Monday, October 13, 2014
Top Seven New World Notes Posts Last Week
- This Guy is Live Coding Virtual Reality While Inside Virtual Reality - Similar Feature Being Developed for High Fidelity
- Hey ASUS, I Fixed Your Incredibly Offensive Gamer Ad
- Dear Tech Industry (and Beyond): Here's One Easy Trick to Avoid Making Yet Another Offensive Ad
- Simicide: Help Me Commit the Most Efficient Virtual Murder That The Sims 4 Has Ever Seen
- Half of Second Life's 50 Most Popular Sims Now Adult-Rated: A Lesson for Second Life 2
- Popular Second Life Furniture Brand *Art Dummy Closing its Doors Next Week
- SL 2 to Launch Without Shared First-Time User Experience
Friday, October 10, 2014
SL 2 to Launch Without Shared First-Time User Experience
Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg recently dropped some hints about its follow-up to Second Life in an in-world interview for the "Designing Worlds in Second Life" show. You can watch the video below, which is mainly about SL, but Nalates Urriah took extensive notes, and here's the key point about SL2:
For SL2 they are developing toward user created experiences and will thus bypass a uniform path for all new users. So, the concept of a single entry door for SL will vanish. The Lab will provide retention data to experience owners. They will let designers compare their experience retention to other experiences, designs, methods, and retention rates. With solid objective data flowing back to the designers, it may be possible to find the magic combination.
I'm a bit skeptical that's the best way to launch a new world, but maybe there's more going on here. Anyway, this weekend, watch the 90 minute video below and share your thoughts in Comments:
Master Second Life Image Artist Whiskey Monday is Back
After a long absence from blogging her marvelous SL images which we loved so much we profiled her here, Ms. Whiskey Monday is back and blogging them again. This excerpt above is from a much larger image which you'll want to see bigger. Seriously, embiggenate.
And there's even more good news:
Join the DX Club for Special L$ Sale & SL Content Offers
DX Club is the special membership group for DX Exchange, one of the top third-party re-sellers of Linden Dollars (a sponsoring partner for this blog), which now has over 6000 members, and has regular special SL content offers -- some we'll be announcing here soon -- discounts on L$ purchases, a special tell-a-friend voucher campaign, and more. Registration is free, and no personal info besides an e-mail address is required. Go here to sign up.
Popular Second Life Furniture Brand *Art Dummy Closing its Doors Next Week
*Art Dummy, a beloved niche furniture and decor brand in Second Life, will be closing its doors next week. Designer Gala Charron announced the closure a few days ago on Flickr and on her blog, writing:
It is with deep regret that I am closing *Art Dummy! I've been struggling for a long time with "artist's block". In addition I've been grappling with a chaotic first life. The main store will close next Wednesday, October 15. I hope to return one day.
If you're unfamiliar with the brand, Gala's work with *Art Dummy is often easy to spot -- and well worth looking at...
Get Ready for Halloween by Looking at These Gruesome NBA 2K15 Face Scanning Errors
While face scanning technology may be gaining momentum as a tool for customizing player avatars, it seems like the process is still very far from foolproof. The face scanning in newly-released NBA 2K15 in particular has been getting a lot of attention for some of its more monstrous interpretations of player faces, some of which could absolutely pass for Halloween masks.
Naturally people are having a very good time sharing the very best of the worst face scans. Operation Sports shared the haunting compilation above, while over on Gamespot you can find a video of how several of their staff members look through the NBA 2K15 lens. Sometimes it works well, sometimes... Less so. Even some of the better examples occasionally cover the avatars in strange bruises and smears, like the player spawned by Giant Bomb.
So what's going wrong here? A few things...
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Half of Second Life's 50 Most Popular Sims Now Adult-Rated: A Lesson for Second Life 2
According to Louis Platini's Metaverse Business, a Second Life analytics company that gathers publicly accessible in-world data for its clients, here's the top 50 most popular sims in Second Life for last month, listed by their average visitor count, unique visitor range at any given period, and the sim's rank the previous month. In September, this listing saw a very peculiar milestone, spotted for the first time since I've been referring to this data:
Half of the top 50 most popular Second LIfe sims are Adult-rated, so designated for extremely graphic sexual and violent content.
I've been reporting on top SL sims since 2011, and up to now, Adult-rated sims have consistently hovered somewhere near the 30% point. In recent months, however, that evidently changed.
Now, Adult-rated doesn't necessarily mean porn. If Game of Thrones were turned into an official Second Life sim, the explicit sex and violence of the HBO series would easily earn it an Adult rating, even though it's very much considered mainstream entertainment. That said, most of the Adult-rated sim names reference prostitution, extreme sex acts, and (of course), furry sex. (Top sims 26-50, displayed after the break, are not even safe for work viewing.) Though general enthusiasm over Second Life has waned, it appears, virtual sex continues to attract an avid audience.
As Linden Lab develops Second Life 2, there's an important lesson to be learned here:
Simicide: Help Me Commit the Most Efficient Virtual Murder That The Sims 4 Has Ever Seen
On October 1st a new patch launched for The Sims 4, and with it came the first of several planned free content additions to the game. Ghosts (which become playable sims when they join a household) along with a set of Star Wars themed costumes were added, with more long-lamented features like pools promised in similar patches in the future, rather than the paid expansions they were expected to come in. It's a pleasant surprise, and a welcome gesture of goodwill towards a community that often feels used.
Naturally I've wanted to take the newly added ghosts out for a spin. So did a friend of mine, who streamed her attempts to kill a sim version of herself so that she could become a super cool ghost. After catching on fire (and surviving) at some point her sim just spontaneously transformed into an urn full of ashes -- no drama, no tragedy, and no Reaper. She got what she wanted (to become a ghost member of her old household) but it was rather anti-climactic, as if the game was saying "You want this sim dead that badly? Fine."
So I want to do better. I want to write about ghosts in The Sims 4, but before that I want to devise the most efficient, foolproof, engine of sim death that I can. And I need your help to do it.
Consider Kickstarting: Neotopia, Virtual World with Citizenship/Voting Rights for PS4 from Sony Home Vets
neotopia is a new virtual world project for Playstation 4 on Kickstarter; let's take a look, shall we?
Led by game industry veterans David Dow and Ed Gladwin, who both worked on the recently closed Sony Home, the world comes with a lot of themed areas (steampunk, zombie, etc.), virtual currency and customizable apartments, and for Kickstarters, a voice in the world's direction:
Have a voice and help shape the world! Citizens will be able to vote on upcoming features and content in world and via the internet. Secure your citizenship, get exclusive items and get voting now via the £30 pledge or earn your citizenship post-release.
Looks like fun, especially for PS4 owners craving for some virtual world action, though like Sony Home, there's one big missing piece of the puzzle: