Apparently Linden Lab is working on an iOS app solution for accessing Second Life and hopefully there will be a Android version of it. Hopefully there will be a prototype app released sometime this year if all goes to plan. Sansar may at some point go on mobile in the near future.
Below are iOS and Android apps which can be used to access Second Life and OpenSim as of 30th January 2019.
The Islandz Discord has gone offline – 29th January
The Islandz grid will be sadly closing down sometime within the next 10 days according to Elenia via the Islandz Discord channel on Monday 28th January 2019.
Elenia says that the grid is “not sustainable” and says “we’re not even remotely close”. Elenia goes on to say that “people are disheartened at the lack of content we could restore and I don’t blame them”.
As a former InWorldz/Islandz resident this is sad news for the community. I feel sorry for Elenia and Jim who have put so much hard work to start a new grid from the ground up. I understand the reasons for doing this. The grid just reached the 1, 000 users mark on Sunday morning that have opt-in. It was starting to get good with the regions growing.
I guess everyone will now have to find a new grid to move to.
Apparently the Virtual Highway Grid closed down at the end of December 2018. The reason for the closure is not known but the Virtual Highway website has gone offline. It was one of the few closed grids around.
On the GeVolution World blog there was a small blog post about the closure and it seems they were offering all residents effected with a “free Alamans region for 30 days so they can get back into a home and start setting up“.
Here is the full blog post…
Unfortunately due to the time of year there is another grid closing its doors (lots opening this time of year as grid owners think they can make a quick buck for Christmas), Virtual Highway grid which is a closed grid will be shutting up shop at the end of the month, as we always try to help out those displaced,
GeVolution World Limited will be offering all Virtual Highway members displaced and made homeless a free Alamans region for 30 days so they can get back into a home and start setting up, Pass this word around to any you may know who are being displaced.
If anyone knows more information about the VH closure, please comment below or contact me.
I hope that all the VH community can found a new home again soon.
I have included various bits on OpenSim and Sansar. I’m looking forward to more blogging in 2019.
In mid July it was reported that there were two weeks of private regions growth in Second Life after the lab announced the new pricing restructuring. It’s good to see the grid growing again.
The well known InWorldz grid closed down after financial difficulties. This was a big blow to the entire OpenSim community and many decided to move to other OpenSim grids (The Adult Grid, DigiWorldz, Discovery etc). InWorldz was one of the first OpenSim grids I joined back in 2010.
A brand new continent appeared north-east on the Second Life map. The region names SSP1 to SSP80. Since then the continent has grown in size to 384 regions and it still remains closed to the public. Many have been saying it will be used for new Linden homes or possibly games.
The Relay For Life of Second Life team officially decided to start the 2019 season a month earlier. The kick off event starts at 10am SLT on Saturday 16th February and the annual Relay Weekend will happen on 8th & 9th June 2019.
Ebbe Altberg held a town hall event with the Second Life community talking about the important things the lab have been working on including last names, tier rates, Linden homes, the cloud, premium subscription options and much more.
Linden Lab revamped the Second Life Join Page making it easier to join than ever before. Everyone joining for the first time today can now choose their avatar type and membership level. Hopefully in 2019 the ability to change/choose your last name will happen.
Linden Lab decided to block the third party Android viewer “IM to SecondLife“. Apparently the block was due to serious violations of the policy on the Third Party viewers page.
Second Life and OpenSim communities received some sad news that Google+ was going be closing down in Q1 2019. For most I think now is the time to leave Google+ and try out other social networks.
The old SLUniverse Forums were closed down in early October. The new VirtualVerse One has been up and running for the past few months now. It’s very active and the community is growing pretty nicely.
Linden Lab made a major announcement that Sansar will be moving over to the popular Steam platform and dropping Sandex. Since the launch on Steam on 5th December 2018 the usage numbers have not been very high. It will be interesting if the numbers can improve during 2019.
