recent developers meeting in SL which was attended by Linden CEO Ebbe Altberg (pictured):

"He told them (summarized)," says Cieran, "[That] Linden Lab is working on a next generation virtual world. Most of [the] Lab’s development resources are already working on it. A smaller dev team headed by Oz Linden remains working on Second Life."

That's not all, at least according to Latif -- this isn't an extension of Second Life, but an entirely new, incompatible virtual world:

"The new world," Ciaran relays, "will be closed-sourced, and not backward compatible with content from SL." He adds, "I've seen no official words on this, but it could cause quite a stir when the YouTube video [from the TPV developer meeting] is uploaded." More from Latif here on SL Universe. Yes, if this early report is accurate, it would cause quite a stir. It's possible Ebbe is referring to Philip Rosedale's High Fidelity, which Linden Lab is partially financing; in any case, I'm contacting Linden now for a more official response -- until then, I recommend holding off on drawing any conclusions. The video from this meeting is supposed to be available in the next few hours, so I'll add that to this post when it's up.

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Latif Khalifa

It's not high fidelity. It's a completely separate effort.

Audio and video of the meeting will be posted shortly.

Adeon Writer

Cool. The closed-source aspect is going to rustle a few people's jimmies, though.

I doubt not being compatible with SL content will be much of an issue if the content was model imported.

lololololItrollu

I have to admit that my "jimmies" are "rustled" (note to self, swing by urband dictionary after posting) but mostly I just shake my head.

I don't have great amounts of trust for either Philip Rosedale or Linden Lab, but at least HiFi looks semi-future proof by virtue of being open source (if his company tanks, I'll still have my stuff -that's not true of whatever it is LL is putting out).

If I have to start over from scratch (which is true for both HiFi and the LL wotsis) then I'd rather make sure that I get a return on my investment and won't have my stuff locked away 2 or 5 years from now.

tl;dr Not necessarily rustled, just not interested in wasting my time or money.

RULosingHair

All low fidelities (SL, Opensim) are under threat by high fidelities (Garry's Mod, High Fidelity)

A.J.

Rarely does any news out of LL excite me, but this does.

It's a huge gamble with their landowning base.

If LL actually does this, I'll show up in their new world with bells on my toes and my credit card in hand.

Good news.

Galatea

This is certainly interesting news. Given the limitations of Second Life, I'm not surprised if making something more modern means backwards compatibility isn't possible, and honestly if the fidelity is good enough, who will *want* to keep their archaic-looking SL content? Besides, with all the tools that exist these days for exporting content from SL, it should be pretty easy to move anything worth saving... as long as the new reality has decent import tools. That'll be a must for content creators these days, so I think it's a fair bet.

Knight

So once again they claim the Creators are of monumental importance. How can anyone accept this with content theft running rampant on the SL grid, and the Lab ignoring 9 in 10 DMCA complaints?

Lani Global

CEO Linden twirls virtual mustache. "Move along now, my little furries, to the promised land."

cartoon parody:
https://twitter.com/LaniGlobal/status/480173524602978307/photo/1

Harlow Heslop

I am thrilled about this news and wish Linden Lab nothing but the best. Second Life has brought me countless joy for years. I can't wait to see what they cook up next. I have a few hopes for this new world. 1. I hope they incorporate full first and last names again like Second Life a few years ago. My last names JIRA went far and I hope it shows LL how important the idea of identity and a name in SL means to so many of us. 2. I hope we can transfer or reserve our SL names if we want in this new world. I can't imagine being anyone but Harlow Heslop in my virtual life. 3. I hope they genuinely listen to the community. Have meetings and let us help in the developmental stages. Hear us. Listen to us. Incorporate us. 4. I hope to be able to create impressive mesh objects within the new world and not use an outside program to do so. It would be amazing to create directly like we did with prim design. I have so many other thoughts but these are just a start! I am excited to see where this goes!!!

Eddi Haskell

Other big news today- Oculus Rift confirms over 100,000 head sets sold even before developed version 2.0 ships in August. Wanna bet that this is not a coincidence? This is an earthquake folks. And BTW I am SURE that development of Second Life 2.0 is being made in conjunction with High Fidelity. One will either shortly acquire the others, OR they will develop in tandem.

Ghost

Have you people forgotten about the TOS we had to sign to get to our content and that LL now owns everything ever created and uploaded in secondlife and can legally do what they wish with it ? If your considering helping build this new grid I suggest you read what you sign before doing so !

Knight

I fully expect that while they have all been eating up the same old plate of "we value our content creators" that the Lab has been feeding us since the beginning, they have forgotten about the demise of a large number of the major creators. All those who were undercut by thieves selling their creations, long gone now.
Remember back in January of 2010? The Lab bragged about the economy reaching a Billion US Dollars annually? and how Ebbe recently bragged about the economy almost being 250 million? Or am I just Blasphemous? Half the Marketplace is based on someone else's Intellectual Property. Are we supposed to believe they 'value the content creators" when they allow a number of operations who sell pirated entertainment DVDs?
Just so you all can see just what I speak of, make a trip to one of the larger wearables thieves. This store has been around for years, been visited by Removals Lindens hundreds of times. http://slurl.com/secondlife/INFINITY%20BEACH/37/236/3822

Ghost

When a huge company like renderosity pull permission to use their content in secondlife we must ask ourselves a few questions ! Read this http://www.renderosity.com/renderosity-products-not-allowed-at-second-life-cms-16783

Inara Pey

For those interested, having attended the meeting, I have an audio of Ebbe's comments on the new platform (with questions from some of those also there):

http://modemworld.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/ebbe-confirms-were-working-on-a-next-generation-platform-with-audio/

As Latif says, it's not High Fidelity. Never was (although the Lab may look to some of what HiFi are developing and may actually support HiFI in areas of compliance, cryptocurrency, etc.).

