A look back at 2020 in Second Life – August to December plus the year ahead for 2021


Since the summer there has been some interesting developments, news and events that have taken place in Second Life. The lab announced the Second Life Endowment for the Arts (SLEA) a new community arts initiative, the new Second Life public calendar, the availability of private regions again and much more.

Linden Lab moved 100% of Second Life regions into the cloud (AWS) recently, launched the official Second Life Merchandise Store and released the Stilt homes.

  • See part 1 – January to July 2020 review blog post.
  • See part 2 below for August to December 2020
  • See my 2021 predictions at bottom of this blog post

August 2020

In early August Philip Rosedale the founder of Second Life and the co-Founder of High Fidelity went live on Lab Gab episode 23 to talk about the origins of Second Life and Linden Lab. Philip talked about hanging out at the new Linden Homes continent, the virus pandemic, the rig, the status of High Fidelity, his Second Life avatar, a little about the Linden Lab acquisition (saying it’s a good thing) and much more.

The YavaScript Pod Tours got support from Linden Lab to continue the pod tour operations across the grid. A further expansion is expected to happen in the near future.

The Shelter closed down at the end of August after 16 years of operating in Second Life. The reasons are numerous and too lengthy from the Shelter Leadership. The Shelter was a good place for newbies to get started in Second Life, get freebies, hang out during live music events and much more. There used to be volunteers who helped new residents out every day.

September 2020

Linden Lab announced the Second Life Endowment for the Arts (SLEA) a new community arts initiative developed in partnership with Tansee and Hannington Xeltentat. The SLEA will be starting in January 2021 and will be operating across seven regions supplied by Linden Lab, supported by a board of advisers and volunteers.

In late September Linden Lab launched the official Second Life Merchandise Store which “offers Second Life and Linden Lab branded clothing and accessories, with a very inclusive range of sizes“. The Second Life Merchandise Store is now live here and it’s worth mentioning that this on-line store is hosted by RedBubble.

October 2020

Linden Lab posted a blog post in early October about registering for the U.S. Elections. 

Virtual Worlds Are Made By Real People

Just as we are free to create and shape the virtual world of Second Life, we can’t forget the power that we also have to shape the physical world.

We are all a part of something, and your voice matters.
Register to vote today!

To vote in the 2020 U.S. election, you can register in person or online. Voter registration deadlines vary from state to state, with cutoffs ranging from 7-30 days before the election.

It’s also important to check if your state requires identification, find your polling location, and apply for an absentee ballot if you can’t make it in person. Click here for more information.

Don’t forget that if your legal name, address, or political affiliation has changed, it’s best to update your information to make sure your vote counts.

Visit the 2020 Election Simulator to get a sneak peek at the newsroom rush.

The first submission of the iOS version Second Life mobile client was rejected by Apple. There has not been much news about this recently.

April Linden announced over 1, 000 regions were running in the cloud (AWS).

We’re in a really exciting time in the history of Second Life. We’re in the home stretch on moving the grid to the cloud. We hit a fun milestone a few days ago, and now there’s over 1,000 regions running in the cloud!

My 14th rez day in Second Life. It seems so long ago now since I signed up. It really has been an amazing journey from exploring places across the grid, writing blog posts, meeting loads of talented people, sharing snapshots and much more. Second Life is still the best virtual world out there and I love being apart of the community.

November 2020

Linden Lab announced private regions were back available again in limited quantity. This was very good news to hear this announcement.

In light of more regions being moved to the cloud, we are pleased to announce that we are ready to begin offering new private region purchases in limited quantities. As we continue to uplift more of the grid, more regions will become available over time, eventually leading to the Land Store being reopened.
Type Setup Fee Maintenance Fee(monthly)
Full Region$349$229
Skill Gaming Region$600$345
Homestead Region$149$109

Oz Linden (VP of Engineering) and Mazidox Linden (Lead QA Engineer) talked about the progress on Uplift on Lab Gab. Very interesting stuff here.

Linden Lab added the Stilt Linden Home regions along with interesting region names. There are many water regions, houseboat regions and new areas to explore. By mid November there were over 100 Stilt regions on the grid with 25 Stilts per region on average.

Linden Lab confirmed 50% of Second Life regions moved into the cloud. Got official confirmation from Strawberry Linden via Twitter. 100% of Second Life regions moved happened roughly a week later. Well done to the Uplift team for moving all regions way ahead of schedule.

Hi Daniel, this is Strawberry. I have confirmed with our Sr. Engineering Manager, April Linden, that over half the regions in Second Life are now running in the cloud.

Linden Lab introduced a new Second Life public calendar where everyone can view upcoming Linden Lab sponsored events and user group meetings. Very useful indeed.

We’ve heard your requests and we’re introducing a new public Google calendar that will have all Linden Lab official events listed. This new calendar offers a convenient way to get an at-a-glance look at upcoming User Group meetings and other Linden Lab-sponsored events

December 2020

The Arcade December 2020 round opened. The “quarterly gacha event features 100 of the grid’s best designers and builders, each whom offer a collection of high-quality prizes sold at random from gacha machines within The Arcade’s build”.

The new Chalet Linden Home theme preview was unveiled to the public at the 2020 SL Christmas Expo in early December. There are four new styles of homes in this release which is Reizend, Alpenrose, Matterhorn and Edelweiss. The inspiration was German and the theme was specifically prototyped after the village of Helen, GA in the northeast Georgia mountains.

The Firestorm team released a new version of the popular Firestorm viewer (6.4.12.62831) which includes the full release of EEP – Environment Enhancement Project, camera presets, some redesigned UI panels and functionality within the viewer. Firestorm 6.4.12 brings the viewer with the lab’s 6.4.11 viewer code base.

The Stilt Linden Home release started on 21st December. The release roll out will continue in the days and weeks ahead.

Update 23rd December

Howdy!

Back with another update, and probably the last prior to the Holidays.   I have restored my original release post above. 

We have concluded several rounds of testing region releases and have determined that we can proceed at a paced release.  We will release regions on a timed frequency throughout the rest of today while monitoring systems and progress.   We will pick up doing so again after the Holidays.   I can not predict how many we may get through or by when, but we’ll do our best to get as many out as safely possible. 

That said, the KVP system while fixed is probably not in an optimal place.   Please do not play “Game of Homes” – that is if you get a new home, hold on to it for a few days before releasing the home to try and get another.  This is for any home types.  The more stress and load we place on the affected systems, the more likely it will become that we may have to stop deploying regions.

Thanks again for everyone’s patience and to the many of you who worked through this with us.

Happy Holidays!
Patch, the Moles and the Second Life Land Operations team

Second Life 2021 – The Year Ahead

  • More news on the Linden Lab acquisition hopefully 
  • Second Life Premium Plus possible launch
  • The IOS and Android beta version of the Second Life mobile app will be released
  • The Mole team will announce new Linden Home themes 8 to 10 possibly. The log homes were released earlier in 2020 and just recently the Stilts has been released in a phrased approach.
  • The Chalet release is expected to happen in early 2021 hopefully before Easter.
  • The Bellisseria continent will continue to expand out further southwards and eastwards.
  • More improvements to the cloud (AWS)

Second Life 2021 Events

Relay For Life of Second Life Season 2021

  • Registration will open on January 15th, 2021.
  • RFL of SL Kickoff will be at 10am SLT on Feb 20th, 2021.
  • 2021 Relay Weekend will be on June 12th – 13th.
  • Second Life 18th Birthday (SL18B) – 23rd June 2021

Can’t wait for 2021 🙂

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