John Carmack: Minecraft a Better Virtual World

Several bloggers have pointed to a bit of video from a recent talk that John Carmack made. He is well known in gaming circles. If you don’t know the name, you’re not keeping up with your game history or Oculus Rift.

Minecraft Station

Minecraft Station

Ciaran provides a quick review of that bit of video. See: Joyce Bettencourt Captures Fascinating Chat With John Carmack At Oculus Connect 2015.

YouTube Gaming and Second Life

If you are wondering what YouTube Gaming is, click over to Ciaran Laval’s blog and see: YouTube Gaming Launches And Second Life Has Its Own Channel. The short explanation is this is Google’s answer to Amazon’s Twitch… and if you don’t know what Twitch is… well… you are hopelessly sheltered. To pop your bubble… Twitch is a site that allows gamers to stream their game play. People can watch a video stream of a person, in-game, playing in almost (?) real time.

The recent news is Jimmy Kimmel thought it was a funny idea and made fun of YouTube Gaming. As they point out, considering how poorly TV is doing these day he hasn’t much room to talk. But, I thought the video funny.  Continue reading

Second Life Week 32

WoW Losing Subscribers

For years I have heard how Second Life is losing subscribers. It is true, but the new users and returning users keep the number of people in SL about the same. SL has gone from 1 million plus to about 900,000 from 2007 to 2015.

Blizzcon – Official World of Warcraft Art // Illidan Stormrage

Blizzcon – Official World of Warcraft Art // Illidan Stormrage

Let’s try to put some perspective on that. Take a look at World of Warcraft’s numbers. In Q4-2014 there were 10 million subscribers. By the end of Q1-2015 it was down to 7.1 and now at the end of Q2-2015 it is 5.6. That is almost half the users in 6 months. (Reference – nice graph) In December 2005, 15 months after starting WoW, they passed 5.6 million. In October 2010 they were at 12.0 million, the peak I think.  Continue reading

Second Life Bits week 30

Yeah… week 30. I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and it got lost. The information is still good, so today it gets published.

How Big is Wow

Massively Overpowered pointed me to a video showing how big World of Warcraft is.

Voicing Opinion

SL Blogger Support has an article about problems some bloggers are having. One is in regard to voicing opinions. Check out comments below the article: She’s mad as hell and she’s not going to take this anymore!  Continue reading

Second Life Bits

Land

Second Life™ has a valuable virtual real estate market. Yet, SL is not the only virtual world with real estate issues. ArcheAge is coming up on a new land rush and the problems of players losing existing land holdings.

lostdreams11

lostdreams11 by Sannita Cortes, on Flickr

In SL we often hear ‘the rent is too damn high’ exclaimed. I’m one that disagrees and believes the free market gives people control of what they pay or receive and most equitably distributes land and sets prices. Continue reading

Star Wars Trailer

I know a portion of Second Life™ users are into Star Wars®. We have tribute regions in SL. This Christmas a new Star Wars film is planned to come out. Today everyone is excited by the new trailer for the movie that just released. 🙂

Watch more than 30 hours of panels, interviews, and floor coverage, live from Star Wars Celebration Anaheim!

  • Today’s (4/16 ? 18) panel schedule includes:
    • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. PT: New Allies & New Villains: Star Wars Rebels Season Two
    • 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. PT: Smuggler’s Bounty – Original Star Wars Audio Drama by Kyle Newman
    • 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. PT: Star Wars Fan Film Awards presented by StarWars.com
    • 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PT: Mark Hamill: The Return of the Jedi

Statistics: Second Life, OpenSim, World of Warcraft

Hypergrid Business keeps many of us up to date on happenings in the OpenSim side of virtual worlds. They currently have an article up on expansion and contraction in the OpenSim worlds: Regions, grids hit new record highs.

Garden Party

Garden Party by Gorba McMahon, on Flickr

It is a good headline. In the first paragraph Maria, author, points out that active users on public grids fell by 909 to 30,000. So, even though I consider Maria a bit of a fan-girl for OpenSim, I consider her reporting accurate enough to give us the good and bad news.  Continue reading

Obduction – Myst’s Successor

I am a Myst games fan. I am looking forward to Cyan World’s new game Obduction.

Hayden Dingman at PCWorld wrote an article about Obduction having live-action Non-Player-Characters (NPC). You can see live-action NPC’s in a video of Senza PesoI (below – link), a trailer for an Oculus VR experience. If you have a VR Headset, the video is in Oculus format.

Apparently Obduction will work with Oculus and similar VR headsets. The Cyan peeps rant into the problem of how to put video of RL actors into a virtual world and not break the immersion. While some games have animated avatars (in SL we call them bots) Cyan found that outside their expertise and thus too expensive for them to do. Since this game is funded by a kickstarter project the budget is constrained. They looked for a cheaper way.

Their solution is to film with 2 GoPro gamers to create 3D video. They use a green-screen room in the basement of Cyan’s studio. The character can be placed into the virtual world. You can see that in the video above.

I think the idea is to be similar to what Cyan has done in the past. When they reach a point where they need to tell some of the story, they move to a cut scene and the NPC tells you whatever is needed by the story line. It would be rather jolting to go from a VR experience to a 2D movie. This style of video cut scene will allow them to maintain the illusion of the world they are building.

Look for more details about Obduction to appear in August 2015.