Where HiFi is concerned, LL were an initial investor, but the dominant investors in the first round of funding were Google Ventures and True Ventures. The latter (I believe) led the second round of funding.

The Lab's new platform has been in the works since 2012, when Rod Humble gave reference to the company investing in "virtual worlds" (plural) in at least one interview with VentureBeat (and no, that wasn't a reference to HiFi either), which he later expanded upon.

Hat

I think you have a long way to go. With so much stolen IP on the marketplace alone like https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/112203?id=112203
I'll tell you what though, when Linden Labs gets it's house in order in SL, then maybe I will believe that they can do another grid with more "Features".

irihapeti

!!! yay !!!

Tankgirl

SL is still the lab's biggest source of income, right? But " Most of [the] Lab’s development resources are already working on it. A smaller dev team headed by Oz Linden remains working on Second Life." Does that not seem wrong to anyone?

MC

"Does that not seem wrong to anyone?"

Nope. It seems essential, and is the standard practice of any software company with a successful product.

Kitteh

geeee WOW more gadgets! if it isn't free I'm not going there anyway. I am sure not going to spend hundreds extra just to find out.

Carlos Loff

Im a long time creator and community manager on SL - Unless it is extra cheap I wont invest time and money on LL new venture because they have always preferred fast dollars to faithful customers - My heart is now with Kitely and LL better revolutionize prices

RULosingHair

Cinema-class #GMod #HighFidelity outperforms Cartoon-class #SL #Opensim http://ht.ly/yhI61

Garry's Mod Mashup on Steam One-time €20 + No Monthly Tiers > Gamification AND Metaverse http://ht.ly/ygG9V

RULosingHair

Linden Lab on the catchup train to existing benchmark Garry's Mod 13 http://modemworld.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/ebbe-confirms-were-working-on-a-next-generation-platform-with-audio/

Opensim Eats Dust!

melponeme_k

Someone somewhere in Linden Lab finally realized that LL was the silverback gorilla of the VR worlds.

I wish them all the luck.

No backwards compatibility doesn't bother me. My inventory in SL is so filled with junk from my latent hoarding, I won't mind saying goodbye to it. Just as long as I can mod my avatar to look the way I want I'm happy.

And I'm super glad no one at LL is drinking the open source witch brew.

Keep up the good work LL!

Imagin Illyar

SL 2.0 sounds interesting and I am excited to see what they do with it. As an estate owner I would like to know what the Lab plans to do for those who create, by far, the largest chunk of their income.

cathartes aura

The same folks who argued that they would never leave LL/SL to experience other alternatives because they would not have access to their inventories, friends, and so-called communities are the same ones now arguing to leave SL and embrace LL's shiny new toy leaving behind their inventories, friends, and so-called communities. ; )

"There's a sucker born every minute" - LL's motto and corporate philosophy.

Stroker Serpentine

It's_about_damn_time!!

Untimely Death

Well by the time we finally arrive the Lindens or whomever you want to call them at the New World will have already gamed the system taken all the good land with their Alts and dominate all events

Flashing Merlin

I'm surprised everyone above is so favorable. To me this is horrible news. I'm one of those who thinks the biggest "improvement" they could make is to go back to viewer 1.23. I certainly hate the thought of learning a new viewer; hate the thought of all the things I've built no longer working; hate the thought of their brave new world not being open source.

If LL wants to build a next gen virtual world, fine, call it Third Life, or something else, and leave SL alone. Yes, SL has a lot of problems, but from my perspective, with each "improvement" since viewer 1.23 it's only gotten worse: lag is worse, many things never rez now, camera controls are too course now, etc.

With each new SL "improvement" I get closer to leaving for Open Sim, and these new plans could finally push me over the edge.

RULosingHair

#LindenLab needs compliance with Client Requirements Managementt, its not vice-versa
http://ht.ly/yiyEP

Issa Heckroth

One way or another, no matter how they spin it, this announcement has basically set the clock ticking for SL. It REALLY is the end this time.

Content creators will always go where the money is, and if this "New SL" turns out to be that good, naturally the user base will migrate. Ultimately I think its a good thing.

The bix faux pas has been announcing it this early. I cant see anyone even considering paying for land to start a new project in the face if this news. Its only a matter of time now.

DoctorEigen Flow

It'll be called 'WOWohwow and we'll be buying our spell staffs, axes and pixie dust from a game authorized magi. The only way to protect content, is to allow NO content... only 'game' supplied. Well, time to squeeze into my orc armor and get ready for the fairy 'quests'. Oh!? DejaVu!?

DoctorEigen Flow

I think what post moderns continue to forget in their headlong quest for the ideal trans-human singularity is... DAVID was sculpted, with a chisel and the MonaLisa rendered, with a paint brush... and anyone can copy them.

