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Wednesday, September 21, 2011


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Emma Geraln (@EmmaGeraln)

hmmmm... we'll see...


What will the Zindra achievements be called?

Will there be one for 'capping' a blingtard?
- Can I get my 'group' to have extra land perks if I can farm killing 20,000 blindtards?

Will there be an exploration badge for clicking every clickable thing in Bay City?

Where are my orcs and elves at so I can go hunting?

Somehow I think the idea is just not the right angle...

SL -is- a game in my opinion, but its not that kind of game. They might be better off looking at why so many people buy Sims...


I already create gaming system.


You can make Quest. And you can play Quest in the secondlife.

If you clear some Quest, you can get next rank.

Saffia Widdershins

There are already games in Second Life that do this. Tiny Empires. Bloodlines. So it's not that it COULD work in Second Life ... it is already working for people who want it.

While people who want combat roleplay go elsewhere (and wear their HUDs and meters). As do people who want freeform roleplay.

Other people want to breed the rarest horse or cat or chicken ...

And other people want to hang out with friends at clubs ... or go to art exhibitions or join writing groups or reading groups ...

Second Life already contains a multiplicity of games and game systems for those who want them - supporting those is a better way forward than trying to impose a one-size-fits-all model.

Hamlet Au

The trouble with opt-in systems is that very few people use them, relative to the total userbase and especially not relative to the 300K monthly new users who aren't even in SL long enough to find and benefit from them. That's why you need to make a larger meta gaming system that's opt-out. One idea some Lindens are considering is making it possible to add Bloodlines/etc. levels and achievements *to* a larger meta system. Because then that also helps with social discovery of new content.That would rock.

Johnny alt

Adding MORE gaming systems to Secondlife is not going to improve concurrency.

When tier cost is so high anything and everything, all activities, gaming included are stifled.

With the current onerous and resident killing tier costs Secondlife gaming systems have no chance of improving concurrency because nobody can afford the land to play the games on. And any serious role playing games need multi sims to create an MMO-like experience of 'other worlds' and 'Places'.

Currently there is no chance of this happening - it's just too expensive.

Imagine if it was 300 USD per month to play WOW.

MMO style Gaming experiences for Secondlife is a pipe dream without a serious reduction in tier

QueenKellee Kuu

I think a built in gaming system would encourage and grow outside creator made game systems (and would encourage their adoption by more ppl) as it would make gaming aspects a more core part of the SL experience. When that happens, that's when communities grow and sub niches extend off those. Then some gamers get hooked on creating games they build and sell, creating a much bigger massive game community in SL. I think this area has is a huge untapped potential for SL.

Johnny alt

Rosedale talks like Secondlife is ok. It's not ok.

People are leaving, concurrency is weak and slipping.

Same thing with the grid - shrinking. And the failure to convert the thousands of people who try Secondlife everyday is astounding

Wake up Philip. Things are not good and dandy and games will not help.

Reduce tier for goodness sake and give this platform some chance to grow and thrive


A drop in land prices would reverse the trend of disappearing sims, not an achievement for paying tier on time.

More content and a less buggy, more stable and usable viewers will lead to better concurrency, not earning levels for enduring blacked out textures and random crashes.

Adding game mechanics for the sake of doing so is pointless. Certainly, there's a lot Linden Lab can learn from games like the Sims or an MMO, but any idea taken from a game needs to fix a problem.

Case in point, the ease of buying and changing outfits in the Sims. It'd be nice if in Second Life content creators could sell their prims packaged as an outfit folder that'd appear in the customers' Outfit tab upon purchase ready to wear in 1 click. I guarantee that'd go a long way in remedying the issue of the thousands of new registrations that make it as far as equipping a box to their right hand when they were expecting to be wearing a shirt and so they quit in frustration.

Second Life's biggest issues have nothing to do with complacency on our part, and that's all gamifying something ever remedies; coercing we the users into doing more of something.

Leveling, reputation and all that jazz won't change zilch on the grand scale of things. The reason we aren't buying more land is because its too expensive. The reason we get frustrated and stop using Second Life as much is because of viewer bugginess. The reason content creators create less is due to issues like mesh and shared media not being viewable in every viewer, the ridiculous new PE costs tied to mesh, all the old frustrations of the only alternative sculpties that mesh was supposed to fix but can't due to PE. C# being canned and LSL stalling after the layoffs, etc.

I've never brought a friend to Second Life and their most immediate issues were a lack of badges to collect or not knowing where their reputation meter was. It's always centered around how to look as good as others do and not walk funny.

Heck just last night I brought a friend into Second Life who expected her avatar to animate like the one on the registration scene, and so started the crash course in buying animations and equipping an AO.

Most new registrations that arrive to Second Life on their own don't have the help of a patient friend. Leveling up for somehow miraculously figuring out a ZHAO on your own won't help them if they make it that far. Now making buying AOs a buy and you're done deal would actually be improving something.

There's issues abound everywhere. Coercing us to create more and experience more isn't going to make those issues disappear. Spare me the badges and get mesh in EVERY viewer and make it worth it, shave a third or more off tier while you're at it and make life a lot easier for new users so they stop quitting naked with a demo skin on frustrated because they couldn't rez some box their clothes are supposed to come out of.

jo yardley

The only thing I'd like if the system would support something that we all need huds for now.
Especially for some of the roleplay stuff.
A more realistic damage system (fall off roof, get hit by car, get shot, you fall over and are 'dead' for a few minutes or so).
Roleplaying is a big part of SL, it is the ONLY thing I care about in SL.
So anything that will help us roleplayers with that would be fab.

Tateru Nino

Mesh imports and game-mechanics certainly didn't do much for Metaplace. Also, previous attempts at similar mechanics in Second Life apparently did more harm than good. So, I'm skeptical.

Ehrman Digfoot

It may rub some content developers the wrong way, but I agree with jo and Ezra, developing official viewer side versions of features we already use: (viewer side AO with better default animations, viewer side HUD, and better Damage mechanics) would help keep new users. It would probably contribute to a more stable and consistent viewer experience and environment overall. I seem to remember an NWN article from a year ago with a video of storm troopers being thrown and tossed about . . . some really sophisticated avatar animation and physics. What happened to that?

Vooper Werribee

Does Apple develop apps for the iPhone? No, it works to ensure the useability of the iPhone is second to none and manages the app store so that apps are easily discoverable.
As a game developer in SL, I'd love to see the things the make SL games 'clunky' improved - and that is something that Linden Lab is in the best position to do. Integration of HUDs and game features directly into the client, one click outfit wearing and improving ease of animation management (as mentioned by Ehrman above) would all be great directions to follow. Getting into the business of 'app' development rather than UI improvement would be a poor utilisation of resources for LL, in my opinion.


"300,000 or so people still try Second Life every month, but most of them leave"

That's not a surprise with a user unfriendly viewer like the v2. No one gives a chance to a game with such a non ergonomic viewer.

Adromaw Lupindo


Nahasa Singh

Wait until mesh becomes realistic enough for sex anims interaction. Think of the gaming possibilities...

I agree with Minty, the V2 interface should be scrapped and its designers and approvers should be made an example. Not that I care much, I've been on Imprudence since the v2 release.

A bit O/T... Interesting article in The Atlantic, "The Ruins of Dead Social Networks", mostly about BBS's but with some jabs to SL in the comments.

Metacam Oh

This reminds me of how after all the lawmakers are retired they are for marijuana legalization. It's like too bad you weren't just in a position to do something about it...

Lindens continue to crawl at snail pace.

Metacam Oh

This reminds me of how after all the lawmakers are retarded they are for marijuana legalization. It's like too bad you weren't just in a position to do something about it...

Lindens continue to crawl at snail pace.

Metacam Oh

Hahah woops meant to say retired, not retarded, sorry.

Rin Tae

Now of course SL did had something like this already. And not only me, but actualyl many people applouded loudly when it was abondoned since it quickly become so badly gamed and non saying that it has lost all sense.

So that brings the problem of how a SL leveling system would actually work with all the different things to do in SL. There is no number of quests to fulfill, no gold to collect and monsters to kill (besides specific games inside SL but not everyone plays it or has a interest in them) not everyone is a builder and could get points for this and the only metric that comes to mind that would allow for some dort of comparsion between everybody is the size of the inventory ... and I am not sure we shoud give out points for that ;P

It is of course also understandable why Phillip would think of a leveling system to be a good idea since he has to push his new plans and need to describe even the most silly thing invovled in it as the best idea since sliced bread. But then, a leveling system makes some sense for it. I doubt however it makes sense for SL.

