The product team (John Laurence/Durian Linden, Sarah Kuehnle/ Esbee Linden and Michael Gesner/Gez Linden) announced at this year’s Second Life Community Convention (SLCC) that they have been building, exploring, and working on a prototype game in order to learn more and examine the current limits and problems that come up when creating in Second Life.
The game requires you to collect and place puzzle pieces in order to gain access to new areas. While doing this you encounter box monsters and turrets that can “kill you” and send you back to the beginning of the games.
The team says the game uses point and click controls, but with the physical aspects of Second Life, they would like to examine click and drag in the future. They also faced difficulties working in a “live environment” where for example a turret would be above on a platform, didn’t respect distance, and begin shooting at them and returning them to the beginning of the game while they were trying to work. They also dealt with building complications where for example the buildings were originally more plain and they decided to add black outlines to give them more detail and then discovered they would have to change every texture on every face of every building by hand in order to update them.
This particular game is separate from the curated area that CEO Rod Humble spoke of, and is not currently part of any new user experience. Gez Linden addressed concerns about the game stating that the Lab does not plan on releasing the game, they just wanted to show users the work they are doing to learn more in order to better serve and address the communities needs. Gez did however express that he thinks something like this game would be useful in acclimating new users to the Second Life platform:
“I do think that there is some value in creating an experience that is simpler, it’s more guided, it gives you prompts, it gives you almost quests or achievements, things that tell you what you need to be able to do to learn how to use Second Life, but I will completely agree with the fact that Second Life, itself, is not a game. However, you can make some great games inside of Second Life, and you can use game mechanics, and game tutorials, and game systems to help people become more engaged and comfortable in Second Life. So, we recognize that there are a number of different experiences that you can create in SL, we’re always in awe of the things that you’ve created, but we are trying to find a way to get people over that initial hurdle of using the software and taking our gaming experience to help get people over that.”
In addition to working on the game, the product team explained LL has been focused on two main areas:
- rez times (including avatars appearing as a cloud and prioritization of rezzing)
- avatar customization
- basic/advanced modes
- sidebar of Viewer 2
- direct delivery from the marketplace
- inventory management
- mesh support (the mesh team also presented updates at SLCC)
- creating and selling
- NPC (non-player characters)
- web profiles, interests, groups
The team also pointed out that to further understand and support the community each member of the team has an area which the are subject matter experts:
- Art – Durian Linden
- Gaming & Breedables – Gez Linden
- Roleplaying – Esbee Linden
- Adult - Charlar Linden
- Education – Geo Linden
- Music - Nya Linden
- Fashion - Cassandra Linden
View their the full panel presentation below
What do you think of the work the product team is doing to better address the communities needs?