Al

Its the same mentality that led them to believe in the brand-new-concept of Viewer 2. -- Instead they should be finding a migratory path from where we are today, from viewer 3. Even If its as fundamental as "going to voxels" and "in-world mesh creation" "realtime anim" and "detachable windows" or anything else offered in today's Game Tech, there is still no reason why they cant write the conversion software instead a "start from scratch" implementation. It will leave us all "in the lurch" again. http://thesaurus.com/browse/leave+in+the+lurch

Anubis

No Open Source Code means no third party viewers. That means residents will have to give up Firestorm, etc. and go back to an official SL viewer. That alone will doom this effort.

Since Firestorm will still work in Open Sim, that's reason enough for many to switch to Open Sim.

joe

"Our World, Your Imagination, Our Product." Haw haw

Choche

This announcement on this day is now the doom of SL.

The history of companies announcing new products way before new ones are even ready spells the doom of the exiting product line - no matter what it is.

By even hinting that a new REPLACEMENT product is 'in the works' kills any incentive to use or be involved with the existing one.

This happens a lot to tech companies, particularly ones selling products (software or hardware.)

That announcement puts the kibosh on the existing products, putting them into a tale spin.

Apple computer uses the exact OPPOSITE game plan - they never telegraph what product they are doing (although people may speculate) and only show a product when it is ready to sell.

Bottom line - It seems LL is spending only minor efforts on SL - probably mostly cleaning up any bad glitches recently found due to recent updates, but with a skeleton crew I would not expect any major improvements,etc.

While LL wants to make the best technological virtual world - they should provide and make a way to port over the existing worlds - maybe objects won't have all the possible new functionality, but otherwise the existing SL will wither away which would great loss to what would be a fantastic jump start to a 'new world.

On the other hand, things do change.

Amanda Dallin

"No Open Source Code means no third party viewers. That means residents will have to give up Firestorm, etc. and go back to an official SL viewer. That alone will doom this effort."

SL wasn't open source before they even had demos inside the company either. It's early to announce anything like that.

Kae

So in summary, instead of becoming a wealthy Web 3.0 company based on software leasing, like Microsoft, they continue to choose to be a hosting company with limited access, like Blizzard. Dumb.

I know of numerous businesses that would jump at the chance of having a private grid under their full control, rather than have Linden Labs servers as a requirement. If LL makes a move towards leasing the new server software, it could mean BIG BUCKS for their company. Sadly, it seems they will follow the path of their original business plan.

Tech Insider

Remember when Cloud Party was going to outdo SL? Look what happened to that "doomsday plot." The company got bought up by Yahoo! and the service went away. How about OpenSim? It still hasn't done away with SL, and it's still just as bad. They're still at version 0.8 and warn (on their homepage, opensimulator.org) that their software may be buggy and should be "handled with care." Well, no shit, every piece of software is buggy and it's the publisher's job to keep applying routine updates.

With all due respect to you hopefuls, don't believe everything that's put in front of you. THINK before you spew out this kind of information. If it's hearsay, it may or may not be true.

Until something appears on Linden Lab's official site (lindenlab.com) confirming this so-called "SL 2.0," I'd suggest you all stop holding your breath.

Timo Gufler

So, they decided to start a virtual world from scratch rather than fixing their current problems. That's the easiest way for them for sure. I'm just worried about the content creators and communities of SL. And what about our huge inventories? I think, the "content creators are king" reveals a lot. Will we have to start from the scratch too?!

Tesla Miles

Tabula rasa, yes please. To me this is good news, I've been waiting over three years for a new product from LL - it's about time. Second Life is antiquated - anyone who doesn't think so is out of touch with the progress that's happening in the world of online gaming.

It's a good move from LL in order to stay in the game, and they're a company with enough influence to shift their customers onto the newer product before they lose the clientele to Facebook's VR world (why else would Facebook buy Occulus Rift?). They're planning ahead, sooner or later people people will move when a better product comes out - same thing happened with the mass migration from MySpace to Facebook, Yahoo to Google. History repeats itself, Second Life was never going to last forever.

Best news in ages. This new world will certainly supercede Second Life without doubt. As a creator who believes in progress, I'm really excited, but at the same time, I wonder if other creators like me will begin to wind down their commercial output in Second Life; it might not be worth the time investment now that Second Life is gradually going to be phased out. Time will tell. What is the time frame before a working alpha comes out? I'd happily be an early adopter to get a headstart.

Roland Legrand

Pardon my negativity, but I fear this new development will just cater to the niche of people active in Second Life and will split that niche between two virtual worlds - and if the separate project of Philip Rosedale is launched, split between three worlds.

Remember Blue Mars or any of the other open ended virtual worlds being launched the last few years? They never got any traction and the few people who showed up and experimented were invariably Second Life veterans.

The audience for open-ended virtual environments which are not focused on children is limited and essentially not growing. Oculus won't change that...

nicole

we've been down this road with ll before.. they'll make a lot of noise about this amazing new product, the response from the community will be lackluster at best and it'll quietly disappear a few months after launch

Arcadia Codesmith

Given the huge amount of work it would take to get Second Life anywhere near state-of-the-art, starting from scratch is a sensible approach. I would hope this time around, they will design with a scalable modular approach that can easily be updated on a regular basis, and include an integrated creation tool suite somewhat more comprehensive that what we've got.

Let's see what you've got, LL.

Hawker

Will we be able to transfer our avatars from old sl to the new, and keep our old rez dates. ?

