Linden Lab closing down LEA regions on 1st September


Breaking News

Sad news to report today is that Linden Lab will be closing down the LEA regions in Second Life on Sunday 1st September 2019 after no agreement was reached to save them. It’s going to be big loss going forward for arts in Second Life.

The news was sent out today to the LEA groups inworld on Friday 30th August. I personally hope Linden Lab will start a new program in the near future with a new vision going forward.


A final farewell message from the LEA Committee – 30th August 2019

Linden Endowment for the Arts in its current form comes to an end on August 31st and the remaining sims will be taken offline by Linden Labs on September 1st.

We would like to thank all those who came to support this program and the many artists who took part in it as Artists in Residence, Core grant holders or as collaborators with others in the many projects hosted on the LEA regions or took advantage of the Sandbox . The creativity demonstrated by the artists of Second Life at LEA was truly extraordinary and made the program a huge success from its inception in 2011.

We hope that Linden Labs will institute a new program to support the Arts in Second Life in the near future.

Thank you everyone

The LEA Committee
PatriciaAnne Daviau, Joan Bree Balogh, Lapiscean Liberty , Jayjay Zifanwe, Corcosman Voom, TheDove Rhode


LEA closure now likely to happen at the end of the week


LEA Welcome Area

LEA Update: 28th August 2019

With four days until the 1st of September it looks likely now the LEA regions in Second Life will be shut down before the end of the week. The lab have not released anything public as far as I know confirming they will save the LEA regions.

Various sources are saying that the word is that the LEA regions will be closing most likely on Saturday 31st August. The LEA regions could go within the next few days. There is a possibility the LEA regions could be reopened or come back to the grid at a later time. There is a chance though that the LEA Sandbox region could be saved.

The LEA 2.0 The New Future – Save LEA group will remain open and proactive apparently. There is still communications going on between Linden Lab and the LEA team. If the LEA regions do shut down at the end of this week it will be a huge loss for the Second Life community. I do hope the LEA regions can be saved in some way before the end of the week.

I’ll post futher updates on LEA if anything new developments this week.

Save LEA

Sansar Fees Update


Today the Sansar Team have posted a blog post named A Word About Fees which is worth reading if you are using Sansar nowadays. Last year there was a decision to change how processing credit works within Sansar. This was done to help scale and grow Sansar even futher than ever before. The good news is that Sansar will remain free for all to play and everyday operations will continue as normal. 

The Sansar Team mentions in the blog post that they will be now focusing the revenue model on the Sansar marketplace instead going forward. The legacy exchange rate will be extended for early adopters for another year. For creators before 1st January 2019 then they can get to keep the lower exchange rate until 31st December 2020. There will be a fees discussion meetup held soon. 

The full blog announcement… 

From our earliest days, we at Sansar have worked hard to build a virtual world that feels free and accessible to all – one where our amazing creators don’t have to worry about the constraints other platforms impose: a paid subscription just to cash out, for example, or fees for individual in-world transactions. We want to put you and your incredible work first, which is why we limit the kinds of fees we gather from our community. 

When we made the decision last year to change how we process credit, we understood it would be an adjustment. But we know that it is a necessary change to make in the long run: one that would help scale and grow our incredible virtual universe, and ensure our community remained strong, vibrant, and self-sufficient.

Through this change to our fee structure, we can continue to keep Sansar free for all to play, while still covering the costs of day-to-day operations: server maintenance, R&D, all that good stuff. We’re able to maximize the total content available to you without resorting to the fees  similar games enforce – in some cases, as much as an 80-20 revenue split.

We know that this may be unexpected for some, especially those that came to us through Second Life, where fees to process credit are lower. We also recognize that SL relies on a variety of fees to cover costs, including land ownership, upload fees, etc. By focusing our revenue model on our marketplace instead, we can limit the other fees we’d require in order to make Sansar a success.

We’re incredibly grateful for all the work you’ve contributed to Sansar so far, and we know the future is bright. In recognition of that, we’ll be extending the legacy exchange rate for early adopters for another year. If you became a creator before January 1, 2019, you’ll get to keep your lower exchange rate until December 31, 2020.

We’ll be speaking more to this change at our Fees Discussion meetup. Meet us there and let’s chat. 

