I can’t believe it’s my 12th Rez Day in Second Life today and wow what an exciting journey it’s been so far. I’m still active inworld sharing my adventures every month via Flickr and blogging about the things that matter.
My blog followers has increased over recent years to 722 which is incredible and I really appreciate all the support from all over the community. I was the second runner up for best news blog thanks to the 2018 bloggies awards. My blog surpassed the 630, 000 hits milestone earlier this month.
It would be great to reach my 15th Rez Day celebrations in a couple of years time in Second Life because that would be a great milestone for me. I can’t wait to see what the year ahead brings bugs bunny and now it’s time to celebrate.
Linden Lab has made a major announcement today that Sansar will be moving over to the popular gaming platform Steam in early 2019. Linden Lab will be discontinuing the SandeX exchange as of 4th December 2018. After that date the lab plans on moving to a fixed conversion rate model.
It’s important to mention that Second Life didn’t work out very well on Steam back in 2012. It’s going to be interesting to see what impact this will have on Sansar’s user usage and revenue during 2019. The lab are gambling on a huge influx of new users with cash to spend to make Sansar more successful in the years ahead.
Here is the full blog announcement on the changes coming up soon for Sansar…
Sansar has come a long way since we started the project. In 2018 we have devoted an enormous amount of effort to improving the end-user experience, and will continue to do so.
Given those improvements, we believe we are quickly approaching the point where we want to start bringing a large number of users onto the platform. This is an important milestone for us and especially our creators. One of the foundational principles of Sansar is that creators must be able to profit from their creations. For us to make that a reality, we need to give our creators a large audience of customers.
The cornerstone of our growth effort will be to put Sansar on Steam. Steam is where more than half of the VR market goes to find software. It also is a huge pool of users who are interested in our space and are likely to have the hardware required to run Sansar. We anticipate being able to get onto Steam by the end of this year. This is a huge step for us and we’re excited to be able introduce Sansar to an even wider audience.
In order to do this, we are obligated to make significant changes to how Sansar works, especially in how the Sansar Dollar and process credit system work. These changes, will also make the credit process for Creators far more consistent and predictable. The first change is that we will be discontinuing the Sandex as of December 4, 2018.
After that date, we will be moving to a fixed conversion rate model. Creators will continue to be able to sell their work for Sansar Dollars on the Store (and soon in experiences!). Eligible creators may convert some or all of their earned Sansar Dollar balance to US dollars at a rate of S$250 to $1, and then request a USD credit to be processed in 30 days. This matches Steam’s payment timeline.
We understand that this may have an impact on the amount of revenue returned to creators compared to the Sandex. However, we believe that in the long run our creators will significantly benefit from having access to the larger Steam user base. In addition, anyone who has created their Sansar account before December 31, 2018 will receive a legacy conversion rate of S$143 to $1 until December 31, 2019, after which the conversion rate for all accounts will be S$250 to $1.
Our automated Sansar Dollar Conversion page will not be available until January 2019. In the interim, we are committed to working with our Creators to manually process credit requests of Sansar Dollars through an email process, the details of which will soon follow.
We are excited about our move onto Steam and the migration to a fixed-rate model. It is a momentous change for our platform and our community. The changes outlined here will make Sansar accessible to a larger audience, while also make processing credits more consistent and predictable. Thank you for your support with these changes. They will help Sansar grow as huge as we all know it can be.
If you have any questions about this change or the manual credit requests, feel free to contact us via Twitter, Facebook, or on Discord. You can also attend our next Product Meetup on Friday Nov. 2nd at 11am PDT. If you can’t make it into Sansar for the Product Meetup, you can join us through our live Twitch stream. Further events to discuss these changes will be made available at the community’s request.
The new Islandz grid has been under development during the past few months since the closure of the former InWorldz grid back in late July 2018. There has been a lot of good progress made in recent weeks. It’s been interesting following the all the latest updates through the Islandz Discord channel.
According to Jim Tarber this week user accounts opting in and new user registrations could happen in just a few days time which would be great news for the community. Region sales are a couple of weeks away. When the new grid opens there will be a big party.
The new Islandz grid will be running on Halcyon which will have mesh apparently. Hopefully the new Islandz grid will be open to the public in early November 2018 or sooner.
No set date has been announced yet.
The wait is almost over. I will post more updates soon.
Jason Gholston has officially left Sansar and Linden Lab this month after six years. Jason has started his new job as a creative director at Speech Graphics in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jason will be working on providing accurate avatar lip-syncing and facial animations which sounds very interesting indeed.
In Second Life
Jason joined Linden Lab back in April 2012 and led the Second Life maintenance engineering team with a main focus on customer retention and quality of service. Jason worked on managing the Oculus Rift integration with Second Life.
Jason then worked on Sansar developing social VR experiences on the Sansar platform for clients like Intel and Warner Bros. He worked on creating the Unity prototypes used to greenlight the development of Sansar.
Jason was the product manager at Sansar and he was responsible for management of the monthly releases of Sansar. From the engine, rendering, audio, level editor, terrain editor, VR level editor, avatar simulation and content pipeline teams. Jason hosted weekly VR meetups at the beginning in Sansar with the community to gather feedback, help troubleshoot issues and provide tutorials.
Jason Initiated and negotiated unique tech partnerships and content commissions valued over $2 million.
Within the past hour Linden Lab have announced an new exclusive promotional price of 50% off your first payment on a new monthly Premium Membership subscription. The offer started today at 8am PDT/SLT and will expire on 5th November 2018.
