The latest news from this week’s Simulator User Group held on Tuesday 30th March 2021 on Map Tiles which relates to the World Map is that Linden Lab are working on it and its not fully fixed yet. There have been many asking about the World Map in recent weeks and months on the Second Life forums etc. Linden Lab have still not given any ETA on it.
Progress is being made from the lab and from the user developed versions of the Second Life Map. It’s going to take a little longer for the World Map to be working like it did before in previous years.
On Tuesday 30th March Patch Linden announced the chalet regions release via the Second Life Forums under the Linden Homes section. This release is ahead of when the lab initially anticipated it would take place. This is good timing just before the Easter holidays start. The chalet homes come in four basic models named Matterhorn, Alpenrose, Edelweiss and Reizend.
The Chalet theme homes are modeled after stylized European alpine wood-timbered houses (fachwerhaus). The chalet homes are set on 1024 sq m parcels featuring hills, mountain streams, windmills and more.
The Chalet Linden homes new community center “Die Betrunkene Maus is located in Muehlenbach. This is a great place to hang out with friends and see the seasonal changes. Roughly there is 100 Chalet regions between the Bellisseria continent and the Satori continent.
Here are the continents below in Second Life as of 31st March 2021. The chalet home regions are not showing on the map however I have highlighted in red where they are located.
Once the World Map is fixed it will be great to see the visuals of all of the chalet regions and latest SSP regions when zooming in/out. I really hope the lab gets this sorted during April/May 2021 as its been broken since late October 2020.
The next Linden Home theme will be announced after SL18B so most likely in July 2021.
After months and years of waiting today Linden Lab have officially connected the Bellisseria continent with the Satori continent. The lab have added Carmine Sky, Cthulhu and Windover Cay regions within the past 24-48 hours or so. Yay! 🙂
The Satori continent already connects with the Blake Sea, Nautilus, Corsica and Gaeta V going north east. The Bellisseria continent already connects with Sansara down south and Jeogeot up north. This is a super massive continent now.
This is great news for those that love travelling by boat, aircraft, flying around the grid. Great work Linden Lab.
On Monday 29th March Linden Lab officially opened up the SL18B volunteer applications which will remain open until Thursday 29th May 2021. For anyone that has not volunteered before at previous Second Life birthday events then I highly recommend doing it. Applications for SL18B Performers, Merchants and more will be opening very soon.
The upcoming Second Life 18th annual birthday celebration (SL18B) will be held on 17th June to 1st July 2021. Roughly 80 days away now.
It’s worth pointing out that SL18B volunteers will have to attend pre-birthday training sessions (at least one) and must be completed. SL18B volunteers are expected to commit to at least two hour shifts during the SL18B birthday celebrations. Volunteers don’t get paid during this event.
Here is the full blog announcement below…
Do you love Second Life? Do you love to party? Do you love to help? Join the SL18B Volunteer staff and you can do all three!
We’re looking for volunteers to help people celebrate at the upcoming 18th annual Second Life birthday celebration (SL18B), held June 17th to July 1st, 2021. We are seeking Residents with great people skills and a love and excitement for Second Life to help us make SL18B a huge success! If you like the idea of promoting Second Life in a positive way to thousands of people in a celebratory atmosphere, we welcome you to apply today! The application will remain open through May 28th.
As many know already the World Map in Second Life has not been fully fixed and hopefully the lab will fix this sooner than later. It’s not been working since late 2020 (October/November time) and the last update from the lab was 21st January 2021 on the Second Life Status page saying that there is not an ETA.
Update – Now that Uplift has finished we are working to restore the map tile functionality. We still do not have an ETA, but please follow this blog for updates and thank you for your patience! Jan 21, 11:23 PST
The World Map
Eddy Ofarrel has had a go at creating the World Map based on the standard Second Life web-based map API with a few tweaks. Region names show up in the bottom left corner of each region and Eddy has made it so it’s only limited to only the first two zoom levels. It’s worth pointing out here at the moment new region map tiles don’t show up yet. It’s possible to click on any region and teleport straight into Second Life.
