Bellisseria Third Anniversary


It’s time to celebrate 3 years of the Bellisseria continent

Today on Friday 15th April 2022 marks Bellisseria third anniversary in Second Life since the second generation of Linden Homes were first launched on the grid. The Moles and many Lindens have worked really hard over the past three years to keep growing the Bellisseria continent so that more releases can happen regularly.

Join in with the celebrations here

Bellisseria Fairgrounds – April 2022
Chalet sub continent windmills

When the Bellisseria continent first opened to the public back on 15th April 2019 there was only like 384 regions. Today there are thousands of Linden Home regions spread over many themed sub continents connecting up to former continents. It’s been exciting to keep track of progress since then and even before that back in late August 2018 when the first 80 SSP regions arrived on the grid.

11th April 2019

A few days or so before the big opening the lab added the Linden Homes section on the Second Life Forums. The SSP? thread is still running today with 263 pages full of historical findings. It’s amazing it’s been active since 21st August 2008.

In early April 2019 Patch Linden went live on Relay Rap Radio Talk Show to talk about the new Linden Homes project that the lab have been working on since mid 2018.

Here are were the updates from the radio show….

  • The opening “will be announced when it happens”
  • Currently “one week past the original roll out date”
  • There will be four house styles to choose from. Eventually “there will be six to eight more styles” for Linden Homes – some 512sq and some 1024sq
  • The new SSP continent will “grow futher down South then East” where the new water regions are
  • It’s recommended to get a new Linden Home quickly as there may be a long wait
  • The old Linden homes will be going away and will be shut down. At least a year or two before this happens.

Back in late March 2019 the first part of the SSP continent showed up on the world map. Over the weeks that followed the continent became much bigger. See the comparison maps below 2020 vs 2021 vs 2022. Linden Lab back then said it was to do with a Super Secret Project they are working on.

Bellisseria SSP continent – Late March 2019
SSP Continent – 16th January 2019
The houseboats release opens – 15th May 2019
New area of land – 17th August 2019

The first preview of the new Linden Homes was at the 2019 Home and Garden Expo.

First preview of Linden Homes – Mid March 2019
Welcome to Linden Homes – Mid March 2019
Lighthouse near the ocean – April 2019

During the past year the Chalet, Fantasy and Newbrooke sub continents have arrived on the grid with new areas to explore, more Linden Homes and a bigger community overall. Work is not completely done yet and further expansion of Bellisseria during the next year or two is highly expected.

Newbrooke sub continent

The lab is due to announce details on Premium Plus by the end of May 2022 and maybe there will be more interest for Linden Homes after that. The next theme reveal may happen at SL19B which happens from mid June 2022. The release will most likely happen before the end of the year if there are no delays.

Campwich Forest
All Hours – April 2019
Fourze – April 2019

Bellisseria growth over the years – (August 2018 to April 2022)

First SSP Regions Arrived – 20th August 2018
Bellisseria Continent Opening Day – 15th April 2019

April 2020 vs April 2021 vs April 2022

Bellisseria Continent – 15th April 2020
Bellisseria Continent – 15th April 2021
Bellisseria Continent – 15th April 2022

I can’t wait to see what the Bellisseria continent will look like in a year from now and even two years from now. It’s going to be triple the size that’s for sure and I will continue to keep track of new developments on my blog. Stay tuned for that.

Feel free to share your best Bellisseria memories from the past three years in comments.

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Watch Again: Patch Linden At VWBPE 2022


For anyone that missed the Above the Book interview today featuring Patch Linden and Phelan Corrimal then here is the full video above. The interview runs for 53 minutes and 15 seconds. Patch talks about the passing of Ebbe Altberg, Philip Rosedale role as advisory, the use of the AWS infrastructure, new event regions, Mobile is still in the works, general improvements and more.

Patch mentioned a lot about improvements made to Second Life recently from the Marketplace changes, the new search look, the introduction of Multi-Factor Authentication and performance improvements. Over the next few years the lab hopes to improve the new user experience on-boarding processes like the avatar system. Patch hopes to double the number of active online residents in-world within the next few years.

The part I found interesting was when Patch talked about the new event regions capable of running up to 150 avatars and there is a target of 200 which would be a challenge to meet later in the year. Apparently there have been some testing going on at some shopping events and soon it may be possible at RFL events.

For all those waiting to hear about Mobile well it’s in active development with a possible streaming option being considered. IOS is the still the main focus and costs may be included in the near future. I’m sure more will be shared in the weekly web user group meetings soon.

There was not really a mention of Premium Plus (big announcement coming up maybe ? ) or any Linden Home announcements. This interview is more like a general catch up on the past year on what’s going on. I would imagine we will have to wait now until SL19B to hear more announcements on upcoming Linden Home themes.

Stay updated on the latest events here at VWBPE 2022.

The Second Life Premium Plus Community Wishlist


Over the past few months there has been a thread on the Second Life Forums named Premium Plus – What are your must have features and what are you willing to pay for it which is worth following I think (9 pages+ so far).

As many know already the lab are due to announce details about Premium Plus sometime before the end of March 2022 (Q2 2022). It’s been in the works for the past few years or so and Premium Plus has been given the green light as it was mentioned on the 2022 roadmap for Second Life. It says “a new upgrade option with added features and extras“,

I will be surprised if most of these must have features below will be included in the whole package when it launches. We will have to wait and see.

The Community Wishlist….

  • Larger land plots like 2048/4096
  • Cheaper tier prices
  • Lower upload fees & free basic uploads like sounds and images
  • Free name changes or option to change name once a year
  • Bigger weekly allowance (L$500+)
  • The ability to own a homestead without owning a full region
  • More group slots (100 or so)
  • More profile picks
  • Free event listings
  • 24/7 support
  • Ability to share inventory with an alt account
  • Ability to save notecards to hard drive
  • Increased attachment limits and animesh attachments
  • More premium gifts
  • A 2nd Linden Home & increase number of Linden Home claims per day
  • Access to previous last names
  • Transferring Lindens from the dashboard
  • Multiple marketplace stores
  • And the list goes on….

Current Premium Benefits…..

I hope Premium Plus will be worth it for the Second Life community when the lab announces details of it very soon. The pricing of Premium Plus will need to work for Linden Lab and the residents. Basic, Premium & Premium Plus should be the way forward now.

I think most are now waiting to see what Premium Plus will offer everyone with two weeks or less to go. It needs to have the surprise factor along with something new basically.

What do you think Premium Plus should be like ? Feel free to comment below and spread the word.

12 New Regions Added On The East Side Of Newbrooke Sub Continent


Within the past 24 hours 12 new regions have been added on the east side of the Newbrooke sub continent showcasing Modern Linden Homes. The region names are Jazz Band, Funky Blues, Okay Pop, Prince Charming, Fitz Inn, Picnic Grove, Judge Knott, Bullwinkle, Lavenders Blue, Dot Matrix, Hexadecimal, Shields Brook. They are all showing Black for some reason and will update very soon showing the right visuals.

Work is now underway to complete these regions for release very soon. These new regions are open to the public.

Patch Linden has said this week that “Due to the popularity and dwindling availability of the larger parcel variants, you may see the map update soon with a number of new regions being prepared to increase Newbrooke availability to meet demand. We hope that you continue to enjoy the Newbrooke theme!“.

This means that you can expect to see more new regions being added in the coming weeks to the Newbrooke sub continent as demand grows. It’s probably going to be double the size before Easter arrives. There is plenty of room to grow on the west, south and north side of the Newbrooke sub continent.

Jazz Band
Okay Pop

Newbrooke Covenant Update

On Friday 11th March 2022 Patch Linden posted a Newbrooke covenant update including two additional lines (outlined in bold below).

Hi Everyone!

As a follow-up to the conversation some of you may have noticed on the forums, we are further clarifying the covenant with two new additional lines:

* Additions to Newbrooke houses must be in the Newbrooke style (flat roof shipping container homes) and blend in seamlessly with the neighborhood theme.  Garage and room additions are permitted while maintaining architectural consistency with the theme (eg. roof line, colors, trim, etc).
* Newbrooke homes should not be modified architecturally with exterior add-ons, such as roof altering additions or changes that are out of theme.  Items such as roof top gardens, decks, porch and overhang extensions are permitted. 


Additionally, we have been noticing people are rezzing outside of their parcel boundaries more than usual on Newbrooke. While we’re not going to be hypercritical and measure down to the millimeter, we do want to remind you that per the New Linden Homes Covenant, public space outside your parcel lines is just that: space for the public. Please take extra care not to extend objects outside of your parcel in a way that will block, wall off, or “claim” public areas for yourself to the exclusion of other residents. Items such as these could be subject to object returns upon report/discovery.

Current Progress Update

  • The Moles are still working on the Chalet sub continent and the Fantasy sub continents adding more Linden Homes and adding the finishing touches due to be completed within the next month or so at best estimates.
  • Work has already started on the new 12 added regions on the east side of the Newbrooke sub continent.
  • No updates yet on when the north side of the logs home continent will be finished or the west side of the chalet sub continent

What’s Next ?

The Asian theme seems likely to be next Linden Home theme to be announced I think as it’s the only theme from the original old Linden Home continents that has not been duplicated yet in the Bellisseria continent. It may be something different like sci-fi, tinys, ancient, desert, ultimate Retro etc. We might hear something at VWBPE 2022 which is only three weeks away now (31st March to 2nd April 2022).