Premium members will also receive a L$1000 sign-up bonus, a weekly L$300 stipend, exclusive access to Premium sandboxes, exclusive gifts, a personal home which has now expanded to 1024 instead of 512 and much more.
Here is the full blog announcement on the new 50% discount…
Treat yourself to a Premium Second Life membership at an exclusive promotional price starting today – for a limited time, get 50% off your first payment on a new monthly Premium Membership subscription.*
Premium members receive a L$1000 sign-up bonus, a weekly L$ stipend, your own personal home (which is now 1024 instead of 512), and exclusive gifts like the current spook-tacular Haunted Campsite (pictured). As a Premium member, you also enjoy many other benefits, like exclusive access to Premium Sandboxes inworld (where you can create and meet other Premium members), priority access to crowded Regions and events, expanded customer support, and increased missed IM caps and group membership limits.
Upgrade to Premium and start enjoying the benefits now!
*TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR 50% DISCOUNT
This offer begins on October 25, 2018 at 8AM Pacific Time (PT) and expires on November 5, 2018 at 8AM PT. To qualify for this promotion, you must 1) have an existing Second Life (“SL”) basic account or create a new account, and 2) select monthly (every one month) billing for your SL account. The fifty percent (50%) discount will be applied to your first month’s bill and future months will be billed at the standard Premium Membership price (currently US$9.50 per one month). For new accounts or accounts not previously upgraded to Premium Membership, after initial login through the Second Life viewer following upgrade to Premium Membership and: 1) following your first full week, the L$300 weekly stipend will be deposited to your account every Tuesday for the duration of your Premium Membership; and 2) after your account has been active for forty-five (45) consecutive days, the L$ sign-up bonus will be deposited to your account.
Will you be upgrading your account to Premium over the Halloween holidays ?
Currently BURN2 – I, Robot 2018 is open in Second Life through until Sunday 28th October. BURN2 is still community supported with a ton of interesting events happening every day.
Yesterday I went exploring around the Burning Man regions and I absolutely loved the I, Robot theme. There are robots all over the regions from a variety of sizes to look at for. The builds look incredible again this year.
On Friday 19th October Linden Lab announced that Grumpity Linden, Oz Linden and Patch Linden will be participating in the next Town Hall meeting starting at 10am through until 11am SLT on Thursday 15th November 2018 in Second Life.
The actual location of the Town Hall meeting will be announced very soon. If you have any questions, you can submit them here.
Here is the full announcement…
There are a lot of people working behind the scenes on Second Life, creating new features, improving performance, keeping things running smoothly, and performing incredible feats of troubleshooting and resolving issues when it doesn’t.
That is why we have invited Grumpity Linden (Director of Product), Oz Linden ( Senior Director or Engineering) and Patch Linden ( Senior Director or Product Operations) to participate in our next Town Hall – taking place November 15th from 10 to 11 am SLT.
Collectively, these three have over 28 (!) years of experience working on Second Life and work closely with all the Second Life teams to continue to improve this platform that we’ve all come to love.
They are some of the biggest stakeholders in the direction of the product development roadmap each year, and know the product inside and out!
If you have a question that you would like to ask these Lindens, please take a moment to post it in the Community Forum thread “Town Hall Meeting with Grumpity, Oz, and Patch Linden – November 15” in advance of the Town Hall. Questions will be selected from all submissions made prior to November 9th, so be sure to get your question in before then!
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for November 15 to see if your question is selected. On that day, you can join us live for the Town Hall meeting. Location will be publicized closer to the event – stay tuned!
We’ll see you inworld soon!
Please spread the word about this Town Hall meeting happening next month.
The old SLUniverse Forums have officially closed down as of 10th October 2018 after last month’s closure announcement. The old forums will be now archived and will be brought back online sometime during the next few months.
The new forum site called VirtualVerse One has been up and running for a few weeks now. There are active discussions going on everyday on the Forum list featuring a great range of topics from virtual worlds, Second Life, OpenSim, Sansar, Gaming, TV & Films to Scripting and much more.
So far on the new forums there have been 463 threads, 6, 836 messages and over 390 members. It’s a great resource for the latest news, buzz and statistics.
Google has officially announced that the social media platform Google+ will be shutting down over the next ten months for consumers after the recent security flaw that has exposed users private details. Apparently up to 500,000 Google+ accounts were potentially affected. Google says Google+ currently has “low usage and engagement” and that 90 percent of Google+ user sessions last less than five seconds.
Huge impact on Second Life and OpenSim Google+ communities
This is sad news for all Second Life and OpenSim users that have been running active communities on Google+. This is very disappointing news especially for the active OpenSim Virtual community that has over 2, 000 members because it was a great resource to find out whats going on.
Anyone that uses Google+ will have to move else where within the next 10 months like onto Facebook, Reddit, Pluspora, Discord or Mastodon etc. Whatever happens the communities will come back stronger and bigger after the closure.
The third-party Android viewer “IM to Secondlife” was released back in September 2015 and since then has been downloaded more than 10, 000 times on the Google Play Store. The reviews have been mostly mixed and negative recently. It’s rated 3 and half stars out of 5 stars.
Here is the full blog post by Oz Linden…
Linden Lab has blocked the third party Android client “IM to Secondlife”; it may no longer be used to access Second Life. We did so due to serious violations of the Policy on Third Party Viewersrelating to user account security and user privacy.
If you have ever used that viewer, Linden Lab strongly suggests that you secure your Second Life account, beginning with updating your password on the Second Life account page:
It’s good to see Linden Lab taking some serious action to protect the security of the Second Life community.