At least not when he just says 'oh .. levels! it would be nice' without explaining about how this is actually going to work since one of the last things SL needs would be the return of the old, silly point giving system that has already been prooven to be silly and doing much more harm then good.

Arcadia Codesmith

I think the basic concept is sound. There should be universal systems that are there for public consumption, not private profit.

But reputation systems are a non-starter. One of the prime reasons that The Sims Online went under was the emergence of "mafias" which used the system to extort other players (and developers who thought this was a fascinating social experiment rather than a direct and immediate threat to player recruitment and retention).

Whatever system is created, it ought to make available to resident programmers and designers a more efficient and elegant interface solution that the kludgy prim-based HUD and the primitive menu system.

Ajax Manatiso

Mesh was supposed to bring in tons of new users and be the second coming for secondlife -- but it was a fizzle. No one except a few fanatics cared a lick. The same for gaming. No one joins or stays on SL for sculpties, meshes, or gaming. If they want games, they join WOW. Barking up the wrong tree yet again. What they should do is make built-in speech to text for the viewer so people who are slow or poor typists can be a part of SL. But that would be way too logical for LL.

Robert Graf

Tier Fees are too high. Grandfathered Tier/Reduced Tier should be eliminated. It gives an unfair business advantage to those who have it. 33% min advantage on land tier alone. Do this and SL may at least stabilize. Continue these practices and they continue to loose land owners and active residents(players who spend money inworld). Too many other options available now... SL isn't the only game in town... Opensim being one of them. Plenty of nice builds, really creative folks, and no Linden interference or manipulation. ;)_~~~

Hamlet Au

"But reputation systems are a non-starter. One of the prime reasons that The Sims Online went under was the emergence of 'mafias' which used the system to extort other players"

Yeah, and SL had "rate wars" early on. But watch the full interview, Philip talks about how to architect the system to discourage gaming like that. For example, make the ratings anonymous and make it so that you can rate someone only after you've given them money in a business transaction. All systems can be gamed (Google gets gamed all the time), but there are ways to keep it down to a dull roar.

Rin Tae

"Yeah, and SL had "rate wars" early on. But watch the full interview, Philip talks about how to architect the system to discourage gaming like that. For example, make the ratings anonymous and make it so that you can rate someone only after you've given them money in a business transaction."

Hmmm .. so besides him being extremaly vague abotu any such system in SL the poitns he is citing would mean that most of SL residents would never get into this rating system. The poitns Phillip is citing (who you worked for, what kind of jobs you made, how much moeny you earned) are of course points that works in coffee and power, but for SL they are not usable. Unless it is a merchant only system but we kind of have this already with ratings for bought items on the marketplace.
After all the overwhelming majority of people in SL never work for anyone in SL, never do any jobs for them and never earn any money. So unless such a rating system can be developed into a form that works on thousands of forms of different social interaction, it is going to fail before it starts.

And sadly I still have the vision of the old rating system in my head ... and if that what Phillip said at the start was right and he only had commerce in mind when he started SL, then I don't wonder anymore why I always had the impression, that sometime along the way he (and otehrs at the lab) seemed to have lost the understanding for their product.


SL gets and loses 300K people a month because its a free-to-play-MMO.

Check out any Free to play MMO and the starting zone is always full of people, but the next zone over is usually empty.

If SL wants to stop loosing 300K people a month it needs to charge a fee before you even log in, so it won't get 300K people, and therefore won't lose 300k people... :)

Almost anyone is willing to try something free. But no matter how good something is, they're not likely to stay.

In mass marketing you consider a campaign a great success if you get 4-6% conversions. Send out 100,000 emails and if you get 4,000 purchases you're looking at a promotion. If you get 500, you did well...

By being free, SL is getting 300,000 'hey so what's this then' people who have NO INTEREST in SL before they even know of its problems.

They're just bored in front of their computers so they click a button.

Don't consider it bad if even 299,800 of them don't last past rezzing. Consider it a great success that 100 stayed despite no marketing...