Onwards,
The Sansar Team

New Trailers/Campers Development Area – August Update 2019


Since 11th August the Moles have been working on a new trailers/campers area on the south side of the SSP continent. Once work has been completed the whole area will be transferred across to the south side of the Bellisseria continent which could happen before mid September 2019 at best estimates. 

It’s looking more likely the release is becoming more imminent with every day that passes. I’ve taken snapshots of the development since early August to keep track of it’s progress via the map. 

11th August
20th August
23rd August
27th August
The development is going down south on the SSP continent – 27th August

Once the trailers/campers development is completed then it will be moved across to the south west of the Bellisseria continent. The newer regions could be here later this week or during early September 2019.

The location of the new trailers/campers (south west corner)

Bakes On Mesh Viewer & Simulator Release Channel Improvements


On Monday 26th August Linden Lab made two separate blog announcements via the Second Life official blog. The first announcement is the release of the Bakes On Mesh Viewer which is now live and is great news for everyone. Here are some of the major features and benefits of using the new Bakes On Mesh Viewer…

Bakes On Mesh is a feature that allows you to apply a server baked texture to a mesh attachment, similar to the way that standard system avatars currently work. Using this feature, you’ll be able to apply several texture layers to customise skin, tattoos, clothing, etc on your mesh object as a single server baked texture without the need for multiple transparent layers.

Major Features

  • Any face of a mesh object can be textured using any of the server baked textures.

  • The corresponding region of the system avatar is hidden if any attached mesh is using a baked texture.

  • New texture bake channels have been introduced to give more control over how meshes get textured.

  • A new “universal wearable” is now provided with support for the new texture channels.

Benefits

  • Avoid the need for appliers, leading to an easier customization workflow.

  • Avoid the need for “onion” avatars, leading to fewer meshes and fewer textures at display time.

  • Allow for customization of any mesh that’s set to use Bakes on Mesh by simply equipping the appropriate wearables, without needing to modify the mesh itself.

The second blog announcement was on Simulator Release Channel Improvements. Here are the key points in brief…

  • Starting with this week’s rolls some of the externally visible changes will begin. The first change you’ll be able to see is that the channel name will no longer be obvious: when this change is fully deployed
  • The server release notes will soon be moving from the wiki to the new releasenotes.secondlife.com site
  • Future improvements will make each RC channel a better model of the Grid as a whole

The full blog announcement… 

For many years, we have introduced changes to the Region simulators by deploying updates first to one or more of our Release Candidate (RC) channels, and rolling them on the Wednesday following the main channel roll on Tuesday. We evaluate the performance and stability in those RCs before making the changes to the rest of the Grid. This is an essential element of evolving Second Life because the size and variability of our virtual world are so great that there is no way we can test (or even know about) all the ways in which you’re using it.

We’re working on a series of changes to this process designed to provide us with better data on the reliability and performance of each server update. These process changes have already begun internally with better tracking and monitoring of server performance and stability. Starting with this week’s rolls some of the externally visible changes will begin. The first change you’ll be able to see is that the channel name will no longer be obvious: when this change is fully deployed (it will only be on one or more RCs this week) the channel name displayed by the viewer or available to LSL will always be the main channel name (“Second Life Server”). This is simply to avoid spurious associations between the RC names (“BlueSteel”, “LeTigre”, “Magnum”, and occasionally other smaller ones); we hear interesting but incorrect assumptions that are made about those channel names, such as that one channel runs on better (or worse) hardware than another one does . For now at least, you’ll still be able to determine that your Region is on some RC by the fact that it rolls on Wednesday rather than Tuesday (it would be nice to get all rolls onto just one day or otherwise disassociate roll days from whether or not they’re on an RC … we’d like to get there eventually), and by comparing the simulator version strings (which are getting a small format change with this version) to the versions in the release notes. What’s really important is the simulator version, so be sure to report that with any problem (reporting the channel name alone today just means that we have to figure out when you were reporting for and look up the version you had at that time, since it can change).

Speaking of release notes, the server release notes will soon be moving from the wiki to the new releasenotes.secondlife.com site; that site has been used for viewer releases for some time now. The process which creates the notes on the new site more accurately reports when we fix a bug you reported or a feature you requested by using the externally visible BUG ids.

