What’s Gonna Happen?

I don’t know.

Thank you and good night.

I’m in a silly mood today. So of course it’s a perfect time to present my views on the fate of Second Life As We Know It and Virtual Worlds In General (read: Those Other Virtual Worlds That We Have Heard May Exist…and That OpenSim Thingy too.) following last month’s disclosure that Linden Lab has been working on The Next Big Virtual Thing.

Let me give you my analysis in a nutshell:

I don’t know.

Thank you and good night.

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Oh, that’s not enough for a blog piece?

Hmmm……

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Really. I just don’t know.

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How can anyone know? Linden Lab can’t even know. They might think they know. They certainly used to think so. They might be smart enough now to know they don’t know…I just don’t know.

There’s a lot of things could happen. You don’t need me to list all of ‘em, do you? I didn’t think so. I’ll just touch on a couple is all, k?

A possible outcome that doesn’t receive much discussion: LL may fall on its face with its new product – wouldn’t be the first time – and then cling to SL for dear life. Which may or may not work out for SL.

One common scenario is for a company with a money-making product to announce a new but related product…and for that new product to become successful and the older one to be phased out.

But in the virtual world world,

(i know it looks funny, as in odd…but it sounds funny, as in funny)

or the world of virtual worlds if you will,

(and even if you won’t)

the defenders of Second Life As We Know It and of Linden Lab proclaimed that this common scenario Will Not Happen.

Really? It’s outside the realm of possibility? Gee for a person who plays in virtual worlds, you don’t have much of an imagination, do you?

But some could prove this Will Not Happen. The proof: Linden Lab Said So.

Oh, well then. End of discussion, I guess. The Great and Powerful Lab Has Spoken!

Linden Lab’s obligatory, “we will continue to support and improve our current product and the two will some day sit proudly, side-by-side (with some minor AO and Sit script adjustments)” was taken as gospel. If Linden is saying it, then it is True.

The real truth is, LL would be saying that whether it was True or not. That’s how it commonly happens anyway. Heck, even if they’re telling the truth it doesn’t mean they won’t change their mind later. It might even be the smart thing to do. (Or are you saying LL isn’t smart? Well, you may have a point there…but they could change their mind for stupid reasons too. I think we’ve seen that in the past. I could cite examples if you like?)

But anyone who questions the Word of Linden or even suggests that there are a number of possible outcomes must be a Communist From OpenSim.

Announcer: Time now for Today’s Digression…with Danko Whitfield…

My dear friends, I’m just a simple Capitalist From Second Life (although I have more recently associated with Communists From OpenSim but also with Capitalists From OpenSim – yes, Virginia, there really are such people. I know! – and I even associate with the Politics? WTF!? I’m Trying To Get 0.7.6 To Let Me HG To 0.8, Using A Hacked Mac Version Of SoaS! – GTF OUTTA MY WAY! – types as well. Are you still with me? (whispers: Where am I? SW corner? Again! Lemme see those coordinates. Damn it, Jim!)  Ahem…

let’s see…something about Capitalists…k, that one got away from me… Take 2…

My dear friends, I grew up in Second Life but I now live in OpenSim as well. What a great combination they are! A lot of stuff is just exactly the same. After that, most people seem to focus on which one is better at this or worse at that or doesn’t have this or that, etc. etc. etc. Yes, yes, that’s all very nice. Arguing in the forums does seem to make the night go by faster, I suppose. Let me know if you ever solve anything over there, k? Never a discouraging word, right!? Ahhh, forums.

But for me, it all boils down to this with Second Life and OpenSim: Each of them allows an average person to do things they could not possibly do in the other. All the rest of the noise you hear… Is noise.

Announcer: And that concludes Today’s Digression. For a transcript, see above.

So yes, I am an OpenSimmer as I am a Second Lifer. I would like them both to rock on forever and a day! But I realize that might not happen. And that The Next Big Virtual Thing might come along and blow Second Life and OpenSim outta the water and onto the scrap heap (or archive).

I don’t want to see either of them go away. I’m rooting for SL. And for The Next Big Virtual Thing. And for OpenSim. And for Any Other Version Of Virtual Worlds That Floats My Scripted Boat.

But that is not going to get in the way of my understanding that the answer to the question What’s Gonna Happen? in regards to virtual worlds is:

I don’t know.

And neither does anybody else.

But hey, that’s what makes for adventure!

I’m just hangin’ on tight and ridin’ for as long as I can.

C’mon! Let’s go have fun!!

 

What It Is

k…I’m tired of the constant “SL sucks because…” or “OpenSim sucks because…” or “Such-and-Such grid sucks because…” …from the same people over and over and over and over and over again. And the righteous indignation and gleeful boasting of “I don’t go there anymore”  – which is often a lie in fact.

Maybe some grid does suck. More likely it’s the managers of that grid or part of the management. Or it might suck because of other users.

k, you don’t like that grid. Are you ever going to get over it? Or are you just going to bore the hell out of all of us until the point that we pay you no attention anymore?

