I started seeing Plurks about Blocksworld. Some looking around and one quickly finds this funny 2 minute promo of Blocksworld.[youtube G8W7_SiRPvY]
OK, that is well done and entertaining.
Looking some more there is another promo video that shows a bit more about how it works.[youtube 6zgFKGaFcAs]
The text below the video on Youtube reads:
This is http://www.blocksworld.com. Build anything with drag, drop, and snap. Cute animals, working machines, your own games, characters, movies, vehicles with physics, and weird creatures all come alive!
Share your creations and explore new worlds at the online community. Get more blocks, decals, and actions with add-on packs.
If you visit the web site, I think you see they are focused on promoting the site as a learning tool for children. You’ll also notice this is an iPad game. It is not available for the PC/Mac worlds.
One of my thoughts was when will someone build this game in Second Life?
The official announcement about Linden Lab acquiring this game and company is here: Linden Lab® Acquires Blocksworld.
I think it is obvious the Lab wants to compete in the mobile computing/gaming world. Creatorverse is an obvious example of the Lab moving in that direction as is this acquisition of Blocksworld.
I can’t know, but I believe there is another less obvious direction. Management is likely concerned with where their primary cash cow, Second Life, is wondering off to. The company has tens of millions of dollars invested in the creation of Second Life. Plus it is earning them millions of dollars per year.
While I don’t have the stats in presentation form yet, Second Life to all appearances is slowly losing users. The number of regions people are paying for is decreasing. So, management in such a case would be asking how does one turn that around. They would also be looking for other sources of income in case they can’t. That is simple diversification verses one basket planning. I think we can reasonably suppose Patterns, Creatorverse, and now Blocksworld are the other sources directions.
But giving up on the huge investment that Second Life is, is probably not an option. So, how does one get more people interested in Second Life?
In recent Metaverse podcasts Gianna has talked about explaining what Skyrim would be like if one could build inside that game. People have been excited by the idea. So, Second Life should have possibilities and appeal to such people. I think there is a large audience that is interested in creating. Consider some of the amazingly complex and large Farmville creations people have made. Minecrraft’s popularity is another example.
But, take those same people and give them a Second Life Viewer with over 3,000 controls, building tools, and new concepts like Land Impact and modeling efficiency. It can be over whelming. Then try to explain what SL is and why they should spend the time learning, especially when our culture has no way to describe what SL is.
I think Minecraft, Patterns, Creatorverse, and Blocksworld are the training grounds for advancing into 3D modeling. Second Life is in position to be the top step in 3D modeling before going into game development systems like Unreal’s SDK (Software Development Kit). SL has the advantage of having people inside the ‘tool’ to help you. I don’t recall the Unread’s SDK being multi-user, but I am very much a novice with Unreal.
Plus there aren’t many game development platforms where you can take small steps to building things that provide a RL cash return.
Each year more first time users come to the Internet and computers. With something like 1 billion computer users and a world population of 7 billion there are more people that do not know how to use computers than there are that do. So, each year we get a huge number of people that are in the truest sense beginners. Internet use grew by 500+% between 2000 and 2012. That means for every experienced user there were 5 newbies.
The world in some ways is held back by experienced people having to wait on new people learning how things work. New users have enough problems navigating a 2D screen as it is. The added complexity of a third dimension that is very abstract can make an application unusable for many new users. So, no one wants to develop applications people cannot use. I suspect this is part of the reason why SL never became a great marketing tool. It is more productive to use Blender and make a video that people can just watch.
Providing more 3D environments for young people to learn in and making them fun learning tools will eventually add the concept of building-games, or some better defining term, to the common language. People will understand 3D navigation systems and be able to perceive 3D on 2D devices.
When a company has a product people don’t understand the marketing efforts shift to educating them as to what it is and how to use it. People buy things because they solve a problem, add glamour, and/or are fun. Mixing education, fun, and problem solutions into a desirable package is no simple task. The new Linden acquisition may another step in this direction of providing education and a pathway into Second Life.
My hope is whoever made the promo in the first video stayed on and will make some Second Life videos.