Tuesday, February 04, 2014
It Might Be Hard to Make Friends After the Zombie Apocalypse According to This Darkly Humorous DayZ Blog
As I'm sure most of our readers already know first-hand, online environments are a great place to meet new friends and socialize, but they're also excellent incubators for conflict. Monster-infested online first-person shooters are no exception.
Zombie survival simulator DayZ started its life as a user-created mod for ARMA 2, but its popularity lead to it becoming its own fully-fledged standalone game, and within that game you can find the best and worst of humanity. All the highs and lows of social interaction, both online and offline, are amplified in when resources are scarce and enemies are abundant. That's what makes hey are you cool, a Tumblr logging one player's social exchanges in DayZ, so novel and so horrifying all at once.
Take one of my favorite entries, for example:
Monday, February 03, 2014
Philip Rosedale Next Virtual Reality-Based World Aiming for 100 Millisecond Latency
Mitch Wagner has a good InformationWeek interview with Philip Rosedale on the virtual reality world technology he's building in High Fidelity, some of which I've seen but can only coyly talk about here right now. Biggest thing that jumped out to me was this line:
"The systems that are using 3D online worlds like Second Life or World of Warcraft, they're typically up at about 500 ms. Those systems are markedly impacted," Rosedale says. "Our goal with Hi-Fi is to be down around the 100 ms point or less. This piece is working well."
That's a bold statement, which I'm making bold for that very reason. Because by way of comparison, 100 milliseconds is literally less than the blink of an eye, which clocks in at something like a slow-ass 300ms. But like I said before:
SL Subreddit Seeking Second Life - Suggestions Sought
This is a new thread on the /secondlife subreddit to improve that Reddit community, which has grown somewhat inactive lately, drowned out by self-promotional submissions and subsequent downvotes. The moderator (and ex-Linden) Qarl is in the thread taking suggestions, so if you're a Redditor, now's a good time to get involved.
As an occasional /secondlife visitor, I'd say the community needs more subscribers submitting more SL-related content over and above their own content... and upvoting high-quality submissions from others, whether they're self-promoted or not. Because Reddit is a community driven by karmic ratings, and very few people on Reddit historically upvote or downvote, what's really needed is a small group of active, community-minded SL users to create a virtuous feedback loop on Reddit: As high quality content is upvoted, more high quality content is submitted, which in turn attracts more subscribers, who in turn submit more high quality content. But without that passionate sub-sub community, no mechanical tweaking is likely to succeed.
Hack the Super Bowl: How A Video Game Predicted the Seahawks' Victory in the Most Broken Way Possible
Though I'm not much of a football fan, I'm a huge fan of Jon Bois' Breaking Madden, a column about using and abusing all the systems available in the latest Madden game to hilarious effect. Glitches, exploits, and dramatic retellings are the bread and butter of Breaking Madden, so Bois probably wasn't expecting to predict the winners of this year's Super Bowl so closely when he began planning his feature's grotesque season finale. And yet...
He'd decided on a pretty simple formula. One team would have their skills and stats maxed, the other zeroed out completely. He asked readers to donate to a charity of their choice in order to register their vote for which team should be buffed up. The Seahawks won that vote by a hair, but in Madden 25 as in reality, they won the game itself by a significantly larger margin. Seven-foot-tall man-beasts filled the field in opposition to what looked like a childen's hospital youth league, and the brutal, ridiculous moments that followed are preserved as some of the most entertaining animated gifs you will ever see.
I won't spoil the best moments here, so if you're looking for a very hearty Monday laugh, be sure to check out the Breaking Madden Super Bowl, as well as the entire season of Breaking Madden on SBNation.
Top Five New World Notes Posts from Last Week
- As We Wait for Linden Lab to Speak About Rod Humble, Let Us Speak About What Rod Humble Did for Linden Lab
- One of the Biggest Battles in MMO History Cost Participants $300K in Real Money -- Here's How
- Relax: Rod Humble Leaves Linden Lab, But Second Life Steams On (With Surprises Still on the Way)
- Elder $crolls Online: Zenimax Forces ESO Fans to Pay More to Play as Popular Race in Their Upcoming MMO
- Second Life Website Still Strong in Traffic, Says SimilarWeb
Friday, January 31, 2014
SL Universe: The Most Popular Site for Second Life Opinion?
Since I'm researching the most influential Second Life blog sites for an upcoming project, I just hit HyperGrid's post about that topic, which in turn sent me searching on SimilarWeb, and to a corollary query: What's the most popular, third party site for Second Life opinion? There I'd say it's not a blog but a messaging board - SL Universe.
According to SimilarWeb, SL Universe gets monthly visits in the low six figures, and that's no surprise. Founded by longtime SLer Cristiano Midnight (who I met in SL way back in my Linden days), it's become so influential even ex-Linden CEO Rod Humble used to get involved there.
That's mostly why SL Universe is so popular with SLers, though according to SimilarWeb, there's another reason:
Play It This Weekend: How Do You Do It?, An Earnest Little Browser Game Evoking Gone Home... And Titanic
Tomorrow is the first day of February, the one month of the year where you likely won't be able to go more than a day without hearing about love. There might be no better month to play How Do You Do It?, a short and painfully sincere browser-based game made for the recent Global Game Jam by a team of just four people.
When you're young, love has a lot more to do with what you see in movies and on TV than anything else. Transport yourself back to the late '90s, and imagine that you're a young girl with two dolls and a few fleeting moments to herself one afternoon. You recently saw Titanic, and it raised a few questions in your mind. Namely, how exactly do you do it? You'll use the WASD keys to position your arms, J and K to rotate each of the dolls, and eventually fumble your way to the truth. Maybe?
It'll take about five minutes of your time to play what is so far one of the most charming and earnest games of 2014. Just be sure to reach the end and check out your "score".
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Second Life Website Still Strong in Traffic, Says SimilarWeb
The official Second Life website has been gaining traffic over the last six months according to SimilarWeb, a well-designed, new-ish Internet analytics site, and is still among the most popular sites on the web, with 16.5 million visits last month. Average time on site is over 12 minutes, which I can tell you is seriously impressive. (By contrast, Battle.net, the official portal for World of Warcraft and Blizzard's other games, has a time on site average of just under 7 minutes.)
Also notable is where visitors are mainly going when they hit the Second Life site:
Elder $crolls Online: Zenimax Forces ESO Fans to Pay More to Play as Popular Race in Their Upcoming MMO
When does a "Collector's Edition" bonus cross the line from being a collector's perk to non-collector's punishment? That's what The Elder Scrolls Online has me wondering after pre-orders went live this week, blocking off one of the series' most prominent races for everyone without $79.99 to drop on the upcoming MMORPG.
Just imagine if World of Warcraft 2 came out and did the same thing with Night Elves.
Given the shakey nature of many contemporary big-budget MMORPGs (and the fact that ESO is already in a precarious position due to the M rating it received from the ESRB,) irritating the fanbase with something this brazen doesn't seem smart. It wasn't even remotely necessary, either. Here's why: