36:00 – When is SL ready for marketing? Attracting people is not a problem – keeping them is the problem. Some say don’t advertise SL until that retention problem is solved. The idea being you expose more people and run off those checking out SL because SL is not ready, ready as in solving the retention problem. Then they have a bad taste and are lost forever… sort of.
37:00 – Drax relates his experience with his children and their friends. Taking them to a game in SL did get them interested. So, his question is, why can’t users be linked to interesting content? Getting people to Zombie and other shooter games, hunts, evidence collecting games… etc seems a solution or improvement to Drax. But, he notes only 1 of the 5 children was interested in building and still in SL hours later. The others were soon bored and off to other things.
The panel goes through the Standard Player Retention problems. Gianna talks about asking long term players what kept them in SL… and I suppose that is with the intention of doing more of that. This idea of asking existing ‘retained players’ has the problem of getting feedback about what is already in place and working. I’m doubtful there is any way to add more of that. I think asking those that did NOT stay, would provide more useful feedback.
Gianna believes, if I get this right, that little changes are not going to make SL the ‘big’ success many hope for. This is an idea probably inspired by Apple doing big world changing things.
41:30 Gwyn wrote an article some time ago about the people with the ability to self entertain and those that want to be ‘entertained’. SL users are self entertainers.
43:00 – Camera of live action in regions for destinations?
44:00 – Market Place app?
46:00 – Cloud Party – Market Place beta with royalty payments. Still no user base. Interesting progress.
47:40 – Mesh Deformer – This has to be the section of the podcast many were waiting for. I certainly was.
Karl says he is close to being done. He says he has addressed all the concerns the Lab has as of now. This means this may be the actual working deformer that we can expect to roll out.
Karl has seen some issues in JIRA. As of now he sees those as more expectation or user errors. Things that cannot be fixed by changing the code.
The big change in this version of the Deformer (what I’ll label 0.4 – Karl shifted to a Linden numbering system, but I don’t know what that is) is the parameters that are now encoded into mesh uploads. These parameters allow for various base shapes that are expected to be spinoffs of something like standard sizing.
I have no idea how that might work. But, the User Interface and the data format allow differing base shapes to be used with the Deformer. For now the UI only allows male or female choices. Karl expects third party developers to expand on that.
In a previous article I wondered if there were changes to the actual deforming code. Karl says there is a bit of a change in the deforming code. He was not specific. I am assuming this code has added consideration of the mesh normals, but I’m not sure.
One of the ‘expectations’ is that the deformer will stop butts sticking through clothes and solve weighting problems. Deformer won’t fix weighting issues and if weighting is not right, butts will poke through.
51:00 – ending and sponsor acknowledgements.
This means that the Deformer code is pretty much finished. This pushes things into the QA process. The Lab insists on testing before rolling new code out to the main channel. Not only do they check for problems with the code, interference with other parts of the viewer, and performance in the viewer they consider how well it does the intended task.
For testing the latter criteria, we need testing clothes and other rigged items. All the previous clothes and deformable rigged items do not use the new data format and are missing the new parameters. Cool VL Viewer, and no doubt other TPV’s, will add a fall back to allow their viewers to use older mesh items.
But, that fallback feature is not in the Project viewer nor does it serve the requirements of the Lab for testing the Deformer. So… there are currently no items available for testing the Deformer, which stalls the testing process.
Previous items made for use with the Deformer only need to be uploaded again, so the new parameters are added. Then they are usable for testing this new version of the deformer.