Its time to look back at InWorldz memorable events and new records set month by month during 2013. InWorldz is one of my top favourite grids to visit on a regular basis and it’s full of friendly people. InWorldz continues grow in terms of sign ups, active users and regions every month. All links and dates shown below are my blog.
This is a special early post looking back at the first six months of 2013 in Second Life on what happened between January 2013 to June 2013 including Linden Lab announcements, popular SL news stories and big events that shaped 2013. All links below are from my blog posts during the first six months of 2013 and I’ll be publishing the final six months of 2013 post before the end of December 2013. Stay tuned for that.
I can’t believe it’s nearly christmas and 2014 already!
Today Linden Lab have published a new SL video showing many big improvements that the lab has introduced during 2013. The video runs for 57 seconds showing many new features and improvements. It’s a really good video for Second Life to highlight 2013 and everyone should watch this I think. I’m sure there will be more new features to come in late 2013 and next year in 2014. I guess we will have to wait and see.
(first 10 seconds)
in 2003, Second Life launched.
In the last 10 years…Second Life has evolved in many ways
And in 2013, we’re celebrating…
(after 10 seconds to 56 seconds)
7 big improvements…
Better graphics & enhanced lighting
Better performance & faster avatar loading
New & improved welcome experience
Streamlined chat & communication tools
Sharing to Facebook
Simplified shopping experience
Virtual reality headset support, coming soon
What will the next 10 years bring ?
What SL improvements have you liked this year and what improvements do you want to see introduced in the near future ?
The latest developments on server side baking on third party viewers. SSB renders clothing layers, avatar’s skin, tattoos, alpha from the client side to the server faster. Linden Lab are testing server side baking for official SL viewers which is due to be released hopefully within 2-4 weeks.
Top 3 resource links that I can find for places to visit and explore on the grid of InWorldz during 2013. I hope this is a useful guide to interesting places, shops and much more in InWorldz. Today there are 1, 258 regions and that number is growing on a weekly basis. These are great ways of finding new places and new friends. The Events tab and the Map tab in Search is another good way of finding beautiful sims on the grid and new people. Favourite places to visit in InWorldz during 2013 ?
Landmarks board on InWorldz Desert Island – Hundreds of locations to visit in the specific categories shown below. Very useful for newbies joining InWorldz today and for existing residents of InWorldz that want to explore more of the grid.
InWorldz Places Website - Number one website at the moment for updated locations around InWorldz to check out and hangout. There are a number of categories at the top of InWorldz Places website with amazing snapshots of many places across InWorldz.
Check out this InWorldz Desert Island Map of Stores which is very useful to see where each store is located on the sim. In the next month or so InWorldz Desert Island will be a major layout change. Stay updated on the latest on the InWorldz Forums.
Add participants to a conversation already in progress
See all of your conversations and everyone in those conversations, using an inventory-like UI
Quickly move your voice connection between conversations and effortlessly adjust individual volume or overall volume in a single click
View all of your recent communications in one window (Conversation Log)
See what was said in any conversation (Conversation Transcripts)
Set Do Not Disturb to focus on other things and get all the communications (and inventory offers!) you missed, after you come back
Choose from four levels of notification for each of five different kinds of incoming communication. You can set IMs from friends and IMs from non-friends to different levels of notification
Turn sound on and off for four different events, such as inventory offers and teleport offers
Access voice morphs more easily
Get to chat preferences and privacy preferences directly from the Conversations window.
Type your chats into an expanding, multiple-line box
Select multiple users across different conversations and start a new conference with them
Choose which conversations are in their own windows, and which should be in a tabbed window — you can have both now.
Collapse any conversation to a single-line input with popup messages.
See users and objects you have blocked in a new tab in the People window.
What is CHUI?
As we’ve previously blogged about, CHUI puts Second Life’s communications tools in a more flexible UI that lets you customize it for the ways you prefer to communicate inworld. You can even turn it all off when you want to build, make movies, or simply be left alone for a while.
Watch the NEW VIDEO below about the new (CHUI) by Torley Linden.
What do you think about the new Communications Hub User Interface (CHUI) in the Second Life viewer ?
Today I decided to sign up to Pixie Viewer and try out the first look release. Pixie Viewer is a web browser-based viewer for virtual 3D environments. Pixie Viewer is currently in the Alpha phrase and runs on tablets/mobiles which supports HTML5 internet browers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc. Hopefully soon it will reach the beta/public release stages along with new features.
The sign-up process was very quick and easy to register with my SL username. The login process takes seconds to load and render objects in the new resident Pixie experience. My first impressions was that the Pixie Viewer shows a very basic user interface with limited amount of controls around the edges of the screen. Also it’s very quiet in terms of avatars nearby which is somewhat expected I think. I liked the large Welcome Sign with things you can do in the first look version of the Pixie Viewer.
Basic User Interface buttons:
Play/Mute/Pause buttons with volume slider
Stats button which brings up the Scene Rendering Info
There is a new release of the Lumiya Viewer at version 2.4.1 which is now available on Google Play. Lumiya Viewer requires version 2.1 and up on android phones and tablets in order for the app to run well. Lumiya Viewer costs £1.85 with no monthly fees after and it’s 4.8M to download.
It now comes with support for mesh objects and clothing along with support for RLV. There is now support for server-side baking and there’s much more in the whats new list. This new update has been available since 31st January 2013.
Support for mesh objects and clothing.
Support for RLV.
Support for server-side baking.
Animation requests are no longer auto-accepted.
Fixed display of outfit folders in inventory.
Fixed duplicate messages in chat.
Fixed inventory appearing empty after teleport.
Lumiya Viewer features…
Navigate Second Life world around you in 3D;
Exchange instant messages with your Second Life friends;
Teleport to various locations in Second Life world by using landmarks from your inventory;
Send and receive messages in local chat;
Interact with in-world objects and more.
I think Alina Lyvette the developer has done a great job on developing Lumiya Viewer to be one of the best SL android apps ever. From reading the reviews it seems to be all positive and the amount of downloads is somewhere between 10, 000 to 50, 000. I’m going to have to try out Lumiya Viewer very soon.
Jessica Lyon the project manager of the Phoenix/Firestorm project in Second Life have relaunched the previous phoenix homepage to a new look. The Firestorm Viewer new homepage looks more updated and it comes with exciting new customizable skins to choose from.
Amazing transformation from the old look to the friendly new look website which is a good move to start 2013 of with I think. Very exciting times indeed for the Firestorm team and Firestorm viewer users. What do you think of the new look website of Firestorm ?
The big news this weekend announced by Jessica Lyon during a recent Phoenix office hour with the SL community is that the Phoenix Viewer support will be ending on Monday 31st December 2012. Apparently the Phoenix Viewer will then be removed from the SL third-party directory and Phoenix links will be removed from the Phoenix Official Blog. In 2013 Firestorm Viewer will be the default popular third party viewer and more new developments will continue to happen.
The reason for why Phoenix Viewer support will be ending is because Linden Lab will be rolling out server-side avatar baking in 2013 which should be interesting. TPVs have been told about this 2013 avatar baking roll out and hopefully the deployment will go without any major issues.
It seems like the server side baking rollout is at it’s final stages now with a timeline of 8 weeks according to Oz Linden via the Open Source Mailing List recently.
Oz Linden (Scott Lawrence)
For any of you developing viewers that are not in the TPV Directory and so didn’t get the notice there….
We have now made available the code for our upcoming server side baking changes – you will need to update to be compatible with this in order for users to see avatars correctly once the server side change is rolled out to the main grid (some time > 8 weeks from now, but no date has been set yet).
As Oz said in the meeting, the clock is now ticking. We asked for at least two months’ notice, and yesterday we got that. LL would like to roll the code out to the grid in February, but they’ll work with TPV developers to make sure we all have had the code and a good chance to implement it before they actually roll it out.
History of the Phoenix Viewer
Transition from Emerald controversy to Phoenix in September 2010
Phoenix Viewer added to The Third-Party Viewer Directory list in September 2010
Phoenix Viewer Beta 2 in July 2011
40 groups enabled on Phoenix Viewer in January 2011
Phoenix Project turned one years old in September 2011
Phoenix Viewer Beta 2 with Mesh Support in September 2011
Phoenix classes started in 2011
New changes to TPV policy & Phoenix TPV policy meeting in late February 2012
Phoenix Viewer support ends 31st December 2012
What do you think about this major announcement and will you be switching to Firestorm if not already?
On Tuesday 4th September 2012 Oz Linden on the behalf of Linden Lab said that Firestorm viewer has taken over the number one spot on the list of Second Life viewers. Firestorm users are spending longer time in the viewer (total user time) and even more than the previous Phoenix viewer. Firestorm is now the most stable viewer and popular viewer in Second Life.
Happy 2nd Anniversary Firestorm!
It’s nice that Linden Lab have noticed this happening and I would like to say congratulations to the Firestorm Viewer team for being the number 1 viewer in Second Life today and for making SL a better place. I hope there will be a list of viewers usage stats somewhere public because that would be interesting. This email below was sent via the opensource-dev mailing list. There are more details on the Official Phoenix Firestorm Blog post by Jessica Lyon.