Eddy mentioned that “the zooming part was just a very simple tweak to the existing script and doesn’t fix the underlying issue on the server side. I have got a bunch of ideas for ways I could improve it further though, so I’ll start working on those tomorrow“. It will be great to see what new ideas Eddy can come up with starting this week.
There is no Search for particular regions or area of the map. Eddy will be adding more functionality in the next few weeks. Eddy says this below on the world map via the Second Life Forums.
I’ve just had a go at doing exactly that… well, kind of. It’s based on the standard Second Life web-based map API, but with a few tweaks (everything beyond the fully-zoomed-in level seems to be non-existent there now). It doesn’t actually do any gluing together of images, but it does allow you to zoom further out using the fully-zoomed-in images rather than trying to load the others that don’t exist. The disadvantage of that (compared to using specific images for each zoom level as it’s meant to) is that it will put a lot more load on your browser (and the server serving the map tiles) the more you zoom out, so I’ve limited it to only zooming out by two levels, at least for now (i.e. 3 zoom levels total)
I’ve also added names to the bottom left corner of each region to try to match the in-world map, but that also requires a separate request for each region to a Second Life server, so I’ve limited it to only the first two zoom levels and then the names will disappear after that (which is sort of like the in-world map does anyway)
I realise it’s probably not that much use right now, particularly as there isn’t (yet) any way to search for/load any particular region or area of the map, but I will add more functionality in the next few days if anyone thinks they would actually find it useful (bearing in mind that the one thing I’m not in a position to do anything about is getting the map tiles to actually update, as much as I would love to help with that)
Eddy has showed interest in willing to help fix this World Map particular issue. Hopefully the lab will offer Eddy a job to get the map to work again.
It’s been a while since I blogged about the latest developments happening over at the SSP regions and I wanted to share the latest updates as of 26th March 2021. The Moles are continuing to add more Stilt homes over at the Bellisseria continent just north east of the log homes area. There has been no ETA on the latest batch of regions for release yet.
It looks like the SSP regions have expanded again recently by ten regions just above the SSP2531 to SSP2500 line. At the moment these SSP regions are not showing up in terms of map tiles/visuals. It’s worth pointing out that this area of the grid is used for the Moles/Lindens to work on upcoming Linden Home themes.
SSP2521 to SSP2530 are the newer regions
SSP2531 to SSP2500 has been on the grid for some timenow
SSPW6 has appeared on the grid north west of the regions above. It’s not clear what W6 means yet. I guess we will have to wait until after the Chalets have been released after SL18B (mid June-early July).
The LH Dev region and LH Dev 2 region there seems to be various developments happening. The LH Dev 2 region is worth keeping your eyes on as it looks like a shopping area of some sort.
There doesn’t seem to be much happening with the nearby LH Dev Final regions below. It looks like these regions are used for testing/creating new homes.
VWBPE 2021 has now come to an end for another year in Second Life. Phelan Corrimal has just finished the closing remarks along with the VWBPE committee. The event was hosted by Pooky Amsterdam. Watch the closing ceremony video to find out who the 2021 Thinkerer Award Recipient was.
If you have missed any of the VWBPE 2021 sessions you can view them all here. There were three sessions with Linden Lab this year which can be watched again below. Patch Linden, Grumpity Linden, Madori Linden and Brett Linden were featured this week at the conference.
Interesting takeaways from VWBPE 2021
There is new energy within Linden Lab that is being driven by the new board
Linden Lab plan to double the resident population over the next 3-5 years
No planned changes to land costs in the short term. Possible mega regions in the near future if AWS allows the lab to do that
Linden Lab are working on a new on-boarding experience. Not ready for development at the moment.
There will be a new campaign to strengthen Second Life coming later this year
New products possible as AWS moves forward in the years ahead
Sessions from Linden Lab
Above the Book: What’s up at the Lab? – 18th March
Reconnaissance with the Lab Roundtable Discussion – 19th March
Quadrivium 3 :: Reconnaissance with Linden Lab – 20th March
Well done to all those that organised VWBPE 2021 and made it happen. Can’t wait for VWBPE 2022.
A new press release has been sent out this weekend for the upcoming 2021 Fantasy Faire in Second Life which will be held from Thursday 22nd April though until Sunday 9th May 2021. The Fantasy Faire is the “largest gathering of fantasy designers, enthusiasts, roleplayers and performers in the virtual world”. Last year for 2020 the Fantasy Faire relayed L$18,875,500 – ($75,512 USD which is pretty amazing.
It will be a great opportunity to “treat yourself to shopping, dance and theater performances, DJ parties, auctions, questing, our Literary Festival, fantasy art, events and roleplaying”. There will be fantasy avatars, furnishings, gadgets, clothing and exclusive items.
Check out the full press release below for more details.
* * Fantasy Faire 2021, April 22 – May 9* * A Benefit for the American Cancer Society
Many Realms – One Vision. Fantasy Faire 2021: Building a World Without Cancer
Celebrating its thirteenth year, Fantasy Faire 2021 is the largest gathering of fantasy designers, enthusiasts, roleplayers and performers in the virtual world. From Thursday, April 22 to Sunday May 9, treat yourself to shopping, dance and theater performances, DJ parties, auctions, questing, our Literary Festival, fantasy art, events and roleplaying as thousands of Second Life residents and creators bring their own visions together to support the American Cancer Society’s vision of a world without cancer.
Our formal programming will conclude on Sunday, May 2nd with our Live Auction, but don’t despair, there is an additional week of shopping, questing, and exploring as the Fairelands will be open through Sunday, May 9th. That’s a total of eighteen days of the Faire – and you never know when something unexpected might happen in that final week!
As always, you’ll find fantasy avatars, clothing, furnishings, gadgets and exclusive items available from over 200 of Second Life’s top Fantasy Creators across stunning regions designed by some of the visionary artists behind many of the hottest spots on the Second Life destination guide.
In addition to the shopping regions there will also be Faireland realms that take us beyond commerce, from a Memorial Garden to the Fairelands Quest, the Literary Festival, Performance Stages, from Art Galleries to the Worldling Collection.
Fantasy Faire 2021 will be open to the public April 22 – May 9. The SLurl to the event will be found on the website on our opening day. We welcome you to come and join the story.
Fantasy Faire 2021 is made possible by the generous support of our Region and Event Sponsors, all of whom you can learn more about on the Faire’s website. For more information please contact one of the Faire coordinators: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/organizers/
Are you or a loved one battling cancer? Find out how many ways the American Cancer Society is there to help. Visit cancer.org or call (US) 800-ACS-2345.
On Friday 19th March Linden Lab announced that the SL18B applications are now open and that the 18th annual Second Life birthday will be held from 17th June to 1st July 2021. The lab have opened up exhibitor applications and the closing date is Friday 28th May 2021. The theme for SL18B is Hidden Worlds.
For those that didn’t know the SL18B dates have showed up on the Second Life Public Calendar for some time now. SL18B will be great this year full of live music, shopping events and birthday community exhibits.
The blog post reads…
Save the date! This June, Second Life will be turning 18! The 18th annual Second Life birthday celebration (SL18B) will be held from June 17th to July 1st. Get ready for fun-filled weeks of live music, performances, shopping, and amazing community exhibits!
This year’s theme for SL18B is Hidden Worlds, but don’t think that limits you! Just like last year, your exhibit does not need to stay in theme. If you are inspired by the thought of the hidden worlds around you, show us! Or, share your Second Life passions with us. Your interests. Your communities. Your worlds! Every year we celebrate because of you, the amazing and creative Residents, who have chosen to call Second Life home. What has drawn you into this world and what keeps you here? This year at the eighteenth annual Second Life Birthday, show us what fuels your Second Life and inspires you. Let’s go exploring!
Patch Linden VP of Product Operations talked with Phelan Corrimal (VWBPE Director; Rockcliffe University Consortium) at VWBPE 2021 this afternoon for almost a hour about what’s new at Linden Lab along with education and non-profit organizations in Second Life. This is the first of three reconnaissance sessions with Linden Lab at VWBPE 2021. Yay! 🙂
I thought it was a interesting and informative interview on things like mega regions, the impact of the pandemic to whats next for the new owners taking Second Life forward. There was no Q&A session at the end or any mention of Ebbe Linden (CEO of Linden Lab). There was no mention of Linden Homes, Premium Plus or the latest on Second Life mobile development.
The attendance for this session was reasonable (average levels) I think. I’m sure its been higher in previous years.
Here is a brief below from what Patch Linden talked about during the session via the live transcript…
The New Owners
The team is comprised of Randy Waterfield, Brad Oberwager, and Raj Date which forms the board at the lab
The transition from the former owners to the new owners actually went very smoothly
Patch Linden primarily works with Brad as he’s the owner.
Brad has one mission: to be the best and biggest virual world there can be
Brad wants to grow and invest in Second Life and he genuinely loves the product
Randy owns an investment firm
Brad sits in the middle and balances both / they see Tilia as a business
Tilia is what allows Second Life to continue to exist
Second Life is the primary focus & there is a separate team that focus on Tilia
Immediate Priorities Over Next 12 Months Or So
The lab want to increase the Second Life population as that’s Brad’s goal
The team wants to finish up with the AWS work
There are some product enhancements that will come out of that
User experience is key especially the onboarding experience
That’s the 12 month high level road map
The lab are refactoring the new onboarding process and there is a lot of work going on
There are viewer changes that will smooth out the bumps we’ve identified over the years
The lab have been doing A/B testing to figure out what path needs to look like
New UIs and refreshed looks will benefit everyone
New User Experience Accessibility
Grumpity Linden keeps her eyes on improving accessibility along with improving the UI
The lab don’t plan on adding text-to-speech immediately
The goal for growth is double the resident population over the next 3-5 years
The goals are realistic as the lab has seen this over the past year
Both educators and businesses have switched from in-person to hybrid solutions
Team Grid Reintroduction / K-12 Educational Groups
The lab have educational groups operating in that space particularly through educational partners
AWS work will help open more doors
Probably at the end of the year the lab there could be geographically aided opportunities. That will open the doors to private grids.
The Pandemic Experience During The Past Year
The new user experience needing significant work between people coming back but not for personal reasons
It’s more important to smooth the experience in the post-pandemic world and give it some love
People’s usage habits have changed over time and they’re different for business and education
Private Labeling / White Labeling
The lab have had clients say they’d like the lab to remove half the features of the viewer and some want more
Open Chat Range – that came from taking a request from events in general – to increase the density of avatars at one time
Teen Grid had its own search which was the same as the main grid and it was all separate
Next 12 months – Educators / Non-Profits
Geographic location stuff
The user experience improvements will make things easier
To leverage AWS
Mega Regions & Cost
The lab are not looking to increase cost / should remain the status quo
If AWS lets the lab get into new region models then maybe mega regions, maybe light regions not within the next 12 months
Middle cost alternative maybe / the option to have more avatar density within regions / the lab are looking into it
On demand situations where people can upgrade from homestead to full to allow them to host a big event
Patch mentioned that he likes competition as it helps foster innovation and it drives you to stay motivated. Patch always keeps an eye out on the competitors and what they’re doing
There are alot of features that the lab has where others are catching up to and they have new features that can be interesting to adapt like the economy. Patch is not seeing a direct competitor to Second Life as far as flexibility. Things like max attachments, prims in region etc. The lab already has a direct building tool in-world.
Opportunities To Experiment
There is no particular group of folks as the lab all go out to try new platforms and learn about them
Those that observe platforms come back and bring feedback
As a business you have to see whether something new is worth to keep if its not at the best usability/performance. The lab need to study the performance and bandwidth
Sometimes it tilts towards no and we have to withdraw it because it would impact negatively on user experience
Oz Linden Retired
Patch said that Oz retired and he was a great colleague. He left a chasm and the lab are glad for him
When the lab recruits its posted on the website / internal recruiters
New Ownership Structure
Patch knows the ownership is on everyone’s mind and they have a great energy / super enthusiastic / they want to grow Second Life and the educational communities as well
Brad always asks Patch how will it benefit the residents and how will it benefit Second Life ?
Stay updated on the latest happenings at VWBPE 2021 here.