Second Life: April Fools on Who?

April Fool’s Day is definitely an American tradition. Even big corporations like Sony get in on it. This year Sony released a Proton Pack ala Ghost Busters fame. It isn’t surprising that Linden Lab’s Second Life crew got in on the spoofing too. But, it was a bit of a disaster. They did their best to make the best of it.

The video here is what happened to me when I logged in to go check out the spoof. They announced it here: Exclusive Message for Second Life Residents Available Inworld Today! The tease was this was something about Project Sansar. Also that it was exclusively for Second Life™ residents, so you gotta login to see it. They gave a link to SL Town Hall.

The video is 10+ minutes long. I don’t expect you to watch it, at least not all of it.

You can see I made it about 10 minutes before the viewer completely locked up… pretty much the entire computer. My avatar never actually puller herself together. Nor did many of the other avatars in the region… about 28 of them. You will see me open the World Map about time-mark 4:40 to get a population count. The mini map is showing way more than 28. But, the area is divided up into 4 regions with the common corners in the center of the stage. So, the region I first rez in had more than 28, but 6+ minutes of the time I was in the region with 28 other avatars and not rezzing.

I then rebooted my computer, opened only the SL Viewer (version 4.0.3-312816), and tried again. It was a tiny bit better, not enough to matter. It was essentially the same experience. You can watch the video twice if you want to know what it was like for me.

I went back late at night 11:30+ PM SLT. With 4 people there I was getting 45 FPS and rendered in less than a minute. Everyone else did too.

So, was the sim having problems? I couldn’t get the stats panel open. So, I can’t know. In general the sims run really well even with 30 to 40 people in them. Adult sims with lots of animations and scripts running have some problems, but still they run WAY better than sims used to.

So, as best I can tell the viewers have a problem. It’s the worst it been in some time.

Late... after almost all have left...

Late… after almost all have left…

The April joke was horribly corny. I appreciate the Lindens taking the time to put it together. I just hope they realize how bad things have gotten when lots of avatars are present. Instead of being as funny and fun as intended, the lag made SL look really bad. Not good.

It leaves my wondering if if we are going into one of those periods where the Lindens get ridiculously out of touch with the users’ experience…

6 thoughts on “Second Life: April Fools on Who?

  1. “The April joke was horribly corny. ”


  2. Nal,

    Was at the same event earlier in the day – i didn’t have at all the same experience – everyone rezzed and was moving around just fine with a good sized crowd (30-40 including 5-6 Lindens)

    Not trying to contradict you – but the experience you’re describing could be a bandwidth issue or other internet related problem vs a “problem with the viewers” that you think LL should fix.

    As far as things being worse lately – doesn’t it seem possible that the huge surge of users wearing mesh bodies in SL is causing a load issue vs the viewers being broken? i see that a lot in gathering places – mesh is a lot more work for the viewer vs a “stock” avi and EVERYONE seems to be wearing it – so you have a room full of cloudy exploded triangles until everyone finishes downloading and their mesh renders.

    Would have been interesting to know what the Quick Graphics viewer said about the sims when you were there as far as avi complexity. I bet there would have been a lot of Jelly Babies. (So is the solution to improve the user experience for everyone to ban mesh bodies? NO – of course not – but in this case it seems likely that the new shiny thing that everyone wants to do has consequences)

    The April Fools joke WAS corny – 99.9 percent of them are. I thought it was a funny gentle comment on how Sansar-obsessed some residents are.

    I am absolutely the last person to run to apologize for LL, BUT with the high volume of SL improvements that make a difference to the user being driven by the lab over the last few months (Quick Graphics, another round of HTTP improvements, CEF, Bento), i think the statement “ridiculously out of touch” is hard to support.

    Love your blog – thank you!

    • I think it was something sim related. I was fine in other regions.

      Out of touch… you are probably right. The Lindens in general are spending more time with users. Oz Linden, the-SL-in-charge person, is talking with developers/users at least a couple of times a week. So, my statement is a bit unfair.

  3. Didn’t you have fancy lighting on though?

    I can’t take ALM on an empty sim , no way could I with all the people

  4. Poor Taste. We deserve to know whats going on. They owe it to users who have and are still investing in Second Life. Keeping us in the dark is just not acceptable. Not funny at all to me.

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