Dinosaurs

An in-development game named Ark: Survival Evolved is available through Steam. It apparently is drawing a crowd of players. Everyone likes dinosaurs. Gamasutra has an interview with one of the developers. See: Cretaceous creativity: Designing dinos for Ark: Survival Evolved.

D is for Dinosaur

D is for Dinosaur by Oona, on Flickr

With Project Sansar approaching and Advanced Experience Tools on the verge of release game design is going to be a bigger part of Second Life. We will  likely have more people like Loki Elliot and more teams like MadPea making games in SL and/or Sansar. I expect to see more people move beyond just making things.

Who is Winning the Virtual Reality Race?

The financial people think it is Facebook and Apple that are positioned to win in the Virtual Reality War. But, it won’t be a fast war. It will last years.  Quoting Chris Ciaccia :

[A] Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster stated that virtual reality is likely the next key trend in technology, writing, “We liken the state of virtual and augmented reality today as similar to the state of mobile phones 15 years ago. It likely will take a decade before mainstream adoption as necessary improvements in displays and applications as well as lower pricing are needed to drive demand.”

Breaking bad$$$$

Breaking bad💵💵💵💵 by pokute Burt, on Flickr

They expect new virtual everythings to open up; gaming (obviously), live sports, concerts, immersive cinema and social experiences will have a VR version. The article, Facebook and Apple are Poised to Win the Virtual Reality Wars, gives us, at least me, some new ideas about VR can be used. Continue reading

Second Life: Designing for Newbies and Oldies

Second Life has its challenges for new players/users. Massively Overpowered started a conversation with the question: How Can MMO’s Design For Both Vets And Newbies? There are quite a few comments being added. It got me thinking about our challenges for new users in Second Life™.

Cassie and Ciara

Cassie and Ciara by Caitlin ‘Caity’ Tobias, on Flickr

Many of the comments on Massively suggest removing leveling. Fortunately we don’t have leveling as a basic part of SL.

In 19 screens of comments no one mentioned user interface and only a couple of times mentioned learning how to play. In SL I think learning is a significant obstacle for new users. With 3,000+ viewer controls SL is on a level similar to Photoshop or AutoCAD.

Considering new users in SL, I think the design challenge is making it usable and reducing the learning curve. For the experienced users the Lab needs to keep as many creative options as possible, which adds complication. These seem to be opposing goals. I am curious to see how the Lab handles these challenges in SANSAR aka SL 2.0.

Second Life: The New New User Tutorial

Hamlet is on about a video that shows the new user experience. I find those interesting. You can see Hamlet’s comments here: Second Life First-Hour User Experience by Returning SLer. I have the video just below. It is an hour long. Sheeeesh. Will anyone watch the whole thing?

Beau Hindman (YouTube name) made the video. He says he was first in Second Life™ (SL) in 2004 and has not been in SL for some years. So, this is a semi-new user experience.

Beau rambles a lot and stumbles on what he wants to say. He keeps his umm, errr’s to a level I can tolerate. The first 10 minutes is more just telling us what SL is than it is a logical ordered tutorial. Continue reading

Is Second Life Sex More Fun than RL Sex?

Someone got the idea to run a poll of which sex is more fun, RL or SL/Virtual sex. RL won, no surprise there. But, 36% thought Second Life™ sex was more fun… hummm.

On a side note: It is the owner of Basilique, the place where the Lindens are doing their meet up today, that conducted the study: Canary Beck.

Maria Korolov posted a link to a recent study of sex in SL in her: Survey: virtual sex less fun, but more liberated.

The full study she refers to is here:  Second Life sex versus real life sex. It is long and well worth reading. I touch on JUST the parts I found really interesting.

Goddess Xita

Goddess Xita by Alice DiXita, on Flickr

No surprise, they found in a 2012 study and this recent study that sexual practices in Real Life and Second Life differ. So, you are not the only one that is more kinky in SL than RL.  Continue reading

The End of Second Life?

Everything ends. It is just a matter of when. We hear this story of Second Life™ ending all the time. It is not new. Lots of Chicken Little. That SL has not ended, does not mean it won’t. The sky COULD fall. But, I think we will have plenty of warning should the end draw near.

mediterranean girl

Mediterranean girl by Annahyss Resident, on Flickr

I came to Second Life from Myst Online, which has closed and come back a number of times. So, I’m used to games I like closing. Rizom is another one I liked and played for a time. It too closed and came back. Others just closed.  Continue reading

Second Life: SL Go’s Demise Does Affect You

Touch Arcade has an article up that gets into the politics and corporate infighting that is affecting us all. See: Onlive is Dead – What does this mean for Game Streaming on iOS? Carter Dotson is the author. I think Carter has made several mistakes in his (?) analysis. But, overall however we get there the result is the same.

Nomnomnom!

Nomnomnom! by Caitlin ‘Caity’ Tobias, on Flickr

My primary take away is Carter is saying that Sony is attempting to break Apple’s choke hold on game streaming for mobile devices. He could be right about that. The idea that if something is not available for iOS via the Apple Store, it loses a huge market share is true. But, I am not sure you can base the hypothesis Apple has a stranglehold on the gaming market.  Continue reading