My advice is: get a grip.

Or maybe even: grow up.

cuz guess what?

RL sucks at times too. Lots of times. But I refuse to leave that grid voluntarily. Instead, I use it for my own purposes and I have fun in spite of all the troubles caused by RL’s managers (as well as by other users).

They’ll have to cancel my account to get rid of me.

You feel me?

 

Testing 1, 2, 3…

At some point, by some means, I will be upgrading Dankoville to OpenSim 0.8. There are tech issues to resolve but even if there were none, there are creative concerns and storylines that must also be addressed before I can move forward.

A big issue is that the layout of the towns and farms will have to be reconfigured to fit within a variable region. I have several ideas about how to do this but the only way to find out whether they work and whether I actually like them was to try a var region and see what happens.

Yesterday, I spent a ridiculous number of hours messing around with ArribaSim after reading Maria Korolov’s story about it. I did as much additional reading as I could do – there’s not much info available and most of it is in German so I could hit trouble due to translation issues alone. I believe I found the instructions on enabling Hypergrid for Arriba. I could have spent the whole day trying to see if I could get that to work but I wasn’t in the mood for that.

Instead I used it as Arriba-on-a-Stick just to testdrive the var region. At the end of the day, I had an OAR of Dankoville grid on a var region that is equivalent to a 5×5 (25 standard-size regions). If I decide to go with that size region, I’m basically ready to rock right now.

The coolest part was being able to assign a specific spot to the OARs I uploaded since I was not confined to the standard region lines. So I could put some space in between my towns…which eventually would be filled by farm fields, woods, streams, hills, etc. I added several “regions” as well. One was a small city that I easily turned 90 degrees by using a new OpenSim 0.8 feature.

Another fun thing was taking two incomplete regions I’d been working on in SoaS and overlapping them on the 5×5, creating one new area that needs some tweaking but is basically done.

I have about 65,000 prims on the 5×5 version of the grid right now. It is certainly not script-heavy. It ran fine. Will it do so with another 15 to 30-thousand prims, more scripts (but still not a lot) and ten avatars roleplaying or exploring?

A var region equivalent to a 4×4 is another option for me and I will be looking into that as well. Fewer prims involved but still more than 65,000. (The current Dankoville grid has 14 regions and about 55,000 prims at the moment.)

As for Arriba itself, aside from Hypergrid connectivity, so far I only have two concerns…

Every time I reboot it, my land disappears and I’m left with a lot of buildings, cornfields and roads sitting on an ocean of water. I tried a couple things but the only one that worked is to reload the latest save of my OAR every time I boot Arriba up.

Using the World Map to TP was glitchy for a while after startup/rebooting. I did not investigate this yet.

Unfortunately, I have to take Dankoville offline to do this testing. I put it back up when I finish testing and I try to keep the Grid Status page on the Dankoville website up to date.

Yeah, you’re right, there’s no conclusion here… hey, it was only one day of testing. Ain’t got no conclusions yet. :)

 

Whitfield Gallery Now Open In Winterfell

After opening a Photographs of Winterfell exhibit at the new Whitfield Gallery on Dankoville earlier this month, I have opened a gallery in Winterfell as well and put together a second collection of Winterfell scenes for exhibit there. Some of the photos appear in both exhibits and then there are some photos unique to each exhibit.

My goal is to have this exhibit on three grids simultaneously. Stay tuned.

slurl to the Whitfield Gallery, Winterfell Laudanum, Second Life.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Winterfell%20Laudanum/211/192/23

Danko Gallery ad edit Winterfell ver

New Meta City UPDATED

At the end of April, I opened a new exhibit on Kitely called New Meta City. It was inspired by Fortunato Depero’s New York 1930 which I saw many years ago at an exhibit in Salzburg. The bright colors and tall buildings and the modern and futurist feel of the painting still has me building. I am working on variations of New Meta City and I have also branched off in another direction with Brown.

The New Meta City build was one of those things that “just happened.” I had made a building and a couple variations for another project and it hit me that they would make for a fun modular build. I messed around with it a little, not planning it out or anything, just putting some buildings and streets down to see what it could look like. And you know how it goes…one thing led to another. A few hours later I had New Meta City.

If I had planned it before I had built those first buildings or before I started laying them out just for a look, I would have designed the buildings differently. New Meta City was 14,693 prims. Of course, in OpenSim, that’s no biggie really. But still. I grew up in SL, so I’m counting prims. But it just happened and it was done. I wasn’t going to go back and do it again. No need to. It was going to run fine on Kitely where the prim limit is 100,000. And I made the OAR available because I know it’s not too many prims for OpenSim. Anyway, there aren’t any scripts. And it’s mostly the Blank texture over and over again.

