On February 27, it was announced that Seraph City, the "dieselpunk" sim made in the style of how science fiction from the 1930s saw the future, was all set to close (link). Edward Pearce wrote in his blog that the sim's owner Bromo Ivory had decided to shut the place down on March 21st. A few days ago, the show Designing Worlds dropped in for what looked like a final look at this unique city area before it was gone.
But word is, someone has stepped in to help. Chatting with Fuzzball Ortega of the Steelhead Community, he told me someone from the Steampunk community was about to take ownership of the place. If the plan goes through, fans of the sim will be able to keep on visiting. Second Life Newser will have more once we have talked to the new owner.
For her latest article, Nydia Tungsten tried out a zombie game: Left 4 Dead 2. Now we've all seen zombies in movies, slow, lumbering, husks that clumsily stumble forward as they move toward their targets. Well, put that stereotype aside should you download this game via Steam. Not only can the zombies run and run fast as they charge you, there are some mutants that can really do some damage.
It was Wednesday March 5th that Linden Labs announced the release of SL Go, it's new application which allows users to access Second Life via a tablet. Since then, a number of people have tried the product. Some like it, some have reservations.
Inara Pey gave a little history of the app on her blog. She stated the idea first came not from Linden Lab or then CEO Rod Humble, but cloud computing and gaming company Onlive and it's chairman Gary Lauder, "Lauder made his approach because third-person adventure games have been
particularly successful for OnLive. As such, Second Life was seen as a
logical choice for extending OnLive’s reach into more immersive
environments while at the same time potentially offering Linden Lab
with a solution for providing SL to tablet devices and to low-end
desktop and laptop systems." Among those working on it's development were Nick Barsetti, whom was "a former Linden Lab employee (Scout Linden) and a long-time
Second Life resident who has been actively engaged ... for
seven years, notably as a community leader in a Star Wars role-play
group." The SL Go service is "provided entirely by OnLive," Inara felt this may have been one of the reasons for Linden Lab's controversial change in it's terms of service in regards to content creation.
For now, SL Go is designed to run on tablets powered by Android, though plans are in the works to include the iPad. Of the display, "for convenience, the log-in fields are displayed at the top of the
viewer’s splash screen. Tapping the Username field will display the
tablet’s on-screen keyboard (note you can also use a suitable bluetooth
keyboard as well), allowing you to enter your avatar name. Tap the
Password field to enter your avatar’s account password, then tap Log In
to log-in to SL.
The Tablet overlay provides a means of carrying out routine
interactions with the viewer – walking, turning, flying, jumping, camera
movement and zoom, closing floaters, and so on."
"According to the supplied reviewer notes, double-tapping the avatar
icon in the middle of the movement keys is supposed to enter flight
mode; however, this consistently didn’t work for me, and I found flight
could be enabled much as when using the viewer on a computer – tap and
hold the Jump icon. Movement can be achieved either by using just the movement controls
in the overlay (think arrow keys / WASD on a keyboard), or through a
combination of using the 'up' key to walk forward and the joystick
control to adjust your direction of travel. This takes a little getting
used to, but isn’t that hard to grasp."
"Tapping the camera icon shifts the overlay to the camera options, All of the menus and toolbar buttons are accessible via tapping the
tablet’s screen, although keyboard shortcuts are not enabled (even when
using a separate keyboard). To assist with using the buttons and menus,
pinch-zoom motions are fully supported, as is the ability to 'drag' the
viewer across the tablet’s screen using a two finger gesture when
zoomed-in. To help prevent the overlay getting in the way of things, you
can tap the “Power” icon to collapse the overlay into a single icon; a
second tap will expand it again."
Inara had some doubts about the app seeing widespread use, "I do wonder as to the potential impact SL Go will have on established
users. From Nate Barsetti’s comments, the service appears to be aimed
towards a niche set of uses (thus helping justify the cost). Frankly,
for many users, there are alternatives when presented with most of those
Draxtor Despress gave SL Go a try, his efforts recorded on video.
Draxtor was among those whom gave glowing reviews, "Seriously: the user-generated universe known as Second Life -
beautifully rendered in the cloud - runs BETTER at times on an Android
tablet than on my PC: I am thoroughly impressed ... for SL professionals and enthusiastic residents this is a must IMHO: SL
GO is not only running on 4G on the road but is instantly upgrading
EVERY OLD machine in your household by using OnLive desktop app = pretty
Hamlet Au also expressed enthusiasm, saying that he'd been using SL Go through being a tester was the reason he was reporting more about Second Life from in inworld perspective lately, "SL Go feels like a new era of Second Life ... here is the thing that makes all the
difference for the world: SL Go works, and almost
paradoxically, is the first platform to present Second Life as it really
is. It eliminates almost all of the lag and load times most SL users
have learned to accept, and presents to you a Second Life at its best,
and purest form. If you couldn't see dynamic shadows, you can see them
now; if your draw distance was small, it's now broadened to the sky. ... it's probably not ideal
for new users (at least not in this early stage), but I do think it will
bring many back to Second Life, to see the world as they've always
wanted -- and as they've always wanted to share it with their friends --
but up to now, have never had the means."
Ciaran Laval thought the technology was good, but felt the high prices limited it's potential, "The pricing would get very expensive very quickly for anyone who used
the service often, which means it’s unlikely to be used often by
anyone. ... like tier, the SL Go pricing is a tad on the high side. Used
infrequently there’s a lot of potential here but for a regular service,
it’s a very expensive proposition."
Jo Yardley blogged that SL Go vastly improved the appearance of Second Life on her old Mac Laptop. But the high price bothered her, "Would you pay 3 bucks to go into SL for an hour? I would only consider doing that for emergencies, when I need to be
inworld for a few minutes to fix something or kick a griefer in the
unmentionables. Having said that, the OnLive experience is impressive, there is
almost no lag, it loads a lot faster than most computers, it is mobile
and it allows you to use your TV for SL. So although I am very impressed with SLGo, I fear that the costs may
keep a lot of people from using it more than just occasionally."
For more comments, one can check the thread in the official general discussion forum: (Link). There's also a thread in the Second Life Universe forums: (link)
Pictures provided by Inara Pey , Hat tip to Daniel Voyager for blog links
This weekend we will kick off the 2014 Relay For Life of Second Life Season. The fund-raising tools have been sent out, the event boards have been circulating, and now it is time to make it official!
We will kick off the weekend with a Friday night (March 7) tailgating party! At 5pm SLT, T1 Radio will crank out the sounds as we open the sims for the participating teams to put out their fundraising tools - kiosks, vendors, auctions, raffles, random riots, oh my! We do ask that if you are doing a raffle or an auction, please set the ending time to 3pm SLT on Sunday, March 9. T1 will keep the tunes in play until 8pm SLT, so come out and mingle as you get things set up!
On Saturday (March 8), T1 will start broadcasting live around 10:30am SLT was we gather for the official Kick-Off ceremony which will start at Noon SLT. On stage will be the Planning Committee - Nikki, Sting, Dawn and Random along with other committee members to talk about the season and getting us all started! There will be a special guest hero to speak that we are all excited about, and then... the Season will be officially KICKED OFF. A Journey of Promise will then be underway!
For the remainder of Saturday afternoon and until Midnight SLT, we will have on-going entertainment - DJs, Dancers, Live music!
On Sunday (March 9), the music starts early as a DJ opens the day at 4am SLT. At noon SLT, we will have 3 games of FAMILY FEUD incuding 3 teams and the Planning Committee. At 3:30pm, Trader Whiplash will broadcast "Relay Rap" live from the kick-off sims and will have a great show with exciting guests!
DJs and live music will continue on Sunday until 10pm SLT.
* Participating teams will be provided landmarks for their assigned spot before 5pm on Friday 3/7. Those team members listed on registration will have rights to rez.
* Teams playing Family Feud will be contacted by Thursday night 3/6
* Teams with Kissing Booths will be provided information on Friday night 3/7.
* Landmarks for the sims will be provided before the celebrations begin.
* Season t-shirts will be sent out to the groups on Friday 3/7 - watch for those :)
If you have any questions, please contact TylerPin; Dianna Wyclife; Pinkie Fellini or Sunshine Zhangsun.
Yesterday on March 5, Linden Lab announced a new application on the market, this one for Second Life users: SL Go. This product allows residents to run Second Life on tablets. It is currently in open beta.
OnLive, the leader in cloud gaming, today released an exciting new service for Second Life users. SL Go,
now in open beta, is a mobile Second Life viewer for Android that
delivers a fully immersive desktop-like experience on tablets.
With SL Go, you can experience Second Life from anywhere
you have Wi-Fi or 4G connectivity, with ultra high-quality graphics,
full shaders, shadows, and the Advanced Lightning Model on Android
devices. Not only can you get high-quality graphics on a low-powered
device, but you also don’t have to sacrifice frame rate or draw distance
for high fidelity inworld explorations. Thanks to super-fast gigabit
connections with OnLive’s high-performance gaming servers, objects and
textures rez quickly when logging in and teleporting. OnLive has clocked
the SL Go viewer at upwards of 200 fps set to Ultra with Maximum Render
Distance, allowing people to participate in events, engage in combat
games, and generally enjoy immersion in Second Life at a level never
before possible on a mobile device.
With SL Go, OnLive has brought touchscreen interaction to
the Second Life experience, but if you prefer keyboard and mouse, you
can opt to connect these devices and interact with your friends in the
same way you always have. SL Go gives you access to edit menus,
inventory, preference settings and chat management just like the Second
Life Viewer on your home computer.
To use the application, one needs an account with Onlive. New users get a 20 minute free trial, after which residents need to pay to use it, from $3 an hour, to $8 for three hours, to $25 for ten hours. For now, it is limited to the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.
This is clearly a major move for Linden Lab and Second Life, one in development for many months.
More information later on SL Go and what others are saying about it.