Sansar reached a peak of 73 visitors via the chart for monthly public visitors. The number of experiences surpassed 1, 100 in late 2018. It will be interesting to see if the usage stays the same or increases throughout 2019.
Linden Lab sent out a statement on creator rights and IP protection for creating content in Second Life. In the statement the lab writes “recently, there’s been some debate about one of the more esoteric aspects of content creation, which impacts many in our community”. That debate is around the use of UV maps in mesh heads apparently. There has been a report of one designer issuing DMCA notices against many creators in Second Life.
The Sansar team released the new look at me release featuring a while new user interface, a first person avatar view, tons of revised controls, new & custom emotes, script raycasting and more.
Things that I took away from the town hall meeting..
Linden Lab is pleased with the response to lowering mainland tier. Resident owned mainland is at levels they haven’t seen for some time
The return of last names is still being worked on and it will probably wont be ready for deployment until Q2 2019. It may cost as much as several months of premium. Name change only for people with premium membership
Linden Lab are working on new genres for Linden Homes and parcels will come in difference sizes. It looks like the new SSP continent will be the new Linden Homes continent.
Animesh shipped this week on the grid and the viewer is in release
Linden Lab are looking at possible new features for Premium members including adding more group slots in 2019
There is a major project for 2019 to renew the Mainland group textures which is possible
Marketplace wish lists, favourites, bug fixes work continues quickly
Grid wide experiences will be coming next year when premium accounts get upgrades
The cloud migration is a big project still and more work still need to be done for moving stuff
SL rail system needs work on and its on the roadmap
The classic system avatar is not being phased out
The Pfaffenthal 1867 regions closed down in Second Life and moved to Sansar after having a strong presence inworld for many years. Pfaffenthal 1867 is moving over to Sansar because the land is free, the graphics is better, the use of VR headsets and real physical interactivity.
Sansar officially launched on Steam on 5th December 2018. It’s going to be interesting to see if Sansar can now reach a much bigger audience with it now being on the Steam platform. We will have to wait and see. Sansar now has greater potential to reach thousands of users in 2019/2020.
Google announced that Google+ will now be shutting down in April 2019 after the company suffered another data leak effecting 52.5 million users.
The Firstorm team released the Animesh Beta viewer. The full Animesh supported Firestorm release will be coming in early 2019. This new viewer release 6.0.1 is now fully merged to the 6.0.0 Linden code-base. There are plenty of changes, bug fixes, improvements in this latest release. Full Change Log
Linden Lab published their 2018 end of year key accomplishments and new feature highlights. The blog post goes into detail on new experiences, the Environment Enhancement Project, performance updates, reduction on land costs and much more.
OFFICIAL 2018 STATISTICS
Residents spent an estimated 336 million hours inworld
50 million+ chat messages daily
Daily concurrency rates remain stable
$65 million was paid out to Residents
Over 5 million virtual goods for sale on the Second Life Marketplace
This active population helped keep the Second Life economy healthy in 2018
2019: The Year Ahead
You can expect to see more improvements made to Second Life in 2019 including new grid-wide experiences, the ability to change your name, migration to the cloud and Linden Home updates.
Animesh and EEP will improve greatly next year I think. Second Life will have its 16th birthday in June 2019. The birthday events are always big and exciting. The new SSP regions are still being worked on and the lab will reveal details on that next year. 2018 has been a good year for region growth in Second Life I think after years of the grid declining. Hopefully the growth trend will continue in 2019.
I’m looking forward to all the annual events and more adventures next year.
There is a few things that are pretty worrying though Flickr and Google+ in 2019. Flickr because of the recent account changes they have made (your safe if you upgrade to PRO) and Google+ because it’s shutting down in April. Both of these platforms have a strong Second Life user-base and next year it’s going to be a pretty rough I think.
I think OpenSim will continue to do well and I guess the big question can Sansar draw in more users on Steam in 2019 ?.
It’s going to be an interesting 2019 ride for sure. Anything can happen and I’ll be ready to blog about it.