Al

Its the same mentality that led them to believe in the brand-new-concept of Viewer 2. -- Instead they should be finding a migratory path from where we are today.
Even If its as fundamental as "going to voxels" and "in-world mesh creation" "programmable anim incl. face and hands" and "detachable windows" and anything else offered in today's Game Tech, there is still no reason why they cant also prioritize writing the conversion software and providing a transition path. Instead of just a "start from scratch" implementation. It will leave us all "in the lurch" again.

Issa Heckroth

Lost of content creators out there are licking their lips in anticipation. That much is certain :)

Irina F.

If my inventory can not be transferred and I mean all of my 103,000 bought items. And land is much more expensive. Forget about me and my $200 US bucks per month I spend in the community. Apologies, but I put my money where my mouth is. And if they want to make me rebuy the stuff I loved, then no way.

Metacam Oh

read closed source and that was the end for me.

Tom Sallinger

@melponeme_k
Well if your inventory is a mass and consists only of junk , i would take my time to clean the inventory up. In my case , i dont have a lot of junk in my inventory. I paid a lot of money for what i have in my inventory and believe me it is not "junk"!

MisaoAki Olivier

MY JIMMIES ARE EXTREMELY RUSTLED. >:( Sl you giant chorizos

Pat Perth

I would like to point out that the phrase "content creator" describes more than just a person who makes stuff to be sold on Marketplace. Other people create infrastructure: dance clubs, live music performance venues, role-playing sims, rental properties, places to sail your boat, places to make love, places to just 'hang-out,' the list goes on and on. This is content too. It is expensive to build and maintain, both in terms of land cost the labor, and the sunk cost in the current Second Life is huge. I submit these places are the primary reason people come to Second Life. If they cannot be carried over into the new platform, few of us will have the energy to recreate what we have made, and there will be little reason for anyone to go there.

staci

lmaoo what makes you think this new viewer gonna work in time trying new things and sometimes wont accomplish wasteing very little time and those who been on SL playing for years not gonna agree you lose profits and all and on top they cnt improve anything so there for ya should just stop..

Toady Nakamura

If content creators are supposed to be king (male singular) that makes me wonder who this one lucky (male singular) person is.

Klassic Kreations

I have been a creator of content for SL since 2006. I stopped uploading and dealing with Marketplace after the TOS change last year. It's just a place to doodle and hang out. Serious work goes on serious software. Running a game engine modkit for 1,000,000 users is reasonably difficult to pull off, and if the operators of the modkit were able, it would be running well already. Scalability was an issue when it was in Beta. It seems right that the Lab would like to cut away the morass which is the existing setup, and 'reboot' using lessons from this round to improve from the ground-up.

Making sense out of LL policy and PR is going to frustrate most folks. Consider that at the heart of it, there is very little consensus as to which direction to take the product. It took 4 or so CEOs to get to this point.

I forsee a new team-built product with a unified vision and clear success terms. With that, I wish them all the luck - it will be interesting to see the evolution of this company.

I will miss my low poly creations. The experience of creating them, and sharing them with you all, has been a great thrill. Part of me is nostalgic for some reason already. The most important lesson for me is; THE ONLY CONSTANT IS THAT THINGS CHANGE.

Onyx

I had many concerns about this and wasn't pleased ! But the more I think about it the more I think that this could be the solution to all the theft of content in secondlife. Content theft is a real problem !! So much so now that it seems that LL has given up on solving most of the cases reported to them even ignoring DMCA takedowns ! People are bragging about stealing content when you confront a thief they laugh in your face and respond that LL wont do a thing ! and they are right ! Third party illegal viewers are being used by many many residents and frankly I am sick of being copyboted ! Making a new grid that is not open source will prevent people from using those illegal viewers and certainly more interesting for a content creator like me .

Onyx

Don't get me wrong I love secondlife because it permits me to create. However its economy is dying because of all the theft ! If people truly want to preserve secondlife then they need to take action and clean up the thievery because honestly its just turning into ghetto for thieves !

Sabre

So what is this new world going to be called?

BS2

I certainly hope not

I have enjoyed 7 Years in SL

COCA Yven

Very Nice

However IM pretty sure that LL will lose 80% of all residents, because no one will want to give up their inventories.
People payed money for that and a lot.

I am content creator, to me it makes no difference if there is a new grid or 10 old ones or 100 new ones, in the end the people who know how to make the good stuff and the pro scripters You can count with ones fingertips.

A lot of people complain that in Sl you dont see realistic stuff... truth is that realism in sl is very well possible with ONLY exception for reflections....truth is that most of the content doesnt look real just becuase the creators are amateurs and not pros....same is true for scripts.......not to mention textures.
Having said so and this is absolute truth, there is another absolute truth that people dont care to buy realistic content.....in SL most clients THE MAJORITY of clients like imprecise content....things that are similar to real stuff but glitched, wrong , spartan and for this reason love to imagine in their fantasy how that very item they bought could look better.

Give them a perfect item You take away this from a client and thus stop him from spending money.
People buy a thing not because they can have that thing but because they want that thing that that item cant still give them fully.