A picture of the crew meeting Saturday March 1st, when we met to discuss ideas for stories the next month, such as the Relay for Life season. Those present: Gemma Cleanslate, Joshua Xavier (Becky Shamen's alt), myself, DrFran Babcock, Nydia Tungsten, and Grey Lupindo.
DrFran Babcock was trying out this Siamese avatar, and had a little friend from the gacha along for the ride. Ribbit!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! Becky Shaman's alt Joshua Xavier got himself a ship, and went to the Trade Winds to do a little sailing and exploring. The voyage was not without hazard as the place is known to harbor pirates. So did Joshua encounter any buccaneers, or RP admins whom had a dislike for boats that didn't exactly fit the approved list?
Bryn Oh, the noted Second Life artist, is back with another story by art. Her Immersiva sim is now hosting an exhibition titled "The Singularity of Kumiko." Bixyl Shuftan went over to take a look, and while there had a few words with the creator herself. So was the exhibit as good as Bryn's previous work?
March 4 was "Mardi Gras," also known as "Carnival" and "Fat Tuesday," the final day before the Lent season practiced by some churchgoers. It's traditional to give up eating foods considered richer, so this was the last day to indulge in them for a while, and people in many places where there are large numbers of Catholics often throw a party for the occasion. Even for those whom don't believe in Lent, everyone loves a good party. So many places in Second Life threw Mardi Gras parties. This included Club Zero Gravity. Tonight
at Club Zero Gravity, it's our Mardi Gras party. It's "Fat Tuesday,"
the day in many places people have one big party before giving up good
food for Lent. Even for those of us whom aren't giving up anything but
rent and tax money, it's still a great time to whoop it up. Wear
"masquarade" masks, and anything else fit for a party. And of course
there's the beads. Come on over and be part of the worldwide Carnival.
Normally one has to be "in theme" to qualify for the contest. But while Carnival is known for it's outfits for the ladies, special outfits for guys not so much. So everyone who showed up (aside from the DJ and hostess) qualified for the 500 Linden prize.
Perri Prinz was the DJ for the event. Her selection included a number of Jazz tunes worthy of a parade in New Orleans. But there were also a number of classic rock and pop songs mixed in.
The winner of the contest was Valkyrie McGill for what she called her "peacock" dress.
It was a small party for Club Zero Gravity, perhaps some were out partying in real life. But a fun time was had by all.
It's a week full of events in Second Life. Today and tonight is Mardi Gras aka "Fat Tuesday." Stop by New Toulouse and Mardi Gras Town for a taste of New Orleans as they celebrate Carnival, or drop by various clubs celebrating it, such as Club Zero Gravity. This Saturday, the Relay for Life season starts off on Saturday March 8. And of course there are the regularly scheduled DJ and live music events, book and poetry readings, talk shows, racesm and discussions.
Grease Coakes wrote for the Second Life Newser for a time, then took a leave of absence. Since then, he has changed his focus from writing news to writing fiction. Recently Grey Lupindo had the chance to interview him. Grease talked about his new story "College in Cleavland," his sequel to "Ginny Griffin Goes to School," and the challenges in promoting it.
It was about eighteen months ago that Linden Lab made an unpopular move with its JIRA reports page, "Although some categories had been closed to public viewing, such as
security issues, most were accessible to the public for residents to
read to see if a reported bug was the same as the problem they were
having." As of Sept 6 2012, this came to an end, " In the summary of changes, it was stated 'Second Life users will only
see their own reported issues.' No longer can residents read and
Recently, this system was working in a way that wasn’t very transparent,
and it frankly wasn’t a good experience for the users who care enough
about Second Life to try to help improve it, nor was it the best set-up
for the Lindens tasked with addressing these issues. So you can see why
we’re happy to be changing it!
The changes the Lab is offering are:
"All users will be able to see all BUG issues, all the time."
"You'll also be able to comment."
"Lastly, 'New Feature Request' is back!"
A thread started in the forums about the JIRA changes. The results were mostly positive, "Thanks Ebbe." "OK - I'm officially impressed!" Some however were less than enthusiastic, "It's great to have it back, though it'd be better if it didn't get hidden
again after triage. Additional comments with updated incidents with
further info could help narrow down the issue, or reveal other potential
causes." Still, everyone agreed this was a step in the right direction.
From Draxtor Despress, Feb 28, 2014, "The vision is in the player's hands: it is what you see and what you bring to the world!"
Barkley is a 21-year entrepreneur [and self-described magic fanatic]
who easily could - like some of his peers - play video games all day and
goof off killing virtual monsters.Instead he opted to surround
himself with capable collaborators at this young age, learn as much as
he can about 3D modeling, scripting and marketing, all this with one
goal in mind: to shape the digital world just as so many other global
residents of Second Life before him.
"That bringing virtual
enjoyment to thousands of avatars all over the world from his humble
apartment in Madison, Wisconsin makes him a pretty penny may seem to
some like magic, but at the end of the day - it is simple ingenuity
& passion at work!
"Enjoy a journey into a universe full of wonder and...some loud spells!"