Future improvements will make each RC channel a better model of the Grid as a whole. Support will continue to be able to accommodate Region owners’ requests that a Region be in the RC for a particular feature or fix they want as soon as possible, or that it be excluded from any RC. It is generally  better if Region owners do allow us to select Regions for RCs because it improves the chances that we’ll detect problems early – if your Region is unusual in some way, it may be the best place for us to detect a problem and avoid sending it to the entire Grid. The RC sandbox Regions will, of‌ ‌course, stay in the RCs, so you’ll always have somewhere to test the latest changes.

 

Hair Fair 2019 opens in Second Life


Hair Fair 2019 opened to the public on 17th August in Second Life and the last day for the event will be on 1st September 2019. Hair Fair is an annual event where hair creators from all over Second Life come together. It’s a great place to shop for all of the newest hair styles and trends.

There are six regions to explore with something different in every region. The shopping regions are Noirette, Redhead and Blonde. The cam shopping regions are Foils, Perms and Streaks. All regions are rated General.

Every purchase made at Hair Fair 2019 donates a percentage to Wigs for Kids. Bandana booths and Donation kiosks donate 100%.

Hair Fair 2019 Guide Map
Noirette
Hair Fair 2019 Regions Map

Teleport to the Hair Fair 2019 event here

1 year later since the SSP regions first appeared on the grid


80 SSP regions arrived on 20th August 2018

It’s been one year since the first batch of 80 SSP regions arrived on the grid. Back then all we was told it was a Super Secret Project. Many speculated it could be the start of a new continent or perhaps Linden Realms or Horizons etc.

The day after I first blogged about the new batch of regions a new forums thread named SSP? was started. A year later and the thread is still active with 110+ pages. It’s a good place to get first previews of new developments happening. Soon after that the lab did set up a new Linden Homes sub forum.

The Second Life Grid Survey picked up the new SSP regions on 19th August 2018. I discovered the regions on the map the day after on 20th August 2018 with many others. I can’t believe it’s been a year already. Woooot!!

The excitement happened about a few weeks later when more regions were added. This then became the working grounds for the LDPW Moles to start preparations for the new Bellisseria continent. Yay!

In September 2018 the SSP continent grew from 80 regions to 384 regions. New roads, lakes, housing blocks and houseboat slips were put in from October 2018 onwards.

Terraforming changes – 2nd September 2018
New areas appeared – 1st October 2018

Between October 2018 and January 2019 hundred’s of small dots started to appear across the SSP continent. The new Linden homes foundations were put in. The houseboat slips were built around the outside during this time period.

16th January 2019

The SSP continent started to take shape during February 2019 with even more developments going on. Two new small islands appear on the east coast of the continent along with a new message.

19th February 2019

At the end of March 2019 the top half of the SSP continent was copied over and placed between the Sansara continent and the Jeogeot continent. Tons of water regions connected the north and south of the new continent making one huge super continent.

26th March

The start of the new Bellisseria continent

First preview of the new Linden homes

In mid April 2019 Linden Lab officially launched the new Linden Homes for Premium users. Here is the first snapshot I took of the new continent map on opening day. The first visitors and new homes being released.

The Bellisseria continent officially opens – 15th April 2019
First Houseboats Preview – 14th May 2019
The houseboats release opens – 15th May 2019
Bellisseria continent and the new houseboats area – 4th June 2019

More Linden Homes and Houseboats

17th August 2019
Bellisseria Map – 18th August 2019

Between June 2019 – August 2019 the Moles have been working hard on building the central parts of the continent. There are now more Linden homes, houseboats, a new airstrip/fairgrounds area and new underwater areas. More work is planned in the weeks and months ahead.

The Moles are now working on the new Pickle island which is due to be completed next month. The new trailers is being worked on and should be released very soon. The top half of the Bellisseria continent is now online and hopefully the bottom half of the continent will come online before the end of 2019.

Key Moments During The Past Year

It’s been a very busy first year with developments, music events, new groups forming and plenty of discussions on the forums. It’s been great to follow the latest developments and discover new areas. I’m looking forward to see what will happen next.

A very well done job by the Moles and Lindens so far. Woooot!!!

The process of adding new regions to the Bellissaria continent


SSPE189

On 16th August Quartz Mole responded to this question how long does it take to copy a few hundred trees and boats? on the Second Life Forums. Quartz gave an very interesting explanation I think on how LDPW Moles add new regions to the Bellissaria continent. Quartz makes it pretty clear on the different stages that needs to happen before any particular region or group of regions can be released. Each region has to get the green light (pass) along with several QA inspections in the process. Above each region is the LH REGION status marker showing how each region is coming along.