What do you think the next Linden Home theme should be ?

NEW: Linden Lab will be announcing details about Premium Plus before end of March 2022. Q2 2022 starts 1st April through until 30th June 2022 so I would imagine it will launch in this time window. This may relate to the red theme colour SSP regions.

We will have to wait and see what happens.

Red SSP regions as of 12th March 2022

More development updates will be posted very soon on my blog.

Linden Lab Looks Back At 2021 & Looks Forward To 2022


On Thursday 23rd December Linden Lab released it’s 2021 – Second Life Year In Review blog post mentioning some of the main highlights of the year. The lab reflects on the key accomplishments for 2021 from the succesful migration to the cloud, performance improvements, new features, new user experience improvements, the release of two different Linden Home themes and more.

2021 Key Highlights

  • Improved speed and cadence of updates in performance. Overhauling the new user experience (welcome islands/new user guidebook), various UI and search improvements
  • The infrastructure in the Cloud improved throughout 2021
  • Chalet and Fantasy Linden Home themes were released. Newbrooke will be available very soon
  • Receiving group notices in email
  • More time limited themed last names became available through 2021
  • Support for multi-factor authentication was introduced this year
  • New 360 Snapshot Tool enables 360-degree snapshots
  • Over 140 Second Life Marketplace updates and fixes. Like these highlights like “tying Marketplace into the overall single sign-on (SSO) system, adding a “Save For Later” feature in the shopping cart, adding bulk redelivery for merchants, as well as fixing several issues and improving speed and stability”. 
  • And more!

There was mentions of Ebbe Altberg who sadly passed away earlier this year and Oz Linden who retired earlier this year. Brad Oberwager (Oberwolf Linden) stepped in as the Executive Chairman following the succesful acquisition of Linden Lab by an investment group run by Randy Waterfield.

Linden Lab mentions the 2022 roadmap in the blog post which sounds pretty interesting. Stay tuned for more Lab Gab episodes and weekly user group office hours which are planned. The annual shopping and larger popular events will be happening next year.

  • Avatar “expressiveness” that brings camera-based gestures and movement to your avatar for a whole new level of interaction and connectedness
  • Premium Plus – a new upgrade option with added features and extras
  • A new mobile viewer to enhance and improve your Second Life experience
  • Improved group chat reliability
  • Viewer and script performance improvements 
  • New user avatar customization and improvements
  • Updated mesh optimizer
  • Search engine improvements
  • Improved materials and terrain
  • Adding web marketplace variants
  • …and much more!

I think Avatar “expressiveness” sounds like it’s going to be pretty big and i’m sure going to be awesome. Premium Plus is a big one to watch as many have wanted this for some time. The new mobile viewer is still happening so that’s great to hear. The other improvements listed under that will make Second Life sound pretty good during 2022.

Linden Lab mentions the metaverse relating to the big name change announcement from Facebook to Meta recently. From the sounds of things there is “genuine concern about Facebook’s plans in this space”. Let’s see what happens in 2022 and 2023. It’s still early days yet.

Marketing the “Metaverse”
So, perhaps you have heard of this new thing called the metaverse? ;)  Unless you’ve been living under a rock (virtual or otherwise), you probably already know that Facebook recently changed its corporate name to Meta as they work on their own vision and version of a “metaverse.” While we appreciate that this development has super-charged interest in virtual worlds, we also know that there is genuine concern about Facebook’s plans in this space given its spotty reputation on many issues including consumer data privacy and protections.

At Second Life, we’re proud that we don’t monetize, sell, or share consumer data – and we’ve been heartened to see the mainstream media reevaluate our own virtual world amidst the heightened interest in all-things-metaverse including a renewed recognition and celebration of our pioneering contributions to the concepts of virtual economies, cultures, and communities.

What have been your highlights of 2021 in Second Life ? Feel free to share in comments below. Have a great Christmas everyone.

The SL17B Exhibits Are Still Open


Bugs Bunny at the bar drinking lime

Last weekend marked the end of the major events and live performances at SL17B. The only big event still going now is the SL17B Shop & Hop shopping event which ends Sunday 12th July 2020. The exhibits and birthday regions are still open for another two weeks roughly. There is a useful list of SL17B community experiences worth checking out. 

SL17B core regions open until 12th July 2020
SL17B Shop & Hop Shopping Event still open

For those that are visiting this week and next week the lag should now be at normal levels. It should be easier now to explore the regions sightseeing and hanging out with family/friends. It’s best to visit during non-peak hours to enjoy it more.  