With a new realistic virtual reality for SL what will happen is that residents will reside in sl less time, they will not log off after the first 10 minutes because they got bored like SL is now, but they will never return to it after 90 days, simply because they was given a tool NOT to get bored in the first minutes , that will make it so that when they stay they will not make any effort to find ways to NOT get bored.......not to mention again....SL aficionados will NOT and NEVER rebuild a new inventory from scratch....the whole point that LL makes money from land and there is SL Addicts in SL Now is because people dont feel to destroy the house they build in their land or toss down the toilet all the items they got in their inventory in so many years..............You dont believe me ask 10 people if they willing to delete items they got in sl 3 4 years ago from their inventory.....lets see what they will answer...guess what?!

LL is better off with making a new game for a new market segment instead of asking SL clients to move to another format.
Either way I make content, give me residents here or there, I make people happy either way, im just not pretty sure that the opposite will work...people making content creators happy either way?! I dont firmly see that happening....not with the current level of scripters in sl NOW as CG artists i see around...what i see is tons of amateurs making shoes for a famous foot, simply because they dont know how to mesh a foot, as a result u see ugly shoes that have the shape of a foot rather than a foot that has a shape of a shoe how it should be....I dont wanna mention about rigging clothing too much but s far as i have seen there is only ONE person who knows how to rig properly and guess what....he doesnt make content for clients.

hummmmmmmmmm

Quote from above from LL statement: "But, we’re also working on something that we think will truly fulfill the promise of virtual worlds that few people understand as well as Second Life users."

humm.... Did I just read they think we are dumbxxx? Have you LL stopped to ever consider the social aspect? This slip? I think you LL need to do a full blown press release on exactly what your modelling for us dumbxxx, so we know exactly how much more we are willing to keep injecting into the place. Then we can make an educated decision on just how much we are willing to put into this Second Life. Are we willing to keep putting emotions, creation and funding into a place that the plug can be pulled due to a lack of us dumbxxx wanting to move over to your new platform,because the same feel of what we have now has been lost. At what point when your numbers are as bad as past attempts to get 3D worlds up have failed will you decide, ohh, those people don't understand, we know better, we better pull the plug, force it now!!. And what about all those donated man hours Firestorm has put into the viewer, well maybe there is hope, just maybe the Firestorm team will replace LL and maybe it is just time for the grassroots people to take over what we call Second Life now.

pixels sideways

About this latest news bomb from LL:


The sole/soul of Second Life is that is consists of content made by its users - not just "professional content creators".

I don't care if the content is aesthetically shit or is made by former CGI artists from Rhythm & Hues and uses every feature SL has to offer for realism or looks like it fell out of a Pixar film.

What I care about (and enjoy to no end) is that Second Life content (that which isn't ripped) is a creative expression of an individual somewhere in the world whose vision is manifested in one way or another by manipulating pixels and code and sounds and textures and animations and streaming media, etc., by using inworld tools and/or other software.

THAT is what separates Second Life from WOW and other similar virtual reality and 3D platforms and games.

I like that there is a history of content in Second Life. That you can see how incredibly talented artists have used inworld tools along side 3D modeling software to make just about anything you can imagine.

As someone who has been involved in art and education in Second Life since March of 2008, I've seen artists work evolve starting with inworld prims and then move into sculpties then to using mesh and materials. I also know that not everyone can master Blender, Maya, etc. (or afford programs like Maya, Poser, etc.). When I curate an art exhibition, I often invite novice creators -- some who have never had an opportunity to participate in an art exhibition and who still work with inworld basic prims. I still use inworld basic prims in certain things along with mesh and some sculpties. The last thing I want to "experience" is some elitist sterile world of sameness.

I also am a "collector" of a massive amount of content made by a variety of people at a significant RL investment of real USD. A lot of what I have cannot be replaced as the original creator is no longer active in Second Life. A lot of what I have in my inventory is artwork given to me by artists -- again, some who are not active in SL for a myriad of reasons, including those who have passed away. If virtual art is to ever have a legitimate foothold in the real world art scene, there has to be some kind of historical preservation element beyond machinima. Just because video came along as new art media, real world museums and collectors didn't toss out all their Van Goghs and start from scratch.

Linden Labs setting some kind of bar for "quality of content" will wind up creating Second Ikea and not a better Second Life experience because they will stifle self expression of thousands of users who like playing around in Second Life and making things with inworld tools unless the new platform LL is creating will include a simple and easy to learn inworld build toolbox that offers higher end results.

I like the funky, fun, surprising things people do with prims, sculpties and mesh. And yes, for the OCD "perfectionist" content creators, not everyone understands "optimizing" and for a lot of people, there is a significant learning curve for creating content in SL. But so what? If your attention spans are so short you can't wait a few seconds for something to load and you jump to some other sim, then it's your loss. Luckily for us, there are also a lot of people who share their knowledge in blogs and videos on youtube and inworld classes or helping out people in sandboxes to learn better building skills. I can't begin to count the number of people in SL who have patiently explained to me how to do this or that with all aspects of creating content -- from texturing to doing something in Blender to scripting, etc.

If this new Second Life platform requirement of "quality of content" creates an environment in which all SL content mimics an exact replica of real life objects... yawn. Why spend real world dollars on virtual content that LL can "disappear" like they apparently intend to do with existing SL inventories once they launch their new world and leave SL to a skeleton crew where it will eventually languish and die slow death?

Which brings up this HUGE RED FLAG of not being able to port over inventories in which people have invested thousands of dollars over the years. Thousands of dollars that collectively add up to the millions and millions of real world dollars (or other real world currencies) that have paid the salaries and benefits of dozens of LL employees and hefty deals for the rotating door of executives -- all of whom who have benefited from the creativity of Second Life users who make all the SL content (upload fees, etc.) and those who purchase SL content that is currently in their inventories.