When you see a new batch of regions added on the new continent each new region has to be terraformed, divided up into parcels and roads need to be built. Then the houseboat slips come in followed by the decorating phrase. If there is any spare land then the Moles will add new community areas around the new areas. It does take some time to finish the new regions and the LDPW Moles are working pretty much flat out. Quartz mentions that the terraforming and decorating of the regions is done with attention to detail along with so much care so it looks awesome by the end.

Quartz explanation response…

Each region in Bellissaria is unique,  designed and laid out individually.   When we make new regions to add to Bellissaria, we start with a completely new one, flat as pool table and completely featureless. Each one needs terraforming and dividing up into parcels, and roads laying,  and slips for the boats, and then decorating with trees, flowers, rocks, fences and whatever else for the parcels and then some general landscaping on the remaining LDPW land plus some community areas building here and there.   

That’s all done by teams of LDPW Moles, working together, and pretty much flat out.    It involves several passes, and several QA inspections at different stages in the process. That’s what takes the time,  and it’s because the terraforming and decorating is done with such care and attention to detail that the regions look as good as they do.    

I’m not sure who the users are that you think generate and create the content on Bellissaria — everything we put out on a region is made and scripted by LDPW Moles, and those of us who work primarily in content creation for Bellissaria rather than setting up the regions are already well advanced into creating items for future themes.   

Just look at the great progress the LDPW Moles have made since early June 2019 (everything within the blue circle below). The central land mass, the Bellissaria fairgrounds including the 2nd new airstrip and the new Pickle island that has been created since early June. The Moles have added tons of new Linden homes, new Houseboats, new waterways, new community areas and much more since then. 

It’s great to see the Bellissaria community getting bigger every week. There is still huge demand for the new homes and it’s going to take some time before everyone gets a home. There will be more big releases coming up probably before the end of 2019. 

Home Releases: The best and fasted way to get a new Linden home or new Houseboat is to check the land selection page for “Bellissaria” on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as they are the release days at the moment. It will show briefly at different times of the day apparently. I still think the lab need to completely revamp the whole land selection page with live status updates on when new homes are available. 

Q4 2019: The Bellissaria continent will be expanding south in the months ahead with new themed areas, new community areas, new homes and houseboats. I am really excited to see what comes next. 

I’m predicting that the Bellissaria continent could be completed in early 2020. Perhaps before the spring.  

On 20th August 2019 will mark one year since the first SSP regions came online. I’ll be doing a special blog post looking back at the first year.

New Linden Home Security System Available


Today Patch Linden posted a small update about a new and improved version of the Linden Homes Security system which rolls out now. It’s packaged inside the Content Pack via the home rezzer Life Buoy or Mailox. Check it out 🙂

This new version now includes the following features…

  • 1 Land Impact – You asked for it and here it is!
  • Menus – Now uses a dialog menu system to create and manage an access whitelist. NO MORE NOTECARD!
  • More Admins – You can name one or more people who will have permission to administer the security system.
  • Sky Alert  – If you are using the security system in a skybox, it can notify you when someone is hovering within 1000m for more than 15 seconds, even if they are not close enough to be ejected by the system.

Please spread the word 🙂

Squishy Pickle II Arrives Next To The Bellisseria Continent


Squishy Pickle II has arrived

Within the last 24 hours or so the Bellisseria Continent has increased it’s land mass again by 40 new regions with a huge new addition of Squishy Pickle II regions east of the new continent.

This is very exciting news for the whole Bellisseria community. The top part of Squishy Pickle II the Moles have already built new homes, houseboats and some of the roadways. There are new water lakes going down south. Can’t wait to see what else the Moles build have in the works next.

New water lakes, new houseboats, new areas and a new lighthouse

Squishy Pickle II comes at a excellent time because the Bellisseria continent (known as SSP back then) first appeared on the grid back in mid August 2018.

New Linden homes and new Houseboats work has already started
Squishy Pickle I & Squishy Pickle II

New developments happening on the original SSP continent

New camper/trailer area in development in SSP84
New development happening in SSP185
Big development going on in SSP264 & SSP280