By the way, 74 people downloaded that OAR over the last five weeks. Cool. Thanks! (I actually bumped into one of the regions someone uploaded it to. On Kitely in fact. Just by chance. I saw it on the World Map. Visited. LOL!) (And don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t use Kitely’s World Map to find places to explore.)

But that prim count still bugged me anyway. So much so that it inspired me to see if I could take the same theme or a variation of that theme – modular build, tall buildings, bright city lights, modern or futurist or maybe other-worldly – and create a region full of buildings but with a very low prim count. That led to Brown which opened on Kitely at the end of May and came in around 2700 prims. And it led to variations of Brown that I am working on now.

I still was really bursting with ideas for variations of New Meta City itself, companion pieces. It seemed the best way to pursue that was to redesign the buildings to cut the prims. So I did. And those new projects are well underway.

But I was not going to do an all-out search for every prim that could go. For the biggest variation project, I needed to get the prim count below 11,000. So I modified the buildings slightly to make that happen. These buildings could easily be deprimmed further without altering their look but I didn’t need to go that far, so I didn’t.

The new version of New Meta City – at 10,819 prims, saving close to 3900 prims – is now the version on display on Kitely. And it is also available as an OAR download on OpenSim Creations.

Visit us on Kitely!

HG address: grid.kitely.com:8002:New Meta City

related links:

New Meta City – my original post on this site announcing the opening

New Meta City – world page on Kitely’s website

New Meta City – page on Danko’s Worlds

New Meta City – OAR download available on OpenSim Creations

Brown – a different approach

Fortunato Depero

New York 1930

New Meta City, Updated version

New Meta City, Updated version

 

The End Of Second Life As We Know It?

UPDATE June 24: Over the last several days there have been further comments from Ebbe Linden Altberg about a new virtual world from Linden Lab and additional reporting and insightful commentary from some of virtual worlds’ top bloggers. Here are some links…

by Inara Pey -

Ebbe: hiring 40-50 new staff, new platform to launch in 2016

Lab: “We’re  not giving up on Second Life”

by Jo Yardley -

Ebbe talks to SL users about SL2

Business as usual?

by Ciaran Laval -

Second Life Can Still Thrive With The Birth Of Linden Lab’s New World

Beware of Sequels

Bagman Liden On Why The Virtual World Market Is Ripe For Bigger And Better

by Nalates Urriah -

Second Life Assumptions

More Information on Second Life 2.0

by Maria Korolov -

Is Linden Lab abandoning Second Life?

by Mona Eberhardt -

More information and some thoughts on LL’s new, work-in-progress, virtual world

by Gaga Gracious -

Linden Lab CEO Promises a Brave New Second Life – Don’t Panic!

by Loki Eliot -

My Thoughts On A Second Second Life

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The original post from June 20:

A very big story is breaking in the virtual world. It’s being reported that the CEO of Linden Lab has said publicly that the Lab is turning its attention away from Second Life and toward another platform.

Linden’s CEO Ebbe Altberg responded to a tweet from Jo Yardley of the 1920s Berlin Project about the Lab’s focus…

“We are working on next gen. Not starting out open source. I said we will not constrain how good it can be based on the past,” Altberg said.

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I will add links as new reports and comment appear.

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Inara Pey has posted on her blog and has audio from the developers meeting where Altberg’s comments were made.. See Inara’s Comment below as well.

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

…and a follow-up from Inara with the Lab’s official statement…

http://modemworld.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/lab-were-not-giving-up-on-second-life/

Jo Yardley has posted on her blog..

http://joyardley.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/linden-lab-working-on-new-virtual-world/

Maria Korolov of Hypergrid Business says this is bad news for open sim...

http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2014/06/is-linden-lab-abandoning-second-life/

…and has a follow-up article – and more in the Comments – as well…

http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2014/06/linden-lab-to-users-dont-panic/#comment-1446976863

Ciaran Laval had one of the first posts of this news on his blog…

http://sl.governormarley.com/?p=4027

OpenSim 0.8 is Released

The much-awaited new version of OpenSimulator is out! It features big changes such as a move to the Bullet physics engine and the introduction of VarRegions.

Personally, I’ll be looking to upgrade my Dankoville mini-grid to the new 0.8 version during the summer. And I’m also interested in experimenting with VarRegions.

Here are some links of note. I’ll add to them as additional articles appear.

Here’s the announcement post by Justin Clark-Casey, a core developer on the OpenSimulator Project …

http://justincc.org/blog/2014/06/17/opensimulator-0-8-released/

Here is a Maria Korlov article on Hypergrid Business from last month, previewing the changes in OpenSim 0.8 …

http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2014/05/rotating-regions-coming-to-opensim-0-8/

Downloads are here…

http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Download

The OpenSimulator.org website’s main page…

http://opensimulator.org/

Diva Canto/Crista Lopes blog post on the new Diva Distro for OpenSim 0.8

http://metaverseink.com/blog/?p=552

Diva Dstro Download page…

http://metaverseink.com/Downloads.html