Linden Lab: This. Is. A. Really. Bad. Move.

Let me cite an example:

Bryn Oh is a very well regarded original virtual world artist whose work I am quite familiar with. Bryn is not just known in Second Life but has participated as a virtual artist in real world exhibitions which redirects the focus on Second Life to something far beyond "just a game or a place for online hook-ups". (I will also note that orgs like Virtual Ability and UWA and LEA and all the various fundraisers do likewise in bringing positive focus on Second Life).

Bryn's original sculptures have evolved from inworld SL building using toolbox prims to incorporating sculpties and more complex scripts to mesh and even more complex scripting as well as taking advantage of other features of SL such as Windlight to create wondrous, thought provoking and fun immersive exhibition experiences. Even as complex as Bryn's work is today, Bryn's original inworld prim only work still stands the test of time and is just as unique and wonderful as Bryn's current work.

As the original creator, Bryn undoubtedly can port out everything Bryn has made and probably has this already stored on a hard drive which is accessible by Bryn who can likely rez these older works on another virtual world using the current SL open source platform.

But... and this is quite important and something LL needs to consider: Many people have invested in collecting Bryn's work over the years. This includes early work consisting of prims and sculpts and scripts, etc. If the new platform LL is creating will not be able to port in someone's inventory containing Bryn's early work, that's just wrong.

Now while Bryn's work can still exist on other virtual worlds if Bryn so chooses, those who have purchased Bryn's work (and other artist's work over the years) in SL will be colossally screwed because these virtual world art collectors have paid Bryn (and other artists) some significant dosh for these original art works. And this goes back to the struggle virtual world artists have in legitimizing virtual world art. If you can't collect it because you can't store it on your own hard drive and rez it somewhere other than in Second Life, and if can be so easily vanquished because LL has decided to ditch SL and do something new that won't incorporate these significant investments people have made collecting virtual art, then what is the true value of virtual art? Why invest in something that has no permanence and that you can't enjoy for years to come?

It would be like the real world art I have collected over the years suddenly vanishing in front of my eyes because someone else had the power to make that happen. And that actually did happen in real life when the Nazi's confiscated art throughout Europe and hid it and/or destroyed it. Not that I'm comparing LL to Nazi's but LL seems to be indifferent to the thousands of dollars of investments people have made in SL content, whether it be art like Bryn's or breed-able creatures or RP wardrobes or homes and furnishings or vehicles and so on.

Actually, LL's indifferent attitude toward the inventory issue kind of sounds like a ponzi scheme.

And since the non-portable inventory issue was included in the new SL platform announcement, over half of the comments I've read have mentioned that SL users are now reluctant to purchase any more content in SL. Forget all the other new cool stuff this new world platform will boggle the mind with. The big pressing issue right now that will determine what will happen down the road is inventory issue.

LL needs to immediately address what kind of content will or will not be able to be ported over to their new platform because there is a panic setting in. It could very well emulate the stock market crash of 1929 when everyone not only stopped investing but also started pulling all their money out of the banks. This concern about SL content and inventory is not only about buying content from here on out but also -- and listen up LL -- no one is going to be buying Linden currency either until the inventory issue is specifically addressed. Seriously, you have to wonder if the people who run LL have a collective suicidal business ideation disorder.

And no TPV? Other slimmed down TPV viewers have features the SL viewer doesn't. But by far, Phoenix/Firestorm has time and time again surpassed any viewer LL has come up with. The redesign of the SL viewer UI still looks like something a 13 year old boy created to enhance his jerk off fantasies -- it's so ill-suited to creating content and for the life of me, I can't understand why LL has not incorporated simple, logical and efficient features like copy / paste of the position, size, rotation of prims/object tools that have existed in the Phoenix/Firestorm viewers for a few years now.

There are two histories in Second Life.

One history is directly connected to the entire concept of Second Life that everyone was sold since its inception, "Your world, your imagination." ("The largest-ever 3D virtual world created entirely by its users," the SL website currently states) THAT is what makes Second Life unique and why it is still raking in dollars over donuts. Because anyone -- with or without 3D modeling skills -- can enter SL for free and learn how to create content simply with the inworld build tools. And this content is what creates the unique and diverse Second Life experience and why SL has succeeded where others have failed. This is one of the most remarkable features of Second Life besides the social aspect.

The second history is the one where LL has pulled the rug out from under its user base time and time again by screwing them over with absolute indifference -- like the Homestead fiasco or removing then reinstating academic and non-profit sim pricing -- solely for dollars over donuts -- and each time LL does this, there is a huge exodus of users including some of the best content creators and artists as well as academic and non-profit orgs.

I'm not against advancements in technology and had hoped by now, the development team at LL would have fixed a lot of issues in Second Life. And maybe they have pushed the existing platform as far as they can though, based on a lot of comments I've been reading on various blogs, there are still many things that could be done to add features to enhance the experience in the existing platform of SL while improving its overall functionality.

Yes, it would be great to have an awesome bug free platform with fantastic resolution and new capabilities such as avatars who have more rigged joints (hands/fingers, feet/toes, more natural facial expressions, smother motions, etc.) and animation rigging for objects, and an ace viewer with capabilities like that of Firestorm and so on. But without the ability to transfer residents inventories over -- or only a very small part of it, this one issue could very likely kill both worlds.