Snapshot of the email
On Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 7:53 AM, Oz Linden (Scott Lawrence) oz at lindenlab.com> wrote:
On behalf of Linden Lab, I’d like to extend congratulations to the Firestorm Viewer team.
Last week, Firestorm took over the #1 spot on the list of Second Life viewers in terms of total user time, surpassing its elder cousin, Phoenix. The Phoenix viewer still has a slight lead in number of sessions, but Firestorm viewer sessions are on average significantly longer – which may in turn be due in part to its substantially better stability.
The Firestorm team has worked long and hard to support users who want both the latest Second Life features being developed by Linden Lab and the additional capabilities you provide, and this achievement is one you can all be proud of. Thank you.
Awesome news and this is a fantastic achievement for the Firestorm team.
Yesterday on 25th August 2012 the new resident supported Firestorm Support Region opened to all Second Life users. The Firestorm Support Region is a nice updated walkthrough tutorial of the basics of Second Life and the Firestorm viewer. This is the first time a third party viewer team have created a support region for it’s userbase I think.
The Firestorm Support Region is only used for those that need help with all things Firestorm. It’s not being used as a hangout place apparently and that’s understandable. I went to visit the region and I was very impressed indeed. Members of the Resident Help Network have joined this effort. Teleport to Firestorm Support Region.
Exploring the Firestorm Support Region
Visit today and enjoy the new user experience of Firestorm.
Q Linden announced the new version of Viewer 2.5 on the Official Second Life Blog yesterday afternoon (SLT), which comes with the new web-based profiles. I downloaded and installed the new version from the Viewer 2.5 release notes page from the SL wiki to view the recent changes. I noticed that Viewer 2.5 on my PC was faster in performance which is way better than previous versions of Viewer 2.
I still much prefer to see profiles in-world (sidebar) instead of opening up a web browser or tab to view them each time. It would be good to have a choice between them. The new privacy settings make sense for how public SL profiles are seen and there is definitely room for improvements and changes for web-based SL profiles like including Plurk in social networking options. There is still alot of mixed reactions to the new SL profiles on the web and it’s going to be interesting to see what Linden Lab does with web based profiles during 2011.
I think this is a great feature that Linden Lab has introduced with Viewer 2.5 to access landmarks from the login screen to favourite places in-world. It would be nice to view existing favourite LMs from one’s inventory too.
On Tuesday4th January 2011, I attended the Phoenix 101 Class, hosted at Wailele Moku region in Second Life. The class started a few minutes after 1pm SLT hosted by Ed Merryman, the Support Leader. The Phoenix team were only expecting around 10-15 residents to attend however 60 residents attended the voice-enabled class hour. Ed Merryman did a great job at giving residents a voice tutorial about the basics of the Phoenix viewer and answering questions during the class. Ed Merryman went through the preferences menu features and talked about different parts of the viewer which I throught was really interesting. The class lasted for 1 hour & 44 minutes.
Upcoming Phoenix 101 Classes
Phoenix 101 Classes
In our ongoing efforts to help and improve the user experience, we are starting educational “Phoenix 101″ classes for our users on the Phoenix Viewer. The first set of classes will be covering our extensive preference options and explain what they all do. The classes will run from 1-1.5 hours long and done in voice.
The initial classes will be on the following dates.
Tuesday Jan 4 2011 @ 1 PM SLT
Thursday Jan 6 2011 @ 8AM SLT
Saturday Jan 8 2011 @ 6PM SLT.
Once we get through the first set of classes we will be able to better modify our format, curriculum and demand needs. We will then announce regular on going classes of different subjects here on this blog.
If your a Phoenix user or thinking about switching viewers or perhaps your a new Phoenix user then I highly recommend you attend these classes to learn the basic-advanced info about the viewer. Thanks to Ed and Jessica and Phoenix team.
Recap of the popular news stories during the month of October 2010 in Second Life. Click on the links for more info and the dates are listed right next to them. If you have any highlights, please share in comments. Happy Halloween 2010.
As of 10am PT Wednesday, September 8, the Emerald Viewer will be blocked from logging in to Second Life as a result of violations of our Policy on Third Party Viewers.
All versions of the Emerald Viewer will be blocked from logging in to Second Life as of tomorrow at 10am. Please be aware that attempting to circumvent our blocking to access Second Life with a banned Viewer is a violation of the Policy on Third-Party Viewers and may result in the loss of one’s account.