People need to stop thinking of those 300K/month folks as people who were interested in trying SL. They represent not signups, but the 'cloud' to which marketing could be addressed. No matter what is done, no matter how amazing SL might be - getting more than 4-6% of them to even bother to care would be near impossible for any product.


The history of SL is that of a camel, not a race horse. Stop living the narratives.

Hamlet Au

"SL gets and loses 300K people a month because its a free-to-play-MMO."

No, most free-to-play MMOs have way better retention rates than Second Life, around 5-12%, even more if it's a well-known brand. Given that SL hasn't grown much in the last few years, its retention rate is closer to 1%.

Johnny alt

Unfortunately, I say this with great sadness, Secondlife has not grown at all in last few years. In fact, we've had negative growth. This last year the grid has been shrinking and concurrency is weak and slipping.

We may be retaining 1% of the new residents but we're losing more than 1% of existing residents. So there is no growth. Secondlife is in decline.

It's resident killimg tier costs that are to blame for SL's stagnant condition. It very unhealthy for LL to allow this situation to continue.

The main project the Lab should be working on right now is, HOW CAN WE MAKE TIER COSTS CHEAPER ?


Obviously Philip, like a great many of his employees does not get into SL much, if at all, to see that there are already a wealth of games in existence in SL. His comments give the impression that what is needed is some “pro” input. Well I would have to lodge one huge complaint if that were so. Having struggled against all the odds in a totally game unfriendly environment for a good few years, attempting to bring decent looking interesting entertainment to SL, I would not take kindly to people trying to dwarf my humble efforts with imported pre made games. Of course if he were saying that LL would like to add some game mechanics to aid those of us who already struggle with the outdates system that is SL, then I would of course be all for it. But I somehow doubt that, as this interview makes no mention, as it certainly should, of the efforts of those who make SL games and the big contribution they make towards keeping SL from becoming a simple chat room. Anyone who thought, like Phillip, that games do not exist in SL might like to check out KOS, Golgothica or our very soon to be opened Vampire MMORPG Sim based on Venice called Venexia. There you go, bit of unashamed publicity. I thought I might add it as it seems unlikely that LL will ever acknowledge us as even existing.

Moni Duettmann

Are you saying SL should become a game like every other, just to make more money? SL is distinctively different, and that's good! Why attract people, who can't find something to do, when they are not given "rules to play"? All this sounds so much like betrayal of the original idea of SL. I'm not against changes, but they should enhance the basic idea, not transform it into something else. There are lots of other things to improve, that would at least keep the presently active user base at it, if not help to attract more new ones. Like: why not give the users mesh creating tools inworld? That would be great!


I could imagine SL with a leveling system, for example of a social level: gain experience for talking to different other avatars and based on your time in-world.

However I do agree that tier rates currently are making me depressed about being in SL in the first place. Doing something substantial is just hard to do without the cash -and- time to spare.

Dave Bell

I think the introduction of Mesh was badly flawed. For one thing, the Mesh-capable Viewer because a default Viewer when it was still riddled with bugs. For another, they're working on major changes to how prims are counted.

And i think you, and Philip Rosedale, have misunderstood Second Life, big time. It's not a game, it's the stadium. Sometimes you hold a football match, sometimes a rock concert. There are meeting rooms under the stands where you might hold a business conference or a wedding reception, and there's a fancy bar and restaurant behind the expensive boxes for the important people.

There are parts of Linden Lab which do a good job of responding to customer needs and wants. But I don't see any way of resolving the range of customer activities into a single game device.

Arcadia Codesmith

An anonymous reputation system would be even worse than one with names -- griefers could operate with impunity.

I imagine a site like Coffee and Power would be largely immune to grief because the griefers would fall into a deep coma after thirty seconds.

Krinkles Q. Klown

Linden Research Inc. (LRI) is, first and foremost a hosting company. Virtual land is nothing but the renting of resources. A private region is and always was, "you buy the hardware for us and then you get to share the box with 4 other users who also paid for boxes but get to share."

As a hosting company, it has a reputation for lying to its customer base. I believe its customer base has gotten entirely fed up with the "blow smoke up their butts, sunshine and lollipops, tell them how wonderful they are, we're about to screw them over" announcements.

