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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

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Keystone Bouchard

Why not double down on a triple-A, next generation world with that "huge cash reserve" instead of letting it whither away?

They've solved so many really tough problems over the years - much more than we're aware of, or give them credit for. No other company is in a better position to take this to the next level, yet they're going to let it idle indefinitely. What a shame.

HUGE mistake and missed opportunity, imho.

Hitomi Tiponi

Letting it idle a bit for a few years while LL improve the stability of the core product (and throw in a few goodies even now and then) may be a good tactic. In a few years we will have widespread 4G access and much more powerful mobile devices that will run SL or a subset of it pretty well.

And let's not forget that LL is still delivering a lot of stuff in Second Life, though as much is related to stability and bug fixes it isn't always headline grabbing (if they bothered telling to us at all).

Ezra

Pretty much.

Linden Lab has been really proud and boastful about their profits the last few years, but entirely sheepish and reserved when it comes to acting on, or even talking about Second Life's biggest issues. Rod's long since wrote off talking about tier, or starting over with the viewer and doing much more than adding point to click, and plain ignores Linden Lab embarassments like a kickstarter being necessary to give mesh it's best purpose.

Second Life is in maintenance mode. The non-communication, non-explanations of not making sure SL9B and SLCC happened, the non-commitment of resources to work on much besides what reduces Linden Lab's datacenter costs, etc. All of that amounts to Second Life being in maintenance mode and Linden Lab coasting tier payers and their customers for as long as they allow it.

It's Linden Lab's gamble though. Of their experiments, hopefully for them at least one becomes a giant success before the same exponential curve of growth Second Life had reappears as a curve of loss. Or at least I hope they understand growth isn't the only thing that happens on a curve and then teetering, losses tend to teeter and then a plummeting curve.

shockwave yareach

Giving the programming teams more focus -- good.
Firing all customer support so that nobody answers any calls at all -- bad.

LL's customer service is the pits. Not even private island owners who get concierge treatment can get hold of anyone for any reason.

The only thing that LL could be doing that I would consider a good use of the energy and time is creating SL2, which will fix all the limitations of current SL while expanding its capabilities and making it a base system for new game companies to create games with. Just imagine, creating an idea for a new video game and having it deployed in only a couple of months because you have a base architecture and server farms already in place. And people could then move from game to game with their friends. And when the battle is over, they can teleport to the club of choice and relax with their buddies.

A beautiful dream. But somehow, I don't think anyone is left at LL with the vision to dream big like this anymore.

A.J.

Second Life has been a brilliant product in the hands of fools.

Second life isn't "just a game" for a whole lot of people. It's a part of our life that will live with us until we don't live anymore. Even if someone flips the off switch permanently, my avatar is a part of me forever.

This is a very powerful product. It's a rare opportunity for any company to create a product with such a dedicated, addicted user base. There is plenty of work to keep the owners busy and plenty of rewards for their work.

Second Life has has so much opportunity for growth, but you have to get into the world to see it. This is where decisions about the future of Second Life and LL should be made. But people still insist that they know best how to run the world from Uranus.

Arcadia Codesmith

Turning the full codebase and development responsibilities over to the community wouldn't be the worse thing that could happen. There are some unique security and integration challenges to that approach, but it'd get things away from the stagnation of corporate hierarchy and back to a more laboratory feel.

Keystone Bouchard

The fact that the Lab seems to be treating SL like it's fading away and they need to move on and diversity with their collective 'meh' attitude toward SL is infuriating.

Incremental improvements will only go so far. Even if they fix every bug, it's still the same clunky mess.

In many ways, we earned their cash.. We were all out there evangelizing, developing, pushing the boundaries, testing new ideas, innovating - and also waiting.. and waiting.. and waiting for the technology to improve astride our persistent, unprecedented investment of creative input. Yet, it idles..and idles, and even when some new feature does finally come along, its implemented poorly with an embarrassing lack of support. To this day, I log in to a gray goo mess that never fully rezzes with my avatar's hat stuck to my knee and a boot coming out of my ass, half-naked, can't teleport - I mean seriously!? This has been going on for years now! Are these really problems that just can't possibly be solved? C'mon..

There are so many brilliant things about SL. Things that have the potential to be tremendously disruptive and powerful - empowering even. I feel like we underestimate that potential, and it seems abundantly clear that the Lab, or the investors behind the Lab, or whoever keeps holding back the reins is perpetually undervaluing the tremendous power and potential of what SL has proven is possible.

All of this said, I have a huge amount of confidence in Rod. I think he has exactly what it will take to build this, perhaps more than any other, but maybe he needs more room - maybe some additional freedom, or access to more funds, or needs to raise some money. I don't know... These new projects are moderately interesting, but we want a metaverse - not another game.

Whatever the case may be, we need a clean slate. Build on what worked, throw out what failed. We need a triple-A approach to the next generation. We need $70 million and 800 developers to build a next-gen chassis from the ground up - whatever it takes! If OpenSim devs can rally to build it, even better! One way or another, we need to get this thing in motion on a much grander scale and at a much faster pace, so we can finally get back to work on the virtual frontier.

Think big! It's not (quite) dead yet. =)

Lani Global

Bob Komin's tenure at Linden Lab coincides with the decline in SL concurrency.

Possibly more than just an odd coincidence?

Little Lost Linden

"Whatever the case may be, we need a clean slate. Build on what worked, throw out what failed. We need a triple-A approach to the next generation. We need $70 million and 800 developers to build a next-gen chassis from the ground up - whatever it takes!"

I say, start over with the Unreal 4 Engine as the base. The possibilities would be endless. Maybe somebody needs to do a Kickstarter or something. Of course, I've already titled it. It will be called HardCore World...

Liam Kitty

@Keystone Bouchard "To this day, I log in to a gray goo mess that never fully rezzes..."

The bugs you describe are either so long dead it's not even funny or entirely down to defunct TPV hackery.

Get the official client and PICTURES OR IT NEVER HAPPENED.

@Little Lost Linden

The SL render engine is actually very efficient.

You can't have a prebaked 3D world and dynamic content creation at the same time. You can't make SL with Unreal or .

Why do you think Blue Mars was entirely offline creation ONLY.

Put another way, it's like the difference between a web-page and a picture of a web-page.

Second Life is the real deal, the problem is that it allows everyone to build, and only a very small percentage of builders have the skills required to product professional triple-a visuals. It really is more to do with the artist than the box of paints at this point.

foneco zuzu

A.J, wish LL board was wiser as your post!

Keystone Bouchard

I have a *really* hard time believing Second Life couldn't be dramatically improved if it were rebuilt from scratch.

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