My gut feeling is that this "all new and improved Second Life" does not seem like a move forward to provide a better experience for SL users but a calculated business decision to merge with the Mark Zuckerberg's who are buying up 3D/VR tech and LL looking for additional revenue streams such as providing content (advertising) geared toward marketing real life product which is what all major current tech product and services are now doing (a deeper invasion of your privacy to sell you shit you don't need -- Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, etc.). I can see LL co-opting your profiles in SL and tracking the places you visit and your purchases and using that information to market things to you by striking deals with real world designers which would go something like this:

We see you like that virtual Prada bag that you bought at the SL Prada store. Now we will add this to the data we've been collecting on you. We will now give you an option to click on a special imbedded feature in the content that you purchased that will take you to a page where you can buy the real thing and based on your purchasing habits in SL, we will aggregate all this data and advertise more product to you inworld. Welcome to Second Life Amazon...

christy lock

This is all good news folks. Everquest next, planet explorers, minecraft etc have all gone to voxel data. Can you imagine being able to tunnel into your land and create caves? How about oc rift into an event without having to teleport there so now events an be seen by many more people? These are the kind of advancements I would think that they are working on...just a guess at this point but it is exciting to think of the cool things coming. Also I will be able to sell all my animations over again. ka Ching.

Tesla Miles

Having read the comments, I can understand why many people would be frustrated about the creation of a new world that would most likely phase out the existing one. It's reasonable that people would be concerned about the loss of their inventory, like those who have collected many nostalgic memorabilia with fond memories, and especially those who have rare items from art creators or even won from playing Gatcha machines - I can see how those would be hard to part with as many of those items would be irreplaceable as the creators may have left Second Life already, or much money has been spent in an attempt to win a rarity in Gatcha.

The only solution I can think of is that LL keep Second Life running indefinitely, but for that to happen SL has to continue being profitable, at the same time, it cannot compete with it's new product. From what Ebbe says, it sounds like the new VW will be very competitive and attractive for creators - I'm guessing that they may implement free uploads, and possibly free land with a small bandwidth allowance in order to kickstart the world.

People may want to cling to their SL inventory, who is to blame them if they spent their hard-earned cash on it? I suppose these are the people who may be able to convince LL to keep SL going.

Personally, as a creator, I'm looking for more efficient creation tools, which after three years of waiting, are still not there in SL. Let's hope the new VW is an overall improvement.

Archangel Mortenwold

I'm not so sure this will work out well for several reasons.

1.) The biggest problem with SL isn't simply the numerous bugs or outdated software, though these are significant. No, the biggest problem is the overinflated price of virtual land, which never should have risen this high in a depressed economy and which has been causing a steady drop in revenue for Linden Lab ever since. You can have the best product in the world, but if nobody can afford it, you'll have wasted a lot of time and money on a failed business venture. Better to take the Henry Ford approach.

2.) As was pointed out by so many others, forcing current SLers to start over from scratch on a new grid, even if they manage to retain their SL avatar identities, won't encourage migration. To spend years acquiring all manner of avatars, vehicles, in-world weapons, pets, clothes, buildings such as houses and skyboxes, and so on, only to find out little or none of the content you've purchased will transfer and that you'll have to buy it all over again...I can't imagine anyone willing to do that.

3.) Linden Lab has promised new and exciting products before only to deliver mediocre games that didn't live up to their hype. I'm quite skeptical about anything the Lab says given its history.

DJ Trap

Nobody has even mention members of SL Bands.....We spend hundreds of L's, some use USD on AVIs, Body, Skins, Clothes..time it takes to modify them to the right shape and size...thats not including the instruments and other things required......That stuff isn't cheap.....I bet LL wouldn't even try to do what we do.......and they pull this s__t........of course if they do this I wouldn't come back...why come back, knowing all the work time and money spent was worth nothing to LL

djehan kidd

kidd believes in HIFI

Lestat

I think this is all going to be BS. From the videos I have watched they are going to really screw over all creators and no one is realizing this. Photographers, Builders, Clothing designers, even what we sell...As soon as you upload content to this new world or sell something, it becomes property of LL, NOTHING will be ours anymore!!! No more stream companies, all DJs have to now use LL streams?? I call BS as well. If their "stream servers" are anything like SLs voice servers and such they use now it will be catastrophic. The fact you HAVE to be a premium member to even JOIN the game as well?? LOL there went 95% of their population. SL is a great game, but its not World of Warcraft or some of these other games that are drawing in Millions of users a month, not to mention tripling the price of a premium user!! WTF are they thinking?? I personally dont think they are. I forsee other virtual worlds populations going WAY up and SL sinking badly.

Falney

I think the bitching in here is pretty funny. Given the quantity of posts here I glazed over most of them but I cant help but comment on some of them.

Stopping piracy? Never going happen. Not because they don't want to but because it is impossible to do so. When I say not possible to? I mean not possible to. Well it is possible, We could turn SL into IRC I guess.

If something is rendered on screen, some one can steal it. It does not matter what graphics libraries you use. Whether you us DX or OGL, it can and will be taken. They would need a legal department the size of California to assess and investigate every potential copyright infringement and make content creators wait for products to be reviewed before being posted on the market place.