They experienced huge growth and they squandered it. In their never-ending greed for more users, they tried to sell business on the platform for training and meeting purposes. Business didn't buy it. They wasted time, energy, resources, personnel, revenue and capital on these types of hare-brained schemes.

Why wouldn't business buy it? Simple. It was horribly unstable and unreliable. It couldn't be counted on. Business won't schedule a meeting across branch offices potentially worldwide only to see a Grid Status Notice that says logins are shut down due to one problem or another.

All the while treating their current customer base with contempt. Mitch Kapur's SLCC V Keynote address where he alienated most every customer they had in the room is a very good case in point.

Philip Rosedale's opinion, to me, isn't worth a hill of f***in' beans. Since his departure (some say ousting), stability has gone up as whoever is coding the simulator manages to fix some of the inherent problems. There are still JIRA issues 3 years outstanding.

Mesh has finally been introduced. Its adoption is slow. That's to be expected. Users have a lot invested in the "old ways" of doing things. They spent real time learning how to develop sculpties. And mesh is more expensive depending on complexity of object. The simulator calculates the estimated number of prims and treats them as such. Instead of a mesh object being just that, one object consisting one prim, it's equivalent to X prims. There's little savings to building with mesh.

Viewer 1 is to be phased out (also a smart move) but Viewer 2's UI design has to be significantly improved. It's dreadful. It's the worst features of Mac and the Viewer doesn't meet Microsoft standards for the Windows platform (which means they can never put the Windows logo on it). Hell, it doesn't even meet some of Apple's Software standards.

They screwed content creators more than once. By failing to respond adequately and properly to content theft and Copybot, content creators started leaving. How many abandoned products are there in your inventory?

Second Life® is Philip Rosedale's second major failed legacy. You might remember he was CTO of Real Networks? You know, the Interwebz most unused media player? I'm sure Coffee N Buns or whatever the f**k he's calling his latest soon-to-be-hyped piece of s**t is wlll be his third. While he's connected and has made s**tloads of money, he's a failure in my books.

This is no technological leader. This is a dimwit who manages to put together teams to cobble together open source stuff and then gouge the s**t out of his customers. Lie, connive, don't live up to what you say, change the rules to suit yourself, and never quite reach your high falutin' goals is the legacy of Philip Rosedale and SL®.

Adding gaming elements to SL® might make it more mass-market interesting. It's on The Treadmill heading for the Death Rattle. Every KPI is pointing at it. Concurrency is showing it. Time per user is showing it. The shrinkage in ownership in virtual land (hosting fees) are showing it. The reduction in staff is showing it. The cutting of service is showing it. The general animosity of the customer base is showing it.

Fact is, no one I know in-world actually trusts LRI. They trust them to make the wrong decisions, screw over whomever they can, and make excuses for their failures to execute and serve their customers. LRI serves the interests of its Board. LRI served the interests of Philip Rosedale to the deteriment of its customers.

And yes, I'm in-world. Yes, I operate an in-world business that makes more than $10 a month. And yes, I'm firmly convinced SL® is heading for Death Rattle under past and present management. They well and truly slayed the goose that laid the golden eggs.

I'll stay in it as long as it's of benefit to me to do so. The second it's not, I'll sell off the elements I can of my virt-biz so whomever is left using my products isn't left high and dry.

Penny Patton

Rather than turning SL into a game of some sort my position has always been that LL should develop the tools for creating games within SL further.

I should be able to buy a sim and turn it into an online shooter or an MMO, complete with achievements and whatnot.

Instead, 6 years after I joined SL we still don't have NPC support.

Also, good game dev support would involve good visual design support, something LL is horrendously bad at. They'd need to provide better avatar creation tools, stabilize the scale issue, provide better ways to animate environments etcetera.


I see no harm in adding gaming systems to SL. Since these games are optional, having more options is always better.

shockwave yareach

*Simplify the TOS to "Don't be seen having virtual intercourse from any public road in M, and no virtual intercourse at all is permitted on PG. And SOBusinesses are restriced to Adult continents/islands only." Simple.

SL only has entertainment value at the moment. And the costs for this entertainment are way too high, and the entertainment much too limited under the tomes of the TOS. Cut the costs, sell us a product, and leave us the heck alone to enjoy it!

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