Ebbe Linden & Saffia live at SL17B last week (22nd June)

The SL17B Meet the Linden sessions were a huge success again this year with a large audience every day participating inworld and on the live online stream. Well done to everyone that made it work this year. It was good to hear good progress being made with the uplift work, the mobile app, premium plus, Linden Homes and much more. I think before the end of the year there will be some interesting announcements on Second Life.

The new Stilt Linden Home theme
SL17B Enchant from the air

The new Stilt Linden Homes can still be viewed in the SL17B Enchant region. The LH Demo region will remain open for the next few weeks. After that the Stilt Linden Homes won’t be released until later in 2020 when residents will be able to start moving in. I will post more on this when new updates becomes available.

What do you think of SL17B so far ?

 

 

Firestorm Update 6.3.9.58205


On Thursday 28th May 2020 the Firestorm team released a brand new release update numbered 6.3.9.58205. This new release comes with plenty of improvements, fixes and a lot for OpenSim users. This version of the Firestorm viewer brings it in line with the Linden Lab 6.3.8 code base. It’s been over 7 months since the last release so there is loads to be excited about this time.

* Added a “Stop Locally” button to the Sound Explorer.
* Added a search button to Nearby Chat and IM session floaters.
* New options added to the Area Search context menu: “Select All,” “Clear Selection,” and “Filter My Objects.”
* Added “Inspect” option for own attachments.
* Enabled multi-selection for all name lists in group profiles.
* Updated the Mac installer image backgrounds for readability and consistency.
* Fixed being unable to post snapshots to Flickr.
* Fixed hi-resolution snapshots appearing broken up in segments
* Lots of behind-the-scenes work to migrate the Firestorm code repositories from Mercurial to Git and to switch crash reporting from Windows systems over to Bugsplat. Expect future releases to be even more stable.
* Improved memory handling on the Linux viewer
* So many crash fixes…
* Improved region crossing behavior.
* New feature to lock and protect an inventory folder to prevent inadvertent drag-and-drop or deletion.
* Translation updates for German, Polish, Japanese & Russian
* Just sooo much more! 

Premium Plus

This new release adds viewer-side support for Premium Plus. There will be some kind of new announcement soon on this on the Second Life Blog. It’s important to note that Linden Lab have not released the Premium Plus feature yet. 

EEP Update

For those interested in the EEP capable version of the Firestorm viewer the answer is soon. I’m thinking later this year depending on progress being made. There is pressure for EEP to be fully incorporated however there are still a number of challengers ahead for the Firestorm team.

OpenSim Update

For those that use OpenSim grids this new release brings it back in line with the Second Life Firestorm release which is very good news to hear. Nine new OpenSim grids have now been added to the grid manager including Virtualife World, DiscoveryGrid, Alife Virtual, Mobius Grid, Zone Nations, Party Destination Grid, TanGLe Grid, The Kaz Grid and OpenSim Community Conference.

This new release improves map search and there are lots of maintenance fixes. All group notices should now send correctly on OpenSim. 

Here are the full release notes including new features and improvements.

 

Second Life Premium Plus Roll Out Delayed Until Late 2020/Early 2021


According to Inara Pey blog today it seems Linden Lab have delayed the roll out of Second Life Premium Plus to late 2020 – early 2021 at the earliest. The reason for the delay is that the lab are focused on the Uplift project and that they feel now is not the right time to roll it out with the current pandemic going on.

This makes perfect sense to me and its a good move to take. Introducing any sort of price raise at this time would be not welcomed when people are struggling.

The plans have now changed for the formal deployment from Grumpity Linden on 12th May.

We have made the decision to delay the deployment of Premium Plus based on two key factors:

  1. We want to be focused on our Uplift project (move to the cloud) and to minimize distraction for our development, QA, and Ops teams. While we’ve laid a lot of groundwork, quite a bit more still remains to finish Premium Plus.
  2. The pandemic has brought a lot of financial uncertainty to people all around the world and we know many of our Residents have been hit hard.

We are very happy that SL has provided an outlet for people where they can connect, escape, engage safely, and earn a living or supplement their income as well. But we also realise that introducing a higher-priced service level in this time would be really ham-handed.

When will Premium Plus become available ? Grumpity goes on the say…

I don’t know that there’s a whole lot more to say. I can’t promise a time line, but early 2021 is reasonable to expect. If we find ourselves in a position to move up that time line, we’ll certainly explore that. Without any actual plans to that effect, we may find, for example, that a different type of service level than Premium Plus is a better offering for the times we find ourselves in come Fall.

The first half of 2021 would be a good time to roll out this out. Hopefully the crisis would be over by then with light at the end of the tunnel.

If however the crisis gets worse I would say it could be delayed further into 2021. It could be the lab rolls out a different type of service level than originally planned.

We will have to wait and see.