Also about opensource? I remember a time when SL was closed source and people used it. All opensource allowed for was people to create custom viewers or, break the law and backwards engineer an illegal server. And so the original OpenSim was born. Then LL gave up and made the server files opensource.

Closed source is good. Opensource is bad. Closed source means security. A hacker needs to know what you used to compile the C++ in order to decompile it and produce exploit viewers like Copybot and wait... If you are smart enough, you can create your own homebrew c++ adaptation and compiler making it near impossible to hack your client.

Price? Nothing in this world is free... Look at the opensource SSL tool that has recently been in the news for a major exploit called heartbleed. A lot of people paid the price for that. Also, another reason in support of closed source.

Paying them money allows them to develop more content and make the platform better. Some one said to me once "LL are making all this money from servers. Why do they need to charge for premium. Why not just make all accounts the same and free" Easy answer..... Gross != Net. They need to make money, they need to make their investors happy. Besides... The monthly fee is the cost of a cinema ticket. 1 nights entertainment = 1 months entertainment.

I for one am looking forward to this new Virtual World. As a content creator my self it is a beautiful clean slate. A world where I will be the first. Where I will be able to create something no one else has and actually be able to make money from it. At least, until some one steals my work and undercuts me. At which point I make some thing new and better. Basically, I get over it and don't dwell on inevitability.

Peace out.

Sounds Turner

I think if you're going to release a new world on the public, it needs to be ready for its users to get interactive and start making money and doing other virtual activities, just like SL, if they have to wait for technology, they'll find something else.
I really like the concept behind HTML5 and WebGL, for example, CloudParty, although I don't think it really took off, the idea of a world without the need to download a client is important and the way forward, to attract more users.
I've been keeping an eye on a few new projects including High Fidelity, it really is in it's early stages, from what I've seen, it doesn't look like anything is going to be ready for some time.
I'm all for new technologies, looking forward to see what the next level will offer us virtual enthusiasts..
I remember back in the days of Cyber Town, probably the biggest mistake they made was passing ownership, then the new owners slapped a subscription on everyone and any old members that didn't pay lost everything they created including their accounts, SL popped up then and took control in a way no other virtual world has, and offered it's residents the tools to build the world around them. If any world can do that or better then I'm interested.. if it takes a monster pc to run it like that blue moon project a few years back, then nobody will use it because they can't access it!
See you around the metaverse!

Sounds Turner

I forgot to add,
Take open sims for example,
As if we didn't know from the start, land in SL is way over priced, you can get the same quality for a fraction of the cost outside SL, just proves land could be a lot cheaper, but maybe they just considered the working force behind it, the fact that creators will be making a lot of money and can afford it, because the average Joe couldn't come into SL even to date, and buy a sim for themselves, unless they have the skills to turn it into a business and make a decent profit from it.

Sounds Turner

I forgot to add,
Take open sims for example,
As if we didn't know from the start, land in SL is way over priced, you can get the same quality for a fraction of the cost outside SL, just proves land could be a lot cheaper, but maybe they just considered the working force behind it, the fact that creators will be making a lot of money and can afford it, because the average Joe couldn't come into SL even to date, and buy a sim for themselves, unless they have the skills to turn it into a business and make a decent profit from it.

nimh

I really really REALLY hope they put some effort into the performance this time

the performance was...ok I won´t talk around a lot, it was TERRIBLE, simply TERRIBLE

Lash X

I would be curious to try it out. While there is sentimental value in what I've made in SL, I did feel like my hands were tied with the introduction of sculpties and mesh. I'm an instant gratification type, I liked building in world because I saw immediately how the prims interacted with the environment. It was distracting to continue to create things in-world knowing I could make it "better" if only I gave in and used a program outside of SL. But then the immersion is lost. For me, the sandbox was the canvas not a mere spot to upload what I already worked on elsewhere.

Right now, I feel my self expression at SL has become stunted. I want to contribute. But not if it means having to "build" outside of the very world I was trying to use as a canvas and was itself a source of inspiration. So yes, I'm cautiously optimistic. I just don't know if I fall in their definition of content creator.

If it brings back that romanticized virtual presence I felt back in 2004, where I watch and act out through my avatar, and build around myself, then I'm there.

Raya

Maybe some ppl see this as a great way to start over...all I see is a greedy company trying to find more ways to rip us off.
All the time and money we have already put into our avatars will have been a waste, when does that become a good idea???
Unless everything I have bought and paid for comes with my avatar, including her name and inventory, SL 2.0 can suck it!

John Goodson

SL 2.0 may not have main land property, only sims

AlexanderD Schumann

Ok then, where should I apply to be hired and make this revolution? I believe this is the point... LL should pay us, "secondlifers with a history" which joined SL before Spring 2007 {like me} and loved the evolution of the viewer up to the 3 {notwithstanding all the old flaws - since 2007 group chats still suck! - and the recent flaws like "freezin'n'crashing" everytime I try to open preference or to get the options like offering tps and selecting the options to upload a mesh... apart that nothing more to complain, small flaws now and then are just small details for firestormers}.
I believe in SL and its potential since then and still I believe in it... SL is the next revolution in social community and with the new Second Life I beg LindenLab to get straight into that direction never looking back for all gods sake!!! I just hope then, as a content creator myself, to get powerful inworld tools for builders, and for a top-notch avatar default mesh as well... is it just dreaming?

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